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Monsters of Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Ashley D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2011 07:09:15
With the withdrawal of the Runequest II material, this book is now the primary source for creatures in the Legend game. Monsters of Legend has the same monsters that appeared in the previous Runequest II monsters book, with the removal of the chapter on arenas and any Gloranthan monster.

On the positive side, the book does have enough creatures to get you started, and the layout is good, with one monster per page. The digest format makes it a good size to carry around along with the main rulebook. Almost every creature has enough information to be used as a player character, if that is your thing, although the writers advise against choosing non-sapient animals for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, it is not as well edited as it could be. The description of the Lamia is missing some important text regarding it's kiss weapon, and there are references to Beastmen in the examples, even though there is no representative creature for the Beastmen any longer. Some of the creatures do not have artwork and the table of contents does not list every creature in the book, making it harder to navigate.

The rules for spirit combat were not in the Legend core book, and are included here. A full version of the spirit magic rules, including spirit combat, have since been posted on the Mongoose site.

In summary, it's a useful book that's let down by less than stellar editing. It will be interesting to see if a future version corrects the missing entry and the references to Gloranthan monsters that no longer "exist".

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Legend
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AfterPeak
Publisher: FreeFall RPG Studios
by Ashley D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/09/2009 06:29:14
This is a pretty interesting book, with lots of good ideas, let down by the awful construction of the PDF file. It uses pages saved as JPEGs instead of text which blows up the file size to over 150Mb and has no bookmarks. This makes it slow and unweildy to use on a netbook, which for a setting reference is rather poor. Having said that, the actual layout is fairly pleasant to read with a good smattering of nicely done line drawings. So why post this comment? In the hope that small press PDF only manufacturers will take note: there are lots of pdf tools out there, simply saving your work as low resolution jpegs and cobbling it together into a PDF is not making the most of your opportunity to sell an ebook. Not having bookmarks in an otherwise really really slow to page through book is inexcusable.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
AfterPeak
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Karma Quick Guide
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Ashley D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/04/2008 03:11:29
Ah ha! I stand corrected. So without further ado, here's a review of the extra bits. The OGL conversion guide is fairly typical. You get some advice about converting the primary attributes, but everything else is largely guesswork. "And rightly so", I say. I prefer the authors approach to a classless system than the take in many other games - you may too. The character sheet is servicable, although it makes use of gray shaded boxes which may make it hard to write on depending on what printer you use. To conclude, you should download this even if you own the main book, since it contains the character sheet. If you want to get a feel for how Karma plays, it will give you the flavour. In fact, it's like walking down the street and catching the whiff of a nice resturant on the other side... do yourself a favour and buy the main game as well.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Karma Quick Guide
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Karma Roleplaying System Core Rules Book
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Ashley D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/03/2008 20:57:26
Yet another generic roleplaying game... or is it? Karma is actually a good engine for people who are tired of the complexity of OGL, but familiar with its basic tennants. Although the game bears little in common directly with OGL, you will get the feeling of familiarity as you read the rules.

The way in which ability checks are made is elegant and the skill list (called abilities) is concise and nicely organised into logical groups. Spells are created by individual players making them unique to their characters, but this can be a little time consuming so you should probably purchase the grimoire if you want to see more ready to use spells.

There are no monsters in the core rules, aside from a smattering of NPCs. There is a larger monster compendium available to make up for this short fall, and guidelines are provided for creating your own creatures in the Races section.

If you want to see how the basic game might play, download the free quick reference. The game uses d20 + two attributes + skill _ target number. Although the game can be used to play any genre fairly easily, you should be aware that if you intend to play a modern game there is only very cursory information provided. For example, there are no rules for vehicles. The combat system is cinematic, and works in “real time”. Which essentially means you don’t roll for initiative. In practice, I found this a little unweildy, so I introduced a minor houserule to bring back a little organisation to the chaos.

The PDF package comes with a colour and greyscale version of the rulebook, which sensibly removes the rather pretty, but ink gobbling side graphic.

Should you buy it? I think the game shows promise. If you like collecting games, then it’s definately worth adding to your collection. The engine is an intelligent and elegantly applied mechanic. It does rely on the 1-20 random roll and when you consider that the most you will normally be adding to that roll is 15, you might decide that such a huge random component to checks is something you dont want to use. (I’ve tried using 2d10 instead for the nice probability curve). There is enough detail in character design to offer many ways to make diverse and entertaining characters, while not requiring fixed classes or levels. It might be a little much for a total novice to get to grips with, but all told a good job.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Karma Roleplaying System Core Rules Book
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review. We hope to introduce more modern and futuristic supplements in the coming months. And there will be plenty more single monster PDFs available so storytellers can pick and chose which monsters they want.
Karma Quick Guide
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Ashley D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/03/2008 20:17:07
Quick introduction to what is actually a pretty good little game. The download however does not include any of the extras listed. Only the 4 page quick reference.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Karma Quick Guide
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Publisher Reply:
Ashley, The other files should appear under your downloads. It is a problem with the RPGNOW interface when you buy a free product. The immediate download only shows the four page main file. However, if you go under your account and check your "recent purchases with download links" the other files should appear there. I did just test it and it worked.
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