What is it and why did I buy it?

The history-nerd in me liked the concept: An adventure set during the Siege of Constantinople in 1453 C.E.

Characters could play city’s defenders. It had fairly accurate descriptions of life in the late Eastern Roman Empire. PCs even had a chance to met the Last Roman Emperor Constantine XI, Sultan Mehmet II, and even Vlad the Impaler.

Game masters could decide if Vlad the Impaler was a vampire or not.

The execution: mediocre.

The Last Days Constantinople is one of the few products by Avalanche Press which didn’t feature a half-nude woman on the cover. They probably should have put one on anyway to boost sales because the content was lackluster and amateurish.

It wasn’t the worst OGL d20 product I purchased back The Heady Days of Third Edition. But it was close. I barely remember the adventure which claimed that prize–something about an evil empire, a castle ruins, a magic spear, and a witch or something.

The Last Days of Constantinople shared many of the same problems which plagued third party d20 merchandise: poor editing and layout, stat-blocks with the wrong numbers,  and mediocre art.

Why did I sell it?

This biggest deal-breaker: D&D Third Edition does not handle low-magic historical settings well at all. You can try, but you’d have to make a lot of adjustments to the Encounter Level and Magic systems.

The Last Days of Constantinople tried to replicate the feel of what it would be like during Rome’s final siege. Having halflings, dwarves, and elves run around would break the suspension of disbelief, let alone wizards and sorcerers throwing around magic missiles and flaming spheres.

If figured if I ever wanted to run adventure like this I would pick up a few books on Byzantium and use another system.

Thus, The Last Days of Constantinople ended up on The Used Book Store Pile.