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Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir RPG (Third Edition)
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/27/2016 05:12:04

Thoughts:

  • I like the openness of the world. Given how undocumented the world is, it's easy to insert pretty much whatever you want, from places to creatures. Doubly so when you factor in that the setting explicitly hasn't closed its doors to other dimensions.
  • I am a huge fan of the magic system. Reminds me a bit of the system from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which has both a similar flexibility and danger.
  • The book is black and white, and the whole aesthetic feeds into the "noir" tone of setting very well. None of the art is very bad, most of it is very fitting, and a lot of it is downright great.
  • The species options almost seem a little over the top. With 16 options, some of them seem excessive (or downright weird, looking at you, Orrim). While I generally err on the side of "give them choices", the "Points of Light" setting with humans at the top of a food chain that includes 15 other viable species (plus the NPC options) feels like a stretch to me, unless each species is in such low of numbers that they have no real power. This clearly doesn't apply to Taxim, at least, as they are the most powerful union in Selastos.
  • I've always like the idea of exploits in GenreDiversion. I've never tried the system in play, but I'd be willing to.
  • Experience can be used in ways other than advancement, as "creative editing/story control" that allows you to introduce subplots to the game, or invoke specific features based on your role (like a Sentinel being able to call in reinforcements or a Private Detective automatically noticing a clue). I dig mechanics like this in games, especially when it's light and unobtrusive.
  • It's weird and doesn't make any sense, but the setting is juuuuust a bit harder to wrap my head around than it should be, even though it's really just a fantasy setting with fewer swords and orcs and more gumshoes and night clubs. I love the concept (and the magic..a lot) and I like the game mechanics, but I just gotta get past that setting hump (since noir assumptions are no weirder than quasi-Middle Ages assumption in any other fantasy setting).

Thumbs up on this one, even if I'm not convinced I wouldn't be too intimidated by the weirdness of a few of the setting elements to make it work at my table.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/09/tommys-take-on-bloodshadows-third.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir RPG (Third Edition)
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Barbarians Versus... RPG
by Luca L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2016 06:34:38

Easily one of the most funny and entertaining rules-light RPGs on the scene.

The setting is loosely defined, with broad strokes that help creating the mood and give more inspiration than hard data, the rules are very friendly both to newcomers to the tabletop RPG world and to old grognards that will enjoy the modicum of creativity given to players and GMs alike. A simple and very intuitive system to handle most situations - from combat to social mayhem, as barbarians are destined to - provides a very solid yet flexible framework.

Players and GMs should work together to build up and better define the world and the situations to face during the adventures, and a fair bit of homework is needed to have something that will work for more than a one-shot adventure. It is also highly customizable for something different than cimmerians against dino-aliens, from something more akin to classic sword-and-sorcery to quite outlandish results.

The real gem, is the sum of the parts: the fun factor of playing a bloodthirsty, loud and headstrong barbarian is surprisingly addictive in such a fast flowing game.

Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians Versus... RPG
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Exiled in Eris
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2016 13:56:57

This PDF is 173 pages (169 are the content). Artwork is ok, b&w. Exiled in Eris is Sword, sorcery and blaster fantasy. P15-24: Your character concept, involves: where you came from, Family background and Profession, and why are you in Eris. Artifact hunters are the general profession. Certain weapons and armour are restricted (only available to military and Noble houses). Exiled in Eris uses a D20 for tasks; other dice are used (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12). Races: Human, Cyberdroid, Dakazi, Deru, Drudge/Brux. Myrmidon/Orix, Savant/Ix. Attributes are: Strength, Stamina, Dexterity, Agility, Intellect, WitsCharisma Willpower. There are 16 skills, and 6 restricted skills.

Exiled in Eris does remind me a little of Mekton (first edition).. At £5.25/$6.95, it's worth a look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exiled in Eris
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A Fistfull of Miniatures 2E Basic PDF
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2016 09:13:15

I played the fantasy version long ago and like this historical update. The "advanced' rules mentioned would be interesting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Fistfull of Miniatures 2E Basic PDF
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Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 1: WWII
by Evan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2016 21:08:39

Very well-drawn set. I especially like the varied poses. Only thing that bugs me is that the colors don't quite "feel" right. I may be wrong, and this set may depict variant colorations, but I usually picture World War II German uniforms as a gray-green, and American uniforms as lighter and more brownish than depicted here. Still, a great set for the money, and a good buy for anyone looking for inexpensive World War II minis.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 1: WWII
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Maelstrom Storytelling (Dogbound Edition)
by Scott F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/05/2015 22:53:41

The classic Story Engine in its infancy, with a full world setting, coupled with the fact that the Story Engine Rules (sold separately), can be fused seamlessly with it makes this a true gem for lovers of Roleplaying over Roll-playing. An influence on most modern storytelling games, Maelstrom deserves a solid place on your shelf. Although a little outdated (the Story Engine is a more refined and clarified set of rules), Maelstrom still holds it's own, with a setting, races, and numerous factions to play any type of game with. From murder mysteries to adventuring, Maelstrom offers players a broad selection of options to choose from. If you're a fan of FATE, Precis Intermedia's other RPG systems, such as the Masterbook system, the genreDiversion3E or Story Engine rules (or any of the more other "scene-amatic" games) Maelstrom still offers up the goods, even at the expense of its age. Prepare your Krel Airship and sail into the realms of the twin suns or journey through realms of your choosing. It all starts here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maelstrom Storytelling (Dogbound Edition)
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The City in the Mirage
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2015 16:31:11

This PDF is 42 pages, 40 are the content. You party guide the scholar to some 'ruins'. Some encounters, a puzzle, etc. Not too bad. There are portraits of the NPCs; also Maps (some are quite small, need enlarging). Artwork is OK. Like the rulebook, this PDF gives me the 'Mekton' feel', in style, look, etc. Not bad for $5.00/£3.18. Worth a look.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The City in the Mirage
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Exiled in Eris
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2015 15:04:10

Out of 172 pages, 168 are the contents, including character sheet (2 pages). It appears to be a variant d20 system, looking at the pages on skills and combat. Example: Melee (Major Action: Dex+Melee Fighting+1d20); Difficulty: 20 (difficult). For skill rolls, etc: add your attribute, applicable skill bonus, bonuses from specialties, situational modifiers and add the result of a 1d20. Compare that with a difficulty/target number from the GM (easy: 16, Difficult: 20, challenging: 24, etc).

I only spotted 2 typos (page 154 & 152), so far.

Plenty of data on the various species, creatures, land areas, etc. There's a world map (not too bad).

Parts of the book remind me of Mekton 1&2.

Apart from data on supernatural powers, there's also a Game Masters Resources section (premise, alternatives, themes, genre, motivations and rewards, and artifacts).

At £3.24/$5.00 it's not bad for a variant d20 system; worth buying just for the background information/data.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Exiled in Eris
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Exiled in Eris
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2015 23:06:21

This is a fantastic little game. I haven't heard any buzz about it, but it deserves to be well-known. The game is presented as a pulpy planetary romance, and it delivers. The system is easy to learn and plays quickly. The one thing it could stand to improve is that a couple of the esoteric disciplines aren't fleshed out very fully, but the ones that are fleshed out give incredible detail.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians Versus... RPG
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/02/2015 00:04:40

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • Random Barbarian Facts (Barbarians argue with Barbarians, they fight with everyone else) are scattered around the book and are pretty humorous.

  • The game reads like it's hard to take seriously, and the adventure backs that up by being too lite. A good, goofy random adventure table could have gone a long ways here.

  • The system is simple, but easy to play around with, as evidenced by some of the combat options. Some of those examples serve as a nice example of how a little description can sell the action more than tables of modifiers can.

  • The price point is pretty good, especially with the "read the PDF, upgrade to the print" option.

  • The sample settings can give you more ideas on how to tweak the setting. Barbarians vs Elves? Barbarians vs Vampires? Barbarians vs Underground Psychic Bomb Worshippers? Most of the book focuses on Barbarians...you can play around with it and figure out who they fight.

  • Because this stuff MATTERS in a game about Barbarians, you also get a random loot table to make the GM's job easier when determining what the Barbarians' latest victims had.

Barbarians Versus is a cute and fun book with a solid skeleton under it, and options that allow a GM to play around with the setting, suitable for a one shot or short campaign play and priced accordingly.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/05/tommys-take-on-barbarians-versus-2nd.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians Versus... RPG
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Atomik CyberTek
by Harry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/26/2015 13:54:53

Simply one of the BEST 'cybertek' books ever published. I could say the same about all of the other ATOMIK products as well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Atomik CyberTek
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Ancient Odysseys: Treasure Awaits! PDF
by Paul L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2015 18:36:12

This is a great rpg. The rules are really easy to grasp and use. This is one of the rpg games that I have chosen to run with my family. It has the classic fantasy classes and is quick to make characters and run. There are optional rules which really add a great deal more to the system. I bought both books and printed them out. The second book really expands on this book and was worth it's cost. It also has the Pathfinder and Cleric classes.

This game deserves to succeed and I would love to see more supplements. Very happy finding this one. A hidden gem. I like the way the game is explained and that it does use 6 sided dice.

There is a full sized .pdf and a booklet sized .pdf for each. Love the small format too. This one hits just the right balance of rules for me. And you can add in more optional rules as you go.

Great for beginners. But experienced players who want a lighter rules approach would have a hoot with it too. I am very happy with my purchase. There are many rpgs similiar in design but this one stood out to me. The feel of the rules just felt right.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ancient Odysseys: Treasure Awaits! PDF
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StoryMax Scenematic Roleplaying Game Rules
by Scott F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/14/2014 16:36:27

This new open beta by Precis Intermedia is bound to please people like me who enjoyed the Story Engine rules and the Mastercraft Classic Rules. The demo is clean concise and when it fills up, with the inclusion of add-ons (like the fantasy and Sci-Fi supplements, it's sure to garner every rules light fans. This is only an open beta however so not all of the final product is here, however it leaves you grasping for the next little bit and praying for 2015 to come around already.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
StoryMax Scenematic Roleplaying Game Rules
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HardNova 2 Revised & Expanded
by Jerry L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2014 21:33:17

I'll first preface this by stating that I am one of the game's authors, though NOT a part of Precis Intermedia. I'm a regular guy with a normal job who happened to get lucky enough to do some freelancing on this title. That said...

HardNova 2 Revised & Expanded is a low-cost, standalone RPG overflowing with what you'd normally see in most publishers' entire game line. For starters, you get several player character aliens, a setting, stock ships, gadgets & gear, creatures, and even 16 adventures (called "scenarios"). The amount of content for a core rulebook is quite impressive, actually.

Let's face it, there's games out there that spoon-feed you every rule. I don't have time for complicated, bogged-down systems with unnecessary info that I won't use, like how long my character can hold his water before his bladder explodes.

HN2RE keeps everything simple by giving you only the rules you need (but built to allow for tinkering if that's your thing). Upon some familiarity, you'll be amazed at how easy it is creating new gimmicks, species, creatures, starships, or anything else you can dream up... Trust me when I say this game can handle almost any space setting out there - whether sword & planet, hard sci-fi, or even space opera.

You won't spend hours just creating a character in order to play, either. In fact, character generation can be accomplished in a breezy 10 minutes or so. Or pick a template from the back of the book's pages, name the character, grab some gear, and off you go even faster! Heck, task resolution is even uncomplicated: Roll 2d6, subtract from ability + skill & compare that margin to a Difficulty. Viola!

It's a small wonder why this game has managed to survive for 10 years, but what's different about this new anniversary edition vs. the one before it? Some improvements include:

  • smoother mechanics (better organized combat & removal of extra task resolutions)
  • 9 extra player character species (one isn't found in any official supplement!)
  • notes for playing hybrid characters
  • character Roles (such as Beastmaster, Mercenary, Pirate, etc.)
  • further skills and gimmicks (some exclusive to HardNova 2 Revised & Expanded)
  • new weapons and armor
  • 88 more creatures (even spaceborne ones, a HardNova first!)
  • updated alien artwork
  • revised star map displaying new species' home planets
  • additional starships (including a debut!)

In a nutshell? Bigger! Better! Badder!

If you want a fun, easy-to-learn sci-fi game with lots of support* that uses normal dice you probably already have in an old board game laying around, do yourself a solid and buy this RPG. It's too good not to.

*http://www.pigames.net or, feel free to visit this product's forum thread for questions or further discussion: http://www.pigames.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=81&t=2247



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HardNova 2 Revised & Expanded
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MasterBook Core PDF (Classic Reprint)
by Bruce M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2014 01:01:21

I'm not rating the content with two stars. I'm rating the PDF. I own some print books from the Indiana Jones MB series and was curious to read more of the system and the World of Bloodshadows. I bought the bundle containing the MB, World of Bloodshadows, and the MB Companion.

Firstly, top marks for including the Master Deck PDF with the MB. Unfortunately, the resolution of the books is quite low. It displays ok on my iPad, but is impossible to read on my Kindle Paperwhite.

The books are all b&w so I thought the Kindle would be able to handle the PDFs with no problems. All the text appears scratchy and incomplete. Zooming in gives a slightly better image, but you are left viewing a quarter of a page at a time.

There is no OCR in the files and the contents page is not hot linked. It does clearly state on the product page that these were book scans, but I still have higher expectations from any OEF than what I have seen here. Hopefully the publishers will revisit the files and improve them for electronic viewing. As of right now, they are only really suited to viewing on a large screen or for printing.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
MasterBook Core PDF (Classic Reprint)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for your feedback. The resolution is indeed print-quality, not low quality, so the issue appears to be with your devices not properly anti-aliasing line art.
Update: Tested viewing on my iPad Mini - looks great and easy to read. And while small, it\'s surprisingly legible on my iPhone.
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