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Cold & Dark
 
$9.99 $6.89
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Cold & Dark
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Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2018 00:10:57

As a system, the game is uninspired junk. It brings nothing new to the table.

As a setting, it has a lot of high-level detail; they even name every member of the six-person Senate/Cabinet. However, they don't bother to tell you how many Marines are in a squad; which are you more likely to meet: a Marine patrol, or the six people who run the galaxy? This odd set of prioritries is a common thing; for example, whores got a full page explaining their training, regulations, medical exams (shockingly primitive), and so on. Thirty years of RPGs and I never knew that you needed that much explanation of prostitution.

The writers need a good editor, as the writing is very unpolished. The writers also have a seious love affair with acronyms, to the point where the already basic writing style is badly obscured,

The alien options (all of whom want to kill Mankind) are simply the 'alien' of the same movie, Reavers from Firefly, zombies, and Reavers from Serinity. All these creatures/villians fight at melee range, which for some reason the rail-gun armed PCs must fear. There is no explanation as to how races whithout artifical or ranged weapons have developed FTL drives.

Just to be safe, the equipment list includes a variety of swords so if you get tired of killing from a distance you can run around waving a sword. The USA hasn't issued a sword or cultlass for combat in over a 130 years, but in space apparently they're still viable. Of course, given the weak combat system, firing a rail gun on full auto and hitting someone with a moderately sharpened strip of iron are about equally effective...

They devoted pages discussing how planetary cores are mined, but provided no rules or information in case the PCs wanted to try running a load of contraband. Or rules for mining planetary cores, in case the PCs are thrilled with all the material on core mining and the GM lets them have a multi-billion credit corporation in PC creation.

All maps and techincal drawings are on their side so pdf buyers are inconvienenced as much as possible. This is especially noticable as nothing in the maps or technical drawings would prevent a modest re-arrangement of data to allow them to be displayed legibly.

Since this is a game built around space travel (to include a chapter of star ships), the rules on space travel make it slow, clumsy, and PC unfriendly while avoiding hard science. Oh, and being in space can drive your PC insane.

And here's another throwback to failures of RPGs past: in addition to a blizzard of acronyms, the writers decided that it was just too cool to use words in place of, well, ordinary words. You don't have a PC, you have an avatar. You don't have a PC sheet, you have an avatar interface. You don't lose sanity, your PC gets 'cold' (although the descriptions of the various levels of 'cold' use the word 'insanity' a lot). You don't have armor, you wear a Enemy Encounter Suit (an EES COG to be precise). Between the acronyms and 'let's use different words', explaining this nightmare to your players will be rough; or you could simply ignore the writers and call insanity insanity.

There's nothing wrong with ripping off movies for material, but instead of making sure that evey major agency in the galaxy has a motto (they do), you might want to explain why races who fight only with claws or edged weapons have developed FTL travel. And throw in a paragraph about taxs and orbital traffic control so smuggler campaigns coul;d have something to work with.

At just over $6 there is enough interesing bits that you could use (certainly not the system) to expand a sci-fi campaign using a better game system and setting.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Miguel R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2017 08:12:38

This game has been, apparently, a victim of lack of marketing, and it's sad because it's an unpolished gem that might get much better with future supplements. The setting offers exactly what it promisses, a fertile ground for a space thriller campaign inspired by movies such as the Alien franchise or John Carpenter's The Thing (or videogames like Dead Space), a more military approach to the alien fighting trope (in the vein of Starship Troopers), or something a little more bizarre, almost supernatural, like Event Horizon, or even a more space-faring adventurous type of thing, like Firefly. All these options are obvious (and all these films and games are advised as inspiration by the author). but the game is flexible enough to take other roads: political intrigue in the new homeworlds of the human race, corporate espionage, hunting down humans crazed by the effects of the Black Ressonance, plain exploration... Granted, the setting as it is lacks something. There's little information on everyday life, futuristic sports, the media and entertainment, the "who's who" of showbiz be it music, movies or other arts, but most science fiction games lack all that stuff and it's not that difficult to add it - for the quite few like me that really like that kind of info. In general, it's mostly gritty, with a heavy industrial feeling, which is quite alright, specially when there's no official Alien game. The rules are mostrly simple and very flexible (customizing the multi-task-armour-thing called the "COG" takes a bit more time than it should, but it feels a lot like customizing armours in cRPGs like the Mass Effect trilogy, so for those who like those games maybe it's a plus, not a down side). All in all it's quite an intereseting game, with a nice price tag, if you buy the pdf, but it does seem to have been neglected. And that's a pitty, because I for one would like to see more from this game - more information, maybe adventures ou guides on stuff that's lacking on the core book. Oh, and the artwork is excellent, really, really a mood setter (don't judge it by the cover alone, the interior art is much better).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Todd S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2017 18:50:33

In terms of setting, I can't think of a better sci-fi game. I'm not a fan of the core mechanic (build a dice pool and count successes), however after some playtesting I find it isn't quite as streaky as I've experienced in some other games. Overall, the rules mesh well with the setting and theme of the game. I really can't stress enough how well-thought out the setting is and I really appreciate that it leaves out the all too familiar (these days) tropes of transhumanism and super-intelligent AI. The monsters are quite a bit more monstrous than what you normally find in a sci-fi setting, but that's where the horror aspect comes in I suppose.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Nils S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2015 06:51:36

Cold and Dark is a great RPG for fans of Dead Space and dark space opera. The game does great to diverse the different kind of stress a character will receive and gives deeper insight. Nevertheless the book lacks orientation, with nearly 40 sites of different equipment with different upgrades it is really hard to find and build what you want.

Also the classes are way to focused from times to times but maybe I expected to much from the free trial.

So, good for cosmic horror in the vast universe but I will stick to other systems, but maybe use the setting.

7 / 10



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Nathanael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2015 21:41:01

UPDATED Short and Simple Review: 5 Stars!

  • Thematically evocative of my favorite video game series ever (Dead Space), so that's a big plus. And it really hits that nail on the head, quite solidly.
  • Mechanics are straight and to the point, and that's always great.
  • No option for a PoD version is very, very saddening.
  • The creator fixed some technical concerns I posted prior - the newly-optimized file (with bookmarks!) is now MUCH easier to use on my tablet. Yay!

It was an interesting read, and the setting is quite vast and detailed. This is pretty much perfect for my "Dead Space by another name" tabletop gaming! Now my only lingering complaint, and it's a minor one: put that sweet, sweet cover image on the front of the document, not the end! =)

PRIOR Complaints, addressed!:

  • The PDF is not bookmarked! At 300+ pages, that makes it a massive chore to actually use, and that means I'll never run this. Instant one-star removal. Add some useful bookmarks and that will go up immediately.
  • File needs some serious size optimization, maybe a trimmed-down print version. It's simply gargantuan in dimensions, which makes tablet viewing a slow hassle.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Penny O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2013 16:46:48

My first intro to this game was a one-off session at a gaming convention; it's presented simply enough that someone with absolutely no experience with it can easily get into the swing of it, while still being complex and intriguing enough to have me buying it. The "cold" and "dark" stats are an interesting mechanic that adds to storytelling, giving players a sense of how their character is being effected that's more than just "you're a bit scared". The attributes and skills are a refreshing change from the more common "strength/dex/con" style attributes, and the world building, while definitely inspired by various other science-fiction works, is unique enough that it doesn't feel overly derivative.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Carson H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 10:56:54

OMG! I have to say this is THE game I have been waiting for. Having been an avid RPGer for 25+ years and having messed around with probably all of them this one has everything I have ever looked for in a sci-fi RPG. With a little story tweeking one could play almost any space genre with this system. And the e-pub is fantastic (other than a few typos here and there due mainly I guess from translation). All in all this is well worth more than the $12 to download and I highly recommend it to anyone who i a gritty sci-fi fan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by joshua r. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2012 15:28:12

Also not a reviewer, but picked this one up after reading the quick-start.

The executive summary:

A gameworld and system that essentially supports Aliens/Prometheus/Deadspace/Serenity all tied into one.

The system uses a dice pool of D8s which is a bit inconvenient for those of us with enough d10s and d6s for pool games based on those dice, but it really does seem to work, especially having two 'zoom' levels for combat, handling close, small number fights as well as scaling up to handle the marines/rebels holding off a horde of undead/pirates/aliens burning through magazines while one of their number struggles desperately to open a hatch to make a hasty retreat.

(Added bonus for a sci-fi game: starship combat that is fun...)

The Cold in the title is fear, and the Dark is essentially madness. If you like the genre, and you don't at least give the quick-start a look, you already have maxed out your level of Dark... :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by Ted J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/06/2012 11:06:55

I wanna start out by saying, I'm not realy a reviewer. I just want to put down my thoughts on this book.

To start, it is fantastic! 315 pages, with a system reminiscent of Old World of Darkness Storyteller. Using d8s instead of d10s. Streamlined and shaped to fit the setting and theme of the game. The rules seem solid (I havn't tested them yet). And they cover everything you'd need in a core book.

The setting has drawn inspiration from alot of sci fi. From Dead Space and Event Horizon to Firefly and StarCraft, Aliens, Resident Evil and Pitch Black, to mention a few. And it shows. You can play games reminiscent of all of these movies/games, or something completly different. The weird thing is, it all fits, not just a little bit, but perfectly!

I, for one, am looking forward to the first sourcebook and to get my hands on this book in a dead tree version. =)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
Publisher: Modiphius
by SD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/01/2012 20:59:25

Just a quick general first impression after reading through the .pdf

The layout and presentation is visually solid. I found it easy to navigate and the chapters flowed into one another well enough. The 'feel' of the game carries through from start to finish, something I think that the author was going for. If so, it was a success. I have given my game group a peek or two at it and talked over the basics and they are all looking forward to giving it a try. Longtime DnD/D20 players ready for something a bit harsher and outside the comfort zone--C&D fits the bill hopefully.

There's enough familiarity from other scifi media that slipping into the game setting should be easy for anyone with even a passing knowledge of the genre--some might call it derivative in a lot of spots, but if it is it's taking lots of the good stuff. I'd prefer to call it an homage.

All in all it's a purchase I'm more than satisfied with, even if .pdf format for my game books isn't my favorite. Should my group take to this game and the publisher comes out with an actual book I'll be buying.

The only negatives I could come up with at first glance are minor editing issues that jumped out a few places (no capital E on Earth throughout the Timeline section for example) and seemed more the function of spell-check idiosyncrasies than real mistakes.

Unless playtest reveals glaring systemic problems my initial rating/review will stand



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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