Welcome to our little Review section here on the Open Gaming Network.
We take products and review them, intending to give the reader the best chance of evaluating whether this particular release is for them.
There is, of course, a scoring system, similar to that used elsewhere, in a 5-star rating, which we have determined as follows:
1 * – Bad
2 * – Mediocre
3 * – Decent
4 * – Good
5 * – Excellent
The following review is an OPINION piece and only reflects the opinion and tastes (because ultimately, all reviews will be based on personal taste) of the reviewer.
That disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with the show!
This week we give you The Ebon Vault: Glittering Rings!
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
Author: Alex Riggs, Joshua Zaback
Cover Artist: None credited
Page count: 7 ( 1 page cover, 1 page credits, 3 pages of content, 1 page Open Gaming License,1 page back cover).
As usual we take a quick look at the cover, which is a little disappointing. From what I can see it’s part of a series for Ebon Vault, but it actually sticks out from the rest of them, as it has a much more colorful cover. The cover itself isn’t bad, in that it looks like a magical tome of some sort, but it doesn’t feel particularly like something I’d be able to open and read about rings. It just feels a little neutral. – I’m guessing it’s some sort of stock art, but there’s no credits for the cover, so it could also be a custom piece (though again, no credits for the cover).
To the content!
The rings vary in cost from 5,000 to 200,000 gp – and there are 11 of them, and they vary quite a bit in quality to be honest. Now I’m not going to go through them all one by one, because that is just a bit too much, when there’s only 3 pages worth, but there are a couple of standouts that I will call out:
First I have to call out two of the rings, the guiding ring and the ring of ethereal sight as being basically spells-in-a-can (or ring), nothing wrong with that as such, but they’re not particularly exciting.
Then there’s the portal ring, which I in theory love, but there is something really off on the price of this. This is a ring for 18,000 gp – OK, but a scroll that does the same is only between 2,275 and 3,825 gp (depending on what spell we use, either plane shift or gate), if this is a permanent effect, it should be somewhere between 182,000 and 306,000 gp, again depending on the spell. And I get that this isn’t permanent as such, but you could leave the ring there, so that it is. And while the idea of a portale Gate is great, and it works well in the context of the ring, that price is just a bit too low.
The replicating ring feels like it’s inspired by Draupnir (Odin’s legendary ring), and I like it. A ring that makes more of itself, for gold, it’s cool. But there’s one line there that catches my eye, and I wish it had been addressed more deeply. “Unless further improved with magic, a replicating ring confers no benefits while it is worn.” – OK. But what happens if it makes a copy of itself? Does the magic copy as well. I’m presuming that it doesn’t, since it only mentions the cost of the ring, but it would have been cool if it even conferred a temporary benefit. For example if the replicating ring had been given a +2 bonus like a ring of protection, perhaps the new ones functioned at +1 for a week. Either that, or call out that it doesn’t copy.
The rest of the rings are good and serviceable rings, that I could see myself using in a game, especially the ring of steadfast alignment and the soul-storing ring could see some effective use in a game with a devious Game Master, on either side of the table.
And so we come to the conclusion:
This book is a bit difficult to judge as the quality of the various parts vary a fair bit. That said however, it was a generally pleasant read, with some occasional ups and downs. And that brings us to the price: at $1.49, you get 7 pages, but so much of it is just the actual covers and so on, which lets it down. If you’d given us another page of content, I’d have been happy, but when over 50% of the book is just that then I can’t be entirely happy. As such I’m afraid the conclusion is going to have to be 3-stars. It’s a decent book, but with a page or two more of rings, then it would have been a 4-star instead.