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Fates Worse Than Death: Sunrise Hotel
by Justin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2015 12:37:23

Sunrise Hotel is my first encounter with the FWTD setting and I'm really not sure about it yet. The story, as described above, involves a teenage runaway living in The City with other kids who spend their time trying to find money for shelter, food, drugs and alcohol. The main character, a sixteen year old named Tina, panhandles, steals and prostitutes herself to get what she wants and needs. The main plot involves her investigating the disappearance of her friend but most of the book focuses on how pathetic her life is and her daily grind to get by. There is a lot of word count devoted to her standing in lines at food shelters, panhandling, arguing with her roommates, getting drunk or high, having sex to pay the bills or get what she wants and so on. I understand that this is all to build up to her change in character toward the end, deciding whether or not she really is the Blade Queen and what she wants from her life, but there was way too much time spent spinning the tires instead of moving the story forward. As a character I found her increasingly unlikable as the story went on. She does redeem herself at points, but as a whole she is entirely forgettable.


There are some good setting elements here, such as the gangs when they are briefly mentioned, but far too much time is spent on Tina and not enough on the story, the setting or her "mission".



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fates Worse Than Death: Sunrise Hotel
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Seeker the Role Playing Game
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2014 22:52:53

I will be writing a more detailed opinion than this one. I just bought this an hour or so ago and I cannot put it down. This company has really thought out its material. I found the book Hoodoo Blues, and though I was impressed I wanted a few more 'classes' to make it more human. These Seekers fit the bill perfectly.


First off, the illustrations were sparce and not the best, as another reviewer said just before me. The cover art is included as a seperate download. Which is fine for me. I was impressed with that one. That is really the only thing I have bad to say about this book. If you are looking for content, though, this is a wonderfully deep read.


Every part of the book has a quick summary. So if you are looking for something you dont have to just read everything to fill in one detail in the middle of a game. The system is flexible and universal. The premesis is fun and interesting. This is for a RPG with a deeper meaning... like a Kung Fu or Touched by an Angel kind of story. I will try and write a more detailed and organized break down of my reactions soon.


Both this product and Hoodoo Blues (think old World of Darkness in the deep south) only cost about five dollars. This is a very reasonable investment for the background and thorough mechanics which are laid out to enhance the gaming experience and roleplaying. There is a free version of thier Tibet game on RPGNow which is very interesting as well. This company makes something special... products which make you think and feel so genuine.


Ill add more details soon.


Peace.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Seeker the Role Playing Game
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Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
by Andreas G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2014 05:24:13

Well, this book is just awesome. For a price of round about 5$ this is a nobrainer if you have any interest in this setting. It are not the rules - which are a bit cumbersome - but the great and carefully researched background informations that make this product a great catch. If anyone is interested in a longer german review by me, check here: http:-
//neueabenteuer.com/roleplayin-down-south/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
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Abandoned
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/22/2014 11:49:31

A glimpse behind the curtain into the mysterious world of a DrivethruRPG Feature Reviewer. We get a ton of material. We download the stuff that we think we may review. We read it carefully and if it warrants it due to our own personal idiosyncrasies, we review it. Otherwise we discard it. Some of us (me) discard practically everything, others review much more. I really only keep material if it does something interesting, or relates to a game I'm immediately playing or about to play, or a topic that I'm currently thinking about.


So when In Dark Alleys came across a while back, I glanced at it, because I'm doing a horror game right now and I'm thinking a lot about horror games and what makes a good one, and honestly I didn't really think that much about it. Abandoned appeared a little later, and for some reason I decided to check it out and oh my gosh. I am very glad that I did. This is a horror supplement that shows a real understanding of what horror is all about, so much so that I'm definitely going back to In Dark Alleys to see what I clearly missed the first time around!


Abandoned is a supplement centered around seven abandoned places: a mysterious small town evacuated by the government, a bypassed subway station, a cursed asylum, a haunted house, apartments, a cannery occupied by a monstrous liquid, and an evil tower that does not exist on Earth. What elevates it above most other horror supplements that I often see is that the monsters and awful places it presents are inextricably connected to real-world traumas, anxieties and fears.


Why is Carrie such a good novel and movie? Because of anxieties men and our society have about women and the porous borderline between helpless girl and effective woman which imposes those anxieties on us. The character of Carrie amplifies those anxieties, makes them concrete and real. Why is Alien such a good horror movie? It posits that the unknown is insanely, unrelentingly hostile, can hide anywhere - including inside us - and that the authorities are on the side of the bad guy. These are all anxieties and fears that we can still have about the unknown in our lives. We don't specifically fear an alien will kill us or that a girl's telekinetic powers will tear us to pieces even if we've been nice to her, but these horror scenarios work because they relate to fears that the real-world reader can connect with. Abandoned does the same thing.


For example, Tranquil Lake is the small town, evacuated by the government due to an alleged chemical spill. To a certain extent it's a Silent Hill stand-in, but unlike some other Silent Hill-a-likes, it recognizes that the best Silent Hill games express the psychological disconnection of the protagonists - they stumble into Silent Hill, unsure of why they're there, but the situations and creatures they face echo problems or traumas they have had outside the town. Similarly, a type of player character introduced in the game is someone who lived in Tranquil Lake and was evacuated as a child. Their strange memories and compulsions mirror to some extent those that suffered child abuse may have...and it compels them to look into Tranquil Lake's situation, giving them an intense personal stake in the matter. When we hear about child abuse we imagine ourselves as children, our helplessness, how formative those experiences are to ourselves. Even if we didn't suffer abuse ourselves, we feel anxiety about the possibility of it. We connect with characters who are compelled to find out the truth about their childhood, even if it's awful to discover.


Lots of horror games put "warnings" on the first few pages, but Abandoned absolutely needs it. These are games that call to mind childhood traumas, sexual traumas, fears about our bodies, fears about what we eat, fears of getting lost, fears of getting trapped in an enclosed space, fears of drowning...I love horror books, movies and games and I don't have a lot of actual stomach-turning moments, normally I feel glee when watching or playing through a character's horrible situations, but Abandoned had more than one time when I stopped reading, thinking "that's really scary". So I can pretty much promise you that this supplement is going to push your buttons in some way and if you don't want that, don't buy it.


The one abandoned location that doesn't have the same kind of well-directed psychological reality is the Grey Tower. This is more of a Lovecraftian Dreamlands situation, and has the problem that random exploration is punished with horrible results, so random exploration within the Tower (as opposed to trying to find out what happened in Tranquil Lake or at the cannery) is not likely to persist after a couple of attepmts, thus bypassing the rest of the material in the tower. It's the only location that's not really as well-turned psychologically as the rest.


There's also a simplified version of the In Dark Alleys system provided to make it a standalone game. Honestly, the advantage of playing a "Tranquilite" in experiencing Tranquil Lake is so significant I almost would make it mandatory. Stephen King's protagonists don't just stumble across situations - it's always related to something that happened to them in the past. More horror games should take advantage of connecting the past of the characters to the horror they're currently experiencing.


Finally, there's an introductory section detailing how to create your own horrific abandoned place, describing the mechanics of abandoned buildings and locations in the modern world, and how terrible situations may come about.


If you want a horror supplement that really understands the role that psychology plays in horror fiction, get Abandoned. At the current price (only $5), it's absolutely a steal. It surprised the hell out of me with its detail and wide variety of fears and anxieties. Now I've got to go back and check out In Dark Alleys to see if it's as good!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Abandoned
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Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition
by Asen G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2013 18:04:21

Fates Worse Than Death has become my favourite cyberpunk setting. And that's saying quite a bit from someone who has played or run basically every CP game currently on the market.
But I like the game most for what it isn't, actually.
It's not game where violence is often the best solution.
It's not a game where everyone and their granny are totting around heavy guns.
It's not a game where the system is corrupt beyond hope for salvation.
In short, it's a game of neocyberpunk/postcyberpunk, and this makes the characters really feeling like real people.


I especially like the hacking rules. More than one session have had as a focus obtaining info necessary to hack into a protected system. And the game made this activity fun and rewarding!
In short, try it. Hey, it's free, it's not like you've got to commit a lot! And then, if you like it, consider getting the full rules with additional setting information. Yes, despite it not being a small book, Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition is a quick start!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition
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Fates Worse Than Death Gameplay Album
by Asen G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2013 17:53:57

It's great background during a game of Fates Worse Than Death. And what more could one want from a gameplay album?


I liked the music as well, but talking with music fans has taught me that this is, at least, always a matter of personal taste.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fates Worse Than Death Gameplay Album
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Seeker the Role Playing Game
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2012 15:30:38

I really wanted to like this game. I really did. The premise sounds really cool and had a lot of promise. However the execution was a tad flat and, ultimately, left me feeling "Meh." Don't get me wrong, it's by no means a bad game. It just feels a little bit like a Tony Robbins self-help book. I could quibble with the organization, and layout, but it's really no worse (or better) than a lot of other games I have read. I was a bit put off by the fact that the lovely cover illo is not included with the download. In the end, it's not bad, not great, but merely OK.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Seeker the Role Playing Game
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KidWorld the Role Playing Game
by Andrew P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2012 09:15:59

FYI, I haven't actually played this game yet but the mechanics at least seem sound in my head.
However, the world description, background information, and rest of the text were so well written and engaging that I read through it like a novel.
There weren't a whole lot of pictures but at the same time, there weren't many new concepts that needed to be explained visually and fluff pictures would have just taken up space better used by the excellent writing.
I do need to warn you that this is probably the single most horrifying game book I've ever read. You can play either a blind adult dependent the mercy of sociopathic children or a sighted child perpetually on the run from insane eyeball eating adults. There are more options than that, but none are especially pleasant. After reading the book, I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares that night.
Even if I wind up never running the game, it was easily worth the price just for a good read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
KidWorld the Role Playing Game
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Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
by Gary W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2011 00:37:50

As has been said before, the game enjoys a very original and cool setting, and the mechanics are generally good, the rules are deep without being overwhelming. However, the mechanics also have some serious flaws. One is that two of the character classes given, the Hag and Loup Garou, are not really useful for PCs as they more or less force you to be evil and kill innocents. Troubled, flawed PCs are great, ones that have to kill every week just to live get uncomfortable real fast. Save these classes for NPC villians.


Next, the weariness rule is terrible. The games seems to encourage the playing of Ageless, and very old characters, but if you have to subtract 1 or 2 points from your Will attribute for every decade, your will is quickly gutted unless you put a 20 in it at the beginning. As the game's magic system often depends on WIL, this is a very serious problem: your ancient hoodoo woman has no will to make hands anymore. Better to have some one born in the 1980s.


I really like the game, but would advise not using these rules when playing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
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This is a Dark Ride
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/20/2011 10:29:02

A collection of information on that most famous of theme parks (the One Which Shall Not Be Named, Lest Ye Summon the Wrath of Their Legal Team), and how to use it as a setting for the In Dark Alleys RPG. The opening of this supplement focuses on the real-world history and operation of “the park in question” (as they refer to it so frequently), while the second half details characters, a group, a creature, a hidden ride, and an adventure. The creature seems a bit silly (a murderous patch of matted hair?), but the rest have some pretty good potential.


The real-world information is useful to any GM who wants to set an RPG session in or about The Park In Question, and while the RPG material is statted specifically for the In Dark Alleys RPG, there are enough creepy and disturbing ideas for anyone running a horror RPG in any system. I could easily see some of the characters from this supplement worked into an adventure for Over the Edge, for example.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
This is a Dark Ride
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Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
by Tommy K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2010 08:16:38

First, a little about the reviewers relationship to RPG's.. I have played RPG's for 13 years, and have tried a lot of different games. I am mostly interested in small game lines, and is not much for the bigger ones (D&D and such). I have owned Hoodoo Blues for about a month, read it, but haven't got the chance to play it yet.


Hoodoo Blues presents a unique setting based on americas southern lore - hoodoo, voodoo, ghosts, werewolfs etc. Players portraits ageless characters with different powers/abilities, and thus is a part of the lore itself.


SETTING: The setting fills approximately a third of the 312 pages, and handles the southern history and culture, including the supernatural. The setting is rich, inspirational and also very well written. I have a bad habit of getting tired of books easily, but with this book i just kept reading.


CHARACTER CREATION: This chapter is another third of the book. This lets you create one of the six different character types; Voodoo user, Hoodoo doctor, Loup Garou (kind of a werewolf/dog/etc), Medicine worker (shaman), Hag (witch), and crossroader (who made a deal with the devil). Since you play ageless people, you need to define what you did with every decade in your life. This takes time, but also fleshes out your character. This chapter gets two big thumps up, since it's almost impossible to create a character that you don't like.


RULES: Utilizing the simple game mechanic ORC (Attribute + skill + D20, reach a difficulty), the rules of Hoodoo Blues is pretty gritty. The rules set is about 30 pages long, and easy to understand. Personally, i have never liked to use the D20, but this system is way more "stable" than the D&D rules.


ADVENTURES: A very helpful chapter, spread on 40 pages, gives tips on how to GM Hoodoo Blues, writing adventures and campaigns, creating interesting NPC's and antagonists etc. The chapter also includes to ready-to-run adventures of high quality. The adventures are maybe a little bit linear for my taste, but i can imagine it fits perfectly to introduce the setting. The plots is also very good, and function as a good inspiration for further adventures.


APPENDIX: 30 pages wich contains some live-action rules (haven't read them), good glossarys of supernatural and southern terms, map of the south, character sheet, quick reference sheets for combat and character creation, and a index (wich is only focused on setting-related things).


LAYOUT: The PDF is 50mb, but contains no mumbo jumbo - even a real old computer can read it fast. Works well with both Adobe, PDF complete and Foxit. The books uses many old free photographs (wich looks very nice, fits with the setting and also allows for a cheaper product), but also contains some good art. One thing that should become industry standard, is the "In-Brief" boxes. In all pieces there is a box that explains the content in one, short sentence. This makes the books content extremely easy to navigate through. Over all, the layout it a bit minimalistic (in a very good way) and very easy on the eye. The book is also pretty printer friendly (aside from the grey boxes).


PROS: Great and unique setting, but not hard to come up with stories. Gritty rules engine. Extremely well written. 'In-Brief'-boxes should be a standard. And, Vajra is practically giving away the PDF for five bucks!


CONS: PDF is not bookmarked (although it is not hard to find what you're looking for, thanks to the table of contents and 'in-brief'-boxes.) Personally, i don't like to use a D20, but the system is still solid.


CONCLUSION: If you are interested in the supernatural, like unique settings or just RPG's in general, you need Hoodoo Blues! Together with Eclipse Phase, this is the greatest and most innovative RPG in many, many years.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
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Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition
by Nicholas J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2010 23:34:40

Fates Worse Than Death is a refreshing change of pace from traditional cyberpunk games. The emphasis on alternate solutions to solving problems, coupled with the unique rules system ORC, make it difficult to create a throwaway charcter. Spare Change edition is also one of the most comprehensive free products I've ever seen (241 pages), and does a remarkable job of fleshing out Manhattan of 2080. With numerous entries about the gangs, scores of equipment, drugs and hazards characters may face (charts for rendomly generating buildings, enviromental hazards, epidemics, and so on), makes for a terrific bargain. I'll definately be purchasing the full version, if this is any indication of the quality work Vajra puts in a free product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition
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Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
by Anthony C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2010 20:39:50

This is seriously one of the best games I've seen this year. The PDF price at less than five dollars makes this massive book a must-have for any gamer with a supernatural bent. The setting allows players to take on the role of various immortal types from Southern American folklore. One of the shining aspects of the book is the history section, which offers an insightful (especially for a RPG) look at Southern American history.


In the mood for something different in the horror vein? This book is it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
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Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition
by Richard G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2010 20:07:40

Fates Worse than Death is an interesting and creative game, which takes the cyberpunk mood and makes it feel more real. The character creation system is set to make quality and vaired characters. Players can pick the same socioeconomic class and have completely different characters. The game has unique concepts and detailed rules ranging from computer hacking to drug addiction. The spare change edition is free to download and is worth checking out. Containing charater rules for playing only the street level people, it is still worth playing. Even without the rules for playing Wells or Indies thee is enough in this free download to play numerous complete games. Spare Change is like a teaser trailor, if you don't like it no loss, however if you do like it you're going to want more.


If you like role paying games, it is definetly worth at the very least checking out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fates Worse Than Death: Spare Change Edition
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Tibet the Role Playing Game: Monastic Edition
by Luo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2010 12:57:40

While certainly highly detailed and informative with regard to Tibetan mythology, it's treatment of the Chinese, especially the Peoples' Liberation Army that suppressed the fascist uprising of 1959 is quite ill-informed and indeed racist. Taking its cue from 1950s US propaganda, it presents the Chinese as child-like drones of the Maoist regime in China that so many of them had been instrumental in bringing to power. Revolutions require a mass of popular support and many Tibetans died in support of the ant-Japanese and revolutionary wars.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Tibet the Role Playing Game: Monastic Edition
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