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Qin: The Warring States free demo kit
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/25/16 09:59:17

Originally released in advance of the actual game itself, this is a good opportunity to take a peek at this system before taking the plunge and purchasing a copy.

It starts with a brief introduction to the game and some atmospheric fiction before launching into The History of the Empire and The Warring States, which set the scene in an admirably concise style. There's a page on Magic in Qin, with the reminder that in the mystical China of this game, people regard magic as quite normal and not supernatural... it's just someone who knows how the universe works manipulating it.

Then it's on to game mechanics with an outline of how characters are described in game mechanical terms and an overiew of the rules. Finally, two completely developed characters are presented, complete with character sheets, and it is suggested that you try out the rules by having them brawl with one another.

That's it, quite short and sweet. The background material does give a whistle-stop tour of the setting, and could be used to explain to prospective players the world in which their characters would exist... but there's a lot more to this game than fighting so it's a shame that there is no short scenario to play through as an introduction: just saying 'Here's 2 characters, let them fight' doesn't really give a fair impression of what this mystical game is all about!



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Qin: The Tournament of Scarlet and White
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/24/16 04:04:51

The Tournament of Scarlet and White is a short scenario that can be run as a one-off or in a convention slot, or as a diversion during a regular campaign. It covers events in a township where, years ago, the provincial governor was overthrown and replaced by the leader of a band of mercenaries. As he's done a good job since, the powers that be have left him alone. Every year the new governor, one Qi Xiang, holds a tournament that is open to all comers, and this year the party has decided to give it a go...

An Introduction sets the scene, covering recent history and outlining Qi Xiang's further ambitions, for of course a minor governorship will not satisfy him for ever. It also introduces some leading members of his mercenary band, deliberately unstatted as this adventure is for low level characters and they are supposed to be far too powerful for them to even consider challenging... my group is not that wise, so I made sure that I had a rough idea of their capabilities before running this! Their nicknames are based on pieces from a xiangqi (a Chinese equivalent of chess) board, for Qi Xiang is said to treat everyone as if they were chess pieces, to be moved about to his advantage.

Next we hear about the tournament itself, with some background on tournaments in general in mystical China. There are quite a lot of different competitions, so it's likely that any party member who wishes to compete will find a suitable one whilst there is plenty for the rest of the party to watch and do even if they don't care to participate in the tournament itself. That's neat, it gives everyone an opportunity to shine. Various options are provided, depending on how 'authentic' you want events to be, with any necessary additional rule mechanics provided. You'll probably want to plan out what will be happening in advance, but you have the tools you need to do so here.

And then we get to the plot itself. You may think that the tournament will provide entertainment enough (indeed it could), but there's a lot more at stake this year and opportunity for the party to get embroiled in events... particularly if they enjoy intrigue, although there's plenty of combat and other adventure as well. There's a detailed outline of events as they'd play out if the characters don't interfere, which you can modify as and when they do get involved - a nice way of letting their actions have real effect whilst creating the impression that life goes on around them regardless.

There are notes on different ways of running the scenario, particularly if you are not constrained by time and can really indulge in the considerable atmosphere - something I'd recommend. There is a lot going on in and around the tournament and various ways to involve the party. Options for expanding the scenario, including prequel events, are included, of particular use if you wish to incorporate it into a campaign. Six pre-generated characters are provided. They make a nice group, so if you are starting out your campaign they are worth considering if your players prefer to use them rather than create their own; and of course if you are running a one-off or convention game, you don't want to spend any of your limited time in character creation!

Overall this is an enchanting adventure, full of atmosphere and with considerable depth, something that will enhance any campaign or provide an excellent diversion - perhaps even get your group hooked on Qin: The Warring States and demanding more. The only flaw is considerable reference to a subsequent adventure (The Song of Bamboo Tears) which at the time of writing, some four years after this was published, still has not appeared!



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Qin: The Art of War
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/23/16 12:01:57

There's a lot of warfare going on in this game, it isn't called Qin: The Warring States for nothing! As the seven states squabble there is plenty of opportunity - perhaps the party wish to become mercenaries or they may see their attempts at diplomacy (or spying) fail, they may become involved in a border skirmish or a siege... whether it's a small scuffle or all-out war, this is a good time and place to display your martial prowess. This supplement gives you all the tools you need, from comprehensive descriptions of the forces maintained by each state to rules for fighting out any scale of brawl right up to epic battles, and several scenarios and ready-to-play characters to thrust your party headlong into the action. Or you may wish to play out battles to form a backdrop to the characters' exploits...

First up is The Armies of the Zhongguo. Drawing on the work of the real-world Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, here called Sun Zi, there is a discussion of how - and why - war is waged in the Zhongguo. War may be the last resort in dispute resolution, but for many it seems to be the first resort... so there is an impressive list of past battles to study and learn from, as well as plenty of 'modern' tactical thought. Fiction is interspersed with information about recruitment and training, the structure of the armed forces and even warlike artefacts that have power within the game. There are scenario seeds, new items of equipment (and new skills to use them), details of mercenary groups and weapons, tactics for the battlefield and even notes on military intelligence gathering and battlefield communication. There is a wealth of information to help you wage war, mystical China style.

Next is The Armies of the Warring States, which takes a detailed look at military provision in each of the seven states. Naturally, some are more warlike than others, but all need to be prepared to defend themselves at least. There's a wealth of detail here that can be used as background if one of your characters has seen service, or if the party interacts with the military somewhere; or if you are so inclined, to provide information for more wargame style combat. Individual commanders and other notables are presented with complete stat blocks, so they can take their place amongst your NPCs as required. Each state has its own style, quite distinctive in composition of their forces and in the way they are deployed, which makes for interesting reading. And if you wish to stray beyond the borders, there are notes - less detailed but of use nonetheless - about the armed forces of nearby lands.

Then Battles in the Warring States presents a mass combat system for when you want to stage a really big war. It is simple and flexible, designed to weave around your role-play rather than serve as a full-blown skirmish wargame, with the aim of allowing you to determine the outcome of any battle that may take place. The party may see a combat, participate in it or perhaps even rise to become Generals and lead it, and this system provides a non-arbitrary way of resolving it. It begins with each commander issuing orders and making dispositions for his troops and then making a Battle Test which determines which side has the advantage. Then it operates with a series of turns in which orders are given and acted upon, and allows for the intervention of Heroes (i.e. the party, should they be actively involved). It is reasonably straightforward and logical and works best when a player controls each army - or if the party controls one army and the GM the other. Handled well, it provides an exciting backdrop to character actions.

Finally, Running Military Battles provides advice on how to incorporate warfare into your game with lots of suggestions as to how to get the party involved, and how to run campaigns (in the military rather than the role-playing sense) to effect. This ends with two complete scenarios - A Conspiracy in the Desert and The Battle of the Reeds and Willows - which use the mass combat system and place the party in command of a small force. They are both exciting and add a new dimension to the steady fare of adventure.

For many, this adds the exciting new dimension of larger-scale warfare to the game, yet handles it in such a way that it supports and enhances character-based role-play rather than swamping it. For others, who prefer battles to stay in the background, the mass combat system will be overkill: but even they might find the other information herein of use.



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Doctor Who - The Silurian Age
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/22/16 12:24:37

The Introduction sets the scene: this book is a resource for adventures where the Doctor goes back in time rather than forwards, in particular when he goes way, way back to times when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. It also, slightly incongruosly, has a complete set of rules for spaceships including combat and chases, and an impressive array of ones you might encouter in your travels. Top that off with material on the Silurians themselves and an adventure, and there's plenty to get your teeth into.

The first chapter, History Repeating Itself, looks at what happens when your time travels take you back before human beings even existed. It talks about finding out precisely when you are, about how to survive and live off the land if for some reason you end up stuck there without your TARDIS. There's a sweep through different epochs of time with notes on how to distinguish them with a knowing glance at the fauna and flora, as well as details of possible adventures. Here having the various Doctor Sourcebooks comes in handy, as events are cross-referenced to where they were mentioned under the appropriate Doctor's adventures along with other ideas for you to develop for yourself if you fancy them. Information on extinction events and low-tech companions provide added material... and that's before you get to a whole bunch of story hooks and plot seeds! This section also includes ideas for when dinosaurs travel forwards in time and invade the present day. There's also a bestiary of dinosaurs, complete with stat blocks, so when dinosaurs do turn up, you'll know how they work. Illustrations include a very life-like triceratops, although the other dinosaur images are rather disappointing.

The next chapter is The Silurians and here we get the lowdown on this fascinating species. Strictly speaking they are not aliens. They lived on Earth - and sought refuge in hibernation when they thought it was going to be destroyed - long before humans were around. People going far enough back in time might meet them, and the hibernating ones wake up every so often too. There's loads of information about them here, starting off with the fact that there's no such thing as 'a Silurian' - there are two related species, quite distinct one from another... and each with several sub-species. There's information on their government and politics, how they lived in their hey-day and what happens when hibernating ones awaken. Notes cover the Doctor's previous encounters with Silurians, and there's a sample Silurian city should you fancy awakening some of them yourself. There are also sample Silurians and details of Silurian space arks and other technology. The chapter ends with some plot hooks and story seeds and notable Silurian individuals who've turned up before... and if one if the group fancies playing a Silurian, the information you'll need is here too.

Then comes a chapter titled Spaceships, which presents rules for spacehips and their operation, and for combat and chases involving them. There's also a veritable spotter's guide to just some of the myriad hordes of ships owned and operated by various spacefaring species. There are plenty of adventure seeds to get you going as well.

Finally, Asteroid Day is an adventure that involves loads of time travel, backwards and forwards, with Silurians attempting to survive a massive asteroid impact any way they can, UNIT worrying about some time travellers who have gone missing, and the Doctor and his companions stuck in the middle trying to sort it all out as problems pile upon problems. High stakes, high jinks, and all jolly good fun!

Overall, a fascinating if disjointed book - it's as if several ideas collided and got stuffed between the same set of covers. Yet it's all good material and provides serveal ways to enhance your game in interesting and novel directions. After all, spaceships and dinosaurs?



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Qin Bestiary
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/21/16 08:42:58

Every game needs opposition for the characters to fight against, and Qin: The Warring States is no different. This book concentrates on the mystical side, being filled with supernatural creatures, tragic ghosts, terrifying demons, corpses hungry for human flesh, animals wiser than most men, and, of course, dragons... for if you are in the slightest bit familiar with Chinese myths and legends, you'll know that these are constant companions and challenges to any hero.

Every creature is provided in a standard format for ease of use. Firstly the scene is set with a paragraph or so of fiction, there are ideas for the GM on how to use that particular creature, myths and legends revolving about it and the necessary game mechanics and statistics to use it effectively. Throughout, new spells, martial techniques, weapons and powers are introduced - you can, of course, lift these out to use elsewhere in your game. If your game is to be fantastical in nature, head for the fabulous creatures, if you are after a spot of horror, well, Chinese ghosts can be pretty terrifying. Perhaps in the legends you are creating, the boundaries are blurred and nobody's quite sure which creatures are natural and which are not...

We start off with Fabulous Creatures and Terrifying Monsters, which is subdivided into ghosts, revenants, and the living dead, demons; monsters and marvels, and celestial and fabulous beings. Throughout, the way they are presented maintains the mystical and lyrical style of ancient China making it easy to bring it out in your game.

Next are the Yao, animals which have transcended their original animal nature and become almost human... and often wiser than the average human being at least in certain areas. Sometimes they are feared or mocked, other times they are revered. Whatever, they provide for unforgettable encounters and help promote that uniquely Chinese legendary feeling. There's a lot of detail about where they are to be found, what they are likely to be doing and how they fit in to society; and then the discussion gets down to specifics with different types of yao classed by original animal. Plenty of examples and stories to get you started.

If your fancy has been taken by any individual (as opposed to the 'monsters') mentioned in the text, a delight is a collection of full details for several of them, complete with stat block, which may be used as NPCs in your game.

Then there are three scenarios to run. One involves a series of killings in a township during a festival (involving vengeful spirits), another works best if the main NPC is the first yao the party has met, and the last provides a mystery for the party to solve. All are atmospheric and entertaining, providing you and your group with a glimpse into legendary China.

Finally - and we hope your party will not be needing them - there is a section on Funeral Rites, including the ritual for an important person's death and information about tombs. Perhaps the party will be tasked with overseeing the funeral of an important patron?

This is a lot more than a mere Bestiary. It's jam-packed with flavourful material... and does not neglect game mechanics either. Any GM should be adding this to his collection.



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Qin Legends
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/19/16 09:27:45

Opening with an almost lyrical description of a combat between three adventurers and a couple of ball-and-chain wielding giants, this book contains details of higher-level abilities in Taos, Martial Arts and Magic, as well as magical items and an adventure. This material will help characters rise to even more legendary heights, all in keeping with the style of the game. Firstly, The Power of the Taos looks at taking a character's power beyond the four levels described in the core rulebook. Legendary indeed will be the things that a character can do. Next comes The High Levels of the Martial Arts which offers new combat techniques that will indeed have their practitioners talked about in epic accounts, perhaps compared to the gods themselves, with additional lower level ones as well as probing the heights of level five and six. Plenty here to enable each character to define and perfect their distinctive style and to give those minstrels and story-tellers something to write about! This section also covers the costs (in experience) of taking any skill to Legendary or God-Like levels, not just combat ones. There is also a wealth of information about the combat styles honed over generations by the leading martial families - perhaps out of favour at court these days, but if fighting is your thing, potent indeed and redolent with cultural richness. To learn a particular technique, a character must already be skilled in the associated martial art. Many such techniques and styles are well-known and a connoisseur can recognise them from the distinctive stance and movements of the practitioner. Of course, to learn these, the character has to find a master and persuade him to teach... not as easy as looking up a local dojo and paying for training! Each style is introduced with its history and the mechanics of actually using it in play. Then the different techniques incorporated in that style are described in detail, flavour and game mechanics wrapped together in an elegant and logical package. This approach makes it easy for players to describe what their characters are doing as well as to handle the mechanics of the combat. They are all dressed up with colourful names too, after all, practising the Style of the Mortal Kiss of the Metal Butterfly sounds a lot more legendary than saying you are pretty handy with a dagger! Next, The Magic of the Gods provides the same service for magic as the preceding chapters have for Taos and Martial Arts, taking it to the next level. There are many higher-level (legendary and godlike) spells and techniques for the aspiring magic-wielder to study and master. Then Treasure of Men, Gifts of the Gods introduces a method for creating legendary items and presents a selection of example items to get you started. Whole adventures could be written around such items, and it’s easy to see how those who possess them can themselves gain legendary status. They do not just have a list of abilities or effects, each has its story that tells of its origins, describes its appearance, and makes it into a true artefact to be quested for or treasured. If that wasn’t enough, we also have Celestial Objects which are crafted, it is said, by the gods themselves and bestowed on mortals who have gained favour in their eyes. Finally there is a scenario called The Treacherous Prince, which is intended to follow on from the scenario in the core rulebook and forms the opening of the “Tiàn Xia” campaign. Or of course you can use it in your own campaign as you see fit. It deals admirably with character growth, starting with the ostensibly simple task of escorting a bride to her new home… then finding themselves embroiled in growing tensions between townsfolk and barbarian tribes that lead to demands that very important heads should roll or all-out war might result! It presents plenty of atmosphere, the sense of being at the centre of affairs and, of course, opportunities to start forging your own legends. The additional rules material is well-nigh invaluable and the scenario exciting – what more could you want?



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Qin: The Warring States
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/18/16 08:48:23

Opening with a short but atmospheric piece of fiction that tells of a young girl who survives a bandit raid on her village but flees straight into a dragon's lair, this is a game set in a semi-historical China, mysterious and exotic. If you enjoy shows like Monkey and The Water Margin you will feel right at home here (and if you fancy the game but don't know these shows, try to track them down!). There is a brief outline of the concept and an even briefer one of 'what is role-playing?', and that's the Introduction.

Next comes The History of Heaven and Earth. This is written in a gentle lyrical style, true in nature to the way such myths are told in ancient Chinese literature. These are the stories that children might grow up with, learning of the formation of the world and everything that is in it. Everyone should read this, it will help players get into the right frame of mind as well as providing background that would be familiar to their characters. Sweeping through dynasties, explaining religious belief and more, this sets the scene and the tone.

Mood set, next come a selection of pre-generated characters. Use them as exemplars or leap in and play them if you want to try the game out before getting to grips with character creation. A swordsman, a soldier, an exorcist, a taoist, a renegade, a spy, and a highwayman await your pleasure, each with a backstory, full stats and an illustration.

This is followed by Characters, which explains how to create your own from the ground up. Even if you want to use the pre-gens, read though this to get an idea of how they work from a game-mechanical standpoint. Starting with a concept - a brief pen-picture of what you have in mind - you distribute 14 points between the Aspects (Metal, Water, Fire, Wood and Earth), select a Gift and a Weakness and purchase Skills with a further 15 points. Then you have yet another 15 points to assign to Combat Techniques, Taos and Magic. Then you can make up his background, what got him to where he is. Bear in mind that your character is intended to be a hero from the outset, with luck he should become a veritable legend.

There are plenty of notes to explain what all these terms mean and guidelines to aid you in picking the right ones to suit the concept that you have in mind. It's all quite straightforward and easy to understand, but couched in the style of mystic China, making it easy to slip into character. Once he is ready for play the next chapter, The Rules, puts all this detail into context showing how to use your character's abilities to effect. However, there's a note recommended that in some ways the rules should be a last resort, to be turned to only when it is not clear what the outcome of an action might be. They make use of the Ying-Yang Die, which is actually two D10s of different colours rolled together, subtracting the lower result from the higher to get your result, which needs to exceed a 'success threshold' based on the difficulty of whatever you are trying to do. You add Aspects and Skills to your roll as well. That's pretty much it, but there is further explanation and examples to set you up for play.

Next come chapters on The Taos, Martial Arts and Magic. These give the game its unique flavour, particularly the Taos. The Taos are the decrees of Heaven that govern the operation of the universe, and particularly the world of men. Some exceptional people - like your characters of course - are able to bend the Taos to their will. It seems a bit complex and daunting at first glance, but persevere - it's well worth it! You may think of them as feats which verge on the supernatural - leaps that appear to defy gravity, for example. Martial Arts deal with all manner of combat. It is the norm for people to tend to specialise in a single weapon, but to strive to become exceptionally good with it.

We then move on to understand the world in which the game is set, with The Warring States describing recent history, governance, justice, geography and the like; then Life in the Warring States discussing what it is actually like to be there - family life, morality, social conventions, clothing, food and so on. We then learn of Jiang Hu: The World of Martial Arts, a semi-mystical world on the margins of society where people can get a second chance and where martial arts reiqn supreme. Other chapters look at The Hundred Schools of Thought (prevalent philosophies), Religions and Superstitions, and finally Living in the Warring States, which covers weapons and equipment, and other costs. This concludes the 'player' section of the book.

We then enter Game Master territory. It's always a bit puzzling when everything is packed into one volume - are players expected to buy a book and not read half of it? How many people only play a game and never GM it anyway? Every group I've been in, there was generally almost a fight over the GM's chair. Anyway, here we find The Bestiary - a fine collection of monsters from fact and fable with which to beset your party, The Powers Behind The Throne (which deals with Gods and dragons...), notes on handling experience and renown and on setting the scene for your players. Plenty of useful information and advice here. Finally there is an introductory scenario, Towards a World of Forests and Lakes, This serves as an introduction to your campaign, with the characters coming of age and beginning their adult careers... and of course nothing quite goes to plan, with ghosts from the past and portents of a troubled future threatening to disrupt their chosen lives almost before they have begun. Pains are taken throughout to show how the rules work to effect, thus providing an introduction to game play as well.

Altogether this is a fascinating embodiment of legendary China, a place that never was but could well have been... and remember, do not despise the serpent for having no horns, for who is to say that he will not grow into a dragon!



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The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
por Gilles S. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/14/16 14:44:49

This product give you map in use for The One Ring Journey Rule and it is usable even in the electronic form. However, if you are fond of high quality map, you have to purchase the product directly in hardcopy, and not in electronic form. That's say, it's a nice addition for the rule and for mapping Middle Earth.



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The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
por Bill W. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/14/16 12:09:08

This product is not primarily about maps. Yes they are there and they expand the places that one can travel, but I believe what makes this such a great addition to the game is the material that can be used by the Lore Master to make the Journey phase of the game something enjoyable and memorable. Sometimes it can be challenging to embellish all the travel rolls with meaning and enjoyable details. There is so much useful material here and I cannot wait to begin encourporating it into my game. I would highly recommend it.



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World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour
por Jason C. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/13/16 23:41:57

"Hey, wouldn't it be cool if President Roosevelt sent a bunch of investigators to stop Hitler from summoning Cthulhu?" is a thing a gamer might think when they were fourteen. Then you learn a little about World War 2 and which side, if he had lived that long, Lovecraft would undoubtedly have sided with, and suddenly the bloom is off the rose. The concept of a mad Nazi sorcerer is frankly, stupid and a waste of everyone's time. They didn't need sorcery to be horrible. Sorcery is fictional and Nazi mass murders were real. What would they have done with sorcery that they didn't do with their own determination? Spread their evil further, win maybe? But that doesn't make them a different kind of evil; they don't become more horrific if you give them tentacle monster shock troops, they just become more successful at spreading the horror they launched. The more I learned about World War 2, the less I liked attempts to shoehorn the Cthulhu Mythos into it. Let's not even get to the Victorian anxieties that bubbled just beneath the surface of Mythos writings; suffice to say the Allied armies (racially diverse, eventually even racially integrated!) would not be the good guys in a Lovecraftian Mythos tale. Thus, for many years I put down the recurring idea of a WW2 Mythos game. I may have even been mean about it once or twice!

So when I saw World War Cthulhu: Darkest Hour, I was fairly decidedly disinterested, even though it was Cubicle 7 and I normally quite like Cubicle 7 games. Nevertheless I decided to give it a look and I'm very glad that I did. WWC has a very different attitude towards how to design a Call of Cthulhu scenario in World War 2 which transforms the war from a shorthand 5th grader's scribble of bad Nazis seeking forbidden knowledge to a setting that presents tremendous challenges to investigators seeking to achieve military and potentially occult goals at the same time.

In your typical Call of Cthulhu scenario, investigators receive a weird invitation or see a bizarre story in the newspaper that is in their professional field. They gather up because they know weird shit might be going down and start digging into it. Importantly, in Call of Cthulhu scenarios, you can lose. It is quite possible to miss clues, miss events on a timeline, misinterpret the clues and go to the wrong place, and you never solve the mystery, and then you see another horrible newspaper article and you FEEL AFRAID at the unknown horror that you almost spotted, and lose Sanity. This makes a typical Call of Cthulhu scenario a self-contained episode. However, in WWC, a different methodology is at work.

In WWC, you identify a location and determine what's going on with the war as an environment that the investigation takes place in. The sample campaign (more on this below) is a small town in Vichy France near a mysterious wood and a copper mine the Nazis really want to keep open. Then you create the occult threat and what might draw the investigators to the area. This approach guarantees you're not going to have your team of rowdy investigators winning the war singlehandedly, and also guarantees that they will have to thread some very difficult needles. In a (separately published) scenario, for example, there's a mysterious occult plague in a town controlled by Italian fascists. They believe (and spread the word) that they are being targeted by an Allied biological weapon of some kind. But it isn't; it's a MONSTER. You can definitely see how investigators who come into that situation will have to walk a tightrope between the danger of the Mythos and the danger imposed by the war. And when there's a plague monster around, maybe calling in an artillery strike is the worst thing to do. ("Are those spores or smoke?")

WWC asks not that you treat WW2 as a pulp setting, but instead asks that you treat it as real, with real stakes. And that, to me, is the innovation that makes it work where other WW2 Cthulhu scenarios have failed.

The sample campaign (which I'm going to be running soon!) is a great example. The characters are Special Operations Executive agents parachuting into the Vichy France countryside in April 1941 (seven months before the Americans even get into the action!) with the mission of putting together an intelligence network in the countryside, and finding out what happened to the investigator who disappeared before the Nazi invasion. He was looking into a cult, naturally, but the investigators can't just pop in to a Vichy village and start asking questions and avoiding attention because then they'll be pegged as spies immediately and killed by the Gestapo, and the cult will be about its evil business unimpeded.

And there are questions about how much to trust the Resistance that's helping you...or even if you trust them, how much to involve them? They have different goals and restrictions, and they may or may not know about or believe in the occult problems the investigators have to deal with. If a monster's going to eat a bunch of people, you have to balance whether you want a suave lady shooting a Sten while smoking a cigarette standing next to you, or whether it would be better if she didn't have her arm eaten and nerve broken so she would have both those things to fight the Hun.

All in all, World War Cthulhu is a tremendous effort, works really well, and the sample campaign gives a very solid example as to how to design a WWC scenario. This game completely rehabilitates the idea of the WW2 Mythos scenario and breathes new life into it with the relentless focus on the war as environment instead of the war as event.

If I had to suggest a way to improve this effort, I would mention there are several typographical errors (the names of characters in the sample campaign aren't always spelled the same way, etc.) and I would really hammer out several different campaign structures other than the SOE structure that's presented. All in all, however, this is an exceptionally solid work that accomplishes something many have attempted but rarely successfully. It's definitely worth your time.



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The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
por William H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/13/16 19:07:49

The product is, primarily about the maps. The maps, however, are at 1/8th the usual-for-Cubicle7 linear resolution, making half the product of VERY limited utility. The pixelation was noticeable at 100% view in acrobat, unlike other products in the line. Worse, this was an intentional crippling by the company, so as "to prevent competition" with the hardcopy product... (according to Jon Hodgeson, of C7.) In short, the text isn't worth $14.95 even dead tree, and the maps are almost worthless at the included resolution. Being a PDF-Only purchaser, my advice to others like me: Don't. You can find better resolution unofficial maps done by fans already online. (Comparing the 200% view with other products in the line, I had to hit 1600% to get similar pixelation.)



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Creator Reply:
From the product description: \"These PDF maps are intended for reference on your computer or e-reading device of choice. They are not intended for home printing - these maps are available in print as part of the Journeys and Map print edition.\" Here is the response to your complaint about the maps resolution from our forums: \"The resolution of the maps in the PDF edition of Journeys and Maps was a deliberate decision, and we flag it up on the Drivethru/RPGnow page. Which of course you may not have read if you got the PDFs free as part of a pre-order. Where maps appear as supporting material in other supplements - take for example Rivendell - we have endeavoured to make them as high resolution as we can. Supplying those at pretty much any size won\'t compete with sales of the physical supplement. Because the maps in Journeys and Maps form a majority component of the supplement, we have scaled the PDF versions for on-screen usage. And they work very well for that purpose. However they aren\'t suited to commercial third-party printing. We\'ll be completely transparent - we want you to buy the physical maps from us, rather than us providing material that copy shops can profit from. If there is a demonstrable problem using screen-resolution maps as part of the PDF product we\'ll certainly look into addressing it.\" If the maps included in this set don\'t meet suitable standards for on-screen use we will happily replace the files with larger versions.
The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 04/06/16 11:37:37

Whilst in many games, travelling to a place forms part of the adventure, in The One Ring the journey often IS the adventure, so this is a timely and useful addition to the game line. Anyway, I love maps!

So, let's start with the maps. They're glorious. And big - looking at the PDF version, on a large-screen PC, I'm not even getting 50% of them full-screen. There are four maps in total: Rohan & Gondor, Mordor, Wilderland and Eridor... but each comes in two forms, one for players and one for the Loremaster. The Loremaster version has loads of locations and other details, whilst the player version is the sort of thing a local cartographer might have made and sold to the Company when they were planning their next trip. A real delight to the eye, and practical for the game as well. The paper ones will no doubt look nice on your wall or enhance your tabletop when playing.

The set also contains a 32-page book which explains that Journeys and Maps is all about the adventures a company can have on their travels - chance encounters, hazards, natural events and more. The first chapter looks at travel by road, with plenty of ideas for things that might happen to the company arranged by region, making it easy to select the most appropriate event for them. Unfriendly locals, opportunistic thieves, or darkness lurking in a ruined farmhouse and more await... or they might just get lost! There are also suggestions about tailoring Hazards to specific regions, with a wealth of examples to get you started. Any can prove a momentary distraction, many have the potential to be developed into far more.

The next chapter deals with Boats and Ships. This provides just about everything you might want to know about travelling on the water rather than the land, with both river and sea journeys being discussed. There are notes on planning journeys, the types of vessel available... and of course hazards specific to the water.

The next section looks at things apart from hazards that can be used to enliven journeys. Here are interesting things to see, places to spend the night, fascinating people to talk to... not every encounter or event need be a bad one despite the abundance of hazards provided earlier.

The last chapter, Bones of the Earth, discusses ruins and explains how to design your own. Start by deciding who built it and what it was originally used for, then think about its present appearance and what it is being used for now. A whole bunch of ideas here. Finally, there is an Index of Locations covering everything that's been published to date, telling you both the book and the page number you'll need to consult to find out more.

Overall, this is a well-nigh essential aid for the Loremaster, and the maps are beautiful!



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The One Ring Revised Edition Clarifications and Amendments
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 03/15/16 08:12:26

If you have the original 2-volumes-in-a-slipcase version of the core rules - The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild - you may be wondering about whether or not you want to buy the one volume The One Ring Roleplaying Game that came out in the summer of 2014. If you are not a mad completist, this PDF contains all the actual rules changes that have been made so you can have a look at make up your own mind.

Starting with the Adventurer's Book, there are detailed, fully page referenced lists of the changes made, all clearly highlighted in red text. The Loremaster's Book gets a similar treatment.

Of course, if you are only now coming to this great game, you'll want to purchase The One Ring Roleplaying Game, but if you have spent your hard-earned cash on the original game you may not want to splash out on the new version. With this you don't need to, although you might want to spend some time annotating or pasting things in to your books - easier of course if you have them in hard copy, but it's possible even in PDF... that's what I've done as I don't have The One Ring Roleplaying Game yet!

What is particularly good is that Cubicle 7 Entertainments have seen fit to put this out, rather than expecting everyone to rush out and buy the new version. It's the sort of thing that builds up brand loyalty and indeed makes one more inclined to keep buying their product!



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The One Ring - Horse-lords of Rohan
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 03/14/16 09:36:34

Rolling grass plains far to the south of Wilderland are home to the horse-clans, the Rohirrim (or Eorlingas in their own tongue). They call their lands the Riddermark and here they ride and reign, a culture rich and strange. It was always one of the areas I found most exciting in The Lord of the Rings, so it's good at last to be able to visit, even if only in my game.

The first two sections describe the Riddermark itself and the lands surrounding it, covering history and geography from the contested West-march and the Gap of Rohan in the west to the Great River in the east; from the Wold in the north to the White Mountains in the south. As well as the lay of the land, there are details of local wildlife, the people who live there and notable individuals and locations that might feature in your adventures. Ideas for Fellowship Phase activities, not to mention hazards and other encounters, are scattered throughout to aid you as the companions travel here.

The third section covers the Forest of Fangorn. Now if you thought Mirkwood was strange you really need to visit here... and maybe meet an Ent, one of the legendary shepherds of the trees. Moving on, the forth section deals with the Folk of the Fells, lumped together by the Rohirrim (who do not get on with them at all) as the Dunlendings, although there are many different tribes and societies.

Next the fifth section speaks of Isengard, the Tower of Orthanc, home to Saruman the White. There's plenty more plot resources here for those who wish to have dealings with Saruman, even Fellowship Phase activities. This is followed by a collection of Monsters of Rohan including dangerous animals and more sentient foes such as the Uruk-Hai.

Finally, the last two sections take a look at horsemanship within the game (including, of course, combat) and at new Heroic Cultures for those players who'd like characters who come from here, rather than who will visit. There are also two splendid maps (endpapers in the hard copy, a separate PDF if you are downloading), which let you see where everything is as you read through the book.

This work does an excellent job at setting the scene for the Riddermark and surrounding lands, and a companion book of adventures is said to be in the works. It is assumed to be 2960 here, although it's relatively simple to move the timeline to whatever suits your needs using the information provided. It explains how visitors from other lands are received by the Rohirrim, and there some ideas provided for how a company from the Wilderlands might travel this far from home... and there is a note about hobbits. They've not been seen here for so long that most Rohirrim think them the stuff of legend. If there is a hobbit in your company they could be in for an interesting time!



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The One Ring - Ruins of the North
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 03/10/16 08:49:30

This is a collection of six ready-to-run adventures which you can use whenever your company is in eastern Eriador. They can be stand-alone or linked into a loose series as best suits your needs, and are assumed to take place sometime after 2954 - but not wedded to that date, if your requirements are different. If you have the supplement Rivendell, there's lots of useful material there to help you flesh out locations and the general environment.

The first adventure takes the party from the foothills of Gundabad across the Misty Mountains to the former capital city of Angmar and finally to Rivendell itself. The following five adventures are all based out of Rivendell and are set in the various lands surrounding the Vale of Imladris. They gradually get harder, the first five can be undertaken relatively easily, but the final one presents a greater challenge - although none are appropriate for complete novices, play a few other adventures first. Several suggestions are provided for how you can incorporate these adventures into an ongoing campaign or build a campaign around them, even though there is no definite 'plot arc' (or Big Bad to defeat) save the growing of the Shadows, the gathering of evil, in preparation for the War of the Ring that is to come.

In the first adventure, Nightmares of Angmar, some children have been kidnapped by goblins and it falls to the company to track them down and get them back. It's an autumnal quest, suitable for the last adventure of a year. However, you might want to make up your own reason for them being in the Black Hills (where it all begins) in the first place, most of the reasons provided are rather weak. On the other hand there's an impressive array of options to help you weave this adventure into whatever else is going on. Throughout the adventure, support is provided to help you run each encounter and event... although there is little lee-way for handling anyone who doesn't do the expected thing! There is an interesting mechanic of 'Key Points' - places where the characters' actions or words have a positive or negative effect on a certain pivotal NPC. These will determine how that individual acts in the future, but ought not to be revealed to the players, it's just something that the Loremaster should track.

The next adventure, Harder than Stone, is designed for spring, perhaps after the Fellowship Phase following Nightmares of Angmar. It's undertaken at the behest of Elrond of Rivendell which will lead the company a merry dance along the mighty river Hoarwell. A caravan of dwarves has been attacked... and the characters will have to travel deep into the Trollshaws to find out who's behind it all. Yes, these adventures are full of lots of travelling... but as that's central to all the Tolkein stories, that's not very surprising!

This is followed by Concerning Archers, a spring or summer adventure that begins in Rivendell when Bilbo Baggins gets into an argument with a scholar over hobbit participation in a battle - and asks the company to travel to the ruins of Fornost, the city of the Kings, to check things out. Bilbo reckons that a company of hobbit archers were involved in the fall of Fornost, but the elf to whom he is speaking has been dismissive of such a possibility... and they've made a wager about it. Bilbo needs evidence to win! (Why Bilbo, who's described as being in his prime, won't go himself isn't even discussed, you might want to think of something should your players bring it up.)

The fourth adventure is The Company of the Wain and is interesting in that it's quite episodic - you could interleave events from it with other adventures to good effect as it revolves around a group of travelling traders. Perhaps the company just keeps encountering them as they go about other business. Travelling traders are an unusual sight up here, and there's something a bit odd about this lot...

Next comes What Lies Beneath, which comes with a warning that travelling is even more extensive in this adventure than in most, so it's best started early in a year. Hiraval, a Ranger of the North, wants some assistance to reclaim his family's ancient mansion - not just because he thinks it could improve the safety of the region, but also because he is being haunted by an ancestor who is driving him nuts about the place!

Finally, Shadows Over Tyrn Gorthad has Gandalf asking the company to deal with a veritable plague of barrow-wights who are passing far beyond the Barrow-downs and growing bolder all the time. It will take several Adventuring Phases, indeed several years, to play out in full and the danger is immense. They will need to research and study lore about the barrow-wights before thay are in a position to deal with them, and even researching them carries its dangers.

Overall, a fine collection of adventures that are very true to the whole feel of the setting. There's a tendency to assume that the characters will follow the set path through each adventure, and little support if they do not, but provided they do the right things the Loremaster is well supported to run their adventures. Complete these, and there will be songs written about the company, stuff of legends!



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