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CAH:S3 -- The Complete Guide to Warriors of the Cosmos
by Bryan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2017 20:11:26

Well here is a little review for Warriors of the Cosmos book. It creates a setting/series that is playable for Cartoon Action Hour 3rd edition. It simulates a cartoon series that lasted 6 seasons along with the failed movie and failed girl focused spin off series.

Also note I do have link to the company behind book and friend to people who produce it so I mite be a bit biased in this review.

First thing off I do think this is the most interesting series book to date. it really startles the line between rpg book and feeling like a book for popular cartoon series. It does capture the feel with the interviews with production staff, the bits of history and gossip and well the treating vehicles and bases as actual toys verses describing just the places to adventure in. The one aspect I would have changed in that case would have a few more episode summaries (adventure seeds) placed in the seasons they happen. Currently they are in GM Section of the book. This makes sense from rpg point of view, but breaks a bit on simulating being a TV series.

Though a better description of the book should be given. It starts with introduction and gives "backstory" on how the series was created. It then gives a broad view of the world and then does chapter for all 6 seasons plus characters for each season. Beyond that we get description of an un-produced movie, spin off and more modern reboot series aimed at teen and adults. It then has player section with new random character creation and GM section on handle series, advice on making series Gm own and episode (adventure) seeds plus one adventure.

This produces both one of the longest CAH series book, but also one that should be ready to play out of the book. Though admittedly there is a lot of meta-fiction in the book that not everyone will like or use. I personally enjoy this type of meta-fiction.

As I said what really stands out in this product is bringing series to life with both good and bad decisions and elements that make if feel more like real cartoon. Also I had fun with Cynthia throwing in characters based around stuff she likes including female Judge Dread and character based on movie Manos: Hands of Fate. This all mixed together creates an interesting book I highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CAH:S3 -- The Complete Guide to Warriors of the Cosmos
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CAH:S3 -- FLAG Force
by John F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2017 07:16:59

  Great idea for an 80's era cartoon, turned into an even better supplement for Spectrums' wonderful rpg Cartoon Action Hour. Players create agents from all around the world, battling to drive off the alien 'Starmada' while using the ruins of the United Nations building as a base of operations. Tons of fun for the whole table!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CAH:S3 -- FLAG Force
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Tacky, Tawdry and Tasteless: the Reality Show RPG
by Alan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2017 17:39:51

I know that this was issued as an April Fool's Day joke - as indicated by the page at the end in which Spectrum start out by saying they are planning at least 8 source books . . . before stting that it's an April Fool.

The game itself is actually rather fun. It's a quick and simple game to play - if you're looking for a serious game with more in-depth characters and a wider skill-set then you need to look for a different system. Rules are minimal and essentially involves rolling a D6 and comparing the result to a stat that you are using. Characters are created in a manner of minutes - there are 5 stats and you roll 6D6 and ignore the lowest dice, make any 1s left a 4 and then apply the remaining values to your 5 stats - with 2 being the best score and 6 being the worst. You then get to assign up to 3 Positive Qualities and 1 Negative Quality to your character. These give bonueses or penalties to your dice roll. As the game progresses you will earn and spend Edit Points which can be used to allow re-rolls or to change something in a scene. There's a TV show format to the game with segements interrupted by Commercial Breaks - you roll on a table to see the result of the Ad Break - your show can gain or lose viewers, one or more characters can gain Edit Points due to their popularity or lack-of.

All in all a fun game. I've done a couple of shows with this format - Porn Stars Got Talent (a talent show for former porn stars who are trying to change thier career by doing singing or stand-up-comedy); Celebrity Riggers (an elimination competition in which Z-List Celebrities try their hand at working on an off-shore oil rig) and Teecherz (a fly on the wall day-to-day life study of a group of teachers in a seriously bad fictional school).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tacky, Tawdry and Tasteless: the Reality Show RPG
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Stories from the Grave
by Dorian Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2017 18:32:36

I think that this material is well presented and has a lot to offer. The author does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of a splatter comic and explaining the elements of a great story. The explaination of putting together a game using the three act structure will be valuable for both this and other game systems you may run.

There is something about this approach though. Any game that uses a three act structure cannot deviate too far from a pre-determined conclusion. It's not exactly on rails. The players have the ability to add to the narrative. However, it also isn't an open game where the story is allow to run in any direction.

The intention system used by this game is legit. You could use it without any trouble and I think most people will pick it up easily. The problem is that it offers nothing over all the systems you probably already know. It has limited skill based system that gets modified and everything is thrown against a ladder of success. You can use grave tokens to do things like add to the narrative. So the temptation for me is just to run a game using FATE accelerated which also does those exact same things only probably better and all of the players will already be familiar with the system.

The interesting thing, at least for me, is that I'm not sure how well all of this will truly work. People like to win. And this game like so many others encourages players to fight for their life and win the battle. If you are familiar with 'Tales from The Crypt' and similar EC comics you will note that nobody ever wins. Usually, there aren't even any good guys. I suppose 'Twilight Zone' and similar stories will play well on this system but I don't think that's the main target.

Honestly, it feels like the goal of the game should be to get your despicable character killed in the third act in some righteous twist. The player should have tools to narrate this demise and the skill with which they execute it should be measurable. However well they pull off the character death the player should receive rewards that carry over to the next game. That is what is missing from this system and it is what would make it complete. Unfortunately it completely flies in the face of the system. A system that rewards and supports keeping a character alive. It's the same reason that FATE sucks for horror games.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stories from the Grave
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Tacky, Tawdry and Tasteless: the Reality Show RPG
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2016 08:19:38

The game achieves the intended purpose. I would have liked a few more examples, but I guess you could watch some reality TV to get some ideas. It's definitely worth the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tacky, Tawdry and Tasteless: the Reality Show RPG
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Retrostar Rulebook
by Jack S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2016 22:51:56

A real fun book that captures the style of both the period and running an RPG, not just baised on the wolrd of a TV program, but running the program itself. I bought this game, really, just to read the book and maybe get some ideas from it. It impressed me enough that I am going to run a Retrostar series for my friends. The main weakness of the book would be that it could use a chapter that goes more in depth about how to write and beet chart the 5 atc television screen play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Retrostar Rulebook
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Not Even Freedom is Free
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2015 12:20:41

The adventure idea is ok, but the system is complex so play it in anther game.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Not Even Freedom is Free
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Christmas Comes But Once a Year
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2015 12:16:54

The system it not good, so you really have to play it using ICONS or other games.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Christmas Comes But Once a Year
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Capes, Cowls and Villains Foul -- Quickstart Preview
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2015 17:31:38

This quickstart expects us to understand rules and numbers it doesn't really explain. Yet gives the impression of overly complex mechanics one they will get explained.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Capes, Cowls and Villains Foul -- Quickstart Preview
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CAH:S3 -- Galactic Heroes
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2015 17:23:50

Perfect set up of the worst series in cartoon history. As an example of what not to do it is perfect. As something to be rewritten into something logical and reasonable (OK, logical and reasonable for cartoons) it begs to be rewritten.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CAH:S3 -- Galactic Heroes
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Retrostar -- Free Preview of Chapter 1
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2015 12:10:09

It certainly tells a lot about the era's TV and movies in great depth, yet has some curious omissions of the biggest series. And gives very little information about the game itself. But I now see that there is another preview for the game stuff.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Retrostar -- Free Preview of Chapter 1
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The Big Crime: Spotlight on James Cagney
by Ken T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2015 12:24:38

A one page character profile of the actor James Cagney for use in the Big Crime game. Mainly for fans of Cagney's gangster roles. A short interesting profile.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Big Crime: Spotlight on James Cagney
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Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 rulebook
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/26/2015 10:58:38

I can't say enough about how much I love this game! As a child of the 80's, I so relate to everything the author says. As a tabletop gamer, the d12 is my favorite die. As a writer and GM, the way this whole game is laid out appeals to me on every level! It's full of awesome!

The first thing that stands out to me is the knowledge and amazing adherence to the genre. It is obvious the authors have amazing amounts of both gaming experience and countless hours watching all the awesomeness that was 80's cartoons. I love the preface by Flint Dille. It really stood out because we had heard rumors for years that Gygax and various cartoon production folk had built some kind of game around GI Joe and Transformers. Sure enough... It just took a while for someone to emulate it in rpg form. I mean, who hasn't built a home-brew game based on the old school Transformers stat blocks or statted up GI Joe characters based on the old file cards from the back of the figures.

The system itself is simple, easy to follow, and extremely player friendly. I would have no problem teaching this game to my kids and I will as soon as they're old enough. Character creation is fast and very reasonable. It's much like FATE or ICONS in terms of simplicity. If you can dream it, or did during the 1980's, you can probably cook up the character to go with it. The system has just enough gamer crunch to enhance the total immersion experience of 80's retro-toons.

My absolutely favorite part of this book is the Series Creation rules. I have already cooked up a half dozen different ideas for tv series I would have loved to have seen and recreated a few that came along too late as 80's retro-toons. I've even done up a couple of defunct rpg's as retro-toons. The dial system, playset creation, and villain assembly are a breeze for veteran gm's and probably pretty easy to roll out as a novice, too. I dare say I'm having too much fun with this game.

The art in this game is nigh-onto perfect for it. The artists have managed to capture the look of various popular old cartoon series which we are all familiar with, yet kept it distinct enough to avoid getting in trouble with Hasbro or Marvel. Some of the art brings back so many memories of good times had watching cartoons back then, right before Saturday afternoon D&D or Marvel Supers gaming. Not to mention making me want to go back and watch entire series again.

I would suggest again, that Spectrum please, please, please put out a print version of this pdf OR at least strongly consider it for the next edition of the game. (Yeah, I'm willing to bet Season 4 will happen, unlike most cartoons from that era.) I'm just old fashioned in that I like the feel of an old fashioned print product in my hands and on my gaming table. It's too bad boxed sets are so ridiculously expensive to put out, or I'd say it would be most awesome to have an old D&D style boxed set, or one that emulated a vhs cassette case or possibly done as a dvd case.

Also, as we know Saturday morning cartoons are officially a thing of the past, I think it would be cool for someone to do a modern kids' toon version of this game with an eye toward emulating many of the popular cartoons currently on the air. As a parent of small children, one of four channels is constantly on our tv. I can recite almost word-for-word many Disney Jr toons, Paw Patrol, Rescue Bots, and the now defunct Super Hero Squad show episodes. I would also find it interesting, since the authors are so adept at simulating an era of cartoons, to turn an eye toward something like a certain Japanese Sentai live action martial arts/giant robot series that has "morphed" into a might decade-spanning phenomenon. Unfortunately, as we've seen recently on the internet, Saban Entertainment is extremely aggressive about protecting their intellectual property, so Spectrum would have to be careful, as they are with CAH, not to be too distinct with the likenesses to the actual series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 rulebook
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The Secularist
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2015 05:41:45

I'm always on the lookout for characters with strong world views as well as great power sets. Though the Secularist's powers were average, his opinions were interesting and have the potential of dividing PCs who might be going after him.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Secularist
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Retrostar -- Lightspeed Adventure Manual (Quick-Play)
by Bryan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2014 13:33:55

Quick note: I am big fan of Spectrum and have one thing published through them for Cartoon Action Hour, I have no writing for Retrostar.

Well first thing this is quick start so does not have full rules or examples, beyond that I would say this looks fun. This is a game very focused on reproducing feeling of 70's Science Fiction TV and builds the rules to do that. The basic system is built around rolls that work not only for success or failure, but control of characters. Depending on roll the player controls the characters success and describes what happens, the next level allows players to say how they failed or GM describes how character succeeded the last level GM says how player failed. There is no damage system or such, everything comes down to rolls.

To make things feel more like TV each session is broken into 5 acts with 12 rolls allowed for each act. This will make players think about there rolls and limits the normal massive rolling normal systems have.

There is also pools of Spotlight Tokens to make roll more successful and focuses on part of characters description. Both players and GM gain access to SFX which represents the limit of budget shows have for costumes and special effects.

The basic rolling for system is 2 six sided die roll versus a chart. The roll is modified by rolling more dice and either keeping the highest two dice or lowest to dice depending on if the modifier is good or bad.

The game also uses 'dials' to represent if campaign setting uses certain themes, recurring elements or amount of SFX each player gets. The dials go from 0 to 6 and in a neat twist the GM rolls dice each adventure to see if what that dial represent comes into play.

Over all a good game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Retrostar -- Lightspeed Adventure Manual (Quick-Play)
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