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[Savage Worlds] EXTREME EARTH: A DYSTOPIAN SUPERHERO SETTING
by YANN E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2018 15:24:31

Nice and imaginative setting, dystopian super heroes is something which appeals to me. The only bad point for me is the absence of bookmarks on that PDF.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[Savage Worlds] EXTREME EARTH: A DYSTOPIAN SUPERHERO SETTING
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[Savage Worlds] EXTREME EARTH: A DYSTOPIAN SUPERHERO SETTING
by Dennis M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2018 00:21:25

This is the second system for which I have purchased this book in both PDF and 'dead tree' version. I was impressed with the concept of a dystopic supers background and its execution in this product for both systems. The setting is meaty and the reasons things are as grim as they are in 'Extreme Earth' are well-considered and plausable enough for a for a supers setting that dis-allows magic, time travel/control, dimensional travel, among a few other limitations in setting. Firearms are still a threat unless your powers of regeneration are excellent. A limited selection of characters are provided as examples and are usable as PCs. Several campaign models are included. A two-part adventure is also provided. I recommend purchasing this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[M&M3e] The Great Game
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2018 00:32:33

I'll start with the nitpicky little details about "The Great Game." There are a few missed instances of the term "ICON" which reminds the reader that this book was ported over from a different system. A few typos pepper the text, and are more numerous in the last few sections of the book. The most notable one is a recurring one: 'ee' often shows up in spots intended to say 'be.' Overall these are relatively few and won't impact the usefulness of the material in-game. The artwork ranges from servicable to really top notch. The star map is particularly great looking.

As to the setting material, I was impressed. There are a lot of homages being paid to various other science-fiction materials, and it's obviously done with the utmost respect for those. The backstory provided works well as a backdrop or even some ways to account for your player character's motivations and source of powers. Each area has a good amount of detail into their motivations, enmities and rulers, which certainly feels cosmic. An imaginative GM could easily run an entire campaign with the materials and hooks provided. There's certainly no reason you couldn't roll some of these concepts into those provided in the "Cosmic Handbook" but it would take some effort to make it all play well together. If you don't want to use, or don't have that book, "The Great Game" gives you lots of ideas to use and is well worth the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[M&M3e] The Great Game
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[Mutants and Masterminds]The Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition Conversion Pack
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2017 21:05:48

I genuinely hate to post this in some ways, as I consider the Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition itself a great piece of work. Unfortunately, I can't feel the same about the M&M conversion pack.

The problem is that either Jason Tondro doesn't have a really good grasp of the system, or he wasn't paying attention to his own characterization of some of the characters when he did the conversion; perhaps he assumed some things you can get by with in Icons would also work in M&M.

They don't.

Before anyone takes issue with what I'm about to say, I know that not all supervillains need to be evenly set at PL; some are behind the scene masterminds, or are set up so a combat against them isn't really supposed to be at all balanced to their benefit. The particular characters I am about to discuss are indicated as not being like this, however. And as the numbers in the M&M conversion go, some of them would be hard pressed to survive more than a round or two against even a single superhero of the power one would think they're intended to go up against.

A couple of standout examples:

Muezzin is set up so he's got an ability that lets him blend into crowds, but the text at the start of his entry indicates that he should be able to "hold his own against most hero groups." The problem with this is that while he's got a perfectly reasonable offensive capability (a rank 12 area damage power in addition to a rank 12 single target one and a a similar powered Affliction, both with an attack value of +10), his defensive abilities are nearly nonexistant; he's got a Dodge and Parry of 8 and a Toughness of +3. That not only won't stop any even halfway serious super, it won't even reliably fend off a couple of cops or two. If he was entirely a stealth attacker, that might be workable, but after a single attack his presence will be revealed and he has no good way to go to ground again.

A similar problem occurs with Cardinal Sin. Though Sin is supposed to mostly be a behind-the-scenes type, the first sentence of his entry mentions that though he throws minions at them first, he should be able to hold his own against a group of PL 10 heroes. Yet he has a Dodge and Parry of 6 and a Toughness of +4. He doesn't even have Muezzin's area effect to try and hope he can flatten his opposition quick.

Frankly, I'd be astonished if either of these characters lasted a single round once combat began with a set of PL 10 opponents.

While these are particularly unfortunate cases, they aren't the only cases of characters who really aren't built to be able to serve the functions they avowedly should serve. It seems like it was assumed in the Foreman's write-up that a hero group will contain no one who uses energy attacks, as while he's quite resistant to physical attacks, an energy attacker could put him down relatively easily. Yes he's supposed to be a character that challenges characters to have to find another way of defeating him, where one energy controller or mystic will make that moot.

To be clear, not every conversion suffers from these problems. For his PL, the Raptor is not badly designed (though a bit under-offensed) and Montana seems capable of holding her own. But enough of the characters are seriously underdefended that I suspect most users will simply need to rewrite them to be functional--and if you're going to do that, you might as well do the conversion yourself from the Icons book.

As I said, the best I can assume is that Mr.Tondro doesn't thoroughly have a feel for how combat situations in M&M work, and has carried over assumptions from Icon that just don't port over properly.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
[Mutants and Masterminds]The Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition Conversion Pack
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[ICONS]Against the Axis
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2016 08:26:07

My only real issue with this pdf is that it's listed as 189 pages and is actually 89 pages. The operative question is: what's not to love a about it. Though sent in a different continum and released by a different company, "Against the Axis" is a follow up-continuation-revision of the concepts Perin's earlier ICONS book "Homefront Heroes". "Axis" focuses on the theaters of war. Basically, if you want to tell a Golden Age story with ICONS, what you need is probably in here. Also, because the contributors are ICONS heavy hitters, like Houser and Tondro, esthetically and mechanically it should fit well with most published ICONS material. For those interested in Stark City, the book offers a Kirbyesque ancient aliens origin of superpowes.

If you like ICONS at all, you shouldn't be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]Against the Axis
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Creator Reply:
thanks for catching the typo regarding number of pages. We have fixed that.
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/20/2016 21:47:53

Conclusion: I loved the Basic Edition so much I named it one of my Top 6. This book tops that, expanding from 98 pages to a whopping 231 pages, written with both love and thought by Jason Tondro. I recommend it for any supers GM and anyone interested in the structure that has molded some of the finest villains in comic book history. Now if we could just get Mr. Tondro's Field Guide to Superheroes in print as well...

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/09/tommys-take-on-super-villain-handbook.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition
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[M&M3e] EXTREME EARTH: A DYSTOPIAN SUPERHERO SETTING
by Dennis M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2016 00:42:19

I purchase this with an eye to finally using my M&M3Ed rules, and I am even more fired up to do so now that I've had a chance to read this campaign setting cover to cover, so to speak. I was so impressed I have purchased the printed book as well. If you've got a hankering to run a supers game in a universe close to that which may be seen in Stormwatch: Team Achilles and The Authority, this is a campaign setting you need to check out! I am eagerly awaiting more material for this campaign setting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[M&M3e] EXTREME EARTH: A DYSTOPIAN SUPERHERO SETTING
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Justice Wheels #6 Hexarcana [ICONS]
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2016 10:25:04

This is my favorite of this series. I have the entire run. I liked their take on vehicle rules an the whole set is great as illustrated examples of the simplified rules. They even feature a chart cross referencing different forms of escape and pursuit. Its perfect, when you think about it. Then there is this #6 issue.

Hexarcana ,of course, reminds me of a paticular hellish biker from the movies, which is great. Out of the entire Justice wheels set, I would most likely play her right out of the box. If anything about this series peaks your interest buy this episode, the vehicle rules are packed in the back. You will have my favorite of the set to look over and see if the rest are worth collecting. (I thought so, and Im stingy.) If you decide not, you invested only one dollar and still have a kick but antihero biker chick with a nice set of rules for vehicles in your ICONS game. Trust me, either way you do not lose.

For the price and what it gives you this product has earned every star I have given it. I cant give it five because... lets face it... its not an opera or anything. I have to save something for the next Divine Comedy: the RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Justice Wheels #6 Hexarcana [ICONS]
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Against the Axis KS Preview: Sinder Ella
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2016 07:03:53

The preview just has the character of Sinder Ella in it, but I definitely can't wait for the finished product to come out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Axis KS Preview: Sinder Ella
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[ICONS]Improbable Tales: Belly of the Beast
by Dominique S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2015 21:11:52

Just a quick review, as I'm strapped for time. This is a fun little adventure, something you can knock out in one session, and can be easily rolled into an ongoing campaign. It's got an old school "feel" to it. I liked it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]Improbable Tales: Belly of the Beast
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[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/24/2015 17:32:11

Let’s start with what’s greatest about this product: it focuses on the villains, and it focuses on their stories. A few days ago, my 11-year-old son was asking for advice on creating scenarios for ICONS. One of the things I told him was, “You have to think about the villains and their motivations. What do they want, and how do they try to get it, and how does this cause problems for the heroes?” The Super Villain Handbook provides a really nice resource for thinking about those questions. Jason “Dr. Comics” Tondro has structured the book around the dramatic roles that different kinds of villains play in comics stories rather than around their power sets. The “Stories” section of each archetype explores typical goals, recurring themes, and support cast rather than a bullet list of “adventure hooks” or specific capers (as in Fainting Goat’s Miscreants, Malefactors, and Megalomaniacs or the World’s Most Wanted series). Those “Stories” subsections are very good and, in my mind, they are the chief selling point for this book.

Now for elements that are of good quality, but not sufficient reason to purchase the book. The artwork is very enjoyable (though I’d like to see the Deluxe Edition include specific credits for the artwork, since I don’t know each artist’s signature). I also really appreciate how Jason has included an appendix that sort of “converts” archetypes from the Field Guide to Superheroes into villainous archetypes.

It’s not all wine and roses, though. This book is actually a subset of a larger project (not yet released at the time of this writing), a kind of “down payment” for those who backed the Handbook on Kickstarter. The unfinished quality of the work shows through in five particular respects. I’ll list them here from least annoying to most egregious. (1) The Basic Edition is only about half the length of the Deluxe Edition (in number of archetypes). This isn’t really a weakness of the Basic Edition, but it’s important information for people to have when deciding whether to purchase. (2) The book introduces and uses rules for cosmic-level characters that will be changed in the Deluxe Edition to line up with the official ICONS supplement “C is for Cosmic” in the ICONS A-Z series. I appreciate both Jason’s shout-out to the old Marvel FASERIP system in the rules included in the Basic SVH and his (and FGG’s) flexibility in changing the cosmic-level rules to match “C is for Cosmic.” Again, this is not so much a weakness of the Basic SVH as it is a caveat emptor so that potential buyers will understand the differences between the Basic and Deluxe editions. (3) Not all of the archetypes feature artwork. I don’t consider this a really big deal, but it’s really noticeable. (4) This is a 99-page PDF with no bookmarks. Well, I take that back. The cover, table of contents, and back cover are bookmarked—the three pages you least need to have bookmarked. A full set of bookmarks needs to appear in the Deluxe Edition. (5) The book’s big weakness is that the stat blocks at the end of each archetype lack context, and in at least one case they’re not really consistent with the archetype writeup. Essentially, Jason gives us stats for a character embodying each archetype. But although these characters clearly have specific individual flavors and personalities — they are instantiations of the archetype, not stats for a bland generic version of the archetype (and that’s a good thing) — they don’t have names or even brief backstories. This is a gaping hole that needs to be patched in the Deluxe Edition. The most jarring example of this is the Conqueror. The writeup is for the Brain, from the Pinky and the Brain cartoon. But the Brain is a laboratory mouse, so he doesn’t at all fit the advice given in the “Abilities” section of the Conqueror writeup. An unwary reader who didn’t perceive that the stat block reflected the epigram could easily become confused. And while I love Pinky and the Brain, I don’t think the Brain is really a good example of the Conqueror archetype for RPG purposes.

Jason Tondro is a good writer, so awkward phrasings and grammatical errors are much rarer here than is typical for FGG (sorry, Mike). The layout is bland but not objectionable; the page frame is easier on the eyes than the one for Stark City. The typography is boring to the point of stale (Arial? Trebuchet? Really?) Oh, and “supervillain” should either be one word or hyphenated, not two separate words. The phrase “supervillain handbook” denotes a handbook for supervillains; the phrase “super villain handbook” denotes a super handbook for villains. There’s a difference.

The bottom line is that I’d advise potential buyers to wait for and purchase the Deluxe Edition. The Basic Edition shows that the Deluxe Edition will be a great resource. But this is really more of a Preliminary Edition than a Basic Edition. I feel pretty sure the Deluxe Edition will be a 4-star or 5-star product, but at the time of this writing the Deluxe Edition isn’t out yet.

Full disclosure: I received the Super Villain Handbook, Basic Edition as a free review copy. I did not back the Kickstarter — not because I didn’t want to, but because I was so distracted with other things at the time that I didn’t get my pledge in during the campaign.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
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[ICONS] Worlds Most Wanted #4
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/23/2015 21:34:13

Vertexor’s origin story is a real stretch, even for comic-book biology … but it’s so much fun, who cares? Shrinking heroes and villains are all the rage right now, as I write this review within a week after the Ant-Man movie’s release. Vertexor is permanently shrunk, adding a neat wrinkle. As with all the WMW and Space Supers issues, I love the use of an action figure card as the cover—but Vertextor’s “creator,” Prospero, would no doubt point out that the “actual size” Vertexor on the cover appears to be a 3.5"–4" action figure rather than an 8" action figure. For reference, 8" is the size of the G. I. Joes, Mego superheroes, and Star Trek figures that were popular back in the 1970s. The one on the cover doesn’t seem to have enough points of articulation to be an 8" figure. Okay, now I’m just geeking out. World’s Most Wanted #4: Vertextor is definitely worth the asking price ($0.75 as of this writing) and can add a dose of big fun to your ICONS gaming.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS] Worlds Most Wanted #4
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[ICONS] Worlds Most Wanted #8 - The Locust
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2015 15:49:30

Just a couple of days ago, my younger son was thinking out loud about possible capers for insect-themed heroes. Now here comes the Locust to give him a great example of how the villain’s motivation can be somewhat independent of the villain’s theme/totem. Mechanically, the Locus is a little boring, but his personality as revealed in the two-page writeup is just the right amount of quirky. All three of the one-paragraph plot hooks are well worth exploring. For me, the third is the most inspiring, and I may use it soon or turn it over to my son for him to develop. The “MSRP” of $3.99 would be way overboard for one page of art, one-and-a-half pages of content, and the OGL page, but the actual selling price of $1.00 is a good value. My rating tops out at four stars instead of five because of production values. I love the “action figure card” covers on the series, and Ade’s artwork is great for ICONS, but the typography is boring (Franklin Gothic? Trebuchet?) and the text needed another pass or two by a copy editor (an “and” on p. 2 is missing its “d”; “outwitted” is misspelled on p. 2 as two words; and so on). But these imperfections aside, I really enjoy and recommend this installment in the WMM series.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS] Worlds Most Wanted #8 - The Locust
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[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2015 09:20:34

This book feels unfinished. Especially when compared to Dr. Tondros Field Guides to Superheroes. Concepts end in the middle of pages. Not every archetype has a picture. The archetype examples do not have any names, just stats hanging at the end of each article. For example one under 'Cosmic Menace' looks like a shark composed of stars and nebula gases like a more animalistic Galactus which doesnt look like a giant guy wearing a pointy helment. I guess you could call it... 'the Cosmic Menace' or 'the Galactic Shark' or 'Jax, the Eater of Stars'.

I think his Kickstarter program reached the levels to trigger making the 'Youverse' and the double lengthed expert edition and so they just left this book on its final edits. "We'll cover the rest of this stuff in the delux edition," they no doubt told themselves. The problem is you can feel this rushed incompleteness. If this product peaks your interest, you should probably wait for the double the pages at double the price deluxe edition.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Basic Edition
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Creator Reply:
Andrew sorry you were disappointed hit me up at mikelaff at gmail dot com and I\'ll refund your full purchase price.
[FAE]Villains Accelerated
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2014 22:44:00

Villains Accelerated is an amazing product. It is a wonderful resource for a villains for your Fate Accelerated supers game. I has wonderful art and the villains are really cool. They are great example of how to build your own heroes or villains using Fate Accelerated Edition. I truly hope to see more Fate products from Fainting Goat Games!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[FAE]Villains Accelerated
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