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"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2019 07:01:27

This is a good set of scenario ideas with enough detail that GMs can easily expand on them to create full scenarios. Of the 100 (120 if you include the random table) ideas I can see me using up to 30 of them which makes it good value for money.

The only reason I have given it 3 stars rather than 4 is that there is a lot of overlap in ideas. Whilst having multiple versions of the same idea is not in itself bad, it gives GMs a number of different approaches depending on their play style, I feel that some ideas - especially mass murder, mind control (in various forms including possession) and NPCs being other than they seem to be (shapechangers, illusion, masks) - are overused. Once you have run one of these, it would be difficult to run one of the others without it feel stale.

However, I don't want to end on a bad note. As said, even with the overlaps this should provide many hours of good roleplaying opportunities.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
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"Lost Dice" - a narrative RPG for all settings
by Marco M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2018 21:34:35

In my opinion this system is amazing for everyone who loves simple, quick RPGs that can be adapted to many many settings. I've had the pleasure to play in two oneshots mastered by the creator of this system and both were vastly different. For those interested, one was a game in the world of League of Legends in which every player played their own champion they came up with at the table, the other one was a special homebrew world which combined Cowboys and Samurai, sounds freaky but was great fun.

To be fair, there obviously may be 'better' systems for any specific setting, but the greatest strength of Lost Dice is that it's easy to set up - you can build your characters within 30 minutes (for total beginners) and much faster if everyone knows the system - and you're not restricted to specific settings. It's easy to adapt, no matter if your game is Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Modern or some crazy own idea (which in my opinion work best with this because of the freedom the rules provide).

The mechanic that involves heavy risk management, as you can lose your dice - your most precious resources - is as far as I have seen unique and really fun, since every single roll, no matter how unimportant it might be, has some tension since you could lose some dice. It also has very simple and appealing rules concerning the enemies and antagonists the players will have to face which makes it very appealing for new or not too experienced Game Masters (speaking as one myself).

One thing, that has to be mentioned is, that you need quite a few dice to play the system, which is normally not a problem for regular players, because let's be honest we all have much more dice than we need and probably should have, but if you're playing with a lot of new players who don't have their own dice you need enough yourself to help them out. Aside from that it's an amzing system with unique and simple mechanics alike that are quick to start but still offer a lot of versatility and fun especially for this price!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Lost Dice" - a narrative RPG for all settings
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"Invisible Hands" - The Book of Factions
by Luka V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2018 19:02:07

"Invisible hands" contains short, precise information on every important block needed to create a believable faction in RPG games. I knew most of the information presented by the book due to my own research online, but that is where this product's true value came to light: the 20 premade factions. Combined with the information presented earlier in the book, these 20 factions provide an excellent inspiration and tips even for experienced world creators. They are also as setting neutral as they can be, allowing you to pick them up and use them in your own homebrew games with little change. I would have liked the font to have been bigger, but that's really just a personal preference. Overall, it's another great product by True Mask games, and one that I hearthily recommend.

Bug report: on page 13, under "The Eye of the God" faction, their symbol picture is covering up a couple of lines of text.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Invisible Hands" - The Book of Factions
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"Invisible Hands" - The Book of Factions
by Marco M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2018 15:38:56

As described, the book contains two main parts, one about creating factions, the other part is a collection of different factions which can be used for your own game or adapted to fit into your world.

The first part is very well written and in my opinion illustrates perfectly what you have to keep in mind when creating factions - or even WHY you should create factions - in your game. This part alone is already enough to build whatever you want to have in your world and helps greatly in planning the faction, be it a guild, a group of mercenaries or a religious order, and in what you have to think about to when fleshing it out.

The second part of the book is a collection of amazingly well written factions, all of which can be used almost instantly or at least adapted to fit into your game. They fit best into fantasy campaigns and stories but can be easily used in any other genre if you change just a few things, if at all. The factions are unique and use very interesting ideas. Having a lot of details makes all of them all the more vivid and "real" and if you think about what they are and what they want to do you'll see that every one of them provides a ton of material to work with in your game. If nothing else they're an excellent source of inspiration for creating something yourself and using the tips and guidelines you can quickly create your very own faction specifically for whatever you need in your game, even if it does seem overwhelming at first.

In my opinion it's an amazing book for new and old GMs alike to use in your game if you plan on introducing groups and factions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scath - Shadow of the Fomori (Core Rulebook)
by Sarah R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2018 09:10:52

Nothing to really dislike about this, there is a lot of information to make a good campaign setting for any game out there. It is wonderfully grim and simple enough at the same time. The writing explains enough of the world while also leaving some things for the GM's imagination. It is incredibly varied as well and I think the GM will enjoy letting the players discover how much through their characters’ actions. The mechanics offer depth without being cumbersome and I loved the "fluff" as well, which draws inspiration from Celtic mythology which is pretty unique in the world of tabletop RPGs and adds a lot of flavor and flair.

Great product!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scath - Shadow of the Fomori (Core Rulebook)
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"Edge of the Wilds" - 100+ scenarios for rural adventures!
by Stephane G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2018 10:06:50

What I feel sets these random adventure generators apart from many others is the fact that Alekandar has taken the time to explain how to use the adventures, what experience level the heroes should be, how long it might take to run it and what said adventure focuses on mainly.

These books are system agnostic, but he does mention levels for a popular D20 system as a guideline. And for other systems that use another type of experience level tracking system (or none at all), this can give you an idea on how tough the scenario might be.

After telling you what the plot seeds are roughly about, the author has a d20 Random Encounter table for a quick side adventure, for both books.

Then he has a page of notes and thoughts about the types of adventures for both environments, the pros and cons of each one.

And then we delve into the various ''Plothooks and Storyseeds''. There are 100 in each book, as the cover hinted at. Each one has a title, a short description and the suggested level, length of scenario, as well as what is it's focus.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Edge of the Wilds" - 100+ scenarios for rural adventures!
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"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
by Stephane G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2018 10:06:09

What I feel sets these random adventure generators apart from many others is the fact that Alekandar has taken the time to explain how to use the adventures, what experience level the heroes should be, how long it might take to run it and what said adventure focuses on mainly.

These books are system agnostic, but he does mention levels for a popular D20 system as a guideline. And for other systems that use another type of experience level tracking system (or none at all), this can give you an idea on how tough the scenario might be.

After telling you what the plot seeds are roughly about, the author has a d20 Random Encounter table for a quick side adventure, for both books.

Then he has a page of notes and thoughts about the types of adventures for both environments, the pros and cons of each one.

And then we delve into the various ''Plothooks and Storyseeds''. There are 100 in each book, as the cover hinted at. Each one has a title, a short description and the suggested level, length of scenario, as well as what is it's focus.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
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"Edge of the Wilds" - 100+ scenarios for rural adventures!
by Christoph K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2018 15:35:46

I had the chance to read "Edge of the Wilds" in the last days. It is the second part of the project "The Thousand Trails". 10 books with 100 plothooks, storyhooks, storyseeds in each of them. "Dark Cities" was the first one and it blew me away. So many good ideas and interesting hooks. One of my favorite RPGs is "Symbaroum" at the moment. And I found really interesting starting points for my own Symbaroum-adventures in "Dark Cities". So I hoped that "Edge of the Wilds" would give me more ideas for this wonderful dark fantasy game. And True Mask Games did it! Even more ideas and interesting stories.

One problem though... where is the time to play them all?

Good job, True Mask Games!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Edge of the Wilds" - 100+ scenarios for rural adventures!
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"Edge of the Wilds" - 100+ scenarios for rural adventures!
by Alex G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2018 13:00:46

Adventures in quiet rural areas? Surely not. And yet, any aficionado of the British TV show "Midsomer Murders" and any fan of the movies Children of The Corn and The Wicker Man would tell you that blood flows just as freely in quiet cornfields as it does in dark, gritty urban alleyways or monstrous lairs in the wilderness.

This system-neutral book presents 100+ story seeds and plot hooks for fantasy games set in rural areas - the buffer zones between urban settings and true wildernesses, the battle field between manmade civilisation and wild Nature. These story seeds encapsulate a frontier spirit that distinguishes the scenarios in "Edge of The Wilds" from the first book of the series, "Dark Cities."

As with "Dark Cities," some of these story hooks and story seeds are funny, some of them are dark, some of them are straightforward, some of them are not what they seem - and every last one of them would make for a compelling and entertaining session or two in any fantasy campaign.

I highly recommend this book for the DM, Gamemaster or referee who wants to give the players a run for their money even in "quiet, bucolic little places" where one would imagine that nothing much supposedly happens at all.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
by Sarah R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2018 03:15:37

This book makes prepping really easy and fun for the DM. The writing is great and the adventure seeds and hooks really get your creative juices flowing and can be adapted easily to fit into any campaign. The layout is clean and logical and enables quick access to the material for reference. The encounters are an added bonus. If you are a fan of urban fantasy, you cannot go wrong with this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
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"Dark Cities" - 100+ scenarios for urban adventures!
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2018 09:48:19

So what do you actually get for your $5?

Like it says on the tin, you get 100 plothooks and story seeds. You also get 20 quick random encounters, and some notes on running city adventures.

This product is 49 pages, including the front cover, and the usual product/credits page. We start getting into the meat with the introduction, which is brief. It's clear the author doesn't want to waste your time or bulk out the product with excess text.

We get an overview of how to use the book on page 4.

Each adventure is categorized by "challenge level" (low, medium, high, epic), expected length (short, medium, long), and a "focus" on the kind of adventure to expect (exploration, diplomacy, investigation, combat) to help the GM figure out how appropriate a given adventure would be to a group. As a result, you would get a "medium level average length adventure with a focus on investigation".

Many of the adventures can have the challenge scaled up or down, and many adventures have more than one focus as well (e.g. diplomacy and combat).

Following the overview, we have a two page random encounter table with 20 entries, and a page titled "Investigative adventures - A few thoughts", which contains some very good advice on running an investigation.

Starting on page 7, the next 40 or so pages contain the plothooks and story seeds. Scattered here and there are some GM notes that pertain to a few adventures. These notes are brief, but informative. The occasional small piece of color art breaks up the text now and then. The art is decent, but you're not really here for a picture book, and I really like that the author went for substance over style in this regard.

There is no index. I'm not sure an index would actually be useful in a product of this size anyway.

The layout is strictly functional; no frilly image borders on the edges of the page or distracting sidebars to be found here. I have no technical issues or "page lag" when reading the product on my 8 year old iPad 1 in Goodreader. Everything about this product shows that the author intends it to be used as a tool for the working GM.

How good are the adventure seeds?

Most of the plothook entries are a half a page long, and some are a third of a page long, and each of these entries falls between 200 to 400 words each in length. The entries themselves are purely descriptive, and include details such as NPC names and motivations, and how the adventure can be expected to play out. The author hits the sweet spot in terms of getting the guts of the story across without meandering off into pointless detail. The font size is fairly small (i'd say around Times New Roman size 8 to 9), so you're getting a lot of beef without any kind of filler in each one of these. By way of comparison, this review is the length of two average entries.

There are demons, serial killers, hidden monsters, crime lords, grave robberies, fueding nobles, street kids, and much, much more going on in these pages. Quality wise, the adventures themselves range from good to excellent. All of them are very usable, depending on the game you're running, of course. Some are good for a one and done scenario, and others would make for a good short or medium length multi-session story arc.

These adventures are geared primarily towards fantasy gaming. They range in tone and feel from gritty low fantasy to epic high fantasy. With varying amounts of work, quite a large number of them could be reskinned for modern or sci-fi settings. I've personally adapted one for Blades in the Dark (seed number 49) simply by changing the NPCs slightly, and several others are quite promising to use for BiTD.

Is this worth $5?

Without a doubt, yes. If you're like me, where you can build and run dungeons in your sleep, but are at a loss when it comes to creating city-based adventure, this is a tight, heavy hitter packed with usable high quality content, and the value in this product is extremely difficult to beat. An easy five stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for your review, Christopher. Very excited to hear that you enjoyed Dark Cities, and even managed to already use of the scenarios for your games! Judging by your text I think you grasped the core of the book, and how I hoped that people would use it, really well. May it help you make your games even more awesome, and good luck with all those blades in the dark!
Camelod6 - A simple D6 RPG
by Marcus S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2016 19:11:44

I quite like this system as well. I certainly gave me ideas on how to get children into RPGs. I think it takes some playtesting for each DM before they can be sure of how to scale the system though because the "Armor Value" scores and stat allocation seems almost arbitrary. As in, it was hard for me to understand how strong to make enemies in the face of how strong PC's were. There is no way I would know the likeliness of certain rolls and difficulties until actually playing. But I would need to know this vefore stacking a dungeon so I know the PCs aren't just killed on the spot. So that was my dilemma. Overall though, I think it's a very sensible, simple system. Combining the sort of feel of very mechanics-light RPG with early OD&D that was somewhat challenging and evocative. This would definitely be a great portal for starting simple to get children interested in roleplay.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Camelod6 - A simple D6 RPG
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Camelod6 - A simple D6 RPG
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 17:31:38

It's for kids, kindergarten, first or second grade. much past that it would grow boring, unless good gms who understood that age group. As they admit, it's an introduction to rpg's.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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