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Genesys Core Rulebook
by Fred D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2018 06:55:46

Genesys is the basic Narrative Dice System used in the popular Star Wars RPG by Fantasy Flight, but aimed generically at whatever setting you want to create. Yes, YOU create. There is work here for the referee. Fantasy Flight promises some future setting books for Genesys, but currently there are none available, so each Genesys referee will need to craft their own game using the tools in this book plus any creative imagining and borrowing you can add. Notice the cover illustration. The center is detailed and in focus, but as the eye travels out to the perimeter the detail becomes more sparse and the image less focused. This is a beautiful metaphor for Genesys. It is The Beginning of many great games, but there must be an element of do-it-yourself involved. Go into Genesys with eyes wide open and with a vision of what you want it to be and it can be a very satisfying game. The Narrative Dice System uses Fantasy Flight "Genesys" dice - which differ from the Start Wars dice. You will need/want a pack of those to complete the game. I am not a huge fan of proprietary dice and that is why I knocked off a star in my rating. Otherwise, Genesys delivers. The Narrative Dice System facilitates "Heroic" play nicely and encourages players to engage in the drama and collective narrative that develops at the table by suggesting how the dice may be interpreted. The Narrative Dice System is a dice pool mechanic that tends to result in success with complications or failure with advantages. More improvisation is required of the referee than in a d20 or d100 system which are basically pass/fail. The real fun is to engage the players in helping to elaborate on what the dice outcome can suggest. If you like generic systems, I think Genesys is a good one. All games suggest a style of play and Genesys seems to work best with an expectation of a heroic, cinematic style of game. Not sure how genesys would deliver on grim, gritty, realistic or horror style games. Character death is just not enough of a threat for that feel. But, hey, this is DIY, so by modifying the Genesys rules almost anything is possible.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Genesys Core Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Loren D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2018 20:59:36

At its core, L5R hasn't chenged much since the 90s. All the good stuff is here. Roll and Keep mechanics, clan schools and techniques, combat and mass battle rules, etc. If you've played any previous edition, none of the mechanics will be a surprise to you. There's even details on the new Spider clan, if you're into that sort of thing.

The book is full-color glossy, and as gorgeous as you'd expect for a game that's been operating for over 20 years. Unfortunately, the pdf is atrociously bookmarked. Every bookmark is at a single level, and the list isn't collapsible. That makes navigating the book by bookmark unnecessarily lame. One star off for presentation, though the game itself is as solid as ever.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
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Legend of the Five Rings: Emerald Empire
by Ryan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2018 05:26:58

This is arguably my favorite L5R 4e book. Not only is it packed full of detailed, interesting information relevant to any campaign in Rokugan, it is just a pleasure to read on its own whether or not you're preparing for a campaign in Rokugan. This is a 303 page tome with eleven chapters: geography, customs, social structure, politics, the arts, money and commerce, law and order, religion, education, war, and the world beyond Rokugan, along with a glossary and an optional subsytem called Way of the Daimyo aimed at allowing players to play characters of higher status, such as daimyo, abbots, sensei, or other positions of significance. Each chapter also includes a new mechanic of some sort, sometimes more than one, and here is where you will find the rules for popular schools from previous editions like the Ikoma's Shadow, Hida Pragmatists, and Shinjo Bushi.

The first time I read this book, I couldn't put it down. I went from cover to cover in glee; the quality of the writing and presentation is just sublime. Nowadays, some 6 or 7 years later, I still love actually reading this book. When I get the notice that the PDF had been updated, I flipped through to see what changed, and I had to stop myself before I read the whole thing again because it was basically like getting it fresh. This book has helped make my games richer and my characters more interesting, and I can't recommend it enough for anyone interested in playing L5R. Because most of the info is setting info, it should even still be useful going forward into Fantasy Flight's new edition. That being said, I have some qualifications to this, some things that inhibit my enjoyment.

First is that the art is pulled primarily (or exclusively, I can't tell) from the card game. Now, the card game's art isn't bad, but it often isn't the best representation of what the setting actually looks like. Everyone wears a color-coded kimono openly declaring their clan allegiance when the text tells us this is not usually the case and that Rokugani value a variety in colors and patterns on their clothes. Plunging necklines and exposed shoulders are common, and the text tells us this would be unthinkable to the prudish, modest Rokugani. It pulls me out of the text to see fashion discussed in one segment, and there's an art piece on the next page more-or-less negating all of that. The other thing is the bookmarks don't work for me and have never worked. In fact, the non-functional bookmarks is why I can't give this the fifth star. Maybe it's just my PDF reader? I don't know. I haven't tested it out. All I know is it's aggravating.

But in the end, I still love this book. It's one of the best additions to L5R4e, and one of the best role-playing supplements out there period. You cannot go wrong with a purchase of Emerald Empire.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Emerald Empire
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Genesys Core Rulebook
by Jordan W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2018 14:24:10

I played Edge of the Empire a few years back and loved the Narrative Dice mechanic. However, I wanted to play in other genres and settings, and quite frankly, I didn't feel like building everything from the ground up. When I heard about Genesys in June, my spirits rose. Finally, I received the book for Christmas from my parents, and then I bought the PDF. If you want a fleshed out RPG, I am afraid that this is Genesys' biggest weakness. It is more of a toolkit rather than a roleplaying game. Instead of giving you abundant material to begin play, you must first build your own materials first which is ironic that I went with this system. Fortunately, there is a whole community out there with plenty of customized materials for you and your players. on top of that, there is a thick section on creating talents, items, species, and skills, which really helped a lot. Overall, I would rate it a 4.5 out 5.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Genesys Core Rulebook
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Genesys Core Rulebook
by Adam W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/26/2017 10:28:00

I feel it is difficult for me to write a fully objective review of Genesys since my group has been regularly been playing Edge of the Empire since its release. Obviously, we enjoy and believe in the core rules that power the system and I'm glad to see how the talent pyramid and magic have been implemented to open up gameplay across many genres and I think that it's going to be fantastic for that.

I have seen complaints about lack of information included in the core book, and this has not been a problem for me. This is where the difficulty in objectivity comes for me. Because I have so much experience with the system, a few examples are all I need to get things moving. My group usually doesn't focus too heavily on what gear they have, so we don't need extensive gear lists. I could see how this turns some people off, but it hasn't slowed down our excitement for the game at all.

All in all, for the PDF and the dice app, the buy-in for a game with as much potential as this one being at $25 is pretty awesome in my book. That cost obviously increases if you want print and physical dice, but the minimum buy-in being that low is nice for curious parties.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Genesys Core Rulebook
by Chris C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2017 03:42:27

I love the system behind this "game" that is used in Star Wars. But the star wars books (all 3 cores of them) are complete games. This is not.

Obviously a generic system such as this needs some work to run, but this needs tonnes. I could take Fate core and run it because the system is so simple that its easy to mod and stat villains etc. Savage worlds has a number of companion books that flesh it out, but even the base game has enough to run with.This does not. The cypher system core book (whose system i hate) tries to do the exact same thing as this book, but does a better job.

The supposedly simple rules and character creation run to >100 pages. Then there are the Settings chapters. I was expecting these to be massive, but each setting gets about 2 pages of explaining the tropes, then a page of example setting, some races, a few pages of gear and one page of antagonists. That's it. I don't think any one of the settings is particularly useful as they are given so little space. The organisation of this book means that some things are very hard to find. Having one antagonists chapter, and one gear chapter would probably have been better than having them in 8 different places. We get ~10 pages of vehicle rules, but just 3 vehicles, rendering the chapter useless. It really needed another 100 pages of example statlines and fleshing out of the settings or at least the options for the settings.

The rules are still good, the character creation is pretty straightforward, the magic system seems ok, but as of now this feels like it is missing a lot to be useable. As of now, i still think the star wars books would be more useful for running a non-star wars game, and they look a lot nicer.

The book is a starting point, but nothing more. I look forward to the inevitable setting books, but ideally there would be an options book or GM book with more help to do your own world...



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Genesys Core Rulebook
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2017 18:37:27

Excellent multi-genre system. Genesys Core is the same basic system as used in the various FFG Star Wars RPGs, which means it uses a series of color-coded dice with symbols to track varying degrees of success and failure. The Genesys book is much tighter in design and explanation than it's SW predecessors, and does an excellent job at explaining the dice mechanic for anyone who is worried about using symbols instead of numbered dice.

The rules provide direct support for six genres: fantasy, science fiction, space opera, steampunk, modern and weird wars. These map to six of the worlds/settings from FFG board and minis games such as Runescape and Android, and no doubt those will get sourcebooks down the road. Additional content provides spot rules for genres such as horror, pulp and even some superhero advice.

Despite that support, the meat of the rules is in its toolkit design....it gives you examples to work from, and plenty of rules for tailoring the system to suit your genre and setting of choice, with lots of guidance on building equipment, skills and opponents. The mechanical framework is light enough that this really isn't such a big deal. In terms of toolkit design it reminds me more of how Fate Core does things than, say, how GURPS or Hero System would tackle it....Genesys is a multigenre system, but it is a very lite system mechanically compared to the latter two.

That said, I really enjoy that it has a robust skill system, a decent range of talents and advice on some good core archetypes, plenty of interesting examples for genre support and even a decent magic system. This looks like an excellent and easy game to experiment with various genres for both short and long campaign design. It's also a very nicely illustrated book with its own distinct look.

Although you can subsitute regular dice (a pain) or Star Wars Dice (just convert the symbols, its easy) you will otherwise want/need at least one pack of Genesys dice to run this, though. One pack does not feel like enough, though....I plan to buy enough for everyone at my game table to use. So keep this in mind, it will require that extra level of investment or conversion effort. Outside of that, this game is a solid A+ and my favorite discovery of the year.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tannhauser: Revised Rules
by Len T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2017 05:54:51

This second edition of the rules makes the game worth playing. As said previously, if you have the game then get these rules. This edition is clearer, more complete and fixes a lot of things that were unclear or left out in the set that came in the box. I really started to enjoy the game after getting these rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tannhauser: Revised Rules
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Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
by vincent r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2017 02:11:35

Well here we go. I have been on the beta since it was released by FFG. My thoughts on the Beta are.

  1. This is not a beta its a errata/proofreading club.

  2. The dice system is not an issues, as the custom dice kind of work here.

  3. The issues are with the character creation system(4), skill system(5), weapons(6), strife system(7), and abilities(8).

  4. Character creation in this game is for lack of a better word a game of mad-lids.For those that are unfamiliar with these. A mad-lib is a story with missing nouns, verbs, etc that you fill in the blanks to form a story. The current system does just that. You go through and at the points it tells you you pick a skill, ring, or advantage/disadvantage. This takes one of the most important parts of role-playing out of the players hands and turns it into a MMO. FFG answer is, this is how they want it to fight power-gamers and force players to take disadvantages.

  5. The skill system is a mess. The game uses what they call an approach system, where you come up with some narrative/excuse for why you want to use a ring on the roll. Just to be clear rings are the traits of this game. Nothing is set with just a few exceptions, so most players will look for any reason to use their highest ring. The skills themselves are just as bad. First we have skills like Martial Art[melee] which cover every non range weapon in the game. Then we have Seafaring. the writers can't seem to makeup their minds if they want to be general or specific.Overall the system is a mess and the only fixes so far have been to patch issues like the missing perception skill with more rules on how to use the broken system to get around it.

  6. The Katana, the most iconic weapon in a samurai game seems to be made out of glass in the beta. To be fare all edged weapons are fragile in this beta. The Razor-Edged trait was added to most edged weapons in the game. While this trait allows you to use some abilities it also states that if you hit and you do not do damage something that can happen quite often your weapon brake. Other issues are the inclusion of non-Rokugan weapons such as crossbows and Chinese weapons that have never been in L5R before.

  7. What can I say about the strife system other then why. This system is your typical FFG system to force you to role-player how they want. The system is like all their narrative games build into the dice. You get strife if you chose a dice face that includes one. If your strife equals or exceeds your composer you are compromised. You suffer and inability to use strife faced dice until you unmask. For lack of a better word, until you make a fool of yourself. Which is better, but not by much then the original rule that you unmasked immediately after equals or exceeds your composer. Overall the system is terrible, but due to design can't be remover as it is connected to a lot of the abilities in the game.

  8. A lot of Abilities as stated above are linked with the strife system, some to the point that all they do is remove or use strife. Most other abilities are either limited in their usefulness or just useless most of the time.

  9. The biggest issues here is that FFG seem to have already decided what they want out of the game and don't care what the players think. The only changes that have been made so far have been cosmetic like renaming things or just adjusting abilities/traits so they are usable.

  10. void is gained by failing rolls because of your disadvantages. and the rule are designed so you have to role-play to the GM approval to get them.

overall it is clear that FFG, contrary to their statements did not buy this IP due to their love for it, but just as a cash-cow like most of their other IPs.

I figured this out when I watched a FFG podcast about the L5R LCG and only one person of the group responsible for it had ever played the original game before, and the others just voiced their issues with the AEG product.

I would give this game a -3 star rating if I could, but I'll just say my suggestion is to give it a pass and stick with 4th ed.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings: Game Master's Screen and Adventure
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2017 13:37:52

Nice PDF, Only problem was when printing it ? it's in a format that cuts off pages, so wording is cut, I had to shave paper with the sissors to make the sentences line up ? Other than that I would recommend printing it to other GM's,



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Game Master's Screen and Adventure
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Arkham Horror: Hour of the Huntress
by Paul H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2017 23:29:13

I enjoyed this ebook, though it was rather too short for my taste. A lot of time was devoted to character development and backstory but the the book ended; my assumption is that there will be further adventures in future short stories but I was left a little deflated at the end as much was left unexplained and unresolved.

I felt that some of the characters were a little stereotyped; from gentile Parisian to gun toting, follower slaying machine, tom boy mechanic, other worldly academic, nice-but-dim, skeptical cop.

All if that said though, it was thouroughly enjoyable to read and I read it from virtual cover to cover in a couple of sessions over a couple of days, and was genuinely disappointed when there were no more pages to turn. More please, now the characters are established so all the more room for plot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arkham Horror: Hour of the Huntress
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Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
by Jesse T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2017 10:14:23

So far, I'm very intrigued.

First, let's address the dice concerns. I like FFG Star Wars, although I've never bought the special dice. There's a lovely free website that rolls and tallies your result for you, and I'm sure the same will exist for this new version L5R. Otherwise, I can buy the app for less than a normal set of dice would cost. I know people really crave that physical sensation of rolling dice, but that's just not important to me.

Here's what I like. This ruleset is really focusing in on the emotional conflicts that drive good samuari stories. The clash of duty and personal desire. The difference between what is proper and what is effective. I adore that stuff, and yes, you can have those things in your stories without mechanical incentive, but by having the mechanics reinforce and drive those themes, they become much more present and important.

I like how school advancement is handled. The worksheets might seem cumbersome, but that advancement method better fits with the story of what's going on than the previous method of totalling everything on your sheet to determine your insight.

Like Star Wars, the rules don't read as elegant. The core mechanic is simple, but there's so many little moving parts that I expect players to wrestle with a learning curve before it clicks.

What I don't like. I know this is a beta so it's imcomplete, but it's ridiculous not to have at least one Bushi school for each Clan. I'm sure the completed product will have more schools, but that was really jarring for me.

Still, I like the direction this game is going and will almost certainly buy in when it's available. I'm also going to try to run a couple of demo sessions with folks experienced with FFG Star Wars, just to see how it works at the table, but I haven't done so at time of writing this review.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
by Joel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2017 22:45:06

FFG's new edition for Legend of the Five Rings is a combination of the Roll and Keep system from 4e and the narrative dice system from Star Wars. The system uses two dice (6-sider for Ring rolls, 12-sider for Skll Rolls) instead of six and is quite simple. Target Numbers are similar to 4e, just divided by 10. Dice explosions still exist, which is great!

Overall, the book reads very much like 4e, which is great and there's a lot of content for a Beta, coming in at over 230 pages. I haven't had a chance to play it, but as a die hard fan of L5R 4e and owner of all of the books, the system looks quite smooth and easy to play while having more nuance than 4e could offer. The book also includes an adventure, which is nice.

Don't be scared off by "special dice". If you're ignoring or hating on the system for just that, you're selling yourself short. It's definitely Legend of the Five Rings. It's still Roll and Keep. Honestly, the only controversial part should be the "omission" of the Mantis Clan, but that's due to story.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
by Jonathar M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2017 16:58:29

Fantasy Flight is the best company available to revive the best setting I've ever played. The beta looks great for now, I can't wait to see where the game goes from here. HIDA!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Rulebook
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2017 11:53:31

Fantasy Flight Games perpetrates another blatant cash grab utilizing a beloved franchise. If we are to go by the example of their Star Wars system, the custom dice they heavily advise utilizing for the L5R system will be ludicrously overpirced per set (I couldn't find a set for less than fifteen dollars for Star Wars) and will require a minimum of two sets for a starting character, with more needed as the character advances. I'll be giving the final product a hard pass.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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