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The One Ring - Adventurer's Companion
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2016 13:04:50

In the world of The One Ring, not everyone is cut out to be an adventurer. Many of those who do tread that path feel that it chose them rather than the other way around. This book brings a wealth of new ideas, new systems, and new cultures aimed primarily at players, but Loremasters will find plenty that is of use to them as well. The Introducion explains the five parts that make up this work.

Part 1: Characters is concerned with the process of and options available when creating a character, beginning with an overview of the process. Then there is a section that looks at the choices that can be made as a character is crafted to ensure a unique and memorable character, with ways to tap into the inspiration many get from characters in literature and other good ideas, also material on forming a group in ways that seem natural rather than forced. Most of this part of the book, however, is jam-packed with no less than thirteen Heroic Cultures from which your character might come. Revel in them, they make fascinating reading.

The next part contains New Rules. Want to be a Leader? There's a new calling to let you do just that. New combat rules and expanded masteries give new ways to use your skills to good effect both on and off the battlefield. There's also some neat ways of handling a party of mixed experience.

In the third part, Between Adventures, there is a focus on what you do when not adventuring. There's an excellent and clear explanation of how the Fellowship Phase works, and a comprehensive list of the things you can do, collated from all the material published so far. Handy to have it all in the same place. There's also a collection of potential patrons and some famous companies who have achieved renown in Wilderland - maybe characters will want to join them if not emulate their exploits. There's also discussion of the passage of years and the concept of multi-generational campaigns.

Then, part four - Curious Diversions - contains an odd assortment of things, from ranomised travelling gear to musical instruments and the things you might find in the average adventurer's pockets.

Finally, part five is For Reference. Here are things like the steps Loremasters and players go through when engaged in combat, giving ideas for turning a brawl into an exciting narrative not just a lot of die-rolling and table-consulting. Another section does the same for journeys, a pivotal part of this game. There's also a detailed account of how an encounter should play out. All this material is designed to enhance the role-playing and story-telling aspects of the game, to embed them into everything that occurs on the table-top.

This is not only a book worth reading, it's worth dipping into again and again. The rules here are in the main optional, but without exception they enhance an already good game, elegant and nuanced. If you play The One Ring, you should really get this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Adventurer's Companion
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The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/30/2016 04:08:59

Whilst the 'maps' aspect of the title might be the draw card for many players, there is certainly more to this product. The maps are of good resolution on a computer screen, but you will need a very good printer to get the best value from them. As someone who already owns maps (and an atlas) of Middle-Earth, it was the 35-page booklet that was of more interest.

In this slim volume, we are treated to a host of plot hooks based on terrain type that vary immensely. It is very obvious that a lot of development was invested in this section as the hooks do not read like standard fantasy but instead take the time to link to the flavour of Tolkien's world. Many are based on familiar touchstones so that those new to Middle-Earth can easily grasp the idea - but those with a 'veteran' appreciation can certainly expand on the ideas and link to deeper lore if desired. Next is a section on ships and the sea for those - like the Elves - who hear the call of the waves and wish to send their own vessels out. It includes a range of encounters and plot hooks to really bring out this aspect of the world. Th penultimate section proves that the authors really understand adventuring in Middle-Earth. It starts with the premise that not all interesting parts of the world are about encounters and combat, and that natural wonders deserve to be part of the story (and given the amount of descriptive narrative in Tolkien's books, they are completely right). The book then leaves the reader with guidance on creating ruins in the flavour of Amon Hen or other iconic locations and asks all of the questions of the GM that should be considered in a land with so rich a history.

This is not just a boon for 'The One Ring' but will be a worthwhile investment for anyone running a Middle-Earth RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
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Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/25/2016 08:01:38

This mighty tome is beautifully presented and provides just about all you need to start adventuring in Tolkien's Middle Earth. Of particular note is the way in which the authors are not afraid to tweak exisiting game rules and even invent entire new mechanics to drive a setting that's true to its original concept yet playable by anyone who can play Dungeons & Dragons 5e. As the Foreword states, the guiding light has been to present a game that you can make your own... and if you want to add in stuff from other sources, that's fine too.

The first section is all about setting the scene. We're based in Wilderland in 2946 of the Third Age. Smaug is dead and people are reclaiming the lands he once terrorised. So here are details of the lands involved and their denizens. Then it's straight on to how to make it all work, with an Overview containing details of the changes the authors have made to the core ruleset in two areas: character creation and general game rules. Middle Earth isn't quite like any other fantasy setting (even if it inspired a lot of them!) and these rules are desisned to enable you to run a game and create shared stories that are true to the setting. It starts off with a profound difference, you choose your culture rather than your race. 'Culture' is a more precise definition - you are not just a human but a Man of Bree or a Man of the Lake, and so on for all the other races. There's a whole chapter on them later on. There are also new classes and backgrounds, and a whole new type of trait called a virtue - and each of these also gets a chapter to itself to explain all that you need to know.

The other rules changes relate to how the game itself works. Middle Earth stories are jam-packed with journeys, and the sort of quest that involves going somewhere (and braving danger along the way) as well as doing something when you get there are a mainstay of Middle Earth adventuring. Unlike the character creation rules, these supplement rather than replace the core D&D ones. This setting does not use conventional alignments, instead it relies on a corruption system to model characters' moral journey through life. In Middle Earth, strangers are often regarding warily, so there are also rules for obtaining an audience with the great and good of the land, should the party wish to do so. Finally, there is the introduction of the Fellowship Phase, an exciting innovation from The One Ring game on which this setting is based. Each of these topics too has its own chapter to provide all the necessary detail to enable you to incorporate it into your game.

That's about it, all beautifully-presented and with Loremaster (i.e. DM) and Player versions of the map and a selection of appropriate equipment to help your character look and feel like he belongs in Middle Earth. Overall, it's an elegant adaptation of both The One Ring and of course the original setting from Tolkien's stories to the latest incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons and well worth a look if you think that there's more to adventure than killing monsters and taking their stuff... although those who do want to fill their days with fighting (and even acquire some loot) will not be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
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The One Ring™ Roleplaying Game
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/15/2016 21:57:14

Thoughts

There are a lot of moving parts in this game, and it's easy to miss stuff. From the pre-encounter rolls, to Hope and Fellowship points to getting used to the Stances. We have kinda trialed-and-errored our way through the first two sessions. It's not a dense, math-heavy system, but it's also not light and quick, but pretty much all the mechanics feel like they have a purpose. The Corruption Tests, Journeying, Encumbrance, Hope, Hate...it feels like a Tolkien game to me, and not just a generic fantasy RPG.

Speaking of Journeys and Fatigue...this is the first game in years that I haven't handwaved the Encumbrance rules, because Encumbrance makes sense when there is such a heavy focus on hiking across mountains and tromping through swamps. The little adjustments here are great, as your Spring gear and Winter gear, for instance, weigh differently because you prepare differently, and the burden of your equipment isn't a constant one, but one that grows as your journey becomes more daunting and arduous.

The Corruption system is harsh and unforgiving, especially at early levels, and it practically guarantees that no one is going to have an adventuring career and retire without SOME stain on their soul. This is Boromir losing his sense of perspective in the face of an overwhelming foe and trying to steal The One Ring, Thorin losing his mind at Bilbo not giving him the Arkenstone or even Frodo finding that he can't settle back at the Shire because of how he's changed. None of them were villains, but their adventures changed them forever (and led two of them to their deaths)...the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions, indeed.

The Virtues and Rewards are very cool and evocative. A Dwarf channeling their Shadow Points into their efforts gives them a reason to give in to their weakness a bit, or even having your axe become a fearsome item of legend in and of itself.

18 skills is about the upper limit of what I will stomach for a skill list, but you have to love a game in which your character's ability to sing (Song) can be every bit as important as their knowledge of combat (Battle) or their ability to find food in the wild (Hunting).

That starting adventure is HARSH with the Corruption Tests, combat is a touch more complicated than necessary, and a few things are unclear (can Standing be gained through adventures and deeds? The rules don't seem like it can, but one of the adventures in another book provides just that option).

I'm not sure if I'm in love, but I can easily say I'm infatuated. A great game in which the mechanics feed the atmosphere in one of the finer marriages of mechanics and theme I've GMed, in my opinion. It's surprisingly harsh, at least at low levels (we've lost one NPC to the first adventure, and one PC has a permanent Shadow point, while the other PC is knocking on the door of one, two episodes in...and the second adventure would have ended in a TPK, but I rolled with the Epic Feat and interpreted it to get the heroes out of their predicament).

Two sessions in, and I'm glad I didn't go with Adventures in Middle-Earth. I'm sure Cubicle 7 did a fine job with the 5e version of Middle-Earth, but The One Ring feels very much like what I wanted from a Middle-Earth RPG. Hopefully we'll get to play it enough to work the kinks out, because I've enjoyed my first time playing in Tolkien's sandbox.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/11/tommys-take-on-one-ring.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™ Roleplaying Game
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Doctor Who:Adventures in Time and Space - The Ravens of Despair
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2016 07:59:42

This is an excellent resource for the Doctor Who RPG as it offers a very well written description of a wholly new adversary "creature". The Ravens fit well into the setting and there's a lot of detailed information on how they can be used in a game in terms of motivations, personality and tactics. I would have liked to see a little more space, a page or two at least, given to adventure concepts as I think the author thoroughly covered everything he needed to in the first ten to twelve pages but the product doesn't suffer because of this.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who:Adventures in Time and Space - The Ravens of Despair
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The One Ring - Erebor - The Lonely Mountain
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/15/2016 07:44:32

Opening up a whole new area for exploration, this book looks at the Lonely Mountain and the kingdoms of Erebor and Dale. Back in the time of Smaug, this region was abandoned and known as the Desolation of Smaug, but since the dragon's demise there has been a resurgeance and it's well worth a visit.

We start with The Kingdom Under the Mountain, a section which describes Erebor, its denizens and the wonders that might be found there. Stronghold of the House of Durin, it is more than just a city, or a mining complex, or a fortress... there are mighty wonders here, palaces and mineral riches untold. If the dwarves will let you in to take a look, that is! There is history and background galore from the earliest times right through to the present day. There are maps (supplemented by a map pack in the PDF download) for those who wish to explore the vast complex, and who can gain admittance in the first place. The process for getting in is explained, along with some of the notable locations to visit and individuals to meet if you do get in, and ideas for things to do whilst there.

Next is Treasure of the Dwarves, with a look at some of the wonderful artefacts made by Durin's folk, fabled items crafted with skills now lost to the world. Dwarves have this bad habit of hoarding knowledge instead of passing it on, and many a craftsman has died before managing to find an apprentice he deems worthy enough to teach what he knows. Still, they remain excellent craftsmen and ancient artefacts still turn up. Based on the rules for item creation in the Rivendell supplement, there is information on how to design dwarf items that are distinctive and fascinating, as well as details of many famous examples of their work. A dwarf character with a good craft skill can choose to spend a Year's End Fellowship Phase holed up in his smithy making something fantastic and all the rules you'll need to make that happen are here.

Then comes Dale, a description of the burgeoning city of men and of the surrounding areas. Set beside the River Running almost in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, Dale's history from earliest times until the present is recounted. The new kingdom doesn't spread far beyond the city walls yet, but every week sees new farms established and it's growing fast. Plenty of opportunity if settling down is in your plans. There's loads of evocative description to help you bring this bustling city to life... and like any city, there's plenty of intrigue to get involved in if that takes the party's fancy. Notable locations and personages, and things to do in Dale round out this section before we proceed on to The Lands About The Mountain for those who'd like to go further afield, with wildlife, locations, inhabitants and plenty of ideas for adventure.

Next there's Concerning Dragons, with probably more than you really want to know about them. History to anatomy, their role as rare and unique creatures that might be sighted once in a whole campaign if even then... here we have the rules necessary to create your own dragons and bring them to memorable life... memorable, that is, to those party members who survive the encounter! Treasures for their hoards, items that can kill them, some sample dragons, and a wonderful selection of rumours about dragons end this section.

History next with The War of Dwarves and Orcs, including notes on how this long-running war can be woven into your campaign. Older dwarves (over 150 years) likely saw combat in this war, but just about everyone will have heard of it. Finally, those who fancy playing a dwarf will find two new heroic cultures to try: the Dwarves of the Iron Hills and the Dwarves of the Grey Mountains.

This work puts a contemporary twist on places long-known from the Tolkien books, providing fascinating places to visit and adventure in, replete with ideas for Loremasters and players alike. Of particular relevant to those who play dwarves, there's a lot of material to be enjoyed and used here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Erebor - The Lonely Mountain
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Doctor Who - All the Strange, Strange Creatures Volume I
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/14/2016 07:33:12

One of the greatest pleasures of Doctor Who are all the aliens we get to meet - sadly all too many of them are hostile, or at least want to conquer or even destroy the earth. This book consists of two parts: firstly a listing of aliens that have appeared in the show (and some which haven't...) and secondly rules to enable you to construct your own aliens.

So, first up, Aliens and Creatures. There's a full twenty-seven of them. Some are, of course, very familiar - Daleks and Cybermen, for instance. Others may have featured far less frequently or even not at all. In each entry, there's an attempt to see what that particular alien race is like, rather than just presenting stat blocks and outlining new abilities. So there's background information about where they come from and when the Doctor has met them, notes on their motives and agendas to give you some idea about why they might show up and what they might be after, and then it gets down to detail. When they turn up, what will the party see? How will they behave and react? (The aliens, that is.) There are ideas for how to use each alien, what sort of adventures they'd be most suitable for and even a collection of plot hooks and adventure ideas to get you going. Each entry is illustrated by stills from the show.

In the second part of the book, Creating Your Own Aliens lets you do just that, providing elegant systems to enable you to let your imagination run wild, whether designing player-character aliens, traditional alien-as-villain aliens, or, well, anything else you fancy. It's done through loads of questions, by answering them you build up a clear picture of what that alien's like, then you can put appropriate numbers, traits and other game mechanics in place. Rather confusingly, all the pictures haven't been captioned, and some are for aliens not mentioned in the previous section (I spotted a Slitheen at one point...), although you don't then get notes on how to build them for yourself.

One thing that would have been useful would be a cross-reference showing which Doctor each alien has encountered, which would link in nicely with the series of Doctor Sourcebooks Cubicle 7 Entertainments have produced. There does seem to be a bit of bias towards aliens who have shown up since the reboot of the TV show, but there are some from earlier as well as ones like the Daleks who keep reappearing. However, overall there is a lot of good material here, and it will enable you to present a universe full of diverse aliens for your party to outwit in the course of their adventures.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - All the Strange, Strange Creatures Volume I
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Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Konrad F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2016 15:30:52

Bought the hardcopy in SPIEL/Essen got a free pdf, That's how to make costomer happy. :) Nice tolkinenies Setting it set between Hobbit and LotR. Players Characters don't have magical abilities, which is very nice. Wonderfull journey rules - NO! Random encounters but it depends on skills of the PCs to get from A to B in one piece and you have a story tell.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
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Cthulhu Britannica London: The Curse of Nineveh
by Harri J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2016 15:59:10

Beautifully presented, well-written and fun Call of Cthulhu campaign set in 1925 London. This would have been a classic if it had a stronger Cthulhu Mythos theme, and a less rushed climax (production-wise)

We played this seven-chapter campaign over 28 gaming nights earlier this year. We are a veteran Cthulhu group, but only recently got back to it with Fantasy Grounds. I'm reviewing the PDF only.

The Curse of Nineveh is set in 1925 London. An expedition to Assyrian ruins brought back something awful, and people have started dying. There might be a curse there somewhere. Enter investigators.

This is a long campaign. It is written and built really well, as it allows the GM to do his own thing, and running the campaign with a group who don't like campaigns to be "on rails" works well with the material. There are enough touchpoints so you or your players don't get lost, but it's loose enough. I ended up having to gently help my players just a little bit in the final chapter, as they were lost on what to do next.

It is suitable to play with new characters, but due to the complexity and length of the campaign, I would not recommend this to new GMs. While there is a 1925 London sourcebook from the same publisher, it is not necessary - we ran the campaign without it.

The production values in the campaign are top notch. Every single NPC is beautifully illustrated, and the maps and handouts are well done. It is a real pleasure to read and use, and present to my players. The layout is done well, there is a good index, and finding NPCs is easy. Each chapter begins with an overview which is hugely helpful for the GM, and ends with assumptions on what the players should know by then, which is also useful in knowing whether my players are on track or not.

My main criticism comes from the weak theme. While 1925 London is beautifully described as are the NPCs and the campaign is suitably bleak, Cthulhu Mythos comes through very thinly, and is just a minor part of the campaign.

SPOILERS BEGIN

The first time the investigators encounter their first true mythos creature is well past 2/3 of the campaign. And another later almost inevitable encounter is with a major baddie, which appearance would essentially mean the end of the world. It is unclear if that was the intention, or if the authors just did not fully appreciate the repercussions of such an encounter.

There are non-mythos creatures and encounters earlier in the campaign which some might feel out of place, but given the subject matter of the book they felt mostly OK, except for one chapter which added an entirely different mythos with that of ancient Assyria and Cthulhu. Odd choice, as it was also the chapter least connected to the main thread of the campaign. I didn't mind it, and neither did my players, as it was a fun distraction.

SPOILERS END

Also, it appears that that the designers ran out of time or money, as the last two chapters of the total of seven feel rushed. They are the shortest, and they also miss maps for two of the most iconic and memorable scenes in the campaign. This is a peculiar omission, given there are maps for some minor NPC homes in the earlier chapters.

My players echoed my sentiments on the production values being good, and theme being weak. They were expecting more mythos critters, but overall we had an amazing time with the campaign.

Overall I'm docking one point for the weak connection to Cthulhu Mythos and some poor choices with encounter design. I would dock another point for the odd planning choices by rushing the end of the book. But in the end the production values are so good, and especially the character artwork and illustrations are really beautifully done. Combined with the campaign itself being so well built and fun that 4/5 feels like a fairer score. Recommended with allowance given to the weak theme: if I was running this again, as a GM I'd add some Cthulhu monsters earlier into the campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Britannica London: The Curse of Nineveh
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Doctor Who - The Eighth Doctor Sourcebook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/26/2016 11:38:21

The Eighth Doctor was portrayed by Paul McGann, with limited appearances - a movie and a bunch of audio dramas, as well as novels and comic strips. As the original TV show ended in 1989, the movie was made in 1996 in an attempt to rekindle interest... although well-received, it's not until 2005 that the TV show returned to our screens. So you can argue that the Eighth Doctor is the longest serving incarnation.

This regeneration of the Doctor is an effortlessly charming fellow, dashing and romantic. Chapter 1: The Eighth Doctor and Companions provides plenty of detail about him and his role... thinking the Time War is over he revels in scampering around space and time and enjoys introducing new people to it, then when he discovers that it's not over and the Master isn't dead after all, he finds himself unsuited to the situation, becoming somewhat cynical. His companion in the movie was Dr Grace Holloway, a cardiologist committed to her profession and with a strong ethical bent, who was understandibly fascinated by the Doctor's two hearts! An interesting sidebar speculates about whether or not she's become immortal. Two others, Chang Lee and Cass, are also included, all four with full character sheets. There are also notes on the TARDIS, which apparently is a better navigator than it has been.

Next, Chapter 2: Designing Eighth Doctor Adventures provides plenty of resources for those interested in rising to the challenge of running adventures in the era of a Doctor who didn't actually have many adventures that we saw in the show - only his first and a little glimpse of his last were seen! Thinking the Time War was done, he threw himself into exploration, so that can provide a good platform for adventure. Parallels can be drawn with the real world of his time, when the Cold War was over and people worried about things like the Y2K bug that was supposed to bring computers to a juddering halt and predictions that the Second Coming was about to take place. Once the Time War restarted the universe began to unravel, and this could be used creatively to unravel some of the Doctor's past adventures, forcing your party to go and 'refix' things. An interesting thought, and there are plenty more in this chapter.

Chapter 3: The Eighth Doctor's Adventures examines the TV movie, with a thorough synopsis, notes on running it as an adventure, further adventures you could run based on it and notes on NPCs and gadgets. The short adventure The Night of the Doctor, which was the Eighth Doctor's final adventure, is covered in like fashion.

To make up for this paucity of material Chapter 4: Doom of the Daleks is a full-blown campaign you can run, no matter what sort of group you have. The Doctor has fallen victim to a Temporal Exterminator, a rather nasty weapon wielded by the Daleks that unravels your complete timeline. The Doctor asks for help - to save him, the party has to travel through his timeline and stop it unravelling before it comes completely apart and the Doctor dies. A prologue (which sets things in motion) and a full twelve adventures are provided. Most draw on the Doctor's previous adventures - this could prove an interesting way of running games for a group of players well-versed in Doctor Who!

The real gem here is the campaign, and that's well worth getting, even if you think there isn't enough material about the Eighth Doctor to justify a sourcebook, or don't regard the movie as being quite as canonical as the regular TV show. Revel in it, but don't let it all unravel!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - The Eighth Doctor Sourcebook
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Doctor Who - The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/25/2016 07:42:54

This book focusses on the personality, companions and adventures of the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy. Some dismiss this Doctor as a mildly insane lightweight, others speak of hidden depths, of a sharp intellect and someone who tests and challenges everyone, enemy and ally alike. Read on and decide for yourself.

Chapter 1: The Seventh Doctor and Companions looks at the people and personalities involved. The Seventh Doctor himself is a mystery, mad professor (if you're being kind) on the surface, bumbling along and talking to himself, but this unprepossessing exterior hides an incisive mind with a deep understanding of space, time, and whatever situation he's got into at the time. He also has a novel approach to companions: they are fellow-travellers, expected to pull their weight, rather than assistants or strays he's picked up along the way. He sees, better than they do, what they can grow in to and 'encourages' them along the way. The companions discussed are Melanie Bush, Sabalom Glitz, and Ace (complete with homemade Nitro-9 explosives, of course). This chapter also contains full character sheets for this Doctor and the three companions. Finally, there are notes on the latest TARDIS.

Next, Chapter 2: Tools of the Trade rather oddly starts by analysing the sort of companions the Seventh Doctor prefers, with an eye to empowering you to come up with your own (if you don't want to use Mel, Glitz or Ace, that is). There are also ideas for alternative campaigns using this era as a basis - even ghost hunting and a crime spree are considered! We also get some new traits (good and bad), and of course new gadgets. Nitro 9 is mentioned, but mostly with a strong warning about leaving it well alone! There are no concrete game mechanics for it, it is just too powerful for its (your?) own good. There are some quite detailed notes on designing your own artefacts too, excellent if you fancy dreaming up some remarkable device to urge your plot along.

Then Chapter 3: Enemies takes a look at the opposition. Cybermen and Daleks, of course, there's also Fenric, the Master, and the Rani. Plenty of background detail, food for many a plot, and appropriate character sheets.

This is followed by Chapter 4: Designing Seventh Doctor Adventures. A wealth of advice here ranging from themes to the role of UNIT, adventure structure, getting scary, and general game mastering snippets.

And then we are on to Chapter 5: The Seventh Doctor Adventures. Here we find the standard pattern of adventure synopsis, notes on running the adventure, details of significant characters, monsters and gadgets involved, and finally suggestions for further adventures. Some may like to see how their group of players will cope with the actual adventures, others may prefer to use them as a jumping off point, perhaps using the suggestions for further adventures or drawing on something else that takes their fancy. Others will just revel in remembering past episodes (or discovering them for the first time depending on age and viewing habits back then!), but there's plenty here to enjoy whatever your intentions.

Again a comprehensive, definitive word on the Seventh Doctor. Sit back and be swept away once more...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook
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Doctor Who - The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/21/2016 08:32:26

This book covers the tenure of the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker), detailing the adventures that he had and the companions that he shared them with. This was a flamboyant Doctor from a flamboyant time, with adventures involving Daleks, Cybermen, at least one of his earlier incarnations and culminating in his being put on trial by the other Time Lords on Gallifrey.

Chapter 1: And Not A Moment Too Soon! takes a look at the style, the look and feel of this Doctor's adventures. In personality brash and over-confident, the Doctor could be quite difficult to get along with, frightening even. He viewed the universe as a place that was getting darker, and wasn't sure whom he could trust, perhaps not even his companions. This could make him difficult to run as an NPC. This wasn't helped by discovering that his own people were as bad as the rest of the universe's inhabitants, corrupt and meddling: all the things the Doctor has stood against. There's plenty of discussion here to help you get everything straight, and even a few adventure seeds that might spark ideas.

Next, Chapter 2: The Sixth Doctor and Companions presents character sheets for the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Mel and, of course, the TARDIS... a pretty wilful beast in this incarnation. There are a few new traits and the like as well.

Then the main body of the book is given over to Chapter 3: The Sixth Doctor's Adventures. Starting with a comprehensive synopsis there are sections on running the adventure, new creatures and game mechanics introduced during it, NPCs and gadgets; finishing off with further adventures (in quite brief outline) that could spin off from the actual one being discussed. As always, it's slightly strange. Do you want to recreate an adventure directly from the show? At least some of your players may have seen it. On the other hand, many of them are cracking adventures and even if your players did see it they may not have perfect recall. The follow-up adventures will need quite a lot of work to become playable. Yet this chapter provides a marvellous account of what happened during the Sixth Doctor's tenure, and makes fascinating reading for that alone.

Chapter 4: The Trial of a Time Lord covers, in extensive detail, the pivotal time when the Doctor was placed on trial on Gallifrey. There's loads of background and details of four complete adventures... and then ideas for where you can take your campaign next. This section is jam-packed with ideas about how you can weave elements of this story into your own plots (or, of course, make use of it entire).

Finally an Appendix looks at The Sixth Doctor and the Time War. This overarching event has its beginnings in the time of the Fourth Doctor and rumbles on even up to the present-day show. You may choose to ignore it, taking each adventure in isolation or you may prefer to weave it throughout your storyline. Here you will find plenty of ideas for doing just that - even if the Doctor, at this point, doesn't know much about it.

Full of ideas for adventure, this book should keep a group interested in this era, Gallifreyan politics or the Time War busy for a long, long time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook
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Victoriana - The Spring Heeled Menace
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2016 13:18:21

14 Pages. B&W cover and interior. FREE Can't complain about this price. I fun little introductory adventure with some pre-gen PCs/NPCs. One Spring-Heeled Jack is bad enough, what about an entire gang of them? Great adventure to introduce 3rd Ed Victoriana to new players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - The Spring Heeled Menace
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Victoriana - The Devil in the Dark
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2016 11:49:59

23 Pages. B&W cover and interior. A beginning adventure for characters that have been through at least one or two other adventures but are still low rank. This is an expanded and updated version of a 1st Ed adventure. This adventure in 3 acts feels a lot like a mix of gothic horror and Sherlock Holmes. Great for the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - The Devil in the Dark
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Victoriana - Streets of Shadow
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2016 11:39:56

144 Pages. Color cover, B&W interior Streets of Shadow is an adventure path (to borrow a term) for Victoriana that has a lot of history. Three of the adventures, Dragon in the Smoke (Chapter 1), The Hound of Hate (Chapter 3) and Rise of the Red God (Chapter 5) have been published previously for 1st edition Victoriana. Here they have been updated and tied together in a longer story. A "shilling shocker" according to the book. This adventure also ties in to other Victoriana adventures, The Devil in the Dark (3rd ed) and The Marylebone Mummy (2nd ed). This is a great example of both an adventure campaign and of a game honoring (and using) it's past.
Sure these are useful for other games too, but really there is something very "Victoriana" about these. If you are planning on running any Victoriana games at all I say get these.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Streets of Shadow
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