It took me 15 minutes and a dozen deaths to beat the first enemy in Eldest Souls [PC Gamer]

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Desolation? Check. Old Gods? Check. ‘Souls’ literally in the title? Check. Eldest Souls isn’t shy about its influences. It’s a pixelated souls-like with nothing but large-scale boss battles. I play a cloaked figure called the Crusader who carries a sword so comically oversized it would make Cloud Strife blush. The world has gone to absolute hell, and it’s up to him and his sword to kick every Old God’s ass up and down the Ancient Citadel.

At least that’s the plan. In reality I get my butt handed to me again and again by the very first enemy. The Watchdog is at least three times my size with a canine face, a jagged sword, and a ribcage shield, and it murdered me in a matter of seconds. The Watchdog leaps, slashes, and charges with frustratingly quick reflexes, every hit shaving off a third to half my health.

Read my full preview at PC Gamer

DMs Guild Review – Scourge of the Nightingale Part 1: A Song of Love

An AL-style mini adventure involving kidnapping goblins, stageshow plays, and a new villain that kicks off a trilogy.

A review copy of “Scourge of the Nightingale Part 1: A Song of Love” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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Designed by: Jeff C. Stevens

One of my favorite recent fantasy series is the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch. The third book, The Republic of Thieves, includes an extended backstory with our group of rogues posing as theater performers in order to scam their patron.

A Song of Love, Part 1 of the Scourge of the Nightingale Trilogy, doesn’t quite take it that far, but does feature a fun in-universe play for players to perform in order to infiltrate a fort full of goblins.

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Tomb of Annihilation Session 71 Recap

We explore the first level of the Tomb of the Nine Gods, the Rotten Halls.

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Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Mannix, level 9 Yuan-ti Inquisitive Rogue/Divination Wizard
Khaless, level 9 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 9 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 9 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 9 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon

After encountering Mr. Withers, aka the Dungeon Concierge, the party explores most of the first level of the Tomb of the Nine Gods (the Rotten Halls), performing admirably except for one magical fountain they just couldn’t resist.

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Roll20 Review – Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount

A full campaign sourcebook based on Critical Role’s second campaign setting, including four introductory adventures.

A review copy of the module was provided. Read more Roll20 Reviews and watch the video reviews on my YouTube channel.

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Other than watching a few random episodes of the first campaign years ago, I’m not very familiar with Critical Role. I enjoyed the episodes I watched, love all the people involved, and hugely appreciate what they represent for the D&D and streaming communities.

Watching their second campaign as been near the top of my “one of these days” lists. After flipping through the Roll20 adaptation for Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, the official D&D sourcebook based on Critical Role DM Mathew Mercer’s fantasy world, I have a very strong need to dive into the show and see how all this wonderful content plays out.


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Goodreads Review – Moon Rising (Wings of Fire #6)

Moon Rising (Wings of Fire #6)Moon Rising by Tui T. Sutherland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I respect the hell out of a fantasy series that’s as much about the world as the individual characters. The first five books in Wings of Fire told its own complete story of the Sandwing Succession. Moon Rising represents the first in the next series of books starring new characters, though most of our old favorites make frequent appearances.

Instead of fleeing the tyranny of dragon queens and fighting for their lives, this new group of dragonets must survive the drama of the new Jade Mountain Academy, a school opened by our original heroes to help bring the formerly warring dragon tribes together.

Moon is a unique Nightwing who actually does possess the legendary mind-reading powers of her tribe. The story is less action-packed and much more introspective, with Moon as a young-adult mutant or inhuman (from Marvel comics) viewing her powers as an ostracizing curse, and her mentor may or may not be a legendary dragon supervillain from ages past.

As much as I enjoyed her character and her supporting cast, including exuberant Kinkajou (first introduced in the third book) and likable friend Qibli (from the fifth book), the plot moves agonizing slow due to all the internal dialogue. A murder mystery helps shake things up, though the final revelation isn’t terribly shocking, and the end serves as more of a springboard to the next series than a satisfying conclusion to the story.

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