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Mythos: Hero's Handbook (EGS)
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2015 22:59:36
Basically this game is a completely usable product, and very good for anyone even remotely familiar with Greek myth. Also fully usable with Savage Worlds. Really captures the Greek Mythos with the various gods messing around with each other by getting in the way of each other's heroes and cities/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythos: Hero's Handbook (EGS)
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Shadowed Earth (Core Setting Guide)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2015 23:53:30
I finally got around to read through this setting book - 110 pages of pure setting information takes a while to get through.

The book starts with a small introductory story that continuous along through each chapter. In fact the setting information IS the story as the character in the Preface narrates the history of planet Earth, starting at the Bronze Age and continuing all the way to the New Age (2053).

It is an interesting setting, interweaving mythology and horror with our real world, changing the source of talents during the different ages. As an example, most of the time the gods provide the powers, the occult has its own source of power, modern times develop psionic abilities and the New Age uses cyber implants to harness/enhance powers. Clockwork technology is available during the early modern age, too.

So, what do you get? Everything you want to play, really. During the Dark Ages you could create a Fantasy like feeling, including dwarfs, Elves and such if the campaign is set in northern Europe. The Iron Age sets the stage for nice adventures within the Roman Empire, hunting monsters (aka aliens) - or fighting Germanic Nations. Or use the Egypt background to fight the undead hoards of Anubis during the Bronze Age. Fight the occult during the Dark Ages, be a Crusader and free the Angels of Heaven, subjugate the Baltic area during the Middle Ages, support the settlers in the new world of the Americas during the Early Modern Age or fight occult Pirates, use Clockwork devices to win the battle against evil in London, be part of WWII and stop occult Germans from exploiting secret powers, use your cybernetic enhancements to infiltrate corporations in the New Age.

These are just examples, drawn from inspiration while reading the book. I think I could fit a good part of my adventure collection from different settings, rule books and game systems into the Shadowed Earth. Maybe not as vast as some settings are described, but a city like Freeport I could fit in somewhere and have fun with. Maybe I stretch the canon of Shadowed Earth a bit, but hey: the author encourages this! It is a 'alternate earth' after all, so the GM can do what is necessary.
Call of Cthulhu? A very easy fit for this ... maybe an interesting twist to the Shadowed Earth canon, too. Steampunk Victoriana? Sure, somewhere in London - evil is all around to fight. Alien Hunting? Yep, the world is full of aliens and they are hiding behind myths and sometimes in plain sight. There was a time where aliens could enter Earth very easily. Find them, kill them, save humanity.

Although I read the book cover to cover, I think it is not really necessary as each Age is more or less self contained. You could skip some pages if you find them uninteresting at that time, just read the side bars as they give a quick overview about what happened or is presented on the pages you skip. This helps getting through the book much easier without missing a necessary part.

The only thing that is missing are some good descriptions of possible societies and groups. Something that puts a face to the evil, to the occult, to the hunters and eventually to the players. I think this is where additional books come into place, but I really would have wanted a handful of names, characters and hints how to place the players into the setting.
As it is, Shadowed Earth is a very well done setting that provides a lot of possibilities and gets your imagination going. But to place the players into it, the GM has to do a bit of work creating groups, societies, characters, allies and adversaries.

As stated before, it is easy to take my "Savage Worlds Rome" setting book and get going with the Shadowed Earth. Or my "Crusaders of the Amber Coast" to cleanse the Baltic area from all evil. Or "Call of Cthulhu" to make sure the time is not right for certain beings. Be a hero and fight chaos beings with the "Solomon Kane" setting book. Sail the North Sea with the help of "Mythic Iceland" and bring christianity there. Revive your old "Cyberpunk: 2020" stuff and sneak into corporate buildings.

This is extremely easy to do and I like the idea to be able to do so. Finally a setting that is smart enough to incorporate all my favorite setting books while providing a solid ongoing background story that is always good for a twist.
I'm curious when the author writes some kind of time-travel add-on for the Shadowed Earth so you can walk the Ages of time with one group of characters for a long lasting campaign ;)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowed Earth (Core Setting Guide)
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Entropic Gaming System: Quick Start Guide
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2015 06:20:08
A very nice layout with a trimmed down content of the full rule book. Enough rules to get the included (new) adventure in it going and it provides most of the stuff a GM needs for a fantasy setting (and the first handful of adventures).

Try it out, it is a wonderful set of rules!

I would give it 5 stars for content, 5 stars for layout (color version) and 4 stars for the b/w version (because of the black border, see Discussions).
The text is also a bit smaller when printed on A5 paper with this new layout and printing on correct size paper is nearly impossible as it is not available in shops (17,78 x 25,4 cm). On A5 the text is still readable, but in dim light conditions it could be a bit harder for some people.

So, 4 stars for now as it is, due to the black border and smaller text when printed.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System: Quick Start Guide
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Publisher Reply:
The trick there would be to print it on A4 paper and zoom to fit instead of A5. That way the text would get larger instead of smaller. The 7x10 size should make it easy to zoom to fit on larger size paper, but you really wouldn\'t want to shrink it down for, as you say, the text becomes difficult to read. Thanks for the review!
Shadowed Earth Veiled Supplements #01: The Burning Crow (EGS)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2015 19:59:10
A nice group of characters to be placed into a modern horror setting. Good ideas, some nice starting points (adventure hooks), many information about why, where, when ... all the bits and pieces you need to have some recurring NPCs that are not necessarily evil and an enemy to the players. Would not dare to say 'neutral', but in a shady-grey zone.

layout, text, artwork is as all the other EGS products: good, light on ink and well printed on A5 paper.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowed Earth Veiled Supplements #01: The Burning Crow (EGS)
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Shadowed Earth Veiled Supplements #02: The Realm of Lord Bane (EGS)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2015 19:54:01
A nice short adventure about a town with a castle and an unanswered love. A town maps is presented to give a quick overview of the town.

The adventure itself is more an open sandbox as there is no railroading how the characters reach the goal. A few options are available and presented in the book, I could come up with a few more easily.
The writing is inspiring and the background story is easy to follow.

Just prep it up a bit more by drawing a connection between the NPCs if you want to play it, add a location map here and there if you are into that, and you are good to go.
Prep time for the adventure is about 2h including reading it through. Just make sure while reading to write down how the NPCs are connected to each other and what their goals are. There aren't too many (about a hand full), but at least for me it helps to get the story running smoothly without re-reading text or flipping through the document.

Layout is good, printing on A5 paper works well, no wasted ink, stats for creatures all included (no flipping through the main rule book), nice artwork.

I think for 2$ it is worth the price as you get nice art and a nice reusable location (maybe as a base or starting point for a campaign).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowed Earth Veiled Supplements #02: The Realm of Lord Bane (EGS)
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Shadowed Earth Veiled Adventures #02: The Temple of St. Benjamin (EGS)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2015 19:42:59
A nice short adventure about a temple and a necromancer. Maps are presented to give a quick overview, although I found it hard in some places to follow the description given in the text on the maps provided. But it might just be me (or me reading late at night) and it does not matter a lot as these were just minor issues. Depending on if your players have access to the map or not it could bring a bit of irritation to the table, though.

Layout is good, printing on A5 paper works well, no wasted ink, stats for creatures all included (no flipping through the main rule book), nice artwork, story is easy to follow and straight forward.

A good adventure for a Friday evening after a busy week that should last about 4 to 5 hours. Don't expect great plot moves here - it's more in the spirit of the Savage Worlds One Sheets. Or Dungeon Crawls.

I think for 2$ it is worth the price as you get nice art and a nice reusable location with a few maps to get your imagination running - and an adventure you can easily extend as you like.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowed Earth Veiled Adventures #02: The Temple of St. Benjamin (EGS)
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Shadowed Earth Cryptozoology #01: Chaos Realm (EGS)
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2015 19:32:05
This book reminds me of the Xeno book MTE put out earlier.

In the beginning you get a list of Keywords divided in Classifications and Traits, each explained in detail.

After that you get straight to the 30 creatures listed here. I like that I do not get the same old demons here, but rather a list of -at least to me- unfamiliar creatures. Some I know (Djinni, Incubus, Succubus, Ifrit and Imp), but the rest is (I would say) at least unpopular. Nice to have something the players don't know / think of.

Each creature is given one page, including a description, picture and generic stat block and everything is well done. No wasted ink on backgrounds, pictures are b/w capturing the mood, layout is excellent, fonts are good to read even if you print the book on A5 paper.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowed Earth Cryptozoology #01: Chaos Realm (EGS)
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Entropic Gaming System: Xenopedia
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2015 19:21:34
I like what I see here: a lot of individual alien races, technology levels and interesting NPCs. A good addition for every Sci-Fi setting and it can even be used in a Fantasy setting (who says mythical creatures aren't aliens?!).

You'll get 34 alien races in this book, some are friendly, some hostile, some just don't care.
Each alien is given a classification, including technology level (0 to 3), Military rating (0 to 3) and a Society Progress (0 to 3). These classifications follows a list of keywords (hostile, Nomadic, non-organic, beast, aquatic, etc) to give a first impression what the species is like.
The classification ratings are explained at the beginning of the book, together with all other keywords, traits, etc.

A longer description follows the classification list, covering everything you need to place the alien into your game - Physiology, Environment, Origins and Motivation. Race specific Special Traits are listed and explained here, too.

After that you get at least one NPC with name, stats, short description and equipment - ready to use in your setting.

A generic stat block is placed somewhere within the description (easy to find as its background is light grey) as well as a picture picturing the alien.

The book concludes with a random creature generator using a deck of cards. I thought it is a remnant of the Savage Worlds edition, but the author convinced me (via email) a deck of cards is simply the easiest way to create aliens as you do not get bogged down in a lot of dice rolls & writing down the results.

Final thoughts: the art is good (no stock art AFAIK), the text is easy to follow, the races are fun to read, the descriptions give a lot of adventure hooks and ideas, printing works well (no waste of unnecessary ink/toner on fancy backgrounds and looks great on A5 paper), Fonts and Layout are well done and page breaks are not distracting.

I really appreciate the work. If I were to criticize something, it would be the lack of hypermarks in the Table of Contents - but that is not an issue in using the document as the PDF includes well done bookmarks (which are even better to use than a hyperlinked ToC).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System: Xenopedia
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Entropic Gaming System
by Michael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2015 21:52:28
I have been looking for a good universal system for some time now, and I heard some buzz about EGS and thought I would give it a look. At first glance, it reminded me strongly of Savage Worlds, classic Cortex, and the combat and power system evoked Legend/Runequest to me. There was a nice mix of simplicity in character creation and general rules, but with enough tactics and crunch in combat and magic to appeal to gamers who want more depth. The Qualities of characters seem especially interesting, as they can simulate all sorts of advantages and disadvantages by using pretty basic mechanics.
The core mechanic is add an attribute due type with a skill die type, roll, and attempt to beat the difficulty number (7 being the standard). One minor issue for me is that I feel eight attributes are far too many and some of them seem either unnecessary or redundant, but its not a deal breaker and is an easy fix if you feel the same. Hero points, which are the game's resource for important characters, are very important to the system and figure strongly into the previously mentioned Qualities of characters. Like classic Cortex, these points seem pretty vital to success especially when the difficulty of the task is high.
Combat feels tactical but fluid and quick, and while it has many of the options of Legend/Runequest, it does not feel as complex. As written damage is fixed and it not modified by anything except Hero Points and called shots, but there is an option to roll it randomly. Armor is treated as extra health points, and when those are depleted further damage is taken directly from health. This is a decision I feel is a bit odd, and is justified in the rules as pieces of armor being loosened or knocked off. After combat armor points are restored, but it doesn't feel like even heavy armor is terribly useful except for absorbing a few more points of damage. There is an option in the book for treating it more like ablative damage resistance, and I prefer that to the standard rule.
Special powers feel like a mix of Savage Worlds and Legend/Runequest, with a general system covering everything from sorcerers to superheroes but powers can be manipulated and tweaked on the fly depending on the situation. There is a good range of powers and options in the core rules, so there is a lot of potential for different character types for different genres.
There is also a good section on running the games for GMs, and a solid list of adversaries. The basic book seems more focused on fantasy and modern games, but a science fiction supplement is forthcoming. Basic rules for designing various racial and cultural backgrounds are also in the GM section and there are good examples of stock fantasy and sci fi species.
Aside from a few minor quibbles, the Entropic Gaming System seems like a good option if you are looking for a universal system with a simple mechanic but potential for depth and complexity. And even the quibbles I have with it are easy fixes if you feel the same, and at $5 it is well worth a look.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System
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Entropic Gaming System
by Joel G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2015 11:22:21
Very good system that can be applied to many different settings and game styles. In addition of being relatively simple to apply with limited computation, the system brings epic capacity to heroes and monsters by using clever dice pooling and hero points to modify dice rolls and avoid non-epic failures. I would say for me, the weakest point is the way armors are managed, but that's probably a matter of taste. Overall, a very powerful yet simple rule system with full potential for many entertaining gaming nights with friends! Good work!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2014 21:49:20
This is not a full review, but I am so intrigued by the EGS system, I have to place a comment here.
For me this generic RPG system is the EABA, a perfect blend of the old Cortex, Savage Worlds and Master Book systems.

Basically characters have an Ability and a Skill, all measured from d4 to d12 and you combine these two in a way that suits the situation. After that you roll both dice and compare them to a Target Number, usually 7.

But there is a lot more to this system. The combat system is not a plain „roll-hit-damage“ thing, but offers tactics, strategies, qualities and hero points to make combat entertaining and memorable.
Especially I like the Fear Dice Pool for monsters and the Heroic Dice Pool for the characters. An additional layer of brilliance and fun.

I would say these rules are not overly complicated and can be put in the rules medium section, same as I would put Savage Worlds. But this is NOT Savage Worlds, although it might look similar on the surface. It is different, does not use any cards (thumbs up!), characters are being defined by Skills & Abilities and Qualities are used for gaining Hero Points during dramatic situations. And not a lot of calculations here: a good thing on Friday evening after a long week of work.

The book includes a good amount of situational rules (Falling, Drowning, Poison, Chases, Morale for Minions/Allies, Exhaustion, Disease, Aging, etc.) but they are all easy to comprehend and use common sense - very intuitive.

A Bestiary with enough monsters and characters to keep you going for some time is included as well. It consists of just the stats for the beasts, but hey, we all have our own understanding of a goblin or dragon anyway. Oh, and Stats are short: 8 lines to describe an average monster/animal/adversary.

What else can I say except of this is the game I was looking for since 2006. Well worth the $5.00 and a hot alternative to a lot of other generic RPGs.

I hope this system really takes off and a lot of people will hop on and put out some cool settings for it. The included OPEN GAME LICENSE is a good thing for developers, I suppose.

This is a real gem.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
by Jimmy P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2014 13:06:16
This book is a clear example that Savage Worlds is slowly being invaded by sub-par products, like in the days of the d20 Era. It is an obvious attempt at capitalizing on the popular system of the hour, by bringing a low value product on the market at a rather high price.

The appearance of the book is uninspired to say the least. You will see a piece of stock art here and there, maybe about 15 pieces in this 80+ pages document.

The first part of the book - a full 20 pages - focus on creating creature templates, basically re-writing what has already been provided in the deluxe Savage Worlds Core book. Then comes the new hindrances and Edges. Hindrances hold onto 2-3 pages, and the Edges on about 4-5. This is the only part of the book I found interesting. The next section re-explains what the skills stand for and what other skills could be used to complement others. It also attempts to codify what can be done with each skill, when the said skills are left deliberately vague in the Savage Worlds Core book.

The idea of creating a complement to character creation, with new options, is a good one. However, the Ultimate Characters Guide by MTE lacks direction and, in its current format, has no purpose at my gaming table. It is, in my opinion, a pure cash grab.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
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Publisher Reply:
The Ultimate Characters Guide does not attempt to re-explain skills, but rather introduces two new skill-use mechanics in the form of Supporting Skills and Complementary Skills. These new mechanics can allow players to get more out of the skills they\'ve chosen for their characters, including the many possible Knowledge types that could be chosen to correspond to a character\'s concept. This way, players can get the most out of their character\'s chosen skills instead of having to purchase skills they don\'t want.
Entropic Gaming System Core Rulebook (Open Beta Playtest)
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2014 00:08:27
It's not exactly fair to review a playtest, but I'm doing this to give those who may be interested in it an idea of what Entropy is about. Entropy is going to be released as an OGL rules system. It plays like Savage Worlds with a bit of Star Wars SAGA Edition thrown into the mix. The author is very responsive and open to criticism. Everything down to the cover of the book is up for debate with the testers. I recommend getting in on this. And as a note, the fifth star will be forthcoming if the final release has good production values, everything else (rules, prose, etc.) are just great.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System Core Rulebook (Open Beta Playtest)
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Publisher Reply:
Yes... the playtest packet lacks layout and all the artwork. I assure you the final release will be fully laid out with all the applicable artwork. Thanks for the comments! :)
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
by Neal H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2014 14:23:41
The Ultimate Characters Guide is a must-have for anyone who plays or runs Savage Worlds. It shows how players and GMs can work within the SW system to create races, character types, and even individual characters that are unique and exactly what is desired while keeping the ease of play that is a hallmark of the SW rules. The UCG provides setting-agnostic new Hindrances and Edges, but more importantly, it shows how to create your own Hindrances, Edges, and Special Abilities while retaining balance. In addition, UCG has new ways to look at skill uses and supporting and complimenting actions that add dimension to SW’s skills without adding unnecessary complexity. Every GM should read the section on Villain Creation and the final section on Villain Combat Balance is worth the cost of the product by itself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
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Perilous Journey #2: Great Island [Colonial Gothic]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2014 09:55:45
The adventure continues (from Perilous Journey #1: Portsmouth) with the characters now embedded into the Portsmouth scene and occult society, and beginning to explore... this one takes them to certain isolated houses on Great Island where it is said demonic activities take place, with a range of spooky incidents for them to deal with.

As with the previous adventure, there is a lot going on but presented in a loose style that enables the party to engage with the plot in pretty much any way that they please. Information gathering as well as sheer intestinal fortitude in the face of ghostly and demonic manifestations will be required of the party, and there's a lot crammed into these pages. There is a mystery to be pieced together: this may be done by classic investigation or the use of appropriate spells... and it will help if the party finds a certain map to aid them in their investigations. Indeed, the map is quite pivotal so the GM will do well to ensure that it comes into their hands.

As the party gets deeper into the occult scene, they will meet some interesting individuals, and some of these are described here, along with their areas of interest and how they can be of help.

For those who would like a 'side campaign' to run alongside the main thrust of the adventure path, notes are provided here for one called Dark Magic. This provides various side missions that the characters can undertake to aid one of the occult researchers introduced above, and which could lead to them becoming warlocks themselves if so inclined.

There is a section on adversaries, both human and of the spirit world, and an account of the historical Great Island. This last is deemed 'player-friendly' and may be shared with the players as background information without giving anything plot-related away. There's a delightful period map to help you picture the place (and you may wish to hunt it up on Google maps as well)

Finally there are a few new spells that characters might learn, and the rules on Corruption are repeated for reference purposes. There's also a few new skill emphases, many of which could be useful either as a means of earning one's living or in furthering investigations.

All in all, a good continuation of the existing plotline, and the introduction of a 'side campaign' - which, of course, could become the main thrust of the adventure if that's what you'd prefer. If you like Colonial Gothic and are interested in the occult side of things, this is definitely one to watch!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Perilous Journey #2: Great Island [Colonial Gothic]
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