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Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2020 11:17:18

Over a thousand years ago, the Zaharan Sorcerer-Queen Semiramis reigned over a court notorious for its decadent arts and lavish opulence. The hidebound nobles of Zahar were troubled by the ascendance of the kingdom’s first female monarch. Semiramis was beset by over one hundred suitors, each one demanding that she marry him so that the kingdom might have a king. Many of these suitors were powerful spellcasters who wove enchantments upon her, but to no avail: The Sorceress-Queen wore the Ring of the Queen’s Heart, a legendary magic item gifted to her by the goddess Nasga that made her immune to her suitor’s charms.

As beautiful and cruel as her goddess, Semiramis instead seduced her perfidious suitors into swearing eternal love to her – then had them slain. The Sorceress-Queen mummified and interred all one hundred suitors in her own majestic sepulcher, where they would serve her as loyally in death as they ought to have in life.

Since then, the sepulcher of the sorceress-queen has lain hidden and undisturbed, its undead inhabitants slumbering in torpor until the prophesied time of the Awakening. But now a reckless warband of lizardmen has broken open the ancient tomb and disturbed evils not seen in centuries…

When it comes to anything ancient Egyptian themed I'm a huge sucker for OSR supplements, books,& especially adventures. So when it came to the Middle Kingdom inspired Adventurer,Conqueror,King rpg AX6: Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen (SoSQ) adventure I was all in. So much so that I stepped up & bought in on the Table Top Game On Funding Project. This is not a huge adventure & it clocks in at fifty six pages of OSR goodness but realize that this is a nasty little dungeon romp for PC's levels 7-9.

This isn't the usual animal of an adventure when it comes to ACK's because the Zaharan Sorcerer-Queen Semiramis is a menace in every sense of the word here. If the dungeon isn't cleared & her reign of evil isn't stopped then things are going to get beyond ugly for the PC's here. Our witch queen is set up in this adventure to become a real thorn in the sides of the PC's if she's not put down. That's the whole cloth issue here This is a nasty dungeon as well with tricks,traps, & some really nasty monsters all crammed & jammed into fifty six pages of ACK's goodness. Sorcerer-Queen Semiramis could become a straight up villainess of epic proportions within her own right to the back drop of the PC's rule with their own ACK's campaign.

AX6: Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen does a good job setting up its own inter universe adventure logic & sticking with it. This adventure owes more to Robert E. Howard's Conan then it does real world history. But it does it in a slick & solid package that rises to the usual level of ACK's products. The cartography is well done, the layout is good, the plot of the dungeon is well thought out but its placement?! I've got some 'suggestions' on that.

But where does one place AX6: Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen in the campaign setting of ACK's?! Well there's the official explanation which dives it right into the world setting of the Auran Empire found within The Auran Empire Primer . And then there's my personal take on AX6: Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen . Take this adventure & throw it whole hog into Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu world setting.

Not only is AX6: Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen going to shine but its going to take the Zaharan Sorcerer-Queen Semiramis into the threat level that the campaign deserves. Here we get to see the influence & darkness of the Zaharan Sorcerer lines of royals in spades! The adventure is solid but the NPC potential of the Zaharan Sorcerer-Queen as a campaign villain is outstanding. She's got to be the potential to be a royal pain in the arse of any PC's for years to come. A very well done adventure & one I'm glad to add to the collection! Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Want More original OSR content ? Subscribe to swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sepulcher of the Sorceress-Queen
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Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
by Brian B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2020 12:29:10

A great tool for running Dwimmermount. For each level you get a high resolution (designed for printing at 11x17, but still readable at 8.5x11) map with much more detail than the maps in the Dwimmermount book. Each room is keyed with its number, all the monsters and NPCs (NPCs that will talk first are even keyed as a different color than straight combat encounters), a room description of 1-5 words is printed directly on the map, and it it even has icons showing you the locations of magic and treasure. You also get a one page summary of each dungeon level showing you the random encounter table, and summaries of major features, factions, and level entry points.

I noticed at least one minor error. An NPC (Melissa in the Halls of Lesser Secrets) is shown on the map but is not in the key.

It's said the product is designed to have the level summary printed on the back of the level map, but I would probably print it spiral bound so that the summary for each level was on the back of the map page of the next dungeon level, so that they are both visible at the same time when the dungeon tracker is open on the table.

I would definitely get this if you bought the Dwimmermount book and you are planning on running the dungeon in person. It's not a must have if you are playing on a virtual tabletop but I'd imagine it would still be useful.

There is nothing in the dungeon tracker that is specific to D&D, LL, ACKS, or any specific ruleset.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
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Dwimmermount Map Book
by Brian B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2020 15:05:41

This map pack (as a pdf) is not very useful. I can't speak to how it's assembled as Print on Demand, or as the original hard copy from the Kickstarter, but as a pdf it provides almost nothing that isn't in the main Dwimmermount book or the dungeon tracker.

You get a higher resolution wilderness map than in the main book, but it's crudely split up over different pages with large margins so you can't take it to a print shop or import it into a virtual tabletop. You get maps of each dungeon floor, but they are done MUCH better in the excellent Dwimmermount dungeon tracker.

The only thing you get here that's not in the other two products is a chronological cross section of Dwimmermount, showing which portions of the dungeon were built in which eras. This is cool, but it's also crudely split between pages and isn't worth $7.50.

I highly recommend both the adventure and the dungeon tracker, but not this product. The dungeon tracker has all the maps you need, buy that instead.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Map Book
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Creator Reply:
Sorry you didn't find the Dwimmermount Map Book useful! Please let us know if we can send you one of our other PDFs free of charge to make it up to you - pick any one you'd like and we'll send it your way.
Axioms Compendium 1-8
by Randy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2020 18:20:25

First, the physical product was well-packaged and arrived without damage.

Second, it is a beautiful tome. My only quibble is that there was no hardcover option; this is merely a personal preference for hardcover vs. softcover.

Third, the content is exactly what it says on the tin. If ACKS is your bag, this is a must. While ACKS Core is eminently playable as-is, if you enjoyed the "rolling back of the covers" in the Player's Companion, this is your candy. Having all of Axioms 1-8 in a collected edition, with (I presume; I havent checked) the most recent errata and updates to same incorporated into the text is invaluable.

Finally, Autarch is a class act. If they publish it, give it a look. I have yet to be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Axioms Compendium 1-8
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Ascendant Preview
by Birch B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2020 20:59:12

This game has an incredible breadth of possibilities covering nearly any conceivable ability, character, or circumstance, all designed with a solid grounding in real-world physics of how such abilities might work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Secrets of the Nethercity
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2020 11:43:23

"Cyfaraun is a city of ancient lineage. The name itself is an Auran corruption of its original elven name, Cyfarawn. Evidence of elven construction is still visible in the city’s oldest district, today called Old Cyfaraun. Many city residents know that Old Cyfaraun was founded atop an earlier settlement – Ancient Cyfaraun, buried by cataclysmic ashes over 500 years ago.

Only the most illustrious sages are aware that the Ancient City was itself built over an even deeper ruin, a Forgotten Cyfaraun, a city brought low by an earthquake almost 2,000 years ago. Forgotten Cyfaraun was reduced to rubble but its lasting legacy is a hidden Nethercity, a treacherous place of twisting tunnels, dusty catacombs, and black, volcanic caves that waits, forgotten and unplumbed - until now…"

There are times when you look at your pile of books & one slips through the cracks. That's happened with AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity by Newton Grant & Alexander Macris. And yet this is in my opinion one of the most vital adventurer,Conqueror,King rpg books to come out. Why?! Because this book fills in many of the cracks & take downs I've heard from gamers regarding the ACK's official campaign setting found in the Auran Empire Primer. Namely that there's not enough adventure opportunities & dungeon fodder in the book. This is complete nonsense of course. AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity by Newton Grant & Alexander Macris fills in many of the campaign gaps in the official setting with a kilo dungeon & lots of nasty history hinted at in the Auran Empire Primer. This is not a nice place for adventurers to go! Given the history & adventure material found within AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity. Its little wonder that the book was meant to bring characters from 3rd to 8th level of experience. This is one nasty book filled with twenty interlocking adventure locations that make up the AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity. The cartography by Dyson Logos and Simon Forster are on point along with the layout are top notch.

AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity has a ton of PC options for ACK's & adds a layer of optional add on's to the world history of the Auran Empire Primer. The PC's can add the Elven Cultist, Elven Hierophant, Elven Warlord, and Elven Wizard to an adventurer party. This fits right in with the history of the Auran Empire . The monsters in AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity by Newton Grant & Alexander Macris are really nasty & written for the level of ACK's The Heroic Fantasy Handbook. The Faewyrd, Incarnation of Terror, and chaos backed horrors are primed for cross breeding. This ties right into the ACK's adventure AX4: Ruined City of Cyfandir.

This world campaign commitment echoes itself in the city of Cyfaraun which is perfect for use by your adventurers in between dungeon delves. This ties in with B2 Keep of the Borderland By Gary Gygax & many other classic B/X Dungeons & Dragons adventures. What separates AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity from other OSR resources is that its a dungeon book with player possibilities for domain play & the sheer volume of OSR play weirdness that's in the book.

If your an ACK's dungeon master AX2: Secrets of the Nethercity by Newton Grant & Alexander Macris is in my opinion this is an essential & absolute solid adventure resource. Here we have absolutely solid adventure resource book which will keep the players on their toes for years to come or destroy the PC's utterly.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want More Original OSR Content & Reviews? Subscribe To https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Capital of the Borderlands
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2020 18:35:43

"The Borderlands has been contested throughout recorded history and its landscape is littered with ancient fortresses, blood-soaked battlefields, and dread ruins, all crumbling relics of the empires that once ruled there. Now the dangers facing the Borderlands are greater than ever. Monsters are slipping across the porous border to terrorize and plunder. Travel has grown perilous, and the border forts are becoming increasingly isolated and outmatched. The ambitious, bold, and greedy have begun to gather in Cyfaraun, ancient capital of the borderlands, seeking glory and gold. There, criminal gangs battle for control of the streets and terrible evils lurk in the twisting tunnels, dusty catacombs, and black, volcanic caves that lie below…."

So I went to Autarch & asked for a copy of AX3: Capital of the Borderlands just like I found it right in my email box. This is a fantastic addition to the ACK's line of books. Why? Because it has just the right amount of wilderness & urban adventure action!

This book doesn't skimp on late Roman Empire style campaign action either. We've got a bit of everything here with fifty two points of wilderness campaign encounters. Let me give this context this means that the party is going to up to their ears in all kinds of issues. These are the Borderlands area of dispute,violence, & waiting opportunities for a party. This book has lots of options that bring the PC's the power they crave but it comes with a very dangerous series of prices. The realms and domains in the Borderlands are contested areas of adventure & danger all of this comes into the heading of two hundred & twenty six pages. Yes the title is a homage to B2 Keep on the Borderlands by Gary Gygax. All of this is keeping with the template of AX1: The Sinister Stone of Sakkara contested areas that not only spark adventure but keep it going for years. Not only the does AX3: Capital of the Borderlands have a built in tool box but it does it with style. A dozen mini dungeons & 82 urban points of interest spread across 8 mapped city districts all fit the world setting of the Auran Empire Primer but it has ACK's internal post Roman Empire dark fantasy asethetic.

The layout & cartography of AX3: Capital of the Borderlands is some of the best I've seen. Easy on the eyes & very well laid out. The artwork is on par with many of the other ACK's titles & easily has some excellent resources within especially the dynamic city-building system which gives enough latitude for both villages & complete urban centers. I was really pleased with the over all feel here. This is the NPC, adventure encounters, urban & wilderness book that ACK's has been needing.

Watch out for the dungeons in this book! I'm not saying this lightly the the Shrine of the Horned Rat,the Catacombs of the Ancestors, and the Death Cult Hideout are all really nasty business! Don't venture into these lightly with a small adventuring party make sure their well equipped! The AX3: Capital of the Borderlands book has more then enough material in it to add & drop it into an existing campaign or it could alternatively be used to bridge gap the classic B2 Keep on the Borderlands as a campaign extension for ACK's!

If the keep on the borderlands is the further flung parts of the empire then AX3: Capital of the Borderlands is at its center offering more opportunities for the PC's to blunder into the world of domain play. AX3: Capital of the Borderlands takes this type of play into several directions & smashes the call of adventure into the PC's laps. The Imperial Vanguard NPC adventuring party is an especially obnoxious touch.

There's lots of opportunity to get the party of adventurers into a heaps of trouble in AX3: Capital of the Borderlands. And I can also see using AX3: Capital of the Borderlands lots of other OSR game systems especially Castles & Crusades. Why do I say that? Because the asthetic would work very well & there's plenty of tools within to keep a campaign going for years.

Many of these art pieces are not from AX3: Capital of the Borderlands but I couldn't get some of the artwork to transfer over to blogger. The artwork in AX3: Capital of the Borderlands is especially impressive & the art pieces by Michael Syrigos are especially good.

Everything in AX3: Capital of the Borderlands speaks volumes to the material that we've come to know & love in Adventurer,Conqeuror, King. Between the mini dungeons & the full on wilderness & urban tools this one is a must by for both the OSR & the ACK's fan!

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want more original OSR content & reviews? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/ Thanks for reading our review



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Capital of the Borderlands
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Adventurer Conqueror King System
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2019 06:58:48

Excellent OSR system with a strong focus on 'high level play' meaning political play where you become kings, archmages, high priests, merchant princes, and crime lords.

If you want to be able to constantly play the 'game of thrones' with many factions and types of faction this game is for you. Huge variety, and many tables to help randomly generate or simulate political and economic changes in your world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer Conqueror King System
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Eyrie of the Dread Eye
by Edward H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2019 15:55:02

I've been following the Hack and Slash blog for about seven years now, and been running an occasional ACKS campaign for nearly as long. So this module was something of a no-brainer, an attempt to see how a well-regarded RPG theorist would approach the actual creation of a higher-level module designed specifically for a specific enhanced-retro rules system.

Overall the module is a quality produce which pushes ACKS a bit farther in the 'weird fantasy' direction than it's been before. This is a fairly obvious tribute to the classic Zeb Cook module "Dwellers of the Forbidden City", in the same way that the earlier ACKS module AX1 was a tribute to "Keep on the Borderlands". (If Autarch is reading these reviews, maybe this is the right time to put in a request for a tribute module for a hexcrawl like X1...) As might be inferred from the inspiration, this is a product that should appeal to anyone who loves classic-era TSR modules.

I'd guess that this could be used for something like 4-8 sessions of play, depending on length and how thorough your players are. I'd rank the difficulty as "hard", at least relative to the skill and experience of my own group -- but veterans of the old school might relish a little more challenge, and find this material to be par for the course. I think I'm less likely to play it as written, and more likely to use as a template for designing my own similar mid-level adventures.

There are a few minor editing issues that will probably be corrected in the next update (if they haven't been already). There are still numerous references to "p. XX" in the Core rules, which need to be filled in. (A search of the pdf turned up 5 instances). There are also a few references to an alien wizard called "the Collector" who rules "the Ik" which seems to be never described in the rules. There's a reference to finding more information in the monsters section on "page 47", but neither the Ik nor the Collector appear there in the initial release. I'm not going to make any deductions for these kind of editing issues, on the assumption that they will naturally be cleaned up over time.

I'd also appreciate it if new monsters could be introduced in the same way as in other ACKS products, with a small box that indicates their types. (Are genetically modified white apes "animals" or "humanoids"? Pretty important for knowing what spells to use against them!)

Here are a few other issues (spoiler warning) that one should appreciate before purchasing and running this module:

  1. Courtney Campbell loves traps and tricks, especially deadly ones that go well beyond the usual "hit point tax" variety. One of the very first rooms encountered is a structurally unstable chamber that amounts to "rocks fall, you die". In fact, it's designed to only collapse once pretty much the entire party is inside. If your players aren't accustomed to playing close attention to descriptive text clues, it can easily result in a TPK during the very first session. With my own group, I think this kind of dungeon is better suited for a short-term higher-level experience, not as part of a longer campaign starting from first level that has already seen the investment of dozens of play hours. Warn your players to have back-up characters prepared, just in case!

  2. There are a few R-rated elements of the adventure, or at any rate, elements that can move in that direction. For example, there's one place where guardians can be bypassed by (in effect) having a big messy group-sex orgy just before encountering them, due to their distinctive religious taboos. There are other ways around the encounter, but it's worth thinking through those options in advance and trying to figure out which of your players will be gung-ho for bukkake -- and which of them will be downright horrified by the ones who will be gung-ho!

  3. The adventure introduces an ever-present outdoor menace of wyverns, in order to make life miserable for the players. This is actually a great idea as a tension-builder and to force players to conserve resources for the trip home, but it should also give you an idea of the level of difficulty represented by a module intended for "4 to 6" adventurers of "6th to 8th" level. You're going to have very frequent random encounters with monsters that you can't evade and that can kill you instantly with poison, just in the course of carting treasure back to town. I'd probably lists this as "for 4 to 6 adventurers and a bunch of their meatshield henchmen", just for clarity.

  4. I'm definitely in favor of this kind of adventure overall, but it's a little more "gonzo" than some of the previous releases from Autarch, and should be appreciated as a sort of surreal nightmare of Lovecraftian weirdness that stands in contrast to the more mundane orcs and goblins that the default ACKS setting implies. It's going to feel like a departure from vanilla-flavored ACKS. It also has an obvious transition zone where the normal outdoor encounters end and the body-horror encounters begin, so you don't have to worry so much about the madness leaking out to infest the rest of your campaign world. (Unless you really WANT it to....)


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Eyrie of the Dread Eye
by Mike M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2019 23:27:04

The adventure is excellently written with the GM (Judge) in mind.

Some examples:

  • NPCs section has just enough description to easily convey how an NPC could be played, without providing so much detail as to overwhelm, followed by proper statblocks for each (why is this missing in so many other adventures?).
  • Obscure rules that might otherwise require referring to rulebooks are put in a place where they can be easily accessed in the description, saving the judge a potential distraction during session.
  • Random encounters are detailed, including tactics and tidbits about each creature's motivations (just enough info) for the judge to provide context.

It really is the little conveniences that make this adventure a pleasure to read. The author, Courtney Campbell (of Hack n Slash blog fame) does a masterful job succinctly and conveniently presenting just enough information to get a location right, for immediate presentation to my players without having to translate anything in my head.

If I had one complaint, it would be that the maps themselves aren't colorized, but that is a relatively minor gripe, as they're very detailed.

For $5 you can't go wrong with this mid-level OSR adventure for ACKS, as an added bonus, it should be very easy to tie in to the rest of the Auran Empire Borderlands region, if you have any of the other AX adventures, or the Auran Empire primer. It isn't assumed that you'll do so, however, and it should be easily addable to your own sandbox.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eyrie of the Dread Eye
by Bastien P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2019 16:51:01

A most excellent tribute to the classic I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Deadly environmental hazards, multiple rival factions to ally with or oppose, weird monsters galore, all done in classic Courtney Campbell style. If you need an adventure for your mid-level D&D/OSR group, this one is definitely worth the look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eyrie of the Dread Eye
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2019 16:25:27

A high quality product with excellent art and a really interesting adventure location. It's not the typical dungeon crawl. There are some inovative locations and mechanics to go with them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ruined City of Cyfandir
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2019 18:21:10

This is excellent product detailing the city and inhabitants. The maps are well drawn and the random building contents table add a surprising level of flavour to an already excellent product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ruined City of Cyfandir
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The Sinister Stone of Sakkara 5E
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2019 03:06:20

this review is based on the pdf and is written from a perspective of a DM who exclusively plays on line

Its a standard intro adventure set in in the Roman style fort and the surrounding wilderness, this isn't your usual pseudo medieval setting

The adventure has been converted from another fantasy roleplaying system and a good job appears to have been done. the plot is simplistic and unoriginal and heavily tied in to the back ground the other fantasy rpg, saving that I'm sure it would be enjoyable for players. The adventure is clearly laid out and easy to read however all bar one of the maps are in black and white and are unusable with out extensive work to use on Roll20/fantasy grounds. I like to see separate map files with room numbers and secret doors removed for online play, however there are several good illustrations that are useful to show to players , some are even in colour!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Sinister Stone of Sakkara 5E
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Guns of War
by David K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/13/2018 09:51:29

Brings ACK from the Age of Antiquity to the Age of Reason in terms of weapons and warfare.

Reason I did not give it five stars was I wished it would have provided some updates to the ACK classes.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Guns of War
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