By Thilo Graf
This web-enhancement from Open Design is 14 pages long, half a page of which is devoted to SRD and credits, leaving 13.5 pages of content, quite a bunch!
The pdf kicks off by providing 20 short NPC write-ups for use with the Margreve or any other ancient forest really: Each one provides at least some idea for the beleaguered DM to craft an adventure around. Combined with “Tales of the Old Margreve” (TotOM), they add a lot of details and depth to the adventures.
Next up are 25 re-skinned monsters and 15 spells and boy: They alone, even if you don’t plan to use TotOM, are worth the price – the idea is essentially to use the stats of a familiar creature with a new exterior and boy, boy, boy: They ROCK! Need an example? What about petrified treants for caryatid columns? Or what about animated, acidic spew-launching logs as a new take on Ankhegs? A spell that works as whispering wind, but carves the message into a nearby tree? (Can you see the horror-potential there?) – Pure awesomeness!
The Margreve bloodline with minor access to hexes and shape-changing is nice as well and incantation-fans like yours truly get another new one – yes!
The new magic items also scream: Brilliant! What about cursed or beneficial Matryoshka dolls? A wine-drinking quilt that may work as a solid bridge if sated?
Finally, we get 12 new traits to customize your Margreve (or forest-dwelling) PC and a new trick you can learn your animals to accept the presence of undead – why this one has not been done until now remains a mystery to me – simple, elegant and closes a hole in the rules.
The pdf features full-color, flavourful stock-art, layout adheres to the 3-column standard and editing is top-notch – I didn’t notice any glitches. While there are no bookmarks, the pdf doesn’t specifically need them at this length. The amount of ideas contained in this extremely concisely-written pdf is staggering and you get more value for your bucks than in almost all other publications in this price-range. People who own Tales of the Old Margreve practically have to own this. Anyone else who want to get an impression of the quality should go for it – the content is easily adapted to just about any forest setting and at this price-range you have NO reason not to check it out. My final verdict in the face of this quality at this price-range is, of course, 5 stars and the Endzeitgeist seal of approval.
Tales of the Old Margreve Web Compilation is available from: