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Virtual Scribe Reviews

Magic Shop & Random Item Rarity Tables by Rob Twohy

Rating: 4 votes, 4.00 average.

First Impressions: 4 Stars, 40/50 Points
I really like what Rob has done with these tables. He has sliced and diced the magic item tables from the DMG (and the SRD) all sorts of ways to make it easy for a DM to find or randomly generate magic items. There are a few minor flaws here and there, but nothing that hinders the useful of this module. The key to using this module is to read the Instructions provided in the Story list. Once you do that, all of the various tables and templates will make sense.

Quality: 12/15 Points
In products like this there is no feasible way to test every link and the results of every table, but after the numerous tests I made, every link worked and every table or template generated reasonable results. I did find that some of the templates don’t generate perfectly formed grammar and occasionally the layout is inconsistent (i.e. when a magic shop is sold out of multiple items), but nothing that deters usability of the results. I also did find a few spelling errors (i.e. “Magic Botique”), but again, nothing critical. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming is that the various table groups are simply named (rings, rods, scrolls, etc) and therefore they won’t sort together and may easily get confused with tables from other modules.

For example;
Attachment 17237

Completeness: 8/10 Points
This module has a glut of tables that group magic items up into all types of useful sets. I haven’t been able to think of any other way that I could benefit from the items being presented. The one aspect (as discussed below) is that the Magic Shop creation templates are not as complete as they could be.

Creativity: 7/10 Points
Magic shop creation templates are the height of creativity in this module. And, they are pretty cool, but just seem to be the beginning of what they could become. They could include things like; descriptions of the location and owner, or a remarkable feature of the shop such as an animated statue, pet, or trinket.

Value: 6/10 Points
So, is this module worth a $1.95USD? If you want to have a better way to access (through lists or random table generation) the magic items in the DMG or SRD, then yes. If you are looking for a cool creative magic shop generator, then probably not yet.

Versatility: 2/5 Points
The tables that are used to generate the Magic Shops and such for the templates are really pretty limited and are just a start as to what they could be. For instance, there are only 5 first and last names for the shop owners. A cool idea, but given the online name generators available, a list of 20 or 30 each would be simple to do. I’m also a bit disappointed that in the larger towns, only a single shop is created to host all of the items available for the entire community. I would think that once you got to a large town or a small city that there would start to be a chance for more than one shop per community.

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Review , GM Tools


  1. rob2e's Avatar
    ThanX Lord for the review. Your comments have inspired me to make changes and edits to make it better. I always solicit comments and suggestions from users, but when I don't hear anything, I assume no news is good news. lol

    Regarding the speeellingll errors, I wish FG had a spell check. I try. Again, until a user brings it to my attention, I probably would never know how to spell boutique.

    The layout of the links (as well as the "sold out" bits) seems unavoidable. I asked the developers why they come out that way (with extra spaces, or in the case of the "sold out"s not enough return entries, etc,) and was told, "that's how it is for now." I'm a stickler for detail and presentation, but until that gets "fixed" it will look like it does.

    Table names were named specifically for reasons of calling tables within tables. I think most FG users understand table names may duplicate. Try having all your modules open and clicking on "class". Three bards, three barbarians, etc. They're all different, but you see what I mean.

    Regarding completeness and "creativity" there can always be more information. I could have included 100 names, 100 descriptions, 100 etc., etc., and maybe I will add more. I do intend to, but the time... THE TIME! I do state clearly (in most of my creations that any DM can (should?) freely change the items (or add to them ) to suit their needs. For example, DMs may want to change the values in the item cost tables and especially the values in the % to generate an item based on rarity. I created those tables to be versatile in that way.

    Speaking to the last point on versatility, I don't recall stating that a shop was THEE limitation for any city. Of course, a city can have multiple shops. That's completely up to the DM. I just made it so a shop made sense "size-wise" for its population center. There can always be more, and perhaps even different sizes per area. We never know with D&D do we?

    ThanX again for the review.
  2. LordEntrails's Avatar
    I'm glad you found value in my review. I was/am frustrated myself by the lack of feedback on things. Both as a developer and a user. There are so many things out there to enhance our gaming, but its hard to know what is valuable to spend the time learning and using/implementing.

    The areas that I listed as less than ideal, doesn't mean they are bad (and I'm not sure you feel I think they are bad) but just areas that I saw room for improvement. And, as you noted, not all of them are areas that you have control over. But, I feel its important to mention them so that users get the information up front. After all, a user doesn't care why something might behave in some manner, only that it does.

    Again, just like I started these to provide feedback, I appreciate your feedback
  3. rob2e's Avatar
    The more you know! {NBC theme music}

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