Cover For PC2 - Top Ballista

PC2 - Top Ballista

System: Dungeons & Dragons

Code: #9255

Type: Accessory

Levels: all

Author: Carl Sargent

Year: 1989

Publisher: TSR

Format: 64-page book, 32-page book, cover, fold-out map

PC2 Top Ballista - General Review

PC2 is the second in a series of 4 accessories that outline traditional "monster" NPCs and the possibility of PC play. While made for the basic D&:D gaming system, there is a section included on how to adapt the rules given for advanced D&D play. The conversion process is painless. PC2 includes a 64-page DM booklet which outlines the various creatures and their level advancement, special abilities, spell abilities where needed, and a general background for each different race. There is a 32-page adventure booklet included as well. Most of the adventures included in this booklet are just outlines, there is one included however that is fully developed. So let's get started!

Tall Tales of the Wee Folk - DM's Booklet

About half of this booklet is dedicated to the various races that can be adapted into NPCs or even PCs. Ability charts are given, hit points and hit dice for the various creatures as they level, spell casting charts, experience progression tables, bascially everything you need to create an NPC or play a PC is included. Even a general description of the motivations of each race is included. The various races that are presented are centaurs, dryads, fauns, hsiao (an intelligent race of avians), treants, wood imps, brownies, leprechauns, pixies, sprites, pookas (magical shape-changers), sidhes (fairies), and wooddrakes. Each race description and discussion comes with all the charts are tables mentioned above, along with a general discussion of each race and in many cases how that race gets along with some of the other races.

Besides discussing the various races, the DM's Booklet also discusses fairy magic and many of the abilities available to various races. Also discussed - skills of the various races in this group, new magical items, personalities that are important to know, the woodland realms which these creatures inhabit, how various members of the various races are integrated into a more human-centric campaign world, special equipment required by some of the races, and the ever present glossary and index

Tall Tales of the Wee Folk - Adventures Booklet

After a brief discussion about woodland encounters in general, and the aforementioned discussion of 2nd Edition AD&D Game Adaptation, there are 7 adventures discussed in this 32 page adventure booklet. 6 of the 7 adventures are more like general outlines that are waiting for a DM to fill in with details. The last adventure is well fleshed out and ready to play with a low level character group. There can always be edits and improvements, but as it is, it is good to go. The adventures include:

  • Helping break a magical music spell
  • Exploring an abandoned Hsiao lair
  • Investigating a cursed cabin
  • A quiet day spent fishing
  • Investigating a herd of dying cattle
  • Confronting a treant gone mad
  • Rescuing a missing seneschal
There adventure ideas are all pretty excellent and just waiting for a intrepid DM to flesh them out. And just by reading through the DM's Booklet, an imaginative DM can come up with dozens upon dozens of adventure ideas to work into his campaign.

My Random Notes, Thoughts & Reviews about PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk

There are a lot of addtitional races covered here. One thing I always personally struggled with as a DM is how in the world to include all these different races that are out there in my campaign world. Most of the time - I just stuck to the basics. But reading this accessory makes me want to go back and redesign certain areas of my campaign world - to flesh these areas out more and include some good guys in the deep dark forest and sprinkle some fairy folk around - just to add some spice to the experience.

Since above I implied that it would be super easy for a DM to come up with "dozens upon dozens of adventure ideas", I should put myself to the challenge. I don't have to come up with dozens and dozens. But I think coming up with 10 adventure ideas based on the DM's booklet should be a fair challenge. I'm not saying they are all going to be GOOD ideas. Just brainstorming here folks. In no particular order:

  1. The characters need the help of a wise old centuar, but in exchange for his knowledge, the centaur needs something in return
  2. A dryad has charmed a local villager, and the characters are tasked with bringing him (or her?) back
  3. A band of fauns has moved into a local area and is terrorizing the populace - the characters must relocate the fauns without killing them
  4. A local Hsiao pays adventurers for various books and also to run errands
  5. Treants have been disappearing at an alarming rate from a protected area of the forest - they seem to be returning to nature - but something more sinister is at play here
  6. A Wood Imp Shaman has taken over control of several wood imp tribes and is starting to amass an army composed of many races which have begun to terrorize local villages - and will continue building until the entire local realm has been conquered - he must be stopped - but maybe there is something more sinister behind this puppet leader
  7. A local inn has a brownie that has been very helpful for a number of years - but just recently the brownie has become a nuisance instead of a help - perhaps the original brownie has been imprisoned or murdered by a redcap (evil brownie) and the redcap has taken over - even murder is possible
  8. Catch a leprechaun get a pot of gold - easy - or is it?
  9. An old abandoned monastery on the edge of town is rumored to hold treasures hidden away in an underground crypt - in reality a group of pixies & sprites have taken over the monastery and use it as their lair and they don't really like having adventurers poking around
  10. A mysterious talking beaver - in reality a Pooka - has caught the attention of the PCs - in the corner of a dark bar he hatches a plot to break into the treasury of an evil baron and take whatever can be carried

OK - maybe it wasn't super easy to come up with those, but it wasn't super difficult either. You can do it!

PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk In Conclusion

What can I say - I believe that this is a great resource with great ideas about the various races that are covered. And even if the DM never allows PCs to play these races, which is perfectly fine, this is still a great reference which serves to flesh out these various races and add depth to the campaign world. Maybe the DM can even develop some very meaningful NPCs from the vast amount of information presented. Great job!

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