Product Review: D30 Sandbox Companion

D30 Sandbox Companion
Author: Richard J. Leblanc, Jr.
Artist: Richard J. Leblanc, Jr. & Howard Pyle
Publisher: New Big Dragons Games Unlimited
Page Count: 52
Binding: Saddle Stapled
Available Formats: Softcover or PDF
Cost: Print-$11.95 and PDF-$4.95
Company Website: http://www.newbigdragon.com/index.html

PHYSICAL QUALITY
This book was ordered from lulu.com and I was very impressed with both the quality of the printing and binding and the layout of the material. The font, pitch and arrangement of the material is top notch. Mr. Leblanc went so far as to layout the majority of the work in landscape which allows for better layout and easier reading of the charts and tables.

PREMISE
The premise of this work is to be a DM/GM table supplement for adding to or creating a sandbox style outdoor environment for any fantasy based companion. Although much of what is contained within these pages could apply to other themes as well. It should be noted that my observations is that this particular book is popular among old school fantasy Gamemasters. The charts and tables use a d30 die roll to make all random determinations. This is what makes this product different from other chart and table books on the market.

PROS
So, what do I like about the book? Well, where to begin? I like much of what this book has to offer for Gamemasters who need to quickly create something as part of game prep or on-the-fly. Being a low-prep type of Gamemaster, I prefer to do things on the fly and this book puts lots of overland and village/town/city embellishment ideas right at my finger tips. Of the 52 pages, nearly all are charts or tables! There are nice art pieces scattered throughout, but they are not the focus of the book, the tables and charts are! Many Kudos to Mr. LeBlanc for keeping his focus.

CONS
I don’t have a lot of cons! The charts are generic enough to be useful to a variety of genres, but it is primarily geared toward fantasy games. This is where I wish the book was a little more genre generic. Mr. Leblanc’s products are in fact designed for old school games, but focused on fantasy. My only other complaint is that the Publisher does not offer a PDF with all the included worksheets. That would have been a very useful; as it stands you have to try to photocopy the worksheets that are located a few pages into the book. Not the easiest thing to do.

PARTING SHOTS
All-in-all I like this book and I find it useful. Since I play a lot of fantasy games this has more value to me than if I were a sci-fi gamer, but with that said there are still aspects of this book that can be useful to gamemasters of other genres. If you are an old school fantasy gamer, this is one book you probably should have you shelf and at the ready. It has a usefulness both in pre-game prep and on-the-fly at the table.

~ Modoc

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