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Aether Sea • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by D. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/12/2016 01:00:23

4/5 Stars. Because I don't really understand how to apply approaches in FAE. I feel really comfortable with Fate Core skills. FAE almost seems "handwavium" at times in its approach to approaches (oh yeah I went there). I know folks have made all sorts of comments about "This should have been called FAE." "Or it really doesn't matter Fate Core and FAE are the same thing." I don't know about that. Personally I cannot get the hang of FAE. Approaches seem to be open to entirely too much abuse especially by players with the gift of gab.

Be that as it may, truthfully this is a delightful setting. First and foremost, this is a Fate Worlds of Adventure setting that means it is spare in detail. Typically Worlds of Adventure Settings are only about 50 to 60 pages. You can cram a lot into that many pages and Evil Hat and its contributors typically do so. But that still means there is only 50 to 60 pages and only so much setting material is going to make it in there. Especially if there are new rules or new ways to use old rules. Another thing typical of World's of Adventure Settings are they are professionally done. Production values are through the roof. Great art. Great editing. Each Book follows an almost identical format. Each is crisp, clean, and with enough detail to get you started.

Which brings up point number two; this is to get you started and your creative juices flowing. This is not that stack of Warcheese 20K books, or B&B 10th Ed, that require a stack of books as tall as I am. (I am about as tall as a half-welf from B&B). Worlds are yours to do with as you please.

In this setting you are presented with a Firefly meets Spelljammer type setting. You have a ship that is magic enough to fly through space and reach its destination barring any GM spawned distractions. Problem is that magic is expensive to maintain and you are on the fringes of the core worlds, maybe because your Ship's captain and a large percentage of the crew were on the losing side of a war with the Royal Hegemony or your mage has a problem with the Spell Casters Union. You gotta do what it takes to keep the ship flying (sailing?).

There are rules for spell casting. Not like B&B. More like "My Goblin Mage has the aspect, 'Fire, Fire, Fire' and the stunt 'Focused Flame Evoker' so I think I will set the pirates on fire." Then you roll your appropriate action/approach combination as per the FAE rules. There are rules for dabblers, focused users, raw magic users, or prepared spell users. I will not waste a bunch of time explaining all this.

There are rules for making a ship! This ship's aspects will be based on the aspects of the crew (meaning player characters). Very cool. Very straight forward. Your ship is pretty much like another PC.

If you want an FAE version of Firefly meets Spelljammer this is for you. If you are going to play beyond the first adventure you are going to have to flesh it out some more.

If you want a Fate Core version PWYW for "Sails full of Stars" another great Worlds of Adventure setting and combine the two. They don't match exactly but making changes and creating a new storyline can be a blast.

There is a vibrant Fate community on Google+. There are tons of good ideas percolating there for this setting. It's a great setting and it isn't going to cost you much. Having said that I am a Patreon supporter and I would really encourage you to pay something. The folks that make these settings are top notch and the monetary support they receive will go a long way toward encouraging them to make more.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aether Sea • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by D. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2016 17:33:36

First, I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars not for any production issue or for any game play issue. I am a Patreon supporter of the Worlds of Adventure for Fate Core and FAE. This setting meets or exceeds all the game play criteria of any of the Evil Hat Settings out produced to date.

There are some well thought out new additions to Fate's version of skinning the cat. If you are a Fate fan you know that the is game is all about fun and not so much about the rules. The first or Golden Rule of Fate is to describe what you are trying to do before trying to come up with the "proper" mechanics. Fate is flexible on so many levels in dealing with obstacles, problems, dice rolls etc. Skills, or aspects, or even declarations of fact (using Aspects and Fate Points) can solve problems. So when a setting introduces new mechanics (or a new way to solve a problem) it is fun to see how Fate can accomodate those new mechanics. Pilot Skill isn't really something new. It is Drive skill reskinned. Several other settings include a very similar reskinning of the Drive skill. Renown skill is new in that it kind of mashes up some effects of Rapport, Contacts, and Resources. It represents your fame and how readily you can cash in on it. This is important because your characters live in a Communist Utopia. Resources no longer represents personal wealth; you don't have any. Resources represent how readily you can acquire the use of resources from the state to achieve your missions.

Conversion rules is an interesting wild card. You run some pretty typical Fate challenge to get NPCs to join your cause (Communism). You can do this even while the death rays are splattering the hull all around you. These rules add a fun touch to the pulp action for characters who aren't necessarily combat heavy types. How much more fun can you have as a Commisar than engaging in materialist dialectic with evil Americans while your brawny New Woman takes apart uses her immense combat prowess to pulp the less enlightened American mooks.

Here is where the four star rating comes in. Ideology. If you are an older gamer who remembers the Cold war and Communist rhetoric a bit more immediately than younger gamers who only know it from history books; this setting may leave you a bit cold. Jess Nevins always does a stellar job on his settings. He even dedicated a page to the evils of real life communism. That page can not make up for a lack of real life experience of communism's heinous record. On the Fate Google+ community there have been commentators that feel this setting seems akin to playing Nazi PCs. Those individuals who lived through the Cold War are probably going to have some strong reactions to the premise of this setting.

Remember once you have it, it is yours to change. It is a pulp setting so it doesn't really invite you to look under the hood at ideology all that much; it is about square jawed heros punching weak chinned ne'er do wells. If the setting doesn't tickle your fancy change it up. Maybe the Communists in the setting are more akin to the Empire of Space Opera fame and your PCs look more like a Rogue unit trying to throw a wrench in the works. So all the setting material in the book becomes self promoting propaganda instead of the actual truth. The great thing about Fate is its ability to mimic just about anything you care to throw at it. Frankly the price is right.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Justin E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2016 15:29:45

Ghost Planets is all about exporation and provides some great mechanics to back this up. Adventures are designed around investigating the ruins of ancient civilizations and trying to solve they mysteries they left behind. You do this by surveying the environment and looking for things the civilization left behind. Here's the cool part: many of the things left behind can be Researched and depending on your success or failure, you can make Discoveries that give you advantages or new information -- or you can have a Mishap which adds complication to the adventure. Mishaps are made more interesting because the type of mishap is related to your character's role. And, of course, this is all going on in parallel to any environmental challenges the characters may be facing. Good stuff!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Jeffrey A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2016 15:01:57

Great book, nice streamlined setting, with lots of general info, allowing a lot of room for the GM to work with while still giving a solid background on which to build. The basic "templates" - based on the High Concept, gives the game an almost class-like feel, while still allowing characters to pretty much do their own thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Don't Rest Your Head
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2016 09:27:52

I read it through, and did a trial run with a friend of mine, we are both pretty new at this, so we found it really confusing. the dice mechanic was not really well explained nor how we introduce their powers. It made for a rather chaotic game play. The premise is solid, we are fiddling with our own dice mechanic and some extra rules. I think if you are new to the world of role playing this might not be for you. However my more experienced players found it ok, but have not had a chance to play. I love the idea, just having issues with how to actually play it....



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Don't Rest Your Head
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Loose Threads • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Joshua R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2016 13:11:20

I really like what they have done with the Tensions mechanic. The whole system reinforces how to make good aspects and skills and story. If you like Fate Core mechanics, you are probably going to love playing this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Loose Threads • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Loose Threads • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2016 15:41:10

Haven't play yet, but the idea is brilliant (moreover, ideas are brilliant, because the mechanics match the setting), and the 'manual' is clear and instructive.

Looking forward to playtest on my Ukrainian fairytales backgrounds



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood on the Trail • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Justin E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2016 00:16:34

I really like the idea of the players and GM working together to create their wagon train map and then asking players to add obstacles and advantages at the beginnig of the campaign (as well as each game session). I blends a great visual pacing mechanic with the opportunity for any player to influece the types of challenges they will face and stories they will tell. It sounds similar to John Wick's idea of the Dirty Dungeon (implemented in Wilderness of Mirrors), which is a great GM ninja trick I awlays keep close at hand.

This is complemented nicely by players and GM also creating the wagon train itself and then tieing its attributes to to the PCs who take on leadership rolls for different jobs on the caravan. It gives the PCs a great idea of what their characters are doing day-to-day and gives the GM a clear target for who might be affected by obstacles on the trail.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood on the Trail • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Loose Threads • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Justin E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2016 15:28:06

I haven't had a chance to play yet, but after reading through Loose Threads there are a ton of concepts and mechanics that I'm really excited about.

Throughout the playset, the idea that 'Everything has a cost' and when you take a risk, 'the risk must always matter', sets the stage well and is supported by the mechanics. This has been brought up in many great games lately, and I'm glad to see it reinforced here.

A great example of this is including an 'Agenda' and a 'Cost' for each major NPC. It gives the GM clear guidance on how the NPC might be interacted with and an interesting hook to help make them matter in the story. There are no 'roll dice/recieve information' NPCs here!

The Tension mechanic immediatly adds depth to your character as a player and clear flags for creating scenes and adventures for GMs. It also gives players queues on how their characters are evolving over time.

One type of mechanic that I would like to see more of in other setting is a hook for exploration of the environment. Loose Threads provides this by adding a Secret to be discovered in each adventure when players visit the 'In-Between'. Uncovering the Secret cold benefit the characters, or make their lives more complicated, but either way it encourages them to take a closer look at everything around them.

Another cool thing I'm excited to see in play is the idea of taking a 'Favor' instead of a boost when succeeding with style. It sounds like this will naturally flesh out the setting and NPCs based on how awesome your character is in interacting with them.

'Solutions require sacrifice' is huge! It sounds like both a great way to spotlight a character's aspects or tension as well as a guaranteed crossroads to end the adventure on.

Looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds during play!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Loose Threads • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate Core System
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2016 06:53:39

FATE seems to have inspired a loyal set of pretty fanatical fans, to which I account for by very effective marketing. For me, however, I have tried but simply cannot get traction on the game's appeal. Character's are presented in a rules-lite manner, and the core mechanic is pretty simple. However, the whole book just seems to go on and on about rules, rules discussion and then some more rules discussion. I don't really see where the massive innovation in the game is, as most of the ideas have already been done in much older games if you are prepared to look for them. It's neatly packaged, supported and comes at an appealing price - but, ultimately, I just find it a boring read and a so-so game to play in or run.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Core System
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Fate Core System
by Jan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2016 16:39:17

For me this was the very first time where I have tried a pen and paper based game. I knew some of the general rules but had no clue on how to play,what to do or how to start and end. Fate gave me a front to back explanation on how I can play a good game and gives you all the freedom you want to have if you fell like you need this . So, its great. Dont regret a thing



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Young Centurions
by Benjamin F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2016 16:29:33

Meant as an introductory RPG for younger children, Young Centurions delivers that to a T and a bit more. Characters are differentiated from mundane people due to their embodiment of an ideal of the 1900s (like in Spirit of the Century, for which this is based). It also delivers a bit of insight into the pulp genre, and with the campaign rating system (rates the campaign similar to how movies are rated), you could easily tweak it to have older characters in scenarios akin to a PG-13 or R rated campaign to fully represent the pulp genre. Furthermore, in my personal opinion, the use of the Fate Accelerated ruleset is far better suited for pulp campaigns than the Fate Core ruleset of Spirit of the Century, and running campaigns in the early 1900s (whether its the 1910s, 1920s, or 1930s) using this ruleset is rewarding, as it is to teach younger children the hobby.

All in all, it is a good RPG for all ages, even though some of the writing is geared toward younger children. Great read, great ruleset, and I will definitely be picking up a physical copy at my FLGS.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Young Centurions
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Spirit of the Season
by Myron B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2016 21:30:51

Spirit of the Season is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek supplement for the Spirit of the Century game. Don't get me wrong its well done, and more than a little fun, but turning Santa into a gadgeteering pulp hero is a bit out of the ordinary.

The booklet provides a nice selection of Christmas and Hanukkah-themed characters. Nick Saint, for example, is assisted by his Reindeer Men—each of whom is written up a playable character.

If the book has a weakness, its that most people are only going to be interested in its theme once a year. Even so its a fun addition to SotC and at a bargain price to boot!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spirit of the Season
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Fate Worlds: Worlds on Fire
by Myron B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2016 21:04:46

Worlds on Fire gives you six cool new settings to play in: Tower of the Serpents, White Picket Witches, Fight Fire, Burn Shift, Wild Blue, and Kriegszepplin Valkyrie. I'm a sucker for both pulp (Kriegszepplin Valkyrie) and post-apocalypse (Burn Shift) adventure so I was sold on this book from the get go. Wild Blue's "superheros of the Old West" setting is also lots of fun.

But I'd have to say the setting that stands out the most is Fight Fire. With it's customized skill set, it really highlights the ways you can tweak the Fate system to drill down and focus exactly on what you want your story to be about—in this case putting out fires and rescuing people.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Worlds: Worlds on Fire
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Fate System Toolkit
by Gustavo C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2016 18:22:02

I recently received this book in paper format as part of a kickstarter. This will give you an idea of how much I love the Fate Core and FAE systems. Some people may not realize it but in truth both are the same game system with the dials adjusted differently. This fact is one of a whole sets of insights you'll get as you read this toolkit.

Before starting this review, let's say that you can perfectly play Fate without this toolkit. Now, lets face it, once you'll start playing, you'll start tinkering with the system, because that's something GMs like to do, give their unique twist, find the unique flavor, provide the extra rule that will set their campaign appart from others. And that is why this book is for you. This toolkit will show you how modular the design is, how it can be tinkered with, where the dials are. And it will also expose you to a lot of thought provoking ideas, several variations one each theme and interesting possibilities everywhere.

You'll also noticed that most this ideas are not completely finished, and that's allright, because this is a toolkit, it gives you the tools to make your own reskining of the tools provided, to develop further upon them and to come up with greatness. And whe love doing that.

There's a lot packed in the 200 pages of this book, discusions on Aspects, Skills, Magic variations, a whole set of subsystems for special types of adventures and much more. You'll start reading and before long start writing and planning. It's clearly written and explained, yet if you are like me, you'll find you have to read it in small bites, as each idea fires up a lot of other ideas and makes you connect a lot of the dots, or even firing whole campaigns based on a simple possibility. It's worth reading it entirely, yet it's perfectly fine to read only the parts you think you'll need for your adventure, and it's easy to do so, as ideas are clearly grouped and labeled.

Remember also that as much as this book is great and meant for you, this is a toolkit, not The toolkit. You can get this one now and get a feel of what it can provide, so that you'll know what a toolkit does when the new Evil Hat kicstarter for bigger and meaner specific toolkits appear. This is the initial step. yes, but at the same time it's a must have book for all game tinkerers. Because while being the first step, it's a really tall one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate System Toolkit
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