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Predation FREE PREVIEW
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2017 13:38:54

A little light on content even for a preview but overall a good idea of what is to come. I am very excited about this and will be purchasing it in the future.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Predation FREE PREVIEW
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2017 00:09:05

Just finished running ABoFA for my group.

Simply put, it was astounding. The choices that that need to be made come along naturally.

To start off, pros and cons(Avoiding spoils).

Pros -Meaningful decisions -Lots of room to improvise within the situation using the tools presented -Communication with the main plot creatures is really fun! Frustrating at first, but intuitive once things get rolling. -Many many potential outcomes! The documentation gave some likely outcomes as well as resolutions for some of the more likely/common outcomes for most parties. -Quality writing, well fleshed out environments and story. -Very well prepared and realized ecosystem within its own sphere.

Cons -The opening scene seems a bit "openly railroady". The party needs to "activate the pedestal to begin the quest". To any players whom this isn't their first game, the "plot choice" is pretty clear. Some people may or may not like that, and it's a preference thing. -There could stand to be a little more meat to the middle section of the storyline in the PDF itself.

The Adventure took my group 2 sessions, and they all felt pretty happy with it. The pacing was solid, and we came to an unexpected conclusion.

All told, I'd give this a 9/10. Excellent writing, original ideas, good pacing, and fits perfectly in the Numenera setting.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Predation FREE PREVIEW
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2017 22:41:13

if it had not been free I would have been disappointed. it was ni=ot worth the down load time



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
Predation FREE PREVIEW
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Colin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2017 09:43:50

This review originally appeared at: https://mephitjamesblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/a-breath-of-fresh-air/

After reading through The Bridges We Burn, I was eager to look at Janek Seilicki’s newest scenario: A Breath of Fresh Air. It’s a strange mix of D&D tropes and bizarre sci-fi, much like Numenera itself, that provides a great plot for a gaming group through one session or beyond.

Disclaimer: The product’s author, Janek Seilicki, has once more been kind enough to give me a free copy of his adventure for review purposes. I have no other investment into this product, though, so take that as you will.

A Breath of Fresh Air is a shorter product than The Bridges We Burn, a single adventure as opposed to a campaign, and it’s for Tier 2 characters rather than Tier 3. However, the lower power level and smaller page count do not mean there is any less imagination packed into these pages. It takes place in some kingdom of the Steadfast (GM’s call) where a Rift delves into the ground with strange and otherworldly growing in its depths. In any other setting this would probably be a major site but in the Ninth World otherworldly rifts are just part of the landscape.

The themes of this adventure include dark legacies and survival: the group is dealing with the mess left by a group of mad nanos and they are venturing into a realm where the odds are stacked against them. In some ways this is a classic dungeon delve with heroes venturing into the depths of the earth where monsters dwell in their strange lair. As always with the Ninth World, however, things are not always what they seem and there are as many connections to Alien and The Descent as there are to Rage of Demons.

Depending on your group’s speed you can probably finish this up in a single session but two will definitely get it done unless the GM adds a bunch of side stories. That said, this is a great entry point into a whole subterranean plotline and A Breath of Fresh Air could easily be the first part of a longer series if you want it to be.

That’s about all I have that’s plot-safe so only GMs should continue from here…

Basic Plot The Rift is an ancient site with a nasty reputation that a group of “mad scientists, wizards, and prophets” called the Cabal ventured into long ago. These have no connection to the Cabal of Whispers described in Character Options 2 for Numenera but if I were to run this for my gaming group tying this Cabal to that group of excommunicated Aeon Priests would be my first move.

Before the group’s grand scheme of world domination could be launched, a traitor among them named Roh’dak-tun turned on the Cabal in order to protect the slave-race of fungus-creatures he had made that he didn’t want to see destroyed in the Cabal’s war. So he killed the others, melded with the fungus colony, and the whole plan faded away as the fungus festered and the secret weapon waited. A fantastic set-up for adventure.

Numenera - A Breath of Air - AutomatonThe party needs to first be in the vicinity of the Rift (the adventure provides some suggestions) and they find a hexagonal plate left by the Cabal to summon up their doomsday weapon. More on that later… Once activated, the plate starts to count down and then summons up horrible, insectile monsters called Badooks that threaten to overwhelm the characters with sheer numbers. Luckily, salvation shows up just in time. Unluckily, it is in the form of a massive colossus creature with space inside to hide.

Once the characters are in the colossus (again, more on that later) it begins to climb down into the Rift in a bone-jarring descent. Once at the bottom, the party has a chance to explore the giant war-machine they rode down in and the fungoid growth that surrounds them. The fungus colony seems to be growing over the top of the infrastructure left by the Cabal and there are enough areas to explore freely as the characters’ interest permits. Plus, there are lava pools and cascades of molten rock so… that’s fun too!

The party stays down there for a while, trying to figure out how to get out, and probably makes contact with the sentient fungoids. They might be interested to see that the fungoids die off every day and new ones are created with the hivemind’s memories. Amidst these strange surroundings they can try to repair and repurpose the automaton, build their own machine, or do something else. Let’s face it, they’ll probably do something else since players are the worst.

Tools for the GM This adventure is an excellent way to showcase the weirdness of the Ninth World. The fungoids “speak” in a spore language that conveys mixes of emotions (there’s a guide providing a two full pages of emotional terms to use) which means you get to make every conversation into a riddle. There is a great map that shows the fungoid colony, lava-filled cavern, and sectioned automaton, as well as helpful sidebars on topics that are likely to come up (such as food and water, talking to the remnants of Roh’dak-tun, and reskinning creatures) to make GMing this scenario easier.

I also appreciate the exploratory nature of the cavern and automaton. Though this scenario is broken up into six sections, it can really be thought of in three parts: freeform getting to the Rift, a wild scenario of panic where characters wind up at the bottom of the Rift, and then another freeform section as they figure out how to exit. This is an opportunity to make the scenario your own and the options are outlined nicely.

Railroading Issues It may seem odd after I just talked about the freeform aspects of this scenario but the weakest parts of A Breath of Fresh Air are the railroading parts. Once the characters are at the bottom of the Rift, the scenario can unfold as the GM and players want it to… But first they need to get to the bottom.

I don’t know about your players, but the hexagonal plate that summons the Badooks and the automaton would set off all sorts of warning bells. They might be willing to go along with things or inexperienced enough to just start pressing buttons. Most players, though, will take one look at this hexagonal plate and say “well that’s definitely bad news!” before moving on, which means the whole plot grinds to a halt. If I were running this, I’d definitely need to spend a long time figuring out how to make this seem like less of a tripwire so that the players might actually trigger it.

Likewise, the next step of the adventure requires players to run into the automaton to escape the Badook swarm. You can make this as enticing as you want to get them to do that but offering the players a deus ex machina (machina ex deo?) to sweep them into parts unknown for adventure is the definition of railroading. If your players particularly hate this device you might get pushback from them. Unlike the hexagonal plate, there’s little chance they won’t take this chance to escape certain death but they might be resentful.

There’s also the perpetual problem of teleportation. If your players’ characters can teleport, fly, step through time, or otherwise hop out of the Rift without exploring then you don’t have much of a plot. The scenario advises you take a look at abilities and items that can circumvent things and avoid giving those out, but if the characters already have them then there’s not much to do.

Conclusion This is a great scenario that offers a lot of chances for players to immerse themselves in the Ninth World. It’s also an imaginative story which, in the style I’m coming to expect from Janek Seilicki, blends familiar tropes and new details into a compelling narrative. It does have some problems with the beginning but experienced GMs can rewrite things to better fit their player’s expectations and tendencies, besides which if you just use the material regarding the inside of the Rift itself you still have more than seventeen pages of material to use in your campaign.

I recommend this scenario for beginning GMs and/or beginning players and appreciate the attention to detail and the GM help that the author has provided. Check it out and make your fungoid BFFs today!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Cypher System Rulebook
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2017 18:17:15

Cypher System (CS) It is an innovative and fun system that invites creativity and group interaction. They system is generally easy to learn for GM and player. If you enjoy Numenera and The Strange, CS is the same system but is meant to be for any genre of play. It is the "any genre” aspect that keeps me from giving CS 5 stars. I give it 4. Here is why.

Right out of the book CS tends to be supernatural and/or magical. There are supernatural abilities/aspects built into the character TYPES that MUST be edited or removed if one wants to use CS for a mundane or realistic game. Plus the Cyphers are definitely supernatural/magical. CS adds "Subtle Cyphers" that will work in realistic settings. CS does sort the Descriptors and Foci into genre but the GM should read them as some just don't fit where CS says they should. So, if the GM is preparing to use CS for a realistic or non-magical setting some abilities/aspects will HAVE to be modified or taken out. This is why, In the back pages of the book (and available on the web), there is the Campaign Design Worksheet. Use it. It's fun.

CS also has what are called Flavors. These are generic abilities that can substitute the Tier abilities of a given Type. Flavors are, in my opinion, the key to building the best and most versatile characters in CS. The Flavors are; stealth, technology, magic, combat, and skills and knowledge. Flavors are used as SUBSTITUTES for an ability that is built in to a Type. Give your Warrior some TECH abilities or more SKILLS. With Flavors you can truly make the character you want!

I will say it again, CS doesn't do realistic/non-magical perfectly right out of the book. The GM must read and edit/modify and then use the Campaign Design Worksheet to keep track of the genre YOU make. The worksheet is there because CS is MADE to tweak and tool with. If gaming is your thing, this process should turn out to be a lot of fun. CS encourages you to make YOUR game. And when you do CS is a unique and versitile system for single session or camapign play in ANY genre. Cool.

Thanks for reading and remember that this is only MY opinion. Yours may be different.

Bob



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cypher System Rulebook
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Somorrah in Soulrest
by Jan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2017 04:24:34

Really nice, professionaly looking booklet, full of interesting ideas that flesh out Somorrah. Ready to use NPCs (something I always look for) and monsters. Given the minimum support GotF receives, it is a must-buy.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Somorrah in Soulrest
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Fantasy Races As Types (Cypher System)
by Alvin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2017 10:14:52

I'm not a huge fan of this content. I'm lazy so I was hoping someone created a system of races which I could just plug into a Fantasy Cypher system and use. Instead, this book reinvents the wheel and that's just way too much customization for me.

The very 1st 2 sentences of the book are: When using this supplement, players choose a Racial Type (from this document) for their characters. in place of a Type (from the Cypher System Rulebook). They still choose their Descriptor and Focus normally.

I wish I had known this ahead of time. So no Type (classes) at all, Forget speakers, Adepts etc, you're leveling as a Dwarf or Elf or etc gaining abilities at each tier as a Race. It's essentially D&D 1st edition in Cypher. Don't get me wrong, some people might like this but for me it's just crazy backwards. I have not bothered to check if it's balanced because I know I will never use this system.

On top of that, Magic is revamped. Since all the Types (Classes) were taken out, any ability that looks like a spell is now a spell. Actually I do like the concept of literal spells instead of abilities, and I do see that he created some of his own spells as well to flesh the system out, but it was a lazy interpretation. Every single spell caster divine or arcane has access to the same spell list. Oh and every race has access to the same spells. So how do you make a pure caster using this system? Whenever you choose an ability, just pick the Sorcery ability which allows you to learn 2 more spells of your tier or lower. I think this is very very broken. Just about every single character I build using this system would pick Far Step and Force bolt at tier 1. Some spell are too good not to take. As I said initially.... lazy.

I am not a fan of this content. I appreciate the effort and work that went into it but a warning that you're completely revamping the Cypher system (At least for Types) would have been nice. Ah well it's not a total loss, the Gear and Equipment section is an improvement over the Cypher Core books so I can at least use that.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Races As Types (Cypher System)
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Katarzyna S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2017 04:29:06

A spine-chilling, attention-grabbing and mystery-ridden adventure! A definite must - but please be warned that you will never look at mushrooms in the same way...



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Fantasy Races As Types (Cypher System)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2017 18:13:56

This is my absolute favorite Cypher System product so far. Fantasy races are done up as types - all except half elf and half orc. The idea though is the character chooses which culture they were raised by and uses that for their type. So a half elf could use human or elf, and a half orc would just use human as there is no orc type.

I'd love to see more races done up this way. I've even considered doing my own underdark race version. My play group was pretty open to this book, and even with the option of using standard types or this everyone has switched over to using races as types.

A couple of bonuses in the book: An expanded item list, and a new magic system.

Magic is reworked so that you can know a lot more spells than an adept, but it takes a skill check to cast any spells. All in all it feels much more versatile and more D&D like. A very positive change.

Thank you for all your work on this product Anthony!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Races As Types (Cypher System)
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Post-Apocalyptic Genre
by Jeramy T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2017 10:25:47

This is an excellent product, the equipment list alone is awesome. I really like the crafting and cobbling rules, it really captures the feel of finding the needed parts to build and repair gear, and keeping it rather easy to use.

You can easily replicate TWD or Fallout.style games... I know that I'm saving bottle caps right now.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Post-Apocalyptic Genre
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Numenera
by josiah l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2017 20:37:02

Warning the game is not simple. Advice Play it anyways. Numenera is an idea that has been carved perfectly from the brains of Monte Cook and Co. It's an open sandbox that offers beauty and destruction without making you sweat your beard off counting bonuses and hoarding XP. Numenera is a work of art that doesn't run out. Its only burden is trying to play the game as fast as you can. Nation spanning epics and Lovecraftian horror all find themselves a home here. Do what you want do what you will the game is open to your imagination, and ps, GM's barely need to roll. Hehehe.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
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Sea Of Time
by Damon B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2017 05:07:09

wow wow WOW! I have read tens of thousands of books, articles, RPG games, and this one ranks in the top 5! This book is just incredible. I love how concise it is, and how the author actually makes time travel seem real in its many different forms (is HE a real-world traveller himself?!). The attention to detail in the book, to possibilities, is just amazing. I cannot rank this book any higher. I would love to collaborate with someone that his this expansive thinking! Message me, bro!

PS: I badly want a physical copy of this book, UPS Print Store here I come!!!!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sea Of Time
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Assault on Singularity Base
by Colin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 15:29:21

This is a really fun adventure with a simple but innovative approach, using different teams to accomplish the overall mission. This would be an excellent con scenario.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Assault on Singularity Base
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Maps of the Ninth World 2
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:55:26

Beautiful maps of new areas with some "detailed" maps in the packet. The maps are the same quality as offered in Maps of the Ninth World and come with "blank" and "annotated" versions. It is a very economical package and a welcome addtion to the Numenera line!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maps of the Ninth World 2
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Post-Apocalyptic Genre
by Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2016 15:39:22

This supplement for the Cypher System offers information to apply the rules to a post-apocalyptic genre, where modern-day civilization has fallen and characters must scrounge and fight their way through living in a wrecked world ("He is Max, and he is quite mad.") For the Cypher System there is some need to define things that fall outside the modern, horror or SF rules to suit postapocalyptic tropes, and this 32-page supplement works well.

Apart from the cover photo there is no artwork or pictures. It begins with notes on setting up your campaign and choosing why civilization fell (zombies are an option, and you must decide if mutations and other things will exist as a result of the fall.) Ten character roles are suggested, giving the corresponding character Type and Flavor to choose from the Cypher system. Are you a Leader or Warlord? A brawny Bodyguard or Gladiator besting most others in violence? Do you have knowledge and skills passed down from the ancestors to be a Cobbler or Healer? The Technology Flavor is disallowed, as ready knowledge of tech devices is GONE. Each Role has modifications to the Tier system given in detail. New or replacement Foci and Descriptors are given as well.

A revised Crafting system is given. Scrounge for units of raw material classified into names like parts, junk, chems and circuits. When deciding what guns, vehicles or equipment to build, required amounts of materials and difficulty are set down to suit the ambience of a difficult environment with no hardware stores left!

Mutants and mutated animal characters are possible, which gives tables and lists of mutations and defects. Mutations can develop in characters in good old 1950s movie-style from exposure to (more) units of radiation (not true in reality, you just sicken or die; but conventions of the genre must be followed as best exemplified in the old Gamma World RPG, so the mutation system will be quite familiar to people). The supplement ends with a description of damage effects, a system for infection by the aforementioned zombies, weather effects and other rules. 3 pages of equipment lists with Cypher stats bring up the end.

Overall, just the kind of tailored Cypher System game you could want for PA settings.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Post-Apocalyptic Genre
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