This review will cover both the Shire Adventures and the Rivendell Compendium. Upon release, The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying 5E will have 2 pieces of expansion content. Both of these expansions are available in the original game, The One Ring. This content, like the core rulebook, is a modification of the 5th edition DnD core rule set.
Mana Project Studio has traveled into the dark to illuminate you with the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG Setting, a grimdark Horror using the rules of the world’s most well-known game of heroes battling monsters. Gloom, death, and decay are apparent with every page turn, and the art is beautiful. Never before has a world of doomed fantasy felt so enticing; with a host of new options and a richly tailored game world, Nightfell beams in its execution. One will find that monsters lurk around every corner and guide your gaming group as they seek to survive the dark world from author and concept designer Angelo Peluso. This dark world is Iurmen, where The Last Sun burned out centuries ago, creating a cold and desolate present. Survivors in this new land have found themselves changed, and sometimes not for the better. Dark new magics that corrupt the soul and ancient creatures once thought legend roam the eternal night to slake their thirst. You’re not alone – the game’s Dungeon Master (referred to as the Night Master) will struggle with the land beside you. For every creature lurking in the umbra, the players have a bevy of new options at their disposal. Welcome to the Lunar Age in the new setting for Dungeons & Dragons 5e The Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting adds a distinct, well-crafted flavor of gloom, darkness, and oppression to all facets of the game. The Moon, and the Dark of the land, have permeated everywhere – and everything. Humanoids have evolved into new ethnicities touched and changed by the magics in the world; a new series of 8 options that include dark fey, hyper-focused vampires, and elusive strangers from beyond the impassible seas. Each has a rich, exotic backstory and story hooks. Each is balanced and new, a fresh breath among the Undead-riddled threats. Further character options include an array of new Moon-based and Night-based archetypes for each core class. Wild shape into undead as the druid Circle of the Masciari or astral-project yourself as a ranger Dreamstrider, among others. They’re all powerful, well-crafted, and dangerously threatened by the monsters they hunt. New classes in the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting include the Lunar Cultist (whose divine power changes with the phases of the moon), the Master of Tradition (who can boost their allies based upon knowledge of creatures and lore), the Medium (who literally channels the spirits of the past and gain their abilities), and the Vampire Progeny (the most well-thought-out Vampire core class progression I’ve ever seen that makes the supernatural legend a member of the party). There are also 12 new Backgrounds which make new character options. Everything ties your characters, including a new mechanic that determines which Phase of the Moon you were born (or created) under. Three sources of arcane power: The Sempiternal, or Outer World, where supernatural beings rule; The Earthly World and the Dark Mirror, three threats that battle within the soul of your antihero champions. Nightfell also focuses on Soul Points, a new mechanic to showcase a character’s bond (or strength against) the decay of the natural world. They are used whenever a character interacts with magic, casts spells, and faces vile foes in their quest through the gloom. Channel them to use spells and powers unheard of. But, lose enough, and you become lost to the dark, and your fate is forever sealed. It’s a dynamic way to carefully choose how to interact with the game and adds a true sense of dread in an already scary place. The art of the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting book is evocative and smooth. Each page has high-quality illustrations that really capture the look of the setting and stand out among other books of similar intent. One can practically feel the menace of the vampire-like garnar and the devastating fall of the Last Sun. The layout also matches the vibe, with pages taking on an ethereal jaunt with their gloomy allure. Thanks to the expansion’s successful Kickstarter, possessions, spirits, and werewolves factor into the dangers you face. Grim weapons that can be wielded are fused with corruption from the land. There are hundreds of new magical items, spells, and locales to challenge players and Night Masters alike, each with the flavor of the setting. A personal favorite was the cursed needle, which can destroy an enemy’s soul with a prick, or moon armaments, a series of items that can be combined piecemeal into a set that has stacking abilities when exposed to moonlight. The Prophecy of the Fourth Truth has finally been fulfilled, and Nightfell aims to push the boundary of darkness. With a host of new classes and racial features, a gloomy and sinisterly delicious setting, and an inescapable beauty in its pages, the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting belongs on any shelf. To travel into the silent lands, check out the D&D 5e setting and pick up the Nightfell Quickstart here.
Rule of Chaos has created a new setting and ruleset for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. Published by Alexander Amstler, it is a new way to play your favorite ttrpg by focusing play onto powerful demons of various shapes and sizes. Rule of Chaos – Demonic 5E features 6 new playable demon races, 10 re-imagined classes, and hundreds of new magic item, subclass, and template combinations that will never make the same game! This review is based upon the initial release document “Ambergleam’s Demise”, a 119-page adventure and rulebook available now from the Rule of Chaos website. Let your evil thoughts Rule the table with this new mechanics set for Dungeons & Dragons 5e – Rule of Chaos – Demonic 5e Setting Rule of Chaos – Demonic 5e allows Player Characters to be demons, and the varying different forms allow for some unique gameplay options. From the shapeshifting Morpher Demon to the powerhouse Hellstruct Demon and (my humble personal favorite) the animated object Objectoid Demon, there’s a ton of new and unique ways to play demonic characters. Each has unique powers and abilities designed from the ground up to be completely compatible with the rules you’re used to. There are some differences here, which add to the flavor. Each of the new options have additional magical reserves called Arcanum, which can be used to fuel arcane spells or to heal oneself. A True Form gives you different abilities than your Disguised Form, but the latter may allow you to escape an angry mob or infiltrate a guard tower. Another juicy feature is the concept that, as Demons, you’ve been summoned to do the bidding of a mortal. This bond follows certain unbreakable rules – a Contract – that sets a goal that must be obeyed. This ranges from simple to complex fulfilment goals, all of which add to another layer to the game narrative – you’re not happy about this meddling. As a Demon, you want to spend your time corrupting mortals, controlling mobs, and instilling fear in the commoners who dare look upon you. Demons are the embodiment of chaos, and these Contract laws are a plague. So, you play the game … and seek a loophole. Demons spread chaos whenever they use some of their demonic abilities, which leads to the best new rule from this update: the Chaos Counter. A Chaos Threshold is determined at the start of play, and your demonic actions (whether they fulfil the contract or not) add to the Chaos. Special Chaos Cards are drawn to add additional gameplay mechanics that can aid – or punish – your demonic characters. The results are wildly fabulous. You may hear all of the thoughts of the townsfolk for the next day, or your demonic visage will be completely different only when you talk. It’s as if the wild magic surge table suddenly turned demonic itself. It’s unique, bizarre, and fun. The adventure aspect of Ambergleam’s Demise is set in the world of Arde. In the city of Paragios, a wizard and rogue are at odds. The PCs are demons summoned by the wizard to destroy his rival once and for all. A simple hitch in the plan makes the quest far from simple: as the Demons make their way through the city to seek their quarry, a larger scheme begins to take root. And, before you know it, the Contract becomes much more difficult to navigate that initially thought. The adventure is well constructed and varied, with plenty of plot hooks. It successfully runs the gamut of the 3 different pillars of play. During the plot, the players will explore the Wizard’s Tower, enact an ambush, and run afoul of a Dwarven Temple. Other locales of a Tavern, Dungeon, Smithy, and Hideout all lead to possible hooks and many different ways to carry out your mission. The mapwork in the book is top-notch, and each location is nicely detailed. They feature as the highlight of the adventure for my personal tastes, and maps that are well lit, illustrated, and reusable with both “Full” and “Player Handout” versions are just really neat. The adventure looks like it will be fun to play; characters have moral lee-way different from typical parties, but their ties to the Contract makes them use their unique abilities cleverly rather than with abandon. This helps curtail the sometimes-dreaded murder hobo mentality. Unless you’re in to that sort of thing. Then, seek those loopholes … and Let Chaos Rule! Rule of Chaos – Demonic 5e comes to Kickstarter on October 20. Rule of Chaos Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ruleofchaos/rule-of-chaos-demonic-5e Rule of Chaos website: https://www.rule-of-chaos.com/