DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories















Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
The Witch Is Dead
by Tomáš K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2021 04:09:25

Easy to pick and run. Especially great for one-shots at conventions and for those nights when few players skip the game and the rest still want to play something.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witch Is Dead
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

A Very Northern Christmas
by Hans S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2021 09:04:04

SUMMARY: A silly game where everyone is Sean Bean, trying to survive to the end of a low-budget picture while performing every role and crew duty.

ABOUT US: Six players and a forever GM (me), some of whom have improv training. The PC prefer "rules-lite" systems. We play once a week for 2hr.

THE GOOD:

Concept is funny (all Sean Beans). The directed storyline may appeal to some player.

OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT:

Unplayable without rules changes. There are two dice mechanics which seem to contradict one another. One has the GM setting difficulty of rolls, one says to interpret all dice results according to a table. We went with the table in our game. I used clocks to progress each Act (4 clock for Act I, 6 clock for Act 2, 8 clock for Act 3, 6 clock for Act 4, 4 clock for Act 5). A success according to the table would advance the clock. I also added items to help distinguish the Beans from one another, similar to the Amulet. There was a bear-skin rug, "a lot" of varnish, a "hellish" basket, six small bungee cords, and a sad story.

OUR GAME:

Open on Sean Bean putting on gloves and adjusting his beard. The mirror at his dresser then shatters, cutting him severely. The camera and boom are flawlessly recording everything and the scene is so lovingly shot that the crew run out of time and cram all other introductions into the same short scenes. Villain Bean and Mentor Bean share a flashback in which Mentor Bean is berating the youngster (played by adult Bean) for negligence in his duties. Meanwhile, Damsel Bean is a work-aholic and doesn't understand the meaning of Christmas, so Protagonist Bean is trying to win her heart and persuade her that Christmas is a good time.

In Act 2, more scares are needed. Villain Bean gives a sinister Prezi (TM) about how his killer-app will literally kill Santas and he plans to burn down Christmas Village to get it started. His minions (Sean Beans) are badly wounded by malfunctioning equipment. We have another flashback in which Villain Bean didn't get the Krampus (TM) toy he wanted for Christmas, and Mentor Bean tells him to buck up in a pool scene with Pool Noodle (TM) and makeshift sharks.

In Act 3, Protagonist Bean rescues Damsel Bean from the tank of makeshift sharks, but the shoddy sharks damage Damsel Bean's period-accurate costume and wound this Bean in the process. There is a power overload in the studio and the Beans find a Honda (TM) generator which they can use to restore power. They have inordinate difficulty getting the generator going, and end up accidentally filming another film crew without their consent, but luckily one of the Crew Beans has a 9-pack and can distract them.

Act 4, more slapstick is needed. The crew add a scene in which historic comedians Laurel and Hardy and Groucho Marx (played by Beans) bust through a wall in the style of Kool-Aid Man (TM) to assist Protagonist Bean in writing his love letter to Damsel Bean.

Act 5, more action is needed. Damsel Bean turns down Protagonist Bean. Heartbroken, he confronts Villain Bean, who has a flamethrower ready to start burning the village. He seems powerless against such a weapon, but Mentor Bean tells him that "the Christmas Spirit has been in you all along", triggering a transformation into a Christmas Megazord (TM pending) which empowers him to destroy villain bean.

Epilogue: The Beans chose their deaths. One Bean got overconfident in his ability to survive a movie, and died his true death by choking on his Coffee (TM) in the next film, a third of the way through the script. One Bean walked into the ocean, finally overcoming his fear of sharks. He is killed by a snapping turtle. One Bean fights a bear hand-to-hand and meets his demise, inspiring a copycat Bean to do the same. One Bean walks off into the sunset and is never seen again. The last Bean has a private funeral for himself.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
A Very Northern Christmas
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Goblin Punks
by Hans S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2021 11:53:46

SUMMARY: A silly game that has some issues with storytelling because it is too easy to get critical successes.

ABOUT US: Six players and a forever GM (me), some of whom have improv training. The PC prefer "rules-lite" systems. We play once a week for 2hr.

THE GOOD: Goblins are comic by design. The random table has a nice variety of plot hooks. The slang idea is interesting, but feeds into the opportunities for improvement, as it makes it even easier to inflate the dice pools.

OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT: The central storytelling mechanism of most RPGs is the uncertainty around a dice roll. In this instance, you take the single highest value of multiple dice, which are very easy to add to the pool. The chance of seeing one six (Crit Success) on 1D6 is 16.6% but once you add a die to the pool, the chance of a crit success increases to 30.5% on most rolls. Allowing the players to easily get crit successes is ok if you want the players to dictate the entire story, but IMO failures and setbacks are what make a story interesting or amusing.

OUR GAME: It's the day of the science fair at Azhog Jr High School for Goblins, and our misfit goblins have forgotten (again). In a school assembly, they are reminded of the need to humiliate a rival kobold school, and warned that superscience kobolds will be hard to beat. They are also ordered to report any suspicious occurrences, as bad kobolds might try to cause mischief. While later trying to persuade their school advisor that waterboarding their fellow goblin to explore the "limits of goblin endurance", their idea is met with tears of enthusiasm and a full endorsement, followed by a slammed door, the sounds of bottles uncorking, and muttering.

Our heroes decide that the school's Wolf-mascot costume is critical to their efforts and try to get the groundskeeper to let them into the locker room. But, the groundskeeper has spotted some kobold mischief himself, and wanders off instead (the first time a failure is rolled). One of the goblins suddenly remembers that he's incognito the scool mascot (the identity is kept a secret) and knows where the costume is kept, though they will need to break into the storage closet. On the way, they trip the superscience kobolds to sabotage their dynamo project, and they also draw moustaches on the statues in the hall of heroes to frame up the mischief-making kobolds and get them tossed from the competition.

Rolling (yet another) crit success to get into the closet, the goblins get in nice and quiet and make off with the costume, setting up in front of the fountain in the central courtyard. While asking "What's the safe w---" they ram a hose down the throat of "Snobgoblin", their rich friend. As he thrashes and kicks, (another) crit success has one of the judges spy their antics and start raving about their recreation of "archeo-choreography" from ancient goblin times.

Meanwhile, the goblins take another opportunity to sabotage the hastily-patched together kobold dyno and make their way to the school laboratories, where they encounter the bad kobolds with an unknown cauldron of boiling material. They offer some grog but the kobolds refuse, as it's "uncool" to drink underage (2/2 failures for the entire game). Instead, the goblins attack, throwing a trained sparrow into the eye of the biggest "thuggiest" kobold. In the confusion, another goblin flails around with his baseball bat and the kobolds are subdued. The kobolds dump the cauldron into the sewer "in a responsible goblin way" and get the school security officer to have the bad kobolds put away to do time in "juvenile hell".

At the awards ceremony, the enthusiastic judge gives the goblins another encomium for their performance piece and asks for a re-creation, which Snobgoblin re-creates effortlessly, starting a new fad and winning the affection of the homecoming princess.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Goblin Punks
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Honey Heist
by Hans S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2021 07:18:02

SUMMARY: A silly game where failures are usually as silly and interesting as successes. The bear's misconceptions about what humans are like is central to the comedy.

ABOUT US: Six players and a forever GM (me), some of whom have improv training. The PC prefer "rules-lite" systems. We play once a week for 2hr.

THE GOOD:

  1. Bear types are rolled and are distinct from one another with powers. You could extend the table with a little creativity for larger groups.
  2. Failures are interesting and the stress track is used frequently.
  3. Quick prep. I read the rules, drew some story cards, and was ready to play the game in 30min all together.

OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT:

  1. Relies heavily on player creativity. Shy players and those slower to improv will contribute less to the story. Note: this cannot be corrected in a one-page RPG. This is what you are signing up for.
  2. Larger tables could be useful. I had some players re-roll many times trying to get unique bears and hats.

OUR GAME: Honeycon 2020. Held on the pier of Bayport Harbor, the bears have gotten it into their heads that Carmen, the bee-queen costumed mascot of Codger's Honey is an actual giant bee and plan to abduct her for the honey payout. The megahoney, to be awarded to the winner of the BBQ contest, is being held in a safe inside Wolf's Bar and Grill.

The bears manage to crash through the fence with a stolen van and disperse into the public. They find giant panda mascot heads as prizes in a throwing-game booth, which they use as disguises. Ironically, the panda accidentally shreds his fake head while attempting to disguise himself, but humans "can't tell the difference anyhow". After successfully flirting with a drunk using approximate human speech, one of the bears learns that the megahoney is in a safe in the back of the bar. While some bears do some coordinated choreography to distract the barkeep, the thief sneaks into the back and effortlessly cracks the safe, but forgets her disguise and the barkeep recognizes her trying to exit while holding the jar, which is straight outta Winnie.

With security hot on their heels, the bears need a distraction, and end up terrorizing the judges at the BBQ tent, drawing heat off the driver (who now has stolen an ice-cream truck). Meanwhile, the other bears are -ahem- escorting Carmen from the clapboard castle where she has been getting ready for the awards ceremony, after their attempt at "diplomacy" fails. The badger discovers a great big red button on the control panel near the stage and figures out that it launches the fireworks, igniting a fire and facilitating a clean getaway.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Honey Heist
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Heart: The City Beneath
by Jerry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2020 10:13:34

So, once I came around to actually giving it a shot (coming from a position that Blades in the Dark was all I´d ever need), I was a huge fan of SPIRE everent brit-comic style of fantasy paired with worldbuilding that feels like putting your mouth over a high-pressure hose full of brilliant idea-snippets; it´s more than you can drink down in one go and trying might be both foolish and hazardous to your health, but DAMMIT IF YOU DON´T WANT TO.

The metaphor might have run away with me there, admittedly. And I should really be talking about the spiritual sequel-game, HEART: THE CITY BENEATH, given that it is the game I am supposed to review here.

If you are a fan of SPIRE for reasons given above, it is more of the same. If not, you really should be. HEART takes us below the Spire, into the mad, surreal spaces below. Basically, it is a dungeon delve that manages to up the ante from SPIRE with even more deliciously messed up characters than its´ predecessor. I want to talk about my favorite classes, but they tend to change with every flip-through. Currently, I am dying to play a Vermissian Knight - a knightly protector of an ill-advised transdimensional metro network built by the light elves above and hooked up to the mysterious Heart for a power source, and... then things went bad. The Knight stomps around in heavy armor made out of weird train parts and can walk the surreal Vermissian rail-network as a pathfinder and protector.

Or maybe you´d prefer to play someone who hollowed out their body, filled it with magical bees and are now a wandering hive bursting with magical honey? It´s in there too.

The book is beautiful, a huge step up (even if SPIRE looked pretty good, this is a work of art), the organisation is very clear and the writing is delightful. One of the prizes of my collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heart: The City Beneath
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Nice Marines
by J.W. d. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2020 01:34:41

I took my players into this game blind, just told them they were playing Space Marines and threw them in the final minutes of the battle freeing the planet, then I sprung the trap and watched them try to wrap their heads around playing a comedic civil development game, in which a Spacemarine tried to play matchmaker for a local Prince and a Nun, with all the collateral damage you'd expect.

Throw this game the suggested price, you'll get an evening of laughter out of it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nice Marines
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Spire
by Joseph C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2019 21:02:47
Spire is hands down my favorite RPG to date. The rules are simple and based very much in a story-forward type of style. It's easy to learn and master. However, the world, the art, the whole book, it is all dripping in personality and depth. Spire perfectly subverts the narratives that have plagued the drow for most of DnD history. Instead you are meant to humanize them, be one of them, and fight for them. This game is also willing to not pull any punches when it comes to the depiction of colonialism and revolution. Each character class is evocative, steeped in the lore of Spire. It makes it easy to get into and not just be a "generic fighter". Instead you are a Knight of the North Docks, a swashbuckling knight who uses bravado and quests to further their goals. That is just one class of the many that this book contains. Cons wise, there are very few. The main issues are the equipment tags, which can feel very bloated at times, and possibly the Azurite class. That class felt somewhat generic compared to the rest of the amazing options. This book is beautiful, and reading the entire thing is quite a treat. I recommend it whole heartedly to anyone who plays RPGS.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spire
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Honey Heist
by Johnathan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2019 11:11:53

A gamee that shows that an RPG does not have to be complex to be enjoyable. I have run this game twice now, and it has been alot of fun both times. Character creation is very simple and easy. This is a great distraction for a group wanting something different during a large campaign, or just looking to have a few hours of fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Honey Heist
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Pride & Extreme Prejudice
by Ryan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2018 14:07:44

We played a mini campaign with this and had a great time. It's a remarkably efficient piece of game design that has just enough mechanic to make it feel like a game and to shape the play to emulate Austen. We used different colored note cards for each of the sisters to declare their actions so that it was clear when we were trying to blindly determine order. That the same mechanic is used to resolve mech combat and social maneuvering works very well. Well done!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pride & Extreme Prejudice
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

One Last Job
by Frederic H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2018 07:47:31

Sadly the entire PDF is poorly layouted. Looks like MS Word. :(



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
One Last Job
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Codex of the Deep Spire
by Andy R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2018 13:31:35

Happy with my purchase. It's a little lean - but the content is solid. Introduces several weird and unsettling elements for use with the Spire. There's several pieces of fiction, hints of spooky stuff, and some stuff that will make excellent handouts. I might have preferred a little more crunch, but what there is (in the form of some new extra advances) is good quality. The Katakos Delver in particular has a lot of potential - if anything I'd have been interested to see more about this concept and the robotic husks it introduces.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Codex of the Deep Spire
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Honey Heist
by John H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2018 16:28:06

We were given a copy of this game to play at PAX when we had too many players for the Indie RPG Showcase. I was the Game Master, and our crew was ready to perform the heist within minutes of sitting at a table. Rolling up characters only took a minute or two, as the game's rule system was very simple. A few randomly determined character traits, two attributes and maybe a total of 6 die rolls for the GM to set the scene.

If you're going to play this game, it helps a lot to have a player, or players who can carry play forward, as there is not much structure and it's very freeform. After waiting a few minutes for me to sketch out the location for Honeycon, the players stared at each other blankly until one person took the initiative and kicked things off.

After that, we rolled on for almost three hours, laughing at the ridiculous things we were all up to. Fiasco comes to mind a bit, as our crew barely made it to the end through all kinds of mischief.

The atmosphere of the game depends a bit on the GM, but mostly on the players. We had some hard-bitten bears who vowed to never forget "Be(a)rlin," as well as some more wacky bears who just wanted to cause some mayhem and get some honey.

In short, the game works. If you have a funny crew, or want to get your family to play an RPG without the overhead of traditional RPGs, that can be as lighthearted as you want, I would choose this one.

Also, as the GM- definitely take a minute to plan out Honeycon a bit, it does wonders. Create a few characters, or even a convention schedule so that the decisions the players make have more to effect. For example, my players waited until halfway through the day to even get to the con- they missed out on a LOT of free honey. But don't worry, they made up for it in the end.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Honey Heist
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Spire
by Kyle W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2018 07:20:28

Disclaimer: I backed Spire’s Kickstarter campaign.

Spire is a fantasy-punk (for lack of a better genre) roleplaying game designed by Grant Howitt and Christopher Taylor. The game is beautifully dark, focusing on cadres of drow forming resistance cells against high elf (aelfir) authoritarians ruling the titular Spire.

Ultimately, some of the difficulty of adequately reviewing Spire is the complexity of its narrative and the problem with putting it into words without stripping away the wonder and joy of a first experience with the setting. Spire’s setting is wonderfully complex, a thinking person’s setting with both massive systemic struggles between authority and resistance and small personal battles on every front.

Every part of the world feels interconnected, but each has its own distinctive feel to it. Reality around Spire is warped and distorted, and the world’s pantheons are innumerable. The result is a setting with surreal elements that does not overwhelm. Familiar tropes and conventions are played with, ignored, subverted, deconstructed, and played straight in ways that encourage explorers of Spire to find themselves in sublime and beautiful places.

All of this happens in a world that feels so deep you will have a hard time believing that Spire is as short a document as it is (and plans for future content are out there). Character creation builds the setting; characters are tied into their struggle with the choice of durance, a sort of indentured labor to the aelfir. The advancement is class-based, but the experience is far different from what you would find with D&D.

Rather, classes advance largely in a narrative fashion. Advance occur when characters accomplish acts of changing the world (for better or for worse; unintended consequences are a pivotal point in the game). Each advancement can come with a direct impact on the character’s attributes, but almost all come with more significant story-related consequences.

The core mechanic is complicated enough to allow characters to feel quite diverse; a player rolls a number of d10’s based on how skilled they are (minus a penalty for very difficult action), and want to receive the highest result possible to avoid taking stress.

The result is a system that feels incredibly natural and smooth to play. Not only is success instantly recognized (without having to consult any references to tables or mathematics), the system actively creates a healthy amount of risk to any dangerous action.

This is a game that’s fun to play, easy to learn, and gets out of the way of the storytelling when it needs to. The writing is sublime, and the art creates a mood and tone that is, to my knowledge, unrivaled in any other tabletop roleplaying game. The designers suggest looking to Fallen London or Sunless Sea for inspiration, but I feel that Spire has surpassed its inspirations and source material.

This game is a work of art. I have reviewed hundreds of games, and only rarely have I been able to make that statement wholeheartedly. It is one of very few games I can suggest without reservation. It is worth every cent of its price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spire
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Spire
by Nick P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2018 01:57:59

Excellent game! Beautiful writing and solid game design.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
One Last Job
by Misha H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2016 18:53:59

This game is quick, it's easy to learn, there's just enough mechanical heft to it for there to be both thematic and mechanical choices for the players (without having many rules they have to learn), and the game's style is brilliant. Best of all, character creation is a part of emergent gameplay, so there's no early step as everyone tries to familiarize themselves with their sheet and abilities.

One of the best one-shot systems I've ever seen.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
One Last Job
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 15 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates