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Book of Challenges: Dungeons & Dragons Accessory [Paperback]

Damiel Kaufman , Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 2002 D&D Accessory
A comprehensive source of encounters to challenge characters in any campaign.

Book of Challenges is a compendium of traps, encounters, and mini-dungeons that Dungeon Masters can easily insert into any campaign of any level. It offers all-new material that will show DMs how to add excitement to their adventures.

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

DANIEL KAUFMAN has written numerous articles for TopDeck magazine and has had Star Wars Roleplaying Game adventures published in Star Wars Gamer and on the Wizards of the Coast website. He lives in Washington state.

GWENDOLYN F. M. KESTREL recently contributed to both Magic of Faeren and Defenders of the Faith for the new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. She lives in Washington state.

MIKE SELINKER has designed dozens of products. Selinker's puzzles appear regularly in Games Magazine, the New York Times, and Dragon Magazine. He lives in Washington state.

SKIP WILLIAMS is a senior designer for the Wizards of the Coast roleplaying games division. His most recent credits include the latest edition of the D&D Monster Manual, and the D&D adventure Deep Horizon. He lives in Washington state.

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First Sentence
Picture this situation: The player characters see a gesticulating wizard floating over a dark chasm. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea seeds, not much else Jan. 27 2003
By A Customer
I purchased this book hoping that I would be treated to something along the lines of an updated Grimtooth's. What I got was a mixed bag of good advice for building your own traps and challenges, coupled with traps that fell far short of that advice. Some of the challenges are so poorly worded that you have to read them two or three times to figure out what the text is actually describing. The figures vary from very well annotated to not anontated at all. The solutions to the puzzles are frequently ones that even experiences D&D gamers would never think to try, because they suggest utilization of abilities in a manner other than they were intended. Setting all of that aside, there is a bigger problem: most of the traps make no sense. Who would have built such ludicrous mechanisms? Who would have populated them with such an odd assortment of creatures? How do such creature survive if they depend upon PC adventurers wandering into these traps as their sole means of food?!? Aargh. It comes down to this: if you were a wizard powerful enough to build some of these traps, you would have used your powers to build better ones. Summary? Good advice, but I wouldn't bother with the traps.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Well done, but worthless Dec 18 2002
I realy like the artwork and the level of detail of the different traps that are described.
So for that part, the book is surely worth your money.
However, there is no rules on trapconstruction (sure they are in the DMG and "Song And Silence".
The traps you find have no calculated prices.
The advice on building puzzles is nice, but building a puzzle that fits in your campaign still is up to your imagination.
Some of the traps are smart, but all in all, I feel this book does not offer you anything.
As a DM setting up traps is the fun and joy of the game and if you need this book to do that, I think you should consider asking one of your players to take over DM'ing.
After all, what is being a DM about besides setting up traps and "ugly" encounters?
The content of the book would urge me to give it one star only, but the pro's mentioned in the first lines have raised it to two..... (doubt doubt doubt doubt....)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable for generic adventuring Oct. 18 2002
I'd hoped for a bit more emphasis on traps and puzzles, and instead found a tome filled with what I would describe as "encounters."
At the worst, there are some rather odd interpretations of what sort of odd encounters one might theoretically find in a dungeon, but there are so many presuppositions to the encounters as to render them useless in any but the most generic ways.
That said, there are some interesting ideas in a few of the encounters, and the scaling of the encounters to match party levels is solid.
If you're desperate to add some random (and I do mean random) encounters, take a look, but generally speaking I'd recommend finding longer modules with better story arcs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a home run! Nov. 3 2002
They thought of everything. Not only are the encounters very clever, they are also quite detailed, and can be scaled for slightly lower or higher level parties.
There are descriptions that can be read to the players, so that too much information isn't given away, and there are numerous sidebards describing related topics.
Some puzzle encounters describe how to create similar puzzles, so that the DM can generate his own dastardly encounters.
On the downside, the maps are only adequate, and nothing to write home about, and there is not much other 'flavor' art.
Still, this is a really worthwhile purchase, and I'll be including some of these dastardly encounters in our next adventure!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money Dec 4 2002
By A Customer
Having leafed through this book at the local bookstore my first impression was that it didn't have much to offer. I was ordering the Monster Manual II and figured I would get this as well to get the free shipping. With the savings in shipping I didn't pay much for this book, but I should have just paid shipping. My first impression was right. Anyone with any imagination at all can come up with stuff as good as this. I have owned the book for a couple of months and haven't used a single thing out of it. If you have ever run a game, or watched a good fantasy movie ( or Indiana Jones for that matter ) you don't need this book. Save your money and get some good treats for you next session.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Book of Challenges -- a challenge to use it! Jan. 26 2003
The format of the book is less useful. I was expecting something closer to a Monster Manual but for traps, and I was disappointed. Each "challenge" is formatted like a mini-encounter rather than a single trap or puzzle explained. Some challenges are 2-3 pages long. I prefer a bit more quick-use format structure so I can just pull out the encounter and plop it into my adventure just like a monster from the Monster Manual. I prefer Traps & Treachery by Fantasy Flight Games which has that type of structure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It could be better Aug. 16 2002
While the book presents some interesting scenarios, most of it is rehashed information you can get from a book of logic puzzles or find in the AD&D 2nd edition DM's blue books (namely the Villian's handbook and Creative Campaigning) or even check out the Crypt of Lyranzad the Mad. If you want a bunch of one-shot encounters or traps, this book is fine, otherwise you can get as good ideas by buying a book of logic puzzles or riddles and adapting them as encounters.
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