Reviews

An overview of works that have been judged thus far. Grades are to be taken as an entirely objective estimation of quality and wholesomeness based on a platonic vision of elfgame perfection. Ordinal scale as follows;

0 – Storygames
1 – Literally Worthless
2 – Without merit but with one element that is executed competently so as to avoid a perfect 1
3 – Either utterly unremarkable or so ridden with crippling flaws that it is not worthy of a purchase
4 – Competent execution of  tropes that have been done dozens of times without innovation or worthy of praise but so flawed it requires a considerable amount of time to save it
5 – Either entirely average or flawed but useful
6 – A decent product. Either somewhat new and exciting but with some flaws or a good execution of previously familiar tropes
7  – The standard a new product should aim for. New and exciting or Old and Has Stood the Test of Time.
8 – Exceptionally good
9 – Exalted/Singular and likely to affect subsequent design decisions.
10 – Platonic. The standard by which all others are judged.

On rare occasion, grades will be altered to reflect new insights or a change in judgement.

Elfgames are categorized by genre, system and publisher:

That Which Comes Before Determines What Comes After (D&D, AD&D, D&D Basic et. al.):

DnD Basic

[Adventure]  X2 – Castle Amber (Tom Moldvay); 8.5

Role Aids (AD&D 3pp)

[Adventure] Beneath Two Suns (Troy Denning); 3
[Adventure] A Question of Gravity (Jerome Mooney); 5
[Adventure] Quest for the Nanorien Stones (Jim Gallagher & Steve Morrison); 3,5
[Adventure] The Throne of Evil (Stephen Bourne); 3
[Adventure] Clockwork Mage (Susan Stone & M.E Allen); 6.5
[Adventure] Deadly Power (L.Nicholson, J.Keefe & D. Nicholson); 8
[Adventure] Pinnacle (Dan Greenberg); 8.5 out of 10
[Adventure] Beastmaker Mountain (William Fawcett); 7.5
[Setting] Dragons (Cory Glaberson); 8 out of 10
Pt. I
Pt. II
[Adventure] [Review] Crystal Barrier (Cory Glaberson); 7 out of 10

Judges Guild (AD&D 3pp)

[Sandbox] Wilderlands of High Fantasy (Bob Bledsaw & Bill Owen); 8
[Adventure] Tegel Manor (Bob Bledsaw); 7

The Hated works of the Usurper (AD&D 2e)

[Adventure] The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga (Lisa Smedman); 8.5
[Adventure] The Shattered Circle (Bruce Cordell); 7.5

[Setting] College of Wizardry (Bruce Cordell); 4

Monstrous Arcana series
[Fluffsplat] The Illithiad (Bruce Cordell): 7
[Adventure] A Darkness Gathering (Bruce Cordell); 3 
[Adventure] Masters of Eternal Night (Bruce Cordell); 8 
[Adventure] Dawn of the Overmind (Bruce Cordell); 9 

[Fluffsplat] The Sea Devils (Skip Williams): 3
[Adventure] Evil Tide (Bruce Cordell); 7
[Adventure] Night of the Shark (Bruce Cordell); 7.5
[Adventure] Sea of Blood (Bruce Cordell); 9.5

The Glorious fruits of the One True Way (OSR)

Lamentations of the Flame Princess;

[Adventure] Tower of the Stargazer (James Raggi); 9
[Adventure] Better then Any Man (James Raggi); 9
[Adventure] Hammers of the God (James Raggi); 8
[Adventure/Side-trek] Tales of the Scarecrow (James Raggi): 8
[Adventure] Death Frost Doom [Revised] (James Raggi & Zak S); 7.5
[Adventure] The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children (James Raggi); 7
[Adventure]  The God that Crawls (James Raggi); 6.5
[Monster Manual] Slügs (James Raggi); 6 out of 10
[Adventure] Death Love Doom (James Raggi); 6
[Adventure] No Dignity in Death; The Three Brides (James Raggi); 5
[Adventure] The Grinding Gear (James Raggi); 4
[Adventure] Fuck for Satan (James Raggi); 4
[Sourcebook] Vaginas are Magic (James Raggi); 4
[Sandbox] Weird New World (James Raggi); 4
[NPC/Toolkit] The Magnificent Joop van Ooms (James Raggi); 3
[Sourcebook/NPCs] No Dignity in Death; People of Pembrooktonshire (James Raggi); 3
[Adventure/Torture device for the modern age] The Monolith from Beyond Time and Space (James Raggi); 2.5

[Adventure/GM-Helpbook] Broodmother Skyfortress (Jeff Rients); 9
[Sandbox/Investigative Adventure/Campaign Setting]  England Upturned (Barry Blatt); 8.5

[Adventure/Sandbox] Towers Two (David Brockie & Jobe Bittman); 8
[Adventure/Side-trek] A Single, Small Cut (Michael Curtis); 8
[Sandbox] Qelong (Kenneth Hite); 7.5
[Adventure] The Idea From Space (Simon Carryer); 7.5
[Adventure] The Squid, the Cabal & the Old Man (Andre Novoa); 7

[Adventure] Forgive Us (Kelvin Green); 6.5
[Adventure] Fish Fuckers (Kelvin Green); 6.5
[Adventure] The Cursed Chateau (James Malesewski); 6.5
[Adventure] Blood in the Chocolate (Kiel Chenier); 3
[Adventure] No Salvation for Witches (Raphael Chandler); 7

[Adventure] Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess (Zzarchov Kowolski); 6
[Adventure] Going through Forbidden Otherworlds (Zzzarchov Kowolski); 7,5
[Adventure] The Pale Lady (Zzarchov Kowolski); 7
[Adventure] Scenic Dunnsmouth (Zzarchov Kowolski); 8.5
[Adventure] Thulian Echoes (Zzarchov Kowolski); 8.5

[Toolkit] The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions (Vincent Baker); 2

[Sourcebook] She Bleeds (Elizabeth Chaipraditkul); 2

[Sandbox] World of the Lost (Rafael Chandler): 8.5
– Introduction + City
– The Plateau
The Temple of Ages that are not

[Toolkit/Campaign setting/Avant-garde art piece] Vornheim (Zak S); 6.5
[Campaign Setting/Avant-garde art piece] A Red and Pleasant Land (Zak S); 7
– Introduction
– Classes
– Monster Section
– Adventures
– Conclusion

[Hexcrawl/Avant-garde art piece] Frostbitten & Mutilated (Zak S); 4

[Bestest Setting Evar/Nambla] Carcosa (Geoffry Mckinney & Chris Robert); 4.5 (But 10 for Prince, additional Hex Descriptions by Robert 8)
– Introduction + Equipment
– Sorcery
– Bestiary + Setting
– In Depth look at Psionics
[Sandbox] Isle of the Unknown (Geoffry Mckinney); 5
[Adventure] Dungeon of the Unknown (Geoffry Mckinney): 4

Loftp Peasantry (3pp);

[Adventure/Avant-garde art piece] Deep Carbon Observatory (Patrick Stewart); 9

[Adventure] The Atheneum of Yearning (Steven Oswalt); 7
[Adventure] The Stygian Garden of Abelia Prem (Klint Krause); 6.5
[Adventure] Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine (Logan Knight); 7.5
[Adventure] The Unseen Vaults of the Optic Experiment (Johan Nohr); 7.5
[Adventure/avant-garde art piece] The Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos (Evey Lockhart); 4

[Megadungeon generator] Castle Gargantua (Kabuki Kaiser); 8

[Monster Manual/Avant-garde Art Piece] Fire on the Velvet Horizon (Stuart & Scrapprincess); 5 out of 10

[Campaign setting/Avant-garde art piece] On the Shoulders of Giants (Chance Philips); 2
[Campaign Setting] The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia (Wind Lothamer & Ahimsa Kerp); 5


Labyrinth Lord;

[Sourcebook] Realms of Crawling Chaos (Dan Proctor); 6
[Adventure/Hex crawl generator] Monkey Business (Jens Durke); 4
[Adventure/Event setting/Sandbox] Flower Liches of the Dragonboat Festival (Kabuki Kaiser); 6.5
[Adventure] The Purple Worm Graveyard (Tony Dowler); 6
[Adventure] Shadowbrook Manor (Patrick Kennedy); 7
[Adventure] The Mad God’s Jest (Shane Ward); 3

Chronicles of Ahmerth (Small Niche Games)

[Campaign Setting] Chronicles of Ahmerth (Peter C Spahn); 6.5
[Adventure] Blood Moon Rising (Peter C Spahn); 8
[Adventure] [The Inn of Lost Heroes (Peter C Spahn); 8.5
[Adventure] Pyramid of the Dragon (Peter C Spahn); 6.5
[Adventure] Atarin’s Delve (Peter C Spahn); 4
[Adventure] The Stealer of Children (Peter C. Spahn); 7.5
[Gazetteer] Ghoul Keep and the Ghoul Lands (Peter C Spahn); 6
[Adventure] The Shrine of St. Aleena (Peter C. Spahn); 5
[Adventure] Oak Grove Whispers (Peter C Spahn); 7

Hill Cantons (Hydra Collective);

[Pointcrawl/Sandbox] Slumbering Ursine Dunes (Chris Kutalik); 9.5
[Citybook]  Fever-Dreaming Marlinko (Chris Kutalik); 9

Faster Monkey Games
[Adventure] The Black Gem (Jeff Sparks); 6
[Adventure] Skull Mountain (Jeff Sparks); 6

John Tarnowski a.k.a RPGPundit a.k.a THE ENEMY;
[Campaign Setting/Historical Treatise]; Dark Albion (John Tarnowski & Dominique Crouzet); 5.5
– Opening Salvo
– Too much fucking text
– Pundit’s World
– I Have Won
– Currently Smoking
– Norway laments as Pundit Laughs
Bonus; Pundit Endorsement

For Gold & Glory (2e)
[Adventure] The Chest (Aaron Fairbrook): 7

Kor’Thalis Publishing (i.e O5R)
[Hexcrawl] The Islands of Purple-haunted Putrescence (Venger As’Nas Satanis); 7
[Adventure] Liberation of the Demon Slayer (Venger Satanis); 5.5
[Adventure/Session-Zero] Dead God Excavation (Venger As’Nas Satanis); 3.5

 

Misc. games (OSR)
[Core game] Into the Odd (Chris McDowall); 7 out of 10

[Core game] Dark Fantasy Basic (Eric Diaz); 2.5

[Adventure] F3 Many Gates of the Gann (Guy Fullerton); 9.5

[Adventure] Gone Fishin (Atherton); 8.5

 

The Soulless Constructions of the Elfgame Technocracy (d20 3pp)

Horizon series (Fantasy Flight)
[Campaign Setting] Redline (Dobberpuhl, Hardy & Hindmarch); 8
[Campaign Setting] Grimm (Robert J Shwalb); 9.9
[Campaign Setting] Virtual (Rob Vaughn); 5
[Campaign Setting] Spellslinger (Kevin Wilson); 7
[Campaign Setting] Mechamorphosis (Lyse Kapp & Robb Vaughn); 3

Mongoose/Greasy Italians
[Sourcebook] Nephandum (Massimo Biachi & Mario Pasqualatto); 8.5

Avalanche Press (historical/mythical shit with tit covers)
[Campaign setting] All For One & One For All (Kessler & Phythyon); 6
[Campaign setting] Aztecs – Empire of the Dying Sun (Ree Soesbee); 3
[Campaign setting] Black Flag: Piracy in the Carribean (Bennighof & Phythyon); 5
[Campaign Setting] Celtic Age – Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts (Bennighof, Phythyon & Soesbee); 5
[Campaign Setting] I, Mordred: The Fall and Rise of Camelot (F.S Kessler & J.R Phythyon Jr.); 8.5
[Campaign Setting] Endless Sands (Ree Soesbee): 8
[Campaign Setting] Nile Empire – War in Heliopolis (Fred Landt & John R. Phythyon Jr.); 3
[Campaign Setting]  Twilight of Atlantis (Lai, Donovan & Phythyon); 4
[Campaing Setting] Ragnarok (William Sariego); 6
[Adventure/Supplement] Doom of Odin – Tales of the Norse Gods (John R. Phythyon); 6.5
[Campaign Setting] Jade & Steel – Roleplaying in Mythic China (Jim Lai); 4
[Sourcebook]  Noble Knights (Ree Soesbee); 4

Damn Fine historical fantasy trilogy
[Adventure] The Last Days of Constantinople (Mike Benninghof); 6.5
[Adventure] Greenland Saga – The Lost Norse Colony (Mike Benninghof); 7.5
[Adventure] Vlad the Impaler – Blood Prince of Wallachia (Mike Benninghof & J.R. Phythyon Jr.); 6.5

A NEW POWER IS RISING (5e)

3pp
[Adventure] Mines, Claws & Princesses (Steven Oswald); 9.5

 

Neckbeards quibble while the Gods Laugh (WFRP)

[Core game] Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st edition (Richard Halliwell, Rick Priestley, Graeme Davis, Jim Bambra, Phil Gallagher): 7.5 out of 10.
– Pt. I: Introduction
– Pt. II: System
– Pt III: Combat
– Pt. IV: Magic
– Pt. V: Religion
– Pt. VI: Bestiary
– Pt. VII; Setting
Pt. VIII; Adventure and Conclusion

The Enemy Within campaign
[Adventure] The Enemy Within (Jim Bambra, Phil Gallagher & Graeme Davis); 7
[Adventure] Shadows over Bögenhafen (Graeme Davis, Jim Bambra & Phil Gallagher); 8.5

[Core Game] Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition (Chris Pramas, numerous other contributors for in game flavour-text/material): 7 out of 10
– Pt. I : Character Creation
– Pt. II: Grim-dark adventure
– Pt. III: Equipment and Combat
Pt. IV: Magic
Pt. V: Religion
Pt. VI: GM section
Pt. VII: Setting, Bestiary, Adventure & Conclusion

[Core Game Retroclone] Zweihander (Daniel Fox & Tanner Yea); 8.5
– Pt. I: Introduction
Pt. II: Character Creation
– Pt. III: Classes
– Pt. IV: Skills & Talents
– Pt. V: Combat & Injury
– Pt. VI: Magic (1)
– Pt. VII: Magic (2)
– Pt. VIII: GM Section
– Pt. IX: Bestiary
– Pt. X: Adventure

Misc. Games

[Core Game] Sorcerer (Ron Edwards); 6 out of 10

[Core Game] Xas Irkalla (James Vail); 7 out of 10
– Mechanics
– Setting
– Conclusion

White Wolf Hell (World of Darkness stuff)

Giovanni Chronicles
[Adventure] The Last Supper (Daniel Greenberg); 2
[Adventure] Blood and Fire (Dansky, Summers & Howard); 1
[Adventure] The Sun has Set (Christopher Howard): 5
– Act I
– Act II
[Adventure] Nuovo Malattia (Heather Grove & Matthew McFarland); 0

The Deepest Chasms of Hell (Storygames); that they may dwell in darkness and languish in perpetuity

[Storygame] Kingdom of Nothing (Jeff Himmelman); The most powerful antipathy that words can describe
[Storygame] Polaris (Ben Lehman): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nNJk6xhCxw

[Storygame] Triumph of Death (Karl Larsson); Mildly unpleasant

 

Batting Averages (minimum sample size n = 3);

OSR Luminaries (OSR)
James Raggi; 5.6
Zzarchov Kowolski: 7.2
Zak S: 6,3
Geoffry Mckinney: 4.5

Real OG’s (TSR/Wizards professionals) 
Bruce Cordell; 7.3

Avalanche Badboys (d20)
Mike Benninghof: 6.2
John R. Phythyon: 5.8
Ree Soesbee: 5.5

To do list in no particular order (subject to change at any time, like the whims of womankind);

Requested:
– Gardens of Yinn
– 2e adventures
– Monte Cook/Bruce Cordell stuff
– Transylvania Chronicles (VtD)

In any order:
– Moar Lotfp
– Harley Stroh’s DCC stuff/DCC stuff in general
– Tradition Book; Hollow Ones for Mage the Awakening (heaven help us)
– High level adventures for AD&D, 2nd edition and Basic (possiblity of d20 high level adventures not eliminated altogether)
– Dark Heresy and other masculine persuits
– The works of Gygax, Arneson & Jaquays and other old farts
– The works of the usurper Monte Cook & Bruce Cordell
– Yoon Suin
– the deeply troublesome works of Venger Satanis
– Stars Without Number and other works by the Last Prophet Kevin Crawford
– The artifices of the Frog Gods including their d20-era works.

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