DriveThruRPG.com
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Smallville Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2011 06:46:08

It is incredibly rare to see what can honestly be described as unique. Really a lot of RPGs on the market are simply twists on a common theme and the rules sets aren't revolutionary. Enter 'Smallville'. Smallville's genius lies in a number of elements that I have not seen replicated in other systems. Firstly, there is the collaborative nature of character creation. I've always argued that this step of getting a group together should be done -as a group- and 'Smallville' makes it mandatory. The reason for this is the second point of brilliance - the whole game is hinged on relationships, and it makes perfect sense. In the DC Universe, relationships make the stories more engaging, and importantly they make superheroes more human. The way in which all of these heroes relate to the people around them builds drama, creates plot and drives character development. 'Smallville' give you the tools to make the way a character relates to their own group, and the wider world actually matter.

Want to take on Superman in his Fortress of Solitude? Fine, but he feels confident enough to have a home ground advantage, and the rules reflect this. Has Oliver Queen had an argument with Dinah? Will this play on his mind and knock off his aim in the next crucial combat? You bet. Will Clarke show mercy to Zod because he believes he can be redeemed? Definitely.

The one point I cannot over-emphasise is how good their social rules truly are. The character creation builds on the relationships with other team members (and a slightly larger cast too) and is extremely open-ended. The players imaginations fill in the 'white space' that the rules-set calls for, and the game mechanics give the players the opportunity to let their creativity really kick in. However, as this is intrinsically group-based, you will need to invest at least one evening of play into the character creation process. It cannot be rushed if you expect this game to pay dividends.

If your group likes team play they need to give this game a go. Make everyone read through the main rulebook, as it contains lots of good advice about playing as a team. It is one of the few books that I've seen that gives explicit advice on how to be a team player and how to give the spotlight to other people in your group. Furthermore, it gives advice on supporting the success of other players - something I've not seen before.

The last point that you need to consider is that the game supports multi-power-level play. It can accommodate Jimmy Olsen, Lois, Green Arrow and Superman in a single party - each person has skills and advantages which are unique and the relationships forged by all the characters give them all a reason to be and something positive to contribute.

Bottom line - this is an exciting game with plenty of creative opportunities. Even if you aren't a fan of the show, or of the DC Universe, pick this book up just based on how good the system is.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Smallville Roleplaying Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Paths of Storytelling: Vampire (Full-Featured PDF)
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/06/2011 04:47:08

Aside from the fact that this is an April Fool's Day product, there is a certain perversity to the product. An awful lot of work has gone into designing the book, and the 0.99c price tag is worth it just based on the strong novelty factor. This is essentially a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' story for Vampire; the Masquerade, hence my use of the word 'perverse'. The very idea of shoehorning the Storyteller System into this type of format is the antithesis of what White Wolf stands for, in my opinion. Most basic rulebooks have a similar set-up to demonstrate the type of play experience that you can expect from the system (reminiscent of the old Red Box D&D intro), but this format wouldn't have worked as a serious proposition.

However, you have to read this as a novelty product, and as such it is quirky and enjoyable. And who knows - you might grab some plot points for your next game. Well worth investing less than a dollar and an afternoon of reading.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Paths of Storytelling: Vampire (Full-Featured PDF)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Horizon Adventure 1:A Fistful of Credsticks
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/03/2011 23:57:06

Fistful of Credsticks is a good intro to what will be a trilogy of modules in the wake of the Horizon Corporations ascent to AAA status. The modules does state that they can be played separately, or together and in any order - which will be interesting to test out.

The module is well laid out, as I've come to expect from Shadowrun modules. The plot is sophisticated enough to keep veterans interested and can be scaled up or down depending on the power level of the runners and the familiarity with the setting. The NPCs are well-detailed, and the scenes offer compartmentalised information so that the GM can easily find out the varying levels of information required. The story flows logically and is a nice mix of action, intrigue, investigation and social interaction.

The module interested me from the angle that it is providing an in-depth look at how an individual corporation works, and Horizon has enough nuances to set it apart from its competitors. The opportunity to get inside the head of a megacorp isn't to be missed.

Secondly is the way that the recent Shadowrun concepts have been developed. SR has had a history of taking the believable and then twisting it to provide an engaging plot hook. This time, it is social media that has come under the magnifying glass. Take one dose of Facebook, combine with a large dose of YouTube, strain through Augmented Reality and then bake with an online, personalised 'Life Guide' and you'll achieve 'a greater good' - or at least that's the recipe that Horizon is following.

I wouldn't recommend this as a first run as it does require some knowledge of the SR world, and especially about how the technology is all-pervasive. For more experienced groups however, I'd recommend this without hesitation.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Horizon Adventure 1:A Fistful of Credsticks
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Attitude
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2011 05:33:34

If you're the type of player or GM who really likes to immerse themselves in a game world, then this is the type of product that you'll love.

With extremely limited mechanical information, 'Attitude' focuses on what make the Sixth World tick. The opening chapter runs you through a basic induction for Shadowrunners and has a nice twist that I'm thinking of using as a story idea in my current campaign.

You're then presented with chapters on Trideo, BTL, fashion and music. Each chapter covers the concepts from an in-game perspective, offering examples of current chart-toppers, and runs the gamut of tastes. Ever wanted to know what gothabilly is? Check out the music chapter. Want to know the plot of the latest Trideo shows? That's covered too. The chapter on BTLs is an eye opener and has lots of good ideas for future runs.

However, I found the sports chapter to be the most appealing, especially as Urban Brawl was covered in a little more detail.

There are plenty of nods to the two decades plus history of Shadowrun, with some of the NPCs from the early modules (Dark Angel and Maria Mecurial come to mind) making cameos in the book.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book for the excellent content. My only two criticisms are the extreme disparities in the quality of the interior artwork; and as I mentioned in my review of 'War!' the writing direction of Catalyst and their obsession with including profanities in the book. I'll repeat my comments here: Shadowrun has a well established language and phrases that cover swearing that still make the books accessible to younger gamers. Ignoring this in favour of real world four-letter words serves no purpose whatsoever.

My personal tastes aside, I loved the book and will be supplementing my PDF with a print copy too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Attitude
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Parazoology
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/25/2011 06:27:02

This book works very nicely when combined with 'Paranormal Animals of North America'. At the price, it is worth picking up and the diversity of animals is encouraging. Basically, most environments are covered, and the authors were constrained by only thirty animals.

There are some interesting and quirky animals in here, like the Cactus Cat, and also some incredibly vicious ones that will be a good challenge the next time your runners have gone bush.

My only criticism is that the animals overall lacked any sort of 'wow' factor. They are all conceptually good, and can be included in almost any campaign, but there wasn't anything that was a standout for me.

Still, I would recommend the purchase as the one aspect of the ain rulebook that is a little sparse is the area of paranormal animals. As they can offer some unique play experiences, these critters are worth reading up on.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Parazoology
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: The Creatures Guide
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:29:29

Every fantasy setting has an obligatory Monster Manual, Creature Guide, Catalogue or similar, so it is no surprise that Warhammer Fantasy needs one. Given the decades of development that has seen the miniatures range expand for GW, there is certainly no end of creatures to select - but the authors have assembled a discerning list. All the major races are covered, and ancillary beasts are listed with their 'parent' races (ie you'll find Squigs under the entry for Greenskins). The descriptions of the creatures are quite well-done, and engaging even for a veteran of the wargame. The value-add however, lies in the Story Seeds. For many (but alas, not all) of the monsters a selection of Story Seeds are provided, to kickstart your imagination or give examples of how and where they might be encountered. My only negative comment here is that there doesn't seem to be a pattern to which races/monsters have these seeds and which don't. There were a few omissions which I felt odd - but this is a matter of personal taste. I'd highly recommend this to WHFRPG players, but also recommend it to anyone looking to spice up their fantasy game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: The Creatures Guide
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Valkyrie Anti-Debris Orbital Module
Publisher: Blue Max Studios
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:14:27

I have mentioned before how much I love the Blue Max Studios ship plans. The D6 stats for them are incredibly welcome, given that West End Games Star Wars RPG has been out of print for so long. New ships are always a welcome addition in my campaign, and they are able to inject new items to the Star Wars universe - but still remain in theme.

The ship plans come with a full set of deck plans that can be printed and are the right size for miniatures, should you need a room-to-room combat. There are additional notes regarding the history of the vehicle and also how it might fit into a campaign. the Valkyrie Anti-Debris Module does fulfill a very specific role and this alone would be enough to spawn story ideas (I shan't elaborate for those who haven't bought the product).

Well worth the asking price. The only suggestion that I might have is that perhaps Blue Max Studios would consider rolling all of these into a single sourcebook? The designs are so good that I keep purchasing them - but a sourcebook of ships would be more economical.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Valkyrie Anti-Debris Orbital Module
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
Publisher: Blue Max Studios
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:12:10

I have mentioned before how much I love the Blue Max Studios ship plans. The D6 stats for them are incredibly welcome, given that West End Games Star Wars RPG has been out of print for so long. New ships are always a welcome addition in my campaign, and they are able to inject new items to the Star Wars universe - but still remain in theme.

The ship plans come with a full set of deck plans that can be printed and are the right size for miniatures, should you need a room-to-room combat. There are additional notes regarding the history of the vehicle and also how it might fit into a campaign.

The Monarch Courier does fill a nice niche given its size and armaments, but also the fact that it is almost at the luxury end of starships for its size. As such, it would make a good ship for an enterprising smuggler (a more respectable one at least) or as a utility craft for a group of PCs.

Well worth the asking price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ships of the Galaxy: The Monarch Courier
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

No Quarter 33
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:05:42

Your reaction to 'No Quarter' is solely dependent on why you think it could be useful. If you are a miniatures player foremost, you'll find the standard array of new miniatures releases, new rules, scenarios and discussion on tactics and army composition to be informative and useful.

Whilst there is a decent amount of tacit information that you glean and extrapolate if you play the 'Iron Kingdoms' RPG, the role-playing line is under supported in the magazine. Whilst you can rely on one article per month, the quality of said article varies wildly. If you are purchasing this to fill the complete void of current product support for the RPG, then be very choosy about which issue you pick up.

If you play both sides of the coin, you'll find something useful every month.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
No Quarter 33
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Rifter #44
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:04:21

Having a long fascination with Rifts, I thought it was finally time to check out 'The Rifter'. After examining three issues to date, I have to say that I like what I've read. The production values are the usual for Palladium (that is to say perfect layout and font for a product published in the 1980's) and the art varies from awesome to incredibly average. However, the content is the focus. Bearing in mind that the Palladium system tries to cover all genres and styles of play, I expected variety and wasn't disappointed. The beauty here is that the material can be slightly tweaked for any setting - the articles for Fantasy can still be included in Rifts, for example. Likewise, the real strength here is what it can add to any other game. I've seen material that I'll gladly port into my D&D, Shadowrun and Star Wars games, so this is a really good investment. The NPC write-ups are usually of a good quality with plenty of background information and motivations, so your choice of villains (or henchmen, or allies) for your next game can be as easy as picking up the right issue of 'The Rifter'.

The only caveat is to read the Table of Contents before purchasing. 'The Rifter' does do themed issues from time to time, and if they aren't your cup of tea then it's a wasted purchase.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Rifter #44
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Rifter #43
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:03:38

Having a long fascination with Rifts, I thought it was finally time to check out 'The Rifter'. After examining three issues to date, I have to say that I like what I've read. The production values are the usual for Palladium (that is to say perfect layout and font for a product published in the 1980's) and the art varies from awesome to incredibly average. However, the content is the focus. Bearing in mind that the Palladium system tries to cover all genres and styles of play, I expected variety and wasn't disappointed. The beauty here is that the material can be slightly tweaked for any setting - the articles for Fantasy can still be included in Rifts, for example. Likewise, the real strength here is what it can add to any other game. I've seen material that I'll gladly port into my D&D, Shadowrun and Star Wars games, so this is a really good investment. The NPC write-ups are usually of a good quality with plenty of background information and motivations, so your choice of villains (or henchmen, or allies) for your next game can be as easy as picking up the right issue of 'The Rifter'.

The only caveat is to read the Table of Contents before purchasing. 'The Rifter' does do themed issues from time to time, and if they aren't your cup of tea then it's a wasted purchase. I entered this issue with some trepidation, but was pleasantly surprised that the content was not juvenile in nature. I found the characters to be quite useful and will be including them in a few campaigns I have running at the moment.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Rifter #43
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Rifter #42
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 01:00:57

Having a long fascination with Rifts, I thought it was finally time to check out 'The Rifter'. After examining three issues to date, I have to say that I like what I've read. The production values are the usual for Palladium (that is to say perfect layout and font for a product published in the 1980's) and the art varies from awesome to incredibly average. However, the content is the focus. Bearing in mind that the Palladium system tries to cover all genres and styles of play, I expected variety and wasn't disappointed. The beauty here is that the material can be slightly tweaked for any setting - the articles for Fantasy can still be included in Rifts, for example. Likewise, the real strength here is what it can add to any other game. I've seen material that I'll gladly port into my D&D, Shadowrun and Star Wars games, so this is a really good investment. The NPC write-ups are usually of a good quality with plenty of background information and motivations, so your choice of villains (or henchmen, or allies) for your next game can be as easy as picking up the right issue of 'The Rifter'.

The only caveat is to read the Table of Contents before purchasing. 'The Rifter' does do themed issues from time to time, and if they aren't your cup of tea then it's a wasted purchase.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Rifter #42
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Resurrectionists (Vampire: The Requiem)
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 00:51:23

'The Resurrectionists' offers a neat mystery that is well-situated in the Vampire mythos - the authors have clearly thought about how to make this vampire-specific. The scenes are suitably robust to handle a number of player reactions and the core morality of the vampiric condition is brought into play a number of times - which will lead to choices that appear easy on the surface, but have much deeper ramifications. The plot builds at a good pace and introduces a range of interesting encounters and NPCs. There is certainly scope to build on the events and create a mini-chronicle from the players choices in this SAS. On the whole, I have a high opinion of the SAS product line, even more so when one considers that whilst this is written for the nWoD, Old World of Darkness fans (like me) can still find value in them.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Resurrectionists (Vampire: The Requiem)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Quickstart PDF
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 00:41:55

Green Ronin now gives you the opportunity to explore The Seven Kingdoms. For anyone not familiar with the books, they follow the political and social intrigue of a handful of noble houses in a time of great conflict and when an ancient evil is stirring in the north. HBO has the rights to turn this into a TV series, which launches in a few weeks. Each novel in the series will be a Season and Martin is heavily involved in production (which is why he’s obviously not working on his next book – much to the dismay of fans). The major themes of loyalty, honour, trust and family are easily recognisable to any fantasy fan. Whilst the system has a robust combat system (and bloody, costly battles can be easily integrated as part of a campaign) the focus is very much on the social aspects of the story. Thankfully, the designers have stayed true to the core concepts of the novel and given players and GMs the tools to tell lavish tales of intrigue and betrayal. It offers an interesting system of linked abilities, called Techniques, that allow a character to customise how their character interacts socially with the rest of the world.

‘Journey to King’s Landing’ is a well-written, engaging module that really does deliver on the promise to showcase what the game is all about and can easily be played over a few sessions. There are six characters to choose from and all of them really display one of the unique aspects of the world. The authors clearly spent a lot of time reading the novels and faithfully rendering them into an RPG.

From: http://www.miragearcana.com/news-a-blog/40-game-night-blog-12-free-your-mind



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Quickstart PDF
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Quick-Start Rules: Fourth Edition
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2011 00:40:53

If you haven’t played Shadowrun before, you are seriously missing out on a good game. ‘Where man meets magic and machine’ is the tagline and it is a gritty, dark-edged game of cyberpunk and street magic in a world ruled by corporations. Taking a page from William Gibson’s vision of a dystopic future, where technology has failed to give humankind a better life, (meta)humanity instead wallows in it’s own decline – and likes it. Rather than the shiny, hopeful theme of the science fiction genre, cyberpunk punches your dreams in the teeth and watches and they fall bleeding to the pavement.

In 2074, governments have little to no authority, as the megacorporations have taken over the world. In fighting their clandestine wars against each other, they need deniable expendable assets – you. As a Shadowrunner, you live off the grid; nameless in the Sprawl with only your Ares Predator and your rep to protect you.

‘Foodfight’ offers (unsurprisingly for Catalyst Games) high production values and attention to detail. The writing is concise, and offers an decent explanation for a world that would otherwise require a lot of reading to understand. The rules are explained well, with marginalia and examples of the mechanics in action. Like the Battletech product 'A Time of War Quickstart', the character sheets are succinct, the artwork evocative and everything logically loaid out for the novice player. The back of the book offers a quick-reference chart for most of the common rolls you’ll make. The module is short, but to the point and you’ll never look at fast food the same way again.

While you’re at it, pick up the GM Screen for free too!

From: http://www.miragearcana.com/news-a-blog/40-game-night-blog-1 2-free-your-mind



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Quick-Start Rules: Fourth Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 136 to 150 (of 203 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]  ... 10  11  12  13  14  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates