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Bring Him Back Alive!
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2017 08:30:28

Typical, isn't it? The party has just had a really good dinner in a peaceful inn when someone staggers in needing their help and right now. The Player Background sets the scene, with a comfortable 'gastropub' inn in an unnamed settlement (so it's easy to slot it in to an appropriate place in your campaign world) and a badly-beaten fellow pleading for the party to rescue his son from whoever's got him.

The DM Background explains what led up to this situation, and then its straight in to the adventure as the party gets an opportunity to begin their investigations (assuming they accept the challenge... if they don't, find some new adventurers!). This should take them out of towm to some ruins beside the road where there's plenty of unfriendly wildlife to deal with before they even get near the villains of the piece. There's a basic plan of their lair under the ruins, descriptions of what is to be found and an interesting opportunity to talk the situation through rather than resolve it with combat.

Oddly, it's not until the end that we find out that there's a dangerous untamed wilderness between the inn and the ruins, and are provided with an encounter table - this really ought to have been provided earlier in the adventure. It pays to read through the entire thing before you play it! A new monster and a quite intriguing new magic item complete this offering.

This makes for a nice adventure which is both financially and emotionally rewarding for the party. The alternative ways of dealing with the situation give the players different options. There isn't much in the way of follow-up adventures, although the grateful father could be a useful patron in the future. You might want to reuse the inn as well, especially if the party is into good food! A nice little interlude.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bring Him Back Alive!
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Kurishan's Garden
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/16/2017 12:36:19

A city is having supply problems, and asks the party to find out why deliveries from the village of Darbin have failed to arrive for a couple of months - Darbin hitherto having been the city's main source of produce. The citizens are getting hungry and the price of food is soaring. With the Player Introduction on the back cover of the adventure, a more detailed DM Introduction explains what the problem is... but it will be up to the party to discover a way to deal with it.

The adventure text begins with the characters arriving in the village of Darbin. This makes it easy for you to drop the adventure in to an existing campaign, using a suitable city and either building up to the adventure with the growing dearth of food in the city, or just reading the Player Introduction to them if you are eager to get on with the scenario. There's plenty of potential to turn this into a horror story, as the villagers do not seem to be... quite themselves. There is a map of the village, with associated notes on what is to be found there, and one of Kurishan's Garden itself... Kurishan being a botanically-inclined wizard who retired to the village.

This adventure focusses on rather creepy investigation and combat - most everyone the party meets will engage in combat at first sight, although there may be some opportunities to interact in other ways. A new plant monster and a variant magic item are introduced during the course of the adventure, and are written up in full at the end. The adventure will end when the party kills off the main antagonist (or dies trying), there are no notes for follow-up adventures although to be fair apart from helping the villagers rebuild I cannot think of anything much! It's quite unusual and played right could be quite spooky, an interesting evening's entertainment to drop in to your campaign at an appropriate moment.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kurishan's Garden
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The Crypt of St Bethesda
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/15/2017 13:15:29

This is an adventure to drop on your party when they think they are safe relaxing and drinking the profits of their latest exploits in a city somewhere in your campaign world (it needs only be large enough to have reasonably powerful law enforcement!). The Player Introduction, printed on the cover of the module, sets the scene: after a good evening carousing, the party is making their way home taking a short cut through or near a cemetary. Probably a bit tipsy they fall over a corpse... just as a patrol comes upon them and promptly accuses them of murder!

The DM Introduction continues setting the scene and explains what is really going on. There is also advice on what to do if the party does not immediately leap into action to investigate with the hope of clearing their names. Basically whatever they do, their only options are to get killed on the spot, to rot in gaol until executed or to investigate a slime trail from the body leading somewhere in the bowels of a nearby abandoned cathedral. Assuming that they are true adventurers and choose the latter option, the adventure text begins as they enter the cathedral cellars.

Put it this way, worshippers may have abandoned the cathedral but there is plenty of wildlife down here, and most of it is hostile. A nice clear plan is provided along with concise notes about what is down there, including read-aloud text and appropriate monster stat blocks. Most of the encounters will result in combat, but there are a few limited opportunities to talk rather than fight. A new monster and a new magic item are presented during the adventure, and have complete write-ups at the end should you wish to use them elsewhere.

The scenario ends with a few suggestions for further adventure which could prove interesting, but as it is this should provide an entertaining session just when the party thought that they were not going to be doing any adventuring... rather neat, really!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Crypt of St Bethesda
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Out of Body, Out of Mind
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/13/2017 08:24:26

Cunningly, the background information is divided into two parts - the knowledge characters would have is printed on the back of the booklet, and there's more 'DM only' information inside. Indeed it's suggested that you read the text on the back to the players before you start the game! It all concerns a now-peaceful realm with a turbulent history full of warlords and battling mages, the pacification being the work of a member of the nobility who turned on everyone else, beat them into submission then imposed peace on the land some 600 years ago. It was thought that his impressive exploits were due at least in part to his magic items, which were buried with him... only it seems that someone or something is now attempting to retrieve them, no mean feat as the tomb is placed over a lava pit! Oh, and is guarded by an order of paladins for good measure.

The DM Background explains what was really going on and the lengths the paladins have taken to secure the site. It's not quite clear who is trying to break in, though. Anyway, the party is asked by the current ruler of the realm to go investigate and deal with anyone trying to steal the items. Getting to the location is left up to you, the scenario starts with the party faced with their first task: getting in to a tomb that is suspended over a lava pit by massive chains. Unless they can fly, they'll have to climb across. From then on in, it's a prowl through an extremely well-trapped tomb with the potential of unleashing a dreadful evil upon the world... although there is a friendly ghost to help. Apart from him, everything else they encounter is only interested in combat.

There is a new magic item (quite tasty) and a new and quite nasty monster which is at the heart of the problem. The map is clear, and all the traps are explained clearly however the ways to survive or even disarm them depend mostly on die-rolling rather than figuring them out. This is an adventure you could drop into any remote part of your world that has a suitable volcano, just change any names as necessary. Some suggestions for further adventures are included, or of course it could be run as a one-off if preferred. It is quite deadly given the traps and the fact that nothing there (apart from that ghost) want to do anything other than fight. The layout is good, and the traps ingenious, however, and if the party realises what is in there and manages to prevent its release to the world there's a good feeling of satisfaction to be had. Best take your bard along, the party will want - and indeed deserve - to have their exploits sung about!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Out of Body, Out of Mind
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Jerimond's Orb
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/11/2017 07:49:09

This is a neat little scenario to drop in and use as a side adventure for a beginning party seeking to grow a reputation of being good fellows to go to when you have problems. A once-prosperous village is having difficulties, and it's up to them to find out what's amiss and sort it.

There's very little background for the DM, indeed there isn't really any for the party either - first they know about it all is getting attacked by a hitherto-unknown monster (a new one, introduced in this adventure). It apparently comes on them whilst they are camping at night, this is not clearly explained. From then on, they need to go to a nearby village where they will need to interact with the locals to find out what is going on. Apart from the initial monster attack (and a potentially-puzzling aftermath), the first part of the adventure is pure role-play although there are plenty of opportunities for combat later on... even if all with the same monster! (As in, several of them appearing rather than just one specimen.)

The village is well-described and set up in such a way that it's easy both to locate it wherever you want in your campaign world and expand and reuse it later on. There are various locations to visit and it is clearly laid out which clues to the mystery can be found where. There's also a nearby tower, which used to belong to one Jerimond, a mage who befriended the village during his later years before he died, which they can visit. There are no plans for either village or tower, however, and you will likely feel the need to sketch something out. As well as a new monster, the pivotal magic item (Jerimond's orb, of course) is described at the end.

With a nice balance of investigation and combat this should provide an enjoyable evening's play, although this is not quite a pick-up-and-run scenario: you will find that studying who knows/thinks/is doing what will repay the effort and as mentioned above you may wish to draw or find suitable plans for the village and tower. The scope for making it fit into both your world and your ongoing campaign is excellent though. There's also potential to run it as a quite scary adventure with unknown monsters plauging terrified villagers...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Jerimond's Orb
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Against the Barrow King
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2017 07:14:05

This neat adventure is just the sort of thing for a party of low-level adventurers to enjoy as they build their reputations as people to turn to in times of trouble. The people of a remote settlement called Glenn Hollow fear they have upset the 'Barrow King', a supernatural being they believe lives in ancient burial mounds not too far from the settlement - and they hail a bunch of adventurers as a welcome source of aid.

The work opens with a DM Background which lays out what is actually going on and a brief Adventure Summary which boils down to 'Go and fix the problem'. Notes for finding a suitable location for Glenn Hollow in your own campaign world are provided, and then it's on with the adventure itself.

It's assumed that the party is on the road one autumnal evening when they arrive at Glenn Hollow. Just why they are in that area is left to you to determine. The village elder lays out the problem and asks for help, and it's off to find the burial mounds next morning. There's very little description of Glenn Hollow, so if the party wants to hang around and talk to folk you will need to invent something. The area of the burial mounds isn't mapped either, although there is a good map of the Barrow King's tomb and what lies beyond... the associated descriptions are clear, and brief details of the denizens and how they'll fight are provided. Everyone that the party encounters wants to fight to the death, there is no scope for any kind of interactive save a dialogue of steel and spell.

There is a new creature, a construct called a chirurgeon, and a new magic item - a greataxe called Fiend infused with chaos - introduced here, and there's a little bit of mundane treasure to be found if the party has time to go rummaging, but the real reward is the virtuous glow of having got rid of something quite evil, and of having rescued some villagers too. A few notes are provided on directions further adventures might take.

Overall this is a simple but neat 'delve' adventure which shouldn't take more than a single session, best used as a sidetrek in your campaign or a standalone adventure when the group is in the mood for some hack and slay adventuring.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Barrow King
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The Illusionist's Daughter
by Raymond H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 13:11:38

A fun simple to run module that leaves a lot of room for roleplay. The location is well fleshed out with enough details to draw from on the fly but not so much as to make it hard to customize. Not a combat heavy module in any way but with good challenge at the end.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Illusionist's Daughter
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Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2016 06:23:48

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY !

I am 100% very unhappy. This is a terrible scanned copy of the paper book. There is artifacts on every page, the text is blurred and it is not OCR. This low quality is not what I expect from DriveThru RPG.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
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Brave New World
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2016 18:35:45

Because of its recent inclusion in a Bundle of Holding, it seems an apropos time to talk about Brave New World, perhaps the first RPG ever to be unfairly scuttled by the Internet.

BNW eschewed the "everything and the kitchen sink" approach of prior superhero RPGs, most of which were aping the bizarre, unplanned conglomerations called the Marvel and DC universes. Just thinking through how the Marvel and DC universes happened (mergers! soft reboots! hard reboots! office coups! lawsuits!) should have been a huge warning sign to RPGs that maybe this was not the needle we wanted to try to thread. But okay, we wanted to know whether Superman or the Hulk was the strongest, and hadn't noticed that the answer to that question depended on the dramatic needs of the comic book creators instead of a beep boop computer analysis of how many pascals are exerted by a Hulk punch. The result was Champions and its successors, which I regard with the kind of reverence reserved only for the accomplishments of mad geniuses.

But even the independent superhero RPGs, for the most part, didn't pursue an independent setting capable of standing on their own two feet. Instead, they leaned on existing comics and tried to pursue their aesthetics instead of their own. The exceptions started to hit at the end of the late 90s. In 1999 we got two big ones: Aberrant, White Wolf's deconstruction of superheroes, starring superpowered wrestlers, religious figures, and superspies, all with lovingly detailed haircuts and sunglasses, and Brave New World. I'll defend White Wolf stuff all day and all night but in this matchup, Brave New World wins walking away.

The premise of Brave New World, as implied by its literary-reference name, is that America (and much of the rest of the world) exists in an alternate 1999 as a totalitarian police state. A great deal of effort is put into grounding this in reality; how do people live in such circumstances? How do they accommodate themselves mentally to it? How do people come to support a police state in large or small ways? And how do they resist, in large or small ways? The need for the police state, naturally, is the emergence of superpowered beings, extremely powerful in the WW2 generation, and somewhat less so by 1999. Some of these beings are more or less leashed thugs working for the government; others are rebels trying to expose the truth and tear it down. Propaganda urges non-powered people to hate and fear powered people, and they do. The X-Men rarely gave us this kind of detail even when they remembered that humans hated mutants (which they often forgot).

There were two elements of the game that the Internet (at the time, primarily Usenet), responded to negatively. Bizarrely, they identified two of the best elements of the game as deal-breaking flaws.

First, in Brave New World, you can't just be any sort of superhero you want. Character - both player characters and non-player characters - powers fit into established categories. The super-strong person, the super-fast person, the psychic, and so on. This has numerous advantages: it makes character creation faster and easier, it makes tactical decisionmaking in fights faster and more reliable ("that guy's super strong, therefore I don't have to worry that he's going to take over my mind") and it encourages players to come up with new cool ways to use an established power versus ceding the field to someone who happened to toss a few points into the right ability, or feeling that because they didn't, they can't. The fact that the system smoothly utilizes power stunts within the options for using these limited powers multiplies this advantage - you can see how to make a power stunt and what they should be like.

The Internet absolutely freaked about this. After so many years of being told "you can do whateeeeever you waaaaant" without noticing that this produced a ton of shitty, boring character building before you got good at it, and impeded quickly getting into play, the idea that you couldn't be Dr. Strange with Weirdly Undefined Abilities was just beyond their comprehension. "Incomplete" was a word thrown around. Ugh.

The second thing that BNW did well that the Internet freaked about was not say anything about the "origins" of the superpowers that spread across the world. There was some implication they would be handled in later supplements. but of course by 1999 we had all forgotten what the word "supplement" meant and assumed that if something was bad in a supplement that it would be bad in all games around the world forever. In practice, BNW's decision to withhold this information worked because everyone assumed the evil government had it in a computer somewhere, or that they were undertaking evil experiments to GET it in a computer that had to be stopped. It became actionable primarily in response to villainous undertakings, which of course, is what superheroism actually is.

It seems like when we talk about our RPGs, we often measure them by what we already think a RPG should be, instead of what the RPG actually is. We take our prior experience as the center of RPG play and regard games that don't support that experience as deviations from the norm. Perhaps the better way to handle ourselves is to try to take each RPG from zero. Brave New World can't "do" the X-Men - christ, about 73 percent of the time, Marvel Comics can't. But that's not what Brave New World is. It's not a comic book, nor a simulator of a comic book world - it's a superhero RPG, and a damn good one.

All in all, Brave New World was a tremendous experience. The high stakes of being a superpowered rebel and trying to keep your identity secret created a heightened environment for throwing a car at a guy shooting lasers. It is one of my all time favorite superhero RPGs and I'm psyched that the Bundle of Holding might bring it to a new audience. I definitely encourage picking it up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brave New World
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Adventure I
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2015 17:05:41

Got this and the #2 for side line stuff for my game.

I run a VTT game so being able to copy in the txt is a great way of cutting prep time down.

You can copy all txt on these EXCEPT the blocks on what the PC's See. The main ones you need to be able to copy.

So if your getting them for a VTT, know that you can not copy the txt you have the most need to do so.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure I
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Empire
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2015 20:55:30

Empire had some interesting ideas but in my opinion failed to deliver them adequately. The rules as-is can't create a believable, medieval world. They need some work from the DM. As an example, the population growth is so high that easily beats the modern world. You easily get 5% per year, doubling your population in 14 years. Another example is the small size of domains that also needs to be tweaked.

There are three scales: Barony, kingdom, empire, each with a different "population unit", "area unit" and "resource unit" size. That idea is innovating, it's good and it's useful. But the way the book uses this idea, the numbers that go along with the scale, the way you create and develop fiefdoms for the characters to control need work.

There is not enough versatility in "Empire" in my opinion. Whether your campaign is low magic, high magic, set in a the early medieval or renaissance, the rules are the same. There are very few random events with little imagination behind them. There is a lack of rules for your liege and your vassals. No info on what you pay them or what they pay you. There is a lack of rules for changing from one scale to another. If you want to go from barony scale to kingdom scale, you have to improvise.

For those interested in such things (I'm not personally), the art in the book isn't very good.

What is good in my opinion is the chapter on the "Empire campaign", that offers useful information. The chapter on character classes in a campaign of barons and kings also has some interesting rules. The rules of mass combat are solid, but I have seen similar in different products.

If you don't have a book with solid mass combat rules, want a few ideas and pointers on how to run a campaign where the PCs are rulers and you can easily afford this book, then buy it. If not, then look elsewhere.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Empire
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Glory Days
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/10/2014 08:55:00

This, the last sourcebook published for Brave New World, takes the story back to the Second World War, a time when deltas fought proudly for their nation and were hailed as heroes. It provides a spring-board for running adventures in such exciting times.

Starting, as usual, with an extensive in-character section, there's a change here... presentation is in the style of a news magazine as of course there was no World Wide Web to provide the webpage format of earlier volumes. It's written - as is the entire game - from an American standpoint, and describes the development of the Delta Squadron into which the reader is assumed to have enlisted (or been drafted), being set in 1942 after America has entered the war.

At this time the Delta Squadron is active in three places - the UK, North Africa and the Pacific. There's plenty of material about who is where and what is going on, and - apart from the presence of deltas - it all sticks pretty closely to the real-world version of WW2. They also have a spectacular main base, a flying aircraft carrier.

While the mores of the time meant that female deltas were restricted in the roles they could occupy in Delta Squadron (although they were at least allowed to enlist in it), others preferred to take on other roles such as the Ladies of Liberty - a group of female deltas who maintained law and order on the home front whilst others who'd been vigilantes were away at war. They seem adept at catching spies, too.

Amongst the discourse on what is going on home and abroad, the astute Guide can spot plenty of potential adventures to weave into a campaign wherever it is based. Naturally, the Axis forces have also cottoned on to the concept of recruiting deltas to their cause and so there is some information here about them and what they have been doing. Likewise, the Allies have their own delta organisations - people that the party may wish to work alongside or (especially if your players are not Americans) they may prefer to join.

The out-of-character section begins by detailing how to create deltas suitable for military service, including ten new power packages designed with warfare in mind - although they could equally well be used by contemporary deltas. Each comes with a ready-to-use archetype, who can be played as is or used as inspiration for your own character with that particular power package. Availability and cost of equipment and the military life are covered here as well.

Next comes a chapter on gadgets. There's an almost steam-punk element here, melding 1940s technology with fantastical ideas. The gadgets described range from aerial carriers to communications gear, jetbikes and the 'tank suit' (think mecha), all with a focus on warfare, of course.

Then Chapter 3 looks at new combat rules, designed to accommodate all-out war rather than the one-on-one or small group brawls previously covered in the rules. Vehicle combat (taking the term 'vehicle' loosely - anything from tanks to planes to submarines is included), chases, anti-aircraft fire, torpedoes, and a range of new weapons familiar to the battlefield but less common amongst superheroes are to be found here.

Then the Guide's Handbook section starts with a lot of advice on running a Glory Days campaign. It's quite different from the standard Brave New World one although there are plenty of similarities too. There's scope for a wide range of adventure types and plenty of information to help you make the most of them. There is also some good advice on taking your game forwards from 1942, which bits of real-world history to include, and how to weave in the superpowered elements to form a coherent whole. There are a lot of profiles of regular and superpowered individuals from both sides, and a complete adventure to get you started. It's set in North Africa and would work well as a one-off adventure if you are unsure of whether or not you want to play a full-blown World War Two campaign, or of course it could be used as an exciting start to one...

The Author's Afterword concentrates on two points, his admitted lack of specialist knowledge about WW2 and the need to understand how awful war really is, however much fun it can be to game. This latter point is one your own group needs to be clear on, should you decide to run Glory Days - and some groups may find it a subject not to their liking.

Overall, this is a skillful and exciting blend of fact and fantasy which, provided you don't mind meddling with history and don't think it belittles the true sacrifices made by those who have fought in real wars, should make for a memorable campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glory Days
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Covenant
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/06/2014 08:49:48

Continuing the detailed analysis of the different factions present in the Brave New World setting, this book looks at The Covenant, the organisation set up by the Catholic Church in response to the delta issue.

As usual the first half of the book is devoted to detailed in-character information delivered in a web-page format (well, as near as you can on paper, anyway!), narrated by a priest who is also a delta. He starts off by introducing himself and tells of how he became first priest and then a delta. He then proceeds to the history of the Covenant and explores the ways in which people become members thereof, before talking about their sacred mission and discussing the structure and organisation under which they work.

Viewing their delta powers as gifts from God, Covenant deltas are saints in the making. You see, to become a saint you need to work miracles and be a virtuous person. Delta powers are pretty miraculous, so all they need to work on is their virtue... and then wait to be dead, the third requirement for sainthood! Those Catholics who are not in holy orders when they become deltas are fast-tracked into being at least a monk or nun when they join the Covenant.

Oh, and we are introduced to vampires who are, you guessed it, another particularly malign form of delta. They show all the classic signs of vampirism, though, and can be dealt with by sunlight, holy symbols, garlic, etc.

One good thing is the way in which theological debate has been woven through the account, the writer of the webpages did say that he'd studied under Jesuit teachers and it comes over well!

The mainstream Covenant works in accord with the American government, members not being required to register and serve in the same way as other deltas - something that causes a deal of resentment amongst deltas of other faiths. There's been a schism, too, within the ranks with some siding (openly or otherwise) with Defiance or at least going their own way... and yet the Covenant itself is covertly in favour of Defiance, or at least opposed to the martial rule and other measures promulgated by President Kennedy... and in time, fell out with the Kennedy administration and became outlawed, their privileges revoked.

The player section looks at what's needed to build a Covenant character. There's an array of special weapons that they can use, and a whistlestop tour of Catholic belief for players who don't know anything about it. There are two orders connected with the Covenant, with different approaches (and styles of dress). And then we come to the power package, which is basically the same for everyone who becomes a Covenant delta and are based around faith and traditions. This section ends with several archetypes.

The Guide's Handbook section, as always, gives the lowdown on what's really happening in the Covenant, and also includes a full adventure called 'For Goodness Sake' as well as some opposition such as the stats for vampires.

The Author's Afterword lets the cat out of the bag: he himself was raised Catholic. This leads to an interesting discussion of the relationship between religion and role-playing. (And here I too confess: I am both Christian and a role-player... not Catholic, though, I'm a Mormon.)

This is an excellent book with plenty of material to spawn ideas for your game. Indeed, when the local group first started playing Brave New World, my character was a 'tent evanglist' whose delta powers involved healing... and he too was convinced that they came from God!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Covenant
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Evil Unlimited
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/05/2014 08:24:32

Evil Unlimited? These unabashed villains are an association of deltas who have chosen to put their powers to use for personal gain... and never mind anyone else. A bunch of criminals in other words, although they claim to be mere service providers, facilitators. Now, that's the sort of 'opposition' that you'd normally expect in a superhero game, but as you'll already have seen in Brave New World things are a little bit different. As a delta you either cooperate with an oppressive government or go 'rogue' in some way, as a dissident with Defiance or as an out-and-out villain... or just keep your head down and pretend you're normal, but there's not much of a game in that!

Presented in the standard format of a wealth of in-character material presented as a series of web pages, this time we have landed on the website of Evil Unlimited. They seem to be a sort of organised crime organisation, with a hierarchy and even the concept of earning a paycheque for your villany... Their stated mission is to perform extralegal services at a premium price. They even claim that they won't do assassinations. Hmmm.

These pages, aimed at new recruits into Evil Unlimited, cover the history and philosophy of the organisation, the sort of jobs they take on (including examples of recent or current ones) and some of the major players in the group. Fascinating stuff. Many, if not most, of their agents are freelancers, with only a few of the most trusted becoming full-time employees. You may decide to have the characters pick up the occasional job to make ends meet, or to encounter them on one side or another in whatever incident they're engaged in. There's plenty of scope. Even if you've gone the Delta Prime route, Evil Unlimited ranks high on the Primers' most wanted lists.

The out-of-character material presents some new power packages particularly suited to a life on the wrong side of the law, complete with archetype examples for each one. One of them is a werewolf, the others include forgers, smugglers and even a poisoner package.

The Guide's Handbook section reveals what is really going on within Evil Unlimited, as well as providing a wealth of advice about how to sucker the characters into working for them. There are a few bad guys to meet as well.

Next comes an adventure involving Evil Unlimited all ready to be run. "Evil Is As Evil Does" can be used to introduce characters to the organisation or to embroil them more deeply with it, as suits, and ostensibly involves rescuing a newly-found delta from a transport taking him to New Alcatraz. Naturally, there's a little bit more to it than that...

Finally, the Author's Afterword chats about what inspired the Evil Unlimited concept and how to use it to advantage in your game, as well as a few meanderings about what other projects he's engaged in.

Overall, a fun work with ample potential to put a distinctive spin on your game.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Evil Unlimited
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Crescent City
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/03/2014 08:17:53

Crescent City, built on the ruins of what we know as Chicago, is the default 'home town' of the Brave New World game setting, and this book sets out to inform characters about the place in which they live through the by-now familiar format of an extensive series of in-character web pages.

If you want to base your game in Crescent City, or at least have the characters visit there, this is a useful resource... even if the authors of the webpages have the exact breezy, chatty tone as the writers of all the other webpages in other books in the series. Must be a style taught in the leading web writing schools across the Brave New World, I guess! Never mind, let's see what they have to say.

It's a lot more than a street map or a gazetteer. In fact there are only a few wide-area maps tucked away in the back of the book, unless you count a plan of New Alcatraz. There's history, starting with the battle that destroyed Chicago (and what brought that about, a quite tragic tale of revenge) and how the city that's there now grew out of the very ashes, built by a single corporation and governed by an appointed mayor (as you might expect given the permanent state of martial rule that exists in America). There's plenty about the deltas who live there now - legally and otherwise - from the Delta Prime HQ to a hotbed of Defiance supporters and even the gaol of New Alcatraz in the middle of the lake that has been specially built to hold criminal deltas.

Next comes an area by area description of the city, with a wealth of background to make it come to life... and, if you're the Guide, to spawn plot ideas just about whatever manner of game you intend to run. Lots of people who might interact with the party, hire them or oppose them, places to visit and so on. Some maps would have been nice, but if you need them and have the time, the descriptions are enough to come up with at least a rough sketch of the lay of the land.

Then comes the player material, with a selection of new power packages. These are all linked in some way to living in Crescent City (although most if not all could be used elsewhere). Each comes with an archetype to use as-is or provide inspiration for your own character taking that power package.

The Guide section, after remarking that the Guide is welcome, indeed encouraged, to stamp their own mark on Crescent City, then as usual lifts the lid on what has gone before and tells it like it is. There are quite a few Crescent City based adversaries to throw at the characters too.

This is followed by 'The Teleterrorists' which is an adventure set in Crescent City ready for you to run. It's designed as an introduction to the City as well, so would suit a party arriving from elsewhere or as the start of a new game. As a result, there's plenty going on and it gives the characters a good chance to get embedded into the place quickly... with the climax occurring at a game of deltaball (American Football for the superpowered).

Finally, the Author's Afterword contains snippets of personal information and explains that since the move to AEG he's not writing every word himself but getting contributions, particularly in the shape of well-defined profiles and stat blocks for NPCs (which he doesn't like writing much!).

Overall a very useful tome if you intend your game to visit or be set in Crescent City, as well as the first actual scenario to play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crescent City
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