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Rust Hulks
Publisher: The Goat's Head
by Charles M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2020 21:21:27

Here's the Skinny on Rust Hulks: If I wanted to play PBTA Firefly, Cowboy Beebop, Killjoys, Dark Matter, or The Expanse, I'd play it in Rust Hulks

If I wanted to play Star Trek? Probably not. It's too clean and optimistic.

Star Wars? It depends on the Era. Stick to the Empire, it would be fine, But if you're looking some sweet Jedi on Jedi action, you're gonna have a bad time. There aren't really mechanics for emulating mystic stuff like the Force. The lack of any kind of 'mystic-space-magician playbook is kind of a drag.

If I wanted to play Alien, I'd do it in Rust Hulk. Which is odd to say, since there no aliens in Rust Hulk. Its humans only - no playbooks/moves for aliens.

I can't speak to the hardcover, but the PDF is built for ease of use. It's in a single colunm format with easy to read black text on a white background (this contributes to the books 270+ page count). and the page numbers of the document match the page number sin the TOC and Index. It's perfect for consuming on a tablet. The only art is in the playbooks.

In general, each new PBTA game has a 'secret' sauce' that sets it apart from those that came before. In Rust Hulks the 'secret sauce' is a realtionship matrix. Where Apocalyple World has Hx, and the Sprawl has Links, Rust Hulks has 'Chains and Heat'. To crudely simplfy the mechanic: Characters assist each other which results in relationships getting tested - If things get 'tested' enough, the Captain ends up throwing Jayne out the airlock.

If I had to compare it to any other PBTA Game, I'd say it is most strongly influenced by The Sprawl. It's has a strong mission based feel to it. It's got 'Get a Job'. It's got 'Get Paid'. If you liked the Sprawl, you'll like this too.

The Good:

  • Mission Based.
  • Chains and Heat.
  • Simple PDF Format.

The Bad:

  • Missing a 'jedi/mystic' playbook. How can you do Mass Effect without Adepts? Or Outlaw Star without Psychics? Or Staw Wars without Jedi? It's not possible.
  • Where's the aliens? How can you do Mass Effect without bird men, frog men, talking dinosaurs, and gender-fluid tentacle-headed space vampires???
  • The default setting is our solar system...which is boring.
  • The Rules want the group to draw their Ship as part of world building in session 0. The people I game with really can't draw. We skipped that step.

My Verdict:

  • I like it.

Make sure the download the 1.0.3 version of the PDF. The author initially dorked out and uploaded a versioon withoug hyperlinks. It's fixed now, but the cursed 1.0.2 version is still in my library begging me to dowload it by mistake.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rust Hulks
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Cold Steel Wardens: Roleplaying in the Iron Age of Comics
Publisher: Blackfall Press, LLC
by Charles M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/15/2017 13:37:39

Played this at Acadecon then picked up the Softcover and PDF direct from the publisher.

I rate the book at five stars: It is well laid out. No wasted space. Nice Art. It is presented in black wiite which may be a drawback to some people, but I like it. It's what I look for in a game book.

I rate the PDF at three stars. It has a number of flaws. It is kind of heavy at 80MB. I can page through it easily on my phone, but on my old Kindle Fire, it's kind-of clunky. More importantly, however, is that there are no bookmarks or hyperlinks. It really needs those. I consider the Shadow of the Demon Lord PDF to be the gold standard in PDFs. It has bookmarks, is fully hyperlinked, and comes in 32MB. Compared against SODL, the CSW PDF appears particularly lacking.

I rate the system at five stars. The other reviewers give great detailed descriptions of it. I'll just add that if you're looking for street level gritty supers, this system delivers.

Overall, I give the Cold Steel Wardens PDF four stars. Five for the system. Three for the lackluster PDF.

If I were rating the psysical book, I'd put is at a solid five stars.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cold Steel Wardens: Roleplaying in the Iron Age of Comics
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Dresden Files Accelerated
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Charles M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/15/2017 15:04:56

Warning: The information in the book will spoil the plots of the Dresden books through Skin Game. If you don't like spoilers, tread lightly.

The PDF weighs in at 64 MB but doesn't feel like it. I tried it in Adobe Reader, EZ PDF Reader, and Moon+ PDF. It was smooth and quick in all three.

It's fully hyperlinked not only within the TOC and the index, but also within the text. If you see a reference to another page it's hyperlinked.

All chapter and subheadings appear in the PDF bookmarks table.

The text is in a single column format with margin-notes - which makes it idea for reading on a handheld device such as a phone or tablet. Text is black, Subheadings are purple. Chapter titles are in white on a purple background. Page margin contain the chapter title of the page, so you don't get lost.

The game is presented as a RPG game written by Ivy (the oracle) with notes from Kinkade (her hit man). It's cute.

The art is dresden-appropriate and not excessive.

This is one of the best PDFs I've come across. Initially, I blanched at the idea of paying more than $10 for a PDF. Most of them aren't worth it (epescially the trainwreck that is the Coriollis PDF). ...but I pulled the trigger based on interest in the game and the source material. It is well worth it.

(If you've seen the version of this that leaked to backers a few months ago, this is a much improved version of that document. Buy it, you will not be disappointed.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dresden Files Accelerated
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