Review: Dark Hold Goblin Adventures

Today’s review is of Dark Hold: Goblin Adventures for the Savage Worlds game system. This is a 72-page volume from Rebel Minis, written by Ian “Lizard” Harac, Chris Huddleston, Andrew J Lucas, Kyle Morgan, Jennifer R. Povey, Josh Vogt, and Jacob Wood. Cover art is by John Dotegowski. Dark Hold: Goblin Adventures retails for $19.00 USD.

Upon opening the book, we are greeted by the tale of Buzulg the goblin. This sets the stage for what is to come. The next chapter is devoted to the world of the Dark Hold, a setting within a setting. The Dark Hold is a valley that was once inhabited by dwarves who held the goblins as slaves. When the dwarven empire collapsed, the goblins took over two high valleys and the upper levels of the Dark Hold itself (because no one dares venture into the depths). The goblins then negotiated trade with the humans who hold the pass across the mountains.

After the full description of the Dark Hold comes the chapter on playing goblin characters. From appearance to personality to food and drink, every aspect of being a goblin is addressed in loving detail. There are new rules for crystal magic and for crafting. The gods of the Dark Hold goblins are then discussed. Finally, we get to the meat of the book; the goblin template, new Edges, and new Powers. There are three new Background Edges, a new Combat Edge, and a Leadership Edge, as well as a new Power. Following this is a discussion on playing low-power characters, a treatise that wise players will give heed to, as goblins are particularly low-power.

This is followed up by an introductory adventure, and several other adventures. “The Goblin Faire” introduces us to a typical goblin faire at which several goblins will vie for the hand of the “fair” chieftain’s daughter. In “Pursuit of the Perfect Pig,” our heroes carry on a quest to find a magnificent flying swine and his human companion. “Should We Eat It?” is the big question when a humanoid baby is found on the road. “Kitchen Chaos” ensues when something is eating all of the food for an upcoming festival and must be stopped. You’ll also have the chance to tag along on a “Pig Hunt.” “Tomb Raider Raiders” pits a handful of goblins against clever traps to recover an artifact. Finally, we’ll visit the mushroom festival in “Mushroom March.” Rounding out the book are appendices containing a multitude of new creatures, items, and several sample characters, including representatives of all traditional fantasy adventurers.

The interior artwork, also by John Dotegowski, is beautiful and really helps bring the book to life. Conceptually, this is an original product for Savage Worlds; I can’t say that I’ve seen a book devoted to playing goblins for that system. The ideas provided herein are fresh and were enough to pique my interest in the possibilities. I did find a number of small errors, such as word spacing, misspellings, and similar mistakes, but they were few and far between and did not detract from the product overmuch. Overall, I think that this is a welcome breath of fresh air (or maybe not-so-fresh; these are goblins, after all) and a good value for the money.

I couldn’t really find anything that I intensely disliked about the product. Just skimming over the adventures that are included makes me want to try this campaign just to run the adventures; they look like a good blend of action and humor. As a setting within a setting, this should be easy to drop into your existing fantasy realm with little or no problems. I strongly recommend that you give it a look.

For more information, check out http://www.rebelminis.com/dahogo.html. You can get your own copy of Dark Hold: Goblin Adventures at http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199821/Dark-Hold-Goblin-Adventures.

Rating: ****

Review: Heroic Maps

faewood loftIf you are an RPGer, then you know that the one thing you can never seem to have enough of is maps, especially maps sized for use with miniatures. Today’s RPGs are big on tactical situations, and many practically require the use of minis in order to better visualize the lay of things. But quality maps sized for miniatures are expensive.

Well, not anymore. Heroic Maps has dozens (literally) of beautiful, full-color maps of a variety of locations, all at a price that fits a working GM’s wallet. Whether you want a simple dungeon, a wintry landscape, or an entire drow city, Heroic Maps has you covered! They even have bundle packs that let you pick up several similar sets at a reduced price!

But let’s say that you have a dungeon of your own design that you need scaled to miniatures. Not a problem! Grab the modular dungeon set and get to creating! There’s also modular cavesmodular town, and modular sewer sets. And of course, these can be used with virtual tabletop programs like Fantasy Grounds or Roll20, as well.

Most of the sets contain a full set of maps, in both gridded and ungridded formats, scaleable to 25mm and 28mm sizes, as well as a PDF version. I’ve used them for Pathfinder, D&D 5th edition, and a variety of other systems to great effect. As a bonus, they can be used for Hero Quest, if you are so inclined.

I’ve spent probably close to $200 on my collection, and there are still sets that I want, and they produce a new set an average of once a week! I highly recommend this accessory for anyone who uses miniatures or VTT in their games.