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Vagabonds of Dyfed
by gavin b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2018 01:53:49

Disappointed there is apparently no way to print out parts of the pdf as a booklet (as the page order comes out wrong). It seems the only way to print is on A4, which is inconvenient to say the least. With every other poduct I've bought here on DriveThruRPG this is possible.

Hi Sigil Stone,

in reply to your suggestion to print single column, it doesn't make a difference. If I had a pdf editor, I could probably reformat the thing, but I don't, and while I might simply print out the entire book, scan the bits I want as booklets (mainly to put on the table for players to consult during the game or character creation) and then print them out in the format I want, that's a lot of work...

There's no need for a refund, I think like the game in itself, but $10 for a pdf that lacks the flexibility & ease of use of just about every other pdf game product is disappointing. My suggestion is you take a good look at your pdf, and fix it so that it becomes print-friendly, and is not just a file to be read on electronic devices.

(there seems to be no way to reply to a reply, so I've edited my original comments)



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Vagabonds of Dyfed
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Creator Reply:
Hello! Did you try printing the single column mobile-friendly version? If you use a PDF program such as Adobe Acrobat it should be able to print with 3-4 columns per standard US Letter page depending on how you select your print / display options. So sorry for the disappointing experience, we would be happy to provide a refund for you. Let us know here and we'll try to help solve it!
Vagabonds of Dyfed
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2018 14:55:53

TL/DR: Hippy love-child of OSR and PbtA game theories. Takes the deadly, simulationist aspects of OSR, as well as being somewhat compatible with OSR material (to some degree, tho not to my satisfaction, really). Marries that with the smooth, player-driven narrative and 2d6 mechanics of Apocalypse World Engine games.

Pros:

  1. Very easy to memorize and implement game mechanics that allow a vast range of freedom for both the players and the GM while still retaining some semblance of simulationism reminiscent in old-school revival games.
  2. Flexible character creation that should not take a very long time but allows flexibility for players to emulate many different fantasy tropes or mash ups of different tropes.
  3. Conversion is pretty simple for OSR creature stats to VoD format. But not necessarily that easy for creatures with class levels.
  4. Things like money, economy, encumbrance, resources, and even equipment are somewhat abstracted to speed up play.
  5. At least moderately compatible with literally thousands of OSR adventures.
  6. System lends itself well for "Adhoc" sandbox GMing style where little to no prep can still mean a fun time and meanigful story progress.

Cons:

  1. Conversion of characters or NPCs with class levels from OSR material significantly more work than the monsters without too much guidance in rules so far.
  2. Some things are glossed over while in reality can become sticky points in a simulationist style gameplay going for "harsh but fair" reality. These things can be proactively fixed by adding a little bit more details to the rules based on OSR examples.
  3. The "speed" or initiative system uses negative numbers, seems as if this should have been scaled outward to simplify it by only positive numbers.
  4. OSR magic items and spells will not directly translate over well to VoD, but they are so intrinsically important to the balance of a lot of OSR adventures, this will require the GM to prep more and either convert the spells and items ahead of time OR rework portions of the adventures that make use of them.
  5. While there's a pretty good amount of special abilities for characters presented in the core rules, this is one area that could easily be expanded upon and provide some "advanced" abilities that are unavailable until higher levels. As a result, characters using the core rules only for advancement will tend to have more options and become better at more variety of things rather than getting better and better at whatever their core concepts are about. What you'll end up with is a party of Jack of All Trades instead of a party of specialists, which could make it harder for the GM to spotlight certain PC's for certain things.

Final Thoughts: When I heard about this Kickstarter for Vagabonds of Dyfed I was elated AND saddened. I had already started my own attempt to write a PbtA / OSR style game compatible with OSR material but using PbtA mechanics! So yeah, someone else was already doing my thing. Which is cool, because it saved me from having to do the work, I guess, but kind of sad because I realized I'd never be able to get my rules out before Vagabonds landed. :) However, they had some really great ideas and things I hadn't thought of, so this along with my own conversion ideas has allowed me to finally have a set of OSR style rules that get rid of the d20 in favor of the 2d6 and most importantly requires no-rolling for the DM, other than for random tables and such (but not in combat, fortunately). I feel like Vagabonds of Dyfed is a good "first attempt" at what ultimately will be perhaps the best fantasy RPG rules I could imagine playing. There's a lot of rough that still needs some polish, but I expect that the community for this game will iron out most of that and maybe in a few years we'll have a Vagabonds 2.0 that will include everything I would ever want.

Until then, BUY THIS, by all means, this is a superb mix of fast and player-oriented indie-gaming Apocalypse World Engine style that can still make use of all of those wonderful toys you've collected in your OSR library. Vagabonds of Dyfed is highly recommended for anyone who likes OSR and also likes Dungeon World, Blades in the Dark, or things like that. Or for anyone, really, looking for a solid yet rules-light fantasy RPG rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vagabonds of Dyfed
by Yochai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2018 16:11:31

There are a couple of things that have always bugged me about PbtA games, and I don't consider myself a particularly good OSR referee. I'm not a huge WoDu fan. This seems to take much of what I like from both the indie rpg community and OSR, and mash them together.

However, what I like about VoD after reading the rules:

  • PbtA dice rolling is something I like, especially as an improv-heavy GM
  • The OSR philosophy (heavy on the "GM is the adjudicator" / rulings, not rules, brutal, zero to hero, player skill over character skill, etc)
  • Not having attributes and instead just using trait tags (strong, brutal, magical adept etc) to add bonuses (aptitude) 
  • Rolling once for an attack and its damage (you take the lowest die and add the aptitude)
  • Building your own class/trope (which I know some OSR games do) seems super easy (though perhaps limited at the moment)
  • XP for kills, social interactions, treasure
  • Compatible (mostly) with OSR modules, if that's you're thing


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vagabonds of Dyfed
by Brett M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2018 18:04:06

TO PREFACE:

  • The OSR community is often bustling, intriguing, and is constantly putting out great content to use for games new and old. A couple of shortcomings (in my opinion) with OSR games is that they typically focus solely on the player and never the character, and also, combat can get really swingy for groups that are less initiated.

  • Apocalypse World has changed the face of tabletop RPGs for better or worse. Mixed success (while not necessarily invented by AW) is a fantastic mechanic that keeps play at the table compelling. Some of the shortcomings with most PbtA games (again, in my opinion) are that they rarely challenge the problem solving skills of the player, and also, events can move too quickly for players to feel truly immersed in the world. Finally, PbtA games aren't usually lethal, which can definitely be a good thing, but lethality brings out qualities in players that are rarely seen elsewhere.

  • I love both of these communities greatly despite being near-polar opposites of each other. But just like Romeo and Juliet, forbidden love is always interesting. Vagabonds of Dyfed is the baby that PbtA and OSR had out of wedlock. Nobody asked for it (well, maybe some people did), yet I truly believe that it is the chosen one.

TO BEGIN:

The book is objectively well put together. It's a neat little 8.5" x 8.5" square clocking in at approximately 105ish pages. The page layout is among the finest of OSR games. Most elements or subheadings do not go beyond the page they start on, making it incredibly easy to read through the rules as well as reference them later when needed.

The artwork probably won't make your jaw drop, but it gets the job done. The pieces, like the rules, are concise as well as easy on the eyes. The star of the show is honestly the cover art which is well colored and does a good job at showing what the game's about. The old man looks like he has the lid of a coffin for a shield which makes me smile. And the tattoos on the face of the knife-holder are mysterious and intricate. Also, if you look closely, the characters are battle-damaged. A nice touch.

I would imagine that character creation could take a while for a brand new group as they carefully decide on their traits, but the examples provided in the book are helpful tools whether it's for use or inspiration. Lineages are cool and enticing depending on the player, and Techniques are fun little feats/abilities that can go a long way in an adventure. The equipment section is awesome and provides the GM with the skeletal framework of how to make more which is great.

I don't think I need to go over the mechanics too much because it's all so well laid out on the product page.

Overall, this game really shines from the Game Master perspective. All rolls are condensed into a single mechanic, so GMs can spend their time focusing on the important stuff: making traps, puzzles, magic items, adversaries, plot hooks, and a more believable world

TO CONCLUDE:

Vagabonds of Dyfed is simultaneously quick and dirty, and beautifully elegant. I have yet to test it out, but it looks more than capable for handling great adventures as well as stories with interesting characters. This game piqued my interest with its fusion of my two favorite RPG communities, held my attention with excellent mechanics and great page layout, and blew me away by changing the way I look at OSR. This is the first RPG book I have ever read cover to cover (and I've seen a LOT). Do yourself a favor and buy the PDF at least.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clink RPG
by Nate L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2018 08:42:15

Hey! I'm that friend that Conrad mentioned in the first review of this RPG. He introduced me to tabletop gaming well over a decade ago with a couple Star Wars and D&D sessions during our college years. We've played many games in the years that followed, always with Conrad DM/GMing our games. I've always enjoyed playing, but all of the rules and intricacies of most table top games would leave my head spinning -- even as just a player! So even though I've wanted to try running a game of my own for years, trying to learn and remember all of the rules seemed WAY too much like work. And I already work 45+ hours a week!

When Conrad introduced me to Clink a month or so ago, we weren't 30 minutes into our session and I knew that I could run a game of my own with this system. It's designed in such a way where you can learn ALL of the rules in minutes, rather than spending countless hours sifting through books of rules, items, classes, races, and so on. Adding to the simplicity of the system are coin flips in lieu of dice rolls.

I've always been pretty good when it comes to creating and telling a story, and this system is clearly designed to move a story forward in a fun and thought provoking way. Rather than taking a chance on a D20 for every action you make, in Clink, a player's action is almost certain to happen adding another layer of humor and candor to your session.

Long story short, in my 10+ years as a casual D&D player, I finally popped my GM cherry running a game of Clink. The people I ran the session for were completely new to tabletop gaming on top of it. They picked up the rules and created their characters in less than 30 minutes, and we had a hilarious and memorable time. We'll be playing again soon!

5 Stars! I can't say it enough. 5 Stars!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clink RPG
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Clink RPG
by Conrad A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2018 11:59:39

Clink is a great story driven system that is great for introducing new players to tabletop rpgs. The rules are quite simple, which have been more liberating than restricting. Some players I've had for years suddenly were able to fully invest in their characters, not worried about forgetting minute rules inhibiting their actions. The character evolution comes from the entire group. Inherently players work together to create backstory while the game is ongoing, which has had more reserved players really shine. I've still only used the classic Western setting, but have plenty of ideas on how to run others that I imagine would work just as well. I even have a friend I've been telling to GM for years and this system finally got him to try it.

If you want a simple game that you can play for a few hours, are new to tabletops, or perhaps trying to get a friend to try - I highly recommend this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Micropend6 RPG
by Carl M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2018 04:52:02

This is an excellent little addition to any OpenD6 library. I agree with the previous reviewer; letting the players make all the rolls is a nice touch. The use of static target numbers is also very good. Only one suggestion: how static numbers can be arrived at from a dice figure could be covered in a couple of lines (I appreciate that creatures only use statis numbers, I just think it would be a useful thing for a new GM to know).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Micropend6 RPG
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Belly of the Beast RPG
by Tim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2018 15:40:16

A neuronphaser.com review.

Belly of the Beast is a roleplaying game with a terrifyingly unique premise: the players are scavengers living in the guts of a giant, world-eating monster. The entire game is laser-focused on hardy, grim survivors collecting whatever tools, technology, and food they can to stay alive in an environment that is absolutely opposed to their continued existence, and it does a brilliant job of crafting thematic rules to achieve this.

Rating: Content 5/5 and Form 5/5.

Form (5/5)

A standard element of Sigil Stone’s games is the use of brief Summary text-boxes at the end of each section, covering either the rules or setting material presented in that section. This provides extremely useful reinforcement of the material just covered, and can easily be provided to players as a capsule explanation of the game’s setting, rules, or both.

Otherwise, this book is a great example of simple, clean layout that is optimized for PDF, ePUB, and similar reading. I don't have the physical book, so I can only comment on the electronic version(s) of the game.

Content (5/5)

Setting

Hundreds of years ago a massive rock fell from the sky, crushing kingdoms and continents beneath its force. Eventually, life in the realms returned to a state of normalcy, and the many clans continued their incessant struggle for power.

Three generations past, the skyrock – said to possess foul energies and discordant vibrations – erupted in a disgusting ball of effluence and viscera, revealing the creature that dwelt within it – the Swallower of Worlds, the Insatiable God, the Devourer, or simply: the Beast.

Incalculably large, the Beast unfurled its great girth upon the land, consuming thousands of leagues of soil, stone, and forest. One by one, the mighty strongholds and great armies of the age fell against its inexorable consumption.

And yet when legions, empires, and cities are swallowed whole – not all is lost. A rare few survive the Devouring, and test their mettle living in the belly of the Beast.

You are one of these exemplars of grit and greed: a scavenger. Hundreds of great civilizations have been consumed, but their wares, artifacts, and materials are ripe for the taking deep within the recesses of your new home’s guts.

You really can’t get much crazier than that. There’s not a whole lot of pre-built NPCs, locations, or setting material detailed in the core rulebook, but rather there is ample information on the logistics of a world inside a monster’s digestive tract, and even a whole chapter of rules that bring the environment to life.

Thus, an interesting premise is offered, with all of the tools a GM and enterprising players need to run the kind of campaign they want in this unique environment. It’s up to the players and GM to define the type of campaign they want to run in this environment, and you won’t be lacking for details when it comes to questions like, “How would ABC work in this kind of environment?” You have a lot of leeway to build your own setting or steal from existing campaign settings across many game lines, and simply mash them together.

Kinda like what the Beast already does: mashes things (people! towns! continents!) down its gullet and continues on.

Characters

Belly of the Beast focuses on stories that revolve around a ragtag group of scavengers doing everything they can to not only survive, but to thrive living in this stinking cesspit of a monster’s gut.

The characters are tough, cruel, greedy bastards that care mainly about themselves, and the very few people who they might feel a hint of loyalty toward. Driven by instinct and need, only the cunning and the grim can make it as scavengers.

Personal tales of struggle, triumph, betrayal, greed, and the constant and incessant need for supplies in the face of danger fit well with Belly of the Beast.

Characters are made up of several traits:

  • Choose two Instincts that define your character. Instincts include Curiosity, Fear, Greed, Loyalty, and Violence.
  • Each Instinct provides a Maneuver.
  • Define a Specialty that tells what your character is really, really good at.
  • Rank your Skills, of which there are eight. These include things like Awareness, Wits, Stealth, Might, and Resolve.
  • Select or define a Talent, which is kind of like a lesser version of a Specialty, which tells you something that you’re really good at (as opposed to really, really good).

There’s a central set of traits that tend to have a lot of mechanical implications, and in this case these would be the Instincts. They define how your character interacts with the world in a thematic way, define how you go about regaining Instinct Dice which can be used to supplement your dice pools, and provide you Maneuvers that are like special abilities you can activate during combat, social interactions, exploration, and scavenging.

Game Mechanics

Belly of the Beast’s gameplay has a relatively consistent and mechanically enforced cycle: encounter a problem or run out of stuff, look for the stuff that’ll solve the problem, get the stuff, and bring the stuff back in order to fix the issue.

Like all of Sigil Stone Publishing’s Ethos Engine games (such as Vow of Honor and Hunt the Wicked), players do all the rolling, and use six-sided dice they build into a pool. A single Base Die is supplemented with Advantage Dice (from gear and circumstantial benefits) and Instinct Dice, the latter of which is a resource that is awarded and spent throughout the course of a scene.

Once you’ve built your pool of dice, you roll and check each die against your pertinent Skill to see if you get a success or failure. Each success counts towards a Difficulty, and if you equal or exceed that Difficulty, you succeed at the task. Some simple things get one roll, while extended tasks might allow you to keep rolling until you either hit that Difficulty, or until you’ve reached a certain point and fail or simply run out of time.

Enemies, complex tasks, and everything else tend to work in a similar manner: they represent the Difficulty (and whether or not you’re rolling an extended series of rolls or not). The GM never rolls, concentrating instead on the narrative of the scene and the actions, and using the traits of the enemies or environment to determine the damage a player character takes or the general threat they face when they fail at a task.

A neat little trick in Belly of the Beast regarding Instincts is the ability for players to choose to Succumb to or Transcend one of their Instincts to automatically succeed at a task or end a scene in their favor. The thing is, this carries a huge change to that character’s being, and will have a telling affect on them going forward.

If a character Succumbs to their Instinct, they irrevocably give into that Instinct and act in almost animalistic manner, driven by it for a time, and feeling Ashamed afterward (a mechanical game state similar to being Injured or faced with a consequence). If a character Transcends their Instinct, they can no longer gain Instinct Dice or use the Maneuver associated with that Instinct, and have to “Advance” (level-up) in order to select a new Instinct.

Considering the setting, Horror and Sickness both get their own little subsystems, but essentially just act as complex tasks or enemies. Similarly, there is more complex systems than previous Ethos Engine games for dealing with equipment, specifically encumbrance, breakage and wastage. After all, you’re adventuring in the stomach acids of a giant beast, and a key piece of a character’s motivation is to haul loot, food, water, and supplies back to base.

Last but not least, there are several points about the beast’s physical status, which can be affected by the players, but that will in turn have drastic repercussions on the environment they adventure within. The beast has traits such as Hunger and Pain that the players can take advantage of or feel the consequences of. The environmental Hazards are given their own rules, and can grow more dangerous depending on the status of the beast.

For more reviews and resources, check out neuronphaser.com!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Belly of the Beast RPG
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Belly of the Beast RPG
by Patrick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2016 21:24:57

This is excellent. I love the system (the dice engine is fairly standard, but the way characters are built is awesome), I love the setting, and I love how much freedom there is as far as what the world looks like.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Belly of the Beast RPG
by Adam W F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2016 09:35:07

I absolutely love the artwork in this book, and that combined with the unique setting is why I backed the project when it was on Kickstarter. I'm planning to take the Belly of the Beast setting, and use it with another RPG rule set that my group loves. I showed some of the full-page artwork to my group, and they can't wait to start an adventure! Looking forward to see what other products will be developed for this setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Belly of the Beast RPG
by Doug T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2016 21:27:55

The minute I saw Belly of the Beast proposed on Kickstarter, I knew I had to have it. I was immediately struck by the originality of the setting, one so rich and interesting and filled with the potential for original roleplaying situations, I wished that I'd thought of it myself. Since backing the project, I was incredibly impressed with the professionalism and care with which the project was handled... traits that obviously carry through in the game itself. The product itself is beautifully written and illustrated. This is a game that I'm looking forward to enjoying.

-Doug Tabb One-Time Line Editor of Role-Aids, Chill, and Underground at Mayfair Games



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Belly of the Beast RPG
by Allana G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2016 05:35:27

This is an awesome game, I've only had time to run it once but everyone seemed to enjoy it. The concept is good, the system is easy to get your head around and easy to run with. It would be perfect for a one shot or a whole campaign of fighting through increasingly difficult odds just to eek out a megre living.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Belly of the Beast RPG
by Duncan K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2016 18:44:55

What do Resident Evil, World of Darkness, and Deadspace all have in common? They, like many other games, have the label of HORROR put upon them, when that is not what they actually are. Sure, they are all good, and yes, they may be scary at times, but they are not true horror. These are games of Action, Intrigue, and the Supernatural, with elements of horror. A true horror game is one that you have no chance of beating, only surviving. And only if you are very lucky. Horror comes from sense of helplessness, not a struggle to over-power the darkness.

Amnesia, Silent Hill: PT, and Call of Cthulhu are all true horror games, where at best, surviving through the game is your only hope. Heck, even Five Nights at Freddy's is even in this category, even if it is all about jump-scares.

Up until now, Call of Cthulhu has been the only tabletop RPG I could find that truly immerses it's players in an atmosphere of dread. Unfortunately I have never been much of a fan of Lovecraft's work.

Belly of the Beast is a truly unique and horrifying game, played entirely within the digestive tract of a creature the size of mountain, still consuming the land you once called home. You have no chance of escape, no chance of ever seeing daylight again. There will be betrayal, there will be insanity, and there will be horrors. Welcome to the Belly of the Beast.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Belly of the Beast RPG
by Nolan O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2016 16:18:31

Belly of the Beast is a fun, easy to learn and implement fantasy setting unlike any other I've seen. The world is well described with enough gory details and rules to give you the idea while leaving plenty for your imagination to start generating your own ideas on what could be lurking in the Beast’s gut. It should be said that I don’t enjoy post-apocalyptic games that much. Belly of the Beast immediately captured my imagination and my mind started spinning off possible stories.

The system they use seems to be one that the devs have previously developed and the polish shows. I haven’t extensively run the game or stretched the rules yet the rules have been easy to learn and held up well so far. Particularly the rules on gear, and your ability to sacrifice it as a story consequence, has been one of the biggest things to cement the gritty post-apocalyptic feel as well as creating some memorable scenes.

The biggest problem I have with the game isn't necessarily the game itself but the layout of the book. It's done poorly, things that should be simple section headings given bold title pages. The art is beautiful through the book, greatly enhancing the descriptions of the Beast and the survivors struggling inside but character portraits are left on their own pages with no background, left to spoil surrounded by whitespace. Wrapping text around the portraits seems like it would have been a much better way to do it, though more difficult to setup in regards to layout. These things, combined with someone strange layout quirks or decisions make the PDF feel like a rough draft or reference document more than the relatively substantial RPG book that it is.

The layout issues may seem like a small thing to focus on but significant enough to be the reason that I’m not getting a physical copy of the game. Rather than something I’d be excited to show off it makes the game an interesting curio, a unique idea that is well thought out and executed but held back from being great.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cornerstone RPG - Basic
by Mike K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2016 14:38:16

This is a nice game system. I can see playing a lot of different kinds of games with it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cornerstone RPG - Basic
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