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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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Victoriana - The Concert in Flames
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2016 11:29:02

160 pages. Color cover, B&W interior Part gazetteer of Europe of 1865, part adventure campaign. What is great about this book is that covers a number of lands that are often ignored in most Victorian-era games. There are not a lot of details, it's not Wikipedia after all, but plenty for your game. The adventure (or Penny-Dreadful in Victoriana-speak) is a continent hoping adventure in the pure adventure vein as "Around the World in 80 Days" or the last part of "Dracula". It is done in a way that only can be done in the Victorian-era. The world is still big enough that other lands can be mysterious, but small enough that travel (thanks steam!) is quicker, easier and an adventure all it's own. Again, this makes this book not just essential for Victoriana but also a good buy for anyone running any Victorian-era game. There are also four new races near the end.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - The Concert in Flames
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Victoriana - Liber Magica
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/14/2016 11:06:18

144 Pages. Color cover, B&W interior Liber Magica is the supplement I ALWAYS want for my games. A book on more magic? Yes please! This book features a lot of familiar names from both 2nd and 3rd edition. This is good given the changes to magic between the editions. There is a section (half-a-page) about bringing over 2nd ed style magics to 3rd ed. It is really easy stuff and most GMs will do it on the fly really. This book contains a lot more magical options than the core book had. The first five cover the types of magic detailed in the core book (Thaumaturgy, Sigil Magic, Conjuration, Psychodumany/Magentism, and Maleficium). The last two chapters cover magical items and curiosities and magical societies. There are a lot of new spells. I have the PDF of this book, but I really want a print copy next time I hit Gen Con. It is one of the single most useful Victoriana PDFs I own. I adapt ideas from this for a variety of game including converting all these to Magical Philosophies in Ghosts of Albion or Traditions for the Witch. This morning, in fact, I was rereading this for use in Leagues of Gothic Horror. A supremely useful book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Liber Magica
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Victoriana 3rd Edition
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/13/2016 08:19:32

While Victoriana 1st edition first caught my attention and 2nd edition became a favorite, it is 3rd edition that might be the best version of the Victoriana game. My deepest apologies to all the people that worked on the first two editions, some who I now consider friends.

Full Disclosure: I bought my own hardcover and pdf copies of these books. While I consider many of the fine folks at C7 to be friends, they did not solicit or expect a review.

Victoriana 3rd Edition uses the same system that powered Victoriana 2nd edition, but cleans up the game and gives it some new life. Led by Walt Ciechanowski, Victoriana 3 became something a little different than before, but uniquely more "itself". You can use all the supplements, adventures and characters in 3rd edition that you did with 2nd edition with now issues. Vic 2nd edition has a conversion guide to 1st in case you need that. There are sidebars to let you know where the major differences are between 3rd and 2nd edition. There are even a couple of places where specific 2nd Edition books are mentioned.

Now set in 1856 (ten years earlier) we get a different feel for the age. The world of Victoriana 3 is a little darker, a little more dangerous and a lot bigger. So if you are using any of the supplements, such as the India one, you will need to adjust some events and tone, but not mechanics. There are also sidebars that mention the differences between Victoriana world and the real world. For example the Bolshivik revolution is getting started earlier here and Charales Darwin is now a "Dr." (he "only" had a Master's degree in real life).

This version of Victoriana puts more emphasis on technology. It is fantasy tech and steampunk tech, but there is more of it. Not to say magic has taken a backseat here, but it is not as prevalent in the writing as it was before. Also, the gothic horror elements have been turned up a bit in this as well. Magic, when it is there, is scary.

Victoriana (any version, but especially this one) is the game where you can take anything from any other Victorian-era game, use it here and it works. Eldritch horrors from Cthulhu by Gaslight? yup. Investigations from Baker Street? of course. Superhumanity from Victorious? Sure, why not! In fact, this kitchen sink mentality works really well in Victoriana.

The system is the same. You get a dice pool of s6s. Roll them, explode the "6"s, count the successes. If you have enough great. The rules in this version read better. I mentioned in my review of 2nd edition that the only way to truly review a game is not just to read it but to play it. I have played Victoriana now for almost 10 years. Despite that, and even more years of World of Darkness and ShadowRun, I am not a fan of dice-pool games. I have tried play Victoriana using the Ghosts of Albion system. It worked, and it was fun. But it wasn't Victoriana anymore. The Heresy game system is very much a part of what makes this game what it is. Much like the Basic Roleplaying System works for Call of Cthulhu and d20 for D&D, this system imparts a feel to Victoriana. The black dice, the exploding 6s, all of it is part and parcel of the game experience.

Character creation is a bit easier, or at least a bit more guided in this version. Emphasis is not placed more on social class than whether or not you are an orc, Eldren or human. By the way, the Eldren (Elves) in this version get really strange. You can be an elf, but be prepared to have some weird quirks or even some mental illness. Personally, I loved this idea and would like to try it in other games where I have elves/Eldren. Really, it is that cool. There are some changes to gnomes and Huldufolk (halflings) that make them more different than each other and more interesting. Nocturnal academics vs. rustics with a keen interest in one area. Note: This would be a great template on how to bring Castles & Crusades elves, gnomes, and halflings into a Victorious game.

The book is huge at 320 pages. Again the cover is color and interior is black and white. And again this is how it should be. The hardcover is sturdy and looks great. The PDF is bookmarked. While I loved the mix of art in 2nd edition, the art in 3rd edition is more consistent. The character sheet from 3rd edition is one of my favorites. It just looks so cool. A color option though would have also been nice for those special characters.

The rules include a great collection of items from the age and various forms of entertainment. There are also clarified rules on various chases (coach, boat, airships) and the effects of drinking and drugs.

Victoriana is one of the games with a quiet, but steady and dedicated following. The fact that the games are always sold out in minutes at Gen Con is a testament. For me, I will say this. If there is anything you have ever wanted to do in a Victorian-era game then Victoriana has a way for you to do it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana 3rd Edition
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Victoriana - Jewel of the Empire
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 14:18:48

228 Pages. This is a hefty tome. It covers India and it's place not just in the British Empire, but in the Victorian world. We get the requiste lands, geography, people and relgion of India in 1867, but also some discussion on the various religions. Like all religions in Victoriana this is through the lens of the world. So license was taken with some of these. Obviously this was not meant to offend Hindus any more than the Core book was meant to offend Catholics or Anglicans. So keep in mind these are the religions of a game world, not the real world. Some new races are included including some new and changed Beastmen. There are new magics, spells, monsters and plenty of NPCs to populate this huge country. Enough detail here to make you want to run nothing but India-based Victoriana games for a long time. I know I want to do exactly that! Great for Victoriana and at least 2/5ths of it is also great for any other Victorian game as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Jewel of the Empire
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Victoriana - Darwin's Catalogue: The Outsiders
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 14:09:53

14 Pages. One of the smaller Victoriana books. This details five races for PCs; Giant, Karakon, Oni, Orc and Steppegoblin. Also covered are Corporeal Mediums.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Darwin's Catalogue: The Outsiders
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Victoriana - Darwin's Catalogue: Beastmen of Britain
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 14:07:34

16 Pages. One of the smaller Victoriana books. This book details a number of additional Beastmen and their traits. Both as a "monster" and as a Player Race. Following the guidelines in this book you could create more, but the list is pretty exhaustive.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Darwin's Catalogue: Beastmen of Britain
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Victoriana - Faces in the Smoke Volume Two
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 13:58:19

140 pages. What a cool supplement. This details all the secret societies in the Victorana game. The societies are grouped largely by role. Are they benign watchers? Are they conspirators of a dark cult? Each group is given a role, a detailed history, and information on how they can interact with the characters and other organizations. Of course, multiple NPCs are detailed as well. An index of NPC, sorted by Rank, is also given.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Faces in the Smoke Volume Two
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Victoriana - Faces in the Smoke Volume One
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 13:54:52

140 pages. What a cool supplement. This details all the secret societies in the Victorana game. The societies are grouped largely by role. Are they benign watchers? Are they conspirators of a dark cult? Each group is given a role, a detailed history, and information on how they can interact with the characters and other organizations. Of course, multiple NPCs are detailed as well. An index of NPC, sorted by Rank, is also given.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Faces in the Smoke Volume One
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Victoriana - Faulkner's Millinery and Miscellanea
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 13:46:20

192 Pages. Every Victorian-era game needs to have a book like Faulkner's Millinery and Miscellanea. If they don't then buy this one instead. Actually buy this one if they do. At 192 pages it is full of items, clothing, gadgets, vehicles and even magical supplies for every need. The currency is British Pound and the economy is set in 1867, so if you do use it for other games you will need to adjust. There is more here than just price lists. The items may (or may not) be very familar to readers today so descriptions are given.
There is a great section on the economy and one worth reading. Here in the 21st century we are used to easy access to everything. We are also (in general) wealthier than any other time before ours. This was not the case int he Victorian age, even in Victoriana's fantastical magical Victorian age. So this frame of reference helps. In addition to equipment, there are common prices of travel and their various means. Prices for various entertainments. Alos you will need to know how much to pay your household staff and where to find them in the first place. Some notable NPCs are also detailed. This really is a must have book for any fan of Victorian RPGS and Victoriana in particular.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Faulkner's Millinery and Miscellanea
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Victoriana - The Marylebone Mummy
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2016 13:35:55

56 pages. An update to an earlier adventure. This adventure is really designed not just for starting players (5 to 6) but also starting GMs. All the materials you need to play are at your fingertips. There is not enough of the rules to make it a "Quick Play" but if you bought the core rules then this should be your next purchase. The adventure deals with, appropriately enough, a mummy. It FEELS very Victorian too. Ancient curses conflicting with scientific discovery. Superstition vs Science. All within Victoriana's own hedy brew of magic-is-real and so-is-science world. It makes for a lot of fun. The adventure also follows the now familiar 3-act format of all Victoriana adventures. So if you have any desires to plan your own then this is a good model to follow. It is, in a very real sense the Keep on the Borderlands for Victoriana.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - The Marylebone Mummy
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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.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Victoriana - Marvels of Science and Steampunk
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