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Victoriana - Marvels of Science and Steampunk
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 13:24:44

152 pages. This is the book that makes Victoriana more Steam-punk, or at least more steam- and magic-tech. The biggest, and coolest, new feature of this game are new rules for Airships. Now I have to say that for me, Airships are a quintessential element for not only Steampunk games but of Victoriana in particular. You also get Victorian age computers (Babbage machines) and robots (metal men). This is the fantastic future of science that the Victorian era promised with a chapter on magic and technology. Grabbing this book really sets your Victoriana game apart from the rest of the crowd. The author, Walt Ciechanowski, would later go on to author the 3rd Edition of Victoriana and shape where that version of the game went. Like books from the Victoriana line there is a great collection of inspirational reading and viewing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Marvels of Science and Steampunk
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Victoriana - The Havering Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 12:13:25

This is a collection of three adventures that have appeared in one form or another in various conventions; notably Gen Con. All deal with the wonderfully eccentric Havering family. I played "Lost Luggage" at one Gen Con and really enjoyed myself. I got to play "Patterson". These are adventures, so I am not going to spoil what is going on here. I will say that these are perfect adventures to really give someone the feel of Victoriana. They highlight what makes the system work and what makes this time and world so much fun. As players, you will be playing members of this family; ie. Pre-Gens, but it works. A good GM can also get players to create their own characters, all members of a family and use them instead.
In particular I enjoyed the horse racing rules since we did something similar for Ghosts of Albion.
If you are looking to run Victoriana games OR need a ready to go adventure-idea for other Vicotrian games then this is where I would start. Keep in mind that various details of the "real world" have been changed to reflect the Victoriana world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - The Havering Adventures
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Victoriana 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/11/2016 13:35:49

Victoriana and I have a long and complicated relationship. I find it interesting that to date I have not done a review for this game. So let me fix that now. I discovered Victoriana, 1st Edition around the time I was writing Ghosts of Albion. I picked up the game, but since I was deep into working on and playing Ghosts at the time I didn't look at it much. Finally ,I did and then learned a 2nd Ed was going to come out.

I spent some time reading the 1st Edition rules and thought it was interesting, if odd. For starters, I am not sure why there was no U.S. Civil War. I was also not a fan of the Fuzion system. I liked all the odd races for the game (even if it did lead to the infamous Orc from Africa debate) and felt like it was, as it has been later described as Victorian Age Steampunk.

The thing that struck me though is how similar that cover is to the Ghosts of Albion BBC logo. In particular the silhouettes of William and Tamara. I am sure it is nothing but coincidence, but I could not help but notice it all the same. Save for the pointy ears on the Victoriana cover that could be Tamara and William from Ghosts.

I went into the 2nd edition with a lot of preconceived notions of what the game was. That is until Gen Con 2007. Friday night I ran a Ghosts of Albion game and a lot of the authors and playtesters for Victoria 2nd Ed came. I later joined them on a 8:00am Saturday morning game. I was hung over, battling the oncoming con crud. I played an Ogre butler with a Wits (intelligence) score of two whose saving grace was a giant shotgun that he wielded like a pistol. I had a GREAT time.

Victoriana is a perfect example of why you need to play a game instead of just reading it to do a full and proper review. Reading through the rules the first few times gave me a bit of headache, but playing it was a snap.

Victoriana, 2nd Edition is a 286 page book. Color covers, black and white interior. A couple of words about that. The art for this book moves between D&D-esque fantasy races and vintage photographs. Many of the photos are of author Andrew Peregrine's own family. I think this gives the game a unique touch. Personally, I do not want color art in my Victorian-era games. This is a world in black and white.

Vic is best described as a Victorian "cyberpunk" game; not just in terms of ethos, game design and play but also mechanics. The game is based on d6 dice pool with the extra advantage of a "black dice" to add more random flavor. Roll your pool of Characteristics, Skill, and Specialties and see how many successes you have.

The system that powers Victoriana is known as the Heresy system. Maybe an allusion to the game company that published Victoriana 1st ed.

The real feature of this game is the ability to play a number of fantasy races in a magic-is-real and in-the-open Victorian London 1867. The similarities to ShadowRun continue here. You can play dwarves, ogres, elves (Eldren) and other fantasy races. It could also be described as Steampunk ShadowRun or even Steampunk D&D. To call it that would really be selling the game a little short to be honest. I often described it as most Victorian games turned up to 11.

The game won a Silver Ennie for Best Writing and there is a ton of great material in this game, if viewed from Victoriana's own lens.

Appendix 3 Source Material is a great read for any fan of the Victorian era. Six pages of great and pretty exhaustive material.

The supplements for Victorana are all top notch with the same artistic style and flare of the core book.

Victoriana is one of those games I always seek out to play at conventions when I can. I have always had a great time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space - Arrowdown
by Mark W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2016 13:36:23

Excellent adventure, the whole group had a great time running this. I hope that Cubicle7 bring out more adventures of this quality.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space - Arrowdown
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Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space - Eleventh Doctor Edition Upgrade Pack
by Mark W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2016 13:32:58

Great product, scans are perfectly clear. Allows me to continue to run games when I'm away from my books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space - Eleventh Doctor Edition Upgrade Pack
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Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Dave C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2016 13:53:11

I'm a relatively inexperienced DM with little exposure to 3rd party modules - but this is a fantastic product. Great content & top notch quality as far as I'm concerned. I'm really exicted to run this, and my players are really excited to play in it.

Can't wait for the loremaster's guide. Hint hint.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
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Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Thomas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2016 06:42:20

I ran this for my group and we all decided that this was now our preferred way to play D&D. The journey and fellowship systems are amazing and easily produce detailed and enjoyable adventures with little prep from the DM. The added virtues (which are basically feats) are epic and allow for some highly individual characters and gives the classes a lot of replayability.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2016 16:08:32

I recently received a review copy of the Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide PDF from Cubicle 7 that is compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. I'm a big fan of Middle-earth and ran a long campaign years ago with Decipher's Lord of the Rings RPG and a few one-shots of Cubicle 7's The One Ring RPG. So the setting is near and dear to my heart.

First, the book is gorgeous and the art and layout evoke the correct feel of J.R.R. Tolkien's opus. One thing I want to call out is the Contents section in the beginning of the book which gives a concise overview of what each section contains, which I think is brilliant aid for player's coming into our hobby for the first time.

Chapter One gives you information about the significance of 2946 in the Third Age and overview of the Free Folk of the North, the Free Folk of Eriador, the Free Folk of the South and the activities of the Shadow.

Chapter Two explains how the rules of Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide (AiMe, hereafter) differs from standard DnD 5th Edition game. It contains rules for creating characters, the Cultures of Middle-earth, the classes this book introduces, Middle-earth Backgrounds, Virtues (Feats), the Game Rules, Journeys (more later), Corruption, Audiences (meeting with the movers and shakers of the Third Age), and the Fellowship Phase (more later).

Chapter Three are the Cultures of Middle-earth, which take the place of 5th Edition's Races. The cultures detailed are Bardings, Beornings, the Dunedin, Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain (further defined by Erebor and the Iron Hills), Elves of Mirkwood (mechanically their advantages are appropriate covered without making them unbalanced), Hobbits of the Shire (further defined by Harfoot and Stoor), Men of Bree, Men of the Lake, Men of Minas Tirith, the Riders of Rohan, and the Woodmen of the Wilderland. I feel that the choice of using Cultures, as opposed to Races, perfectly reflects the spirit of Middle-earth and allows the various humans of the setting to get a proper treatment.

Chapter Four introduces the Classes unique to AiMe. You should play a Scholar if you want to uncover ancient secrets and use their power, master the art of healing, be admitted into the councils of the Wise, or know much that is hidden. The two specialties of Scholars are Master Healer and Master Scholar. Neither specialty is a spellcaster in traditional DnD terms, but both channel the awe of characters presented in the fiction. Both rely upon ancient and deep lore about the world around. You should play a Slayer if you want to toss wolves and goblins from your path, take revenge upon the Enemy, fight alone, or in the front line of a company of warriors. It's specialties are the Rider and the Foe-Hammer. Slayer's hew closest to the Barbarian, but the Rider's reliance of mounted combat and the Foe-Hammer becoming a living weapon are interesting facets. I think both could be easily adapted as sub-classes for the Barbarian if a DM desired. You should play a Treasure Hunter if you want to sneak into caverns and other dark and dangerous places, spy on the movements and plans of the Enemy, or steal your foe's treasure. One interesting element to the class is that you gain night vision out to 60 feet at 1st level. The specialties are the Agent and the Burglar. The Agent is an ingenious and thoughtful sort, who outsmarts his or her opponents. You should play a Wanderer if you want to explore Middle-earth, to hunt down and destroy the servants of the Shadow, guide a company of adventurers through the wilderness. It's specialties are the Hunter of Beasts and the Hunter of Shadows. I'm going to add that I find the Wanderer encapsulates my expectations of earlier DnD Rangers and would have no qualm using them as an alternative or a replacement in a traditional 5th Edition game. You should play a Warden if you want to defend the Free Peoples against the Shadow, inspire your allies to yet greater deeds or bring hope when all seems lost. It's Expressions are Counselor (whose words hold power), Herald (whose abilities border into the realm of the Bard), and the Bounder (who focus on protecting others). I would seriously consider adding this class to fill a similar role to DnD 4th Edition's Warlord to a stander 5th Edition game. You should play a Warrior if you want to defend the Free Folk with force of arms, wear heavy armour and fight with discipline, command followers or master weapons to their fullest extent. It's Archetypes are Knight and Weaponmaster and both could be used for the 5th Edition Fighter. One final note about Classes, each presents a Shadow weakness.

Chapter Five covers Virtues which are AiMe's term for Feats. Virtues are specific to a Culture, they are well designed and constructed and could easily add new options for a standard 5th Edition game.

Chapter Six details the Backgrounds of AiME, and each includes a character's Hope and Despair to really dig deep into the lore of the setting. The Backgrounds are Loyal Servant, Doomed to Die, Driven from Home, Emissary of your People, Fallen Scion, The Harrowed, Hunted by the Shadow, Lure of the Road, The Magician (a performer), Oathsworn, Reluctant Adventurer, Seeker of the Lost, and World Weary.

Chapter Seven covers Equipment, detailing such things as Dalish Fireworks, Dwarven Toys, and Cultural Heirlooms. Cultural Heirlooms cannot be purchased, only rewarded, and they take the place of 5th Edition's magic items. Heirlooms for each Culture are provided.

Chapter Eight introduces the rules for Journeys, as travel is greatly emphasized in Middle-earth. Phase One is Embarkation and each Player is given a task as a Guide, Scout, Hunter, or Look-out. Simultaneously the Loremaster determines Peril Rating of the Journey and 10 random types of encounters are detailed. Phase Two is the Journey Events and Task Rolls. The length of the Journey determines the number of challenges the Players will face and the Loremaster is given methods to generate a DC for the Peril Rating. Additionally, 12 events are detailed. Phase Three is the Arrival Phase and rules for modifying the Arrival rule are laid out. 8 arrival results are detailed and an optional rule for Tracking Time are presented. Finally, a (sweet) hexmap of the Wilderlands is included.

Chapter Nine details the Shadow and the Corruption mechanic is fully presented. Each Classes' Shadow Weakness is detailed, as well. Consequences of Corruption, such as madness and degeneration are detailed.

Chapter Ten covers Audiences, a rules sub-system for meeting with and seeking aid from the movers and shakers of Middle-earth, those that we have all read about or watched on film. Audiences account for Cultural Attitudes, which set the DC's for the meetings and the reactions of those you are meeting with are based upon the outcome of your skill check.

Chapter Eleven covers the Fellowship Phase, which adds another rules sub-system for allowing character to recover between seasons and helps flesh out what they were up to when they have gone their separate ways, sometimes for years at a time. It includes options for Rest and Recovery, Undertakings (accomplishments important to individual heroes), Training, Gaining a New Trait (a fundamental change to the character), Heal Corruption, Meet a Patron, Open a Sanctuary, Receive a Title, and Research Lore. While the Fellowship Phase is integral to the stories of Middle-earth, I will add that I would have gladly used these rules while running a 5th Edition game that I concluded this past summer and will look at using them in future games set outside of Middle-earth.

The book concludes with Pre-Generated characters to get you up and playing in minutes.

Cubicle 7 has always impressed me with their games and Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide is no exception. They have taken the fabulous work they have done with the One Ring and adapted it to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, with a supplement that both perfectly encapsulates what I want out of Middle-earth while expanding my options for standard 5th Edition. I couldn't ask for any more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 14:03:27

Product is an excellent adaptation of Middle-earth to the 5e OGL. Cubicle 7 also within days if the original release already released an updated and revised pdf based on fan input. Rules are new and interesting, and the product is wonderfully flavorful with regards to the setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Carol D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 12:49:08

I really like this supplement, there's a ton of well thought out information in it and a different look at how to play in Middle Earth! I am looking forward to running my first campaign for family members in Middle Earth. I think this supplement is inspiring and very helpful in getting me started. The culture aspect for the races and classes is really interesting and ought to help with the roleplay of the characters. The journey feature adds a lot to the play, with the roll tables to help determine how your next foray into the forest will go, its a huge help to the Loremaster! It's going to be a fun ride! Thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Jimmy P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2016 16:18:40

ADVENTURES IN MIDDLE-EARTH is a 5th edition (Dungeons and Dragons) adaptation of The One Ring.

((Art)) The art is very Tolkienesque. For those who already own The One Ring, you will see familiar artwork. The layout is very similar to the one found in The One Ring as well. Overall, the art and layout design is very appropriate for the setting. It has this old school feel that really fits here.

((Mechanics)) In ADVENTURES IN MIDDLE-EARTH, you use the standard Dungeons and Dragons rules. The book completely re-writes the classes to capture the right atmosphere for the setting. For example, you do not have fireball tossing wizards in this game. You do have Scholars that can learn a few tricks not unlike what Gandalf could pull. You could introduce spellcasting classes, but the mood and balance could be compromised.

You start making your character by choosing a ''race'' such as Rohirrim, Dunedain, Bree-folk, Hobbit, Dwarves or Elves. Then you choose a ''class''. Then you choose a ''background''. At every step, the choices you make are again very Tolkienesque and fits the source material.

You get very interesting ''Journey'' rules - an adaptation of one of the most interesting mechanic found in The One Ring. You also get the rules for downtime called the ''Fellowship Phase'' - another great ruleset from The One Ring.

((Conclusion) Adventures in Middle-Earth Player's Guide is a great book. Now, is it the book you are looking for?

I already own The One Ring, on which AIME is based. I love the art, the system and the atmosphere of The One Ring. If I was to run a Middle-Earth campaign, I would probably prefer to use The One Ring (look it up!). Having said that, I know The One Ring is not for everybody. It uses an abstract combat system (which I love) that can deter some players. The rolls use custom dice, which is also something a lot of people loathe. This is where this book comes in.

If your group likes Middle-Earth and the 5th edition ruleset, click that Add to Cart button ASAP. If your group already owns and likes The One Ring, then perhaps this pdf might gather virtual dust in your file folders. Even if you dislike Tolkien's work, well you can still find something useful in there, such as the journey or fellowship phase rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2016 13:13:31

I think AiME is a great product. Not only it inherited all the great art from The One Ring (John Howe, along with Jon Hodgson and Tomasz Jedruszek), but also created great new rules and system to bring the feeling of Middle-Earth to the 5th edition of D&D. Most of the presented abilities, feats and even skills have additional narrative focus. In my oppinion, it brings the narrative verve of 13th age to the 5th edition, with a dark tone. This dark tone comes from the corruption aspect of Tolkien universe, where characters fades into a bitter end.

I'll recommend this to anyone that either wants to run a Middle-Earth campaign but rather keep using the familiar rules or disliked the rules from The One Ring; or you want to add the additional classes and rules for Journeys, Corruption, Audiences and Fellowship Phase, which are all very interesting. I also wrote a short review in Portuguese on my blog.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - Paternoster Investigations
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/08/2016 08:38:52

Although Doctor Who visited Victorian England many a time, it was after the 2005 're-boot' that recurrent visits to the same place (London) and time commenced, with the development of a group of characters who remained constant visit to visit: the Paternoster Gang. This book empowers adventures that utilise this background and characters.

So who are the Paternoster Gang anyway? Basically they are a rather unlikely not to say unusual bunch who have come together in late-Victorian London to undertake Doctor-like roles in defending their patch from alien encroachment. They are led by Madame Vastra, a Silurian warrior no less, who was roused by the excavation of early parts of the London Underground and manages to conceal what she is under Victorian formal dress. She is assisted by her maid, Jenny Flint, who is rather more than a maid although presents as such to conform to the morals of the time... they've fallen for one another, you see, something the Victorians could not understand or condone, did they but know. So they live as lovers behind closed doors, presenting a different face to the world at large. She also has a Sontaran butler, Strax. All three are bound together by a complex back story in which the Doctor is heavily involved.

It starts off with An Age of Marvels. This covers the late-Victorian era and the Doctor's previous adventures there. Sweeping social and technological change, mostly steam-powered, mark it as a distinctive and pivotal time in Earth's history. The British Empire sprawls across the globe and fog swirls through the streets of London engulfing rich and poor alike - and the divide is wide indeed, with a clearly-defined class structure. There's a broad sweep of history, what 'Victorian' actually means and what went on throughout her reign, to enable you to capture the feel of the times in your game without getting bogged down in historical detail. There are notes on real historical figures, from the Royal Family to artists, scientists, explorers, writers and inventors. Then the narrative steps back to view everything through the lens of the Doctor and aliens being real, and being there. Timelines mix real-world and the Doctor and more to create an alternate history, and there are synopses of all relevant Doctor Who adventures (although if you want more detail you are best off consulting the appropriate Doctor Who Sourcebook from the series published by Cubicle 7 Entertainment.

Next is The Paternoster Guide to London. It's a lot more than a sourcebook to London of the time, although it is that; there's more specific material from the game point of view such as places used by the Paternoster Gang and useful contacts... not to mention some choice villains. And it opens with a delightful picture of Strax in his butler clothes pouring a cup of tea in perfect style. There's lots of detail about places to go - some real and some not - and just reading through sparks ideas for adventure even before you get to the next chapter.

Then comes Victorian Adventurers. What about Companions who come from this time and place? Or natives of it who intend to remain there and deal with any alien menaces that come their way? Here you find out how to create them, and see how the likes of the Paternoster Gang shape up in game terms... or perhaps you'd like to create your own group in similar style with whom to run your own adventures. Or they might be friends and allies of the Paternoster Gang. The options are legion, and there's plenty of material to support whatever you and your group decide to do. Yes, you too can be an alien... and there are some delightfully steam-punk Victorian gadgets to play with as well.

The Paternoster Campaign provides a wealth of advice about devising adventures and, yes, whole campaigns in this particular setting. It has a particular emphasis on the investigative style of adventure, the sort of thing Madame Vastra herself gets up to, especially when the Doctor isn't there to interfere. Again, just dipping in to this chapter starts ideas spawning and wheels turning, whether you want to bring an existing group here, create Victorian adventures as in the previous chapter and run adventures for them, or even have them step forth into the rest of the space-time continuum... the options are many.

Finally, there's a complete adventure, A Study in Flax. It's a bit of a murder-mystery, the clues leading to time-travelling mischief and people doing bad things for good reasons. There's lots going on, and several familiar characters are involved, some of them of course being alien.

This book succeeds admirably in bringing late-Victorian London as viewed from the Doctor's side alive. It will enhance any visit your group might make, or maybe inspire an entire campaign set there... but whether you merely visit occasionally or set up shop there, now you know what it's really like!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - Paternoster Investigations
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The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2016 18:51:33

Amazing book! One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan is a perfect expansion to One Ring! It adds the long awaited Rohirrim to the game (as well as the Dunlendings) and has rules for mounted combat, which is relatively straight forward. Rohan also adds so many new regions to the game that many players won't know what to do first! Saruman has almost a whole chapter dedicated to him, and players can even work for the big man (wizard) himself!

Besides working for Saruman, Fangorn is now an available region full of possibilities, such as getting an ent patron, clearing orcs from its depths, or exploring places even ents won't tread!

For anyone looking to enhance their One Ring game (or even play it closer to the time period of the War of the Ring) this book is a must buy! (also, Reviewer's note, IT HAS URUK-HAI AND THEY ARE AMAZING!)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
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The One Ring - Erebor - The Lonely Mountain
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2016 18:34:39

One Ring RPG - Erebor is definitly worth every cent for both Loremasters and players alike! From the new cultures (though sadly more reskins of the Lonely Mountain dwarf with cool new toys) to the new enchanted items (Dwarf enchantments and how dwarves do it, Finally!) all the way into lots of famous npcs and new monsters (Like Murder lizards aka Dragons).

You also get maps and cool bits of info that you might not have known before (like the Toy fair of Dale!) and awesome rules to enhance your games of One Ring with the power of the Dwarves.

(I would also recommend getting Rivendell for the full working of Magic weapons and the like as sadly they didn't put it in here)

Definitly a 5/5



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Erebor - The Lonely Mountain
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