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Witches of Hagswallow Adventure OG01
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/22/2017 11:43:13

Witches of Hagswallow Adventure is an adventure for Battleaxes & Beasties. It is 47 pages, color covers, Black & White interior. Designed fro 3-6 characters of 2-3 level. It can be run directly after the included adventure in the corebook and gives more background on the setting of the Borderlands of Zarteth.
It is a great example on how even the simpleist monsters can be used to great effect. The "witches" are not witches of course, they are harpies. But for all practical purposes, the might as well be. After all these are 2nd level characters; most have just learned which end of the sword is the dangerous one! There are a lot of great maps, a bunch of new monsters and it expands the world a little bit more for the players. The adventure also comes with pre-generated characters. Everything comes in the PDF, but separate files are also included.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witches of Hagswallow Adventure OG01
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Battleaxes & Beasties
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/22/2017 11:32:42

Battleaxes & Beasties is a core rule book from Sleeping Griffon Productions. It is based on Swords & Wizardry, but has some interesting quirks of it's own. The book is 175 pages, black & white interior with color covers. There are hardcover and softcover options, I am reviewing the PDF. We spend a couple of pages going over the basic "what is roleplaying" and "what are these funny dice". We have all seen this a 1000 times, but it does make it work well for a new player. Indeed the whole book is great for anyone that has never played before. Since this is based on S&W we have the same basic six Attributes and modifiers. It is not till we get to the classes that we some changes. Now B&B can act as a standalone game, there are enough classes here, but it can also act as a supplement to and other S&W-based game. I could not help but feel there was a certain level of, well, camaraderie between this game and The Hero's Journey. Both fall closer together on the "Heroic vs Muder Hobo" scale than say Dungeon Crawl Classics. The classes include a Beguiler (which is like a Bard, but instead of songs he masters lies), the Faithful (like the cleric), Hunter (something like a Ranger), Scout ( Ranger-y Rogues), Totemist (Druid-Shaman cross), Warrior and the Wizard. All the classes advance to 10th level, so this is solid White Box territory. After the human classes, we get race-specific classes. Now, these are a lot of fun really. There is the Dwarven Guardian, Dwarven Paladin, Elf Ranger, and the Halfling Outcast. Seriously fun stuff. We are 20 pages in and the book has paid for itself in my eyes. There is a section on careers, which other games might call backgrounds. Spells come next and are sorted by class and level. There are some new ones here too, not just a rehash of the same old spells. Additionally, magic is divided into Arcane, Miracles and Fey magics. An interesting touch if you ask me. It doesn't have a lot of game play effects, save on how Rangers learn spells, but it does provide a nice bit of flavor.
Next, we get to the default setting for this game, the Borderlands of Zarteth. It starts with a "Z" so you know it is going to be a dangerous or at least strange place! The setting is very D&D; that is neither good or bad, just what it is. I got the feel reading it that was Clark Ashton Smith plus Robert E. Howard, without the extra helping of doom and despair. It's not 4e Points of Light, nor is it Hero's Journey's "Let's go on an adventure" nor is it the Grimdark of DCC. It is in between.
The rest of the book is the Referee's Section. I say "rest" but it is really half the book. Everything you expect is here. The gem here is the Monster section. The monsters are divided up by type first then alphabetically. There are some nice new monsters here too, again making the book rather worthwhile.
To go with those monsters are some great magical treasures. There is also an included adventure, reference sheets and a nice character sheet. Battleaxes & Beasties does not break any new ground, but covers the same ground in interesting ways. Interesting enough to make it easily worth 10 bucks for the PDF. I am caught between 4 or 5 stars out of 5 here. I'll give it a 5 to adjust the review average.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battleaxes & Beasties
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Battleaxes & Beasties
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/06/2017 23:45:19

This is a rock solid little game! It has the feel of first edition while employing a fresh approach to the rules.   I especially liked the author's rendition of classic monsters. They are just different enough to be exciting again! I for one look forward to the release of additional setting material that's mentioned in the book!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2016 16:18:01

I really enjoyed this product, but felt it could have used just a bit more to really make it sparkle.

The game system is based on White Box Sword & Sorcery (i.e. old D&D), but the addition of a career system to flesh out the PC's background (instead of a skill system) is a really neat idea.

The game setting is post-small-apocalypse late 20th century Earth, with monsters and magic coming back in the hidden and secret places. Another really interesting idea.

Overall, I loved what was here, but felt that a little more could have made this a better product. For instance, I felt that a small (2-3 page) write up of adventure or campaign ideas could have really helped nail down the tone of the game. Similarly, I think a small section of new and unique magic items - mixing the campaign magic with the technology of the unique setting - could have helped provide a great deal of color. Admittedly, these are all things an experienced DM can think up themselves, but I always like to see the game's writer develop this kind of material.

Still, four stars and I really hope Mr Hunter and Sleeping Griffon Productions produce more material for this game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
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Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2016 06:33:00

What an intriguing game.

The campaign setting is almost but definitely not our own world so there's no chapter about the fantasy play environment. Instead, aside from a brief introduction, snippets of the world background find their way into the enjoyable writing style. If you remember Bloodshadows - this game will ring a few bells but it is its own game, not a knock-off and the player characters are all humans. A decision I applaud, for me, I either need the protagonist or the world to be identifiable, if both are alien, I'm lost.

Next is the rule system. For the most part it's a nicely realised interpretation of White Box or old-school play with subtle tweaks to make it stand out from the pack. Classes are brilliant - slender as befits an OSR game but packing some unique elements that create interesting and viable heroes with little effort on the part of the players or referee. Monsters are all re-written to fit the game's new world view, there's a lengthy beginning adventure - an essential addition for ALL new games (other writers, please take note). A very light skill system is included which dove-tails with a previous career ranking which doesn't feel tacked on but integral to the game; and occult magic sings.

The experience section seems out of place - you get experience points for killing things and looting their bodies and in VERY small quantities. The writer adds a sentence about awarding points for other things but there's nothing to support the idea and finally he adds words to the effect of "darn it, just give 'em the points you want to advance the game at rate that suits your play". Yeah... The report card would read "could try harder". This is an odd cop out. It doesn't seem the kind of game where loot and murder should advance characters and the alternatives are too wishy-washy.

For the most part the game flows beautifully, like a well-oiled machine. Until you hit the tail end of character generation and you have to choose your character's gear. Ouch. What a nightmare. Everything has to be accounted for in dollars and weight units. Everything (except kits which inexplicably have cost values but no weight). This just doesn't mesh with the rest of the game. It's agony to slog through page after page of spread sheet-like tables. Then you tot-up your weight carried which gives you your movement rate (there's no spot on the character sheet for that by the way).

One final gripe and it's really minor - characters are likely to speak lots of different languages. I find that a little unusual. Some might say - 'yeah but that's how original D&D played it' but it just doesn't sit well - I know people that struggle with one language let alone being fluent in 4 or more.

So, overall a game that is nothing short of brilliant. Not perfect but there's little that is. I'll need to write a workable experience system but that's a paragraph worth of work and sort out a less tedious method of equipping characters but that's it.

I spotted only a couple of typos - having a high Wisdom reduces your chance of saving versus magic and the d6 language table repeats the number 5.

I would score the game a "5" if experience and equipment had earned a little more love from the writer.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2016 22:33:45

RATING 4 out of 5

Anyone familiar with D&D/Pathfinder could be playing within 5 minutes. the rules are basically the same. Roll 1d20 and compare it to the Armor Class of the opponent. Skill checks are 2d6 with a target number of 9. Class bonuses and career ranks add to your roll. Equal 9 and you succeed.

Very simple rules presented in a simple but beautiful format while not including obscure rules are a major plus for me.

The 5 classes available are again simple to understand and with the multi-class option you can create any style of character you may want in a more modern setting of investigating and fighting all kinds of normal and fantasy creatures or people.

Additional good points -Beyond the first few pages and 1 later in the book all the pages are black and white. -Plenty of creatures to battle -A sample adventure -A large variety of spells -a large variety of modern equipment, vehicles and weapons

  • little to no artwork Bad points -Even though Wyverns are presented and in its description dragons are mentioned, none are presented(I always need dragons)
  • Beyond that I can't really say anything particularly bad

Further thoughts In my earlier days of RPG games my group often times took to different time eras and while reading the PDF I was taken back to those times as this game doesn't seem to concentrate on the minutia of rules but instead on the fun and interaction.

Also while reading I had visions of zeppelins instead of planes and more of a steam punk setting but possibly including futuristic hover vehicles. My creativity was immediately put to work. THANK YOU.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks for your review, I hope you enjoy the game, and I almost included an entry for dragons, so I\'ll put together a PWYW supplement on my take on dragons in the S&S setting as soon as I get a chance (might take a couple of weeks, I\'m in my busy time of the year at my day job)
Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
by Bill L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2016 21:12:27

I really think you did a great job on this. I'm really impressed with the simple and clean layout, the very readable text, and the lite nature of the game. I'm really pleased with how this title developed, and am eager to get it to the table. Great job!!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Distress Signal Tundara - A SciFi Extended Encounter
by Lawrence H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2015 22:16:33

Distress Signal Tundara is a new adventure module for 3-6 adventurers of levels 1-2 compatible with White Star. After the cover, title page, one page of deck plans and the final page for the OGL, the rest of this 17 page PDF is the text of the adventure. In addition, it comes with two image files for the deck planes, one with a grid for the GM and one without the grid for the players.

There were only minor production issues. I noted was one typo in the first few pages. A description of a creature used yards, when the map is in meters. And the non-grided map makes reference to the scale of the grid, which is missing. Other things referred to feet using the apostrophe character, which is part of White Box information, so not a problem of the author.

Each referee will have to work out for themselves, whether to use English or metric units, and whether to convert White Box feet to meters. Where outdoor movement is in yards, this is easy enough to hand wave as meters. Feet can be crudely approximated to 1/3 of a meter. Personally, I prefer to use metric in a Science Fiction game, but having been raised on English units, I think in those units, so not a problem for me.

The author did his own graphics, with some open content. I like the cover and the deck plans provided. It would be nice if the original and now damaged area of the ship were shown in outline, so one knew it’s original structure. But that is only my desire for a complete deck plan for future use. [One thing I wish I had was a 75% view of the ship. Not to detract from the module, but something I feel would be cool to show the players from their scans/view of the ship on approach. The burst of new ship types and graphics by some on the White Star community can help fill this want.]

The premise of this adventure is not entirely new, but is presented in a way that is clear, concise, and ready to run after a quick read and a few minutes to think of how to approach it.

The GM is left to determine how the players are in the area, whether as passengers on a ship, or a ship of their own. This is not a major issue, as it allow the module to fit into an existing campaign, or be a one-shot.

There is enough detail in each area of the ship, that curious and careful players will manage to find something in most rooms. However, there are notes that the referee will have to fill in things that he or she feels are necessary in their game. There are also hazards for players that are rash and forget that there are in space. The issue of explosive decompression of a hatch that is forced open is dealt with, as I was thinking about how I might handle it as I began the text, there it was a bit further in. Excellent!

Several NPC’s are suggested for various ways that the GM might impact the scenario. This gives maximum flexibility to work into existing campaigns, or ideas for similar adventures. There are also potential plot hooks that could lead to more adventures that can easily fit into an existing campaign.

This seems like a scenario that would be a good fit for a con, but I don’t know if it would fill a four hour slot. Still, it might be fun to try it.

There is a lot here for $1.00. I think that I would enjoy playing this as a GM or a player.

Funny: At first glance, I thought the title was Distress Signal Tundra. Tundra made me think of ice, and I thought of the movie, Ice Station Zebra. Now I have thoughts of a White Star scenario on ice. Now all I need is Snoopy….

http://followmeanddie.com/2015/05/19/review-distress-signal-tundara/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Distress Signal Tundara - A SciFi Extended Encounter
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the very fair and comprehensive review. Obviously, I think primarily in English units too, and missed the fact that I mixed it with metrics. I\'ll go back in and adjust that as soon as I get a chance (hopefully over the weekend). I didn\'t think about a silhouette showing an undamaged lower deck, I\'ll see what I can do about that as well. As for a 3/4 view of the ship, I thought about that, and it may eventually happen, but my starship exterior drawings are not the best :D.
Albish Isles Map Pack
by Dale M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2015 14:32:23

OMG, I LOVE THIS MAP!!!!!! What you see in the preview image is what you get. So that is excellent! On top of that, it includes the layered photoshop PSD so you can turn anything and everything on and off. Don't like the latitude/longitude lines on there, turn them off. Want to move/turn the compass rose, you can do that since it is on its own layer. Want less mountains, add a layer mask and erase mountains to your heart's content. I was ALL stock art maps were like this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Albish Isles Map Pack
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