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Stars Without Number: Free Edition
by Ian N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2017 20:24:30

A big and detailed book explaining all the rules for playing Stars Without Number, a great sci-fi game with elements of old-school D&D. The book includes tons of help for new GMs as well.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Free Edition
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Silent Legions Art Pack
by Jesse B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2017 09:23:38

Great art and thanks for adding to the community NSA!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Legions Art Pack
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A Brief Study of TSR Book Design
by George C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2017 04:41:29

This is amazing! I've really enjoyed reading through this and getting a real blast from the past!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Brief Study of TSR Book Design
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Ten Buried Blades: An Adventure for Godbound
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2017 22:15:24

Even though I've only just started playing Godbound, and haven't really tried Ten Buried Blades yet, I did buy and read through the adventure. I have to say: this is a really impressive, detailed, and fun read. I mean, technically, it's not so much a linear adventure than "here's the different people and events. Do them at your leisure", but I guess that's a part of Sandbox-style gaming-just going around, doing the things you want and skipping over what you don't want (if that be anything).

The main story behind Ten Buried Blades is that the characters are going to a village in Dulimbai- a heavily East Asian (mainly Chinese)-themed land for those who haven't bought the main game yet-and dealing with problems like a corrupt, but also bankrupt and desparate, government official, an exiled monk who wants to achieve immortality through forbidden magic, a bandit leader who is attacking the townsfolk, and a spirit of a dead warrior who has rised to (basically) minor godhood and wants to spread his old tribes beliefs. One of the best parts of the story is the "Yin and Yang" concept; basically, for almost each character, you have a choice to do two different versions of their goals, be it more aligned with internal or external struggles. It was a fascinating concept and, while I couldn't completely wrap my head around it the first time, I'd love to try and do it for a different game.

However, as good as this was, there was a few problems I had that took away from the experience-some subjective, others objective. For one, there was the "Ten Buried Blades"-altogether, despite their name being the title, they took a very low role in the present adventure. They were these special artifacts made by one of the characters, apparently, but we don't really hear about what they can do and they seem to kind of come out of nowhere. It just seems a little strange, for me at least, that the adventure would be named after the blades and yet they'd have such a small role-but that's just me and it could be that the GM or players are supposed to come up with those details themselves. The other was the Yin-Yang concept once again: the two didn't really have different themes in terms of goals. They just more appeared to be different things the characters wanted to achieve (such as one character either wanting to live no matter the cost versus trying to have his tribe's beliefs continued). It's a small one, but it didn't take away from the story as whole.

The others, however, were the terms and concepts brought up. Since Godbound is a fairly recent game, with only the nation of Ancalia being given a sourcebook (and even then, that was more as an experiment and the creator might not do other sourcebooks), then there is a lot of information in this book that is put out like you can understand exactly what they are. You can probably put the pieces together for some things-like an "ideotribe" being a tribe that follows a certain ideology-other things are left in the open like they're common knowledge. Therefore, if you're like, it can make you get a bit lost, since we don't really know-beyond the short description in the core rulebook-about what Dulimbai is like and what its culture is. Therefore, things like the Tao and its beliefs are a bit confusing. Are the followers of the Tao like our world's version of Taoism or something else? Another would be the Golden Lord: they mention his ideotribe, so what are some Dulimbaian beliefs? I'm sure some of this is for the GM, but suggestions would have been nice.

Finally, this story doesn't really have an ending: just different things that happen. While I can see this as being part of the sandbox-style gaming, where you are allowed and supposed to come up with your own conclusion, I felt some ideas for an appropriate ending would be nice-especially since I'm not sure if an adventure could end with solving all of the problems or you can only focus on one or two.

Due to some of the more confusing aspects, I'd say that I would rate this as a 4.5-but I'm rounding it up since a) a lot of this is my own opinion, b) I've been more exposed to linear adventures and c) there isn't a 4.5 rating. So, altogehter, this is a really nice way to introduce the players to Godbound-while it probably isn't good for a story about where and when the characters were when they become Godbound (unless they're from Gongfang), it still has a really great idea, memorable characters, nice expansion to the rules set in the core rulebook, and can give some really good ideas as to what Godbound adventures are like. A definite recommendation from a happy customer!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ten Buried Blades: An Adventure for Godbound
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Hard Light
by Jordan R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2017 14:45:34

A very solid "adventure hub", perfect to start a campain, but that can also be easily integrated into an ongoing one (especially if the PCs don't have a spaceship). The 3 "sky tombs" are very different (a pirate base, a relatively lightly guarded sunken tomb, and a big one where two groups fight one another). The layout is simple yet highly functionnal : the backstory and key to a 37-rooms sky tomb fits on 4 pages, plus another one for the map; all NPCs are described on a single page (another one gets you all the combat stats) with their important motivations and ties stated (useful in play to help you recall the more in-depth descriptions given before); lots of plot hooks and complications to throw at players while they are on Brightside station; etc. The background provided, both for the tombs and the station, is just long enough to be useful to a DM : the information provided is meaty enough to help playing the NPCs and improvise when needed, but not so much that you lose yourself in details and minutiae.

The only downside is that the art is very scarce : not counting the maps nor the cover, there are only three pieces, one being useful (showing an alien race), the other two, not so much. But it's a minor quibble.

The adventure provides opportunities for exploration/xenoarcheology/plunder, social interactions and combat. Better yet, altought there are plenty of hooks and nudges to implicate PCs, nothing ever really forces their hands : they could basically just stay put, pay for their stay, and watch things unfold; they could never leave Brightside and play a political/social game, or a sabotage one; and they could go explore/pillage sky tombs, letting the situation on Brightside sorts itself out. The PCs actions can have important repercussions on the station, but also the campain universe (possibly impacting the fate of two ancient and unknown alien species). While not limitless, the possibilities are many, and that's great.

I'd say that you would get at the very least 2-3 sessions out of it (beelining the tombs, not exploring nor discussing), probably more if the players take time to discuss with NPCs and explore the tombs, and even more if you make your own sky tombs using the geomorphs and background provided.

Alll in all, it's a fantastic product!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hard Light
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Stars Without Number Starter [BUNDLE]
by Raymond W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2017 01:46:00

I'm a big fan of Kevin's stuff, and this is no exception. I already owned everything in it except for Sixteen Stars, so I feel qualified to talk about the bundle as a whole. What I really like about it is that it very much lives up to its name; which is to say that iit provides a great starting point for a SWoN campaign. Sons of Gold is a good style of play to start with (i.e. the PCs as interstellar merchants). Sixteen Stars , introduced in this bundle, gives a prospective GM a ready-made inspiration engine for science-fiction role-playing, using a series of tables to quickly assemble plot seeds for tropey SWoN locations (like asteroid habitats, alien jungles and the like). Hard Light gives the GM a solid adventure to start with, and a good blueprint for writing one's own. I could go on, but you get the picture.

If you have any interest in SWoN, this is a good bundle to start with. It's very reasonably priced (usually $52 but currently on-sale for $25) for the quantity and quality of content. What is SWoN, you ask? Basically, it's a traditional tabletop RPG set in a wide-open interstellar science fiction setting. Humanity is recovering after a mysterious apocalypse struck its psychics, who are necessary for navigating the hyperdimensional journeys between stars. This basically establishes a universe that can accomodate almost any possibility, but the various supplements do a great job of sketching out how to run different styles of campaigns. Suns of Gold caters, as I've said, to adventurers-as-merchants, while Darkness Visible provides rules and content for running a science fiction intelligence agency.

To those familiar with certain corners of the hobby, this is an OSR update of Traveller as rendered by Sine Nomine aka Kevin Crawford. As usual with anything put out by Mr. Crawford, it's very sandboxy, its supplements crammed with tables for generating content. Remember all the Traveller books, like High Guard and Far Trader? That spirit is preserved here, and if truth be told, improved upon.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number Starter [BUNDLE]
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Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech
by Pantelis A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2016 13:13:53

It gives you some new and interesting stuff if you want to put some new twists in your campaign.After playing too much stars without number the players tend to learn everything about the system.Its fun getting new rules for free because they can refresh the game experience.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech
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Ancalia: The Broken Towers
by Nathan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2016 17:57:51

It's amaazing how Mr. Crawford has brought the broken land of Ancalia alive, with under 100 pages. The knight orders, the Uncreated lords, random table for ease of usage, I just love it. I have an Ancalian knight with my wife's Godbound, and this is really what I need to flesh him out even further. With the information, we will definitely be making trips to Ancalia.

The cover art is gorgeous. The interior black and white is a little more hit and miss, but the Chained Lady was brilliant.

I also appreciated that we get diversity in the setting.

I really hope that we get more country gazeteers for Godbound.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ancalia: The Broken Towers
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Ancalia: The Broken Towers
by Dominik W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2016 03:02:24

I really love the Godbound setting! This supplement flashes out one region of Arcem and while reading it, I have several inspirational flashes for new adventurs. Hopefully Kevin Crawford will write further regional guides like this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ancalia: The Broken Towers
by Matías C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/12/2016 18:04:02

Great supplement, like always Kevin Crawford's work is top notch. The book has everything you need to run a campaign on the Ancalia region, from places, NPCs to several random generators to inspire GMs.

10/10, if you like Godbound, this is a must buy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Free Edition
by Alex F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2016 15:53:52

Nice flavour, but overall a sloppy and unfinished looking product. It had good ideas but combined them with an iniability to artciulate them well and make them flow.

Plus it had agod-awful system that was trying to be 'retro' and instead felt cruede and unfinished. The Psionics system was particualrily clunky and felt poorly implmented, like it was bolted on at a later stage.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Free Edition
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Stars Without Number: Free Edition
by jimi r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2016 22:33:59

It had some readability issues and could have used another pass or two by an editor but once I got the hang of it the system itself is very good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Names: Lost Races and Forgotten Ruins
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2016 12:38:25

An excellent resource for constructing alien races, creatures, artifacts, and - most importantly - ruined facilities to explore!

As with all of Crawford's SWN products, this one has tons of tables for either inspiring your own creation or randomly generating one to use for a session.

Love it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Names: Lost Races and Forgotten Ruins
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Stars Without Number: Free Edition
by Hugh A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2016 07:34:34

An "old school" space opera game with an intriguing mechanism for generating a campaign background. Stars without number is an ideal light to medium weight RPG not least as the price is right so that every player can have a copy of the rules to refer to which can also spark story ideas from other players. On the downside there is no real explanation of how much experience points to reward characters with in a given situation, leaving it to the referees discretion. A good solution could be to encourage PCs to define their goals and reward them for meeting these.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Free Edition
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Stars Without Number: Free Edition
by mark b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2016 08:15:20

Amazingly well done. Written well enough to start quickly but with the required depth of material to maintain your interest. Even better there is a significant amount of additional material that adds depth to the game in key areas. Of interest this game has been noted to be one of the best solo/solitary RPG's and is played extensively in that community (myself included!). I believe SWN is both so well designed and such an open sandbox universe that any play style is facilitated. Oh, and if your still not sure, give it a read through, its free.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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