DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories











Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/10/2018 18:33:00

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): This is not a complete product, but just about. The only thing missing is minor...spell lists for Space Magic (and setting changes for said Space Magic) Kevin Crawford is obviously a one man band and what he has produced is phenomenal given those constraints. There are some things missing such as the spell lists mentioned, and character sheets usable for magic using characters.

This is a good set of tools for GMs to create a scifi universe. I love "Scarlet Heroes" and "The Red Tide Campaign" the original version of Stars Without Numbers is an excellent starting point. This is a worthy successor. The rules streamline the game. Changing the way AC is used actually decreases the math over the previous system. I liked using the 2d6 for saves instead of a d20, but it is not a game breaker. (I prefer having skill checks with a known average roll, same with saves). Psionics is completely revamped for the better. It runs much more smoothly and seems more internally consistent than before.

In the interest of honesty a few months ago I bought a hard copy of the original SWN. I was not pleased to find out that a new version was coming out and that I had "wasted" 30 USD (and there was no disclaimer on RPGNow or affliates). This review doesn't reflect any enmity, just a cold appraisal of what you get with this product. (I have spent about 100 dollars on Sine Nomine products! I like what Kevin Crawford is doing even if I at first don't understand it)

I will call Original SWN OSWN for the rest of this review. With OSWN you got rules for making a sector. You get that with SWN:RE. What you don't get that you got with OWSN is the Hydra Sector (an example sector along with factions), along with 15 pages of information on the Hydra Sector. RE doesn't have the blank maps for sectors, or planets that OWSN has. It doesn't have blank forms for factions, alien record sheet, adventure sheet, starship record sheet that are present in the original. (There is space for Starship info on the character sheet, but it is just a empty text box). In the OWSN we get examples of Xenobeasts, not in RE. In OWSN we get examples of Alien races if you guessed you don't get examples in RE you would have guessed correctly. What you do get is Cyberware, Transhuman, Robot/AI campaign and character possiblities. I mentioned Space Magic before it just doesn't offer the tool kit available with those first three systems mentioned.

There is a section that discusses how to retrofit any of the previous products in this line. It is succinct and misses no major change between products.

There was a list of quick name tables and tables for creating new religions, heresies, corporations...not present in RE. In RE you do still get rules/tables for making factions. You also get rules/tables for making up societies. The latter give a lot more room for imagination. There are more tags for planets. This is nice but see my comment on gravity below.

You know that extra 20 USD you spent to get the extra goodies...? Well how about Space Magic? The character sheet has no place to reflect a character as Arcanist or Magister (or Adept). Psychics have several boxes dedicated to them (which is useless space for other classes). When you make up your spell lists you'll have to make up a character sheet as well. But I would have to say this is overshadowed by the completeness of the other additional sections. Definitely worth the 20 dollars.

As I go through the book, now for the second time, I see that many of the sections here are sparse in detail but long on verbiage. Not my cup of tea. Mr. Crawford is letting us as GMs and players make some decisions on our own. He even has a section of House rules that I greatly appreciated. I think he could have tightened up on word usage and found the room he needed to add some of the other areas he felt he had to drop.

One area where both OWSN and RE lack...rules for gravity. Gravity is mentioned repeatedly thoughout the rules, but it isn't discussed as a system anywhere. How does micro/zero gee change how you use a gun or melee, or movement? (Why would I care if I had a laser weapon or Void Carbine? Why do I care if I have thrusters on my suit?) I don't know. It isn't in either book. How does high gee impact encumbrance? Don't know. We are told that this is a hard sci fi setting, but without rules on gravity it seems that the author is playing at hand wavium not hard science. When rolling up a planet there aren't tags/rules for variable gravity worlds. I also miss Conditions. I understand the OSR ethos of house ruling everything, but just a few conditions would free GMs from having to rule on each individual situation.

This game is worth the 20 dollars. I just wish that the Space Magic section were complete...or not in there at all.

Note: I apologize for my first review. I wrote it after having done only a cursory read through. I missed sections that would have answered questions that I had and I would have avoided having panned this book in the first place.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

INDEX CARD RPG Core Set
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2017 12:18:37

BLUF: I am giving this 5 stars because of the community and the author's dedication to supporting the product.

The rules in the physical book are 120 pages long. In the PDF they are presently sitting at 192! A big difference because the community's input is used! A whole new bioform (read race for all you old-schoolers out there) was added because of the responses of the community.

Frankly the rules are a bit rough. The game engine itself could be tightened up. The game uses various forms of "effort" to do work. Effort is used for damage or to measure the work a rogue does to pick a lock. The rules on types of effort is the part that is confusing at times. Basic effort is hands and brain only; no tools. Weapons effort; weapons are used. Magic effort; spells and magic devices. Finally Ultimate effort; if you roll a nat 20 you add ultimate effort to your normal effort. Difficulty is rated in "hearts" each heart is 10 points (think hp). Basic effort is d4. Weapon d6. Magic d8. Ultimate is d12. So if I use a long sword (weapon) to hack away at an orc I do d6 effort after I hit him. If my elfkind mage is trying to bare hand open a chest using nothing but their wits use basic effort; d4. That chest probably has one heart so it may take awhile. Seems simple and easy to remember right? Okay do you use d6 when you use tools to do work? That wizard has lockpicks. Or maybe someone is trying to lift a large rock with a lever; do they use d6?

This is where the G+ community shines. If you have questions you can quickly hash it out online. Honestly, rules as written I'd give a 3 or 4 star rating. But as time goes on the author is making changes and tightening up the product with the help and support of a vibrant community. So 5 stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core Set
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Moldy Codex #1
Publisher: Axebane Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2017 17:55:46

BLUF: Tight. No extraneous detail, but plenty to make it useable. I can't wait to run this. Thanks for the new minis and for the new tiles and thanks especially for the adventure with maps. Can't wait for the next Moldy Codex!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Moldy Codex #1
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Index Card Encounters: Market Place Massacre
Publisher: Jason Scranton DM Morgal
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/23/2017 23:49:05

Simple as all ICRPG material, but a great starting point to get your creative juices flowing. The map is clear although lacking a legend. A tax collector is included in the story but for what reason...? I guess that is up to the GM. The adventure is written in the style promoted by ICRPG. Light on detail, but detailed enough to run without the chance of being unfair to the players. An excellent starting product. Once it is tightened up it will be excellent.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Index Card Encounters: Market Place Massacre
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Hollow West
Publisher: D101 Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2017 23:47:50

BLUF:This is too lite.

The idea behind the setting is fantastic. Cowboys vs Dinosaurs vs Native Americans vs Cattle Barons vs Power Hungy madman vs Occultists vs Serpent Men vs Atlanteans and I am sure I am missing somebody. Frankly the mash up is very satisfying. What isn't satisfying is the lack of a good engine. Fortune absolutely guts Fate Core and FAE for the sake of simplicity. If you want simple use FAE. If you want more crunch use the myriad tools available from Evil Hat to tweak Fate Core. Hollow West uses a simplified Fate system and advertises it as self-contained. However, the author is relying on scanty rules, with few examples, and implicitly that you have seen/played Fate or FAE before. Fate Core is full of examples because it isn't a game familiar in style to most RPGs out there. It is Theater of the Mind with the players having as much control of the story as the GM. This is unfamilar territory for most players/gms. It needs more explanation than is present in the short Hollow West book. If you do want to use this setting and are not familiar with Fate I would suggest you check it out for free on the Evil Hat website.

The only reason I would give this three stars is because of the setting. I will run this, but I will use Fate Core.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Hollow West
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Blade and Lockpick. A game engine for solo and two player games
Publisher: Nordic Weasel Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2017 00:44:10

Bottom line up front (BLUF): 6 USD is entirely too high a price for what you get. The group mechanics for overcoming challenges is interesting and looks like it could be really effective for narrative style gaming. This is a very lite set of rules. The author frequently points out that it can be used with other systems. Use the oracle with your favorite system to use those rules while running solo or use the mechanics in place of the rules of your aforementioned favorite setting. In other words this is just a quick set of rules to run your favorite game/setting using other mechanics and... There are some quick tables for jumping into a randomly generated setting. FATE does that better. The oracle could be easily replaced by Mythic or any other solo system out there (the oracle is very basic). The only really original (at least to me) bit is the dice pool system for overcoming challenges.

The book lacks art. It has few (and basic) examples. There are no pre-generated PCs or settings. The page layout wastes a lot of space. I imagine the book could have been done in half the pages.

I have a soft spot for solo games. This one presented one unique (and effective) idea for running challenges. The rest of the rules are done better elsewhere. So for just the unique group creation/rules in a solo setting it deserves a 3 star rating. If there were more to these rules it might be worth 6 dollars, right now I couldn't recommend more than 1 or 2 dollars at most.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Blade and Lockpick. A game engine for solo and two player games
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Cheers and appreciate the review! We will definitely add more examples and some pre-generated player characters. Appreciate the feedback. Not adding art was deliberate for print-friendliness but we'll take the feedback into account for the future.
Blood Space and Moon Dust
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2017 01:32:44

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Great adventure well worth the price. This is a very reasonably priced alternative to the Adventure Path adventures from Paizo.

Art: 4/5 Not the same style as the Starfinder CRB, but effective! There aren't many pictures but they will give your PCs a good idea of what they are looking at/interacting with.

Layout:5/5 Use of two columns, multiple fonts and colors, as well as text boxes to set off important information makes finding and reading the document quite easy.

Execution: 5/5 This is execution of story objectives. Very well done. The NPCs motivations and plans are laid out in black and white. The GM should have no trouble ad libbing when (not if) his/her PCs go off script. Each NPC has tactics laid out sometimes round to round. Nothing seems to be disjointed with each transition between scenes logically progressing the story without forcing the PCs on any set path. Information is laid out in tables that cover most of the possible questions that PCs would ask (or try to learn). Included in the adventure are 4 very detailed pre-gen PCs using only the Starfinder CRB. There is also a ship for the PCs.

Story: 5/5 The story is imaginative. The back story is effectively told in a very concise manner. (The PCs get to learn about Blood Space literally from the moment they start the adventure) PCs don't get bogged down with exposition, but learn through the action. The pacing for the most part is quite fast paced, however, there are opportunities to slow things down to allow the PCs time to acclimate themselves to this new star system introduced by RGG.

PS: Starfarer's Companion goes into greater detail about the star system (and new classes, races, feats and more), but is not necessary to play this adventure. I really appreciate that RGG went to the trouble to make this adventure work for purchasers of just the CRB as well as folks who buy the Companion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Space and Moon Dust
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Rude Awakening
Publisher: Gamer Printshop
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2017 00:26:20

It's free. Some niggling errors with spelling, missing stats, etc. A very interesting premise. This would be an out of the box start for any campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rude Awakening
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Gravity Age: Creature Update 00
Publisher: Stroh Hammer
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/09/2017 23:02:34

Yes this is free. But it would still be worth a dollar or two if it wasn't. Granted this is an appetizer, but this little pdf packs some interesting ideas for creatures. It is also evocative in a way that informs the setting. If you want a setting with intelligently designed critters impacted by technology and fantasy take a look at this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gravity Age: Creature Update 00
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Wonders of the Cosmos: Fine & Diminutive Starships
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/24/2017 18:02:16

5 pages devoted to book cover, advert, table of contents, legal boiler plate, and finally a section on "why this book was important". The rest is actually usable...sort of. You find out how to make Fine and Diminuitive ships using the rules from the corebook as well as the table necessary for engines. You find out how to modifiy weapons for use on such small ships. You find out how small ships can be used in atmosphere. You also get ramming rules...but no boarding rules? I am still not sure of the effectiveness of escape pods and life boats as neither seem to be able to carry many "people" at all. However, if you are willing to do some math you should be able to quickly figure out how to build a Destroyer for pixies.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wonders of the Cosmos: Fine & Diminutive Starships
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Stars Without Number: Original Core Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2017 13:59:40

Perplexed by the System. Why do I need to roll 2d6 for skills and 1d20 for combat? System is full of inconsistencies, but don't worry the author is preparing a new Kickstarter for summer 2017. He has made lots of changes just visit his Google + page to see all the changes he is planning, including a total revamp of the system. Don't buy this. Download the free version and wait for the new updated version to come out.

The setting is a blast. The generators for worlds, factions, and adventures are great. Just get the stuff for free.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Original Core Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Honestly, you vote down this game because it adheres to old-school mechanisms? You do realize this is an OSR game and that both D&D and Traveller were chief influences and that this game sort of pays homage to them, right? Sure, you are perfectly allowed to dislike it, no problem. But weighing this so highly against hundreds of pages of sci-fi goodness (which you seem to enjoy) is beyond me.
Dark Camelot
Publisher: GRAmel
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2017 18:10:59

Off the charts imaginative setting. Just waiting to be updated to 2nd edition. Made for classical mid to late middle ages mythology present in such movies as First Knight or Excalibur. I am presently running a solo campaign geared more towards dark ages Britain in the 400s AD. Don't have to change much more than add Sub-Roman Britons.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Camelot
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
Publisher: GRAmel
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2017 16:58:13

Free and complete version of the revised Adventurers! rules. These rules use 2d6 plus stat modified by Skills (skills generally don't add + this or that they give "Advantage" roll 3d6 drop lowest).

With just three stats Strength, Agility, and Mind this is dead simple to choose your stats starting with just 6 points.

You have derived stats Attack, Defense, Endurance (Hit points), and Heroism

The first three are easy to understand. Heroism gives points per session that the players use for agency to affect his rolls either a +1 to his roll or she can re-roll (in the case of Learning Skill they can use Heroism points to declare facts about a setting). Or use Heroism points to change something about the scene, "Theres a fireplace? Then there must be fuel I can set fire to!"

There is a short list of powers available for players. Small Gear list. Etc. Each table and each set of rules is complete enough. Meaning that a GM or player can extrapolate anything easily. Yes there is even Scale and Mass Battle rules!

This is a great tool for quick play created by GMs and PCs alike. If you add the various settings you have hours and hours of fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Adventurers! Revised Kickstarter Edition
Publisher: GRAmel
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2017 15:16:46

Why are they charging for this? There is a free version (available from the KS) on this site that is more complete and compact. Notice I said free. I love the system. It is compact, neat, and easy to understand.

Having said all that I understand that this is a part of the book that KS supporters got. I hope that it was proofread more diligently than this version. There are more errors in this version than in the above mentioned free version.

If you want to use this game and its settings then get the free verision.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers! Revised Kickstarter Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Strange Stars Fate Rule Book
Publisher: Hydra Cooperative
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2017 23:04:34

Splendid. In the review of the Setting Book I stated that Art took precedence over content. Way more art in the first book than in this one. This book however is chock full of content. Everything is fully explained in Fate Core rules.

The first section of the book is taken up with how Strange Stars differs from regular Fate (not much). You could even run a game without the Fate Core rules if you wanted (but why since you can get the Fate Core rules for free on this site?).

The remaining sections cover character creation. You have High Concept, Trouble and Stangeness as your first three Aspects. Strangeness should add some weirdness to the mix. Life in the Strange Stars is going to leave you affected--maybe you have an unusual gadget, or ethos, what have you.

Clade templates--Each clade is referenced with page number in the Setting Book. There are aliens galore in the Strange Stars and most of them are "human". Every clade mentioned in the Setting book is here and encouragement abounds to make your own.

Adventures and campaigns. If you are used to Fate Core the lightness of this section will not daunt you. There are enough ideas here to get your juices flowing.

Threats. A plethora of threats to use, but not enough to fill a universe. Just enough to figure out how to create your own to match your weird universe.

Worlds and Cluster creation I'll lump together. If you have played Diaspora (for sale on this site) you will understand how this works. Several differences bear mentioning. You are not tied to just the worlds of a cluster. Hyper Gates connect to at least one other of the areas in the Setting book. Higher technology is sought after not feared.

Finally, Factions are given several pages and a reason for existence. Many Fate Core books mention factions but this is the first time I remember any one discussing how they impact the PCs during roleplay.

Overall this is a very good addition to the Fate Core products that exist out there. It will take a bit of work to create your universe, but that is unlikely to deter anyone used to many of the Fate products out there.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange Stars Fate Rule Book
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 73 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates