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Epyllion: A Dragon Epic
by Meg Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2017 21:30:16

Among my players, Epyllion is often described as "My Little Pony: Flight Rising Edition." The game is set in fantasy world where the only intelligent life is dragonkind. An Epyllion campaign follows one clutch of dragon friends from their earliest days to their old age and eventual passing, along the way making friends and pushing back a nebulous evil given form, known as The Darkness.

This game definitely skews to a younger audience; even for an Apocalypse Engine game, the rules are stripped-down and focused on narrative. That isn't to say the game has nothing interesting to offer mechanically, however! In particular, the playbooks have some very interesting things going on. Each playbook has a Signature move-- a move that your character gets by default. When advancing your character, you may choose to advance your Signature move, usually giving you access to more situations you may use to call upon it. It really lets each character shine at what they were meant to do. Harm is not tracked-- like I said, there's a young audience in mind, and player character death is off the table. Epyllion instead opts for a damage tracker based on negative emotions. While none of them have an adverse effect mechanically, marking one immediately forces the player to escalate the situation with rash action; marking them all triggers a move very much like Monsterhearts' Darkest Self, of all things. I'm too nice to my players and don't have them mark damage nearly often enough, but it's been interesting to watch when it does happen. The escalation leads to some very interesting situations!

The relationship currency here is interesting, and I can see where it'd be very helpful with young players, but it tends to be hard to remember when you play games over the internet as my group does. In meatspace games there's a very physical act of giving another player tokens for roleplaying, but over chat I find myself asking players "hey, do you think you should give another player your friendship currency?" It does the intended work of keeping players not currently in the scene focused on other players' turns, though, which I really like. I tend towards setting up small and intimate scenes, and I worry a lot less about whether or not my players are focused when I know that there's a mechanical reward for focusing.

But I think the best thing that Epyllion does is set up its world. It encourages players and the DM to think about what exactly a world where humanity isn't and never was a thing would look like, and it's been a blast doing that. I love describing mountain-sized buildings that comfortably house a single dragon, or weird gambling games, or how currency works in a world mostly powered by friendship and goodwill.

If you're looking for something for a laid-back game night, I strongly recommend Epyllion regardless of your average player age! Our group is made up of 20-somethings who enjoy a break from our more emotionally taxing other campaigns, and we'd be hard-pressed to find a game that does it was well as this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Epyllion: A Dragon Epic
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Masks: A New Generation
by Massimiliano B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2017 17:44:57

Masks a New Generation start with very good ideas: to use emotions to describe a fight instead actions (and by the way, actions take their place in the fight). BUT (you were prepared to, right), the mechanical part of the game is his weakness: Masks it's too vague (with regards to villain), so the game it's too open to the personal GM' perceptions and decisions. I would promote the basic idea of Masks, but it would be better if it would be developed with more mechanical details. Of curse, players and game masters who seek very narrative games will love Masks. Even if you don't like it as I don't like it, you could found Masks' ideas interesting using them in other RPG.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
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Masks: A New Generation
by Kirk T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2017 14:00:03

Great game and settings. The mechanics are a breeze, and my players really enjoyed our session!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
by William Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2017 23:01:05

An excellent game system. Narrative focused with a little crunch, this is the first Powered by the Apocalypse game that I felt a connection to. I wasn't really able to grok PtbA before, but this version really showed me what everyione has been so excited. about. The seeting and genre are also fantastic, along with the ability to truly represent the gamut of super heroics, from galactic powerhouse to nd all on the same team without it feeling like anyone is overpowered or underpowered. Very excellent game design.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2017 11:01:08

Masks, A New Generation is a Powered by Apocolypse game that really stands on its own. Below are certain aspects I really enjoyed.

Fluidity of Playbooks Masks allows players to build their hero based off templates called playbooks. These playbooks are vague within set archetypes, allowing the creation of characters that can vary wildly in powers and backstory, but still fit within an identity that defines them. Whether you'd like to be the average Joe who's keeping up with powerhouses, or the strained teen trying to keep their normal life and heroic life seperate, you've got a great selection to choose from.

Character Failure = Leveling Up There isn't really a way to "Power game" in Masks, or at least not one that doesn't seem fake. The only way to advance in your power, options, abilities is to fail. For each failure, you tally up until you get to five and then you grow as a character. There's no way around it. It's brilliant really. Imagine a teen superhero that always gets the bad guy, never let's down the hostages, always comes through to save the day. Wouldn't that be boring? Why would that character need to change? By tying failure to growth, even the more most powerful of heroes will be humbled.

Relationships and Influence Another major mechanic of the system is its emphasis on how relationships with adults and other people mold a character's identity. People who you care about, whether for good or bad reasons, will have an impact on you with their words. Believing you're a dark loner will change if the defender of the city takes time to tell you, "You're one heck of a hero." By embracing and rejecting changes, it adds an extra layer of fun and complexity as the players try and figure out "Who is this character?"

This is great game for groups looking to experience the entire teen hero life, and perhaps have some really emotional moments as well if they get invested in the lives of their characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
by Skip O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2017 13:00:57

Whoa.

I have never seen an RPG push a political agenda as hard as Urban Shadows. Oh, there have been hints of political agenda in other RPGs, but whatever, that never stopped me before. Urban Shadows takes all of those other RPGs combined and doubles down, hard. And the thing is, I consider myself a liberal, so you’d think it would jive with me. But nobody likes being preached to, especially when it’s so thinly veiled in the case of US. Seriously, I am embarrassed to show this RPG off to other people, both veterans and novices to RPGs, because a lot of the wordage makes US come across as less of a game and more of a political manifesto. As it stands, I’ve been directing players to just ignore any and all advice and fluff sections and focus entirely on how to make rolls.

I like the core idea of US – a modern urban fantasy setting. I don’t like what US turns my gaming hobby into, that being a vehicle for a specific political agenda, even if it’s one that I might agree with. Because of that, I can’t recommend this game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
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Urban Shadows: Dark Streets
by Benton W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2017 17:34:52

Enjoyed this expansion overall. I feel like the playbooks aren't quite what I was looking for, though. A couple of them seemed a little too similar to Apocalypse World playbooks and I didn't feel like the factions most of them are associated with fit my perception of them. This isn't to say that I hated them, or anything. I thought there were some great ideas in there. I just feel like they might not be up to par with the original iteration.

On the other hand, the city examples are fantastic. They're a great resource for creating and fleshing a city, or just to use in and of themselves to save some time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows: Dark Streets
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The Last Days of Anglekite
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2017 11:11:00

I am a big fan of Magpie Games, so feel free to tale my review with a grain of salt.

Last Days of Anglekite is a fantastic adventure setting for Dungeon World, full of strange evocative monsters, NPCs, artifacts and locations. In fact, my main complaint is that there is too much going on in this book. Much more than I could fit into a single campaign.

As someone who plays a number of games besides Dungeon World, I would also say that this would be a great campaign for a number of fantasy campaigns. I could definitely see converting it to a certain 5th edition game that is all the rage, or Savage Worlds, or Fate.

Admittedly, the book does not give you a tactical level tour of the world - no town or city maps, for instance - but it does give you a city of demons and another of undead, pan-dimensional slavers, werewolves and vampires, and enough plots and motivations to understand how they all smash together to cause destruction only your heroes can stop.

A great book. Buy it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Last Days of Anglekite
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Undying
by Fraser S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2017 20:22:59

Love playing this game. I feel it emulates the kind of vampire stories I adore. The mechanics help get through all the boring parts of tales like these with a lot of time in between with having each period you play in be after things get messed up in the fiction.

It's dice less mechanics feel very much in tone with the genre as well, as vampires always seem to plot and scheme for ages at a time in order to get what they want. And so will you, making tactical decisions about where you feed and where in order to climb your way up. Via politics or other brutal means, being aware of what your resources exactly are fits very well.

Then, after all is settled you slumber and shake things up again while you plot in the darkness. Brilliant game and piece of design, in my opinion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Undying
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Velvet Glove: Notebook Edition
by Fraser S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2017 20:07:20

I am a huge fan of this game! Initially I was a bit hesitant but after checking out the mechanics, that was dispelled immediately. This is a perfect example of having mechanics that help the player into the theme but also the characters. This game tells you exactly how to play a young woman and it also comments on what societies perception of that is - both good and bad. It's a wonderful bit of design work and I had a great time playing it. The final version will most definitely get my money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Velvet Glove: Notebook Edition
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Masks: A New Generation
by Michael O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2016 17:22:32

Masks is the most well-produced rpg text I have ever read. The rules are well laid out, the setting details are rich but not overwhelming, and the examples are clear and concise. I also love the art; it sets a tone for the game and it look great. The conditions system ties harm directly to the narrative without getting too complicated. It borrows from Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts, while innovating a few exciting ways. I can't recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
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Masks: A New Generation
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2016 19:31:57

After only two sessions, my group and I have had a blast. Having played virtually every kind of Powered by the Apocalypse, I found the theming to be well done. Though not on the level of Sagas of the Icelanders when it comes to encapsulating a setting and mood, it's worth the sale price I paid. For fans of Teen Titans or Young Justice, this can be a fun 8-10 session campaign ruleset.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2016 07:50:27

Urban Shadows is a grand attempt at making an urban fantasy / dark fantasy / World of Darkness game with the Powered By the Apocalypse engine. The social and political ties and consequences feel real and heavy. The enviroment (a dark, living city) also feels real, moving behind nearly every move and character. If you love Apocalypse World, Monster of the Week or Monster Hearts and want to take that game to the next level of complexity and political-maneuvering, this is the system for you.

All that being said, this game is very move-heavy. There are moves for every character, playbook moves for each different "class," story moves, and faction moves. The story moves a few and infrequent, but it's still a lot to remember and even muddle through, especially if your players are new to gaming or used to a game like Dungeon World or Monster Hearts. I would recommend this game if you are really into the Powered By the Apocalypse game engine, indie games, or dark fantasy titles. If you're looking for your FIRST PbtA or dark fantasy game, I would probably recommend Monster Hearts first.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
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Urban Shadows
by Fraser S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2016 16:29:49

Urban Shadows is a tremendously good vehicle for urban fantasy. It has mechanics that dribe the players and the NPCs together, focusing on interpersonal dynmaics rather than the sometimes minutia of barter and goods that can happen in the genre. It's highly quality, well written and includes tons of examples. There's a long play example to add even more clarity as well as the narrative examples sprinkled without. Very impressed with the quality and price point, love the game and hope to see more from the publisher. Loved finding a very active community for the game on G+, a very helpful resource in which the publisher responds very quickly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
by Alan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2016 09:26:35

I really wanted to like this game. As a fan of the good old World of Darkness and lover of drama and easy systems, I loved the idea of a quick and easy approach to those types of characters especially with some story balance included...but Cest la voie. The Vamp is the main thing I have a problem with but unfortunately as the iconic character type of the genre it is the crumbling corner stone that brings down the entire edifice for me. To sum it up the creators tried to make the game a deconstructionist metaphor for social interaction rather than a dramatic tale of monsters and monster hunters. The Vamp has almost no vampire abilities but lots of vague social manipulation abilities, no shape shifting, no mind control, no supernatural fortitude. Some of the other characters by contrast are perfect with gobs of iconic stuff Weakend by silver ect. Anyways. It ruined everything for me and I have no desire to play or run it as a result. I dont think this degree deconstructionism is a valid approach to rpgs or much for fiction. It is frequently taken too far and often ruins the gravitas of a story in fiction, and in RPGs.... Lets just say I wish I had my money back. "its a metaphor" is not sufficient excuse for why your game is running with a gaping hole in its tire. Other good aspects give it a 2 instead of a 1 but they are just not enough to warrent playing this little "experement".



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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