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Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity
by Peter M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2014 13:34:00
This is a solid book, and probably close to indispensible for the gamemaster running an exploratory game, as it allows both the random generation of planetary systems and encounters and of strange devices and equipment, including archaeotech. A simple roll on one of the charts in this book can spawn a new scenario without constraining everything to arbitrary gamemaster decisions, which might make a lot of systems come up extremely similar.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Core Rulebook
by Andras S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2014 06:49:40
As always typical for the editions of the Warhammer Univers, the books are really stylisch and atmospheric. I found it also a good idea with the Beta Version to be opened for the large public as many teething problems could be solved before hand. So what we now have is a more mature and really enjoyable core rulebook. I am waiting for the coming supplement editions.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Core Rulebook
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Rogue Trader: Shedding Light
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2014 03:18:13
The Rogue Trader dynasty at the heart of this adventure have a treasure map and they plan to use it. Coming to the world of Solace, they find an industrious hiveworld busy supporting the new campaign in the Spinward Front. However, the cargo in the hold is little more than a distraction, as the map points to a cache of xenotech certain to raise reputation and profits alike.

The Shedding Light adventure is one of four based around Solace, written for convention play, interlinked and showcasing one of four different variants of Warhammer 40K from Fantasy Flight Games.

As a con game, it's solid. You have a basic background on the situation, a gazetteer for Solace, and the adventure proper, which breaks down to arrival, planet fall, finding the destination, and investigating. The investigation has a variable length, so if you have a con slot, you can pull one or more encounters to fit the session. At the end, you have all the stats you need for the adversary, plus SIX pre-generated characters - something I found to be a great addition, especially as they're designed at 3,000XP. You have six ready to use characters with some oomph behind them to showcase the game/system - which can sometimes be hard with characters created as if direct from basic creation.

If you want to use the mission as part of a personal campaign, I think you will want to do some serious work to it. None of the NPCs in the hive/docking control have any more detail than a couple of skills for opposed checks. Only the end game adversaries have detailed stats. You get a broad brush overview of the planet, and no maps. As a setting, it's a blank slate with just enough to get through the session and nothing more. However, like the convention scenario, Shedding Light could easily serve as a nice introductory mission if you wanted to sell your gaming group on playing games in the Warhammer 40K universe.

On a final note, I really like the linked mission angle. If you have four slots available at a con, you can run these and get a buzz going. In your home group, running the four could get a totally different vibe, as the players cotton on to the extent of the doom that has come to Solace. Really, there's a lot of cleaning up to do here...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: Shedding Light
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Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2014 23:18:22
An excellent and well scanned piece. Will be VERY useful for the game I am running, and at an affordable price! Highly recommend!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook
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Deathwatch: Ark of Lost Souls
by Gary I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2014 07:32:51
I purcahsed Ark of Lost Souls for use in a Black Crusade campaign, rather than Deathwatch, and expect to have to adapt heavily when it comes to the detail of stats etc, but then I tend to run combats and campaigns in quite a narrative style so this isn't much of an issue.

As a stimulating environment for adventure the content hits home quite well, with opportunities presented for much diplomacy and influencing as well as for ass-kicking. The content straddles both a single adventure-like exploration and the much wider material for generating 'random' future escapades aboard this (or with adaptation, any) space hulk.

There are some nice options, with a new and terrifying alien race (well, new to me at least...) and some familiar but no less scary opponents. I particularly liked the way that the text makes the Tyrannid threat sound really frightening.

The main adventure encourages you to make a selection between exploring different major factions / enemies on board, and these are all suitable for adaptation to any party. Instead of trying to stop an Orc Waaagh! I can see my Black Crusade chaos marines trying hard to ally with or control it. Similarly, major alien threats can be a source of new tek, evil alliances or simply outright destruction. In Black Crusade, at least, it doesn't take long for characters to rise to the heights of world- or sector-altering actions, and there is plenty in the Ark of Lost Souls to provide that sort of 'grand' opportunity.

I really liked it and the flexibility it gives. The layout is sensible and accessible for me, and the random generation system is actually quite fleshed-out, generating ideas that have depth and subtlety. As has been said, the whole thing is very much amenable to a complete campaign setting, offering challenges on all scales and for all parties. I am seriously thinking of having my players spend quite some time here, with the aim of somehow turning the resources and factions aboard toward their dark ends.

One particularly good feature of a space hulk is the opportunity to expose your party to xenos they might rarely meeet elsewhere, and this is well exploited by the material with plausible backgrounds. Finally, the chance to justify a Harlequin combat !

Good value, with loads of material and lots to stimulate your thinking. Even if you never plan to spend any time on a space hulk, there is so much here to give them more depth and flavour in your games.

Pleased I bought it, and am going back to read it again now !

5 stars would've been for slightly more surprises or twists, or moments of revelation, as my players like those a lot. Shouldn't stop you buying it though - a great resource, especially for anyone that loves the 40k setting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Ark of Lost Souls
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Fireborn: The Fire Within
by Geert-Jan W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2014 07:48:41
This is like a great mini-campaign to introduce the characters into Fireborn.
Though it is all BUT subtle, letting the player's really dive in directly into the setting.

For player's this might be a good introduction, but for the GM it isn't...
This requires quite a bit of preperation before hand, and a good read through of the adventure before you start.
Make sure you know the rules, and your player's ready to literally jump right into the action.

The adventure starts with peace negotiations in the mythic age as part of a flashback/dream of the player characters.
This is quite confusing, as they only get little bits of info, and know little other then that it's important to stop the war (but not know why it's so incredibly important).
It's played as a vague dream, and it can be a bit hard to get the player's into it and resolve the negotiations in a fluid and flowing manner.

After the dream however, the rest of the campaign gets a bit mroe interesting.
There is a bit of a lower pace moment where some investigative detective work comes around, but they can be sped up or spiced up if your group doesn't like to get into such situations.
My group actually loved this change of pace in between the action scenes.

I think in general, this adventure tries to show and explore all kinds of different perspectives and styles of what Fireborn can provide in adventures for good or ill.
It is very inspiring, and even though not everything will work for your group, going through it at least once does give you a better idea what Fireborn can be, and gives enough ideas to continue the adventures afterwards.

But again, it's rather ambitious for a "introduction", and requires a lot of carefull reading and preperation to get the msot out of this.
I highly recommend going for an easier and shorter pre-adventure or two to get into the system first, so when it comes to combat not everything has to be explained or covered all over again.
It's how I did it, and it worked out well.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fireborn: The Fire Within
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Fireborn: Player's Handbook
by Geert-Jan W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2014 07:34:43
A great game, but not for everyone.

I really enjoyed the rpg, and still do in an active rpg group.
I would highly recommend it, even if the rules may not be for everyone, as the setting in itself is awesome enough to steal from in case you feel other rules systems work better for you.
As the setting should be clear to most (Dragons reincarnating, now coming back in the modern age), the mechanical side is what I'll focus on.

The game uses a system called the "dynamic D6" system.
Generally this means you have 4 seperate dice pools representing 1 for active physical actions (attacking, climbing, jumping etc), 1 pool for active mental actions (looking for something, casting magic, trying to focus your mind, use a mental skill etc), and then 2 more defensive "reactive" pools; reactive physical (defending, dodging away, etc.) and reactive mental (resisting influences, noticing an ambush etc).

Now the truly interesting part (that makes it dynamic) is that you can shift these dice pools around based on your skill in an action, and the amount of focus you put into it.
In example, when attacking using your fists to punch someone in the face, it is a Fire melee action.
Your skill in melee is 2, and Fire score is 2.
This normally means you roll 2 dice (Fire 2), but using your skill you can fcus more on your action, and gain 2 extra dice, so to roll 4 instead.
However, those dice need to come from somewhere.. so you lower one of the other dicepools by 2 due to you more aggresive stance performing this action. (which may make you vulnerable to defense or other actions).

That is what I think, makes the system pretty awesome, but it gets better.
During combat it makes things look a bit more like a Matrix style action scene every time an attack is performed.
For each point in for example your Fire score, you can build a sequence.
So Fire 4 would be 4 "small" actions in the sequence, which can allow you to jump through a window, shoot both you guns in your hand (dual wielding pistols), and roll to cover.
(Jump - shoot gun left - shoot gun right - roll for cover)

This does however can make things a bit more complicated/hard to understand in how it works with defending etc. This could have benefited greatly from a better and more clear explanation, but it helps when you have someone who understands the rules to learn from.
(You learn best from experience)

What makes the game a bit more metagamey is the Karma bid, which allows your player to push for a success in any action by spending Karma.
Karma can be spend for 1 extra success each after the dice are rolled, and can allow an action to completely succeed if not enough successes are rolled. The defender also gets to use Karma however, so it becomes a bid...whichever one gets the biggest total of successes will be the winner, but it might still come back to a partial success if not enough excess successes are obtained.
(defender successes and attacker's cancel each other out)

It is rather required however, as Karma will be the thing keeping you alive early in game when you do not have access to draconic powers (which also use Karma).
Combat is lethal!

But there are ofcourse downsides to all this;
- Combat is nice and fast when you get into it, but it takes a while tog et your head around it. Making combat and defence sequences can be hard to envision at first. And if poorly understood..makes for a complicated mess at the table with everyone looking confused.
It is advised to really learn the system before seriously going into large scale complicated combat scenes. Take it easy with just 1 or two player's to slowly introduce.
You will also want the Lost Lore booklet/pdf, it is recomended to answer some questions and give better explanations on soem bits of the game. You can find it still on the G+ community page for Fireborn, along with just about everythign else Fireborn that could still be saved.
(why they did not make everythign available here or on the official FFG pages anymore is beyond me)

- Combat styles are nice, and they add specific sequences you can do based on your "martial arts style", in practice however most seem overpowered due to the payoff effects they can give if they succeed the entire chain.
As well as cumbersome at times, so..I generally moved towards making it more freeform with your own designs of action sequences that fit your style and providing cinematic action dice instead. (they also gain less powerful payoffs, based on the actions they take). It can work as written, but sometimes just feels more restrictive then it probably was intended to be.

- Lethal combat v.s. cinematic combat.
Combat feels like an action movie due to the cinematic "effect", but combat nevertheless is highly lethal as written.
Especially the problem of guns being a bit too overpowered, made me down the damage of guns a little to not shoot everyone dead in their tracks every time one uses them.
Still, guns are illegal in the game, and should be VERY hard to get. Even if you own one, the GM should be carefull to limit them, and give some drawbacks on carrying one to prevent abuse.
But even without guns, combat can be over very quickly, as you have a good chance of wound penalties as well.
I decided to remove the dice penalties, and first have the minor wounds completely fill up before wound penalties develop for every minor wound they would otherwise gain in subsequent attacks.

- You have 2 characters to work through..
First a Scion character, and need to make a whole new character for your dragon self in the mythic age.
There is theoption to sort of "mirror" your Scion to the mythic Age dragon version, but it severely limits your dragon in flexibility and is not recomended.
It's not THAT hard to make a character in Fireborn, so it's recomended to first play an adventure or two with just the Scion character without draconic powers.
Let them learn the system, then make their dragon selves and dive in for reall.
There are many adventures out there that work well for this purpose.
My first intro adventure was "three souls and a smoking gun", a Gencon adventure, which is found as pdf online.

This is also a game that benefits greatly from a few "helpful" bits and pieces to help speed things up.
I used poker chips for Karma, using the colours to make them personal to each player, making it easy to refresh whenever after combat etc.

Having character sheets printed double sided and color coded (look for the costum collour sheets of Scion and dragon characters) is a great help. Whenever a flashback comes around, just flip over the character sheet to the other side.

It helps having stones or (even better) colloured dice for the 4 dice pools.
I use stones, so if they get switched around due to stance changes, theya re easily brought back to the original situation at the start of the next round.

Making it easy for your player's (and yourself) makes this game work even faster :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fireborn: Player's Handbook
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Black Crusade: Hand of Corruption
by Christian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2013 07:11:08
it's a great book, with an epic quest for your group of heretics.

The PDF is crap, it takes 2-20 Seconds to turn a page even on a high end System.
Perhaps a Problem with the encoding of the PDF.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Black Crusade: Hand of Corruption
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Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Beta
by louis-olivier f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/13/2013 13:04:22
Beaucoup plus proche des autre jdr de 40k, très semblable à only war
Les armes semble maintenant plus proche de leur fluff et les point d'action des combat sont parties ce qui rend les combat plus simple.

Dommage d'avoir ramener les Wounds, le système des blessures était intéressant
aussi dommage d'avoir retirer les ultilisation de stat alternative pour les compétences

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Beta
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Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Beta
by Marius F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
If you are new to the Warhammer 40K this book in it's current state gives you a limited view of the setting. All the setting stuff is taken out, but there is a lot of fluff text in the system sections that teaches you something about the setting. From this limited view I like the setting.

This book is mostly about the rules. The rules are presented in a dare I say American way, that is it is super verbose. It spends a lot of pages explaining the rules. Having example for a lot of the rules taking up even more lines, some of the examples have flaws in the math making them more confusing then helpful, but I guess that will be fixed in the final version.

The system hold promise, but I'm disappointed with the amount of choices. I made six characters in order to run the scenario in the back of the book, and I really felt that it was difficult to make all six unique. Some of them ended up a bit too similar for my taste. This might be that the character creation process leaves very little room for customization. You get only a small amount of points to spend as you want.

The system really need more equipment options for all categories, en especially for non-weapons. In addition it needs more elite advantages. The three that are in the book is way to few.

One final note I like the system for influence and subtelty, but I'm very sceptical of the economy system. In all my campaigns as player and gm money has been a important factor. Getting enough of them to afford to get or do something. In this system all you need to do is roll the aquisition dice. And I wonder how the players will feel about it. Is it going to be that they all want the best aquisition character to get them stuff, or will all of them try to get some knowledge of it?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Beta
by samuel a. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2013 12:25:33
It was fun and easy to use, though there are still some bugs in this system I look forward to the final version

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Player's Guide
by Curtis N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2013 13:14:25
High quality, searchable, informative. This is a great resource for all Warhammer 3e players. For the player, this and some dice are all you need to get started. GM will probably want to add the Game Master Guide which also includes a short adventure.

Optional components, cards, and sheets can be obtained with the different "Vault" boxes.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Player's Guide
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Anima: Prometheum Exxet - The Supernatural Artifacts
by Seth M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2013 19:53:10
The product is excellent, the artifact system and general rules work and work well. Overall I'd say this is an excellent Anima product and shows just how good the system can be when compared to DnD or pathfinder.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anima:  Prometheum Exxet - The Supernatural Artifacts
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Terror in Talabheim
by antonio s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2013 16:43:32
Very fun to GM, but the players are finding it a bit frustrating I think, as their characters get a bit ill. Still, only 4 sessions in and they seem to be getting the upper hand... ish!

It's WFRP, it's grim and perilous and deadly, and it's better than any generic dungeon bash.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Terror in Talabheim
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Realms of Sorcery
by Brian P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2013 18:08:16
One of the biggest changes between the first and second editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was the magic system. Driven mostly by changes in the background of the miniatures wargame in between the two editions, the second edition ditched first edition's system of leveled spells and magic points for the new system of color magic. Most of the basics are covered in the main rulebook, of course, but Realms of Sorcery fleshes that out in nearly every direction.

I'll come back to that "nearly."

As you might expect, there's a lot of fluff in the first half of the book. There's a history of magic usage in the Empire up to the point of the Great War Against Chaos, which I can easily summarize as "BURN THE WITCH! Priest are okay though." During the war, Emperor Magnus the Pious sent for aid to Ulthuan, and the High Elves sent three archmages, which was all they could spare at the time. Those archmages went on to help win the war by teaching humans how to safely become wizards, but unlike elves, humans can only use one color at a time safely. Hence the eight orders.

There's a bunch of exposition about the orders as well, with some neat tidbits. Members of the Amber Order don't have a college in Altdorf like the others, instead lairing in the hills outside the city walls. Members of the Grey Order take strong vows never to use their magic for venal financial gain, precisely because it would be so easy for them to do so. The colleges themselves are well-described, too, in a way that lessens their impact on the landscape of Altdorf. I've read that a lot of people don't really like the Colleges of Magic, because they feel like their overtly high fantasy feel damages the presentation of the Warhammer world. I can see that, but there are some colleges that I think actually make things even more mysterious. Like the Azure College, which is a huge building with plenty of high towers to see the stars, but which is never actually visible due to the workings of fate--anyone who looks at it will get bumped into, or trip, or laundry will blow in front of it, or the person will think of something else they have to do, and so on. The Bright College is in the middle of a burned-out stretch of ruins that Altdorfers refuse to move back into, and the Amethyst College appears as a building that's been deserted for decades unless you actually have legitimate business there, in which case you'll probably turn a corner and meet a magister. Or the aforementioned Amber College, in a series of caves. I think it gives the proper mysterious touch to magic that first edition didn't really have.

Then there are the mechanics sections, which I think are really valuable. One of the problems with the spell list system for color magic as of the main book is that because a wizard gets all the spells they would ever learn immediately on taking the Arcane Magic Talent, the whole idea of knowledge-seeking wizards pouring through ancient tomes of arcane lore is restricted to rituals, and the example rituals given in the corebook leave basically no reason why anyone would actually want to cast them based on how difficult they are to use. Honestly, it's probably easier for a Bright Wizard to just set a town on fire than to gather all the materials to use The Awakening of the Slumbering Earth Dragon. The addition of ten extra spells, a choice of multiple lists (each of which only has ten spells), and the Extra Spell Talent to learn the other spells provides both an XP sink for wizards and a reason to seek out knowledge.

There's also a section on witches and witch-hunters, which is short but does a good job.

Finally, there are parts about alchemy, wizards' familiars, and magical items. The alchemy chapter has a very Warhammery (if I can use that word) take on alchemy; potions, being made of perishable ingredients, have a shelf life and can go bad in all sorts of hilarious ways. Familiars provide bonuses for the wizards who use them, but there's a great table of personality descriptions of the familiars to provide some character to them, including options like "Passive-Aggressive," "Know-It-All," and "Raving Mad." There's options for constructed familiars as well as natural animals, so creepy wizards can have their homunculi. The magic items is mostly just a list--in keeping with their rarity, there's no standard rules for making them--but it's nice to have options.

Now, the problems. One of the major problems I had with Realms of Sorcery is its breadth. It's pretty much entirely focused on Imperial magic, and not only that, on modern Imperial magic. I find it really bizarre that there were never any successful wizards in the 2300 years prior to Magnus the Pious, and kind of sad that the other traditions from first edition, like druids or elementalists, weren't included. It does make a nod to druids in the backstory of the Jade Order, and I suppose that the various colors of magic replicate the feel of elementalism--Bright is fire, Azure is Air, Jade is Earth--but it does hammer down the type of acceptable characters to a very defined set. Especially since Tilea, Bretonnia, Estalia, and Kislev exist and presumably have their own type of wizards, but they aren't defined. Kislev does get a breakdown of its magic in Realm of the Ice Queen, but none of the others ever did. It's a persistent problem with the WFRP stuff being so Empire-centric.

The other problem is elves. The book implies that elves should have mechanical differences in the way they interact with magic, but there's no hint on how to handle that. Despite elves being able to use multiple colors without the apparent certainty of harm (or at least, of going crazy and turning evil) that humans have, they apparently still only have the same Apprentice Wizard career that humans do. Unlike Tileans and Estalians, elf wizards had a direct and obvious effect on the magical development of the Empire, and the complete lack of mechanical support for that was pretty disappointing to me.

Other than those points, it's a great sourcebook, and I think it'd be highly valuable for background and antagonist info even in a game with no PC wizards.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Realms of Sorcery
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