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The Gentle Ladies Tea and Monstrosity Destroying and Quilting Circle Auxiliary
by Curt T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2012 14:02:06

The Gentle Ladies Tea and Monstrosity Destroying and Quilting Circle Auxiliary is a 'micro game', a bare-bones RPG using the Fuck Armageddon game rules and setting but with an entirely different tone and style.

Written in a breezy, Edwardian or Victorian lady's voice, the game explains how to defend one's self from the eldritch and possibly demonic horrors spawned by the 'pits' that are bringing about the end of the world. The only thing standing between your homes and the beasts of the pits is the titular group of ladies. The game assures us that even gentlemen can be ladies, because, as our narrator puts it, 'The End of the World is an Equal Opportunity Employer'.

Weighing in at 17 pages, with graphics that range from cleverly apt to quick, dirty and hilarious (the meat monster or Carmilla, for examples), this is a quick reading game, able to be read in a few minutes. The authorial voice works surprisingly well for laying out the rules and conventions of the game, which are quick-resolving and GMless, using a trait-based system where 1,2 or 3 on any given die is success and the maximum number on the die provokes a botch (and the player is expected to declaim 'Oh Fudge!' to let the other players know.)

The layout is excellent, with the information needed to play the game presented in roughly the order you'd need to have it, the rules explained clearly and the various fiddly bits of making player characters and NPCs, the differences between them and how one can become the other presented nicely and concisely. The last few pages are taken up by an optional advancement system and an excellent 'period' bestiary with monsters lifted from classic literature, from the above mentioned Carmilla to the beast from The Murders in the Rue Morgue. My copy had what looked like a formatting error or two, but nothing serious.

Conclusion: Fun, light and quick, The Gentle Ladies makes a great pick-up game for when you don't feel like running a regular campaign or you want something light and fun to introduce new (albeit adult, probably) players to the concept of role playing games. The tone is clever and well-done, faltering a time or two into modernity, but for the most part pitch perfect. Give this game a try.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Gentle Ladies Tea and Monstrosity Destroying and Quilting Circle Auxiliary
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ZZ - Yes, but is it Art, a Demo Adventure for FlatpackZZ
by William A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2012 17:33:14

It was fun, let me start off with that. It ran quickly and easily and as the GM I had fun. I'm sure some of my friends had fun too. The first question I got was about violence (naturally) and I asked them to count how many combat oriented skills there were (there are between few and none here). Next they chose to on the large make themselves as violent a-holes and tried to bash the skulls of small children with rocks. So a bit of a learning curve for the whole low violence thing. As demo adventure, it won't teach you how to play. And it covers the basics poorly. As far as we could tell you have to roll a 7 on a D4 or D6 (or if you're really good and spend a spirit point a D8). Which is pretty hard when you start with no bonuses to those rolls. Did I miss something? It feels like I did, but I couldn't figure it out. The demo does give you an idea of what the game will be about and how it will work (for the most part) and that was good. I enjoyed that part and hope to see more. I will definitely give the full game a try.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ZZ - Yes, but is it Art, a Demo Adventure for FlatpackZZ
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ZZ - Yes, but is it Art, a Demo Adventure for FlatpackZZ
by Aleksandar S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/26/2011 04:30:17

Some really interesting ideas in this one. Rewarding the player that makes the best art work on the spot is just one of them. On the other hand, you will not learn to play the game from this adventure. Rules seem promising but are too confusing on such a small space. For any real test complete version of the rules will be necessary.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Maschine Zeit and Adventure Bundle [BUNDLE]
by James P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2011 12:33:55

Maschine Zeit is a great game with awesome mechanics. It's quick and easy to learn and the mechanics really push the game in the direction it needs to go (suspense-building horror) in a natural way by directly involving the players in the creation of the story.

I've run both the "Radiation Wraiths" and the "Ephesus Abbey" scenarios now. We really loved "Ephesus" and, being the second MZ game we ran, it went better than we expected.

My players left the table talking about how great the game was, how much fun they had, and how I should run it at a Con!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maschine Zeit and Adventure Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Amaranthine: Romance, Vendetta, Forever
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/20/2011 08:28:37

Amaranthine – A Review

This is another great game from Machine Age Productions. Despite coming to this game with the expectation of it being rather rules light and being wrong, this game has a lot to offer and a lot to bring to the table.

PROS: The setting is absolutely amazing. The idea of walking around as a closet immortal, only to realize what you are when you run into another immortal, is great fun. The way the Amaranthine remember their past lives makes this game very interesting and very collaborative. I like that. The game also uses a Relationship Wheel mechanic to help track how your Amaranthine feels about the people who are important to him/her. The Relationship wheel is full of narrative interest and is a wonderful tool to know instantly, at a glance, what your character feels about another. The cues it gives you make it so easy to glance at the wheel and run with roleplaying and have the interactions between characters be vibrant and ever-changing. The writing in this book is also top-notch. I especially like the in-character little descriptors for the Maneuvers as they bring a lot of color to the world of the Amaranthine and really make it pop. Amaranthine is also released under the Creative Commons license, so that makes it super easy to share it with your friends and get them excited to play it. And they will get excited. The mechanics provide a tiered complexity so you can choose how much you want them in your game. The mechanics support a narrative style game with minimal dice rolls.

CONS: The book is a bit large, weighing in at 212 pages. Most of the pages are pure text and, while the text is very well written, it can get tiring to read and read, and read. Especially since the mechanics are a bit complex. It took me two reads to wrap my head around them, but once I did, I saw the elegance of the system. I also thought that several of the images were unfinished and really took me out of being immersed in the book. Most of the images look very finished and descriptive, but several were in a loose, watercolor painting style that didn't draw me in.

All in all, I think this is a wonderful game and give it 4-stars! I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a go with your game group. The game really appears to focuses on inter-character drama and makes it exciting to see what else happened in your character's past. This is a high quality game that you don't want to miss.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Amaranthine: Romance, Vendetta, Forever
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Maschine Zeit
by Jack P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2011 19:14:12

It's doesn't happen often enough, finding a game that is designed to get out of the way and let the story happen. But Maschine Zeit is one of them. The game is designed to let each player set a goal and gives them each their moment in the spot light.

The GM (called the Director,) isn't the only one controlling the story, unlike in most games. In Maschine Zeit, the game and rule set encourages the players to help set the momentum and events of the game. Sometimes even making a roll to do one thing may give that player narrative control over something unrelated. Letting even the GM/Director cash in on those unexpected and fun moments.

As a minor warning, this game is not for the feint of heart. The horrific and macabre subject matter of Maschine Zeit simply may not be for everyone, so make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before buying this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maschine Zeit
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Amaranthine: Romance, Vendetta, Forever
by Jon C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2011 00:05:14

Perceptions If you are a gamer like myself. The word “romance” almost instantly turns you off from any RPG game. Commonly, romance is considered a side plot element within stories told around the table top. Don’t let the word “romance” though turn you off of Amaranthine. In fact, this is somewhat misleading. The game is more along the lines of an urban fantasy noir than a romantic adventure game. Although, like most games, adventure is one of the key elements in Amaranthine, it might even beat out the competition in this department, don’t believe me. Buy the game. Another thing that might turn players off is the thought of playing an immortal. Keep in mind though that this game brings to mind series like Highlander, sprinkled with a darker side of Cthulhu mythos. To be honest, who hasn’t wanted to stare into Void, if only for a minute and who hasn’t wanted to play a character that has flashbacks to eons past? In Amaranthine a player can play a character that has witnessed the fall of Rome or even the founding of America. Meaning that in the world of Amaranthine, adventures in the past are just as important as adventures in the present. Pros and Cons Machine Age Production has put together a whimsical dark world that is full of psychological estrangement. The artwork is like stepping into a comic book but at times is rough around the edges. This adds to the flavor of its urban fantasy noir feel. The writing is lyrical with a heavy metal beat. Character creation in Amaranthine, directly affects the game in major ways, not just ability wise but story wise and is quite simple to understand. The toughest part might be reading the chapter on character creation which is laid so even monkey can understand it. If Machine Age Productions ever came up with a name for their system, it should be the fast and loose system because not only can you create the character you want but also the resolution system is fast and loose. My only gripe about Amaranthine and is a minor one, is that the beginning story is riddle with the f word. Machine Age, I realize that this is supposed to be an adult game but even adults get tired of seeing phrases like f&^%, s&*!, god(%^&. I think by using such language, Machine Age really limits their audience and I believe that Amaranthine should be shared with a wider audience, still a mature audience but a wider one. Conclusion Don’t be fool by Amaranthine’s out word appearance. It’s a great game that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. It still may not be for everyone, though, but if you don’t buy Amaranthine for the game, buy Amaranthine for the setting or for the beautiful writing or even for the eye catching art that peppers every page. What’s the worst that could happen you end up with a great RPG setting on your shelf.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amaranthine: Romance, Vendetta, Forever
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Maschine Zeit
by Joseph M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2011 19:23:54

I just finished reading Maschine Zeit a horror / scifi rpg by machine age produciton. I'll give a brief review of what I liked (a lot!) and what I didn't like (very little).

Pros: First off, the writing and production quality are top notch. This is easily the best written and best laid out book I've read in the past year. The background is creative, the voices of the characters / narrators are believable, and the game is presented as a cohesive, well thought out whole. It's also a beautiful book, with art and graphic work that accentuates the text without distracting from it. Second, the system is innovative and really has a great deal of potential. I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but it truly looks like it will be able to allow players and game masters to share creative control of the game, something which other systems have tried but not always succeeded in. Third, the system fits the genre. It's tailored to produce results similar to the cinematic examples it's based on and allows action to move forward when it needs to, while glossing over the points that really aren't important to the plot.

Cons: Anti - corporate and Anti - government sentiment has long been an established fact of the horror / scifi genre. Without government conspiracy and corporate greed, there wouldn't be much to the plot of movies like Aliens or TV shows like the X files. Even the seminal scifi film Metropolis had these overtones. However, Maschine Zeit takes anti - capitalist liberal agenda to new, never before seen heights. By page 30 of the introductory fiction in the beginning of the book, I was convinced that the ghost of Howard Zinn was one of the primary authors. By page 70 I felt like the ghost of Howard Zinn was taking a cheese grater to my brain. It does not help that the only conservative voices in the introductory fiction are presented as either being corrupt or moronic. A quick note to the authors: please, for the love all that is Holy, tone the rhetoric down a little in your future works! You've produced a great game here, but the politics are so over the top that it distracts from the overall work that you've produced. This may be a minor point at best, but it was significant enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Conclusions: Maschine Zeit is an excellent rpg. It is a first rate, high quality work that is true to its genre and is highly innovative in its systems. The background fiction is well written and works in the context of the game. If you can overlook the politics, this game is excellent. If you can't overlook the politics, it's still excellent, but the introductory fiction can get a little annoying. Gamers who are fans of horror / scifi movies and TV should definitely pick up a copy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maschine Zeit
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Maschine Zeit
by Pete L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2010 17:29:38

Maschine Zeit is awesome, not only is it easy to read and comprehend for beginning gamers, it's also a fun system to toy around with as it was intended! I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of survival horror, even to those who are looking for things that are outside the norm. Good times to be had!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maschine Zeit and Adventure Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Pete L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2010 17:21:10

Maschine Zeit is awesome, not only is it easy to read and comprehend for beginning gamers, it's also a fun system to toy around with as it was intended! I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of survival horror, even to those who are looking for things that are outside the norm. Good times to be had!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maschine Zeit and Adventure Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Torn Apart by Radiation Wraiths: A Maschine Zeit Introductory Adventure
by Mike A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2010 22:09:59

I really appreciate that Machine Age took the time to revise this quick start based on my feedback and the feedback of others. While it still isn't my favorite quickstart, a lot of the niggling errors and omissions have been cleared up and this product looks a LOT better.

Every single mechanics question I had was fixed. Awesome!

Still some problems, though...

The Characters and Premise:

-The Engineer doesn't make much sense. Maybe if they just called her a miner or technician I could maybe buy it.

-The Biologist, Anthropologist, Occultist, and Mercenary are all pretty interesting.

-Each character has a secret to help build an initial relationship. However, each secret requires the players to pick another character to be the object of that secret. It would have been a LOT better to create a cohesive set of relationships to start off with.

-The premise is a joke. There's a lot of hand waving to explain why five women and no men are sent to explore a space station. Oh, and there's no explanation of why five women of completely disparate careers are all being sent on an exploration mission. Unrealistic.

The Story:

-There's a bunch of floating events that can occur whenever and mostly occur when PCs enter specific rooms. However, these mostly follow one particular system: Characters walk in, ghost(s) attack, characters find a clue. It feels like a D&D dungeon crawl shoe horned into a story game.

-How do they get on the station? How does this all begin? Is there a shuttle waiting

-The overall story/mystery is good and can definitely be used for the structure of a maschine zeit game.

In conclusion, give it a try. This adventure is cheap and has much better production values than before.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Torn Apart by Radiation Wraiths: A Maschine Zeit Introductory Adventure
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Torn Apart by Radiation Wraiths: A Maschine Zeit Introductory Adventure
by Helen G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2010 12:20:20

Had a quick flick through this and it looks really interesting, funky system, interesting premise and none of the characters are bimbos in chainmail bikinis. I look forward to giving this a go!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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