Review: Chaos Trip Studios – Heroic Tier Threats (Altered Earth)


Altered Earth: Heroic Tier Threats
Heroic Tier Threats is a core supplement for the gothic sci-fi post-apocalyptic setting Altered Earth (powered by Dungeons & Dragons) written by David Caffee and published by Chaos Trip Studios via Avalon Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

Heroic Tier Threats is a collection of adversaries designed for use within the post-apocalyptic Altered Earth setting powered by Dungeons & Dragons. The adversaries range from Android to Warbot and cover a span of approximately 30 pages. Each page has about 2 – 3 adversaries resulting in around 70 or so adversaries total. Each adversary is grouped by threat type an introduction to each is included.

OVERALL

All great settings need a bestiary, and as Altered Earth is a complete stand-alone setting using Dungeons & Dragons for its core mechanics, the standard D&D Monster Manuals do not apply. It would be better to have more illustrations that look more like the bestiary being presented, but at least you’re not left with a complete lack of visual aids. There are a lot of tweaks here and there beneficial to the supplement, but it’s definitely usable as-is.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
Heroic Tier Threats has a slightly better publication quality than the Altered Earth core rulebook, but is still just okay at best. Some of the spacing is too tight while others show too much white space. Some of the illustrations are too randomly placed and often poorly sized and/or located. Some of them are a bit of a stretch as far as how well they pertain to the content on their applicable page. However, the layout is still clean, simple, and effective and the adversary stats look good.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10
Heroic Tier Threats does an excellent job of presenting the Dungeons & Dragons stats for adversaries. Additionally, there is a good selection of threats here although not one really stands out significantly more than the others. The variety is good and there is enough that players will not tire quickly of multiple adventures due to adversaries that are mundane or too “regular”.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
For those playing games in the Altered Earth setting, Heroic Tier Threats is a very valuable supplement as DMs always need adversaries to throw at the player characters. It helps to bring out the flavor of the setting and eliminates the preparation time required for putting together your own adversaries. Producing a supplement such as this also allows for further Altered Earth publications that can quickly reference the adversaries contain within.

Overall: 8 out of 10
Heroic Tier Threats is the perfect companion to the Altered Earth core rulebook, for DMs that is. Don’t spoil your fun by memorizing the stats of your adversaries. The book is fairly lackluster but it’s a valuable addition to the setting. If you’re DM’ing Altered Earth, then this book is designed for you.

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