When I look to buy Role Playing books I am mostly looking for things I can use as a Dungeon Master to make the game more interesting and engaging for the players. Philip Reed has given me that, and a lot of it. I stumbled on Philip Reeds books this last year on kickstarter. The first one was only a dollar and I got a ton of PDF’s out of it. I was impressed with the quality of content, art and overall product. I started backing the other Kickstarters he did over the last year. He has consistently delivered the products he made faster than any other creator I have backed on Kickstarter. I can not believe how fast I was getting physical copies of books in the mail after backing them on his Kickstarters.
Not only did he deliver, but the products have been top notch, some of the best books and zines I have used in my game this last year. Last night in our Castles & Crusades White Box adventure, I decided to pull out one of the Zines I got from him, The Delayed Blast Gamemaster number 1. The print and quality of the zine I have is more in line with modern printing sturdy paper and very professional. It is obvious this zine was not ran off of a home printer. Overall I thought it worked well in game. Lots of random charts covering events, items and elements for encounters that were unique and seemed to add flavor and curiosity to the game. There is a great 5D6 random item table which is likely the largest table in the book full of things that are creative and well thought out. A random list of potions and one of shields I really enjoyed as well. The beauty of it all is that the Zine like the other products Philip Reed has been putting out are completely system neutral. You can use it with any edition or version of a fantasy role playing game that you are running. There are all sorts of useful random tables to roll on here from locations to spell books and more.
But wait! There’s more! I also have been using some of his books titled Fantasy City Sites and Scenes for a few months now in my main Lost Lands campaign. I’ve managed to have one of the sites in the game for a few months now as a place the players keep returning to, and the characters in it have become regular NPC’s. With creative flair and just enough information to really get you imagining and defining the locations, they really helped me breath life into the game. I strongly suggest picking up his stuff. You can find physical copies of Fantasy City Sites and Scenes and also Fantasy City Sites and Scenes II on Amazon, or over at DriveThruRPG in PDF. I am personally partial to print copies. I got my physical copies through the kickstarters, so I can not speak to the Amazon experience in this. Also, there on Amazon is The Book of Dungeon Encounters. I have the book, it’s a nicely done book, but I have yet to crack that one open and use it. If it is anything like the ones I have used then I strongly suggest it.
I would follow what he is doing on Kickstarter. With his high quality work, and quick turnaround, I doubt that DM’s will be disappointment they picked up what he has been putting out. He has sent a ton of older PDF’s out for free throughout his campaigns from his past works. It seems Philip Reed has been doing professional content for RPG’s since the mid 90s, and has only recently come to my attention. If you follow the blog here or our facebook page, you might know that I’m a huge proponent of supporting independent creators over large companies. Philip Reed is one of those independent creators who puts out such a well constructed final product that it’s almost hard to believe that it’s not coming from some large heavily funded corporation. I would follow his Kickstarter page if I were you, and pick up what he’s putting out. It has only added to our game. His next upcoming project seems to be directed to Mork Borg called Strange Citizens of the City. While I have not ran Mork Borg yet (It’s on my shelf and in the list to review), I also suspect it would be an easy book to run with other fantasy RPGs if you wish.