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Insta-NPCs #9: Cults and Cultists
by Ken F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 17:08:17

I needed some ideas on how to create a cult in a GURPS Supers! campaign and I found Insta-NPCs #9: Cults and Cultists useful. I didn't need to roll on the tables, since the descriptions in the results provided what I needed. I can see this being handy in the future when I'm stuck on ideas.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Insta-NPCs #9: Cults and Cultists
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For Coin & Blood
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2018 20:32:56

This review originally appeared on my blog, Halfling's Luck, at http://halflingsluck.blogspot.com

REVIEW: For Coin & Blood I remember hearing vaguely about For Coin & Blood some time ago, but it seemed to pass me by before I got a chance to investigate. Then Diogo Nogueira, author of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, made mention of it on social media. And when Diogo endorses a game, there's a really good shot that I'm going to like it.

So, I googled For Coin & Blood and started investigating. Well, what I found was an awesome little game made by a passionate creator. Like my own The Hero's Journey (and obviously White Star), FCB is built on the Swords & Wizardry White Box chassis. It draws heavy inspiration from a more grim and gritty side of fantasy, clearly influenced by works such as The Black Company and The First Law series' of novels. By combining and tweaking White Box, material from several third party supplements, throwing in a heaping helping of evocative art, and excellent production values Gallant Knight Games has managed to produce a gem of a game.

While I'm not familiar with the fiction mention above, huge credit to the creators of FCB for creating a game that oozes dark fantasy. In fact, I was a bit jealous as I read through the book because I immediately thought "This would be great to run a White Box: Game of Thrones style game," which is something I had always hoped to write myself. Well, Gallant Knight Games beat me to it and good on them! The material is so evocative that it inspired me to pick up the first book in The Black Company series of novels.

So, what separates For Coin & Blood from traditional fantasy roleplaying games? Well, for starters it runs on the presumption that the player characters are not heroes. There are no holy protectors or knights in shining armor here, folks. But, what elevates this above the tired trope of "you play the villains," is that For Blood & Coin presents players and narrators with the opportunity to play characters who are complex and nuanced. No alignments, no archetypes. These are characters who are certainly self-serving, but are still capable of heroism if they so choose. The complexities of characters like Arya Stark or Jaime Lannister are right at home in this game -- and that's awesome!

Beyond fantastic, heavily shadowed black and white line art, the most evocative feature of the game are its classes. No paladins, fighters, or bards here folks. Sellswords, Blackguards, and Assassins rule the day These characters are tarnished by their own sins and willingness to do horrible things, but aren't mustache twirling villains. They're just willing to do what needs to be done when others aren't willing to get their hands dirty. That's something that's refreshing and pretty damned unique in the OSR, separating it from the more heroic games like The Hero's Journey or pulp stylings of White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game.

Author Alan Bahr grabs hold of plenty of open source third party material then tweaks it until he's given it a new, but dingy and tainted coat of paint and created something all his own. There is plenty of familiar material here, but its all modified to the grimdark mood. A few areas of note include his adversaries section, the small tweaks to the player character classes, and rules for player characters running a criminal organization.

For Blood & Coin runs under the assumption that all player characters and most adversaries are human. There are no rules included for playing non-human characters and the bulk of adversaries included in this book are mundane. This creates the implication that magical creatures (and by extension magic itself) is rare and dangerous. This helps add to the atmosphere of the material as well as keeping the page count down. A handful of fantastic creatures are included, but that only helps to accentuate their rarity in my opinion.

This is a deadly game. Characters begin play with more hit points than other White Box-style games, but gain very, very as they increase in level. In fact, it's likely that a critical hit will kill even a 10th level character outright. Again, this adds to the grimdark feel of the material and in addition will force player characters to think beyond the "beat it till XP comes out" mentality that too often plagues fantasy roleplaying games. Each class also features abilities that are familiar tropes from the traditional fighter/cleric/wizard (called sellsword, priest, and magus in this game) dynamic, but takes the time to spice up these core three into something that feels genuine to the setting material. Four additional classes (assassin, blackguard, cutpurse, and knight) round out player character options. Each is just different enough to have its own unique feel, but isn't bloated with extra, unnecessary rules.

In the final pages of the rules, Bahr includes rules for player characters running and joining criminal organizations. Based on Swords & Wizardry Chivalry, the author has taken the concepts found in that book and given them a new and wonderful spin that (yet again) reinforces the themes and tone of the grimdark fantasy genre. Even as someone who originally wrote Chivalry, I found Bahr's tweaking of my original concept to be absolutely wonderful and refreshing.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the inclusion of a 7th Ability Score: Infamy. A character's deeds and misdeeds have a huge impact on the game and this form of measuring a character's reputation provide a more complex and dynamic roleplaying experience that the more traditional alignments used in most games. In fact, alignments have been completely jettisoned in For Coin & Blood, and that's a good thing in this context.

Pound for point, point for point, For Coin & Blood is my go-to grimdark fantasy roleplaying game. In fact, grabbing it has actually saved me money because I've purchased a copy in lieu of Warhammer or Shadow of the Demon Lord. My affection for White Box-based games is well known and this is takes that original edition style of game into a new and wonderful direction by presenting a game that offers opportunities for complex, morally ambigious storytelling not often actively encouraged in the OSR. I can't wait to see where Bahr takes the game line next.

For Coin & Blood can be found on RPGNow & DriveThruRPG in PDF and print-on-demand versions. PoD is in digest form, with a black and white interior, though it can be ordered on color quality paper for a higher quality product -- which I'd recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
For Coin & Blood
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Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by scott G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2018 11:44:46

Tiny Dungeon 2E is a fantastic redux of the standard Fantasy TRPG.

It's ruleset is incredibly compressed but allows for a wide range of vibrant play. Character Sheets literally fit on a 3x5 card and play can begin within 15 minutes of sitting down (with 4 players)!

Some unique elements I really liked is the inclusion of animal based player character races. The game has the traditional Tolkien races (Human, Fey, Dwarf) but also adds (Karhu - Bear, Salimar - Salamander, Lizardfolk - Lizard). Goblin and Treefolk races add spice as well.

The microsettings in this book, over a dozen ready to run worlds, are truly a tour de force. I have seen versions of microsettings in other TRPGs but never at this number and this quality, right in the Core Rulebook!

Of all the great microsettings though Tobie Abad's "Legacy: The War of the Widows" is exceptional. It stands as a guide on how microsettings should be built - detailed, but flexible, compelling and inviting and fueled by mix of wonder and peril.

An exceptional TRPG!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
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For Coin & Blood
by Jose F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2018 11:14:14

My greatest loves in fantasy literature are tales of human-centric grimdark anti-heroes, such as written by Glenn Cook, Karl Edward Wagner, Joe Abercrombie, and Mark Lawrence. This lite rules set is great for telling such tales. If you like the old-school flair of Swords & Wizardry, you need to check this out - it even has THAC0 charts, and better yet - they are optional! And GKG once again hits the nail on the head with artwork; the art style is spot on. High contrast images that lack all semblance of subtlety, it is in-your-face grimdark imagery that fits the bill in spectacular fashion. The book is easy to read, a big plus for us elderly types, and the format of the pdf is perfect for use with devices, I can read a page without pinching or scrolling. The physical book is the ideal size for keeping in a backpack or purse. Enjoy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
For Coin & Blood
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Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by Jose F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2018 10:52:21

This little book is slicker than snot. The rules are lite, using 1-3d6, allowing you to focus on story rather than math. That does not mean it is bland, there are really fun options for characters that weren't in 1e, like new races, prestige traits and disciplines. There are also great tolls for the gm. There is a bestiary section that is very nice, and some very cool settings for the gm to work with. And the art. Oh my gosh, the art is perfect. I recommend the game, but if you're like me, the art alone is worth the price of admission (I even got a copy of the cover framed I liked it so much). Clean, simple, playful, pointy and slimy - it's perfect. I have the hard copy as well, and I dig it. It's a good size, about 9"x6", great for keeping in a backpack or a purse, and is very easy to read (if you're an old grognard like me, that means a lot.) Speaking of easy to read, the pdf is formatted for easy reading on devices. Enjoy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
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A Single Moment
by JD H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2018 15:34:36

Deal of the Day turned out to be the bargain of a lifetime. A game so far ahead of its time, it's fantastic. Role Playing games are supposed to be cinematic in nature, so the idea of starting the game at the most exiting moment in the story, and then explaining how it came down to this moment, is pure genius. Plus, you get a game that plays in a single evening, needing only two players. Now it the time to draw steel, and define your legacy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Single Moment
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Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by Alex D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2018 16:38:18

I bought this while it was the Deal of the Day, and I must say, it looks like a fun little robust system. Not sure when I'd get an opportunity to run it, though, and I'd definitely like to see a sheet for it on Roll20.

As someone who's fond of the OGL, I was a little disappointed by the lack of a third-party licence, at least one I could spot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
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Aliens & Asteroids
by Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2018 17:48:51

Aliens & Asteroids is a great, not over-large game focusing on combat-mission SF similar to movies such as ALIENS or STARSHIP TROOPERS. The game-system is named Inverse20, where you roll a d20 to get a number equal to or less than a Target Number (TN). Rolling a 1 (or the exact Target Number) is a Critical Success, rolling a 20 is a Critical Fail. Actions are sometimes taken with an Advantage, in which case you roll 2 d20s and take the most advantageous roll, or at a Disadvantage (roll 2 d20s and take the least advantageous roll). There can be only one Advantage or Disadvantage situation and, if you are somehow receiving both, they cancel out. This kind of scheme is familiar to players of D&D 5th-ed.

Characters are defined as belonging to the Dominion Space Forces. They have 7 basic physical and mental Attributes, determined by rolling 2d3 and adding 8. There are a few Secondary Attributes which are derived from the first ones. Characters also accumulate certain Traits, based on their planet of origin or career path. There are military soldier-type characters but also specialists in other careers who are essential to pulling off a successful mission. Soldiers get to go hog-wild with an assault-rifle, others get a handgun, but all may add special gear. Traits and gear may add to an Attribute-based roll or confer an Advantage. Not having the right gear, not having the right skill Trait, or situational problems might confer a Disadvantage to the roll. Damage is always figured in d3 or d6 rolls with modifiers, and some weapons have special effects. Armor resists damage, but if the Armor Resistance rating is overcome, Armor Points absorb the excess damage until the armor is worn away.

The Dominion setting and alien races are covered, and your characters are encouraged to read massive tomes on the Dominion's history and political structure, as they ride through a B.A.N.C.E. Gate to jump to the adventure. Okay, okay! Maybe all they care about is to be pointed to the right opposition and to fight it! Technology, drones (assorted robots), weapons and gear are covered, there is a chapter on Refereeing and guidelines to set up and run a set of missions, finishing missions, and levelling up. A few alien and creature stats are given with guidelines and tables on designing your own. There is finally a sample-adventure, "Graduation Day", where the graduation of a squad of fresh recruits graduating on Luna is interrupted, and they are asked to investigate strange goings-on nearby.

This is an effective, digest-sized 111-page book which does what it sets out to do. I managed to join an introductory teleconferenced game run by the main author, reconning a dead asteroid-base that stopped broadcasting, and our characters had a nervous exploration and restoration of the floors to find out the cause. Diverse character types meshed well, each playing their part. You get a lot of SF mileage from what the players put in, all the great stuff like gear and squad-banter from movies and TV shows.

So what are you waiting for? Crack open the airlock, drop the ramp, and let's have a Bug Hunt!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aliens & Asteroids
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Atomic Highway - Post Apocalyptic Roleplaying
by Jonah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2018 15:22:56

Probably the best post apocalyptic RPG system ive found so far. The world it sets up is reminiscent of things like Mad Max and A Boy And His Dog however the system and provided game assets it uses is extremely flexible and good for creating your own settings and stories. It doesnt try too hard to be dark or edgy like some other post apocalyptic RPGs and lets you make your game as light hearted or gritty as you like. It only uses d6s so make sure you have plenty of them before starting the game. Well made and definitely worth checking out in my opinion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Atomic Highway - Post Apocalyptic Roleplaying
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Aliens & Asteroids Quickstart
by Philippe D. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2018 12:43:39

Seven Stats are rolled on 2D3+8. Then you have a class that gives you a skill and a homeworld that gives you a +1 to a stat.

Tests are made on 1 or 2D20 vs stat with the classical advantage/disadvantage process of using 2 dice and keeping best or worst. So the grid of difficulty is a mere 3 pints setting. Why using D20 for such a simple procedure? A single couple of D6 would have been plenty.

Also I think the document is incredibly bland, no editing, no pics, no setting info, no whatever. Frankly: no more than 3 stars.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Aliens & Asteroids Quickstart
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On Moonlit Wings
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2018 16:36:53

The full review and initial playthrough can be found at: http://gamingwhiledriving.blogspot.com/2018/01/on-moonlit-wings-valtyr-1.html?m=1

On Moonlit Wings is an alternative take on M20 Adamantine Edition, which is a Microlite version of 5E. It’s twice the size of the original; a whole 36 pages with OGL included. What sets this apart from other versions is the inclusion of Hope, Despair and Madness, a Dread Track and using a Candle. It appears there’s a Candlelight RPG in the works. Briefly, Hope takes the place of Inspiration. The Dread Track is a tool that, when full, gives characters Despair, and monsters get more powerful the further along the track progresses. Despair and Madness has mechanical uses, but if Madness overtakes a character’s mental faculties, the character is retired. The Candle is another tool that signals if a character’s actions are resolved as normal or if they’re rolling at Disadvantage. Some actions will relight the candle; other actions will extinguish it. Character creation includes a fourth ability score (Might, Agility, Intellect and Personality instead of Strength, Dexterity and Mind) and uses an ability array instead of rolling. You decide on your character’s Heritage (Race in other titles), choose a Class (the four core with six advanced classes), then choose a Background. Resolution is similar to what you would find in M20; the same goes for magic. If you’ve played any of the Microlite titles before, you’ll be familiar with it. On Moonlit Wings defaults to using a magic point pool with optional rules for Blood Magic and Ritual Magic. The one thing I don’t like, and this is true with M20 Adamantine Edition, are the armor costs. Getting a +2 bonus to armor, if read as written, costs 100 gold. That seems incredibly expensive, but I suppose it also depends on how you want to run the game. All in all, On Moonlit Wings, is worth the $5 cost of entry. I’ve enjoyed most of Gallant Knight Games’ micro-RPGs, the Tinyd6 series, and For Coin and Blood. I expect I’ll be reviewing those soon after this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
On Moonlit Wings
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Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by Thomas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2018 06:43:41

Fantastic little game for one offs or short campaigns. Character creation is fast but allows enough customisation to satisfy those looking for a little more depth, the system is incredibly simple and fast to play with and requires only a small amount of knowledge. I personally love Tiny Dungeons 2E and so did the players who ran the game with me, very excited for my kickstarter rewards to come through in full.

If you're looking for something quick to pick up and play, or even to gm as a firt dip into the world of tabletop gaming, check it out. The game even has microsettngs to help gm's into creating a setting. Highly recommended :D



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
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Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by Thomas G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2018 11:07:01

Easy to read and easy to learn. The only downside I have is I think sub headings in the rules would make it easier to reference also a cheat sheet at the back of the book could be handy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by Ruben F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2018 22:27:02

Great read and great game. The game is simple and easy to understand but also hasTiny complexity as well. Perfect for anyone that wants to start playing role-playing games but doesn't want to take 3 months to learn the rules beforehand. The fact that you don't have stats but instead use traits to make a character gives infant possibilities to customize a character that truly fits you. And the simple game mechanic has the players really have to role play out alot of the action which I really enjoy. All in all a good buy for players old and new



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition
by Jason H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2018 11:52:24

(I am not sure if the Original of this Posted properly so I am sending it again, I will delete the Duplicate if possible)

Many years ago I decided I was done with Dungeons and Dragons not because I fell out of love with the Game. More because I fell out of love with the bloated Rules Set/Monetization of the Business it had been turned in to rather than the Hobby I loved. Zip ahead a few years and I started to learn about the 'revival' of Minimalist Roleplaying and I was thrilled to learn that many others felt the same way I did. I wanted to return to the Game where I had only a few books and a vivid imagination. Tiny Dungeons 2e is that Game and more for me. A single Book, not even the 'usual' RPG Supplement size, easily tossed in to any bag and requiring nothing more than a handful of d6. Gone are the pages of Tables and endless lists of weapons whose only variation is a single point of a Stat.

"Rules Light" is an understatement, and opens up the Game as a hybrid between Board Games and Traditional RPGs that you could easily have up and running across a table of friends in as much time as it would take you to set up a Monopoly Board. Tiny Dungeon 2e gives you back the vastness of your own imagination and won't have you flipping through page after page of obscure 'features' to see what each one does.

As a quick example: I often entertain a couple of friends every other week and we usually throw down with Cards Against Humanity as they are not RPG Folk, just for the giggles I whipped up a few maps and tossed some D6 their way and told them they were going to play a cooperative game where the Goal was to escape alive. They took it like a fish to water and before you know it the evening flew by, I had them running about like crazy people. I let them determine their own Characters by their actions and slipped the mechanics of their choices in as Special Abilities. By the time either of them thought to ask what exactly they were playing the night was almost over and I showed them the book. It took us maybe 25 minutes to set up.

Tiny Dungeon 2e runs $22.33 Canadian right now. My Wife and our friends played for about 4 hours. That's $5ish per person for an evening of Original, genuine fun. As far as price point goes this game is beyond worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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