DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories















Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
by David R. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2021 08:49:15

Just to clarify: My experience with this game is that of a player having played it on Roll20/Discord.

"Alice is Missing" takes the missing person scenario and puts a new spin on it--new for me, anyway. Its context is simple and down-to-earth yet still compelling. The game's strongest asset is it's emphasis on text-based communication. Prior to playing this game, I had gotten used to communicating with my fellow TTRPG players verbally. The change was a pleasant surprise yet very much welcome for someone that appreciates silence.

More importantly, the text mechanic also inspires a bit of creativity and even an emotional connection on the parts of players. There are things that feel more nuanced and personal when expressed through text compared to the spoken word. That was probably one of the creator's intentions all along.

At least two things prevent it from becoming a perfect 5/5 for me: one, there are certain character tropes that I would have wanted to have seen and selected from; two, the type of ending that players encounter relies more on a certain game mechanic than most other things. Depending on what pops up, the ending can range from extremely unsatisfying to cathartic. Then again, perhaps the true joy of the game lies in its 90-minute journey, not its destination.

Nevertheless, these are minor gripes given the value that Spenser Starke has provided through this game. Its ability to take a bunch of seemingly everyday characters and make them come alive in 90 minutes through player improv and text makes it a winner. I am now studying the material and thinking of running it for others someday.

All in all, "Alice is Missing" is a solid offering from Starke. I was told that an expansion for this game is planned. If that is true, then it's definitely something to look forward to.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Kids on Brooms: Core Rulebook
by Zachary E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2021 14:27:51

I came across this system by chance, having heard of the original (Kids on Bikes) but unaware of other settings, and I have been very happy/excited to get my hands on it. This is a very rules light system overall which is my big draw as a player of some more crunchier game systems. I am not sure if I see this system as being able to do a long term campaign, while the system contains some progression systems I have mostly played games fitting more of a D&D formula and without specifics around combat it just is hard for me to work out what this loooks like in a long form game. The book does go a bit deep into a lot of diversity and inclusion style specifics that I personally feel came off a bit too much, I understand the importance of those but they are things that neither my players or I have ever had trouble just naturally doing in games we play/run.

I fell in love with this game because of the simple rules and just how open it allows someone to be with the game. Players and GMs can sit and have a very indepth roleplay session working together to build relationships and the world. It has a few issues here an there, these are mostly with book layout though. Almost all the tables are at the very back of the book but several are sitting with the chapter they pertain too, I am unsure why some are kept in the back while others are not. This was a bit of a hassle for my players having to jump back and forth during creation. All in all a system well worth the price though, even if you only ever play it in a one off capacity.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kids on Brooms: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2021 10:32:56

An amazing, fun and (near the end, especially) tense experience. I loved this game, and it'll stick with me for a while.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Kids on Brooms: Core Rulebook
by Jonathan R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2021 00:49:15

This game does have its pros.The design is lovely. The system is rules light, quick and easy, and manageable for young players. If you're playing with kids, I think this is a great purchase. That said, the overall content is lacking, and the product as a whole feels padded and riddled with blank space and editorialization. For example, this is a setting that lends itself to campaign play--it's essentially an unlicensed Harry Potter simulator, and those stories are structured around academic years. Who wants to sit down and play a single session of this? There's little guidance for longer play, no mechanism for advancement, etc. It reads like an unofficial Savage Worlds setting with less actual game and less world content. And--I have to say this--I support inclusivity in gaming, and I think the emergence of safety caveats at the outset of rulebooks is a positive thing, but Hunters has turned it into the Theatre of the Absurd.

TL:DR: way too little meat on the bone, frequently infantalizing, good for kids.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Kids on Brooms: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Kids on Bikes: Core Rulebook
by Duncan M. N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2021 10:24:05

This game is fantastic, you get to be a group of teens exploring rumors in small towns like Stranger Things or Scooby-Doo. The system is very rules lite which allows you to focus more on the story.   The ideas for the players making rumors is Awesome!   I have stolen it and use it in other games run now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kids on Bikes: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Strange Adventures: Volume One
by Peter J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2021 14:13:38

This supplement to the core rulebooks is very useful, as it provides settings and adventure seeds, as well as notable NPCs and rumors. While not stand-alone adventures right out of the box, they get the GM off to a good start and provide a framework for customizing your own settings and adventures with your players. I have barely scratched the surface, having run 2 seperate adventures in Sharon Hollow, one for two different groups. I even went to Google Maps and found a similarily sized town in Michigan, and used it as the basis for my Sharon Hollow setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange Adventures: Volume One
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Kids on Bikes: Core Rulebook
by Peter J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2021 14:00:16

Great fun! The first time I ran this is was at a small local convention, I had never even played before, so in hindsight kind of risky, but with this game it was doable. It was a big hit, I got the full 8 player slots filled, ages ranged from about 10 to 50, we did character creation and played all in 3 hours. I have since run the game for kids and adults and always had a blast. Growing up on the original Scooby Doo and my kids growing up on Stranger Things, it is the perfect setting. With the light rules, a great way to introduce new players to RPGs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kids on Bikes: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Teens in Space: Core Rulebook
by Jameson M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2021 13:04:37

Love the game. It has a great feel and a simple yet effective dice system. I finally get to use ALL my dice!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Teens in Space: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game - Core Rules
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2021 05:51:30

Though I like the system, it is essentially just “Cyberpunk.” The thing that makes “Altered Carbon” different from any other of the cyberpunk universes are the elder race, that are colloquially known as “Martians.” With in the story line, the Martians are responsible for and may still be acting through the technology that humanity currently utilizes. This gives the Altered Carbon story the feeling of a house built on a burial mound, but the Martians are barely given a mention in the core rule book. Here’s hoping that a source book on the subject comes out soon.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game - Core Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Overlight: A Fantasy Roleplaying Game of Kaleidoscopic Journeys
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2020 19:41:30
Dissapointed in Overlight

I recognize this is a bit of a lengthy review, so if you want a quick glance skip down to the summary paragraph at the bottom.

Premise: Overlight is a fantasy RPG. The book contains the setting/story for the Overlight World, how to create a character, all the rules needed for playing, and a short sample adventure. In overlight the world consists of 7 floating shards. There is no sun, but instead a constant overlight shining down on the shards. You play as one of 7 unique species, who inhabit these shards. While each species tends to represent one of seven virtues, you are Skyborn. You're core virtue will differ from what is typical for your species or "folk". In addition you are able to utilize the overlight to preform some sort of Radiant Power called "Chroma". While very different from a flavor perspective, these are essentially just spells you can cast.

The Book: The first thing you'll notice in this book is the art. I know art is subjective, but I think it's fantastic. Illustrator Kwanchai Moriya does a wonderful job of bringing the world to life. The chapters are laid out in a logical order, and don't be intimidated by the large page number, the text is large print for easy reading.

Character Creation: During character creation, players select a race, a core virtue, and allocate a certain amount of character points to improve their character. These points can be spent to improve one of your six core virtues, one of your skills, or add different chroma you can utilize. Each of your virtues and skills is represented by a dice type (although you can be untrained in some skills). The dice options are D6, D8, D10, and D12. While I do have issues with how different aspects of your character is utilized in the game, overall I thought character creation provided interesting choices by having the character creation points be spendable on all aspects of the character. Maybe you want someone who's particularly strong at one virtue, or one that has a lot of chroma options, etc. It's a good way to specialize. One potential pitfall of such specialization freedom though is that first time players can end up with extremely ineffective characters.

Rollin' Dice: When a character wants to attempt something of uncertain success in Overlight, they must roll dice to determine the outcome. They will typically roll 7 dice. For Skill/Combat/Open tests, players roll 3 dice of their strenght for the skill they are testing, and 3 dice for the core virtue associate with that skill. Then they roll a bonus d4 called a "spirit dice" that can impact the test depending on the type of test. If players have no value for the skill they are testing, they simply roll 1d6 instead of the three skill dice. For Chroma tests you roll 6 virtue dice, 3 for each of the two virtues the chroma utilizes, and one d4. Next you count the number of successes (dice values 6 or higher) and refer to the skill test chart or chroma chart to see what happens. I'll cover Chroma later on, but for skill tests 2-3 successes means you "achieved your goal but with little flourish", 4-5 means you "achieve your goal competently and easily" and 6 successes means you did it with "expert skill".

This is where Overlight starts to sour for me. I feel like the dice rolling method was geard to be unique rather than effective, as in practice anytime there's a test it can be very tedious. The dice requirements are pretty high (you potentially need six d6s, d8s, d10s, and d12s) so I'd guess most tables ended up sharing. Every time it we needed a roll, it took a while for everyone to find the right dice they needed. By "a while" I mean less than a minute, but still enough to disrupt the narrative.

The other issue with the way tests run that was frustrating to me was how the math shook out. Almost every roll we attempted there was almost 0% chance of anything above a mild success. Sure mild successes were easy to get, but the excitement on the table you get when some one rolls a massive success in other games is extremely rare here. You could argue that extreme rarity makes it more exciting, but even if you continued to spend everything you earned on your character to get to roll 6d12s on a particular skill, you'd still only hit the massive success less than 4% of the time that particular skill was relevant in the game. In our five session campaign we saw it happen zero times, and instead coasted on mild successes. The gamemaster can also choose to make mild success a failure for more difficult tests, but the difficulty spike between mild and medium successes is huge, so it's difficult for the gamemaster to fine tune the difficulty of a particular test.

Wealth: I think overlight has needlessly way overcomplicated buying stuff. In most games you have a certain number of credits or gold coins, and to spend them you just subtract the price of your total. Not so in overlight. Instead you have a wealth rating (like a skill dice value) and wealth points. So instead of keeping track of one value (your money) you keep track of two. Then when you find something you want to buy from goods to information the book states "After stating your mercantile intent to the GM, you should perform your Wealth Test, then roleplay the encounter based on the results of the test." So if you succeed on your wealth test (another 7 dice roll) you're able to buy the item, by spending the amount of wealth points equal to what the spirit dice rolled. Your wealth rating only accounts for 3 of the dice rolled, your DM picks another skill for you to use each time you attempt to buy anything.

This is a terrible system for a lot of reasons. It is clunky and slow. Even if you succeed in your wealth test, the cost of the item varies from 1-4 at random regardless of what you're purchasing. Narratively, it's bizzaire. The shopkeep will sell the potion to me for 4 units of money, but my friend for 2 units of money. What does your wealth skill represent? Your wealth points represent how much money or barter supplies you have, so the wealth skill is just how interested people are in selling stuff to you? Never have I played an RPG and thought the parts we were shopping needed more randomness on prices and take up more of the session time. Overlight should have just abstracted currency completely, or just go with gold coins. You can still have people who'd rather barter if the situation calls for it.

Chroma: Chroma, these spells characters can cast, is a very important part of the Overlight. Almost a third of the book is dedicated to all the different Chroma you can select from, making it the largest section of the text. To chanel your chroma powers, you do a Chroma test by rolling 7 dice. 3 for the first virtue of the Chroma, 3 for the second virtue of the chroma, and a spirit die. With the six virtue dice, you are again counting successes. 0-1 is a failure, 2-3 is a luminous, 4-5 for aradiant success, and 6 for a brilliant success. Each Chroma has different results for each of the three success options. The spirit die dictates how many "spirit points" the chroma costs. If it costs more spirit than you have remaining, you experience a "shatter" which has different impacts on your character depending on the Chroma you are using.

The type of Chroma you can choose from is broken down between core virtues and folks. You can only choose chorma that is either in the section of your core virtue, or for your folk. Some of the folk chroma are subject to only one particular background. So right away you only have access to a fraction of the available Chroma. And because the Chroma relies on two virtues, you'll want to pick ones that rely on virtues your favored in, so you have a reasonable chance at success when using them. Because virtues are the most expensive thing in character creation to increase, you'll likely be only good at a couple. This narrows down the pool even further. By the time you've got your stats ready, you've already eliminated the vast majority of available chroma as feasible for your character. Because of this, I'd reccommend finding a chroma or two you like before committing to a character build.

Unfortunately, my group found the chroma to be poorly balanced. Many combat-focused chroma were significantly worse than just taking the regular attack action. Other chroma is extremely situational. I like situational spells, but in this game you might start with 1 or 2 chroma, so it can feel bad if you never get to use one. For most chroma, the higher you go up on the success chart, the better the effect. However, there are some cases where you might not want more successes. Survivor's Spark, for instance, can either let you have a small flame on your finger trip, create a campfire in front of you, or explode a fireball somewhere near you. If you wanted one of those to happen, it's is hard to imagine the other ones would do you any good.

Combat: Combat is very simplified, which surprised me given how detailed the chroma was and how many of them were specified for "during combat". Basically after determing which side goes first, all characters on that side get one action, then all characters on the other side get one action. The action can be an attack, channeling chroma, a battle manuever, or anything else that takes a few seconds. To attack, you do a skill test with a combat skill, and each success does 1 damage. There's almost no need to do anything else in combat. Most battle chroma does or prevents less damage than a normal attack would do (with the exception of the automatic KO chroma), and the battle manuevers might be useful in very specific situations, but we never used them. I'm a fan of a lot of RPGs that have little to no combat, but Overlight seems to emphasize combat in a large portion of the book. Unfortunately the actual combat rules are pretty lacking.

Summary: The world in overlight is an interesting one, but the mechanics make it difficult to reccomend. The rules tend to bounce between those of a very meaty RPG, and an extremely light one. We found a lot of the rules it did include to be very unbalanced. I understand you don't need a perfectly balanced game to tell a good story, but I can't help but feel it makes it a lot easier when the game is at least kind of balanced. If you do find yourself captivated by the world of Overlight, my reccomendation would be to take the world and play it in an existing fantasy RPG.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Overlight: A Fantasy Roleplaying Game of Kaleidoscopic Journeys
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game - Core Rules
by Adam A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2020 12:39:33

This game starts with a very interesting idea that it quickly betrays with a focus on style over substance.

The most egregious example is the overuse of icons/symbols. When reading you will encounter a little blue circle. It will not be defined, though it will obviously be very important as it is referenced many times. It is finally defined about 70 pages after its first use. This may seem like a minor quibble but it a major problem as there are many other icons used.

If you're reading on a smaller screen you'll often need to zoom in and try to figure out if this is the microchip looking one or the similar but not quite identical stack one. You can't use search on an icon to find where they are defined so if you ever forget what a given icon means you'll have to page back, or occasionally forward, until you can find the definition.

Just use words, I don't understand why the authors decided that words were the innapropriate medium for providing information instead of inscrutable, unsearchable icons.

Further, combat takes too long and the skill system can quickly reach a point where characters cannot mathematically fail without the GM imposing luck dice on them.

Luck Dice, of which there are several varieties, depending on whether they help, sort of help but maybe hurt, and definetly hurt, are presented as the sort of thing you talk your players into taking so they can do cool things, instead of doing the thing that they cannot mathematically fail at. When one possible consequence of failure is to be trapped in a VR Torture Hell for a subjective eternity you may find your players shying away from the luck dice.

I could go on, but in the end this is just another game that took a good idea and failed to implement it in a fun and playable way.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game - Core Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game - Core Rules
by Ph B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2020 12:40:43

overly use of gimmicky symbols, poorly construct mechanics, no lore what so ever in the 300 so pages and use of fan baiting buzzword.

there (so far) betters games to play in the transhumanist age



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Kids on Brooms: Core Rulebook
by James H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2020 10:51:32

If they put as much effort into creating content for the actual game as they did with all the diversity/inclusion/safe space verbiage, organize the chapters and rules into something sensible, and reprint it, it might be worth buying. Most of it reads like a fantasy world HR handbook instead of a RPG. There are better homebrew systems on the web for free that capture the style of a Potter-esqe world.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Kids on Brooms: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
by Rainy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2020 16:03:14

Just a note, I played this as a socially distanced variant during the pandemic. If I had to give it a tagline, it would be: Fiasco and 10 Candles have a beautiful baby with a countdown timer. Overall, highly recommended.

This review was also posted on the Just Barbarian Things Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/posts/43974474

What is Alice is Missing? The Basic Overview Alice is Missing is a single-session RPG where players (including the facilitator - yes everyone plays!) take on the role of the teenaged friends of Alice Briarwood. As Winter Break is about to begin, a poster showing that Alice is Missing goes up at school.

There are two main sections of gameplay. The voiced section allows players to collaboratively build relationships and information about Alice based on her Missing Poster (there are 10 possible Alices) and the prompts on the character/drive cards. Players also build up suspicions about the people and places in the town that they may encounter in the game. They then secretly record their last voicemail to Alice before she went missing.

The silent section has players turn to their devices and the timer start (game time is limited to 90 minutes in this section). The teenagers communicate via messaging. The facilitator sends the first group message of the game and then characters just start to interact and build upon the world. At timed intervals, random events (determined by card draws) are resolved by players around the table and incorporated into the 'text chain' as they try to figure out what happened to their missing friend. At the end of the game, the secret voicemails are played for the group.

Materials for Running the Game When you read through the game document it is very easy to understand how the game should be setup, communicated, and played. Everything goes in order and there isn't really any room for confusion. Very much appreciated!

The art in the book and the player-facing cards is really nice. You can download image files of character cards and missing posters from the site as well (for more print and play or online play flexibility) but the images in the PDF are also formatted in such a way to make them very easy to copy and use in an online game.

The clue/event type cards are the only ones that are not made available as separate downloads. They offer a Roll20 version (which I do have) that handles these as decks (I'll talk a bit about that later) but again the PDF does make it easy enough to access the card art if you need to work electronically.

A 90-minute animated timer with a soundtrack is free on YouTube to use for the game: https://youtu.be/ysOOFIOAy7A

How it SHOULD be Played It's obvious the game is least complicated when played in person. Even though the silent portion happens on devices/phones handling dealing the timed clue cards and being able to set a mood and speak out of character is something I can really seeing being the best environment for the game.

Adjusting for Social Distance There is an official Roll20 version. I did originally get that version to facilitate our game, and it is pretty and really easy to navigate. There is even a whole playlist for how to use the Roll20 version by the game's creator: https://youtu.be/3k4h__DmSFk

My only issue was that I knew we'd already be using Zoom and between Roll20, Zoom, the timer, and however we handled messaging I didn't want it to be too window-intensive. So I opted to use a Discord variant. There is an official Discord template, which I did modify for our game, available on the publisher's site: https://www.huntersentertainment.com/alice-is-missing

How I Setup Our Game First, I modified the Discord to streamline the number of channels and keep things as clear as I could. Since I knew I'd also be handling cards via Discord, I created a channel just for showing what would normally be face up on the table during the game as events progress.

I also created folders for each category of card and used either the available card downloads or saved cards from the PDF to make sure they would be available for displaying in Discord. I numbered the cards in each folder so that 'random drawing' could be handled by a die roll and then added a dice roller bot to the Discord to accommodate that.

From there, we were able to play on Discord in a way that closely mimicked the in-person setup with channels that worked for group and direct messages per character to keep everything in as few windows as possible. If you are using the template, just make sure to assign players to the Role in Discord for that character so that their view is simplified to just their group and direct chats. I had players write the text of their voicemail in their notes rather than recording it.

We used Zoom for our voiced section of the game, and used the screen share feature to run the timer as well. I used voice to prompt players to roll an appropriate die for timed events so that I could give them the card draw corresponding with that roll.

At the end of our game, we each read our voicemails in character to finish everything off.

How it Went and Final Thoughts Although I missed a couple of rules I should have said up front (we all get to be nervous running new games, sometimes!) it ran pretty smoothly. The timer and timed events means things WILL happen and an ending WILL occur no matter what. That being said, the open-ended nature of the gameplay can be overwhelming to some players, so make sure they are prepared for this type of story building if they are used to playing more structured games.

Playing online in the way we did definitely puts more on the Facilitator's shoulders to manage, but it is very doable. I was still able to send and answer in-character messages between events.

I would love to play this again with an in-person crew (when times allow for such things) just to play it the way it really seems to be intended.

Overall, highly recommended since it's quick to play and easy to learn. It's really beautiful. There are enough random options to make it interesting to play more than once. It's very affordable and picking it up supports an indie developer and game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Alice Is Missing: A Silent Roleplaying Game
by Vivien F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/09/2020 09:49:29

We had a virtual game recently and, although no rpg can promise to deliver its full potential for each game and group, had an excellent game, full of emotion (the playlist really helps getting in the mood, and the timer puts real pressure on the narrative). I'm not sure it's the most replaybable rpg there is, but we were trully satisfied with the experience so I most definitely recommand it to people wanting to impersonate teenagers telling their emotional secrets while searching for their friend (beware, this is not really a detective game, though).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 65 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates