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Revelations of Mars
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2015 09:42:56
Revelations of Mars is a nice thick tome. Or it will be when my hardcover comes in next week. The PDF is a healthy 224 pages. Color covers and inserts, but mostly black and white interior. Like it's older brother, Hollow Earth Expedition, this works well for the style and feel of the book. What is that style? Overtly it is Pulp Action, like HEX, but there is a good helping of "Sword and Planet" and "Planetary Romance" action here as well as, and this is fun, 50s sci-fi mentality. In fact while reading this I kept thinking more and more of the staples of 50s UFO invasion movies. I am not sure if that was the author's intent, but it is what I got. I had ideas for this game, but now I am thinking "Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Journey to the Seventh Planet" (ok that was early 60s). The Mars of RoM is closer to the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs than say War of the Worlds.
This book is also a sourcebook for Hollow Earth, so you will need the Core HEX book to play.

Chapter 1 covers Characters which gives more material for Mars based and Mars travelling characters. We get the expected run of Martian nobles, nomads and even robots. There are plenty of new Talents and Flaws. Everything from four arms, dual brains, Vrii-based talents and more Atlantean-based ones. Looks like we are in for a treat here! There are also Robot and Alien creation templates.
The Sample Characters/Archetypes are in beautiful full color and done really, really well.

Chapter 2 Supernatural Powers is another chapter I was eager to devour. This covers psychic powers. Everything from psychic healing, precognitive powers and pyrokinesis. Mix in with the Hollow Earth books and you have quite a bit of psychic powers to cover most situations.

Chapter 3 details more Equipment and weapons. For you fantasy role-players out there here is your list of swords, maces, flails and spears. Everything required by a Sword and Planet story. Not to worry, there are still "blasters" and "ray guns" to be had as well. Naturally. There is even Martian Red Steel that can be used in some weapons.

Chapter 4 Vehicle Combat covers all the new craft one can find on Mars. My favorite are the sky ships. Not a huge fan of pirates, but these are cool.

Chapter 5 is all about Martian Natives. Several races are covered. There is the expected four-armed "green" Martians (the Dheva) but there are plenty of others. There are insect-men (well, beetlemen), Grey Martians which do remind me of "Greys", Apemen, Purple Martians (that new!), dinosaur men, the Vrii, which are like giant crystal formations and finally the Red Martians. In a interesting choice the Red Martians are related to Atlanteans. There is a lot here and I am not doing it justice by any means.

Chapter 6 follows with The Red Planet, background on Mars. Mars is very much a dying world. That is the same story we get in the Barsoom books and even in DC comics, so that much is familiar. There is also a feel of Vance's "Dying Earth" here too. First we cover how to get to Mars. There are your standard weird science rockets, but also projection from the Astral Projector, Atlantean Portals (which I rather like to be honest) and the good old fashioned abduction. The bulk of the chapter details various locations on Mars and the inhabitants. Very nicely detailed.

Chapter 7 Atlanteans details these ex-pats on Mars. Not only their involvement on Mars, but also their involvement in the greater Solar System. Even if you don't want to play on Mars but want more information on the Atlanteans for your Hollow Earth Game then this is a great, must read chapter. Several Atlantean "Gods" are also detailed and how their affairs affect Mars.

Chapter 8 Friends and Enemies covers the various peoples of Mars and what Earthlings can expect. Several unique characters are also discussed.

Chapter 9 Bestiary is exactly that, the beasts and monsters of Mars. We have a number of "Earth-like" creatures, some different sorts of Dinosaurs and lots of insects. There are some near-humanoid creatures as well. There are even "sand worms". There is some more modern influences here as well. The bestiary is more "Avatar" than it is "This Island Earth". There is nothing wrong with that, though with the lack of water and plants I don't see many of these creatures, save the bugs and scavengers, living long at all.

Next is a Sample Adventure, Revelations of Mars. I won't say much (spoilers!) but it is for human characters coming to Mars. That makes good sense really.

The appendix covers some inspirational books of the Planetary Romance sort. The usual suspects are here; Herbert, Vance, Howard, Burroughs, Zelazny and Wells. But there are others worth looking to. Comics, movies and TV shows are also mentioned. As with the other games in this line books are given the most attention.

There is a good index and list of Kickstarter backers.
A few full color "ads" and a full color map of Mars.

Honestly there is so much in this book that you could easily make a completely Mars-based campaign. Just traveling from city to city would be adventure enough. Thankfully the book covers more than just that. Exile really has something nice here and I hope to see more in this line. Could a Venus book be in the future? Hope so.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations of Mars
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Perils of the Surface World
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/07/2015 12:03:02
This is a collection of adventures that takes the characters around the world. Adventures are harder to review than games in general since the real proof in both is the playing. Adventures only more so. This book contains four separate, but loosely connected adventures.
Each one also contains some added crunch or rules to the game. We get Faith and Miracles, Horror, Infection and Sanity, New Sorcery Rituals, Artifacts and Vehicles and lastly (what might be the most fun) some Martial Arts powers.
No spoilers, but if you need some ready to go adventures then this is the book you want.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
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Mysteries of the Hollow Earth
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/07/2015 11:41:04
Like Secrets of the Surface World is for well, the surface world, this book is all about the Hollow Earth. Create native characters from all over (under) the Earth.
Chapter 1 again deals with Characters. At this point you know how this all set up. New Archetypes include Barbarians, Beastmen, Guardians, Healers, Mystics, Natives, Outcast and Warriors. One thing should be pretty obvious now, not only can you use this for a Pellucidar-like game, but it sets up a Barsoom game nicely or even a Conan/Hyborean Age game. A Pulp game in a Pulp setting, how nice is that! There are some new motivations, and plenty of new talents. There are also some new flaws. This book feels more like a true supplement rather than a book of "left-overs"; some thought and research went into this. I was reading through it all and mentally substituting things I had read from Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard. That's a good sign. Plus you can mix and match talents to create Panthermen, Hawkmen, Reptile-people (always a plus in my book) and dozens of others.
The pre-gen Archetypes are great. The Amazon Warrior makes me want to play a Xena like game now.
Chapter 2 takes us back to Supernatural Powers. We start with more details on sorcery including more modifiers. We also are given Shamanism and Alchemy which is really cool. This chapter plus it's twin in Secrets of the Surface World gives me no end of ideas.
Chapter 3 covers Natives. This is a great and fun chapter to be honest. If anyone asks me why run a game in the Hollow Earth I am directing them to this. It is an odd mix of Pulp, post-Victorian occultism and fringe science. I love it. I have seen other games take the same elements, but the assembly here is fantastic. Is it the only way to do this? No, the same elements appear in many other games (Amazons, Atlanteans, lost titans...) but here it works rather nice.
Chapter 4 Beastmen covers the others living in the Hollow Earth. Natives are largely human, beast men are something else. The usual suspects are here; Apemen, Gillmen, Lizardmen, Molemen (natch), and Panthermen (or at least a cat-like humanoid race) but there are some great newcomers like the not often seen Hawkmen (should be more Egyptian in my tastes but hey, happy to see them) and some insectmen and the new for this genre Green Men which are more plant like.
Chapter 5 covers the Hollow Earth. It includes some basics (healing, getting out) but mostly devoted to various locations. Atlantis for example is here, as is El Dorado (the City of Gold), Shangri-La, and Blood-Bay where the Pirates hang out. That is enough to keep you going for a while really.
Chapter 6 adds a more monsters to the Bestiary. There are more dinosaurs here (always welcomed!). There are prehistoric reptiles that are not dinosaurs, such as the Archelon and the Plesiosaurus among others. The science geek in me appreciates the separation. We also get a great collection of prehistoric mammals. Giant insects, giant apes, and other creatures fill this section. There is even a guide for creating your own creatures. Which is good, because the one monster I wanted wasn't there. The book has plenty of pictures of Dimetrodon, but no stats. I might have to make my own now.
We end with a sample adventure, Fate of Atlantis and an Index.
There is so much here that any half-decent GM could find hours and hours worth of game materials for their own Hollow Earth games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Hollow Earth
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Secrets of the Surface World
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/06/2015 16:30:49
I won't lie. I really, really like this book. I am reviewing the PDF at 167 pages.
Secrets of the Surface World is the guide for all characters really. There is a lot going on *on* the Earth without ever having to go *in* to it.
Chapter 1 covers Characters. Here we have a host of new archetypes, motivations and skills for your characters. The big add here is the inclusion of Martial Arts and Brawling skills. So now you can make your own "Kwai Chang Caine" character. Though for me the jewels are in the Talents. Here we have Magical Aptitude and Psychic Ability. Personally I think these should have been in the core book, BUT I do see why they are here. HEX is really more about science, or more often SCIENCE!, and magical powers don't really help that. But I am sorry I just love to see magic in my games. Don't worry, fans of Weird Science have plenty to look at here as well. There are more Resources as well. Flaws are also covered, but so are Severe Flaws. These are obviously worth much more. We are also given Mental Flaws. Plenty of Role-playing fun with these.
Chapter 2: Supernatural Powers is why I got this book to begin with! Yeah, I like a certain kind of game and this chapter turns HEX into that kind of game for me. The Supernatural powers are divided up into Psychic Abilities and Magic. The system is pretty straight forward to be honest. Psychic abilities are divided into various talents, each one must be purchased separately. Magic is a single talent, though there are different Traditions, and a skill. Spells and Rituals must be uncovered or found. Not a lot of magical traditions and spells are given, but there is enough for me to take it and run with it.
Chapter 3 Secret Societies continues where the HEX core left off. Everything from the Thule Society to the Mafia are covered here. Like the core some NPCs are also presented here. My favorites are Aleister Crowley and Edgar Cayce. It is a great contrast to see the two different supernatural styles together.
Chapter 4 The Surface World covers more parts of the world not touched on in the core book.
Chapter 5 T. F. Arkington's Lifestyle Emporium covers more gear. A lot more gear.
Chapter 6 Weird Science. I said there was going to be more for the fan of Weird Science and I meant it. Want to send giant Nazi mechs against your characters? Ok. We can do that now. Really.
Chapter 7 Vehicle Combat continues the material from the Core book. Though more detail is given. In truth you might not ever need this chapter since the core covers it so well, but it is nice to know it is here.
Finally we end with a sample adventure Prisoner of the Reich.
All in all a satisfying book. I can't help but think that some of this should have gone into the core book, but the magic stuff is so different than the rest thematically I see why it wasn't. I got this for the magic, so I am pleased with that.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Surface World
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/06/2015 12:26:27
The Hollow Earth has always been one of those fringe theories that always sounded like a lot of fun in a game. I loved the Jules Verne tale "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and the movie based on it. My exposure to the idea for a game came originally from the old Mystara campaign set, The Hollow World. Later I discovered the "Shaver Mystery" and the Pellucidar series.
While I know there is no basis whatsoever in scientific fact for a Hollow Earth, it is a lot of fun. I have even contributed to a Hollow Earth book myself.
So it was with much excitement that I picked up Hollow Earth Expedition.
Full Disclosure: I did write a Hollow Earth book for a different publisher. I avoided looking at or reading this book till long after my own ms was sent in.
Full Disclosure 2: I am reviewing both the Hardcover and PDF versions of this game.

Let's begin. What is Hollow Earth Expedition? HEX, as it is known, is the first Ubiquity powered game on the market (as far as I know). The setting is "Pulp-era" which I have always roughly translated as the time between the two world wars. Others might have a more nuanced view on this, but this has served me well enough. If gumshoes walk the streets, Indiana Jones is still working at the University and fighting Nazis and cults then this is the time.
HEX is two things to me. It is a new game system (Ubiquity) and a new game setting (Hollow Earth). I will deal with each in turn.

The HEX hardcover is a gorgeous book. It is 260 pages, mostly black & white (which I want to address) and some color inserts. The PDF is set up in similar fashion. Ok, so the interior is black & white. You know what else is? King Kong, Bela Lugosi's Dracula, Tod Browning's Freaks. All the movies I associate with this era are in black & white as well. Save for Journey to the Center of the Earth and Raiders of the Lost Ark. To me, along with the fantastic art, it really sets the stage for the story I want to tell. So giving the book "the flip test" ie just flipping through it, it has passed well.

Chapter 1: Setting sets us up for the rest of the book. We learn a bit about the Pulp Era, the time; it;s 1936, the obligatory "what is Role-playing" section and a brief overview on the book. Then we get right into it with the setting. We start off with an overview of the last 25 years or so from the character point of view. In particular I rather like the section on what characters would know and the speed of information in 1936. Case in point, one of the films mentioned in the game, Becky Sharp, was considered one of the highest tech films made at the time. I can look it up and learn it was a landmark of cinema. I can even watch it at my leisure. But not everyone in 1936 saw it, and not everyone or indeed most people knew what a landmark it was. A lot of people knew it was special. It was color after all, but that was it.
The chapter continues with some great overviews of the world post WWI with WWII looming large and frightening on the horizon. There is enough here for a game it's own right and indeed there are many games, good games, out there that never go beyond this. But for HEX this is stage dressing. The real setting is yet to come.

Chapter 2: Characters covers what you expect. Character creation. This is where we are introduced to the Ubiquity system for the first time. Character creation is a point-buy affair like many games. In this though they recommend you begin with an archetype in mind. Not a bad place to start really. To me Pulp is about two fisted action. So, and I mean this in the best possible way there is, the characters are often well...stereotypes. "Big Game Hunter", "Gumshoe", "Silver Screen Starlet" and so on. This is Pulp and here it works. Not to sound to cliched, but the difference between a character and caricature is the player. So choose that archetype and embrace it. We are doing more next. Next step is choose your motivation. This is your character's reason for adventure. Quite literally their raison d'être. Next are your Primary Attributes. There are the customary six and you have 15 points to spread between them. These are very similar attributes you find in Unisystem. They are even on a similar scale. The names are different for a few, but the translation is one to one. Ok, to be fair, there is not of a lot things you would call these and it could be said that they are the same as D&D too. So it gets a pass, but I am watching you Ubiquity! Secondary attributes, which are derived. Skills, which are bought with another 15 points. The max is 5 skill levels at character creation. Like d20 (but unlike Unisystem) skills are tied to a particular attribute. You can then choose a Talent or a Resource and then a Flaw. A Flaw gives you a Style point. You are then given another 15 points to spend on Attributes, Skills, Talents or Resources.
I don't mean to do this much, but "point wise" this puts a starting Ubiquity character right around the same level as a starting Unisystem character. This is good if you like to move from system to system like I do. (NOTE: I ran a Ghosts of Albion adventure using Ubiquity characters and system and it worked great.)
What follows are archetypes and motivations. There is a lot here really and it works well.
Attributes are next. Attributes are scored 0-6 with 1-5 as the range of normal humans, 2 being average.
Skills are discussed at length. Ubiquity has 30 skills with some having many specialities.
Talents are something special about your character, so aptitude in a particular skill, or a natural ability. Resources are something you have.
The section ends with the color pages of various archetypes. If you are short on time you can grab one of these as a your new character. There are plenty of great choices to be honest.

Chapter 3: Rules does exactly what it says on the tin. Covers the rules. This is where we are introduced to the Ubiquity dice. Now normally I shy away from games that require me to buy a another set of special dice. But these dice are the most part just d8s. Some are numbered a little differently since they mimic the rolling of 2d8 or 3d8 on one die. The mechanic is simple. Roll a given number of dice (dice pool) and then each even number is a success. So in this respect you can roll anything, d6s, d12s, flipping a coin. The number of sides needs to be even. The successes are added up and compare to a difficulty level. "Easy" would be 1 success, "Average" is 2 and so on. Impossible is anything higher than 9 successes.
How many dice do you roll? The number of points in your Skill or Attributes + Skill. So if I want to check the authenticity of a scroll I could use Academics. I'll say I have a 5 in that. Let's say I am a nerdy academic type (yeah real stretch I know) and I have specialization in this, I add +1 so I can roll 6 dice. But say my GM has set the difficulty at 4. I would need to roll 4 or more successes in order to pass it. If I didn't have this skill then I base it on my Intelligence and then -2. There are other modifications to my dice pool. It's sounds difficult but it plays fast. There are also situations where I can "Take the average"; if a situation will result in a success 50% of the time the character can take the average and succeed. There is no style or flair in this, but not everything is a deed of derring do.
Like many simple mechanic systems it does fade into the background with play.
There are also degrees of Success and Failure. So if you gain 3 successes over what is needed then that is a "Major Success". These extra successes or failures are typically role-played.
Style Points are also gained and spent here. Style Points can be added to pools. You gain style points in various ways. My favorite is "bringing the treats". Hey. Every little bit helps.

Chapter 4: Combat covers a very specific sort of ruling of the rules presented in Chapter 3. The basic mechanic is the same, but there are other situations. This chapter could have been folded into Chapter 3, but I see why it is seperate.

We take a brief intermission for an Example of Play. This is rather handy to be honest to see how everything comes together.

Chapter 5: Equipment covers all the gear and weapons your character needs. This is a pretty robust chapter to be honest. If you never play HEX but play other Pulp games then it is worth having a look at this chapter anyway. The costs of weapons alone is very helpful.

Chapter 6: Gamemastering details the setting. Ah if the previous chapters were the meat then this is the...well...other meat with more gravy. Ubiquity is a fine, but a system without a setting is an experiment or an SRD. This setting is what makes the system shine. They could have cleanly split the book in half at this place.

Chapter 7: The Hollow Earth covers the setting in detail. There is a great mix of all the myths, legends and stories of the Hollow Earth here. Regardless of your familiarity with those myths there is enough here to get you going and get you playing. Let's be honest, you have always want to hunt T-Rexes while running through the jungle with a shotgun. Suspend your logical 2015 mind and take on an adventurous 1936 mind and load up.

Chapter 8: Friends and Enemies details what is going on on the Surface World and the Hollow World. This covers the world and presents some important NPCs and their organizations. Yes. You get to kill evil Nazi cultists and Interior Sea pirates. If you are lucky in the same adventure.

Chapter 9: Bestiary is our manual of monsters. We have dinosaurs (and a proper Brontosaurus, no Apatosaurus), Ice age mammals, giant versions of nearly everything, sea monsters, and killer plants. There are no "magical" animals or monsters; no dragons, no centaurs and the like. This is 1936 and magic has given away to reason and to science.

Another break for a Sample Adventure.

We spend the last few pages with an Appendix on Pulp Resources and Inspiration.
Lots of great resources here including books on the Pulp Adventure Era. Yes, Lovecraft is present here, but there is not much in this game that is "Lovecraftian" as it typically defined. This is a good thing in my mind. Books get the most treatment. Comic Books, Movies and TV series get lists.

There is also a rather good Glossary and Index. There is a character sheet for your use as well.

All in all a great game. I have played it a few times and it is really, really fun.
The setting is gonzo but without the crazy. I could have a lot of fun with this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Revelations of Mars
by Anthony B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2015 20:34:39
Long-awaited, the gates of wonder have been kicked open allowing the hot winds of creativity and inspiration to whip past us HEX style! This new take on the dying Red Planet is definitely a location fitting for adventure, intrigue, exploration, desperation, and above all - planetary romance.

Intended as an expansion for Hollow Earth Expedition (Ubiquity Roleplaying System), fans of the planetary romance genre will find that this is not all that the book is. While certainly aimed at expanding and extending the rich setting for HEX, the authors recognize that gamers may wish to use the book to build their own Martian settings. Inspiration abounds for those who wish to do just that.

The game introduces its setting quickly through eight sample character templates which enable newcomers to take one and jump headlong into the storm of swords and sands of Mars. Four of these are humans, native to the HEX version of Earth or to Mars, and four amazing beings found only on Mars. It also gives you the tools to create your own native species and set them loose. Topping 200 pages, the book gives players a lot to go on when starting their journeys across the red face of Mars - including a sample adventure linked to the one provided in Hollow Earth Expedition (the game line's core rulebook).

To really drive home an alien nature for the world given birth by the pulp vistas and heroes from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Leigh Brackett, Robert E. Howard, Lin Carter and the like, the Exile Games crew have really pulled out all the stops. Abductions, ancient portals, oricalcum, sky galleons, aerial naval battles and sky pirates, energy weapons, swords, princesses and lost heroes of forgotten civilizations, lost technology, dying civilizations, and the plans of those who want it all.

For GMs who are curious about what things like aerial combat might bring to the game, the vehicle section is well-detailed and moves through chases, piracy, vessel types, volleys, and boarding, all with an eye to keeping things as blisteringly fast as you would expect from Ubiquity. For those who have been long-time GMs for the system, or those who have recently begun to think along these lines with the advent of the mechanically compatible ubiquity system release of the venerable Space: 1889, this chapter may be worth the price of admission alone – but there really is a lot more.

The new character archetypes, flaws, talents, resources, fighting styles, and advice for building your own Mars-themed creatures as we saw done for Beastmen of the Hollow Earth in a previous expansion (Mysteries of the Hollow Earth) show a lot of thought and a lot of creative use of the two packed pages of inspirations. This is an exciting Mars, an ancient and mysterious Mars, and a very deadly Mars. Cultures, gear, strange red metals, supernatural and technological powers, potent bloodlines, conspiracies, and the wars for waning knowledge and resources, make this version of the Red Planet a compelling place to visit, and attempt to survive.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations of Mars
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Shannon M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2014 18:43:14
This game was nominated by Origin for "Best Roleplaying game in 2007".

I played it at Kublacon 2007 and had a great time.

Okay. So what's this game all about?

Think of pulp action stories.

If that doesn't ring a bell, think if movies like INDIANA JONES, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, ROCKETEER, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, DOC SAVAGE, DICK TRACY, KING KONG, JURASSIC PARK, AT THE EARTH'S CORE, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, LOST HORIZON, SHE, THE SHADOW, LAND OF THE LOST, TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY, YOUNG INDIANA JONES and THE TIME MACHINE. Or, think of authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip Jose Farmer, H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

You get the idea.

Action is meant to be fast and furious (you can use special dice that quicken the game), characters are always bigger than life, the villains are meant to also be bigger than life and extra evil (think black and white morality here which means lots of Nazis), the unbelievable becomes believable, science and magic/occult cross paths, dinosaurs walk the Hollow Earth with other types of long past creatures, history can be used or made into an alternative world (i.e. setting is typically early 1900s), various areas still remain unexplored (and are therefore ripe for holding the unknown) and, while Hollow Earth is the main setting, there's enough information here to do something different or even have adventures set in the surface world.

What about characters? Think of fun archetypes from the movies (some here are listed in the core book): Indiana Jones, a cowboy, a big game hunter (who is bored with lions and wants to kill dinosaurs), a curious female reporter (in a man's world and out to prove she's the best), a snooty know it all professor, a dying rich industrialist (looking for the fountain of youth to cure him of his cancer or other disease), a peaceful missionary, a mad scientist, the imperiled actress, the fortune hunter, etc. All have special reasons for desiring to explore Hollow Earth.

I would say the characters are balanced enough, especially if the GM doesn't make it all combat. Most of the characters start not with similar skill levels, of course, but with similar enough ability point distribution (and you can only go so high or low when picking your stats), so, when I played it, even the weakest characters had a fighting chance (though this was based more on surviving than wiping out a more powerful enemy).

Last on characters, there's a good spread of advantages and disadvantages in this game, as well as enough skills and sub specialties to make it interesting for a long term campaign.

Three special highlights of the game come to mind:

1. FLAWS: a flaw is something you play up in the game, like being overconfident in your field or stubborn to the point of it working against you or being a danger magnet (i.e. you attract bad things or go out seeking them). When you play this properly, you get a style point (see number 2).

2. STYLE POINTS: style points can absorb damage, increase your skill ability, sometimes affect the story, give you more of a chance of success in combat or be up to the GM for other matters. One basically gets it for playing their flaws properly, pursuing your motivation, being in character and/or adding to the quality of the game.

3. CHANCE DICE: when the chips are down and you're about to die or get into a very bad situation, you can call on more dice to increase your chances. The only problem is that the number of dice you select makes the obstacle harder to accomplish. As the chance is typically 5-10%, you really only want to use this if you are truly desperate.

OTHER NOTES: this game lets you take your average roll as a default to rolling. Think of it like "taking 10/20" in D.20/D&D. Another thing, similar to D.20/D&D, is that you can use your soft attributes (like intelligence and dexterity, per D&D) in combat with the right talent/advantage that lets you. That's a nice touch for the smart or agile types.

What about knowing the setting? There's some chapters on understanding The Hollow Earth as well as what was taking place in the USA and other countries (focused mostly on 1936 but with some basic overviews back to the very late 1800s). There are special resources in Hollow Earth and there are several organizations on the surface world who want to get them. The big problem is that Hollow Earth is very hard to get to and even harder to leave.

The core book also starts you with NPC stats (villains and allies), a basic adventure, equipment (gotta love the "Tommy" submachine gun), and, of course, a bestiary (yes, it has a T-rex).

Overall, this is a superb game for getting into the spirit of pulp. It does use Hollow Earth as its setting but it implies/lists other settings, and, with all the supplements coming out, GMs can run their games in other settings.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2014 18:53:53
Absolutely fantastic pulp game. I have both the pdf and print copies and both are of excellent quality and are fine additions to my library of games.

There's a newer 6x9 print edition of it available now too which packs a lot of awesome into a convenient size!

If you are at all interested in the pulp genre you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
by Ronald P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2013 09:09:11
This is a compilation of the previously released adventures, that being said they are very good adventures and a must have for any fan of Hollow Earth. These adventures can create a great Segway into the Hollow Earth by starting your players out above ground and then you could tie the end of the adventures into the beginning of an expedition into the Hollow Earth, but remember to leave them with a cliffhanger so they will be clamoring for more.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2013 12:17:52
I DARESAY I MIGHT HAVE ENJOYED THIS PRODUCT WERE I ABLE TO READ IT. When I saw the book version at Gen Con a few years back it looked awesome.

THE PDF IS UNREADABLE on my computer the majority of it looks like a blackhole on the page. I would really love a refund because what I bought from you people was a black book with nifty illustrations in some of the margins!

I WISH YOU PEOPLE HAD A PHONE NUMBER SO I COULD VERBALLY COMPLAIN TO SOMEONE.
Do yourself a favor. If you want this product by it as physical media and not a PDF!

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Perils of the Surface World
by Anthony B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 18:01:06
Perils of the Surface World compiles the four scenarios and optional rules expansions for Hollow Earth Expedition released to date, bringing them all under one spectacular cover. This PDF is the byproduct of producing the compilation in print.

Layout of each adventure is mainly unchanged, but the background 'old page' look has been dropped in favor of a clean white. No bookmarks or hyperlinks are included, which is a surprise. The table of contents lists the adventure content separately from the attendant rules additions so finding what you want is not hard, it's just not as slick as it could be.

The quality, clarity, and excitement content of the adventure material is very high and for HEX fans old and new, should offer a lot of enjoyment. The rules content, designed as optional add-ons to reflect the specific surface world environments and tones of each adventure is also top-notch.

The four included adventures are: Miracle Stone of the Amazon, Frozen City of Terror, Legacy of the Terra Arcanum, and Five Talons of the Jade Dragon.

The supporting optional rules are: Faith and Miracles, Horror and Infection, New Sorcery Rituals, Vehicles, and Artifacts, and Martial Arts.

This is an incredible value in terms of roleplayed bang for buck for those who do not already have the 4 adventures. The convenience of having them all in one place may also be attractive to those who do.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
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Perils of the Surface World
by Roger J. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2013 18:03:01
A brief observation: it might be nice to let potential buyers know that this is actually a collection of the four adventures previously released individually, to avoid someone making the mistake of buying the same scenarios twice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
by richard s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2013 16:44:38
love it! been waiting to read "Jade Dragon" for some time now and i am not disappointed by what i have read so far. each adventure adds some wonderful flavor to the Hollow Earth world, with some exciting new rules and a few monsters and villains to keep a party on it's toes and the four new characters are a nice addition to the game.
thanks Jeff and company...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Ken D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2013 19:15:00
A thoroughly enjoyable book. Really well put together and a joy to read.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Frozen City of Terror
by Mac S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2011 08:44:45
Although it was not the adventure I had hoped it to be, it read thru easy and looks to be a great romp on the ice. It does have a taste of " the Thing" in it's storyline which I was not prepared for, so make sure the party is prepared for the possibility of mass devastation. But I am looking forward to sending out the message to my players of a danger on the South Pole that calls for their immediate attention.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Frozen City of Terror
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