Q: Can you explain what the stars mean to you?

A: Sure! I tend to round up from half star ratings, unless I do think that the book is closer to the lower rating.

1 star: Utterly worthless drivel; no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

1.5 stars: Almost a complete trainwreck; has at least a glimmer of something that may be of value to some folks.

2 stars: A very problematic or boring book that has serious issues with rules and functionality.

2.5 stars: A mixed bag, slightly on the negative side of things. Has flaws, but also some use.

3 stars: A Mixed bag. An okay book. Or, a flawed good or great book that still has value.

3.5 stars: A mixed bag, slightly on the positive side of things. An otherwise okay book with a good idea here and there; mechanical flaws that don’t drag down the book. Or, a flawed good or great book that still has value.

4 stars: A good book. Not a world-shaker, but worth checking out.

4.5 stars: A good book that misses being great by a margin.

5 stars: A great book.

5 stars + seal of approval: A great book that oozes care, passion, is innovative or really amazing in one way or another.


Q: What’s an EZG Essential?

A: It’s a book I consider essential for the gaming experience with a given system. A must-have, if you will.


Q: What’s the “seal of approval”?

A: It’s a small way for me personally to recommend particularly good books. The seal could be understood as a 6th star of sorts. HOWEVER, unlike my regular star-rating, it also represents my personal tastes. If I really loved something, I might slap my seal of approval on it, even if it has a few serious flaws. In very rare cases, 4 star-files have received my seal.


Q: How do I contact you?

A: Use the contact tab. 🙂


Q: Can I pay you to advertise on your site?

A: No.


Q: I sent the e-mail a day ago; why haven’t you responded?

A: Because I am incredibly busy! I’ll get back to you, promise! If you haven’t heard from me in two weeks, contact me, though; sometimes mails fall through the cracks.


Q: Can you review my book/pdf/etc.?

A: Yes, but it’ll take time.


Q: Do you have any conditions to accept my book for your reviewing queue?

A: Yes, as a matter of fact, I have. Here is my disclaimer. I send it to everyone soliciting reviews.

If I am to review your book, you have to be okay with the following: My reviews are posted on endzeitgeist.com, Nerdtrek and GMS magazine as well as Paizo, amazon (if available) and OBS (One Book Shelf = DTRPG + RPGNow + DM’s Guild, etc.); 3.5+ stars reviews may also be published on Lou Agresta’s RPGaggression; 5 star files have a chance to be published in Rite Publishing’s free e-zine Pathways. Additionally, I post reviews on rpg.net on request of the author/publisher. So that’s the exposure.
Unlike other reviewers, I also dish out bad ratings of 1 and 2 stars if I feel they are warranted. Complimentary copies and the like do not influence the final verdict; I do, however, revise reviews if glitches are fixed – obviously, provided I have a means to get the revised book via e.g. OBS.
Finally, there’s one more catch – I have a huge pile of to-do files. At the moment, 4 months minimum would not be an unrealistic delay. It will take time to get the review done. There are two ways this process can be sped up.
1) People can ask me to review this faster or sponsor a prioritized review via my patreon. So far, I got all prioritized reviews done within the timeframe for which they’ve been requested.
2) Send me a print copy – I print out as many pdfs as I can afford since I hate reading on the screen.
Both options can be stacked, obviously – my print-pile tends to be significantly smaller than my electronic pile.
Both have in common that they do not influence the final rating, just the place in the queue.
Please contact me if you require my e-mail address for receiving OBS-coupons.
Apart from that, I have no requirements. If this seems excessive to you, well, I’ve had threats for bad reviews and even a BS cease and desist, in spite of this disclaimer. So yeah. If you’re fine with all of that, I most definitely am willing to check out your product(s).


Q: How much content is covered by one such priority review slot?

A: I don’t have a hard guideline there. Depending on the complexity of the rules, between 30 and 50 pages is my baseline. Other than that, I decide on a case by case basis.


Q: How do you read and analyze so much?

A: I don’t need much sleep, am a fast reader, have an excellent memory and I invest basically a job’s worth of hours, day after day, into the reviewing process. Right now, reviewing amounts to a zero-sum game for me – but I love it, so I’ll maintain it for as long as possible.


Q: How can I support you?

A: You can support the creation of new reviews and the continuation of this enterprise here on patreon. Without the support of people like you, this would not be possible.


Q: Are there other ways to support you?

A: Yes! Paypal direct donation would be the obvious one. Additionally, each purchase after a click on one of my OBS-links will grant me a tiny tip. I use funds gathered from these affiliate sales to purchase pdfs and write more reviews. You’re fueling the circle!


Q: I’ve seen your name as developer or author!

A: Yes, I do write and develop gaming material. Contact me for my rates.


Q: I saw publishers support you on patreon! Doesn’t that compromise your integrity?

A: Not in my book. If you take a careful look at my reviews, you’ll note that the publishers that support me pay for reviews to be prioritized, i.e. they’re covered faster – they pay for a quicker release of a review, NOT for its content.


Q: Sounds fishy!

A: It really isn’t. Let me try to explain. The entire value of my reviews is contingent on my trustworthiness. If I played favorites or otherwise would compromise my integrity, that would not be beneficial for anyone. Publishers and authors wouldn’t improve, customers would not be satisfied, and I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore. It’d be an everyone-loses-situation.


Q: So, if you bash a product, they don’t hate you/try to draw away support?

A: Well, a few of them tried this over the years, yes. In fact, I lost a few “friendships” over bad reviews. I’d rather fade away and cancel this whole enterprise than be bought, though. As an aside: Due to the sheer amount of products out there, I’ve seen even bad reviews result in increased sales.


Q: Your review hurt my feelings.

A: I’m a actually sorry for the fact that you feel hurt by my criticism. No ad hominem is intended on my part. I am not sorry for my review, though – I stand behind it.


Q: I hate your guts and you probably can’t stand me either. Will that influence your review?

A: I try my utmost to remain neutral, so no. I’m pretty good at separating my own biases from my analysis and I have, time and again, rated the books of folks I HATE as persons highly; it is my conviction that the work should be judged, not the relationship or lack thereof with the author.


Q: Do you review books you worked on?

A: Kind of/not really. Due to the lack of good reviewers, I tend to write notes on my perspective of books I worked on. I do NOT, however, rate them. Think of them as rating-less summaries.


Q: How much reviews have you written?

A: Over 4000. No, I’m not kidding.


Q: What do you do with the patreon money?

A: I use it to pay for a part of my running costs, like gas, electricity, etc.


Q: Do you do Kickstarter shout-outs?

A: Yes, in irregular intervals, and only for projects I believe in.