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Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Til Death Do Us Part
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/28/2017 00:25:01

Brilliant. This is the one word to describe not only the premise for the module, but also the execution of the story. I picked this up to serve as a two-session story for my group, and it looks as though it may well turn into three. The Fated were confronted with the initial story hook and once some of the characters overcame their initial shock, resolving the case became motivator for them. It has provided plenty of opportunities for character development, good role-playing, and of course some action and adventure above and below Malifaux City. The NPCs are well-developed, most of the player questions are pre-answered by the authors, and the adversaries are interesting to portray and have a sense of purpose. I'd love to have the opportunity to run this as an intro adventure because it cements the reasons why this is a unique setting, and shows the PCs that what is 'normal' in Malifaux is anything but. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Til Death Do Us Part
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 23
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/28/2017 00:19:14

The Wyrd Chronicles are a great resource for those playing 'Through the Breach', not just 'Malifaux'. I've been reading these for the one-shots after my group discovered TtB and overall the quality of the one-shot modules has been great. 'Dawn on the Bayou' is a very interesting story that begins with the Fated asked to track down a missing person. What follows is a trek through dangerous terrain and a most unexpected reason behind the catalyst for the Fated's involvement. It is definitely a one-shot, and for my session I did bulk it out a little with a few more encounters and the reason for the Fated to be in the area. Even with three additional encounters (I don't mean 'combat' when I say encounter, either) we finished the module in three hours. Given that I now own 'Into the Bayou', I'd be using some of the content to round the module out if I were to run it again. However, this was a very enjoyable story that challenged the Fated to act in quite different ways to regular TtB scenarios.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 23
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 21
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2017 21:49:28

I've mentioned in other reviews that the biggest draw card (pun not intended) for 'Chronicles' is that they feature a free module for 'Through the Breach' and this is the main article I'll review. 'Cold Front' was an easy sell for me, as it features an entire module set on a train. The module opens with the PCs invited aboard the first run of a brand new train for Malifaux City. There is plenty of opportunity for role-playing as they mingle at the station, becoming acquainted with the other passengers with whom they will share this journey, including the management of the railway. Obviously, this idyll will not last, and when disaster strikes the PCs must act quickly to discover the forces at work and possibily thwart them before the lives of everyone onboard are snuffed out. It was an evening well-spent, and the pace of the game was perfect to convey the sense of urgency and danger. I can highly recommend this publication, and have downloaded many of them to select modules for future sessions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 21
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 19
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2017 21:31:31

I've been picking up these ezines after running 'Through the Breach' for a short while. Each one of the 'Wyrd Chronicles' that I have downloaded has a free one-shot module - how could you possibly turn this down? The module for this title is 'The Whispering Affair' and Fate calls upon the PCs to visit an old friend in desperate need. A time-sensitive and personal problem is presented that will ask the PCs to hastily investigate a crime scene and follow the clues to their murderous conclusion. My group completed the story in one very long session (five and a half hours), but you can easily either trim down the scenes, or flesh them out further, depending on your needs. The module also provides hooks for further contact with the NPCs; this has certainly been the case in my game where one of the PCs has taken an NPC 'under their wing' and explored some very good role-playing opportunities. To be honest, I would have paid for a module like this, so having it as part of the free publication is simply brilliant.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 19
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Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The Ferryman
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2017 21:02:26

My group finished playing 'The Ferryman' last night and a good time was had by all. The game is a mix of investigative murder mystery mixed with the hunt for a villain than might not even exist - except in urban legend. It was very easy to personalise for our campaign and insert NPCs with which the player characters were already familiar. Adding extra scenes (to further some of the Fates) was likewise easily accomplished. Overall, it provided a relatively smooth, customisable story that took us four nights to complete. The only forewarning a Fate Master needs is to consider the set up for the mystery. It is very easy for the characters to become fixated on one aspect of the mystery, and completely ignore what is essentially the main plot. Be prepared to steer them 'back on track' as needed, but forewarned is fore-armed in this case. The adversaries were all appropriately scaled (my group has four one-shot adventures as experience) and provided suitable challenge. I will certainly mention the production values in closing. Wyrd has a great attention to detail and their books are simply wonderful from both an aesthetic and readability perspective. The layout supports the Fate Master to locate relevant sources of information and stats, whilst the art (most of it reused from the miniatures game) does not feel forced - the authors have clearly thought about the design, and the choice of images does show. I own many of Wyrd's books in print, and they are a pleasure to have on my shelf.
With the word of warning about preparedness, I have no issues in recommending this module to other Fate Masters.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The Ferryman
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SpellCards 5e
Publisher: Myth Merchant Press
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/14/2016 20:52:25

I'm always a fan of cards as record-keeping in games as they make the game flow much smoother and tend to support players to be more prepared (and the DM to construct material on the fly). These cards are excellent, providing all of the spell information you need for your 5e game. I'll not only encourage my players to purchase a set to have at the table (and construct custom decks to represent their spellbooks or equivalent) but also as a tactile treasure when they lay hands on a captured spellbook. There is an extra sense of achievement for the player when you hand them a small stack of cards to rummage through after defeating an enemy mage and these are perfect for the job. An accompanying product that I'd buy in an instant would be collections of monsters on these sorts of cards (like the old 'Monster Sets' from first edition), perhaps as themed decks (ie 'Dungeon Monsters', 'Aquatic Monsters', High-Level Threat Monsters'). I could imagine combining some monster cards with a few spell cards to make book-keeping and encounter construction behind the screen much easier. Keep up the good work, Myth Merchant Press.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
SpellCards 5e
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The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2016 04:08:59

Whilst the 'maps' aspect of the title might be the draw card for many players, there is certainly more to this product. The maps are of good resolution on a computer screen, but you will need a very good printer to get the best value from them. As someone who already owns maps (and an atlas) of Middle-Earth, it was the 35-page booklet that was of more interest.

In this slim volume, we are treated to a host of plot hooks based on terrain type that vary immensely. It is very obvious that a lot of development was invested in this section as the hooks do not read like standard fantasy but instead take the time to link to the flavour of Tolkien's world. Many are based on familiar touchstones so that those new to Middle-Earth can easily grasp the idea - but those with a 'veteran' appreciation can certainly expand on the ideas and link to deeper lore if desired. Next is a section on ships and the sea for those - like the Elves - who hear the call of the waves and wish to send their own vessels out. It includes a range of encounters and plot hooks to really bring out this aspect of the world. Th penultimate section proves that the authors really understand adventuring in Middle-Earth. It starts with the premise that not all interesting parts of the world are about encounters and combat, and that natural wonders deserve to be part of the story (and given the amount of descriptive narrative in Tolkien's books, they are completely right). The book then leaves the reader with guidance on creating ruins in the flavour of Amon Hen or other iconic locations and asks all of the questions of the GM that should be considered in a land with so rich a history.

This is not just a boon for 'The One Ring' but will be a worthwhile investment for anyone running a Middle-Earth RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Journeys and Maps
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Guide to Phaemorea
Publisher: Pointy Pony Publications
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/20/2016 20:21:21

Pointy Pony Productions is a relative new-comer to Drivethrurpg, but I have watched the development of this setting with great enthusiasm. There is a strong attention to detail to make this consistent with 'Rules Cyclopedia' products - both thematically and aesthetically. It became clear from the opening pages that this is a outlier in self-published D&D titles. The book benefits from a professional approach to not only respect for intellectual property, but a desire to openly share the content. The production values are consistently and pleasingly good, whilst the accompanying text shows a mature grasp of the fantasy genre.

Many D&D products seek to build the campaign 'up' - that is, they are primarily concerned with building new classes, increasing power levels, or providing new magic items to furnish treasure hordes. Phaemorea takes the approach of improving the breadth of the campaign by offering the exploration of an alternate setting, complete with realised cultural groups that - whilst somewhat different to the usual sword and sorcery races - are well-constructed, reasonable, and internally consistent with the author's established norms for the world.

In the PDF, you will find:

  • a one-page descriptive overview of the main races of Phaemorea. At first I questioned the use of this section to open the book, but then found it a handy reference when reading the later sections. The descriptions of the races (and various human cultural groups) made picturing the various power and political groups much easier. Dedicating a page to some portrait shots of the races would have been useful in this section, but the absence is not a major issue for this reviewer.

  • A six-page history of the realm. Written as an over-aching narrative, this is not the standard assault of fantasy history, but rather a 'broad strokes' overview of the key events in Phaemorea. This is certainly enough to evoke the setting and provide a rationale for the functional elements of the setting. Again, I found myself returning to the description of 'internally consistent' as I read this section. The history chapter also implicitly provides the DM with plenty of plot-hooks - from magic-ravaged haunted towns, lost artefacts from previous empires, and even the ever-present frontier-like feel from the wilderness. Any DM worth their salt will be able to create entire adventures from any of the descriptions. There is also something that is absent in many other settings - a believable explanation for the formation of the 'adventurer' profession. Phaemorea is presented as a place that is in need of change, that a lot of activity is occurring across the setting, and that the actions of adventurers will matter. It leaves the reader with a strong sense of potential stories, and a desire to realise those tales.

  • The largest section of the book is Culture. This explores each of the main races, providing details about the Lifestyle, Education, Government, Law, Economy, Military, and Philosophy. Whilst many of the races and concepts will appear superficially similar to standard fantasy races, the author builds value by exploring the consequences of racial decisions. Elves are generally thought to be artistic and whimsical, but how does an economy actually function for such a people? How would adhering to a sense of honour cause Dwarves to abandon their ancestral gods? How does a nomadic barter-based cultural group work? This section not only provides interesting concepts for players who enjoy role-playing cultural norms for their characters, but also supplies plenty of fodder for the DM to make encounters more interesting, and provide local flavour in their own games.

  • The last section covers the Immortals. This overview of the gods; many of whom have already been mentioned in the previous chapters. Again, there is a fine-grain attention to detail, with a wealth of information for players and DMs. There are a lot of interesting choices here (with my favourite being Zwitarn, the Bearded Lady).

The book is small enough that navigating using the Table of Contents alone will be easily accomplished, and the printer-friendly version will still provide a very polished version for the DM. The full-colour one however is when the production values are showcased. The true value lies in the content however, the notions could be used as a complete setting, or modularised to build interest and depth in your own campaign.

My only request would be for a Glossary of Terms. The names (personal, cultural, racial, and geographical) - whilst evocative - would benefit from a centralised list so that the reader can either re-acquaint, or briefly acquaint, themselves with terms whilst reading.

At 44-pages this is a deceptive product. I had first thought to read it in a single evening, but found myself taking notes and scribbling in the margins of my printer-friendly copy. This is the sort of title that could easily be the foundation for a long and productive campaign.

Old school gamers and those looking for new challenges and horizons will be equally pleased by the title, and I look forward to reviewing future instalments for this setting (including the proposed module series).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Guide to Phaemorea
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you very much for your excellent feedback and comprehensive review! A Glossary is an excellent idea. We\'ll work on adding that for a future update, along with plans to include a Calendar for the world.
Dreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast (D&D Next)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2015 18:17:18

'Dreams of the Red Wizards' presents a module that should take a number of nights to explore and complete, and offers a wide scope for players and DMs who like non-linear adventures. It mixes exploration, intrigue, social encounters, and combat, so there should be something for all classes.

Set in Daggerford, the module asks the PCs to make a number of choices that will influence the resources at their disposal later in the game, but does so by prompting the characters to express their values (and their commitment to said values). The DM could easily tailor these to reference the characters history, or a recent module (although this starts at Level 2 - an odd choice - so chances are the characters have only completed a single module beforehand). Daggerford is not well-presented and subsequently appears to be very dry. It has potential, but running this module off-the-cuff is not recommended.

Overall, the module makes good use of a variety of monsters (some of which are played very intelligently and woven into the overall plot) and locations - again with the clear intent to ensure that not any one class or race is constantly in the spotlight.

The only downside to this module is the lack of practical design. Puzzles that aren't repeated in handouts (and have the answer on the same page), maps that have both player and DM information (instead of two separate maps which I thought was standard development), and a lack of xp amounts on monsters means that you'll need to prep this before playing quite well and think about the implementation choices that weren't catered for by the design team.

That said, the writing is on standard with other Wizards modules, and the adventure is suitable scaled and challenging for a party of second-level adventurers. The module offers the opportunity for far more than one night's play, and with some work, Daggerford could be developed into a 'home base' for a much longer-term campaign.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast (D&D Next)
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Dark Convergence
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2015 18:05:15

'Dark Convergence' deals with the incursion of the Convergence of Cyriss and the attempts of the Cygnaran forces (under Nemo) to not only repel them, but also find the purpose of their unexpected aggression. As a game novel, this does well to show the day-to-day workings of the Iron Kingdoms and those who play either of these forces in the miniatures game will probably enjoy the character exploration. Those unfamiliar with the game may struggle initially as the book introduces a great number of established NPCs in the first chapter with little explanation of who they are and how they operate. However, as the story unfolds, this is explored in more detail (and it does answer the question of how effective the Devil Dogs are against 'jacks and the usual casualty rates). Unlike many other game novels, I could not imagine the sounds of dice rolling in the background during the combat encounters which was highly gratifying. Whilst the author has clearly 'done their homework', it doesn't play out in any sort of mental book-keeping. Additionally, the personal touches and sub-plots to the main characters mean that this isn't simply a battle-report, but rather a story about individuals as their lives and possible catastrophe intersect. It's an easy read that will be enjoyed by fans of the miniatures and role-playing games alike.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Convergence
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Through the Breach RPG - Fatemasters Almanac
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2015 17:55:06

After reading over the ‘Fated Almanac’ I was keen to see more of the world of Malifaux and the ‘Fatemasters Almanac’ does not disappoint. At a five-chapter, 226-page book, it makes not only effective use of space, but the overall layout and artwork choices make this a beautiful book to own. Having also now seen a physical copy at my FLGS, I’d say these are some of the smoother products on the market right now. I seriously thought about skimming the first chapter ‘Fatemastering’ so that I had an overall impression of the tone of gamesmastering that Wyrd prefers and instead found that it warrants close attention. I’d recommend this chapter as reading for any GM, as it goes much deeper than any other guide I’ve read to date, and incorporates a lot of current discussion into the chapter. Besides general advice on running and pacing the game, it delves into ‘Getting to Yes’ (the notion of ‘yes, but…’ to encourage player interaction and investment rather than a simple ‘no’ to player ideas), ‘Actions have Consequences’ (my favourite section in this chapter by far, and a subject that RPG books like this need to address), as well as running prologues and epilogues (these terms have specific meanings in ‘Into the Breach’, but should be adapted to other games). This sets high hopes for the rest of the book. ‘Secrets of Malifaux’ introduces the Fatemaster to the world in more depth and goes to great lengths to illustrate how daily life ‘works’ in the game. This can be used for set pieces, backdrops to scenes, or as plot hooks and encounters. As someone not terribly familiar with the miniatures game, I found this easy to understand (and in fact absolutely necessary) and could think of ideas immediately for fleshing out scenes and bringing the world to life. ‘The Lost City’ then deals with how to create stories in Malifaux. This deals with how to construct stories generally, but then adds in Malifaux-specific elements and how to make the games personally relevant to the characters. It offers many more opportunities than just ‘loot and pillage’ (although that is certainly possible) and plays back to the lessons from the first chapter to illustrate ideas. The leads of course into ‘Dramatic Encounters’ which gives a range of adversaries and allies, motivations, schemes, intrigue, and stat blocks. You’ll get a lot of ideas from this chapter and the anecdotal additions provide some in-game flavour for the factions. Lastly, the book gives you some ‘Advanced Pursuits’ and is mainly mechanical in nature, providing options for Death Marshalls, Freikorpsman, Steamfitter, Grave Servant, and Torakage. I haven’t played the game enough to meaningfully evaluate content from the perspective of rules, but these are options readily identifiable to those who have played the miniatures game.

If you intend to run ‘Into the Breach’ this purchase is non-negotiable in my mind. It makes an excellent addition to the ‘Fated Almanac’ and manages to deliver an incredibly practical tome that will serve any Fatemaster well. The ideas alone are well-worth the purchase, and I especially appreciated that the authors do not assume the reader is familiar with (or has played) the miniatures game. This was a particularly valuable design decision as it means the world can be enjoyed by those who have no interest in miniatures, whilst also offering an enhanced appreciation of the world for those who do.

I will continue to have a high interest in pursuing this game and further offerings from Wyrd. The high expectations and hopes after reading the first chapter were certainly met.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Through the Breach RPG - Fatemasters Almanac
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W20 The Poison Tree
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2015 23:34:49

As the product blurb states, this is part of the W20 Kickstarter and it is great to see new products still arriving so long after the initial rulebook release. I read a lot of gaming fiction, and White Wolf has novels that sit across the quality spectrum. This novel is certainly one of the better ones that I have read and it shows that the author not only has a good grasp of the core concepts and game material, but a great love for the setting.

The main story is about a besieged Sept ruled by a Shadow Lord Elder. Even though the Sept is part of a greater area, the Elder has autocratically locked down the city, whilst playing political games with both the Garou Nation and the human world. His former Glory is enough to cement his position, but the city is falling steadily to the Wyrm. His daughter Ingrid is the main character and the daily war against the Fomori (and worse) falls to her.

The setting is well-imagined and I'd love to see Onyx Path follow the same 'enhanced fiction' route as Catalyst - that is, a novel that presents the story and then includes game statistics in the back for major characters, places, and items. The overall feeling of the city is one of creeping, inevitable doom - perfectly evoked for Werewolf. The sense of impending Apocalypse is portrayed through a confluence of events that overlap and interact meaningfully and add to the story. Intertwined are the character relationships, influenced by Rank and Tribe (there is plenty of prejudice against the Ronin and Metis that is not overdone) and the reader is treated to a view of the Garou Nation that is fractured by petty rivalries, personal grudges, and past hatred. There are a lot of small details included from the use of Rites, the portrayal of the Umbra, and even Spirit Weapons that I appreciated as they all worked to make the world more consistent with the game whilst at the same time written in a way that didn't feel like a retelling of a gaming session. When reading some game novels, I can almost hear the dice fall on the table behind the descriptions, but this is not the case here.

It is a setting that I'd like to see explored in further novels and possibly a short sourcebook, and I'd recommend this for any fan of Werewolf. Mike Lee's work has already been included in 'When will you rage? II', and if Onyx Path is to produce more novels, then he should be part of the regular mix of authors.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Poison Tree
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Through the Breach RPG - Fated Almanac
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/20/2015 04:56:58

‘Malifaux’ is a game setting that has intrigued me for a while and so I leapt at the chance to review the RPG. The miniatures line has been running for a few years and has a very distinct look in both the sculpts and the artwork (much of which has been transferred across to the RPG book). The ‘Fated Almanac’ is the players’ book for ‘Into the Breach’ and contains everything you need to build a character (referred to as a ‘Fated’). The setting is simply fantastic and it is clear that a lot of development has occurred to ensure a consistently themed and intriguing world. In short-form, the city of Malifaux was discovered on the other side of a breach (the same mentioned in the title of the book) as well as the mysterious substance known as ‘Soulstone’. Earth’s economies adjusted quickly to the new trade item and the city soon fell under the sway of rival factions, and fed by a broad array of folks wanting to find their fortune on this new frontier (or folks wanting to flee from whatever wrongdoing they had committed on the Earth-side of the Breach). The city of Malifaux has a strange feel – a slightly Western, steampunk, Victorian feel that mashes the genres in a pleasing fashion. Whilst some elements are reminiscent of Deadlands and even Mordheim (both feature similar motifs and supernatural stones – both Ghost Rock and Wyrdstone), Malifaux manages to evoke a separate tone.

The game system is card-based and whilst there are ‘official’ decks for the game, you do not need one to play. There are a couple of quick modifications that allow you to use a standard deck of cards. This in particular lowers the barrier to play given that everyone at the table will need a deck. Skills and Talents are used in conjunction with revealed cards (called a ‘Flip’) to beat a Target Number. Some abilities will allow you to Flip additional cards, and each player also has a hand (called a ‘Twist Deck’) that allows for card substitution if the card you Flip is too low. However, there is an element of resource management as the Twist Deck is finite. Overall, anyone familiar with Target Number-based systems, and the notion of mechanics to influence the outcome of a score will find the system easy to pick up.

You’ll also find an array of spells, equipment, and special items to either round out or enhance your character. As with the other aspects of the game, character creation is handled by the cards. You lay a ‘Tarot spread’ of cards and then consult the character tables for the results. This will give you your stats (which can be assigned) and other aspects of your character. A nice touch is the prophecy lines that accompany each result. You can take all of these and construct them into a stanza which actually has an impact on the game. The GM (referred to as the ‘Fate Master’) uses these prophecies to provide plot hooks and there are in-game benefits when they come up in an adventure. After trying the character creation rules a few times, I easily understood the system, and there is certainly enough flexibility built into the process so that no two characters will emerge the same.

Overall, this is a great book. It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need anything from the miniatures line to play the game, but you might like to purchase some of the minis for the table nonetheless. The game line has a distinct look and simply having the models on the table might be evocative. The book mentions quite a few of the named models and how they fit into the world, but there is no sense that these NPCs would overshadow the PCs – they are simply mentioned as a matter of course and then left alone.

For anyone who likes the genres I listed above, I’d say this is a must-have. You could learn the game very quickly, but it does strike me as one that would support a number of very different play experiences for a long-term campaign. I will also check out the ‘Fate Masters’ Almanac’ and review it soon, but obviously if you are to run this game you’ll need both books.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Through the Breach RPG - Fated Almanac
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Shadowrun: Gun H(e)aven 3 Weapon Cards (SR4A Stats)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2015 05:55:07

These are a fantastic addition to any Shadowrun game as both a ready-reference for the GM and the players. Given the amount of gear and additional rules that are offered in Shadowrun (a constant in every edition) this is the sort of resource that makes life a little easier. I had been using some hand-written pieces of card to represent weapons looted and purchased during a 'run, but these are far better. The images on the cards are a great asset in a game where your choice of weapon is a statement of style and there is a good variety to the cards. It would be great to see an annual set of cards released that includes weapons from the publication schedule as an expanding set (or perhaps title specific sets as a bonus with each PDF release) but this is a solid product that will get a lot of use at my table. The price point is excellent and includes 33 guns of varying types. I was surprised to see the Ares Predator was not included - which is the weapon synonymous with the Sixth World - but this is minor consideration.
When added to the Spell Cards these have the potential to make running the game a lot smoother.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Gun H(e)aven 3 Weapon Cards (SR4A Stats)
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Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/30/2014 04:57:17

By now you probably already know that 'Sail Away Sweet Sister' is the sequel to 'Another Rainy Night'. If you didn't, go back and pick up the first in the series. Whilst some will say that this novella could stand alone, readers will have a much more coherent experience if the companion volume if read first.

Now - on to the actual story. It is a well-written piece of fiction that pays attention to little details, good characterisation, vampires-as-monsters, and Shadowrun continuity. The author is obviously a fan of the setting and this shines through in their style. All of the characters are given solid personalities, drawbacks, and (in some cases) slightly disturbing vices as coping mechanisms for the Sixth World. It would be really easy to mine the concepts in the novella to flesh out NPCs for your next game. The story ties into the hints from 'Storm Front' (a brilliant source book from 4e) that those afflicted by HMHVV are experiencing far worse symptoms than usual. The novella offers no deep revelations, but does show some practical effects of this situation.

It is always refreshing to read a novel about vampires that treats these creatures as monsters. The Monster part of the psyche is written well, and the struggle to retain humanity echoes World of Darkness themes and was really appreciated. Lastly, the author paid attention to the smaller details, reminding long-term fans what the Sixth World is like. One great example was how Thomas' magical ability was perceived by those around him. Most reacted with suspicion or were deeply unsettled by anything magical - which is exactly how it should be.

I'm amazed that a title like this is available at this price point. It represents excellent value, and I look forward to reading the third instalment in this series (and maybe a compilation volume). Highly recommended for any Shadowrun fan.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sail Away, Sweet Sister (Enhanced Fiction)
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