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Hearts of Wulin
by Shane M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2022 18:06:14

This is easily one of my favourite games of the last few years, and every time I've played it has been an absolute blast. It does such a good job with both the action/combat and romantic/dramatic sides of play, separately and together - I can't think of another game I've played where every fight felt so personal, as well as dangerous and thrilling. Although I haven't run it (yet), I have enthusiastically stolen its ideas for other games, including the brilliant collection of scenario starters and specific mechanics, like Entanglements - a way to set up difficult romantic and other relationships at the start of play, one of the best approaches to setting up those connections that I've come across. I'm not very familiar with the genre and would not have guessed I'd enjoy a wuxia game this much, so I really recommend this to everyone - it's that good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hearts of Wulin
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The Between: Season 2
by Daniel Q. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2022 17:04:29

All great additions to the Between. We just wrapped up David Morrison's the St. Petersburg Mirror. The relic mirror is now in the hands of our Mother character and Madam Sorokin is now an allied side character of immense psychic power. Theodora better watch out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between: Season 2
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The Between
by Sarah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2022 12:22:38

The Between is easily my favorite game of the last year. It’s laser-focused. It’s a game that knows intimately what it is, and delivers on its every promise: satisfying investigative play, and dark, dramatic stories about morally complex characters in Victorian London. Between the playbooks and the unscene, there is theme and atmosphere here in spades.

The Between’s emergent mystery resolution system–shared by the equally fantastic Brindlewood Bay–allows for almost endless replayability. I’ve run and played the recommended campaign starter threat, The St. James Street Ghost, a handful of times now, with radically different investigations and solutions each time. I’d gladly run and play it many times more (although with the breadth of new official content coming out for this game, alongside the thriving player-driven content community around it, I won’t have to).

The way threats are presented packs a real punch: each threat sheet provides a solid base for improvisational, collaborative play, with everything you need to adapt to whichever direction the players decide to take the investigation. The GM tools codified throughout the game’s design will actively make you a better GM. I can’t recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
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The Between: Season 2
by Julius S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2022 18:39:09

In addition to the previous The Between content, The Between: Season 2 offers a new hunter and new threats, and even a new mastermind (I didn't even finish with Theodora Brathwaite yet, but nvm ^^). What more could you wish and ask for. It adds new content as well as new layers to the whole stories you can tell with The Between.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between: Season 2
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Brindlewood Bay
by aymeric b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/10/2022 04:43:48

I had the opportunity to get the holiday version, and I immediately bought the classic version. It's simple clear and concise and only 40 pages. The game has completely convinced me and I can't wait to test it, it will probably be my first game played in 2022. Merci beaucoup :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
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Brindlewood Bay: Holiday Edition
by Graham R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2022 15:47:43

Brindlewood Bay is very smart and very enjoyable game. It is the first of The Gauntlet's games to present their Mystery Mechanic; a geniune innovation in the way that roleplaying mystery games can work.

Rather than there being an predetermined solution to mysteries, the GM only holds the responsibility for creating the clues. The players take the responsibility for using those clues to construct a narrative that forms the solution to the mystery. This relieves the GM of many of the traditional burdens of running a mystery game.

It also makes picking up and running a scenario very quick. A quick read of the clues and you are more or less ready to go. (This gets even easier in The Between where "moments" and scenes are also sketched for you.)

Using a very small set of PbtA style moves, Brindlewood is easy to learn. It is a ton of fun to play and run.The mystery mechanic is something you'll be wanting to homebew into other games once you've seen how it works.

...And, hey, who doesn't want to be a meddlesome old lady who solves murders?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay: Holiday Edition
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Brindlewood Bay: Holiday Edition
by aymeric b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2022 05:03:35

I have just read Brindlewood bay and it is excellent, I can't wait to play it I feel like it will be my first game of 2022.

There are a lot of ideas that I really like and I think I will work on a hack to run my Call of Cthulhu games with a Brindlewood Bay variant and share it, if mods are allowed of course.

Anyway, I'm impressed that in 40 pages it's so clear, concise and understandable. Really great ideas and a great job, congratulations again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by Dmitry Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2021 02:40:32

Well, there is three main reasons I adore this game.
First, it's one of the best investigation games I've ever encountered and I love that genre and made some digging. Second, it's oh so very well themed and all of the touchstones really touch my heart (Penny Dreadful, From Hell, good ol' Dickens and all his gory victorian friends). Speaking of touchstones, there is one more book that really comes to my mind when I play/run The Between and it's Night in Lonesome October by magnificent Roger Zelazny, couldn't recommend it to you more than I do. And, last but not least, it's very tightly and neatly packed that is a very valuable feature beacause so many times sparkling and creative but poorly designed and written RPG book caused me and my gaming group sufferings. Luckily it's not the case here. So give it a try and don't forget Season 2 DLC - it only makes things better.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
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The Between
by Amanda M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2021 01:44:50

My first review! How exciting!

What can I say other than I am full on obsessed with this game? I've played two different playbooks in campaigns so far, and one in a oneshot. Heck, even at one point my character got sucked into a different dimension (a different The Between game run by the same keeper) and I dealt with mysteries my original team had already dealth with.... and even with the same mysteries nothing is the same! You would think a game with a set number of mysteries would have limited replayability but not with this system.

So this is a game that is based in Powered by the Apocalypse style play and PbtA games are generally not very crunchy. This game is not crunchy at all, but it has a huge amount of power behind it regardless (if lack of crunch makes you worry about lack of backbone or power!)

You have the Day Phase (where the players try and clear conditions/de-buffs by triggering certain Vulnerable Moves or find out more information about the mysteries, or really anything they want to do!). The Dusk Phase is mostly for mechanic reconciliation - some playbooks require rolls here before going into the Night Phase, like The American (who is a werewolf) who must roll to see how were-wolfy they will be in the Night. The Night Phase is where the only time players can resolve threats (the campaign goals) but choices are more risky and moves are more dangerous at night. The Dawn Phase is your reward for surviving the Night.

I love that you can choose light or heavy narrative play, especially the fact that the #1 rule is you cannot reveal backstory to anyone (not even the keeper) unless it's triggered by the game mechanisms. It adds a delicious layer of drama, very similar to a book or TV show.

The Carved from Brindlewood style of mystery solving was something that took me a session or two to get the hang of, as I'd never played anything like that before. Basically, the Keeper has a set of clues they will give the players when they manage to earn the clues, but the players are the ones that interpret them - there is no "campaign answer" to a mystery! A clue can appear in different games and have totally different meanings. It's highly effective because you can tie the clues not only into the mystery at hand, but into the greater story as well.

The playbooks are a LOT of fun - none of these people are "good" people by nature. And how could a good person operate in a place like Hargrave House anyway? You can, however, give your character solid story arcs very easily, even "questionable morality" to "good person". Or, if you prefer character light games, you can limit the dimensionality of your character. As long as you have a backstory it really doesn't matter! (Although it's MUCH more fun if you have an interesting backstory! Make a complicated character, you will have a good time with it!)

The Unscene is a fantastic element. During the Night Phase (which belongs to the Keeper) the players narrate pieces of a story happening in London that night that have nothing to do with the characters or mysteries at hand. However it has everything to do with building the tone, setting, and FEEL of the world you are operating in. The Unscene is the world building AND the timer for the Night Phase - when you as players can actually get things done. It gives the players agency over the world outside of their characters and that's not something that happens in most TTRPGs.

I could go on and on but I am not a writer or a critic (hence my lack of reviews!) but this game is really special and I can't wait to see what other people do with it!

LOL okay a quick edit: I just posted this and scrolled through previous reviews... and my Keeper has reviewed! Steph J! They said: "I keep running this game overtime, three hours quickly becomes four, and we've almost played to five".... but that is OUTDATED. Once we had a 9 hour session. It was amazing. I don't think a 9 hr session is the norm by any means for this game - just this group in this particular instance.... but, well, it was a long and bonkers session and I will never forget it because it was amazing :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by CODY E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2021 10:43:27

This game is so slick. The tools/mechanics for gathering clues and solving mysteries are so simple, making for smooth-as-butter play. You don't have to be an Agatha Christie to run this AND your players will feel like Sherlock Holmes when they crack the case. It is a win/win/win.

This makes for a great thematic, short series and when you fall in love with the mechanics (you will) you'll be looking for ways to hack them into every other game you run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by Dmitrii T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2021 11:07:40

Замечательная, необычная и в чём-то даже революционная игра. Глубокое погружение в тему и удовольствое от процесса обеспечено! Подробный обзор можно прочитать в блоге Рыжего Библиотекаря! https://telegra.ph/The-Between-Bulvarnye-uzhasy-za-vashim-stolom-10-04

The Between is an excellent, unusual, and in some ways even revolutionary game. Deep immersion in the topic and the pleasure of the process are provided!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by Michael V. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2021 11:30:20

The Between is dripping with atmosphere, sensuality and barely constrained ferocity. Every character sheet is dripping with detail and outlines a roller coaster ride of a character arc. Become a motley collection of oddballs and monsters, seek your own pleasures, and occasionally intervene on behalf of the Crown, but know that the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Get in all the sex, blood, decadence and puzzle-solving while you can!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Dmitrii T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2021 08:37:35

Великолепная, очень атмосферная и оригинальная игра. Очень здорово передает истинно детективные переживания, и при том ограничивает героев в ресурсах, что для детективов не очень типично. Спасибо!

--

It is a great, very atmospheric, and original game. It conveys the authentic detective experiences very well, and at the same time, limits the heroes in resources, which is not very typical for detectives. Thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
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Brindlewood Bay
by David E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2021 07:55:32

Short review? Brindlewood Bay is my favorite TTRPG.

It solves the problem of emergent mystery storytelling in a way that is as easy to use as it is fun to play (and it is very fun to play). The titular setting is a beautiful blend of cozy and mysterious / mundane and creepy that is relateable and exciting all at once. The book isn't a long read, only because the system is just so efficient! Every aspect feeds into the narrative building and tone. Do yourself a favor- make your best grandma-self, and solve a mystery in Brindlewood Bay!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Daniel Q. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2021 07:27:07

A great investigation game from Jason Cordova. I found the Between first and that lead me here to Brindlewood Bay.

It's very innovative in its collaborative investigation mechanic and will be how I run RPG mysteries from here on out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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