Tag Archives: Review

Prince of Wolves by Dave Gross

Hands down the best of the three Pathfinder Tales I’ve read so far. Gross presents two memorable characters, Pathfinder Varian Jeggare and his bodyguard, Radovan, in an exciting and engrossing adventure through ominous Ustlav.


Written in a style reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, the story draws you in, and, despite several errors, provides a thrilling read with a good mix of horror and humour.

Highly recommended, not just for Pathfinder and RPG fans.


Pathfinder Bestiary 3

I just picked up the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3, since it will form a major cornerstone of my upcoming Kamen, Land of Masks campaign. The campaign is set in mythical Japan, and Bestiary 3 has loads of monsters that can slot right in, like the Spirit Oni, Tanuki and Jorogumo.

I always thought any bestiary after the first to be a waste of money, but Paizo did a great job of providing groups of creatures that fit well together. I already mentioned the traditional Japanese monsters you’ll find. Can anything be more iconic than the Kappa and Yuki-Onna (Snow Woman)? There are also creatures of Chinese origin (Terracotta Warriors), RPG cult legends (Flail Snail and Flumph) and loads more.

A bad example though is the Jubjub Bird and Bandersnatch, from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, since you’ll need the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2 for the Jabberwock. Still, the Jubjub Bird and Bandersnatch work well together, and the Jabberwock is a great loner. That’s the same with the Sasquatch, Axe Beak and Bogeyman, which are all in Bestiary 3.

Groups of monsters include Clockwork creatures, Asura, Kami and Oni, to name but a few.

Challenge Rating (CR) wise, I’m very happy, I hardly play high level campaigns but there’s plenty to throw at mid level players. If you are starting out though, this isn’t going to give you all your Orcs and Goblins.

On the art side, this is a gem. I love the Kappa. Living in Japan there are loads of Kappa illustrations around (usually comical), but they made it look believable and scary. I didn’t like the Kodama (watch Princess Mononoke by Studio Ghibli to see more of these cool little dudes) or the oni in general. But I am biased.

Overall, a great addition to the collection.


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The Wizard’s Mask – Book Review

Recently we had a major snowstorm in Japan, which meant I was stuck on trains for more than 11 hours. Hours in which I felt like I was slogging through the muddy writing of Ed Greenwood’s “The Wizard’s Mask“.

There are many great pieces in this novel, during which the light of Ed’s writing talent really shines. The problem is that most of the book feels forced and rammed together, leaving those “great pieces” to suffer.

I’d love to see what Mr Greenwood could do if he gave this another pass or two with his writers pen, but right now “The Wizards Mask” is a poorly told, bland story that often makes for unwieldy reading.


Dungeons & Dragons Classics

The Legend of Drizzt Boardgame

New to my collection is the Legend of Drizzt: Dungeons and Dragons Board Game, designed by Peter Lee (D&D Miniatures, Heroscape) and published by Wizards of the Coast. What originally caught my eye is that this is a game for one to five players. Yes, you can play it solo! Also, if you’ve been into role-playing for awhile you’ve probably heard of Drizzt Do’Urden, the dark elf with a conscience, and his friends, who are central to this game. I’ve got a fair collection of D&D miniatures including Drizzt, Wulfgar, Bruenor and others and this rounded out my collection with Regis and Cattie-brie along with a good bunch of themed miniatures. So the question that was on my mind when I opened the box was: “how does this game actually play?” Well, let’s find out.

Continue reading The Legend of Drizzt Boardgame

Blood of the Zombies – Book Review

My three geeky weaknesses in this world are Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures, Star Wars Action Figures and Fighting Fantasy Game Books. Ever since I picked up City of Thieves when I was a young boy and took my first steps down the streets and alleys of Port Blacksand I’ve been hooked. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Fighting Fantasy game books and with it the release of a new book, “Blood of the Zombies“, by Fighting Fantasy co-creator Ian Livingstone.  I bought the book and had a go and here are my thoughts on this little piece of green backed zombie mayhem.

Continue reading Blood of the Zombies – Book Review

The Amazing Spider-Man

So I just saw the Amazing Spider-Man. Wow!

Now, I’m a little biased, because I’ve always loved Spider-Man. Spider-Man is fast, agile, confident and has always stood up for good ideals. Spider-Man doesn’t kill his enemies, he puts himself at greater risk to preserve all life. Spider-Man has always been my favorite super hero, I’d choose him over Wolverine, Captain-America, Iron-Man or any of the others.

Continue reading The Amazing Spider-Man

Dungeons and Dragons Map Tiled Reviewed

The first game I ever GMed was Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, or Warhammer FRP, and a delightful little mission called the Oldenhaller Campaign. Most of the “Dungeon” we explored in our minds, with maybe a basic sketch on some scrap paper to help us imagine the scene. The final scene however, was lovingly mapped out by me in pencil to scale on a large sheet of paper, with a grid to help with moving and ranged combat. Today there are more scale maps for miniatures than you can shake a D100 at, and I thought I’d take a moment to review Wizards of the Coasts own map line of Dungeon Tiles.

To date I’ve bought five of the sets. “The Wilderness” master set, which includes numerous wilderness scenes including ruined towers, huts and tents. “Desert of Athas”, the desert themed set, includes a number of 3D elements such as a stair case, stall and wagon. “Caves of Carnage”, is of course set in a cave, but could just as easily map out parts of a sewer system. “Caverns of Icewind Dale”, possibly my favorite set, includes ice, snow and water tiles for both cave and outdoor scenes. “The Witchlight Fens” include swamplike terrain and would probably be useful in any Jungle setting.


Ooh, so pretty. The tiles are well illustrated and detailed, and I have yet to see anything better out there. My only gripe is that some of the tiles don’t match up, such as water tiles from the different sets don’t seem to have a uniform colour, which is a pity since every set has a number of water tiles and these would be good points to connect the different sets.


Right off the bat I think you should consider buying a number of sets or duplicate sets, since you’ll get more use out of them that way. Out of the average set you’ll get two small maps or one medium sized map, which I think is pretty good. If a set includes 3D elements then the size of the map will decrease drastically. Still, you can combine the tiles with poster maps like those for Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures or in the Red Box to make those maps much larger and more interesting. The Master Sets have more tiles and are probably the best place to start your collection.

Since most of the tiles are double sided (only the 3D elements are not always), you have many options to build from. If you’re not a perfectionist you’ll be able to extend the maps even further, otherwise some tiles only match up to certain others. Most sets seem to have at least a few tiles that would integrate with another terrain type, such as the wilderness set, but as I said these don’t always have the same colours to fit seamlessly together.


You can use the tiles in any role-playing game or wargame of the same scale, with or without the grid. I’d like to try them with Warhammer or Doom: The Boardgame, or similar games.

For D&D or Parthfinder I’d say they are worth the purchase. They’ve inspired me with some great encounter ideas that I’ve recorded for later.

A nice surprise is the number of useful items, particularly modes of transport, you’ll get. With my five sets combined I have five boats, a cart and two horses. The five boats come in handy when you realize just how much water there is on these tiles, even the desert set.


Repacking the tiles in the frames is a big hassle, but the Master Set comes in a box that you can even use as terrain, and has enough space for two more packs along with the contents you get when you buy the set.


The tiles are made of cardstock, so they won’t survive water or bending too well. But with proper care you should get years of use out of them. The 3D tiles are less durable and tend to rip the surface when you slide them into each other.

Value for Money

Probably the best buy in terms of maps is a dry erase map, but these tiles are very pretty and inexpensive and give you additional options for the games table, which to me is a win. I’ll probably get at least one more set of Master Tiles to round off my collection, which I think says something.

If you found this review helpful leave a comment below, or just let us know what maps you use and any neat tricks you have up your sleeve.