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Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
by francesco b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2013 15:00:27

Interesting mini-setting, but most of the information was just a re-interpreting of ground other materials have already gone over. Not a waste of money, but not completely necessary to any horror/monster hunter campaign.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
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Savage Insider Issue #9: Tales of the Weird
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/12/2013 09:00:03

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/07/12/tabletop-review-savage-insider-9-tales-of-the-weird-savage-worlds/

I’m not really a big Savage Worlds gamer. I enjoy Deadlands Noir and the Savage Worlds Horror Companion, but generally I stick to other systems. I’m a big fan of gaming magazines as I love to read about the industry, so when the latest issue of Savage Insiderpromised to be an all “weird horror” issues, I had to pick it up. After reading the seventy page issue, I found things both good and bad about the publication. Of course that’s true about any gaming magazine since it’s a hodgepodge of articles. Basically, I found it to be better than other gaming magazines like Pathways and Kobold Quarterly, but not as enjoyable as Gygax Magazine or The Unspeakable Oath. The positive is that Savage Insider seems to be one of the better gaming magazines right now that actually publishes on a regular schedule, but that’s just my first impressions from this single issue. I’ll have to pick up a few more issues to see if that holds true.

One interesting thing about Savage Insider is that it’s part of a new trend in digital RPG products, which allows the gamer to “Pay What They Want.” So yes, you can get the magazine for free if you really want to. This doesn’t make you a cheapskate. Think of it as the first hit is free. I DO think that PWYW games do need a suggested price, but that’s just me as a reviewer and it becomes hard to recommend a piece on content quality per price tag. The previous Savage Insider magazines are free at DriveThruRPG.com, so consider picking them if you like what I have to say about the magazine here. I know I will be!

There are thirteen articles in this issue of Savage Insider. Two of them are short stories, neither of which I cared for because I’d rather be reading articles about gaming content. I can read short fiction anywhere, after all, but at least the stories weren’t terrible, right?

• From the Designer – This article is a discussion by the EIC about changes coming to the magazine and an overview of the “Weird Horror.” It’s a single page that does what it needs to. 1 for 1.

•In the News –This is several pages of recently releases and upcoming products for Savage Worlds. I was impressed by the sheer number of Savage Worlds products coming out and many of them look pretty interesting. My favorite were the pulp adventures by Adamant Entertainment, but there was a wide range of different themes and campaign settings showcased, all of which used Savage Worlds rules. Excellent job here. 2 for 2.

• The Enemy in the Shadows – A long rambling dull story about Nazis dealing with the mystical horror of invading the USSR during WWII. It’s something I’ve seen and read several dozen in my lifetime, and I’m just bored with this same exact story being retread right down to the Baba Yaga references. Snore. 2 for 3.

• The Mask Peddler – A fun article about different magical masks and the effects they can have on a PC that dons them. Excellent job and it got me thinking of all kinds of adventures that could be done with these. 3 for 4.

•The Asylum – a generic paint by numbers adventure that would work best with the Realms of Cthulhu setting for Savage Worlds. It’s an 1890s fantasy horror about an asylum and a crazy scientist corrupted by his quest for knowledge. It’s not a bad adventure, but it’s pretty paint by numbers and woefully generic at times. It would be great for younger gamers, but veterans of systems like Call of Cthulhu and Chill will probably be bored with this as it’s all things they’ve seen, done and killed before. 3 for 5.

•Thule Society – This is a nice nonfiction article about the actual Thule Soceity, its origins and how to use such organizations in your gaming sessions. This was wonderfully written. 4 for 6.

•Combat Deadliness – Two pages on making attacks more deadly in order to raise the fear factor in your players. It didn’t do anything for me and it felt more unbalanced and not properly vetted than anything else. 4 for 7.

• The Ministry of Decisions – another piece of fiction. It’s better than the first in the magazine and feels a little like it was ripped from The God Machine Chronicle Onyx Path Publishing recently releases. It’s not great, but at only three pages I was amused and entertained. It’s not something I’d seek out to read again, but it was good as filler between articles. 5 for 8.

•Dust to Dust – A neat little adventure set in the 1930s. My only problem is that is doesn’t FEEL like the 1930s. This is the era of the Dust Bowl after all, and Dust to Dust (Not to be confused by the Vampire: The Masquerade adventure of the same name) doesn’t feel the 1930s at all. There’s no real attempt to flesh out the time period or to make the adventure feel like it’s actually in the time period. Hell, it could be easily dropped into any very rural community at any time in the first half of the 20th century. The writer really should have done a better job in this regard. Aside from that, Dust to Dust is a well written creepy affair worth playing through. The adventure could have really used a bit of editing or tweaking, but it’s a free six page adventure in a technically free magazine, so brevity and depth are obviously going to be the first things cut with this space allotment. Overall, I’m very happy with Dust to Dust and will enjoy inflicting on my players at some point. 6 for 9.

•Semi-Divine – a discussion on the Demigod “rank” in Savage Mojo’s Suzerain campaign setting. I can’t say I’ve ever been interested in it, nor did this article make me change my mind, but it’s well written and should bring in some new players to the line, which means it served its purpose. This didn’t really fit the “weird horror” theme of the issue though… 7 for 10.

•Accursed – A preview of the upcoming campaign setting by publisher Melior Via. It seems pretty interesting, as players are all affected by various curses from witches. I don’t know if it is a setting I’d ever personally use, but the article did make it sound quite interesting. 8 for 11.

•Book Reviews – This is more a review of Savage Worlds products than, say, the type of books reviewed in the New York Times, but what do you expect – it’s a gaming mag! There are only three products reviews (approximately one per page of the article) and they’re okay for the length. They aren’t really in-depth (This review of the magazine is longer than any of the reviews for example) and in the age of the internet, reviews in a magazine feel more like product placement than anything else, but they are nicely done and hey, I’d hire the writers to help with some of the massive backlog of tabletop review products we have here at Diehard GameFAN. 9 for 12.

•Calendar of Events – I missed this from the old days of Dragon Magazine in the TSR era. Basically, this is a write up of all the gaming events going on from July to October. It’s great to see everything. They only problem is that the magazine came out on July 5th and something like CONVergence was already running for two days at that point, you see? I think it would be better done had it been August to November as running a list of events for the same month the magazine comes out can be a tricky thing to pull off correctly. Still, this is a wonderfully done article and I like seeing the word get out about events in this manner. 10 for 13.

So not bad, right? Ten out of thirteen articles got a thumb’s up from me which is basically a 77% quality rate. I’ll definitely be back to check out future issues of Savage Insider as well as perusing through the back issues of the magazine at some point. If you’re a fan of the system or just a fan of gaming magazines in general (I have a lot of friends who are), Savage Insider #9 is well worth picking up. I’m definitely glad I did.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue #9: Tales of the Weird
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Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (Legend)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2013 06:39:31

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/05/22/tabletop-review-ultimate-roman-legions-guide-legend/

This sourcebook is an historical compendium of information on the famous Roman armies during the height of their military power, roughly 30 BCE to about 290 CE. This version of the book is for Legend, a fantasy role=playing game from Mongoose Publishing based on RuneQuest. I am not familiar with Legend, but I thought I would take a look at this book anyway and see what it had to offer.

The Might of the Legions

While I have studied the Roman Empire in its later periods, I don’t know a lot about the age of military might and expansion that this volume covers. This is perhaps the period Rome is most famous for though, and the book seems to be pretty comprehensive and written from an authoritative and knowledgeable position. It starts off with a bit of flavor, a few pages of story to give the reader a feeling for the period and attitudes of the army. After some historical information, the book drops a list of gear consisting of weapons, armor, and siege weapons. Following that, details about the structure of the legion from ranks to unit organization are laid out with their Latin terms and meanings, along with a listing of known standing legions from the time.

Next up is an interesting and concise tactical guide detailing how the units would be arranged on the battlefield and their basic tactics. This sections has some nice diagrams letting the reader know how things were expected to progress, and what the physical arrangement might typically be when facing armies such as the Germanic tribes. A short section on life in the Roman legions gives the reader insight into what the typical soldier did and how they were seen in society. Along with these tidbits are sections on the structure of the transportation infrastructure, the menagerie of people that made up or followed the army around, political uses of the army, and then information on various emperors during the time period this book covers.

Playing Centurion

The last twenty or so pages of the book get to some stats, characters, and adventure seeds. This is the only portion of the book that is not purely historical information. You get a big list of character professions, some pre-generated characters, and some statted-out NPCs. After that, you have two adventures sketched out in a nice format, with names of pertinent people, the plot, etc. The first one involves investigating a senator for occult behavior,and the second one is a scouting mission where the players may have to make some tough moral choices when they contact barbarian tribes.

This is a well-presented volume and has a lot of concise information about the Roman armies during this period. The material is quite dry and has a textbook feel, but it does deliver the facts. There are full-page illustrations interspersed throughout, and there are some nice visual aids which are nice and colorful to appeal to people like me (I suppose). I think any game master looking to run a game or campaign in Roman times would find this quite useful and especially folks who may not be familiar with this historical period may enjoy the overview given of the troops, emperors, and major battles that occurred. This book does seem to focus on the conflicts with the Germanic tribes and seems to wholly ignore other forces that Rome’s legions faced such as the Sassanids, but this is not a definitive historical tome, it’s a game book. If you’re looking for a quick but thorough reference for your Roman history needs, this seems like a great book to pick up. It’s pretty cheap, and it can help you add authentic flavor to your game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (Legend)
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Savage Insider Deluxe Issue #1: Modularity
by Sean P. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2013 19:25:52

SEAN'S PICK OF THE DAY: With so much setting-specific material re-released in stand-alone formats, the folks who do Savage Insider decided to take the rest of the material and compile it into a single, stand-alone Deluxe format. This makes a great jumping-on point for the series of products.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Deluxe Issue #1: Modularity
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Mercenary Breed: Hastilion Expanse Compendium I
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2012 00:28:28

Environments of this group of worlds are a bit Flash Gordon-ish and descriptions of its society are oddly simplistic, but nevertheless there's probably a good amount here to build a mid-length space opera campaign. I'd want to put some work into it. A couple of new alien species play important parts in the sector's politics and might be of wider interest.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed: Hastilion Expanse Compendium I
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Faith & Demons: The Rising
by Morten K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2012 02:22:28

I was impressed with this product. It has a good background story, lots of options for creating unique characters and a new and improved way of utilizing knowledge skills.

However, the plot point campaign is too thin. It only contains a few missions, none of which are very interesting. But if you plan on making your own campaign I can only recommend this product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising
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Faith & Demons: The Rising
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2012 12:28:09

Bottom line up front. Incomplete. No real understanding of the religions portrayed.

This book falls into some of the pitfalls that other independent Savage Worlds setting books tend to do. Namely making changes for changes sake. There is a great deal of flexibility already built into the system. The Fantasy Companion and the Horror Companion add more for this genre. The author has added rules for armor (layering, arcane user penalties) that are cumbersome and unnecessary and have been addressed by mechanics in the core rules. Weapons are also treated with new cumbersome rules (basic and martial a la DnD, and up to +5 to hit!) that show a lack of understanding of the basic system. This could all be ignored, except then there wouldn't be much to use.

As a setting this book it is very incomplete. As mentioned by another reviewer. Western Europe is entirely left out of possible nations to use. So is Islam and the Arab conquests. Muslims had conquered Arabia, North Africa, Spain and had even marched on Paris by this time! They aren't in the setting. There is no explanation in the book why this is. As a Sandbox style setting this would be an epic fail.

The Plot Point campaign and Savage Tales exist which is a plus, however there are no Adventure generators and the Savage Tales are pretty sparse on details.

Religion is oversimplified to the point of dangerous. The Author tells us that religion plays a large part of the lives dark age peoples. It did but what we get in the book is grossly simplistic and wrong. The Plot Point campaign is set in Kievan Rus. There is no mention of the Eastern Orthodox Church (key to the formation of Kievan Rus) and its differences with the Roman Catholic Church. Although the Catholic Church is mentioned. The Catholic Church is represented as a inquisition driven organization with no mention of its powerful and altruistic unification of European culture. When specifics of Christian religion are mentioned it becomes a mish-mash of pantheistic theology poorly reminiscent of DnD. Christians are viewed as a bunch of haters whose main mortal sin is not punishing the wicked (which in this setting is everyone other than Christians). Reading between the lines the Christian Religion and its followers run a close second to the Demons as villains. In discussing Demons and the Undead the author cavalierly attributes motivations that are at odds with a functional alliance that stretches credulity from a secular standpoint let alone a theological one. And fails to logically explain why.

This setting book has tremendous potential. If you decide to buy it be ready for a lot of effort to make it work. I would suggest waiting for a re-write or another setting book.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2012 23:35:22

For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Like the expanded edition of Mercenary Breed, another of Mystical Throne Entertainment’s mini settings, this new iteration of Judgment Day is a refined and improved version of an already cool product. I reviewed the original release of Judgment Day previously so I won’t bother rehashing what I already wrote. What I will do is talk about what’s new in this expanded edition.

Beyond the additional new content, which I’ll discuss in a minute, the greatest improvement in this expanded release is a seemingly intangible thing – focus. The original book had a lot of great material for incorporating inquisitional organizations into a setting. The information as presented was well done but it lacked a unique sense of character – which is where this expanded edition comes in. Probably the most obvious improvement is the art. Everything from the excellent new cover to the B&W interior art evokes a unique horror element that wasn’t present in the original release. While the Inquisition is still the structural framework for games in Judgment Day, the presentation has taken on a decidedly darker lovecraftian feel which is exactly what this book needed. The original release mentioned the Cthulhu Mythos in passing but there’s something to be said for the stylistic consistency the expanded edition brings to the table. In addition to the art, the presentation has been tweaked to make this book feel less like an off shoot of MTE’s Savage Insider and more like its own product (like what was done with Mercenary Breed).

Content wise there are quite a few updates and changes. Much of the text has been reworked and rewritten and organizational structure is much improved. Also of note is a new section titled “Inquisitor’s Retinue” that lists options for characters being recruited for inquisitional jobs or missions. The section is of particular interest to me because it mentions supernatural recruits, which is an option that was not available in the first release – its inclusion here is very welcome.

The book also has an expanded bestiary that is organized by target type. There are sections on aliens, beasts, demons, dragons, ghosts, vampires and witches. This is an awesome addition since I lamented the fact that monsters, like were-tigers, were mentioned in the first book but not included in the bestiary. That omission has been rectified in spades in this new expanded edition and MTE has done a great job of making sure you’ll have plenty of nasties for your players to hunt (or be eaten by….).

Another area that has been reworked is the adventure generator. While Judgment Day includes a light weight Dresden-esque modern horror setting to use right out of the box, the book truly shines as a toolkit for building your own game setting. Aaron T. Huss, the mastermind behind MTE’s books, has retooled the adventure generator so that you can randomly build an adventure with a deck of cards. It’s important to note that this system is designed to provide a general framework and inspire creativity. It is not realistic to expect the tables to give you a fully fleshed out ready to go game. Just to illustrate – and because it’s fun! – let’s quickly use the tables to come up with a game idea.

Card 1- Genre Element and Era – 2 of Hearts: Post Apocalyptic, Ancient Egypt ….. cool!

Card 2 – Adventure Type and Purpose – Ace of Spades: Eliminate threat at all costs, Unknown Creature Sighting

Card 3 – Choose Your Antagonist – 3 of Clubs: Bargest

Card 4 – Creating Cults – Cults Location and Purpose – Queen of Hearts: Cult in urban area, Purpose is to Summon

Next I rolled dice on the 4 cult tables (Animals, Celestial Bodies, Colors and Misc.) to get some ideas about what kind of cult they are. I end up with Eagle, Planet, Blue, Burning

Using the elements above as inspiration I begin writing my adventure:

Famine to Feast…… For the Beast….. For the Beast

The city of Giza is the center of civilization. The untimely death of the Pharaoh has left the city at the mercy of several cults vying for power and control. In the midst of this political upheaval a vile inky black cloud darkens the sky. At first the populace is able to hold their fear at bay. Eventually, as weeks pass and the darkness persists, chaos erupts. Thousands are killed in the panic that follows. It becomes increasingly difficult to survive outside the city walls and news of the outside world is soon completely cut off. Those who remain within the city rally behind the leaders of one cult or another as each group explains away the darkness as punishment for trespasses committed by an opposing sect. Some of the more sinister groups start to call upon dark forces best left unnamed in a desperate attempt to wrest control of Giza from the opposition. One such cult, The Cerulean Flame, has started performing putrid rituals involving human sacrifice. They have summoned the Shadow of Anubis to seek out and feast upon their enemies. Unfortunately, the Shadow isn’t as particular about who its meals are as the Brothers of the Flame had hoped, and many of their own members have been slain and eaten. With each day that passes the carnage is greater and greater. To make matters worse, the Shadow of Anubis grows stronger with each feeding. It’s only a matter of time before the food runs out in Giza and the beast hunts abroad.

The pc’s are part of a group of hunters overseen by the Magi of Ra – a reclusive sect of seers who live in the deep desert. The magi are wise beyond years and have tasked themselves with seeking out and destroying evil in the world. Recently, the Magi have received news that a massive volcanic eruption has clouded much of the desert in the north in blackness for several weeks. There has been word that the city of Giza has fallen into chaos and that a cult within the city has summoned the Shadow of Anubis. The Magi know that the Shadow is insatiable and must be stopped at all costs. The pc’s are sent into the blackness of the north with instructions to kill the foul beast. They are warned that The Shadow of Anubis isn’t the only danger in the city. The cults within Giza are not to be trifled with. The Cerulean Flame literally has eyes everywhere. They have ensorceled desert eagles, identified by their stained blue crests, that watch over the city and report back to them. etc. etc. etc….

At this point one could flesh out a couple more cults and important npc’s and work on maps and descriptions of important locales. Again, the tables won’t give you a complete setting or adventure, but they are fantastic sources of inspiration!

This is a great expansion on the previous book. MTE has done a fantastic job of refining their output and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Judgment Day in the future. Everything about this release is improved (there’s a map in the included adventure!). That’s impressive considering that the original book was already a fine addition to the Savage Worlds product line. It’s also worth mentioning that if you already purchased the first release of Judgment Day you can contact MTE and get a discount code for the expanded edition. As I said in my previous review, it’s a fun read and there’s plenty here whether you want to use it in its entirety or just borrow bits and pieces.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
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Faith & Demons: The Rising
by Frank F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2012 13:17:56

I really like this book except for one big glaring omission. Where is Western Europe? Whatever happened to Charlemagne? It's like there's this huge, gaping hole where there should be France, the Duchy of Lorraine, Acquitaine, Spain. Unless I have missed something (which I may very well have) then this work is incomplete. What is there is excellent but incomplete.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising
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Savage Insider Issue #4: Shaking Things Up
by Lynnette L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2012 06:00:50

This issue was actually the first I picked up, and it made me immediately fall in love with the Savage lands. The articles are well written and kept your interest as you read, and they gave extremely good examples of characters and artifacts, as well as interesting ideas for making a stale game become exciting again.

Not only is the magazine well-written and easy to follow, but the graphics it contains are very well drawn out, and make the objects and people being described seem to pop out. This magazine left me with several new ideas for the game I am currently running. I will defiantly be checking out the earlier editions, as well as waiting eagerly to see what they roll out with next. Keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiration, guys!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue #4: Shaking Things Up
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Savage Insider Issue #4: Shaking Things Up
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2012 23:07:28

For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Another great issue of Savage Insider! This is my favorite cover by far. This issue includes an adventure for the upcoming Tunse'Al setting by Obatron Productions, as well as interviews, reviews, and other useful Savage Worlds gaming information. You can't beat the price either.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mercenary Breed (Expanded Edition)
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2012 22:59:26

For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Aaron T. Huss is a prolific fellow. In the past year he has launched Savage Insider, released Mercenary Breed, Judgement Day, and the Faith and Demons Quick Start, and has another setting called Ancient World in the pipeline. Somehow, during the flurry of releases, he has managed to go back and do a revised and expanded edition of Mercenary Breed – and this new version is awesome!

I reviewed the original release of Mercenary Breed awhile back and the core elements and intent of the setting are the same. You play a merc in the employ of a corporation who is sent out to settle the interests of your employer in a galaxy of your game groups design. While the setup is the same, what’s different is the presentation.

This book has been redone from front to back. In addition to the fantastic looking new cover (blows the old one out of the sky), the entire layout has been revamped. The new layout is much cleaner and word count per page has been reduced to facilitate a simpler more readable look. Comparing the two versions on my tablet I was very happy to see such a significant improvement. The new expanded version has foregone including all of the Savage Insider tie ins which results in the book feeling more like its own product as well as freeing up some real estate on the page.

As far as differences content wise, the additions seem like they were added from my mental wish list from the first edition. Equipment, maps, and ready to go npc’s? Check! The tables for generating planets, aliens, and adventures have also been retooled to embrace the use of playing cards. I liked this idea in Savage Space and I like it here!

So what’s missing? That depends on your perspective. Mercenary Breed is a mini setting that is purposefully designed to facilitate cooperative world building between GM’s and players. What that means is that this book isn’t designed to be a fully fleshed out game world. The book takes a toolkit approach which means that work is required. Aaron has included a couple of home worlds, corporations, and alien races to make it easy to get a game going quickly, but the real pay off comes when your group starts building a universe together and then playing in that cooperative playground.

Mystical Throne Entertainment will be releasing further material for Mercenary Breed in upcoming issues of Savage Insider so there’s a lot of room for growth with the setting. One area in particular that I hope will be expanded upon is space ships. Right now there are essentially no stats or rules for ships in the game. This makes perfect sense for a merc setting where all of the action is usually planet side. Rules for ships and space combat, however, would be an excellent area to focus on in an upcoming expansion.

This book is fantastic. The first premium issue of Savage Insider already has expansion material for the setting and I’m excited to see what comes out in the coming months. If you have any interest in a Savage Worlds space setting at all, you can’t go wrong adding Mercenary Breed to your collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed (Expanded Edition)
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Faith & Demons: The Rising - Quick Start Guide
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/25/2012 19:29:30

Usually when you find a Quick Start Guide, its to introduce you to a new system. In the case of Faith & Demons, it's to introduce you to a new setting for the Savage Worlds Rules.

So, what kind of setting is Faith & Demons? Well, it's our world, around the years 1000 AD (the authors don't use C.E. dating, and I applaud them for it). The Dark ages might be owing to an end, but creatures from the dark have made it into our world. It's a world of magic (many types of magic). It's a world in trouble, and it's up to your players to help stem the tide of the undead and other evil that walks the world.

It's historical in it's foundation, but obviously strays far and wide in this setting, which is fine. It's a fantasy setting will roots players can relate to.

The quick start includes a short introduction to the setting, a short adventure and 6 pregens. The one small complaint I have is that the pregens are caster heavy - 4 of the 6 characters are casters. Maybe it's my roots in D&D, but I feel that the numbers should be reversed. Well, that and the only part of Savage Worlds I have difficulty grokking is the casting. Go figure ;)

Still, not bad for free and looks like an interesting setting for Savage Worlds.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising - Quick Start Guide
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Faith & Demons: The Rising - Quick Start Guide
by Ghost W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2012 11:14:00

I'm not familiar with the savage worlds setting, but this was very well written, and had a few interesting characters in it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Judgment Day
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2012 23:42:36

For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at

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Like Mercenary Breed, Judgment Day is a mini setting for Savage Worlds. The book presents a variety of additional rules inspired by the Catholic Inquisition. It uses the basic structure of the Inquisition in much the same way that core Savage Worlds handles spells. Specifically, the underlying organizational structure is fairly universal and it becomes a matter of using the appropriate trappings to produce the desired game. The idea here is that there is a central governing body which has appointed a Grand Inquisitor, who in turns oversees the foot soldiers of the movement (the pc’s) in rooting out whatever evil the governing body finds most repulsive and or dangerous.

This basic setup covers a wide range of possible game types. For example, the GM may run a traditional Inquisition type game where the pc’s are representatives of the church who are tasked with finding and destroying witches, vampires, ghosts, etc. Alternately, one might run a game in the far future where the pc’s are tasked with finding and destroying hostile aliens in a setting that resembles a Warhammer 40k type game. There is a lot of common DNA here with games like Solomon Kane and Rippers as well. While I was reading through the book it occurred to me that it would even be fairly easy to use the rules to create a BPRD like organization from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe and superimpose that worlds trappings over the framework presented in Judgment Day. The only real restriction imposed in the book is that the pc’s cannot be what they are hunting (so no witch pc’s hunting witches). This is an easy to circumvent restriction though and one that I find interesting given that the Dhampir race presented in the Savage Insider Premium Issue 1 specifically discusses half vampires that hunt Vampires. The implications of that inspire me and I can see running a fairly interesting game where the church is unknowingly using monsters to hunt monsters or several other variations.

In addition to the rules for integrating an Inquisitorial organization into most any game or genre, there is also a setting provided by the writer Aaron T. Huss. The setting is pretty light and is placed in a modern time line covering events in and around the Great Lakes in the U.S.. While reading through the campaign provided I was immediately picturing Jim Butcher’s Dresden books- especially given that the characters are based in Chicago much like Butcher’s electronically challenged wizard protagonist.

Overall Judgment Day is a well put together book. The bestiary section was a little disappointing given that the book specifically mentions monsters like werewolves and were-tigers early on and then doesn’t include stats for them in the book. They can be found in other Savage Worlds products but including them would have made the book feel complete. Also, as I have mentioned in previous reviews of MTE products, I wish there were maps. Having said that, these mini settings are very favorably priced and satisfy their intended goal. Furthermore, MTE has plans for additional support through future releases of Savage Insider, and has already made good on that promise with the wealth of material offered for Mercenary Breed in Savage Insider Premium Issue 1. This is a fun product and even if you aren’t going to use it exactly as presented, there is plenty to read for inspiration.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day
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