This blog is about gaming, but D&D is top on my list, from D&D 5e, Pathfinder to good old AD&D 1e (where my roots come from!). I'm an Evil DM, I have been for many years, to the point folks enjoy my games and style but fear things in game. Paranoia is great and fuels a lot of awesome roleplaying situations with characters in game. Have a question? Feel free to contact me for advice about 1e, 5e or Pathfinder - ASKTHEDM(@)THEEVILDM(.)COM
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Review of Nerzugal’s Game Master Toolkit for D&D 5e
A couple of days ago, I took look at a really cool tool for a DM by Nerzagul called, "The Dungeon Master Toolkit". Feel free to go take a look that before reading this, don't worry I will wait. Done? Good! Well today is a follow up, as I found out Nerzugal released a new toolkit on RPGNOW, now named the GAME MASTER TOOLKIT and he's released this new one under the OGL version 1.0a.
Its currently placed at $9.99 for the PDF and for various prices based on what you want for Print on Demand (see below, prices as of posting date)
Now you are thinking that is a steep price to pay for a PDF, after the previous (awesome) kit was PWYW, right? Maybe, but let's take a look at it before we jump to any conclusions here.
First off, you get 188 pages in this PDF and its broken down as follows:
188 Page High Quality PDF & Print friendly Quality PDF (same as the high quality)
104 Page Bestiary (which is all the monsters in its own book, with cover for printing!)
While the Bestiary is just the monsters from the kit itself, the author decided to put them into its own book so you could print it out and keep it along side your monster manual book and treat it like its say, Monster Manual two or something, pretty cool idea, huh?
So you ready to go buy it?
Still not sold on this?
WELL, let's see what's inside this puppy:
- 5 Dungeons & one-shots
- 10 new puzzles
- 100 new monsters
The first section we see the 5 new Dungeons we are promised, which are very interesting and the maps that come with them can easily be reused for any adventure you want. The maps are scanned in this time and have great detail to them. I know a few people complained the last time the maps looked okay and some of them looked like the author had not taken the care (or time) to scan them in, often using what appeared to be a smart phone picture of the maps. Not this time, the maps are detailed and look really good.
Much better detail on the maps.
Here is a detailed sneak peek of what dungeons you will get with this GM Kit:
Each Dungeon is packed with information, suggestions on how to handle things and even has the creatures you need right there modified for the encounter you have at hand, in case you want to print it out and have it ready for use at the table.
Next section we have One-Shots, which the last time I couldn't figure out what the difference between the one-shots and the dungeons had been, now its a little more clearer in this kit, as the one shots are what they suggest, a one time thing to drop into your game, but it has also been tailored for the "Newbie" DM in mind. They give suggestion on how to run the adventure along the way, which is perfect for those that struggle a little when they are new.
The fourth section is all about the new puzzles. I really love puzzles and I love to give my players something to think about, talk about and pull their hair out about. Puzzles are a favorite of mine and they are hard to find sometimes. I wanted to show a screenshot summary of the puzzles, but he did not list one this time, maybe it was forgotten? I liked the brief summary of them all before the actual puzzles, no big deal, minor issue.
Three Steps Ahead Cipher
Cycles of the Moon
Gnome Man's Land (listed as three puzzles in one)
Maw of the Dragon
Poetry and Platemail
A Problem of Potions
A Stone's Throw Away
What's In a Name?
I have to say out of all of them I really liked A Problem of Potions, it really reminded me of the Zombie Escape Room type things where you are trapped in a room, and you have all the pieces of the puzzle to find your way out, but you only have a certain amount of time before the zombie in the room gets out of its chains to come and eat you. Yes that is one of those "fun" Corporate Team building things companies can pay for their team to do.
Now finally onto the Extended Bestiary, which gives us like a 100 freaking monsters, with detailed descriptions and artwork that is really really good, some of it really reminding me of the olden days of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons era artwork. Here's a quick look at the summary of beasts!
Here is some of the artwork I was talking about as well:
I really enjoy artwork like that, because it reminds me of being in school back in the day and looking over at my buddy and he's penciling up some new crazy monster that you invented for your game so the guys in your group had a super awesome picture to look at.
LOL yeah I am a dork, so what?
Now I won't lie, there is a few grammatical errors here and there, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the product as a whole and not make me want to tell my friends about it and tell them to pick it up.
So is the price tag attached to this worth it? Hell yeah, I suggest you go pick it up now.
Something that has always bugged me in D&D and this dates back to the days of playing D&D in the '80s, but its more of a thing since the "MMO/video gamer generation" (let's go with that for now) has moved into playing D&D, was that all their stats have to be high, and anything less then having a +2 modifier on your stats was a "waste of time".
Another email came into the "Ask a DM" email box, by "Ralph", as that's how it was marked on the email form that asked me a question about Monsters, their stats and encounters. Mostly asking me if I reference the book during a game, hand write them/print them on a sheet a paper. He was having trouble with encounters and wanted to know what's his best option and what should he do to keep it easy for him? also wants to know, when should he throw encounters at his group?
A question was asked to me today (via email at the top) about writing up custom spells and the person was worried about if the spell already existed, not so much to save him time or work, but because he didn't want to be unoriginal in his spell idea.
I said to him to get more information, "if you have an idea in your head, why not just talk to your DM, work with him and make a custom spell to the way YOU like it?"