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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by Jerome O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/14/2023 13:02:39

One of our fellow gamers had an unexpected job situation which forced us to suspend multiple game campaigns he was either running or was a PC. We agreed to put them all on indefinite hiatus until he can return.

As a backfill I convinced the other gamers to give Deep Space a try. The simplicity of the rules light d12 system allows for easy game flow along with a lot of space (no pun intended) for creativity. I ran the first session using the Golf Alpha Tango supplement. They all had a blast, and convinced a couple others to join for next session. I've added a Will mechanic (adapted from Adam Hensley's Monolith) to enable vices for characters along with potential low-grade psionics & astromancy.

For less than the price of a coffee, Deep Space and the supplements are big winners. Well done to Jonathan Hicks & Farsight Games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by James [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2023 12:36:20

This is an excellent "pick up and play" rules light game! The adventures are adventurous, the gear covers your Sci-fi tropes, and the starships are easy to build. I highly recommend.

Purchase Deep Space, Gear, and Starships and you will have all the tools you need for endless fun. Don't skip the adventures, they are well written if concise and give the flavor as well as the potential of the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2023 09:44:33

This excellent ruleset--which, with all of its supplements, will fit in your pocket!--manages to cover pretty much everything you need for a proper traditional space game with an absolute minimum of wasted space. Kudos! If I were to offer any feedback, maybe some slight guidance to doing settings other than the game's default one would be nice; though whats here is minimalist enough that that's easy to do on your own.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by Jim S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2023 11:57:44

Easy, flexible, quick to learn. Perfect for a one shot, or short campaign. Simple enough to be easily customized. D12s are used for task resolution, but d4s and d6s are also used. The setting is left vague.

I'm looking forward to giving this game a try



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by John A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2023 14:40:18

Disclaimer: my copy of "The Death of Elliot Jones" was provided as a complimentary copy in exchange for a review. That said, I have purchased everything else in the line at the time of this writing with my own funds. Not that the whole library of titles will set you back much. He's called this line of games "Quid Games" for a reason. As of this writing, the entire collection costs 7.62 USD.
I've been a fan of Jonathan Hick's work now for a couple of years. I'm not sure how we connected initially, but I became aware that I had a Facebook friend who a new book coming out called Those Dark Places. Then I saw it in my local game store, and I picked it up and I was hooked. I've run TDP several times, in my local store, in my home group, and at a convention. Jonathan is very approachable online, responsive to fan comments, and is one of the fastest content creators I've encountered in the industry. This doesn't mean that I'm an unabashed fan-boy, and this work has both positive and negative qualities. Deep Space is another vehicle to let let you run a Sci-fi game without doing a lot of work. I appreciate that a great deal. I dig that the character sheet is 1/4 of a page. And I give it bonus points for being built around a d12. Character creation is slightly harder than counting to 10. Task completion is roll under your skill value, or add your skill value to an opposed roll of d12. So far, we're up to a total of one column of content. Strength in brevity. There's a nice little table of weapon damage types, erring on the side of simplicity over simulation. I like how armor is structured to provide a variable type of damage reduction.
There is a short blurb on how to create three tiers of antagonists. I think the balance in this section could be tweaked a bit. As a rough example, the standard NPC is just slightly weaker than a PC, and the Trained NPC has many more skill points than a PC, albeit physically weaker. There is a nice section, almost one column devoted to Starship creation, which is expanded upon in Supplement #2. Good, good, we've covered two whole pages now. Strength in brevity. Page three is all about where you go and what you do, with rules on creating star systems and adventures. As a test, I generated a little five planet system in about 10 minutes. It immediately spawns ideas and possibilities for adventure hooks, just from the random rolling on the tables. The last page rounds out with a blurb on player experience after adventures. Not much on advancement, really mostly adaptation. I'd like to see this fleshed out in further supplements. The last page includes optional rules/suggestions for making Aliens (very "Planet of Hats") a brief list of equipment, a brief setting, and a few other bits. Strength in brevity. It's not a magnum opus of a Sci-Fi RPG, but I'd say it's pretty darn good for a Pound. I'm really looking forward to giving it a play test.

Edit: Since this writing, the author has modified the skill mechanic. One now adds a D12 to their skill score vs a target number of 13. This is an improvement and testament to the author listening to fan feedback.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by Jon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2023 08:40:38

"Blast across the stars and explore the universe in this simple, rules light roleplaying game" So says the introduction to Deep Space by Jonathan Hicks just released by Farsight games and available on drivethru rpg now. Deep Space certainly is light, coming in at four A4/Letter sized pages but it isn't lacking in the basics any competent referee would need to play a fun Travelleresque rpg.

It's a d12 based game (although the d12 is used to create other ranges from d2 to d6) with a very straightforward and sensible character generation system in which all characters have the same skill set, but the players get to balance these at different levels of skill to match their vision for their space hero. There's a unified resolution mechanic so that players can be off and running without recourse to looking at the rules pretty quickly. Weapons, armour and general equipment is kept very limited and general but the referee and players can very easily add to this as the examples given act as archetypes.

I like the way the author deals with NPCs. These too are archetypes and given ranks to describe their abilities from Standard to Elite: need a Red Shirt? He's a Standard, need his Lieutenant? He's Trained. Simple and effective. Another innovative concept designed to get things done quickly is the idea that creatures, vehicles and spaceships all get meaner as they get bigger. In this universe, the bigger it is, the more respect you give it! Spaceship combat is dealth with in a similar way to personal combat... just make sure you have someone in your party who has chosen to have a high rating in Pilot Starship skill!

There's even room on these packed pages for a set of star stytem/planet generation tables and then notes on adventures and the general game background. It's a neat little package and there are several adventures published already (which have amazing cover art to them by the way... Check them out). My only quibble... and this is very personal, my eyes don't get on well with white text on a black background, which is how Deep Space is presented. I don't know how easy it would be to produce a version on a white page but this would suit me better and also would be easier on my printer when I run off copies for players. I'm looking forward to getting some of the adventures. I recommend this game, take a look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Creator Reply:
Hi Jon - thanks for the review! Just FYI, I am working on printer-friendly black-on-white versions to be put with the existing versions. Thanks for the feedback!
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DEEP SPACE - A SIMPLE SPACE ADVENTURE TTRPG
by Joshua M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2023 20:13:11

I've been looking of a good minimalist space rpg for a while now. With space a lot of authors get overcomplicated and minimalist can be a too bare bones to handle complicated tech.

In four pages, Deep Space covers a lot of ground. As wrote there is more than enough there to have space adventures; a lengthy space exploration campaign even. For what it is this four page version is estonishingly complete.

The glaring omission for me is the lack of a extra-solar communication system, but with the low(er)-tech campaign setting established bad communication would be a feature and not a bug.

Johnathan Hicks has a lot to be proud of in this work. Solid mechanics and bare bones settign gives enough for enterprising GM's to flesh out a campaign. Good work. Looking forward for to reading more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Those Dark Places: The Ana-Sin-Emid Report
by Maria P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2023 16:45:52

Spoilers

Fascinating module. It's "Event Horizon", but baked into a small 'venture for the crew. I had the benefit of not knowing what Event Horizon even was until my players informed me afterward, and was informed that this being the case, I brought an incredibly fresh perspective to it. I very much got the impression that my unawareness of the source media was what lent to them actually enjoying themselves here, but I had also gone through the trouble of building a map for this with a friend (who may release it, eventually!). I discarded most of the baked in hallucinations for things that my player's may be interested in, but I very much gave them the direction of locking things up and making sure that they visited the bridge first to get things rolling and give them the opportunity to address pieces of the ship in chunks. I think if you do that, you can allow the module to shine a little bit more. Add some problem-solving to the general nature of it. Perhaps don't expect them to go back to the lower deck. I had a good time running this one, though; production value helped.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Those Dark Places: The Ana-Sin-Emid Report
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WEST - A Simple Western RPG
by Joseph W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2023 08:10:10

Hot Take: An entertaining, rules lite wild west rpg using the same engine as FIRETEAM

Pros Quick and easy read Character creation takes moments Simple system easily grokked Fun and fast Thematically on point

Cons Don't care for Specialities as these break the fourth wall No bestiary No setting No starting adventure Abilities are a mixed bag No guidelines for starting gear or wealth No open-ended mechanic so impossible rolls are just that - impossible. No Hero/Luck/Fate Points

Ok so let's start off by saying I really enjoy Jonathan's work. He cranks out fun games I like to run.

I first became acquainted with his work via his sci-fi military rpg - FIRETEAM. He later did a cyberpunk cop rpg which I have not yet read; I believe it uses the same system as WEST. WEST seeks to emulate the spaghetti westerns of all sorts from silly shoot 'em ups like Blazing Saddles and Cat Ballou to ultra-gritty gorefests like Tombstone and Unforgiven.

There's no setting presented, the author assumes the reader has seen at least one western so if you're expecting a deep dive into the genre you'll be disappointed. Watch Tombstone. There, research done.

The game is easy on the eyes and very brief totaling 14 pages with the cover and character sheet. I read it over lunch and because I know FIRETEAM, I pretty much know WEST. System wise WEST is virtually identical to FIRETEAM although reskinned.

You have three statistics: Rootin governing physical stuff, Tootin mental stuff, and Shootin attacking stuff. These are rated numerically, Players spend points among these with 2 being dirt average and 4 being very good.

The author has you distribute 8 points, minimum 1 maximum 4. Personally I don't care for this arrangement, the minimum 1 is overlooked and leads to issues. I'd just as soon the stats start at 1 and the Player distributes 5 points, maximum 3 to any stat.

The character sheet is one page and has large fields, I'd love for the sheet to have a little more panache like the Deadlands character sheet especially for tracking shootin' irons and injuries.

Mechanically WEST uses dice pools targeting 5-6 so each die has a 1:3 chance of generating a Success.

My issue with the word 'Success' goes way back, I would prefer the game use the word 'Hit' to avoid confusion with Success as in a roll of 5-6 or actually succeeding in what you're attempting.

Anywho, more Successes leads to bigger results. There's no mechanic for fumbles but I'd use roll of all 1s and something bad unexpected such as weapon jams or breaks, etc.

If you attempt something hard -1 die, if easy +1 die.

As far as combat goes, there's rules for gunfights/duels. Nothing groundbreaking and seems to work well.

For regular combats, you roll Tootin' with the most Successes going first. Personally, I'd just sum the roll of the dice and skip counting Successes. With most combatants rolling 2-4 dice that means at most 4 successes with most only getting 2 leading to lots of ties. Quicker and easier to just roll and sum.

Close range +1 die, further ranges -1 die. Ranges aren't tied to weapons, just simple ranges like in GURPS.

Cover -1 die, aiming +1 die. Combatants get 2 actions per round, some actions are 1, others 2.

I disagree wtih drawing and aiming taking 2 actions. If I wanna aim then shoot in the round that should be possible. If I wanna move and then end my turn aiming, that should also work but I risk losing Initiative the following round and my aim being interrupted. When using a scope, I allow up to 3 action spent aiming for +3D.

Drawing a rifle or carbine or other large weapon should be 2 actions.

NOTE! If you wanna avoid getting hit, (and you do!!!) you hold onto an action for a dodge or parry.

High roller wins meaning Defenders have to equal or exceed the Attacker's Shootin' Successes if they wanna avoid getting clobbered.

A few more action suggestions would be good as there's plenty of room on the page.

PCs have 10 Health, with knives inflicting 1d2 but pistols and rifles inflicting 1d6. Personally I'd have rifles inflict 2d6-2 minimum 1.

Extra Shootin' Successes inflict +1 Health per. Combat can be nasty, at 0 Health a character dies in their Rootin score in rounds. Making a medicine roll (presumably Tootin') saves the character's bacon but they're out of the fight and pretty much helpless.

My problem here is -10 Health is no worse than 0 Health, a single success saves a downed character. I would use a Massive Damage rule, take negative Health equal to or greater than your Rootin' and your PC takes a dirt nap. Any negative Health reduces the Tootin'/medicine pool.

Combats could be theater of the mind or on a grid of some sort (I prefer hex for both WEST and FIRETEAM).

Healing is slow, buckaroos who rest regain 1 Health per day unless their Health hits 0 or below at which point healing slows to 1 Health per week.

Characters can have Specialties. I don't care for these fourth wall breaking mechanics. Basically they're real world challenges or actions the Player takes to give their PC some in-game advantage. You get 1 but can acquire others with Trail Points. Some people will love these and more power to them.

Abilities are skills granting +1 die to the action. These are a mixed bag of useful and not so useful add-ons. IMO, Abilities should be reviewed and revised as the non-combat Abilities like Perform and Cooking are rated the same as Fanning.

IMO, PCs should have a trade and playing harmonica or cooking should be background/flavor and not cost valuable resources to acquire. The language of Abilities should be tweaked to make them read more Wild Westy. The mechanics for Abilities implies you can gain levels in them but this is unclear in the rules. PCs gain Trail Points by defeating enemies, encounters, and completing adventures. At 100 Trail Points you level up gaining +1 Health or +1 die to a Statistic. FIRETEAM sets a hard limit of each Statistic being improved once, WEST does not. I would probably limit each Stat being improved exactly twice.

For 300 points you can acquire a Specialty or Ability which is confusing because you don't spend Trail Points, you simply keep track of them and once you hit the threshold, you get the bump to your PC. The language here should be tweaked to remove all doubt.

NPCs provides VERY basic stats for foes and critters. Personally I'd like to see a full bestiary with horses, mountain lions, desperados, school marms, etc.

Ok so beefs: No open ended mechanic. I like my westerns to be as spaghetti as heck and that means at least one of the dice should explode. The following mechanic is suggested: Roll of 6 is one Success/Hit and reroll to see if you get more. If you wanna keep things gritty 1 die can explode (Wild West Die!). If you want things to be kooky-dukes, all dice potentially explode.

No fumble mechanic, I mentioned this above. Roll of all 1s and you suffer a setback. This is self balancing, the more dice the less likely a fumble, the fewer the more likely. Simple.

No setting, a one page town writeup would be keen. Pick a territory in the 1870s and create from whole cloth i.e. Rock Ridge.

No adventure, a one page adventure would be awesome

No variant gameplay/setting suggestions for adding weirdness like dinosaurs, zombies, mad science, or aliens into the mix.

No significant bestiary or foes, already covered but worth mentioning again.

Would like a smaller more themed character sheet.

No suggestions for starting gear, tie this to Trade/Profession and give me a list of gear so I can shop around for fancy new duds, pocket watches, mustache creams, shootin' irons, etc.

No luck/fate/hero point mechanic. Even if this isn't it's own separate economy (as is the case of FATE Core), it could be an in-reward for meritorious play. For my FIRETEAM games, 1 Hero Point = +1 die to a roll. I would call luck points Grit.

Need mounted combat mechanics for horses especially chases and shootouts while ridin'. Speaking of which, stats for different kinds of horses.

Final words: a worthwhile and enjoyable rules lite addition to the Wild West rpg genre, 3.5 stars out of 5.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
WEST - A Simple Western RPG
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Horror at Harris Station - a mission for FIRETEAM
by Fabio V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2023 04:49:06

A great 1 shot horror adventure with a very Aliens industrial military feel. Throughly enjoyed playing the heavy weapons specialist letting rip with his portable canon. The lite rules Fireteam was very easy to grasp and great to play.

So my recommendation for this scenario was because after just playing once, I had to purchase this excellent adventure and run it in the future. Since it was specifically written for Fireteam rules which are great, I see this adventure could also be used for Mothership RPG and Alien RPG with their marine character classes. RECOMMENDED.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Horror at Harris Station - a mission for FIRETEAM
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Cyber Streets - Rules Light Future Noir Roleplaying
by Guilherme L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2022 05:51:41

Amazing product! Love the lightweight rules and the evocative but certainly familiar cyberpunk vibe, while also being a "buddy cop show" type of game. The pixelated art makes it all come together. My only wish is that we had more cybernetics options! But it isn't hard to just lift from other games of the genre. Also, bookmarks would make it easier to navigate, despite being a small PDF. Great value!

Full disclosure: I got lucky and got the book for free. Yay.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyber Streets - Rules Light Future Noir Roleplaying
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Those Dark Places: The Gamma-Sigma 12 Report
by Aaron F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2022 18:38:51

At 37 pages this is the longest adventure for Those Dark Places yet! Like the other two by Farsight Games (aka the author of Those Dark Places himself Jonathan Hicks) this is a good adventure. A little more combat heavy than the others it includes some optional rules for making that go a little smoother. It has a couple good twists/surprises (no spoilers) and of course the situation is not entirely what the briefing says it is (but then they never are, right?). And if you don't want to use the adventure as written you can still use the deck plans for the sample ship (same one as in the other two adventures though) or the 3 page plans for the station itself in your own adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Those Dark Places: The Gamma-Sigma 12 Report
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FIRETEAM - Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying
by Joseph W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2022 09:10:12

A worthy ultra-light sci-fi rpg focused on the small-unit tactics of future soldiers in a war-ravaged human-dominated universe.

The system is d6 die-pool based with only 3 statistics: Combat, Control, and Command. Damage is tracked in Health Points.

Successes are generated on a 5-6. No rules for exploding dice, critical hits, luck points, etc. but the game is intended to be ultra-lite, nothing an entertaining publisher couldn't add.

There are four roles which cover the different classes of specialist soldier fighting for humanity's survival in a very hostile setting: Assault, Tech, Medic, and Heavy. Each role has one or more special abilities. One criticism: Assault has the most versatile and useful ability and Heavy the least.

Like the bad@ss commandos in Predator, the fireteam members are hard as nails and well-trained when compared to the average threat but fortunes shift on the battlefield quickly and it doesn't take long for a specialist to run low on Health and wind up taking a dirt nap. The Medic is the cleric of the setting they'll be using their 10 units of Stimgel to keep everybody upright.

It's a fun very focused game. This isn't the game to run telenovelas but it can be a helluva lot of fun as a pickup game at cons or when your regular game runs short on players.

Fireteam is published with the OGL covering system and setting so anybody who wants to publish their own rules, tech, setting, and missions can do so.

Let's ROCK!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FIRETEAM - Rules Light Military Science Fiction Roleplaying
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The Three Peaks of Azra-Kalan
by Leon K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 13:22:26

Very good stuff, Easy to adapt into any custom setting. Well done folks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Three Peaks of Azra-Kalan
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Those Dark Places: The AMC-222 Report
by Aaron F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2021 14:12:06

Another great adventure by the author of Those Dark Places himself! Longer than the previous one, this is a non-linear investigatory/horror adventure. Please note the content warning, I can definitely see how the body horror elements might be too much for some people. The module contains a map of the asteroid mine and as a bonus also includes a deckplan for the DSRV Grahams (whic is also the same recommended PC ship from the last adventure). At the very end of the advenutre is some good backstory that could be used for future adventure hooks or even a small campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Those Dark Places: The AMC-222 Report
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