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Danger in the Depths, Issue #2
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/23/2011 21:54:03

As the name implies, this module presents the second of a two-part adventure. Conceivably, you could run Issue 2 without having run Issue 1, but the story will make a lot more sense if the PCs have been through the adventure in Issue 1. Originally slated for publication in the 1980s but never released, this adventure takes the superheroes on an undersea voyage to overthrow Queen Shalel, the tyrant who has usurped the throne of the city of Aquina from its rightful occupant, Prince Kalm, who has appealed to the PCs for help. Aquaman and Sub-Mariner fans should enjoy the story considerably. Believe it or not, the module actually includes “wandering monster tables” for use during the heroes’ transit to Aquina. However, these are just mundane sea creatures or “giant” varieties. Cliffe actually punts on creating any exotic undersea monsters; the second random encounter table includes the entry “Unknown,” but the description simply tells the GM to make up something similar to an aquatic dinosaur (no statistics are given).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Danger in the Depths, Issue #2
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Villains and Vigilantes: Enemies at Large
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 22:42:32

Originally slated for publication in 1987, Enemies at Large offers almost three dozen NPCs for Villains and Vigilantes. Several of the villains presented here bear too close a resemblance to familiar comic-book characters (the Wiecks’ Wasp bears an uncanny resemblance to Marvel Comics’ Wasp, except that the Wiecks’s doesn’t shrink, and the Wiecks’s Twister reminds me of Marvel Comics’ Texas Twister), and others are just clichéd (such as a super-viking named, well, Viking). Others are more creative, including the 30 ft. tall Army Ant, the intriguing Darc Warp, and the memory-draining Lethe. Pat Zircher’s illustrations are perfect for the genre; my favorite illustrations—irrespective of the quality of the villain writeups as such—are Couatl, Condor, Gargan, Styx, and Talas Baum. I do think that FGU should try to avoid duplicating character names in products like this; the Matador from Enemies at Large and the Masked Matador from Vigilantes International are easy to confuse.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Enemies at Large
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Villains and Vigilantes: Dawn of DNA
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 22:38:24

There’s fun to be had here—I mean, the adventure has zombies—but the scenario shows its age. Genetics just isn’t as mysterious as it used to be.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Dawn of DNA
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Danger in the Depths, Issue #1
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 22:33:21

A refugee from an undersea kingdom arrives on the beach, dragging your superheroes into an international incident. That’s the basic plot of “Danger in the Depths,” which requires two separate products (Issue 1 and Issue 2) to complete. The story in Issue 1 is fun, and will feel a bit familiar if you’ve read enough Sub-Mariner appearances in Fantastic Four. Whether you like that familiarity or consider the adventure derivative as a result is, of course, up to you. I’m not sure whether the interior maps are scaled as intended; the legends indicate that one square on the maps represents 10 square feet, which would make each square about 3.16 feet per side. This leaves one of the offices, for example, with a couple of couches that are about 3.16 feet long, which seems a bit small.

Issue 1 includes an appendix laying out underwater combat rules for V&V; the appendix alone might be worth the purchase even if you don’t use the adventure as written or you don’t pick up Issue 2. However, Issue 1 does not really stand on its own; the ending is very unsatisfying as a stand-alone adventure, and throughout the adventure assumes that you'll buy and run Issue 2. Breaking the adventure into two separate purchases is, in my estimation, not cool. Back in the 1980s, doing so may have been dictated by printing considerations, but that surely doesn’t apply to PDFs.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Danger in the Depths, Issue #1
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Villains and Vigilantes: Enter the Gene Pool
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/27/2011 13:15:06

This is a fairly straightforward kidnapping-and-rescue adventure with a bit of an interesting twist. The scenario introduces a supervillain team called the Gene Pool, suitable for use as recurring enemies in an ongoing campaign. James Bishop’s illustrations are okay, but don’t reach Jeff Dee quality. The maps, mostly depicting outdoor areas, are fine for their purpose and easy to reuse with or without reskinning. The female supervillains need more practical uniforms; there’s really no reason for Persephone to have bare legs, or for Serenade’s costume (meant to resemble an evening gown) to sweep around behind her to reveal a bikini bottom—never mind the way it gathers around her feet, a design almost guaranteed to trip her up during a fight. I could easily imagine myself using the scenario, but I don’t feel that players would miss much if I didn’t.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Enter the Gene Pool
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Villains and Vigilantes: Crisis at Crusader Citadel
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/27/2011 13:04:38

In case you don’t know, Crisis at Crusader Citadel was one of the first—perhaps the very first—adventure module released for Villains & Vigilantes. I can remember how excited I was when my mail-order copy arrived from Lone Star Comics back in 1983, how much fun I had running the module for my siblings and cousins, and even the enjoyment of coloring in Jeff Dee’s fantastic illustrations. Obviously, I can’t review this product without a huge positive surge of nostalgia. The storyline, designed to be a one-shot for new players using characters they won’t necessarily carry over into a campaign, holds up reasonably well after all this time: a group of new, inexperienced superheroes must rescue the city’s established super-team from a mega-team of bad guys (faced in two waves). Both the NPC heroes and the villains are interesting enough for potential re-use in an ongoing V&V campaign, although somebody ought to tell these folks that they’ll protect their secret identities better if they don’t use their real names as raw materials for their super-names (Carter Manning is Manta-Man; Sheila Brewster is the Shrew; Larry Fredericks is Laser Fire, and so on). Like all of the FGU V&V re-releases, this version includes printable counters for the NPCs and vehicles, but not printable battlemaps on which to use them. The tactical maps of Manning Enterprises could be reused for any similar corporate/industrial complex; the maps of Crusader Citadel might serve as good headquarters/hideout maps for any super-team with sufficient resources to build such a sprawling complex. A few things on the maps make no sense, or come across as silly. They feature the impractical ultra-thin walls common to many modern-era RPG maps, and some rooms seem oversized; even at a place as flush as Manning Enterprises, a 150 sq. ft. janitorial closet (larger than my actual office as a university professor!) seems exaggerated. All in all, this product is more than a fun walk down memory lane; it’s a useful module for V&V or for adaptation to other superhero systems. Just be aware that it’s very much a “new superheroes get to know each other” module, not something you can successfully drop into the middle of an ongoing campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Crisis at Crusader Citadel
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Villains and Vigilantes: Escape from the Micro-Universe
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/24/2011 23:44:17

This fun adventure’s debt to Marvel Comic’s Microverse stories is obvious, but not heavy-handed; the micro-universe in this scenario is no mere clone of Marvel’s. You get an interesting story, new enemies and allies for your heroes, and even a sequel to the primary adventure. As usual with the FGU V&V products, you also get a page full of printable counters to represent NPCs. Even if you don’t play Villains & Vigilantes, you should be able to adapt the storyline to your favorite superhero RPG and have a great time with it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Escape from the Micro-Universe
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Privateers and Gentlemen
by David P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2011 12:55:56

From the short description for this entry you would gather that the Heart of Oak book is not included. However, this is NOT TRUE. The correct list of products included in this package is: Heart of Oak, Character Sheet (2 pages), Charts (6 pages), Promotions and Prizes, Tradition of Victory, box cover image. The ship counters from Heart of Oak, illustrated within the book, are included. Cheers!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Privateers and Gentlemen
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Bunnies And Burrows
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/05/2011 22:46:03

The premier RPG of playing something other than a human or anything humanoid. It is basically "Watership Down" the role-playing game, but there is much more to it than that. It would be disingenious to review it with modern eyes (it is nearly 35 years old now) but it has a very good skill system, and one of the first to be honest. Since the characters are rabbits, there is not much in the way of combat and instead a focus is placed on solving problems and role-playing. It is great that this piece of RPG history can be preserved here and at a fantastic price really.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bunnies And Burrows
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Age of Fighting Sail: Heart of Oak
by Maximilian A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2010 10:01:25

The rules themselves are fantastic, and the sailing system is the best I've seen.

But the reason I rate this product as 1/5 stars is because this PDF book is a scanned copy, and the scan quality is very bad. The text is very blurry, and I strongly urge you to take a look at the preview before deciding whether or not to make the purchase.

I still went ahead and bought it because it's very difficult to get hold of the physical book these days.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Fighting Sail: Heart of Oak
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Age of Fighting Sail: Heart of Oak
by Gregory K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/30/2010 01:06:28

Definitely worth it for the sailing system alone, but dated otherwise, combat needs improving.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bunnies And Burrows
by James H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2010 23:31:45

So pleased to see this game available again. It has been my favourite since I began gaming thirty years ago. It may not appeal to everyone, but those who have read and enjoyed Watership Down will love this game. Now, where did I leave my Badger Pike?!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bunnies And Burrows
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Space Opera: Star Sector Atlas 3: Azuriach Imperium
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2010 07:27:26

More than a little repetitive and refers in places to 'twin worlds' from earlier products without further explanation. Perhaps I'm just cynically less inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the diabolical Master Race and ever-dashing Resistance doggies. Scan is watery on many pages, no bookmarks.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Space Opera: Star Sector Atlas 3: Azuriach Imperium
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Space Opera
by Jeff R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2010 15:18:38

This is not a review but a comment this game is about as old as me and the scan coversion to PDF looks as old as me (40). I realize some one was kind enough to scan it to PDF but I was hoping that it would be a quailty job too. However if your like me and remember either playing the game or seeing it in the Dragon magazine as I did your going to want to buy it anyways. Oh yes Im looking foward to playing this classic. If FGU would have cleaned up the text and modernized it I would have given it a 5/5.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Space Opera
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Space Opera: Star Sector Atlas 1: Terran Sector
by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2010 13:06:11

The Sector Atlases are one of the few things in Space Opera (besides the base rules) that i think were done well. Lots of history, good development of the background some ideas for scenarios and campaigns. It would have been nice if there had actually been some more solid adventure seeds, but with the detailed history of each planet, as well as a layout of the Quadrant as well, i wouldnt really say that it was a big deal.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Space Opera: Star Sector Atlas 1: Terran Sector
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