I've always been a fan of the DMG and DM Scotty's work. They're highly creative guys who understand the nuances of fantasy role-playing. North Road: Death and Taxes didn't disappoint. Both of the authors did a wonderful job of developing a system agnostic game that could be run on practically any fantasy role-playing system. The module might even have some application for solitaire play (kinda like a choose your own adventure book). Further, the authors emphasize storytelling and role-playing over hack-and-slash- something refreshingly welcome in a world where role-playing games have become fixated on combat encounters. Interior art is excellent. Gareth's line drawings are crisp and clear, reminiscent of Arnie Swekel's style in 1990's 2nd edition D&D. Scotty's photos of crafted terrain serve not only to fortify the text, but to serve as inspiration for DM's interested in crafting terrain when they run this adventure. Criticisms of the module are few. It has a bit of a different way of presenting the material than standard modules, which can make it initially confusing (but which can also add value if a person wants to run this in a solitaire version). However, once the entire module has been read, all confusion will generally be cleared up. Barnett and McFarland have succeeded in their first outing as writers of fantasy RPG modules, and I look forward to reading the rest of their work.
My players engaged like never before been playing Dungeons and Dragons for 5 years with my group and they loved the character's method of speaking. This is a great resource for new DMs to create a great roleplay experience with very litte prep time. Read the module, create the NPCs stateblock and play. For experienced DMs 20 minutes of time reading the module is all that is needed. For any game system, these modules can be a great starting point for a session, campaign, or expanding a homebrew world. Having played the first 4 modules the story evolves as it is played, there is plenty of information in these modules for whereever your players want to take the story. I am adapting the story for another system my players want to learn. DMG and DM Scotty have combined years of gaming to create a great resource for any GM/DM to use.
Death & Taxes is a magnificent work of art and adventure. I've been a long time fan of both Gareth and Scotty and this adventure is top shelf material that you can "actually run." I have so many RPG books which are basically to long to read to the point that they are impractical, BUT this book is tight, easy to read, and actually useful. It provides a great cultural feel with rumor and random utterances which are easy to access, I just really can't express how cool the art and format delivered is. No matter what system you are playing this book will be an asset on your shelf. Gareth and Scotty if you're reading this, don't stop writing these!
The biggest stand out to me on this module is the amount of work put into it and the system that is used. It very well thought out with multiple dialogue possibilities and out comes with NPC interactions (uses skill based system for dialogue to dive deeper into the reach story) . The depth of detail put into this module gives it a gritty paranoid feel. The dialogue and possibilities feel organic. It gives you a great base to start with but allows for a homebrew feel with the options left to the DM/GM. Great work guys keep them coming!!
I have started running this campaign for our group and we are really enjoying it. The system neutral layout is awesome. I am plugging this campaign into a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying set of rules and it is working flawlessly. Keep up the great work boys, Looking forward to many more sessions with this campaign! Mike