Roll & Play: The Game Master’s Fantasy Tool Kit REVIEW
I recently did a KickStarter for Roll&Play’s Game Master’s Tool Kit. This is a review of that product, and I paid for it with my own hard earned dinero. No sponsorship was involved in this review.
What is it?
System Neutral – Fantasy aid for GM’s to fill in background details about scenes and encounters. Its written by Sam Bartlett in the UK, and it first product from his company Roll & Play. The 94 page guide helps fill in details with tons of tables (that you can roll randomly on or just pick) to help enrich the game. There are lot of other resources to help generate like tavern names or NPC names (which this has), but this guide also adds a lot more other details in areas like festivals, supernatural patrons, revival side effects, bargain spell scrolls, etc.
Want to have Bounty Posters? You got tables to generate names, descriptions, and why they’re wanted. Have a bard busking for extra coin or a town crier on the street corner? You have tables to generate what they are singing about, the name of the band, style of play, and instruments. For the town crier, its seeded to generate news that can turn into adventures.
If you want it, you can order it from their website now. https://rollandplaypress.com/
- Launched in Early May 2020 – Fully funded in 14 hrs with goal of £1,000
- Raised close to £210,000 / ~$276,000 USD with almost 7,600 backers
- All 7 stretch goals met
- KS ended in Mid June and Delivered in USA by mid-Nov ahead of Dec.date
- I pledged Hobgoblin Pledge £30/ $40 USD + shipping of $10?
What I liked about this KS and Product
- Delivered hard copy early to backers (overseas UK to USA). Digital copies were delivered a week earlier.
- There are so many RPG Publisher’s KS that are late on content, late on editing, late on shipping. Its refreshing to get one on time.
- Great communication from publisher through KS pledge period and after it finished. Very frequent updates through making and shipping process.
- Again, many KS take your money and you get radio silence for weeks. Not with this publisher – great customer service and communication.
- Spiral bound so takes up less space than a traditional bound book.
- Great print quality and layout
- Every table lists at bottom which type of dice to use for the roll
What I didn’t like about this KS and Product
- Minor annoyances – no issues with the content.
- Creator was supposed to sign the limited edition hard copy of the guide.
- There were so many books that he couldn’t personally sign so settled for a digital printed signature. As a collector, I do appreciate an actual autograph. Even if it’s a signed slip of paper tucked into the front cover.
- Yea, its 7,600 sheets of paper to sign, and we gave you over $250,000 too.
- It didn’t appear my name made it in the “thank you acknowledgements page” as all that pledged were supposed.
- I did a search via Adobe which only found my name on the watermark on every page of the friggin digital copy. more annoyed with the watermarks.
- Downloading digital process was really annoying and complicated.
- Complicated enough that they made an instruction page on how to do it. There was a KS ticket for each item, and then you had to create a login ID on the Roll and Play website. I hate creating new logins. I like going thru Drive Thru RPG – many publishers just use their digital delivery service.
- The cover corners are already getting dinged just from me reading it around the house for past several days. I’m probably going to have to bag/board it when not in use.
Chapter 1: People & Quests (NPC names, NPC defining features/flaws, NPC motives, NPC jobs, organization names etc.)
Chapter 2: World Building (town features, local attractions, town crier news, bounty posers, wonderful festivals etc.)
Chapter 3: Journeys & Events (Arctic encounters, Coastal encounters, Desert encounters, Forest encounters, Mountain encounters, Swamp encounters, Cave encounters, Underwater encounters, Traps, Door mechanisms, etc.)
Chapter 4: Combat & Injuries (Critical Hits, Lasting Injuries, Revival side effects, etc.)
Chapter 5: Items and Rewards (Magical items, Magical Misfires, Bizarre plant life, Scandalous scams etc.)
Extra KS Swag
- Extra exclusive generator cards on Dungeon Challenges, Weather Forecasts, Terrific Transport, Tavern Hospitality, Simple Side Quests.
- 3 bookmarks – nice for keeping place in the guide or modules.
New Fantasy 5E races:
- Oozlings / innately magical slime humanoids, which must split every ten years.
- Borsukk / somewhat tribal badger humanoids with a fierce sense of loyalty.
- Hederans / ancient, solitary, plant-like protectors of the world around them.
- Blackhorns / brutish and powerful beetle humanoids, with very thick carapaces.
I don’t play 5E Fantasy so don’t care about weird new races. We play mostly traditional OSR and don’t quite understand why someone would want to play like a sentient turtle or some shitte like that.
Campaign Builder sheet
It’s a nice little cheat sheet on building a campaign. I’ve seen better for creating the “why” of the adventure around the conflict / threat / villain.
Overall, I’m glad I got the hard copy. It would be difficult to use this guide digitally I think as its faster to flip a hard copy to the page that you need. Or I’m just old and haven’t gotten used to flipping pages in PDFs quickly.