Monday, August 29, 2016

The Bardic Review: Limitless Encounters



I would not typically describe myself as a reviewer or things. Sure, I develop strong opinions that are hard to be swayed and I have no problem sharing (forcing) those opinions on any unfortunate creature within earshot, but I am no critic.

 That being said, when I was approached by the fine folks over at Limitless Adventures to take a look at their stuff, I was slightly apprehensive. I am, after all, but a simple bard with a verbose vocabulary and an occasional nugget of wisdom buried within my incessant ramblings. However, when they said "random encounters", I was sold. You know how I feel about random encounters.

I took a look at a few products; Urban Encounters and Dungeon Encounters. Just so we're clear here, I am first and foremost an honest bard. If I like something, I will say so. If I don't like something, I will rend it asunder with no regard for the person or persons who wrote it, whether it was gifted to me out of respect or not. Now that we have that out of the way, let's take a look at Limitless Encounters.




Overview
Limitless Encounters is a series of small, bite-sized D&D 5E supplements designed to offer 10 random encounters set in a specific setting, (forest, dungeon, urban, etc.). These encounters are broken up into classic combat encounters, role-play encounters and skills challenges. The are designed for characters levels 1-4, with a variety of difficulties. Every Limitless Adventures product will contain something new; a unique creature, spell, item, god, or optional rule that is
previously unpublished.


The Bard's Thoughts
I enjoy my time as a Game Master. I also enjoy my time outside of game prep, which is why I am always looking for means to cut corners and shave some time off. For that reason, I am in love with Limitless Encounters!

What Worked
Each encounter listed within the supplement is designed to be simple, challenging, and easy to throw into whichever setting it happens to be related to. The encounters come complete with stats for monsters, multiple options for role-playing encounters, and skill DCs and mechanics for new traps. They come with pre-rolled treasure, so you GMs need not worry yourselves with rolling needlessly on tables.

What I find most intriguing though is that each encounter comes with three options for Further Adventures. These little blurbs are about a sentence long each but are designed to get the wheels in the Game Master's head turning. Here is an offering from the darkmantles encounter in Dungeon Encounters:

  • The darkmantles could be working in concert with drow bandits that strike in the darkness...
  • The darkmantles are a distraction to hide a nearby secret door leading to a small treasure hoard...
  • A large hunting party of kobolds hears the battle and comes to investigate in 1d4 rounds from the start of combat...

One could theoretically run a single encounter and build several sessions off of it. Adding little plot hooks to the design was a stroke of genius on the part of Limitless Adventure.

The layout is simple and effective. All the information you need for each encounter is limited to a single page. Just pop it in the corner of you computer screen or have it on standby on your tablet and you have all you need to run a complete encounter.



What Didn't Work
The supplements are good. Very good. But they feel short, especially for the price (which is still sinfully low). One could surmise that you could throw 5-10 more encounters in each supplement, but I fear that still would leave me wanting. This isn't a terrible thing. What you really want is to leave the people wanting more, and Limitless Encounters succeeds in spades.

One minor complaint is that the supplements are only offered in PDF format. In our tech savvy world of Game Mastery, this isn't a terrible thing, and the cost of publishing in print would drive the price on these to unreasonable heights. Still, it would be lovely to have a physical copy adorning my shelf.


Limitless Encounters are short, sweet, simple, and deliver a surprising amount of content for a mere ten pages. While the price tag may seem slightly elevated, it cannot be denied that it is worth every cent. I look forward to looking into their other series Limitless Locations and Limitless Side Quests, which are exactly what you think they are. While so many publishers are looking at making full-fledged adventures, Limitless Adventure seems to take pride in offering your supplements you can pair with any adventure. It is worth your time.


The Bard gives Limitless Encounters...

...4 Lutes out of 5!

 You can find Limitless Adventures here.

If you have a product you would like reviewed, contact me on the official Ed The Bard facebook page here. Until then...

 Roll well, my friends
+Ed The Bard


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