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Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
Publisher: Dying Stylishly Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2016 21:35:17

I cannot believe no one has written anything about this amazing little gem. Well, since no one else is tripping over themselves to do it, Ill give it a try. Quick version... just get the thing. If you have to have a few good reasons to get into something, then lets proceed to the Long version.


This is yet another of a long line of 'retro-clones' of everyones favorite fantasy classic rpg. That means you probably already know most of the mechanics involved. Now what I think is fun is if one where to get a couple of retro-clones and just kind of... crosspolinated them. Imagine this awesome Ice Age rpg engine (it literally writes itself out... plotting groups and caves and monster-types even 'unnaturalness'.) and Silent Legions (a do-it-yourself Lovecroftian toolkit of a retroclone). Since they use compatible mechanics, it easy to borrow one from another.


Now I kind of peaked my hand in this whimsical 'what you can do with retro-clones' moment, but W&W is very different from the pack. It easily lays out an Ice Age existence from which to rp from. It is easy enough to play this out either straight historic or fantatical with 'serpent people' and an awesome magic system based on the mystic hermic shaman traditions. It just doesnt tell you how to make a character and play out a small scenario and then a sign 'pay money to go from here'. This book is a complete work onto itself. Its art is perhaps sparce, though evocative, sillohettes. Any sourcebook added to it would be full of hopefully as well thought out options.


This is the first book for this company and it is a very strong offering. I will definitely take a strong look at anything they publish. I dont give fives often, but for being 'PWYW' and this spot on with the content there really was no other choice.


So if you picked the Long version, here is what we like to call the conclusion. Pick up this lovely addition to anyones library. Even if you never play an Ice Age retro-clone game (an really, who hasnt thought of such before) the insights could easily mix into a more modern setting as a wonderfully spiritual urban primative sourcebook.


Just download it and leave a tip in the jar so they might give us something else almost as goood as this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wolf-packs and Winter Snow
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Shadowplans - Pack #2 [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Shadowplans
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/12/2016 00:12:44

This is a great product, but this second Map Pack was nowhere near as well organized as the first one. Because of this I had to knock off a star. Sorry.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowplans - Pack #2 [BUNDLE]
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Andrew, Thanks for the feedback! As I uploaded these products all individually I think I failed to consider the file footprint when trying to download all of them at once. The first pack was a single product containing all 10 maps so it\'s just 3 archives. This caused some confusion, with some double purchases here and there between the pack and the singles. To combat this I\'m using the site standard Bundle this time around, which means 10 individual products each with their archives, which I can imagine would be quite a lot more files and ended up quite disorganized. I\'ve gone through the products and reduced each to just 2 archives per product with consistent folder/file naming (one for PDF\'s, one for JPGs), so a total of 12. Hopefully that will be a lot more reasonable. If you have any other ideas, suggestions or comments that you think would improve this or any other aspect of the product please let me know.
Justice Wheels #6 Hexarcana [ICONS]
Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2016 10:25:04

This is my favorite of this series. I have the entire run. I liked their take on vehicle rules an the whole set is great as illustrated examples of the simplified rules. They even feature a chart cross referencing different forms of escape and pursuit. Its perfect, when you think about it. Then there is this #6 issue.


Hexarcana ,of course, reminds me of a paticular hellish biker from the movies, which is great. Out of the entire Justice wheels set, I would most likely play her right out of the box. If anything about this series peaks your interest buy this episode, the vehicle rules are packed in the back. You will have my favorite of the set to look over and see if the rest are worth collecting. (I thought so, and Im stingy.) If you decide not, you invested only one dollar and still have a kick but antihero biker chick with a nice set of rules for vehicles in your ICONS game. Trust me, either way you do not lose.


For the price and what it gives you this product has earned every star I have given it. I cant give it five because... lets face it... its not an opera or anything. I have to save something for the next Divine Comedy: the RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Justice Wheels #6 Hexarcana [ICONS]
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Iconic Legends: Gan Astral Knight
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/20/2016 14:14:27

I have to quantify this review with a simple revelation about my tastes. I hate these tiny one character releases. Id rather buy a large book for more money with more characters. If its ICONS I still buy them, though, because I like to keep up on all things ICONS. I grumble about it to myself, though.


The one exception to this resentment of mine is Rogue Genius Games Iconic Legends series. The art is great. The characters are well done. They interweave and create a feel of classic Marvel comics... though with the serial numbers filed off you can tinker with them more before offending anyone. These are quality releases on every level.


Now for my one complaint about this series. There are so many more of them still only in Mutants & Masterminds statistics only. Please convert more of them into ICONS I would buy every one without hesitation like the Recluse and others. You could use this formula for larger releases rather than just one character at a time... maybe one about a whole school of children cursed with awesome... thier guaridans, some students and teachers, thier grounds and security, thier top secret VTOL plane. You know what I mean...


I hope to see a lot more of this series in my favorite system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Iconic Legends: Gan Astral Knight
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Generic Fantasy Map
Publisher: dicegeeks.com
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2016 11:04:12

Like the others, I cannot download the map. So I will repeat again my problems until I make 50 characters. Is this enough?



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Generic Fantasy Map
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Publisher Reply:
Sorry! I\'m not sure what happened. I updated the files and it is being looked at by support.
111 fantasy maps (lowres)
Publisher: Megaton Games
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2015 07:36:38

The resolution of these maps is so low as to barely make them usable. There is a legend included, but the maps are so blurred by the time you expand them to see something, its a digital smudge. The examples in the text of this game are better resolution than they are if you look for them in this bundle. Good thing they cost about a penny a map.


Because of the price, I cant complain past that. A have a pretty good collection of maps already, though. Im not sure Ill be using these.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
111 fantasy maps (lowres)
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Andrew! The maps should be exactly the same resolution/quality as the ones shown on the product page. If anyone else experienced any problems we\'d be happy to know! Please send us an e-mail: info(at)megatongames.com Please note that some mobile devices (tablets etc) might show the images in a bad way.
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2015 09:20:34

This book feels unfinished. Especially when compared to Dr. Tondros Field Guides to Superheroes. Concepts end in the middle of pages. Not every archetype has a picture. The archetype examples do not have any names, just stats hanging at the end of each article. For example one under 'Cosmic Menace' looks like a shark composed of stars and nebula gases like a more animalistic Galactus which doesnt look like a giant guy wearing a pointy helment. I guess you could call it... 'the Cosmic Menace' or 'the Galactic Shark' or 'Jax, the Eater of Stars'.


I think his Kickstarter program reached the levels to trigger making the 'Youverse' and the double lengthed expert edition and so they just left this book on its final edits. "We'll cover the rest of this stuff in the delux edition," they no doubt told themselves. The problem is you can feel this rushed incompleteness. If this product peaks your interest, you should probably wait for the double the pages at double the price deluxe edition.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
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Publisher Reply:
Andrew sorry you were disappointed hit me up at mikelaff at gmail dot com and I\'ll refund your full purchase price.
ICONS: Gamemaster Screen
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2015 21:55:57

I had downloaded the newest version which is supposed to be compatible with the assembled edition. Just recently I found a typo about the dice rolled. I went back to see if there is a correction, and there isn't. Its kind of major. The test resolution roll is made with (power + d6) - (difficulty + d6) = effort. On the GM screen, though, it says (power + d6) - (difficulty + 6) = effort. That skews the whole result an every roll made by five points and not in the player's direction. That's half the chart.


I kind of heavily modify my GM chart, so its not noticable to me. I can use a highlight with the correction. It could be distracting or completely game crashing to a newbie.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Gamemaster Screen
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Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2015 15:08:22

I have to agree with most of what Winston C. has posted before me, but I would have to add more.


This series of 'A World of Adventure for Fate Core' books are all just frame works. They arent meant to be used as the whole shabang. I remember a lot of people were upset with the superhero one they released not long ago along this same basis. These are supposed to be teasers to get your own story going. They are 'This is a neat thing we did with Fate Core, if you like it, use it' stuff.


I would agree that such a story centered on a prison would not appeal to me unless a zombie apocalypse or something even more grindhouse was knocking on the gates outside. I also see why they mentioned avoiding certain tropes, because these are the tired old goings on which make it in every prison type movie and color your perceptions. So this product kind of says... 'while that stuff is going on, the real story is here... after all of that.' We are talking about Fate Core, which is inheriently cinematic so we have the flexibility for such.


This isnt as cool as The Secret of Cats (definite 5), but it isnt hard to imagine an interesting way to use this kind of scenario. The easiest way to show how this could all be very useful is to picture an episode of 'The Walking Dead' and that prison they encountered. This could act as the map and prisoner social structure before everything fell apart. I know, this is supposed to be the fifties, but in the deep south a lot of stuff can look like it came from the fifties.


Do not pass any of this series. They are all solid books and this one is no exception. It all adds up together with other Fate based material. Imagine using this scene within the Dresdenverse.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Silent Legions
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2015 18:30:20

I cannot believe no one has written a review on this book yet.


First off some background. Sine Nomine Publishing has released some very high quality works. They generally favor an old school D&D mechanic to thier books, which makes them easy to understand. No complicated and totally new lists of rules or anything like that. If you remember the basics of first edition D&D then you know the basics of this companies releases. Instead of giving you a system and just a setting, which almost any starting level rpg game book does, the Sine Nomine Publishing way is to lighten up on the established setting and simply pave the way before you with lists of everything you could need to sustain a long term 'sandbox' campaign. This is how Stars Without Numbers and other core books have been laid out.


Now what are the advantages of such a strategy. Instead of a complicated, detailed, or unique system taking up half the text which you have to puzzle through you can, with the right background, just pick this up and play. This means this system easily translates to M&M or even something more abstract, like ICONS, pretty easily. Then instead of having to read tons of material to glean whatever gems you might use for your own story, you can use the bulk of the material to roll up or chose practically on the fly from a viritual tool kit of Lovecroftian tropes. Isn't that brilliant?


This book has the general premesis, the very simple rules with some specific mechanics like Madness, Deleria, and Sorcery, everything you need to build your own Lovecroft-style Mythos, general setting Tags, Cult assets, a nice little Bestiary. How many times has someone in game described a tongued puff-ball headed monstrocity or made that buzzing sound and someone in the group shouts matter-of-factly "Mi-Go". With this book you never have to worry about that happening. Your games can still carry the gravity of dark cosmic themes but make them your own with plenty of support to help you get started and keep the momentum of the story running. You could not find a better resource for this kind of genre game than this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Legions
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Modernity (Fate Edition)
Publisher: Glacier Peak Games
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2014 22:00:22

I bought this product for the original $19.99 price tag. It was kind of steep, but it seemed to have a lot of what I wanted and seemed to have a very slick, professional presentation. Which were all good reasons to purchase this product. Now this is a solid product. It has a definite Wizards of the Coast quality. It expands the Fate Core rules a bit. It is loaded with a wonderfully almost World of Darkness-esque quality. This is a very interesting mix.


Now for the negative, which will explain why I ranked this only a 3 of 5. If you own Fate Core, if this product interests you you probably have it, this book is a very large republishing of the Fate Core rules. Now for $20, this means half of the price I paid was for rules I already have with a few terms refurbished. Now for $10, others posting behind me can just assume they got that half for free and the price they paid covered exclusively the new material. So the very next post may be at least a dot higher, but for me... every time I see this product I think of that.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Modernity (Fate Edition)
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Seeker the Role Playing Game
Publisher: Vajra Enterprises
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2014 22:52:53

I will be writing a more detailed opinion than this one. I just bought this an hour or so ago and I cannot put it down. This company has really thought out its material. I found the book Hoodoo Blues, and though I was impressed I wanted a few more 'classes' to make it more human. These Seekers fit the bill perfectly.


First off, the illustrations were sparce and not the best, as another reviewer said just before me. The cover art is included as a seperate download. Which is fine for me. I was impressed with that one. That is really the only thing I have bad to say about this book. If you are looking for content, though, this is a wonderfully deep read.


Every part of the book has a quick summary. So if you are looking for something you dont have to just read everything to fill in one detail in the middle of a game. The system is flexible and universal. The premesis is fun and interesting. This is for a RPG with a deeper meaning... like a Kung Fu or Touched by an Angel kind of story. I will try and write a more detailed and organized break down of my reactions soon.


Both this product and Hoodoo Blues (think old World of Darkness in the deep south) only cost about five dollars. This is a very reasonable investment for the background and thorough mechanics which are laid out to enhance the gaming experience and roleplaying. There is a free version of thier Tibet game on RPGNow which is very interesting as well. This company makes something special... products which make you think and feel so genuine.


Ill add more details soon.


Peace.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Seeker the Role Playing Game
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FCBD Super-Special 2014 (ICONS)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2014 21:06:20

I cannot believe this book hasnt been reviewed yet. Well, if Im going to be the first, let me tell you know. Just pick up this awesome free book. No? Want a reason to do so. Not sure you want to junk up your computer with free junk. Well, let me give you more reassurance.


This book is very well done. The art and layout are superb. The story if fun and light. It takes six superhero characters from different worlds for a nearly 30 page crossover issue. An interdimensional tyrant (who reminds me of Apopcalypse) snatches them up for his own Mortal Kombat style arena games. Just imagine that simple story done well by one of the Big Guys... DC or Marvel. Epic, if you ask me.


Now Im going to break it down even further. This story is well delivered and well written, a collaboration of several very talented writers who are highlighted in articles at the end. This product is free... a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. It is available in three systems, I am assuming the three worlds from which these characters are taken. These systems include the ICONS system (my personal favorite), M&M 3rd edition (a nice system), and Supers (which I know nothing about). This means that if you want to, you can aquire multiple systems and use it as cliffnotes on converting one system into another. Game mechanics are highlighted in red making them easy to compare with each other. Seven characters are detailed at the end. Two of them I had stats for, but the others I assume are converts from M&M and Supers. So that means I got four really good character stat layouts.


I feel like I will be insulting my dear reader's intelligence to continue. This book is a gem and it is for free. There are comparable products on this site which charge you a dollar for one character's stat layout... one character, two pictures, a bit of character history, thats about it. All of that for one dollar. Comparrable modules under the ICONS system usually seem to average about five dollars each. They do not even guilt trip you with that "Pay What Your Heart Tells You To" options. They dont ask for any money, just maybe read the articles at the end to learn more about the writers and try to enjoy the free superhero action responsibly. Why even think about it anymore? Pick up this wonderful freebie and start a crossover of your own in your gaming group.


Happy belated Free Comic Book Day.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FCBD Super-Special 2014 (ICONS)
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FCBD Super-Special 2014 (MnM3e)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2014 21:06:12

I cannot believe this book hasnt been reviewed yet. Well, if Im going to be the first, let me tell you know. Just pick up this awesome free book. No? Want a reason to do so. Not sure you want to junk up your computer with free junk. Well, let me give you more reassurance.


This book is very well done. The art and layout are superb. The story if fun and light. It takes six superhero characters from different worlds for a nearly 30 page crossover issue. An interdimensional tyrant (who reminds me of Apopcalypse) snatches them up for his own Mortal Kombat style arena games. Just imagine that simple story done well by one of the Big Guys... DC or Marvel. Epic, if you ask me.


Now Im going to break it down even further. This story is well delivered and well written, a collaboration of several very talented writers who are highlighted in articles at the end. This product is free... a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. It is available in three systems, I am assuming the three worlds from which these characters are taken. These systems include the ICONS system (my personal favorite), M&M 3rd edition (a nice system), and Supers (which I know nothing about). This means that if you want to, you can aquire multiple systems and use it as cliffnotes on converting one system into another. Game mechanics are highlighted in red making them easy to compare with each other. Seven characters are detailed at the end. Two of them I had stats for, but the others I assume are converts from M&M and Supers. So that means I got four really good character stat layouts.


I feel like I will be insulting my dear reader's intelligence to continue. This book is a gem and it is for free. There are comparable products on this site which charge you a dollar for one character's stat layout... one character, two pictures, a bit of character history, thats about it. All of that for one dollar. Comparrable modules under the ICONS system usually seem to average about five dollars each. They do not even guilt trip you with that "Pay What Your Heart Tells You To" options. They dont ask for any money, just maybe read the articles at the end to learn more about the writers and try to enjoy the free superhero action responsibly. Why even think about it anymore? Pick up this wonderful freebie and start a crossover of your own in your gaming group.


Happy belated Free Comic Book Day.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FCBD Super-Special 2014 (MnM3e)
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Iron Bay Megatropolis
Publisher: Louis E Danhoff - AHC
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2014 14:09:09

I have been dying for some new ICONS material. So I had to snatch up this newest addition. I rated this as a 3/5, but to me this is a good rating. It means you are getting what you paid for... though it didnt really blow up my skirt or anything.


Im going to start with what I like about this product. The setting is interesting. If you want an original superhero setting which doesnt feel like the West Coast or some kind of Metropolis/Gothum City/New York mixture then this product will work well for you. It gives a detailed lay out of the city including story hooks, set pieces, institutions, a very nice map, etc. It has a lot of homage characters like a Lois Lane-type, a Black Widow-type, a couple of Captain America-types, even a Nick Fury-type without an eyepatch. The last one even comes with a tricked out 'spy hunter' style car. They pack a lot into these 80 pages or so.


Now Ill talk about what I didnt like about this product. The art work was kind of graining or scribbly. This isnt bad, I got the general idea of what the character looked like and such, but a little more artistic 'shabang' and a bit of editing would go a long way towards another point on the scale.


Another complaint of mine is that the setting felt so 'classical'. Most ICONS products have a slick Silver Age style. My own personal style is more Bronze or functional. Like in the various comic book movies, the costumes are usually more functional and darker colored. Usually with a matching trench coat. Some of the villians felt like they would fit into my campaign. Iron Bay uses costume styles of the Golden Age. Costumes are colorful and garish with split color schemes. This is a minor gripe, at most.


I would have to say the ICONS mechanics felt... splattered together. This book was first released in MM3rd... so much can be lost in translation, I guess. ICONS is about elegance. Why have fifty points on a character sheet to track down when maybe less then a dozen would work? Minimalism is the key word with determination and stunts used for wiggle room. ICONS is dynamic... more about the rp process then using an extensive list of lists to keep track of everything. Im not sure the writer understands this and just used a table or two to convert retooled D&D into a FATE/FASERIP hybrid. For example, every Specialty doesnt need to be Expert level. The Abilities are designed as skill conglomerations. For example... one doesnt need a Listen skill to listen... they just roll Awareness. So if half the characters has over a dozen Expert level Specialties, then the Abilities arent doing what they are supposed to. Also odd notes were included on some characters which could have easily been reflected as Qualities or Challenges.


Take heart. This is the first converted supplement for this product line. It is my hope they work out a bit more on general delivery and illustrations as well as nailing down the ICONS system a bit more. I have faith and will buy more of thier ICONS products. Even if they dont improve, they give enough to cover what they promise. So either way I feel AHC is a safe bet.


My last note is more for RPGNow. This product is not listed under Rule System ICONS. I scan this site weekly for the newest ICONS releases. I would hate for someone else out there who is jonesing for new ICONS products who didnt happen to click on this product might miss it. Some customers who are looking for exactly this product arent able find it unless you can straighten this out. That would be a loss for everyone involved.


Thanks for reading this rather long review. I hope AHC comes out with more ICONS products which are well tagged and make them money. ICONS is a wonderfully simple and functional system. I hope they release more material for it. I promise to voraciously buy anything they put out. Peace.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Bay Megatropolis
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