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SteamCraft - Wake the Dead Part 1
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/06/2013 15:05:41

In fine steampunk/pulp style, this adventure sweeps the party into the seedy underbelly of New Arcadia as they investigate strange disappearances...

It's all very atmospheric, and to enhance this there are plenty of handy notes for novice GMs to help them create the right atmosphere and keep the game moving along. Several key NPCs are introduced, with not only pen portraits (and, for that matter, illustrations) but notes on how to make best use of them.

The start of the adventure sees the party hired by the New Arcadia Constabulary to investigate the disappearances. Assuming they take the job on (there's no real alternative given, and if you have characters that are unlikely to work for officialdom, you will have to invent your own hook), they are led to a back alley in a shady part of town and the game is afoot. It does rather have the air of a Sherlockian investigation, albeit one which draws in the fantasy and steampunk elements of this particular ruleset.

Each scene is well laid out, with sections presenting the scene ('Full Steam Ahead') then elaborating on it based on likely character actions ('This Just In'), along with 'Behind the Curtain' (notes on what's really going on), 'Spanners in the Works' (various hazards that can be thrown in to impede the party) and 'Further Exploration' which suggests ways in which the scene can be expanded. It's a neat and clear presentation, making it easy to follow even in the heat of play.

The adventure is mostly investigation and interaction, and while there's always scope for violence the one necessary fight comes at the end... and that's quite spectacular and cinematic. The adventure closes neatly, but there is at least some possibility for a follow up, and of course the party is now known to the Constabulary as (we hope) reliable investigators worthy of further hiring...

A nice introduction to this ruleset, and with good GM support, including simple clear floorplans of significant locations. Worth a try...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SteamCraft - Wake the Dead Part 1
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SteamCraft Gamemaster's Screen
by Charles W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2013 19:44:51

The SteamCraft GM Screen is different from most GM Screens from other game systems by the fact that it allows the user to choose between a version with cover art or without. You can also choose between printing out one 3 page section or another 3 page section to use as the interior of the product. There is nothing stopping you from printing out the pages that are missing from one to make the other section complete either. The SteamCraft GM Screen allows you the freedom to print out the information you find most useful for reference during game play. All pdf GM Screens should have this sort of customization and more companies should follow this practice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SteamCraft Gamemaster's Screen
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SteamCraft
by jacob A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2012 19:36:11

I'm a fan! The world isn't your average Steam Punk world. It has a good amount of fantasy (this means I can con my group into playing it). The dice system is intuitive, it's percentile so... it's easy to start playing and understanding. The world is dynamic and has inspired me!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SteamCraft
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SteamCraft
by Kyle W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/13/2012 22:51:24

SteamCraft is a wonderful game for its purpose, though it is not entirely without its flaws.

It manages to create a great framework for adventures. The rules are relatively simple and easy to grasp, plus they're not so incredibly boring or predictable you may as well skip rolling for stuff. It's well-written and laced with flavor and other things, though it doesn't get too heavy with this to the point of bogging things down.

On the other hand, there are some major issues. Maybe it's just on my end, but text that has a picture bumping into it (even the transparent areas around it) winds up turning out incredibly pixelated. I'm not sure what causes these issues-all the other PDF's I've tested work fine, even things I've thrown together explicitly to test this seem to have no result, so I'm thinking it's an error with the software on their end; it's not a gamebreaker but it's a little annoying. There's several typos littered throughout the document, which could be a turn-off for some.

Ultimately, my largest gripe with this game is its price-its system is pretty simple and it'd be none too difficult to create a homebrew system that could do everything contained within (though to be totally honest, percentile-based systems have very little room to stand out without becoming gimmicky; which means you could say this about a lot of things) and it could stand a couple more layers of polish and revisions to really command a $20 price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
My pdf looks fine, but you are having problems so I want to make sure it gets resolved. Could you please email me more detail explaining the text pixelating issue around pictures so I can look into it? steamcraft@perilousjourneys.com
The pixelation issue should now be fixed and an updated file is now available for download.
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