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Bulldogs! Fate Core Edition
by Brian T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2016 17:11:41

All you need to start a rollicking sci-fi epic in FATE, using either the setting provided, or as a basis for your own adventures.


I appreciated how it gave you the building blocks to make your own races, and build on a deep, but not overly complicated system.


My only criticisim would be to echo the wish that the PDF had bookmarks in it to get to the major sections quickly.


I'm looking forward to FATE Core suppliments to this setting when they come out in PDFs, especially the Ports of Call planet book to save some time in generating additonal setting, but there's really quite a lot you can do just with this book alone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! Fate Core Edition
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Bulldogs! Fate Core Edition
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2015 17:03:06

Bulldogs! is a reworked version of a previous release for FATE version 3, re-released for Fate Core (there was also a d20 version). It is a game centered on the Bulldogs, space truckers for the TransGalaxy corporation involved in hauling Class D cargo in aging rust-bucket freighters, the shipments nobody else wants to take. Characters sign on with TransGalaxy for 5 years, and ply the space-lanes in a galaxy far, far away, in the wild Frontier Zone straddling the democratic but ruthless Union of the Saldralla and the theocratic Devalkamanchan Republic.


Bulldogs! is complete with Fate rules included, but the presentation may be a bit back-to-front. In exposing how a character is constructed, some Fate features may not be immediately explained, so people totally new to Fate reading this might need to flip through some pages and get things straight before making choices for their character's Aspects, Skills and Stunts.


Characters can be of 10 principal alien species: human-like Arsubarans, intelligent Robots, and 8 more, which were well-written and not just humans in funny costumes. Each species has species aspects and special abilities which cost Refresh points. Attitudes and sample names round out each description. Guidelines are also given to create your own species.


Characters cannot be created without first considering the TransGalaxy Ship they are in, and their Captain (usually but not always an NPC). Characters have 7 starting Aspects, but two are reserved for Aspects relating to your species heritage, one is tied to your the reason why you signed with TransGalaxy (which is your "Trouble" in this game), one to your relationship to your Captain, and two more Aspects resulting from how you "crossed paths" with Crewmates. Characters have a whopping 6 Refresh (but less if you pick a species with lots of inherent abilities, or if you want more than 2 Stunts or 2 Gear points.) Money is abstracted by 10 Credit boxes for major purchases -- but as a Bulldog, you have 9 of those checked, meaning you are in the debt of TransGalaxy principally.


The "dials" of these Fate Core rules are set up for bold action. There are 4 Conditions each with its own kind of Stress track: Winded, Angry, Stunned and Broken. Using up a track will lead to a Consequence related to that Condition, and depending on the level the Consequence may take some time to remove. Armor is in Mild (-2), Moderate (-4) or Severe (-6) varieties, obviously built to absorb stress of those magnitudes. Energy shields can be added to absorb even more as well. Weapons have light, medium and heavy categories and, depending on their category, can "bypass" one or more lower Conditions to deal Stress on a higher track. So weapons and armor can be powerful science-fiction tropes but operating on a soft, squidgy being who doesn't have much inherent defense. Like I said, a game built for bold, swashbuckling rock 'em sock 'em action.


There follows a standard discussion of Fate rules, a slightly reworked list of 18 Skills, and a discussion of Stunts appropriate to each Skill and the setting's style. Gear is covered: equipment meant to rise above the mundane, with information on creating your own and figuring out the gear's worth in Gear Points. Spaceship rules and combat are described. TransGalaxy is paying for your ship, fuel and basic maintenance, but refuses to pay for your adventurous "excursions" or ammo for combat or anything else you might have to do despite company policy! Larger categories of spaceships have more of the lesser Stress Tracks, and their powerful weapon categories can again "bypass" the lower Stress tracks of enemy ships. There follows information about Conflict design (including villains and their minions), and tying them together to make lengthy Adventures. A couple of pages on setting up campaigns with other kinds of characters rounds out the book.


All told, this is a strong, action-oriented Fate game with colourful aliens and working-stiff ethic!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astrozombies Must Die!: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2013 04:16:47

Astrozombies Must Die! provides a quick fix adventure for someone looking to fill a single session. I ran a game of it in about 2-hours with some snipping of the content, so you could easily make it 3 - 4 hours - which makes it perfect for a convention demo. While written for the Fate driven Bulldog! system, the adventure will work with any flavour of Fate (or Fudge for that matter) - I used Fate Accelerated.


The adventure presents a premise and a loose structure of how the player characters can get from the start, out to the stranded ship, then slowly uncover what happened and the threat standing between them and returning the cargo to it's rightful owner. The game includes stats for the Astrozombies, their Captain and Engineer - in four different flavours of increasingly power and difficulty to handle. I ran with the Fresh Meat (the lowest), but would have opted for Trouble or greater if I had more than 2 hours to spare. It means you can adapt to your group size, expertise with Fate, and desire for challenge.


One added bonus - I found the cover illustration really handy as a prop. I printed it out, used tacky glue to apply to cardboard (from a cereal box) and then cut it out as a standee. When the Astrozombies reveal themselves to the characters for the first time - voila! - you have a visual reference so that they know what they're up against (though the descriptions in the text reverse the way the image works - with a coloured skull inside a roiling black flame).


Great and FREE! What more can you ask for?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astrozombies Must Die!: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
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Stormy Weather: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
by Martijn F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2012 16:02:45

Nice scenario!


Could do with a bit of editing though. I noticed an "it's" that should be an its ("its security"), but what really bothered me was Javal Kran switching from male to female and back. Mostly she's female, but "his guards", and "He's already talked to his superiors". Likely the trace of incomplete editing after a gender change.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stormy Weather: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
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Ports of Call: The Frontier Zone
by Markus S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2012 16:28:56

While the Bulldogs! RPG rocks, Ports of Call does not. A collection of anthropomorphic animals whose society and fashion exactly resemble their clearly recognizable models on Earth. Nothing alien or futuristic about it, a large part of PoC feels like bad persiflage. Not what I want my Space Opera game to be like. There are a couple of cool things in the book, too, but not enough to make it worth buying.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ports of Call: The Frontier Zone
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Kingdom of Nothing
by Charles C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2012 16:53:14

Kingdom of Nothing is not your typical RPG: for a few examples, Players don't make their own characters--at least half of a player's character is generated by the other players and the Narrator of the game; there are No dice--challenge results are decided by tossing coins (which integrates with the themes of the game in a most impressive manner); though still open ended as most RPGs are--there are some defininte win and lose conditions for the characters which act as rewards and punishments for them.


The rules are a little sparse in areas, but I regard this as an invitation to write my own. I'm intent on e-mailing my rules to Galileo Games--maybe they will be included in a future edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdom of Nothing
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Bulldogs! (d20 Edition)
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2012 15:48:05

A must-buy for anyone wanting sci-fi for their D20 games.
Good background.
Artwork is ok.
Some interesting races (the Templari look a little drow-like).
Also has a race creation section.


The only niggle: a thick black border on every page (this will drain the ink quite a bit.
A print-friendly version would have been nice.


A good buy for £1.26



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! (d20 Edition)
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Bulldogs! (d20 Edition)
by Kevin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2012 21:52:53

An awesome book! Somethng every player should have. Even if you don't plan to play a D20 sci-fi game this has some awesome content. I've used the race creation system in most D20 games I've played sense finding this book and several of the classes can easily fit in other systems! BUY THIS BOOK!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
by Leonardo P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2012 22:49:18

Looks: The art is simple, but good. Liked a lot the layout and format of the book, keeps it easy and quick to read and find stuff.


Writing: The writing is good, it shows the FATE system very well and it has nice explanations.


Content: Now, I think this is the best Sci-Fi FATE implementation out there. The organization of the book is very good, the FATE system rules are well presented and all the sic-fi stuff is pretty nicely done. It has some standard species (or races) and a great ruleset and guideline to create your own races, also I really like the way they incorporate races into the FATE system. Most parts of the contents includes guidelines to creating your own stuff with some really nice rules. You can create starships, weapons, species and stunts that match your scenario with ease and not worry about them being unbalanced. It also has some rules to work as a crew on your spaceship, you assign positions and responsibilities for the crew members and they act different in space combat, for example.


Awesome book! When I'm creating my own FATE games and settings I mostly use this book as a reference.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
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Stormy Weather: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
by Gary T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2012 03:20:37

Excellent adventure ... similar to the other convention adventure ... the players have to side with one of 2 opposing forces.
This means the GM can have too much to do/think about at times.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stormy Weather: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
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Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
by Emlyn F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2012 02:42:29

As a lover of the FATE system, I bought this game mostly for the sake of completeness, but was pleasantly surprised to find a fun and whimsical universe (cigar-smoking, homicidal teddy bears are a core player race) backed up with an innovative take on the FATE rules. Races, a question often make difficult in FATE games, are clearly laid out and seem well-balanced. The skills have abandoned the "trapping" mechanic used in other FATE games (particularly Strange FATE as shown in the also-excellent Kerberos Club) for a system that lays out how each skill can be used to "overcome obstacles," "make declarations," "attack," and a handful of other categories. I find I still prefer the trappings concept for my own use, but the Bulldogs! system is well-thought-out and may simplify things for many players. There is just enough information on the various organizations, planetary systems, etc. in the game universe to help lay out a game (backed up by aspects and suggests on how to use them), without overwhelming us.


There is a core conceit assuming the PCs will work for the "TransGalaxy Corporation" as high-risk freighters, which is fun and sets the players on a clear path right away, but there is also a section laying out alternative campaign setups, with the rules to support them. I question the balance of the weapons system, as it seems overly deadly for space opera, and more rules-heavy than FATE usually uses, but this is a minor quibble. The ship combat takes the chase rules from Spirit of the Century, a fun system in itself, and adds some meat to make starship combat look like a lot of fun and definitely the right mood.


The game is also pretty as hell, with lovely art and layout making each page a joy to read, and look surprisingly professional for a $10 purchase.


I have a FATE game already running, so I'm not planning on actually running Bulldogs! (at least not at present), but I found the cheap $10 price tag more than worth the ideas I can steal for my own FATE hack, and just for the fun of reading it. And it looks like there's a bunch of free adventures available for download, allowing players to easily go out and kick ass!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Bulldogs: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2012 02:47:21

You probably don't want your players to read the title of this one .. Scenarios for this setting might start to fall into a pattern - casting, as it were, the PCs as the chumps being sadly underpaid to deliver ridiculously mislabelled consignments to deplorably ungrateful and unethical clients - with some rather obvious player responses, so it would behoove the GM to change it around a little in different sessions and not insist too much on players following the frankly not-in-their-best-interest instructions that they'll get as written from their employer.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Bulldogs: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
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Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Bulldogs: A Bulldogs! Adventure Scenario
by Brian W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2011 13:26:03

I've been an avid fan of all of the Bulldogs adventures that Galileo has put out, through the Kickstarter and otherwise. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Bulldogs! is no exception. One of the things that has stumped me so far with regard to coming up with my own Bulldogs adventures is how to spice up the get-a-cargo-and-deliver-it trope in new and engaging ways. As with other Bulldogs! adventures, the crew of your ship has a cargo to deliver, but here Clark Valentine comes up with a novel twist. A fine product, and probably useful story ideas for most any game. Even so, a good solid entry in the Bulldogs! catalog.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
by Tim R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/17/2011 09:55:18

For those of you who may have missed it originally, Brennan Taylor of Galileo Games pushed out Bulldogs! earlier this year through Kickstarter. Bulldogs! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the name) is self-described as “Sci-Fi that Kicks Ass,” and I’m happy to report that boy howdy does it pay off.


The book is a gorgeous hardcover that clocks in at about 120 pages that are crammed full of great information and beautiful illustrations by Jaime Posadas and Kurt Komoda, and I want to give a big hand to the editing crew Amanda Valentine and Ryan Macklin who very much succeeded at making sure that every piece of text contributes to the “Sci-Fi that Kicks Ass” tagline.


Let me start the review of the actual content with an anecdote. I used to run Star Wars, as it was one of the few RPGs I could get my wife to play (sucker!), and after experiencing how troublesome Jedi are to run in the context of a full party, I opted to run mine as an all-scoundrels game (Scoundrels being the DnD Rogue-like character class). Sure, some folks still had some Force-powers in play, but having a crew that was largely free from the otherwise overriding Jedi vs. Sith / Rebellion vs. Empire constraints was very freeing and we were able to rock some awesome stories of my players being largely on the run, cashing in when they could, and in all ways running a story of “Sci-Fi that Kicks Ass.” In terms of the game mechanics though, it took a metric ton of extra Star Wars sourcebooks and system hacking to push the d20 revised rules set to customize relatively basic things like races, equipment, ships, et al.


I wish to hell that I’d had Bulldogs! for that game. This one single book contains information on how to work the Fate-based system to create entirely customized races / equipment / ships / skills / stunts without any overhead. It seriously blows my mind at how sleek this writing is, compared to how many books I used to have to look through to puzzle out how to morph one of the NPC races into a PC race or how to cost a +1 damage upgrade to someone’s blaster pistol.


The only tricky thing I ran into during my read-through of the book is that Bulldogs! uses a single stress track, which I hadn’t expected; but then I also have relatively limited experience running Fate system games - and looking into it, all of the individual games seem to have evolved their own specifically tailored versions of how Stress is applied.


I’ve grown to really appreciate the way the Fate system helps drive games in terms of the play style, and how much depth it adds to the game for the relatively small amount of actual work you have to put into it. And I think that this is part of what makes Bulldogs! great. Fate’s Aspects versus d20’s neutrality-of-character are something that I find inspiring.


I’m going to be running Bulldogs! for a home campaign in the near future (when I can get people over here), and I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks a ton to Brendan, Brian, and everyone else involved in putting this great game out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
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Bulldogs! (Fate Classic Edition)
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/05/2011 16:45:35

I'll preface this by saying I love space opera. I love stories like Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War books. I've wanted to play a game, for so long, of a spaceship crew, going from place to place, looking for work and dealing with the problems they invariably get themselves into. I think I've found that game. Bulldogs! appears to be, in every way that matters, the game I have been looking for. Halleluiah. I cannot WAIT to play this game with my group!


To start, this version of the game runs on FATE. According to the book, there have been some changes made from core FATE, but as I'm not an expert on the system, I don't know where they are. But I will say that the system, as presented, seems to support fast paced action. There is a bit more crunch when dealing with things like combat, so I expect that the game will slow down a bit during combat. This is generally the case in most systems.


The presentation of the setting for Bulldogs! is a quick read and fun to go through. There is an interesting mix of scifi races and racial tension already built into the game. This should make for some wonderfully tense scenes, as the group of characters consists of individuals from every race. The characters in the game are all down on their luck spacers, who've joined a freight company and are running ships through the galaxy that really shouldn't be running at all.


The book also has a wonderful section for the GM, giving advice on how to set up adventures, create conflict and all the other general bad-assery that should be in a GM's toolbox. The book is organized and well laid out. It's a very fun read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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