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Hill Cantons Compendium II
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2015 17:51:55

This one almost passed me by but luckly I was paying attention to what is a great little twenty one page gem of a product. This one has everything you need to get into the OSR deep end of classes, attribute checks and more. There's no fuss or anything with this latest installment of the Compendium. I do love what is available here. A solid back drop of everything but the kitchen sink for a campaign especially on some of the details about the Hill Canton universe's locations. The layout is clean and concise, details nicely laid out, and the material a perfect drop in package for a campaign. The pdf is nicely done and I can't wait to use some of these! Done with the wit,style, and pluck that I've come to expect from the Hill Canton author/blogger. Perfect OSR material to grab and use in a wide variety of OSR style games!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hill Cantons Compendium II
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Strange Stars
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2015 16:24:06

I would rate this 4 1/2 stars if I could.

This is a great book, full of wonderful ideas, fantastic art, and enough campaign hooks to keep you playing for years.

But yeah, $9.99 for thirty pages made me hesitate. I understand the cost of art and production value and etc... But its the words that I truly care about and the words here are worth the price tag.

Strange Stars is one part old-fashioned Space Opera, and one part modern trans-humanistic cutting edge sci-fi, and has room enough to shift play style to either end of that continuum if you are unhappy with the mix.

I cannot wait to see more of the Strange Stars universe.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Strange Stars
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Strange Stars
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2015 18:46:37

Strange Stars is like a smoke ring from the 70's or 80's from the fevered mind of its author, and its a graphic as well as artistic slight of hand trick of a laser sword of retro science fantasy gaming goodness. The author presents a great overview of his space opera setting with great artwork and a wary eye towards the material being used in your games. This book is wall to wall system neutral artwork as good as your going to find. The races are really nicely designed and can fit into a wide variety of science fiction or fantasy settings. Strange Stars is a wily and so what lean beast, its part setting book, part alien races, and a whole lot of details designed around the fact that this beast wants to be your go to space opera campaign. Everything from the beginning possible PC's races to full adventure hooks are right there at your fingers. You can think of this book as a candy sampler of retro science fiction goodness that never existed until now. This starts with the cover which pays a nice nod to the original Star Frontiers game to the layout and graphics which references everything from Marvel style sci fi comic series to things like Star Wars. This is a style choice and a very well done idea in what it does. Nine ninety nine might seem a bit steep for a simple but its not because this is wall to wall well done artwork. If you grew up thumbing through Barlowe's Guide To Extraterrestrials, reading Micronauts under the covers with a flash light your going to want this book. Because this setting book taps into the nostalgia buttons but there's more. This is a very workable space opera setting with all of the trimmings to get you started in the universe of Strange Stars. Trust me, this is a world where one week your adventurers will be battling PHARESMID SYNDICATE and then taking down the machinations of the THE VOKUN EMPIRE. Its all right there at your finger tips and best of all its system neutral. Use it with your favorite OSR sci fi retroclone or Traveller or Fate or whatever system you want. I see how and why the author has done what he's done. This is a solid impact of a book into the sci fi market. Very cool and I highly recommend this book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Slumbering Ursine Dunes
by Adam K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2015 20:11:31

Wonderful old school adventure with dry wit and a heap of weird Russian fantasy. I'm glad to have backed it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slumbering Ursine Dunes
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The Hill Cantons Cosmology
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2014 17:42:36

Now this I can give 5 stars. Short, but packed with original and interesting details of the gods and religions of the Hill Cantons world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Hill Cantons Cosmology
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Slumbering Ursine Dunes
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2014 17:37:50

Quirky and idiosyncratic, this sandbox-y setting reminds me a lot of the sword-and-sorcery fiction of the 60s and 70s, with a faint resemblance to Moorcook and Bakshi along the way. The area could be explored and rushed through is a few sessions, or an imaginative GM could spin things out much longer.

I liked everything that was here, but came away with a vague feeling like something was missing. The four factions that occupy the Dunes could all use some additional development, and some additional plot elements setting them in motion would really make this a 5 star product in my opinion.

I would easily rate this 4 1/2 stars if I could.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slumbering Ursine Dunes
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The Dungeon Dozen
by Brian O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2014 22:18:44

I wish I had given more money.

I had no idea how much frikken content I was getting until I actually downloaded it. There is 225 PAGES of tables in there! And assuming there's at least 1 table per page (which is conservative, since many pages have two tables), that means this guy has thought up more than 2,700 different results!

I mean, this shit is mindblowing, I HAD NO IDEA HOW MUCH I WAS GETTING! Really, flabbergasted here, and from a random sampling, the tables seem to have pretty solid results and great suggestions, all the way through the book. I mean christ, I think the only table this BOOK, and I'd like to emphasise that it is a BOOK, doesn't have, is a table to randomly pick which table you roll on!

I love it! Very system and thematically agnostic too, I plan to use it throughout my DCC campaign, and I'm very excited to do so!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dungeon Dozen
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Weird Adventures
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2012 13:54:35

Weird adventures is, in my mind, a mix of things that usually do not work with me. Pulp era heroics with Fantasy adventure and a sorta-semi-Earth like world. Usually this is enough to turn me off of a game. But here it seems to work well. Very well.

So WA is a Pulp era game. Though not really OUR pulp era, but one on a world very similar to our own. Not WoD similar-but-darker or even D&D world like but not alike. This is our world with some odd distortions. Sorta like the world of a pulp era comic. We know that the creators of D&D and FRPGs were heavily influenced by the pulps. What if that influence was more heavily felt than say the fantasy ones or the the Tolkien ones. We might end up with some similar to Weird Adventures.

Now this book is designed as a fantasy campaign world. So it is not by itself a playable game, you need other rules in order to play it. The book is written as system neutral, but obviously the prime influence here is older D&D. Both Ascending and Descending ACs are given in the handful of monsters.

What I like about the book is that these different elements mix and merge so well. Fantasy Adventure and Pulp Adventure seem to be two sides of the same coin. I love the layout and look of this book too. They made to remind the reader of a pulp era magazine and it works well.

The art is fantastic really. The piece with the adventurers in a tomb with a beholder is fantastic. The monsters were all great. I loved the Hill-billy Giant.

There are somethings though I didn't care for. While I can see why they did it, I don't like some near-Earths. This is not a deal breaker. I like it for example in most Supers games. I think I would have rather have used it with a real earth. While it is designed for any game, I would have liked some more crunch. At the very least give me some rules for guns.

I think it would a solid addition to any older D&D or the clones, and even a solid addition to any Pulp Era game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Weird Adventures
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Weird Adventures
by Tim S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2012 21:41:25

...blues man scribing the perfect murder ballad in the jaundice hue of a street light. I want to be a smuggler running bootleg alchemicals in a forest infested with shotgun wielding ogres and they are the least of my worries. I want to be a photographer who captured a picture of oil para-elementals tearing apart a rigging crew and is now running from big oil. Rumor is they hired a hit fiend to get to me before the pictures could be released. I want to be a scholar who's discovered the gargoyles have collect treasures through every history and store them in a sacred mountain. I want to play Weird Adventures in black and white, wear a hat and pretend I smoke.

Weird Adventures is a world setting that takes very interesting twists on our real world. Set in a world where weird is not weird, but the normal. Where Ripley's Believe It or Not mixes with Film Noir and pulp magazines. It's a world where you need to big...huge or no one will notice you. It's a place for big adventures and big ideas.

Trey has developed a world of some depth. If you have every read his blog, From the Sorcerer'sSkull you know most of his posts are dedicated to the City and the surrounding world. Nothing is out of bounds. You can run this setting with pretty much any elements you can come up with. The City is a playground to be explored and the wonders enjoyed.

I bought both the PDF and hardcover (actually two of them). The books are gorgeous. The artwork really enhances the content and you can tell they had a lot of fun. Trey set up the book for easy reference, but I guarantee the first time you pick it up you'll read it cover to cover because it is a great read. Then Trey added some great touches by adding mock advertisements.

I think Weird Adventures hits all the right notes. If I did a rating system I would give it a 5 out of 5. But I think the true test of a good gaming book is after you read it you want to play it. And I want to play in The City. I want to be...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Weird Adventures
by michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2012 12:53:11

This system neutral supplement is pure magic. it takes a look at the Americas, especially North America through a fantasy lens. the time period the book is mainly concerned with is something roughly analogous to the 1930's, although the game uses a different dating convention. Fantasy North America or Septentrion as it is called here is a land of danger and adventure, with hillbilly giants, dust bowl zombies, infernal gangsters, goblin hobos and much much more. The book provides a wealth of detail on both the northern and southern continents of the new world, with a particular focus on the Union, a nation which is similar, but hardly identical to the US. The star of the book, though is Empire City. Located in the north east of the union the City (as it is most often referred to in the text) and situated over primeval ruins and subterranean complexes left behind by the ancients, is a richly detailed setting all in and of itself worthy of several years worth of gaming. anyway, I'm not big on published setting, but I'd run this one in a heartbeat. Buy it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Weird Adventures
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/28/2011 06:08:09

Weird Adventures is a sourcebook for a game setting that is a mixture of traditional fantasy elements and a mad infusion of weird pulp fiction (mostly) set in a strangely familiar nation and city.

The sheer density of setting texture and detail alone makes this sourcebook a must-buy, but it's tied together by a weird conglomeration of almost-recognizable elements taken from history, period culture, myth, movies, fiction, comics, and pulp novel arcana that works as a setting. There is some lacuna left for the tastes of the DM -- but those spaces are easily filled by nabbing from both traditional fantasy and 1920s Americana.

It is a bit light on the game mechanics for a sourcebook, but the new monsters have stats that can be extrapolated to any D&D ruleset, and the DM is open to establishing how prevalent and powerful guns and transport might be in his/her campaign. I do recommend allowing yourself to be inspired by both magic and mad science in answering these questions, as the setting seems to excel at keeping players and GMs on their mental toes in anticipating secrets and twists to the adventure hooks. I'd love to give examples, but to do justice I'd have to give an entire entry away!

The art truly evokes both the feeling of the source material and the conceit of being a travel guide of sorts into this strange realm, and -- while I only have the PDF version -- I think that the printed copy will make a handsome, conversation-starting addition to any gaming collection.

Just make sure your friends don't borrow it without you knowing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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