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Bad Moon Rising
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/26/2015 18:16:32
Bad Moon Rising is the latest pre-written adventure for Iron Kingdoms RPG from Privateer Press.
The adventure, like many of those produced by Privateer Press, consist of a number of scenes, mixing social and combat encounters. And while many think IKRPG is a combat heavy game, Bad Moon Rising has a lot of roleplaying chances as the player characters get to interact with many NPCs.
Bad Moon Rising takes the form of a horror murder mystery. So expect some spoilers coming up and if you are players in a campaign, perhaps totally stop reading this review now.
The adventure centres around the attacks in a Khadoran outpost by the Circle of Orboros, and in particular the increasing number of vicious attacks by a monster - a Warpwolf. Over a number of nights, the convergence of the 3 moons of Caen progresses, and the ferocity of the Warpwolf attacks increase. The Circle mount more and more attacks from outside of the fort, and all the while a harsh snow storm blows.
The characters are of course suspects, and are expected to take it upon themselves to investigate the attacks, to determine the nature of the creature and put a stop to them. As the story continues it will become apparent that there is a dark history to the fort that relates to the current events. Furthermore, a conspiracy will make itself known and lead to a final, bloody combat.

Read the rest of the review at http://darkerdaysradio.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/review-bad-moo-
n-rising-iron-kingdoms.html

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Moon Rising
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Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Skorne Empire
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/26/2015 18:15:14
This strange race of humanoids comes from the far east of Immorean, past the Storm Lands and deserts, and past the Abyss. They are an ancient race, with an equally age old enmity with the Elves. They are a warrior race, with a society that focuses on slavery, torment, pain and torture. Their design and look is clearly inspired by aspects of Japanese Samurai culture, and ancient Persia. And as for their physical form, they are pale, with bony rigged foreheads, and pointed ears.

On face value alone they could be considered the equivalent of Dark Elves from that other war gaming company, but then you would be wrong.

The Skorne Empire book really lifts the lid off this ancient empire. We learn of their rise from a nomadic culture around the time the ancient Elven empire was destroyed, and their warring between city states, and the eventual formation of a unified empire, first under the exiled king, Vinter Raelthorne of Cygnar, and then under the Supreme Archdomina Makeda.

Read the rest of the review http://darkerdaysradio.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/review-skorne--
empire.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Skorne Empire
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/24/2015 16:31:56
An excellent update that makes the game far more playable, and takes full advantage of the 2nd edition rules.

A full review can be heard on Darker Days Radio.

http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episo-
de-64/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
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Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/24/2015 16:45:55
Delicious, tasty, filling, meaty, something to dig your teeth into, but also a familiar flavour throughout.

Oh yeah, we’re talking about the new IKRPG Unleashed book. Not some meaty dish!

So previously I have reviewed the IKRPG Unleashed Abridged rulebook that comes in the new starter adventures kit. That basically covered what we are familiar with - primarily the core rules, and magic for Willweavers. But, we also got a taste of the new things. Harnessers, Warbeasts, and Blood Magic.

The main core book builds on that familiarity. It assumes that the reader is essentially new to the world of Caern and the Iron Kingdoms, or of course is a Hordes player. Thus we get the entire history of the setting all over again, but with certain events and characters and myths explored in more depth that they were in the IKRPG core book. These of course bring life in the wilderness into focus over life in the cities. Also, where IKRPG assumes the in game date is 605 AR as Llael has fallen to Khador, Unleashed assumes the in game date is 608 AR, and thus assumes that the events surrounding the war in the Thornwood between Cryx, Khador and Cygnar and others, have passed.

While IKRPG explored the nuances between the different ethnic groups that make up the Iron Kingdoms, Unleashed looks at the each of the main wilderness factions (Orboros, Trollkin Kriels, Farrow, Gatormen), plus the various other human tribes, and explores where their territories lie, what life is like in these societies, and their relationships with the other factions of Western Immoren. The amount of detail is excellent, and really allows you to delve into just one of these groups and use that as a basis for an adventuring party.

What is really excellent is that we get a healthy dollop of information about the Nyss, and their life that borders the wilds and the cities, and so builds upon the little information we had in the IKRPG core book.

Let’s not forget we have information on the Tharn and their tribes. They are presented then as a separate group, while also being allies to the Orboros. Perhaps not to a similar level of detail, we also get information on the Bog Trogs, who again are allies to the Gatormen, but are their own race.

What is important with all these sections, is that we are presented these groups so that while we get a sense of their communities and lives, but also these groups are not presented as monolithic entities. We get a sense of how diverse even Gatormen societies can be depending on the bayous they hail from.

Following the section on the different societies we get a section that explains the differences between different geographical regions, the way of life in those places, the hazards that they present, and the animals and plants that exist there. Each major forest, desert, mountain region etc are detail individually. This is all important for a GM who then has a reference text to help them paint an evocative picture of the landscapes that the adventuring party is travelling through.

With the setting out of the way, we get the familiar again. Character creation and stats. We have a number of races to choose in this book. Bog Trogs, Farrow (whose Warbeasts I learnt are just malformed Farrow births!), Gatormen (I really need to play one!), Humans Nyss, Pygmy Trolls, Tharn, and Trollkin. We have 4 archetypes are normal, but for the wilds, Intelligence is replaced by Cunning. Of course we then have the list and details on careers. Of course how these are used in character creation is the same as for IKRPG, but the options is quite interesting. Highlights are the Bokor, the Bone Grinder, the Bloodweaver (basically a close combat Gun Mage), a variety of mounted careers. Ugh… guess I will be getting some mounted troops for my armies!

The familiar continues, as we wade through abilities and skills, and the combat rules. Of course there are new entries that are more befitting the wilderness based games. Perhaps something that has a lot more options is the section on environmental hazards.

Magic. That most mysterious of arts. Is again… familiar. Character can be will weavers (just as in IKRPG) or harnessers, who are able to control beasts and channel fury, and thus be Warlocks. Much like Gun Mages, Blood Mages can be willweavers or harnessers, depending on career combinations.

Harnessers, as I explained in the previous review, are exactly what you expect. They use rules identical to how warlocks work in Hordes, and are able to rile beasts, force them, and channel fury from them.




Wolds, the construct monsters of the Orboros get their own section in the chapter on magic. We get details on their construction of Wolds, the golems made of wood and carved stones. While these creatures do generate Fury and so act as warbeasts, they differ in that they must be repaired rather than healed, and do not frenzy. This makes Wolds in the rpg rather like a cross between a warbeast and a warjack.

That all of course brings us to the next major chapter, Warbeasts.

Essentially as we already know from the abridged rulebook, that the rules for them are the same as they are in Hordes. Of course we do get some more information on the nature of the warbeast/warlock relationship, the dangers of an ill fed beast, the way such creatures frenzy when their warlock dies, and more. For every beast within the book, we get information on the rules for training, arming, and animi, that beasts can learn and be equipped with. The actual stats for the beasts are given later in the book, and so this saves space by separating the Warbeast specific rules from the Warbeast stats.

The chapter on gear is as expected, featuring the tools of the trade for many of these races. But we also get a whole load of items and ingredients for wilderness alchemy, which are great additions for even regular IKRPG alchemist characters. But Bone Grinders (who are not just farrow, but any race) are more like specialist cooks, who know the brews and broths to create. Bone Grinders can also fabricate magical fetishes from the body parts they harvest from creatures and fallen foes.




The penultimate chapter, preceding the GM section, is the bestiary, which serves both as a list of opponents for characters, and the selection of creatures for warlocks to control. Many of these will be familiar both from the wargame, or from the pages of No Quarter and the Monsternomicon. Creatures get the standard style of information we have become used to, plus the templates (given in the appendix and in No Quarter and the Monsternomicon) than allow us to present variations on the same creature (so a juvenile Argus, or a Argus Alpha, or a trained Argus etc). There are some new beasts in the pages here, like the different types of Drakes, and the Feral Geist.

So, how do I feel about this book?

If you are new to Iron Kingdoms, and start here rather than the IKRPG book, then it is an excellent, massive, and well presented book, filled with the art and lore that we have come to expect from Privateer Press.

However, if you are like me, and already play the war games, or play the IKRPG, then there is a lot that is familiar, or duplicated wholesale. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps. But then Privateer Press has two core books for two player bases for two different settings, which are bound together by a greater setting. In that respect, it is similar to the scenario FFG has with the Warhammer 40k rpgs. So if you really want the content of Unleashed, but don’t want to buy a book you already have half of, then go get the pdf is my suggestion.

Lastly, right at the back of the book are two pages of conversions done by the Privateer Press studio. Lots of cool ideas here and I hope PP will make models available in some manner to make getting bits easier for such things.

Oh and the hard copy version of this book is excellent. I guess with the IKRPG core book, I now have two core books for my group when basic rules need referencing. But then the abridged rulebook is great for that too.

Find more gaming articles http://darkerdaysradio.blogspot.co.uk/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Roleplaying Game Core Rules
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/20/2015 19:07:58
You can listen to my review of this book on Darker Days Radio http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episode-5-
6/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
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Fading Suns Game Master's Guide (Revised Edition)
Publisher: FASA
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/25/2014 14:25:42
An excellent companion to the Players guide, compiling a large amount of information on the Known Worlds, along with the GM material from the core book from the previous edition. The layout is also great, and has fortunately been applied to the Players Guide.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fading Suns Game Master's Guide (Revised Edition)
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Guildhalls of the Deathless
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/31/2013 08:57:55
Guildhalls of the Deathless is a comprehensive and dense book that expands upon the philosophies, objectives and structures of the Guilds. Where the descriptions for these groups are limited in the core book of Mummy the Curse, we are presented lengthy explanations of the Guilds, and of course these descriptions provide many interesting plot hooks for stories.

While the book does add excellent descriptions of each Guild, there are times where some of the descriptions felt overly verbose, and can at times make the book feel rather dense and not providing any more information than was already presented in the core book or earlier in this book.

The real strength of the book is having the power structures of the Guilds fully presented, and seeing the complex interplay between the Guilds and their goals and intrigues. In particular we get a very real understanding of the threat of heresy in the ranks of the Arisen, and how they struggle against it.

Building upon this the later Storyteller chapters present a whole host of new powers and items and rules, and in particular rules for handling disputes and tribunals between the Arisen, events which of course are important when relics are stolen or one of the Arisen is charged with Heresy.

Listen to our review of the book on Darker Days Radio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyspTZ40yVo

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Guildhalls of the Deathless
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Urban Dressing: Docks
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/18/2013 15:44:37
A short but sweet collection of descriptions, curiosities and people to fill your docks and ports in your fantasy/pirate settings. There is plenty to use here for those that need that bit of help to paint an evocative scene. For the price just a good collection for those stumped when a player asks 'So what is the name of the ship here?' Of course the art is a mix of good and bad, but for the price, who can really complain.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Dressing: Docks
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks so much for the review, Christopher. I much appreciate you taking the time to do it!
Convention Book: Progenitors
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/18/2013 15:39:12
An excellent Convention book that brings a modern feel to the 'mad scientists'.

The introduction gives us an overview of the 'healers' of the Technocracy, and how they see themselves as the main group that binds the other conventions together. We of course get insight into how they view the end of the Ascension war, and in particular their struggle with Humanities rejection of their Enlightened Science, the very thing that could solve many of the worlds issues.

Of course the book is filled with a whole host of new tech, procedures and the Progenitor Methodologies, which are all brought up to date and in a way that thrusts these scientists out of the lab and into the world, to use their science in the world that needs it.

This is an excellent and must have book for any Technocracy game.

Full a more full overview of this book go listen to episode 50 of Darker Days Radio http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwYsBZsn_qw&feature=c4-overvi-
ew&list=UUKWD_vN0XRJML_Wt0gw1eSQ

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Progenitors
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Proverbial Monsters
Publisher: White Wolf
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/19/2013 05:42:27
Proverbial Monster is a short and sweet collection of interesting scenarios and antagonists for the World of Darkness, perhaps best used in Changeling and Mortals games. It gives an interesting air of folklore to the games and helps spark the imagination to go back and look at certain sayings and customs in society and cultures and see how they may have roots in the supernatural.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Proverbial Monsters
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Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/10/2013 16:27:01
This is a hard review to write. Hard, because it may come as me being overly critical of the product. But the thing that is important to point out, is that I am approaching this product as someone that never played Werewolf the Apocalypse (WtA). When I got into World of Darkness games in 1996, I of course was a bit of a proto-goth. I was into vampire films, listening to Marilyn Manson and Atari Teenage Riot. So of course I was running Vampire the Masquerade for the first time. I also eventually picked up Mage the Ascension, and of course some of the most influential films at the time for me would be Fight Club, The Matrix, and Blade. So a lot of things would classify me more towards the goth/cyber goth side of things than metalhead. And in some ways, this is perhaps why at the time WtA didn’t appeal to me. It seemed all a bit too gung-ho and rather superficial.
So given the above and the fact I have never played WtA, yet I know plenty about the setting due to where Mage and Vampire crossed over with it, I am approaching this review blind.
Let’s start with the easy bit. Layout and art. Generally the book is excellent looking, but I feel that there is not a unified look to the book. I understand that much of the artwork is from the original books, or is new work by the same artists, and that in itself is a good thing as it means the product taps into the nostalgia of the fans of the game. But, as a new reader, I find the mixing up of full colour art, grayscale, and black and white line art, a bit jarring. Now some of the art work I do like, especially some of the more rough, dreamy pieces. I have to admit to not being a Ron Spencer fan. Sorry guys. But it's just all guts and guns, and rather flat and boring. But then I am a big Christopher Shy fan so you can make your mind up on that front.

http://ethericlabs.blogspot.de/2013/06/review-werewolf-a-
pocalypse-20th.html

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
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Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2013 16:26:48
Another excellent addition to Rogue Trader, detailing the mysterious lives of the Navigators, their noble houses, and how their kind is critical for space travel. We also get a detailed look at other psykers, such as Astropaths and their Choirs, and Weirdboyz. The intricacies of space travel are detailed, with various tables that can help determine - or mess up - a warp jump. Such is space travel in Rogue Trader. Of course Warp travel is not an exact science, and we are given insight into the omens and rituals captains and their crew entertain. We even get a cool map that shows how the Warp space tides flow and swell. We also get a look at the renegade tech priests - the Acolytes of Abraxas, and other advanced careers. As always the art work is excellent.

The Navis Primer is an excellent addition if you want to give your space adventuring more depth, and your Navigator players more to chew on.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer
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World of Darkness: God-Machine Rules Update
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2013 16:01:15
The free rules pdf presents all you need to run mortal games dealing with the supernatural (ghosts, spirits, angels), and presents long awaited updates to the morality system, combat, and introduces new mechanics and systems designed to nudge players to be more proactive in their games, in order to make the storytelling experience more collaborative. Overall the new rules make a big leap out of the shadow of the Classic World of Darkness.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: God-Machine Rules Update
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World of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2013 15:56:21
http://ethericlabs.blogspot.de/2013/05/the-god-machine-chron-
icles-review.html

God Machine Chronicles presents an exciting and eerie new default setting for mortal games of New World of Darkness, plus provides sample stories to be used for chronicles, and a revision of the rules, offering some new concepts to aid in the collaborative storytelling experience. This is a must buy for anyone wanting to tell mortal games that touch on cosmic terror.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle
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The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/16/2012 15:52:09
This book is filled with great creepy short stories that really focus on personal horror, and the feeling of powerlessness in the face of some large, unknowable entity. Now some may argue that this is not that great because many of the stories are reprints from other books, but at least you know have it in a single, epub, format. Also the book is best read if one disregards all other World of Darkness mythos (Mage the Awakening primarily). Creepy, disturbing, and down right great.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology
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