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The Flux
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Ronald B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2017 18:17:33

Originally posted here: http://ronblessing.blogspot.com/2011/12/read-thru-flux.html

Are you one of those GMs who get Shiny New Game Syndrome? Does it cause you to constantly switch games on your usually-reeling players? Have your players held an intervention to make you commit to running the same game for more than, say, 90 days?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions (I may have), then John Wick's The Flux might be just the ticket for you and your group!

The Flux is one of the many little games to be found in John Wick's Big Book of Little Games. The PDF was provided to me, gratis, by the fine folks at DriveThruRPG.

You might be playing The Flux in your current game, and you don't even know it - yet. Because The Flux happens to your character, to your group's whole party, and usually when they least expect it.

Imagine playing a sorceress in a Pathfinder game, and she's in the midst of a climactic battle. Suddenly, your GM describes a humming in your character's ears. She can't place where it comes from - it's everywhere and nowhere. Then there's a flash and BAM! She's no longer a sorceress in Golarion, but a mad scientist in Hollow Earth Expedition. Later in the Hollow Earth, she has been captured by Nazis and left without any gadgets. As the player you try to help the mad scientist recall a memory - a skill or ability - from a previous world or existence, and suddenly she makes a gesture, speaks an incantation, and throws a fireball at her captors, clearing a path for escape!

In The Flux, you can totally do that. Seriously.

So if you're running a game, say RunePunk for Savage Worlds - you love it; you really do - and you discover you can finally read Earthdawn Third Edition on your iPad (totally not your fault!), there's an easy way to transition, using The Flux and making it easy on your players: Grab your players' RunePunk characters Make new Earthdawn characters for them, based generally on their RunePunk characters One session, in a tense moment, have The Flux kick in You're now running Earthdawn Your players don't have to make new characters or come up with new personalities - you're remaking their characters in a different world. Your players don't have to know about the new world right away - your players' characters are supposed to be hazy on the new setting.

There's no need to remember the rules from the old game. To access their previous characters' abilities, the players keep their characters in a stack - newest on top, oldest on the bottom. They roll some d6s - the difficulty based on how old the previous character is - and if they succeed, they automatically succeed with the best possible outcome: Fireball? Max damage. Shooting? The target is dead, if that was the goal.

On the surface it may seem broken. You may think players will abuse the abilities. But there is a price. The world knows someone is breaking the rules, and it fights back. Every time you use an ability from a previous character, there's a chance for Whiplash, where your character may get really hurt - or worse.

The Flux is very cool. I will be trying it at some point. And to my players: trust me, there were no spoilers in this post...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Flux
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Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Ronald B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/31/2017 18:15:29

One of my favorite features is there’s no metaplot, just the setup. There are no secrets, which only the game master may know--another Good Thing(TM). The end result is players can read this book, cover-to-cover, and their understanding and enjoyment of the game can only be enhanced by doing so.

The core mechanic of the game is simple--roll d20, add modifiers, beat target number. A deft GM could easily roll in the additional mechanics as needed, to a crunch-shy group.

I have two issues with this book: 1) It seems to me a game about a war should include mass combat rules. I know ninja battles are showcased as one-on-on events in anime and manga, but larger-scale skirmishes and battles are mentioned; so they should be represented by rules. 2) The editing in this book leaves much to be desired. There are times where I laughed for all the wrong reasons when I was reading.

If you’re looking for a blow-by-blow replacement for Legend of the Five Rings, you may be disappointed by Wu Xing. Further, avoid it if you weren’t excited about my description of initiative and combat. But if you love martial arts action, and authentic Eastern culture is a tough sell at your game table, this is a must buy. Heck, if you saw Avatar: The Last Airbender and loved it, go directly to your FLGS or Third Eye Games' store or RPGNow--do not pass go; do not collect $200.

Full review at http://ronblessing.blogspot.com/2012/01/read-thru-wu-xing-ninja-crusade.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
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BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Ron B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2013 13:49:39

I like BareBones Fantasy. If DwD can maintain their production values, you'll be getting in on the ground floor of something special. I'm certainly rooting for them. I'd recommend this product to anyone looking for a simplified-but-deep-enough approach to fantasy. I'd also recommend it to anyone looking to learn a thing or two in preparation for their own publishing adventure. I wouldn't recommend this book if your interests lie primarily in the truly crunchy and/or complex.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
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Savage Insider Issue #1: Building the Savage Worlds Community
Publisher: Mystical Throne Entertainment
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/23/2011 23:45:28

Highly recommended!

This is a stylish, well put together resource for any Savage Worlds fan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue #1: Building the Savage Worlds Community
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Ingenium
Publisher: Silver Gryphon Games
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/26/2011 15:32:30

Seriously, three words! That's all it takes to make a character. Not only does the system get out of the way in play, it gets out of the way in character creation. I seriously made a character in 10 minutes. I understood what he could do, and he was well balanced.

The art is well done, and the writing gets to the point.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ingenium
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Player's Guide
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/26/2011 15:27:06

Fantasy Flight seems to have seen the writing on the wall with this re-packaging of WFRP Third Edition. I am among those who bristled at the very board game-like presentation of the boxed set. I absolutely get the special dice--Fate/Fudge games are the same in that manner--but all the chits and cards and such just seemed to take away from the experience for me. This book iteration gives you the option to play the classic pen/paper way, just add dice. All the "board game" trappings are now completely optional, though they are definitely recommended. Still the option, perceived or otherwise, is nice.

This is one of my all-time favorite settings, and this new rule set truly does an admirable job of presenting it. The dice themselves provide guidance for roleplaying in combat, something oft-forgotten at the table. They pretty much force you to not simply roll the dice and call out damage.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Player's Guide
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Woodland Warriors Rpg
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/26/2011 15:17:28

Woodland Warriors, based on the Swords & Wizardry iteration of OD&D, is brilliant! I am especially satisfied with the use of d6s that essentially transform the classic game system to a roll/keep affair. Dave Bezio's adventure in the back really captures the Redwall feel this game seems meant to stress. I will be playing this with my 7-year-old daughter and nephew. The excellent side effect is the kids have asked me to read the original Redwall to them!

My one gripe is i would have liked to seen details bringing the classes to Level 10 or more.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Woodland Warriors Rpg
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Castles & Crusades Castle Keepers Guide
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/26/2011 09:13:26

If you want to tweak your C&C game, look no further than this book. Basically the Castle Keepers Guide takes a toolkit approach to modifying the Siege Engine. Much of the optional rules re-introduce elements of the full 3.x SRD, but the real beauty of the book for me is in the analysis of the game engine. Highly recommended for anyone interested in spicing up their C&C game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Castle Keepers Guide
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/11/2010 10:23:25

BASH! Ultimate Edition feels like an indie game and an old school game at the same time. The rules are simple and straightforward: roll 2d6, multiply by stat. There are tables for those averse to math. Just about every power I could think of is in there, and the game seems like it scales well, allowing for play at any level in the comic book super hero genre.

My only gripe is there is advice given in the front of the book about transparency with players, but there are key mechanics buried in the narrator's section. Aside from this foible, BASH! fires on all cylinders.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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Mutant City Blues: Hard Helix
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/11/2010 10:13:22

Robin Laws' Mutant City Blues may not be the best selling Gumshoe game, but it's not for lack of quality. And Hard Helix proves it's a damned shame.

Four excellent adventures are included including the "title track," which is a great introduction to the setting presented in the core book.

I recommend Hard Helix for all Gumshoe aficionados, however, because these scenarios can double as the ultimate guidebook on how to build a Gumshoe scenario as the designer originally intended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutant City Blues: Hard Helix
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/11/2010 10:06:54

This is d20 at its most flexible best.

Fantasy Craft solves my biggest problem with its parent fantasy game. With the use of a simple table, GMs can now put their PC's up against any creature, any time, at any level.

In addition, NPCs are a breeze to make by simply going over a section in the book.

The toolkit concepts begun in Spycraft suit high fantasy well. There is simply no better way to run a home brewed fantasy campaign using d20!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
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