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Oath of the Dead (fiction)
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2016 19:47:30

The short story takes a brief glance into the world of BareBones Fantasy's 'Karanak Kingdoms' setting. In its 24 pages gives me nothing I did not enjoy. The writing style is accessable and fun, without the kind of shorthand jargon that so easily can be taken for granted in the fantasy gaming community. The only thing really wrong with it is that I now want to know the rest of the adventure and just what happens to the people in the story, which is really quite easy to imagine just how to run in a game of my own. I am prone to leaving a lot of five star reviews, as when I like something well enough to review it, I am usually that pleased wirth it. This story stands well in that esteemable company.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Oath of the Dead (fiction)
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Graystone Tower
by Marcus B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2016 04:15:27

The author of Graystone Tower asked me to review his adventure and I am happy to do so. I crossed the path with Jim the first time a long time ago when I wrote Savage Space. He provided me with a review copy of his adventure. This is a reading review, I have neither run nor played it. I try to avoid overly specific spoilers but if you read this you WILL be spoiled about certain aspects. You are warned. Players: get out.


Graystone Tower consist of two PDF, one in the usual, good-looking BareBonesFantasy trade dress and one printer friendly. Additionally all maps from the adventure in 300 DPI JPG depicting the tower itself and an area map. Both are full color and look very nice. The Tower map is sparse, just showing the interior but no furniture or other details. Works for me though, makes it easier to be creative with a rooms contents and makes it possible to easily hand it to the players after the adventure when they want to make the place their own. The maps included are very re-usable, as usual from DwD Studios.


The adventure aims at low-level characters. The basic premise: There is this tower where someone evil sits and someone hires the characters to clear it out. As a reward they can win the title to the Tower and the surrounding lands. This is a great price to win indeed, even though the setup is very formulaic.


The PDF begins with a short overview of what to expect within. There is also some advice given on how to place the locale in the Keranak Kingdoms, BBF's official setting. There are sidebars encouraging GM to change the adventure to suit their needs. I appreciate these tips, even though they aim at newer GM. That is not a bad thing at all.


Before the characters actually reach the Tower they first have to travel along a road towards its. During that journey there are three different encounters. One ties to the deeper background of the Keranak Kingdoms and two set up the tower as a dangerous place as well as the potential enemy. There is one where the characters can help a victim of the BBEG with tips on how to “escalate” the situation in interesting ways, turning it into a dangerous roleplaying situation (Peasants with Pitchforks anyone?). Even though the encounters have numbers 1, 2, 3 the sidebar in the beginning advises any GM to not necessarily railroad the players in them. However on the map they are in the same order. You can shuffle the order of course, or leave something out. But still, the overall journey part is very straight forward .


Upon reaching the Tower the players propably will investigate and try to figure out what is going on. The structure consists of 12 rooms, only three rooms are actually occupied. You can discover something interesting in every room though. There are some really cool features in the tower that make it perfect for a spellcaster home as well as some unique and hidden treasures. Just do not expect tons of fighting. But there is enough and even one that might proof very deadly very quickly. All room descriptions begin with a short stat block like entry. Here an example:


Room 2:
Door O‐2: Heavy Oak door, unlocked, untrapped, opens into room 2.
Door 2‐3: Heavy wooden door, unlocked, untrapped, opens into room 3.
Room: “torchlit”, quiet, occupied.


I totally dig this. More adventures should use this kind of no-nonsense stat block for room descriptions. It shows me what I need to know at a glance. More detail in the text. If a room is occupied the creature or NPC stats are right there in a sidebar, so no searching. Very thought out.


In classic dungeon crawl method the players sooner or later will discover that not everything is as expected. Sadly I feel the ending is not as strong as it could be. For one there is no motivation given for the final NPC. Why does he do what he does? A question I find important to answer. Also it seems written with the assumption that the players are not totally paranoid and a trusting lot. In my experience that is rarely the case. I would like to see more details here on ways this can go south and flow differently than expected. While the beginning of the adventure is beginner friendly the ending leaves you a bit alone. Because I can guarantee that not a single thing expected to happen here would happen in any of my groups. They are all a suspicious lot. Additionally some tips on roleplaying the character would be appreciated, as it is mainly a dialogue and any guidance is helpful in such a situation.


Lastly there are some seeds for further adventures. The appendix contains all the NPC, new monsters and magic items. Everything easy to find.


Overall a solid adventure, well written. Just a bit short of what it could be. There is this a good-looking hex map of the tower and surrounding area, but there are no locations given for further adventures. A missed opportunity I feel, especially considering the players can inherit the place. The ending could use some work, as it expects things going a certain way without offering any advice on what to do they don't. In its sum the adventure does more right then wrong and I hope a new adventure by Jim improves on the groundwork he has done here. Overall for 2,99 it is a good offering, enough adventure to last you an evening with a cool player base as a reward for further shenanigans.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Graystone Tower
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Decahedron Magazine #5
by Marcus B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2016 09:28:46

The already established Fanzine with an irregular schedule released their 5th issue. It is still PWYW and has again a mix of content for their various products. There is a table of fantasy city encounters that is system agnostic and should be useful to many OSR gamers as well. There is some benign and some weird stuff (I am not saying it is aliens, but it is aliens!) and many that could kick off a great session.


There is GM advice from Tony Demetriou dealing with player trust and “when to roll” issues. It is more an opinion piece then really advice, but I appreciate the perspective he gives on the “What I imagine and the players imagine might be extremely different” issue many GMs regularly fall for, myself included, and how this relates to the question of when to roll.


Then we have a plot hook by Mitch A. Williams that is a summary of an adventure with some information on the location. I appreciate this kind of adventure ideas instead of fully detailed ones. It gives me enough to start from but I can flesh it out with details that resonate with my players. The premise of “Wizard’s Lake” contains old ruins, fighting brothers and an interesting way to source ones water, so to say.


The next article by Glenn Davisson deals with interrogations. Gives some light real world background of certain aspects and expands the interrogation rules from Covert Ops. While interesting to read the rules seem to add a level of complexity I do not need, but they still seem very usable and might be something you need in your game.


After this we get another expansion for Covert Ops: “The Agency Uniform” by Bill Logan. It is basically an armored outfit with various available upgrades. For any proper spy game there can never be too many gadgets and this adds something interesting to the arsenal for your operatives.


And finally a nice looking ruin map with some background.


Decahedron #5 is again a great offering. I am glad the zine seems to find its release stride and hope they can keep it up, I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Decahedron Magazine #5
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Hyperspace Messenger Compendium
by Nickolas H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2016 13:46:35

I love this supplement for everything it brings to my White Star game. Aliens is one of my all time favorite tools and I much prefer the d20 skill system presented in Hyperspace Messenger over the d6 skill system introduced in the White Star Companion. Stunners, Robots, Vehicles, and Cyberwear all bring a bunch of useful goodies and systems to use as you desire and I'll be bringing some of these things into my games to keep my players on their toes. Finally, the last chapter is a handy addition for quickly designing sectors of space.


My only complaint is the main font used for most of the text. It appears slightly faded. That being said, it is still highly readable and the rest of the art and graphic are very nice looking.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperspace Messenger Compendium
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Hyperspace Messenger 03 - Aliens
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2016 12:12:28

Hyperspace Messenger 03: Aliens is a 20 page book, with 16 pages of content, the other 4 being things like cover, credits, OGL, and a product blurb. The introduction opens up by saying it's meant to help emulate settings like Star Wars, where the vast galaxy has a seemingly uncountable number of alien species where a few are featured but the rest are left to the imagination. To that end, the book is meant for both players and Referees to make their own alien class with a step-by-step series of random-roll tables.


The Meat of the System


HM3 generates an alien class by rolling for core traits, along with miscellaneous details such as reproduction, lifespan, size, and unique abilities. The major details include things such as Hit Dice, Saving Throw progression, Base To-Hit, and Weapon/Armor Proficiencies.


Each table result provides a sample Experience value, which is used to determine how much the alien needs to get from level 1 to 2 and is then doubled from there. Generally speaking, the more powerful results cost more experience: being proficient with only primitive weapons (bows, swords, staffs, etc) adds 100 Experience, while being able to use any kind of weapon is 400. As the basic White Star classes are usually 1,200 at the lower end to 2,000 around the upper end, getting consistently good results for your randomized alien has the trade-off of having you lag behind the rest of the party.


Some traits can result in lowering the Experience value for faster progression, such as an anatomy incompatible with most (human-designed) equipment, lacking an important sense such as being blind or deaf, or a -1 penalty to an ability score rolled at character creation. Overall it seems like a fine, consistent system, but noticed mixed results when trying to build a few of the core White Star classes with similar abilities. The Aristocrat, Mercenary, and Pilot had more or less the same Experience Progression, off by 100-250 points. The Alien Brute was off by a bit, whose base is 2,000, had 2,4000 with its HM3 counterpart.


Special Abilities


The table for Special Abilities is the real highlight of this book, containing ninety features differing widely in form and function (the 91-100 result allows the player/Referee to choose freely). Each Special Ability adds 200 Experience to the initial value, but due to their nature lower the alien's level cap by 1 (10th level is ordinarily the base cap in White Star) for each one taken, to a maximum of 4 Special Abilities.


The Special Abilities vary a lot in scale. One one might grant the alien a +2 on rolls involving interaction with others (Sociology Experts), while another might automatically heal 1 hit point per round (Regeneration). Most of them provide an explicit game effect or ability of some sort, like being able to stick to surfaces due to adhesive, increased movement rate, or even a continuous immunity to mind-affecting effects! A rare few are more geared towards Referee fiat, such as the alien species having a universal positive reputation which can result in social opportunities and opened doors.


My favorite included Symbiotic Immortality, where the alien has a symbiotic life form living inside it accumulating knowledge which can be passed on to others of its species upon death. The game effect is a +1 Wisdom, but this really sets up interesting cultural and role-playing opportunities for said species.


Conclusion


Five sample alien species and a fillable worksheet provide the final parts of this small book. Overall, I really like Hyperspace Messenger 03. The sample tables cover enough mechanical ground to make all sorts of aliens, even ones from popular franchises such as the Vulcans from Star Trek. The best part is that the book's contents are OGL save for typical product identity stuff of art and logos. The author even encourages folks to use his system to make their own aliens for their own works and share on social media. He also suggests using a non-random "pick your abilities" method for generation, which more or less works due to the restrictions on Experience and maximum number of Special Abilities.


I heartily recommend this product; it may be short, but it's very useful as both a player and GM tool.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperspace Messenger 03 - Aliens
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White Lies
by Joshua H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2016 17:15:25

I was on the fence about OSR-style games. I could certainly see the value in a lighter rules set, but why would I want an antique? As I started reading through White Lies I began to see the beauty of it. Most gamers already know the basics of it, they can roll up a character and get going right away. I began thinking I could use it to run games in a number of different settings, Leverage, The A-Team, Firefly, and the list just keeps going. There are a slew of tables for creating adversaries and their motivations and organizations to use as a springboard when my well of creativity is running dry. It even includes an intial adventure making it a great complete package at 132 pages. If you want a rules lite spy game that gives you plenty of room to create and hack and improvise it's hard to beat White LIes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Lies
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White Lies - Advanced Training: Hand-to-Hand
by Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2015 15:47:35

"Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting!" --Carl Douglas


Although I prefer having Rules Companions released after the core rules of a game to be a big tome including lots of new stuff, the modular Admin Toolkit is an acceptable and flexible way for the Admin to add new features to their game.


Advanced Training: Hand-to-Hand is a supplement to White Lies, the spy game resembling old-school gaming (based on Dungeons & Dragons rules). Secret agents who opt for this Advanced Training will need to gain more Experience Points (XP) to advance to each new level. However, in return they will get to use some advanced hand-to-hand fighting techniques in a way that resembles "spells per day". Individual techniques can be used more than once a day, but the number of types usable per day are limited. There is no extra check or Saving Throw to make, and no special preparation once trained. Various kinds of strikes and defensive stances are described, organized in Techniques up to Level 3.


The "spell" structure will be inherently familiar to players, and as usual, pay close attention to the details and conditions for each Technique. Now get out there and knock some heads!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Lies - Advanced Training: Hand-to-Hand
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White Lies
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2015 13:55:48
http://dieheart.net/w-
hite-lies/

Do we need another old school game? Do we need another game for modern espionage and military operations?
Bill Logan from DwD Studios doesn’t ask these questions, he just writes games. White Lies is the second game in this vein, his first one was Covert Ops (aff) (together with Larry Moore), a game based on d00lite which is based on the system of Star Frontiers (?).
Bill forked me a preview copy of the game, so I have it as a PDF on my computer right now.


While I’m a fan of old school games, I’m not really familiar with the espionage genre. I know that there are other contenders, but I haven’t read or played them (except for Covert Ops and Black Seven.


Please note that this is a reading review of an advanced copy.


What is White Lies?


White Lies (henceforth: WL) is based on Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox which is in turn based on OD&D (the original Dungeons & Dragons from 1974). WhiteBox is a cleaned-up version of OD&D with some tweaks and it is published under the OGL which makes it a good ruleset for game designers.
In fact, besides the name White Lies and the logo everything is open content under the rules of the OGL. That’s really sweet.


So, basically WL is an old school D&D game for spy stories. Here’s the blurb (emphasis is mine):


"Welcome to WHITE LIES, a modern role-playing game of espionage and paramilitary operations. This game takes advantage of an existing and well-loved set of role-playing game rules called Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox, a light and simple set of mechanics designed to be fast and loose, like the cinematic espionage genre this game attempts to embrace. This is a toolbox to design your own thrilling tales of modern adventure!
If you read my blog, you know that I like S&W WhiteBox, so I am at least intrigued by having another old school game to complete my collection."


Content


There is a short introduction which stresses Rule Number One: The Admin (Game Master) has the right to modify the rules. As typical for old school games there are sometimes “gaps” in the rules and the Admin is free to interpret them.


Character Creation


Then we jump right into character creation which is pretty familiar. The attributes are the same as always. Some character classes may gain additional XP (experience points) for certain high stats. Attributes are rolled as 3d6 in order.


WL includes a basic skill system which is a “die+modifier”-mechanic: you roll 1d6, add your attribute modifier and try to score 4 or more (4+). Opposed skill checks are rolled against each other, higher roll wins.


Saving Throws are the same as in WhiteBox, roll a d20 and score equal or higher than your ST (Saving Throw value) which is based on your class.


So far, nothing really surprising although I like the addition of a rudimentary skill system.


A look at the character classes


Of course, you have different classes, this game is based on OD&D after all.


The Confiscator: types like cat burglars and thieves who are good at sneaking in and bypassing security systems, based strongly on Dexterity. This class is loosely based on the Thief and gets a bonus when attacking from a hidden position.


The Eliminator: soldiers, mercenaries – the Fighter class. Good with weapons and other martial stuff and gets extra attacks per round.


The Infiltrator: the Charisma-type, the Grifter charming you out of your money or other things and deceiving you. They are good at forgery, disguise and persuasion, of course. As a bonus, they have masterwork Cover Identities.


The Investigator: this class encompasses the P.I.s, journalists, detectives but also hackers (!). As an Investigator, you are good at solving problems, interrogation, and technology. As a special ability, they have a Network of Informants.


The Transporter: the guy behind the wheel, they get skill bonuses when driving vehicles and get one as starting equipment.


I would have liked to see a separate class for the hacker. He is rolled into the Investigator which also covers private investigators and cops. Mechanically, you can’t really play with cyber security. The Investigator gets Saving Throw bonuses on interrogation and deception which doesn’t necessarily fit the hacker archetype. That said, there are skill bonuses for computers, too. Still, I find the umbrella of Investigator too broad for a typical hacker.


Every class has its own XP table, basic attack bonus etc. – it’s like in Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox.


Equipment


Weapons do damage centered around a d6 which is true to WhiteBox, armor classes can be ascending and descending – again, nothing new. There is a nod towards the espionage genre by providing information for Expense Accounts and Mission Outfitting. I like that Equipment Kits are available, making staffing a character much easier and faster. The rules make sense and there is interesting material like “cleaner kits” or “halo kits” (for parachuting stealthily).
Because this is modern espionage, you have stats for firearms like revolvers and rocket launchers, explosives and also other weapons like tasers.
The game also includes rules for vehicles (dirt bikes, jeeps, motorcycles, pickup trucks, helicopters, jet skis and more) and vehicle as well as weapon upgrades.
This is a useful addition to the game, especially in light of the Transporter class. WL doesn’t want you to track ammo, it is assumed that you have one payload full of bullets appropriate to your weapon. Fallen enemies might have suitable ammo which is up to the Admin’s discretion.
Weapon upgrades, vehicle upgrades, and gadgets make the equipment list interesting and offer further incentive for the players in long-term play.
The rules for gadgets are a bit free-form. Generally, this approach can be seen throughout the whole book: it’s some vague guidelines and ideas which should help the Admin but not hard and fast rules per se. For example, there is no list of ready-made gadgets.


Describe the gadget you want to your Admin. In accordance with his experience, knowledge, and sense of fairness, the Admin then assesses how plausible the gadget is. This determines the gadget’s reliability and cost. There are 4 categories: existing gadgets (cheapest and most reliable), plausible gadget, improbable gadget and super-science gadget (most expensive and last reliable).
Still, the advice is solid and I like how the author came up with a “reliable rating” to make gadgets more intriguing. If you want to use your gadget, you need to make a roll on a d6 and if you can’t meet the reliability rating the gadget misfires.


Admin Section


Whereas there is still XP for defeating adversaries, the author also included experience garnered from Mission Payments. This is a clever idea and fits the genre. The payment depends on the scope of the mission (personal, local, national or international) and whether you met your objectives and other bonuses (i.e. discretion & secrecy bonus).


Combat


Combat is familiar, rolling for initiative and resolving tasks in rounds. Initiative is rolled individually (1d6 + DEX bonus). There are some special rules for situations like unarmed attacks, explosions, stun damage, rate of fire, automatic weapons.


You recover 1 HP per day as natural healing but luckily, you can also bind wounds or use a medic pack.
Interestingly, the product also includes guidance on Investigating which I find suitable. The advice is basic, but I’m happy to see it here.


More tools


So far, I like what I see in the Admin section. Considering the broad-strokes-approach, it’s well done and now we come to more appealing bits.
There is a cool method for Enemy Organizations, complete with random tables to roll on. I like that very much. For example, you can roll on the organization’s location purpose (i.e. propaganda site or training center), on the physical location and their descriptors (i.e. has an extensive pool of vehicles) and on the organization agenda (i.e. ascension or destruction of wealth).
Furthermore, the author also gives you procedures to come up with Master Villains, including villain type (i.e. celebrity, cult leader, politician etc.), motivation and power base (i.e. economic wealth, secrets, technical superiority etc.), tables for henchmen and minions and statistics.
Next up is a Mission Generator, again with tables (who doesn’t love tables?): mission scope, mission areas, area descriptors, area objectives, area obstacle, mission code name. I personally love the mission code generator which can yield funny names like “Operation Gomex Eel”.
All in all, this section is the true gem of the book for me.


And other tidbits


Campaign Settings


This part of the book deals with general advice on how to set up your campaign world, i.e. scope, funding, agenda, how the law works, security systems etc.


Adversaries


The bestiary of the book. You have spies, soldiers, thugs, martial artists, animals (“realistic foes”) but also (alternatively) some stats for aliens.


Supplemental Training


This chapter includes optional rules which expand the game and make it characteristic and different from the so far S&W WhiteBox rules.
Areas of Training allow additional bonuses for certain skill checks (roll 2d6 and choose the higher one).
Moreover, there are also alternatives for Development (raising attribute scores).


Bureau 19 & Operation: Wounded Wolf


Finally, we have an example campaign setting. Bureau 19 is a highly classified agency in the US. It uses a fairly standard power level, so there is no weird stuff, just straight-forward military action/espionage.
Operation: Wounded Wolf is an introductory adventure for 1st level characters.


Appearance


The product comes at 136 pages total (including cover and OGL etc.). The print version will be digest size (6″ x 9″). The PDF is bookmarked. The layout is basic and sufficient with one-column text style. It makes good use of color for headers. Generally, the product uses a black-white-and-red color scheme throughout the book with silhouette-style illustrations. This amounts to a modern look.


My take on White Lies


First, the name is genius. Second, WL spins WhiteBox into a good take on the undercover operations genre. The classes make sense, grant niche protection but are able to model most common modern archetypes. I would have liked to see a more differentiated approach to the hacker archetype but other than that I’m sure I can find a class for many standard concepts.
I welcome the addition of a basic skill system and the optional Areas of Training.
Obviously, Bill Logan has put some thought into porting the original fantasy game into the modern world with adjusting the equipment section and adding rules for weapon upgrades, vehicles, and gadgets.
Like WhiteBox the game can be very vague and leaves things open to the decision of the Referee. This could be frustrating for people who want hard and fast rules. I admit that the broad-strokes approach can have its advantages as it gives you a framework to build upon but in parts I would have liked to see more “precise” formulas. For instance, a list with gadgets wouldn’t have hurt.
I really appreciate the tools for creating enemy organizations, master villains, and the mission generator. In regards to “standard” military operations and spycraft, WL clearly succeeds in providing the Game Master with a toolkit. In regards to offering a wide staple of options for different takes on the genre, it’s a bit sparse, though. For example, scaling the power level is not possible, so it’s hard to change between a “realistic” way or a more cinematic, action-movie modus operandi. Clear guidelines for the inclusion of fringe powers or supernatural conspiracies are missing, too (with the exception of adding aliens to the Adversaries chapter).
I also wouldn’t call WL a “modern role-playing game”. It’s an OSR game, nothing wrong with that.
Furthermore, the game promises light and simple mechanics suitable for cinematic action. Being an off-shot of Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox, I can’t imagine that WL succeeds here completely. Yes, the rules are easy (and familiar if you’re an OSR aficionado). However, old school D&D derivatives usually don’t offer cinematic play as low-level characters die easily. I can’t see any adjustments concerning the mortality rate. Thus, I argue that cinematic play will be difficult.
I’m not sold on the idea that old school D&D is the best ruleset for cinematic paramilitary action 1 but IF you want to play D&D in the modern world this is certainly a neat game.


Where does that leave us?
WL is clearly a professional, quality work. The minimalist artwork style serves it well. It’s a well-made adaption of Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox. I can recommend it if you like old school systems and want to use them to play modern day espionage games. It’s a rules-lite, easy to learn system. The price point for the PDF is very reasonable given the excellent content in the Admin section.
Having said that, if you don’t have a soft spot for traditional D&D rules, you’d probably better be served by something different. WL is NOT a modern, cinematic RPG, serving different style of espionage gaming but a love letter to the OSR.


EDIT: The digital download of the game now includes Echo Team, a separate file with 5 pregens. Neat!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Lies
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White Lies
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2015 08:22:51

Do you like spy movies, police procedurals, detective stories or even just pulp adventures? If so, this game is for you. It's fast, it's fun, it covers all the bases, from Bond to Bourne to Alias, Get Smart and everything in between. The art is fantastic, there's no fat to trim, and it's an easy-to-implement system. Lots of sandbox elements. Thinks Stars Without Number mixed with White Star, but with fast cars and you've got the right idea.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Lies
by Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/09/2015 14:44:38

Roughly coinciding with the release of the Bond movie SPECTRE, DWD Studios brings us "White Lies" with an appropriate gun-logo. Based on "white box" old-school rules, the rules system of classes and levels will be inherently familiar to the majority of gamers brought up on D&D. Combat rules can use both old-style Armor Class (AC; lower is better) or Ascending Armor Class (AAC; higher is better).


The familiarity is a powerful strength of the game. If people have the energy to explore a different rules basis, they could try DWD's game COVERT OPS, which also has an espionage setting.


The rules are written in a breezy, easy-to-follow digest size. Five character-classes are presented, suitable to the espionage setting, with progression up to Level 10. However, adding a Hit Die to your Hit Points every level only succeeds if you have rolled greater than your last Hit Die advancement. There is a basic list of weapons, vehicles and other gear, more like distinctive classes of weapons, as the game says it will not detail fire-arms down to each model of revolver or hand-gun. Weapons and vehicles have various upgrades to enhance and distinguish a character's gear.


Not to be overlooked are several pages devoted to world-building. Akin to "random dungeon generation" but with a spy slant, this harkens back to several past DWD products and can be useful aids to players who are stepping over from the fantasy genre. The rules invite the Admin (GM) to roll on some random tables for the type of Enemy Organization, its location, descriptors, and its overall agenda. The Master Villain in the Admin game can be rolled for Type, Motivation, resources, henchmen and minions, and a big d100 table of Quirks ("Here, kitty, kitty...") Missions have random tables as to the number of "scenes" or "maps" and what type of mission objective each scene involves, a random table for the descriptions of the location, and a dual d100 table to give your mission a snazzy (or totally meaningless) code-name! Of course, these tables should be used more to review the tropes of the spy genre, and the Admin should make some judicious picks of what should make the most sense, rather than a totally random determination.


A few stats for opponents and a few choice animals ("Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?") are given, including a few stats for alien opponents in a setting where nations are in fact controlled by aliens from an alien conspiracy! A suggested organization for the player-characters, Bureau 19, is given, and a short sample adventure.


Overall, an excellent product with the aim of drawing old-school rules-players into the espionage genre.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Operation: Burning Presidents
by Terry A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2015 13:39:46

This is a fairly straight forward adventure, though with plenty of opportunity to expand it beyond the actual mission. I found it to be an excellent introduction to the Covert Ops system, both for myself as gamemaster and for the players. It was complete enough that I didn't need to do any real prep work, but not so overly detailed as to get in the way when players wanted to do something unexpected.


It's an action oriented mission, and gives a good introduction to combat, sneaking, and other action-ish activities.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Operation: Burning Presidents
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Hyperspace Messenger 03 - Aliens
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2015 07:39:12

This is simply one of the best alien generators out there. It's reminiscent of the ACKS player guide with its standard, balance class-creation system, and you can really use it to make a class for any game or style that you want. Plus it's only a buck. This is a fantastic resource that you have to purchase if you're a fan of the OSR rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperspace Messenger 03 - Aliens
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Hyperspace Messenger 04 - Skills
by William W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2015 18:21:41

Great product, adds a nice, simple and yet versatile skill system to the White Star RPG. I'm happy to have this product and can't wait to use it in my games. It really allows for a nice bit of versatility between characters. White Star is a rules lite game, but it is still nice to have a bit of differentiation between characters. Hyperspace Messenger 04 - Skills allows that while still keeping to the rules lite feel of the game.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperspace Messenger 04 - Skills
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Hyperspace Messenger 03 - Aliens
by William W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2015 11:36:26

I'm always on the lookout for more aliens for my Sci Fi games. If you are a fan of the newly released White Star RPG, then I'd say Hyperspace Messenger 03- Aliens is an Essential part of the game. It allows you to quickly and easily make up a plethora of aliens to use in your White Star games!
For a mere $1.00 you can greatly expand your White Star Campaigns!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperspace Messenger 03 - Aliens
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Hyperspace Messenger 05 - Vehicles
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2015 08:16:14

...another solid offering from Bill Logan, this PDF delivers a vehicle stat system with a number of examples that can be customized. This PDF begs for a sequel detailing a vehicle-mech-starship unified construction system with even more extras.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hyperspace Messenger 05 - Vehicles
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