Supplement Review: Auction Encounters (Double Crescent Games): 4.5 Stars
Instead of the drawn out process of creating magic items, or the setting-breaking Ye Olde Magic Item Shoppe, auctions provide a transitory opportunity for the fighter to acquire that Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom they have been eyeing.
Auction Encounters offers a fun and easy way to add some economic flair to your campaign without slowing down the action. The auctions provide an engaging and fun way to add magic items to a campaign without needing to open a magic shop and supplied NPC’s and adventures offer the DM an interesting set of hooks that can build into fun adventurers.
Shopping as an Encounter. Prices for magical items are lower than offered in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. The lower cost creates a very alluring prospect from a number of players who believe they are skilled enough to ‘win’ the auction. Players can end up spending much more than an item’s cost in the wrong circumstances, however, most of the time the players will get an item for close to the cost, or a little lower without NPC interference.
Good Without Rules. The rules for auctions add some unique excitement to a campaign, however, they are not needed if you wish to use the auctions themselves. There is plenty to garner from this document without using the systems, if you’d like to be more freeform with the rules.
NPCs. The NPC’s add a ton of flavor to the auctions and can often tip the balance towards the Dungeon Master. Each of these NPCs are fleshed out and can be written with further motivations and allegiances to fit your setting. The included adventures are a great touch if you want to simply drop something into your setting that deals with auctions. Each of them has their own significance and can fit into most campaigns.
Layout. The layout is clean and aesthetic, with a good number of art pieces in the right places. We would have preferred to have the tables larger and laid out closer to the rules that identify their use.
Extra Crunchy. The systems added by Auction Encounters can be fairly math heavy and involve plenty of dice rolls from everyone involved. Make certain you are familiar with the rules and have the Modifier and Milestone tables in front of you at all times when you’re running the auction!
Adventure Focused. The rules and auctioneering can,at times, feel like a vehicle for the adventures which take up a significant part of the book. As long as you know what you’re buying, this supplement can be a great joy to work with.
Power Balance. Magic items like Boss’s Razor are incredibly powerful and you should think twice before handing them out to your players. There are a few excellent items that work for low level groups, of special note are the Message Totems, which act like fantasy radio towers.
We are giving Auction Encounters a rating of 4.5 Stars. If you want to turn boring shopping trips into something engaging, this is the supplement for your table. If you appreciate our reviews, please click the picture if you’re planning on buying.
Isaac A.L. May is a best-selling DM’s Guild author and creator of the Weird Stuff I Found series. His background in Psychology is leveraged in all of his professional engagements, from writer to Dungeon Master. Isaac is passionate about all things “gaming”, and pursues his passion for game design and mechanics through theory crafting. Isaac’s DnD 5e works can be found at https://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?author=Isaac%20May and he can be found on twitter as @IceyKindaDicey.