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Panzer Kids Deluxe
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2016 14:41:48

Building on the solid base of Panzer Kids Basic, this is more of the same (which is good) with additional tanks and rules for flank shots etc. Not complicated therefore not for those who want to count the rivets but if you want a fun game of tank warfare in the desert or on the West and East front, this is for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Panzer Kids Deluxe
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Panzer Kids Deluxe
by Steven P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2016 22:56:59

If you want to move a few tanks around with your friends, and don't really want to spend half the game checking rule books, PANZER KIDS DELUXE is for you. Simple, straightforward rules for tanks and anti-tank guns, a few simple scenarios, some optional rules, and a system to rate any tanks NOT in the book at a reasonalble price. Playing a few solo games demonstrated the subtle differences between the tanks. Playing a three players game with eleven tanks on the board showed how well balanced the abilities to fire and manuever can be. A game with three tanks on each side can take as little as ten minutes. Add in the damage rules, which lower firepower and movement, and the game will take a bit longer.


There are a couple of stat lines left out of my copy, but I have notified the creator. (nothing that can't be fixed using the "Rate your own" section


Overall, a load of fun, and a bargain to boot!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Panzer Kids Deluxe
by Douglas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2016 11:45:18

Panzer Kids Deluxe is the full version of the pay-what-you-want Panzer Kids Basic rules set that appeared earlier in 2016. I reviewed the basic set when it came out and gave it three stars with anticipation that the full set would earn another star or two if it offered more vehicles and some optional rules. I'm happy to say that it delivers on both counts.


The author designed Panzer Kids to let grownups run tabletop miniatures battles featuring the most iconic armored vehicles of WW2 for their little gamers as young as 7. He succeeds, and at the same time, introduces new gamers to all the classic concepts of miniature wargaming, making Panzer Kids an effective gateway to the hobby. He breaks no new ground in terms of rule design, but this is a feature, not a bug. You use rulers to measure movement and range, and dice to determine hits and misses. Three cumulative hits on a tank knocks it out of the battle. There are rules for cover and concealment, and optional damage rules that degrade a tank's stats with each cumulative hit scored. The list of vehicles features all the classic AFVs from ungainly early-war clunkers to fearsome late-war behemoths. British, French, German, Italian, Soviet, and American vehicles are included. Anti-tank guns are included, but no infantry, to keep the focus on the tank action. A very welcome addition in the deluxe rules is the formula for determining vehicle stats, showing how rationally the author derived each combatant's armor, speed, and attack values, and allowing you to add new ones consistently.
How does it actually play? You can get started with minimal prep, and a battle typically takes 20-30 minutes. I can explain the combat mechanic to you in a few words: roll a die and add your attack value; you hit if the total exceeds your target's armor. A natural 6 always hits and a 1 always misses -- this results in some very swingy results against mismatched opponents, but as I mentioned in the review of the basic rules, kids love sudden reversals of fortune in their games, especially when mom or dad is on the losing end. You could easily remove the natural 6 rule if you want the Stuarts to really fear the Tigers.
A note on pricing: considering that it's a black-and-white 80-page PDF with single column layout and relatively large print, I wonder if $8 US seems a bit steep. The author was generous enough to send me a review copy, so I can't complain personally, but I'm curious if other potential buyers will find this the right price for them. The market shall decide!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Panzer Kids Basic
by Douglas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2016 19:15:02

Full Disclosure: I know the author via social media but I have not been solicited to write this review and I'll try to be evenhanded.


"Panzer Kids Basic" is a free teaser for the forthcoming "Panzer Kids Deluxe." Set-up can be done in a matter of two minutes providing you have some tanks and terrain pieces. The recommended scale is 15mm but it would work with nearly any scale. Players spend points to create their tank force, ranging from 5 points for an M4 Sherman to 16 points for a Tiger. (Strangely, an M3 Stuart costs more than an M4 -- I know Shermans had their faults but I would think a 75mm main gun and thicker armor would make them more valuable than a light tank such as the M3). Once you've bought your tanks, you and your adversary place an agreed-upon set of terrain features, which provide cover for any adjacent unit. Then you're ready to skirmish. Each tank has a data card with its essential stats: Speed, Range, Attack, Defense, and Cost. The fundamentals of movement and combat will seem familiar to any ruler-and-dice wargamer and are very simple to grasp. Their familiarity actually makes Panzer Kids Basic a good introduction to the standard concepts of wargaming for very young players. To attack, roll a six-sided die, add your tank's Attack bonus, and try to exceed your target's Defense. A "1" always misses and a "6" always hits, which tends to smooth out duels between mismatched opponents. That M3 Stuart will still score a hit on your Tiger 1 out of 6 tries. I see this as a feature rather than a bug -- kids tend to have a higher tolerance for random twists of fate in their games and it makes the battles more lively. Players use counters or tokens to keep track of how many hits each tank has taken. On the third hit, a tank is knocked out.
With the right age group, you could be up for a fun evening of battles with your kids, each of which isn't likely to take more than 20 minutes. I hope that the deluxe version will add enough tactical options to keep players interested in the long run. I can't give the game more than 3 stars as is, because it seems a mere placeholder for the complete game -- which could make me add another star or two if it delivers on this bare-bones teaser.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Panzer Kids Basic
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review, but especially for pointing out what was a typo on my part in the M4 Sherman stats. It should have an Attack of +5, Defense 8, and Cost 10. I\'ve gone ahead and corrected the PDF file.
Heroes of Rura-Tonga
by Frank R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2015 10:25:31

One of my favourite pulp(y) settings. I have used this with Rolemaster and Savage World rules so far. The "Any-System" works well enough for me.
The setting has everything you could wish for. Beaches, Zombies, evil Nazis, island hopping, dog fights, intrigue, high adventure and memorable characters.
It may be a tad low on memorable villains. And some may find it a little but too focused on the technical details of planes and ships. Heroes of Rura-Tonga is two fifths background material and three fifths adventure. Perfect combination for me.


The adventures contained are short. It's around 60 pages for 5 adventures. A single one will probably only last you for one session. If you want to spend more time on Rura-Tonga, you will have to get creative or get more adventures like "Gift of the Gods" or "The Paranoia Pit".



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of Rura-Tonga
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Shadows of Sekhmet
by Kenneth S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2015 08:31:19

I and my players really enjoyed the other pulp Egypt adventures so I thought I would add this to the queue. After reading it I found that I want to move it up the list.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of Sekhmet
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Schweig's Themed Dungeon Generator
by Marc D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2014 17:16:05

I have been looking for a tool to use for solo gaming. This seems to fit the bill. It allows for your creativity and the possibilities are endless. You can scale and design an adventure to your needs which is particularly helpful when designing solo quests. Mr. Schweigs gives you ideas for each dungeon element, showing you how to skew or balance dice rolls to fit the theme of the delve you had in mind. He also provides two examples to get you going.


It will take some trial and error to strike that "perfect" dungeon design but that is part of the fun.


Now back to finding Margog, the giant spider who has claimed too many lives...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Schweig's Themed Dungeon Generator
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Schweig's Themed Dungeon Generator
by Darrick D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2013 11:37:40

This is a cool idea. A simple worksheet that allows one to randomly generate a dungeon weighted with whatever particularities or values the GM desires. Why should you be forced to have a 1 in 6 chance of going right or a 1 in 12 chance of encountering a vampire or alabaster statue of a nude sorceress? This tool is a template so that you can do more than what's in the Dungeon Master's Guide, and it's assumed (I assume) that the concept behind Schweig's Themed Dungeon Generator should be expanded by its new owner.


Make no mistake, aside from 2 filled-in sheets, this will take a bit of effort in order to make it work well. Consider this PDF a middle ground between ordinary random adventure/encounter/dungeon generators and a published module. If you put in 50% of the work, you'll get 100% of the results: a satisfying session... or even campaign. So, yes, it will save you time, but know that time must first be spent.


However, this concept begs to be expanded by the publisher himself. The suggested ideas are decent, but a lot more could be done with them. This is just the bare-bones beginning of what's possible. Perhaps Mr. Schweig will hone his themed dungeon generator, investing more of his own time and energy before re-releasing it in 2014 with three times the content, adding three times the value. Acquiring/using a better cover is also advisable.


VS



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Schweig's Themed Dungeon Generator
by Anthony C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2013 23:20:15

This product includes a 1 page random dungeon generator with no percentages filled in, and 2 pre-filled in random dungeon generators. I was hoping it would add more to the rules I already have such as new options for corridors (it only includes straight, turn, T-junction, and 4-way intersection), new options for rooms (it only includes empty, encounter, or trapped), new options for traps and tricks (all already in DMG), or new ideas for things to encounter in dungeos, but unfortunately it doesn't add much. Everything included seems to already be within the DMG.


Basically this is just a fancy worksheet, NOT new ideas. The price is a bit high.


For a 5-star rating, I'd like to see a nice long list of new ideas to populate the blank spaces for each of the subsection. A nice long list for corridors, a nice long list for rooms, a nice long list for encounter ideas and trap ideas.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Schweig's Themed Dungeon Generator
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2013 19:14:04

I had the pleasure of playtesting an early version of this product. This is a fantastic dungeon generator that gives you the tools to create a themed delve with escalating encounters. You populate the generator with your own content which gives you a great deal of control over the results, but not at the expense of sacrificing randomness which makes it perfect for solo play.


The generator works with any system and is versatile enough to facilitate play in multiple genres. Even though it's presented as a fantasy dungeon generator, I used it to play a solo sci fi game with almost no modification. It's also easy to introduce different 'win conditions' if you want to focus on solo games that have goal oriented structures.


While I've only used it for solo games, there's nothing to stop you from using it as a prep tool for group games.


This is a great gaming accessory at a great price. If you're interested in solo gaming or just want a well designed tool for session prep, you can't go wrong picking this one up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pulp Egypt
by Roger J. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2013 12:21:29

Amateurs, take note: THIS is how you write a sourcebook.


Written mostly from an in-universe perspective, “Pulp Egypt” is an excellent sourcebook for, obviously, the Egypt of the Pulp era, focusing mostly on the decade of the 1930’s. According to the back cover, the book offers:


• A “Visitors Guide to Egypt” suitable for orienting gamemasters and familiarizing players with common knowledge of the setting.
Not to disparage the rest of the book, but this is my favourite section. Though too short for my liking, it is well-researched, logically structured, informative without being pedantic, and written in a very professional – yet surprisingly easy-to-read – style. Over four millennia of history competently summarised in three pages or so, yet with sufficient information to help readers unfamiliar with this desert wonderland’s background to grasp the key parts of Egypt’s rich history and put them in the context of the early-to-mid 20th Century. And of course, the bibliography and other media resources provided in Appendix 4 are there to hep curious readers deepen their understanding of the subject matter. The section also includes a map and timeline, both very useful given the span of the time and space covered here. The rest of the 20-odd-page section deals with a multitude of topics ranging from transportation to or within Egypt, to points of interest, which include mosques, clubs and restaurants, and information on how to bargain in a bazaar or whether you should consider staying at a hotel or renting a townhouse.


• A chapter filled with Egyptian exotica, all the mysterious places, supernatural occurrences, magical artefacts, and mythical beasts abounding with adventure ideas.
From the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria to the mythical city of Hamunaptra, from how to exorcise spirits to how to tell whether that thing that’s following you is a Shambling, Lesser or Greater Mummy, this 40-page section offers a wealth of information on landmarks, beliefs, artefacts and animals one is likely to encounter in the Egypt of the 1930’s. And, of course, plot hooks and scenario ideas abound throughout.


• A chapter for running each of three kinds of themed campaigns in Egypt — archaeology, espionage, and criminal — including a full campaign outline for each.
The description speak for itself: 70 pages or so in which the author gives free reign to his vivid imagination, with very creative adventures which numerous sidebars flesh out through additional information such as timelines, random-event generators and maps and diagrams.


• Appendices detailing suitable character archetypes for pulp Egyptian campaigns, a random artefact generator system, and a list of book, film, and music resources to enhance your game.
A short section (under twenty page), which might have been lengthened to a certain degree. The character archetypes are not all that many (a score or so), but they are well fleshed out and, in any event, may be complemented by characters drawn from the “Who’s Who in Pulp Egypt” section, which includes historical and fictional characters.


The book also features the author’s “Any-System Key”, a truly generic system that allows you to carry the information provided in the book over to the game system of your choice, and to do so with amazing ease.


Overall, the book is very well written, with a pleasant layout; there is a profusion of illustrations, but the text does not feel as if it were bieng smothered under their combined weight. The author obviously has a knack for storytelling; hopefully, this will encourage the reader to start looking for some of his other works (luckily, there are also additional downloads available: “The Charioteer's Tomb”, and “Enemies on the Horizon”, adventures designed to be used in the “Pulp Egypt” setting, both available for free on RPGNow), and the author to keep producing such entertaining books.


There are too many semi-literate authors out there who cobble together a few paragraphs, a couple of lists and a page or two of confusing scenarios and sell the resulting mishmash at outrageous prices. Fortunately, there are still authors who take pride in their craft, and when someone comes around and produces such outstanding work, I feel they must be given their due. This is one such author.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pulp Egypt
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Enemies on the Horizon
by Roger J. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2013 22:54:27

WARNING: DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS FILE if you’re only looking for a preview of what Pulp Egypt might be like. Trust your instincts, buy the core book first, and THEN download this file: that way, you’ll derive far more enjoyment from this scenario.


This is a short adventure that takes place in 1935, shortly after the events described in “The Charioteer's Tomb” (also available as a free download at RPGNow): the Mallory expedition is still working at the site of the tomb of Henu-Akhet when their photographer is kidnapped. To free her, the characters will have to face a number of challenges, which this time these will include Nazi spies.


Another fun little adventure, with hand-outs and pertinent illustrations, this one ends with additional ideas for further scenarios featuring more Nazis, a cult bent on bringing back their god, Set, and (what else?) mummies.


Thoroughly enjoyable.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies on the Horizon
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The Charioteer's Tomb
by Roger J. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2013 22:34:36

WARNING: DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS FILE if you’re only looking for a preview of what Pulp Egypt might be like. Trust your instincts, buy the core book first, and THEN download this file: that way, you’ll derive far more enjoyment from this scenario.


“The Charioteer's Tomb” is a short adventure that takes place in 1935: an expedition has located the tomb of a legendary charioteer who fought at the Battle of Kadesh. The scenario calls for six players (profiles provided), but allows for more or for the substitution of any character by a player-designed one.


The characters will have to face a number of obstacles, from Bedouin raiders and corrupt soldiers to animated statues, a giant asp, a swarm of scarabs, sundry death traps and other assorted interesting challenges.


Entertaining, well-provided with aids (from the front page of an issue of “The Egyptian Gazette” to pertinent illustrations), this scenario offers players a lot of adventure, thrills, dangers and, ultimately, satisfaction (if the giant scorpion doesn’t get them).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Charioteer's Tomb
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Operation Drumbeat
by Gunther B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/06/2013 08:31:44

Drumbeat is a great solitaire game that covers east coast U-Boat actions from January to April 1942. Twenty pages with enough history and rules to make it interesting and not bog you down. Once you have read through it once you will need only two pages of charts, a map to mark your location, and a card to keep tract of your attack, search, and evade modifiers. Everything is included. The game covers the second HAPPY TIME as U-Boats go after shipping off the US Coast. This was a time before convoys, milch cow resupply, or wolf-packs so you can command a single submarine. Motivated gamers could easily run the 10 Type IX boats that made up the 1st and 2nd waves by playing ten games. This game would also link well with Operation Westindien, from another gaming company, which covers the third wave in the Carri bean.
Playing time is a half hour at most and many patrols are shorter. The game has high replay value and my only quirk is ASW Blimps are referred to as dirigibles; but other than that minor detail; HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. You get a lot of value for only a few dollars outlay.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Operation Drumbeat
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Creatures & Caverns 2nd Edition
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2012 04:18:02

Creatures & Caverns is a very simple OSR game, based loosely on the most popular fantasy RPG in the world. It's strong points are that it is indeed very simple to learn, and that it has good game mechanic balance because of that simplicity. It can be improved by adding more races and classes, monsters, tools for the characters, and other role-playing game rules. Not the worst game out there, and the price makes getting it worthwhile, if you want to briefly consider a different sort of fantasy rpg based on what you already know.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creatures & Caverns 2nd Edition
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