Total Party Kill Handbook Review:
Anybody with and experience as a dungeon master can identify with the common problem of creativity. There are a lot of resources out there for D&D, but some people just aren’t great story tellers. This can be extremely detrimental to those wanting to get more involved in this area of gaming. In order to solve this issue, Steven Gordon at 2CGaming created the Total Party Kill Handbook. I was fortunate enough to speak with Steven at PAX Unplugged this past November, and he seemed to have a great deal of new projects on the horizon for 2CGaming. He was also kind enough to discuss Total Party Kill Handbook (TPKH) in detail.
The “game” is actually a book suited to enhance the skills of dungeon masters, specifically dungeon masters who have hit a creative wall. The book gives fresh new ideas for those who might be lacking in experience or who keep resorting to their old ways and want more perspective. The book comes with 25 different encounters with the intention of integrating any (or all) of them into your already developed campaign. Each encounter is extremely detailed, so there should be minimal prep done on your part in order integrate. This is great news for dungeon masters, as the return on investment can sometimes be low regarding preparation, though it is clearly a cornerstone in the overall player experience. When it comes to being a dungeon master, sometime the numbers can be hard to finalize regarding player statistics and chance. This book solves most of the guesswork for you in order to enhance your campaigns while minimizing those hours spent in preparation. The book is hard back and just under 200 pages. The encounters range in level anywhere from 1 to 20, so there’s a great deal of variability the book brings to the table. There’s something for every level of player! The book also comes with a PDF copy if you buy it on their website.
The most obvious benefit of this game is the depth and breadth it can being to your next campaign. Though some may be skeptical of the price tag to encounter ratio ($45 for 25 encounters). Each encounter is masterfully put together and the variety of levels means that it can appeal to both newbies and veterans alike. Even seasoned dungeon masters can learn a thing or two from this book, as each encounter also comes with it scaling guidelines (for different party sizes) in addition to tactic adjustments to create more (or less) difficulty for your players, should they start to get too confident. Another example of high value I found in the book was the trap workshop that can help change the way you typically approach traps and how to scale them to different campaign sizes. Add that to the PDF you get when purchasing the physical book and you have a solid product that can be utilized by all sorts of D&D gamers.
TPKH is a great addition any dungeon master or anyone aspiring to be one. The various encounters included in the book can either offer a seasoned player with a fresh perspective, or set a newbie on the right track when planning for the first time. Though the price may seem a little steep, the value and aesthetics of the book call for its price point. 2CGaming also some interesting projects in the door right now that build off of this book’s initial success. While TPKH has the widest appeal, there are other projects in the works such as an expansion of Epic Legacy Player’s Guide called The Epic Legacy Cored Rulebook. Other projects currently on Kickstarter are The Lions Vault and Tyrants & Hellions; be sure to check them out on their website!
Until next time,