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Wizkid: The Cheapening
by David F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2016 05:54:41

A game after my heart. Silly, weird, comical and completely off the knocker. Basically the equivalent of combining the Monty Python "The meanng of Life" scetch about sex-ed with the Harry Potter books.
Easy to pick up and really adorable in detail.
Sadly the cheapness does reflect a bit in the artwork and the presentation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wizkid: The Cheapening
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Invaderz: Pocket Edition
by patrick m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2016 14:43:50

This game is quick and simple to play. It is perfect for a good laugh and breaking in that new player group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Invaderz: Pocket Edition
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Fifth Fantasy: The Brock
by Chris B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2016 07:14:11

A great, flavoursome race with beautiful artwork. Although I haven't yet had a chance to get the Brock to the table, reading through this race for the first time left me with a huge smile on my face. The race and lore surrounding it is fantastic - I'd happily read books featuring a Brock protagonist - and the game mechanics are just icing on the cake. The section of Brock Artefacts contains some genuinely great stuff (Moleskin Notebook, I'm looking at you).


The only concern I have - and bear in mind, I haven't had a chance to playtest this yet - is the Born To Fight ability. I'm rarely a fan of abilities that add a static bonus to attacks, and I'm also not sure about it affecting both melee and ranged weapons. That said, it doesn't seem like it would present a balance issue at all, and more importantly the rest of the race looks like a whole lot of fun to play (which trumps any balance issues anyway).


I 'd definitely recommend buying this. For $0.99 you can't go wrong, even if it's just to look at the fantastic art.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Fantasy: The Brock
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Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
by James H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2016 08:25:15

I dont really understand the complaints in other reviews, the book is not a recipe book per se (and it doesnt claim to be), it is a discussion of how diversity can be implemented in gaming and the challenges diversity presents. Also of course how diversity issues can be used to drive campaigns. And I think it does that extremely well.


The text is short, I dont remember exactly how long but readable in a couple of hours and as such obviously does not cover all possible scenarios nor really inform on how a diversity oriented campaign or characters should be used, rather it gives thinking points, pitfalls and other info which might be used by a GM to develop those things themselves. If for example a GM wishes to have a campaign based loosely on a refugee situation, perhaps using goblins as a metaphor for misunderstood foreign refugees and to model issues of mistrust, injury, differences in religion, aceptance of foreigners, how to represent these things on charisma rolls etc then this is the resource to use as a starting point. If one simply wants to have some female characters and a way to make those characters noticably different but still balanced, this booklet describes how this might be done. Has a GM thought about the racial makeup of their world? Some 5% or so of characters might be gay, how do you use that to provide richer more interesting characters, without falling into stereotyping or contrived and hard to believe backstories. If its a grimy dark ages storyline, with war and suffering everywhere, do you have representation of the victims or is everyone living as happy as larry fit and healthy in idilic villiages which is somehow incongruous with the butchery going on supposedly arround them?


Look at this work as what it is. A collection of ideas, pointers, talking points and inspiration. Implement it ad hoc, as required and as makes sense in your setting. For the handful of dollars you might pay, it is well worth it as a useful resource.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
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Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
by David P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2016 00:06:02

This is not so much a tool for worldbuilding as it is a great reading in general to get a general understanding of and get some perspective on several aspects of discrimination, its causes, and its likely mechanical effects on Role Playing games.


A good, short reading overall, and provides an idea of the kind of pernicious attitudes seeping into gaming culture in general and the criticism toward gaming culture media.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you so much, it\'s gratifying when someone \'gets it\'.
Thank you so much, it\'s gratifying when someone \'gets it\'.
Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
by Selena M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2016 22:31:27

Packaged as if it's about inclusiveness, but just offers charts and tables about how to make "realistic" stat rolls about how certain demographics would be held back in certain situations. If that's what you're looking for, great. If a GM wants to build a world where genocide is an actual thing, then sure, go for it. In an alternate history game world where Hitler wins, rolling a Jewish character is definitely going to come with baggage.


However, there's not a whole lot about the "allowances" it claims to have for players who wish to buck the trend; while theoretical scenarios are given in which demographics that usually held a person back could be beneficial, there are no likewise charts for that, making it rather one-sided.


If you are looking for ways to flip the script, I suppose you could take the charts here and apply them to different demographics; but honestly this isn't the first nor only publication to make said charts, so just be aware that's really all you'd be buying.


If you're looking for tips to take your game to a higher standard in terms of inclusivity, especially of players, this is not it.


Also, it claims to be agenda free, but by the end of it, a very clear opinion starts to shine through. Just a warning.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I suppose if you count presenting \'is\' over \'ought\' as an agenda it\'s disappointing, but regarding that as an agenda is _itself_ very disappointing. The charts are really only meant to illustrate the discussion (as is said in the book) via a common gaming language.
Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
by kara s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2016 15:57:43

From the title, I was expecting tips and discusion on catering to more diverse players. What the contents are are tips and ideas about in story inclusion of such. Diversity is offered more in penalties than empowerment though and I'm afraid that while provoking discusion, this wont be recieving in-game use at my table.


I got my first dissapointment in the gender section where a rather large penalty to strength stat for women is proposed along with tiny boosts to a couple other stats, while men get a more random roll for the disproven idea that mostly men get autism. No mention of transgender identities in this section.


Race gets the most effort and content in this document. Though focusing on penalties and fetishization does strike me as not the way to encourage diversity at my table. I did find the section interesting though and would recomend a read.


The sexuality provides some historical examples of lgbt right next to historical pedophelia. Transgenderism is mentioned once in context of sex work, and several single sentance lists of cosmetic transition options, one per setting.


The infirmery section was my highest disapointment though with romanticised views of hook hands and peg legs, various prosthetics, but total dismisal of mobility devices as something to be included in play.


Then a section of defensive politics similar to the product description.


As a disabled autistic white trans woman, who plays with neurodiverse, POC, trans, and disabled players (most 2 or 3 of those), I cannot recomend this for use, though please do read. I am encouraged to write my own content on these themes now at least.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
If you read closely the point of the stat section in gender is basically illustrative as to why it\'s not a good idea - and it\'s not disprove but rather challenged that men necessarily have more autism, the proposed explanation being that women are better at hiding it. The point of the booklet, as explained fairly early on, is not to encourage or deny diversity etc, but rather to discuss it from a different context than the usual way in which these discussions are centred. I think you came at it expecting something other than what the product was intended to be, which explains your disappointment. If you felt I missed something feel free to get in touch to offer suggestions.
Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
by Stuart N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2016 07:25:12

Pros:


A well laid out, thoughtful and interesting read, covering some particularly difficult areas to address with nuance when world-building. It discusses race, gender, sexuality and infirmity, in general terms and in more detail looking at fantasy, modern and the SF genres (while noting that these often provide ways of exploring real world themes through proxies).


I liked the idea of social consequences related to these areas, and the recognition that these consequences could be overcome during the course of an ongoing campaign.


Cons:


Trying to make attributes conform to reality is, in my opinion, a wasted effort. And the discussion of how male and female stat blocks should differ was unhelpful.


The later sections of the book, which reference some of the author's own experiences were less useful to me, but I can appreciate its use as a salutory lesson.


Overall:


From a world-building point-of-view, I did find this book quite interesting, particularly in terms of using the ruleset to highlight a character's social difficulties. However, I'm not really sure how much milage my gaming group would get out of the ideas presented within.


Because I am not a publisher, that part of the book was of academic interest only and as such I found it a mixed bag of the very sensible/useful and, for me a least, at times verging on over-sharing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. The stat blocks etc were - as I believe was stated several times - never intended to be an actual, practical suggestion for anyone to use, but rather as a demonstration of the issues and what such might look like.
Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
by Shane B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2016 12:03:46

The author feigns conscientiousness in matters of race, gender, and the like, yet clearly has a divisive right-wing agenda. The content is not nearly as instructive as it pretends to be where it attempts to address inclusion and diversity. It reads more like a guidebook for racists and sexists on how to deal with uppity liberals in their gaming group.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for illustrating some of the points I raise in the booklet in such a stark way. FYI I\'m a far left anarchist - ideologically - and a socialist pragmatically. I occupy the far bottom left on the political compass. I agree with most of the goals of the genuinely progressive left but find the excesses of \'SJWs\' and the Regressive Left to be antithetical to left-liberal values. For this dissent, it seems, you\'re just going to get called \'right wing\' even though it is (literally) the furthest thing from the truth. Again though, I thank you for making my point for me. Cheers.
6-Pack Adventures: Sickness in Springdale [4e]
by Ken C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2016 20:45:50

Not a bad product and well worth the full price I paid for it



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
6-Pack Adventures: Sickness in Springdale [4e]
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Machinations of the Space Princess
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2016 15:25:02

Takes OSR rules and adds some real cool "new school" ideas. If you ever wanted to play a scifi/fantasy space opera game that feels like Barbarella meets Star Crash meets Ice Pirates meets Star Wars this is the game for you. It is like a sleazy Travellers or a pulpy Stars Without Number (both of these games are good games but a little too stuffy ot bland for my tastes.) Machinations of the Space Princess would also work for Sword and Planet and even a Cyberpunk like game. Hell, one planet could be straight out of Burroughs Mars and next a dark and gritty dystopia. You can do it all. Also, the author encourages you to change and add and tinker with the system to suit your own gaming style, which is good.


Seriously, cannot say enough about it. Just check it out of you like pulpy, sleazy, sexy, campy, and/or gonzo scifi inspired by the cult classics.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Machinations of the Space Princess
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The Little Grey Book
by Kirt D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2016 13:39:58

I'm impressed! I've never felt the desire to use the term "straw man" when looking at an RPG product.


You can get the exact same point by reading the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, and regardless of how you feel about the point made, "Harrison Bergeron" is much, much better written. Even at $0, this is a waste of space on your hard drive.


Of course, that means you'll download this anyway, but seriously, read "Harrison Bergeron" as well, if you haven't already.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Little Grey Book
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Publisher Reply:
I don\'t think you quite got it. It\'s not so much about equality as the rather sinister panopticon of social enforcement we get through social media and, ironically, reviews. Still, HB is a great story and I don\'t claim to be as good as Vonnegut. Maybe try the recursive computer game version: http://www.postmort.demon.co.uk/LGB.html
Machinations of the Space Princess
by Tom L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/22/2015 12:03:03

A very nicely done space opera setting. I got the feel of the Big 70s sci-fi works like Barbarella and Star Wars while reading it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Machinations of the Space Princess
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Clipart Critters 363 - Astronaut In Space
by Dan T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2015 23:12:04

I love the art work. Great art, very high quality and a great guy. By far one of the best arts I know.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clipart Critters 363 - Astronaut In Space
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Machinations of the Space Princess
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/12/2015 12:17:14

Written by James "Grimm" Desborough and art by Satine Phoenix this game has a really cool, sexy vibe.
Firmly planted in the PG-13 area, this game does more with a nudge and wink than some games try to do with out right R material.
The game is described as a game of "Kick Ass Heroes". It is. It is also a game of rogues, smugglers, free wheeling pilots, more-than human psionics and accountants. Seriously, you can hire them. But more on that later.


This game is built on Lamentations of the Flame Princess, but it takes more than a few liberties with it. Bottom line here; you can add this to any of the OSR Sci-Fi games I have been reviewing.
The book itself is 244 pages which includes cover, OGL, title pages and acknowledgments. There are a few pages of "What is Roleplaying" and examples of play. Anyone reading this review though can likely skip these sections.


There is a section on the default setting, the Urlanth Matriarchy, and it's fall. Also each page has a note with some tidbit of information. Don't ignore these, there is a lot colorful commentary here.
The section on Kick-Ass heroes is a good one and even though it feels like something we have read before it is worth reading again (or for the first time). MotSP is fully character focused. The empire, the aliens, the tech, that's all just backdrop to playing a Kick Ass character and having a good time. This is refreshing for an old school game and honestly for me it nudges MotSP ahead in my book.

The mechanics of building a hero are also here. This is old hat for most of us.
Note: Ability score bonuses are more in-line with D&D 3.x than old-school D&D. But you could use whatever you like really.
MotMP has Seven attributes. Comeliness is back.
There are actually a few compelling reasons to include Comeliness and MotMP is a good game to use it.

Races are covered with the default humans and various archetypes of other races (Amoeboid, Aquatic...). Races are also divided up by Species (an actual species), Cultural (many species or one species that make up a culture) say like a planet of criminals or Exotic (something about them is very different), for example everyone is dead or a cyborg. There are a lot of of these races given and they can be combined in different ways.

Classes cover many of the basics; Experts, Killers, Psions, and Scholars. Each class has their own sub-specialties, HD, Attack Bonus and Skill Points. Psions get Psi Points and Power Points. In what seems reversed to me Psi-Points are your reserve of power to use your psionic powers and Power Points allow you to buy your Psychic Powers. I am planning to spend some time with the Psion since it is the closest thing I have seen to a witch-like character.


Skills define what a character can do. The skill system is a d6 roll under the skill points you have for a particular skill. There are some common skills that everyone can use, the Psi skills (Psions), Combat skills, Scholastic skills, and General skills (ones that anyone can learn but don't start out with).


After skills we discuss gear, which includes arms and armor. Some basic ship stats are also given. Ships can also have a number of qualities. My favorite so far is "Killer Paint Job" which makes your ship "look totally rad". Seriously it like this is the only game that remembers that fun is important! Ok, not really, but fun is in the forethought here.


Of course you are are going to get all that loot from doing what ever your kick-ass characters do, but can you afford that "killer paint job"? Better hire that previously mentioned accountant. Retainers are discussed next. How many hit die they have (space is a dangerous place) and how much they need to be paid. So do you want 10 accountants or 1 elite assassin?


There is a chapter on cybernetics and enhancements. It isn't as fully transhuman as say Stars Without Number, but it gets the job done.


Bodly Going is the chapter on space and planet exploration. It can also be called 1,001 Ways to Die in Space. I give Grim a lot of credit here. I know the guy outside of the gaming world and he is what I call a science-cheer-leader. He does not hit us over the head with hard core science in this, but he is paying enough lip service to the real thing to make this chapter fun to read. I know he could have dialed this up more, but since his goal is fun this is perfect.


Rocket's Red Glare gives us more details of spaceships. This includes a lot on combat. What I do like here is that ships are treated like characters. It is something a lot of games do so there is a real pragmatic approach to it all.


The rest of this section covers things characters can do and psionics.


A little after the half-way point we get into the Game Master's section.
If the players make kick-ass characters then the game master is instructed to be a bad-ass Game Master. Additionally advice is how to keep the game fun.
So everything from planetary romance, swords and planets stories, sexy (or sleazy) fun, traps, killing things and taking their stuff and more are discussed.


The book ends with an index and character and ship sheets.


There is so much here to be honest that I doubt I'd ever run out of things to do with this game. It may be more tongue-in-cheek than other sci-fi games. There are plenty of "Serious" sci-fi games that play great and are fun, but I doubt I will find one with a bigger sense of fun than this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Machinations of the Space Princess
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