Content: A three-act city crawl of procedurally crumbling districts and five dilapidated adventure sites.
Writing: Moldering descriptions of urban decay blend with a malaise of frustration and angst to characterize the collapse of a culture fueled by greed.
Art/design: Haunting depictions of crumbling infrastructure and desperate souls contained in a dynamic and visually stimulating design.
Usability: Accessible and easy-to-reference adventure design.
Content: A map-based adventure to find the keys to the city gates; includes encounter and event tables as well as enemy stat blocks
Writing: Sets the scene and the stakes fairly concisely; other descriptions are tightly focused
Art/design: Intuitive layout with some stylized illustrations of enemies and NPCs
Usability: Provides some leeway for making forward progress or just punishing inept PCs
Concept: “The City on the Edge of All Misery”
Content: A twisted, foreboding locale and stats for members of its three factions
Writing: Highly descriptive; verbiage, style, and syntax used by the implied “narrator” artfully adopts and reflects characteristics of the things being described
Art/design: A linear, accessible layout with sections with typographical choices differentiating sections and aiding navigation of the mechanical components
Usability: A bizarre and compelling setting for GMs to play with (and for PCs to die in)
Content: 40+ nightmarish monsters, a vampire-like class, lore, tables, a dungeon.
Writing: Renford P. Logan’s journalistic endeavors frame this collection of strongly themed creatures and locales. Realistic portrayals of disturbing events lend weight to the creatures and locales. It is enjoyable to both read and reference.
Art/design: Characterful two-tone illustrations and text elements in a balanced layout. Reserved but impactful use of color.
Usability: Thematic organization in a strong table of contents make for low prep referencing.
Content: A dark temple crawl through a cult of shadows.
Writing: A gory supernatural survival horror. Makes use of light as a resource to maintain suspense.
Art/design: Traditional adventure layout. Gridded, un-gridded, and notated map. Handout images for significant adventure features.
Usability: Not actually a pain.
Concept: “Adds THREE new dungeons and accompanying characters to DARK FORT”
Content: New settings, characters, monsters, items, and optional rules for solo play; useful for generating themed dungeons on the fly
Writing: Primarily informational but with just the right amount of creative flair
Art/design: Strongly reminiscent of Dark Fort
Usability: Like its predecessor, each variant fits on one sheet of paper; doesn’t include custom character sheets
Content: A standalone gaslamp era gothic horror expansion for Forbidden Psalm, including 15 creatures of the night, infections, and a gothic horror themed campaign of grisly nocturnal scenarios.
Writing: Familiar horror tales stalk just beyond the illumination provided by clear mechanics and crisp scenarios.
Art/design: An elegantly restrained palette of red, black, and white. Shadowed by macabre illustrations in a variety of styles.
Usability: Clear index, reliable sections, quick reference, roster sheets, and consistent formatting make it a utilitarian wargaming rulebook.
Content: An investigation into the cults of plenty, and their demons.
Writing: Scripted structure establishes witness and suspect statements. Contingent events sketch a timeline of events.
Art/design: Consistent and sturdy single-column layout, thematic cover art, with art of major locations and NPCs.
Usability: Flow of events requires pre-reading. Table of contents and strong section headings for ease of reference.
Content: An industrialized apocalypse. Full of soot, powder, ordnance cults, and demons.
Writing: A miserable reflection on industrialization, forged by the dying world.
Art/design: Neon yellow illustration muted with gray soot and black text.
Usability: Loosely regulated but within tolerances.
Content: A quirky, darkly comedic scenario
Writing: Sets the tone and provides entertaining depth
Art/design: Black, white, and pink create a unique apocalyptic atmosphere
Usability: Laid out according to probable narrative flow
Content: “...their corpse is added to its mass.”
Writing: A hybrid mass of hideous monster and whispering information broker.
Art/design: Emphasis on the mass.
Usability: Includes separate creature illustration.
Content: The end of an empire. A parasite deposed.
Writing: Many hooks and threads ensnare a micro setting at one instant in time.
Art/design: A tightly wound, regal design befitting a 700-year reign at an end.
Usability: Easy to navigate. Requires some translation at the table to be fully compatible.
Content: Seven hells, a lost paradise, a tormented class, body parts, and a dread king’s crypt.
Writing: The history and cosmos of dead gods conveyed in 13 spreads worth of tables and dungeon.
Art/design: Excellent use of public domain imagery as inspiration for the various locals. Tortured sketches of divine punishment.
Usability: Enough material here to flesh out many settings. With an index to use them piecemeal or whole.
Content: A swelling industrial nightmare for Mörktober 2023.
Writing: Effervescent prose depicts a strange and storied metropolis.
Art/design: A sprawling map erupting with cursed details.
Usability: Prompts for encounters in a unique urban setting.
Content: An aquatic point crawl across a disturbingly inhabited sunken city.
Writing: Stylistic, clear, and evocative. Provides a strong framework for running each location.
Art/design: Distressed black and white. Strong and consistent hierarchy. Two column structure.
Usability: Easily Printable. Consistent cues for sensory descriptions, mechanics and stats.