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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!]
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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!]
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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!]
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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!]
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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!]
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