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Ryuutama : Natural Fantasy Roleplay
Publisher: KOTODAMA HEAVY INDUSTRIES
by Joonas L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2020 05:07:45

This is a really good game. Ever since reading The Lord of the Rings and being a massive Dungeons & Dragons kid, I've longed for a game that delivered on simply going on a journey in a fantasy world. Ryuutama does exactly that. Something that isn't explicitly stated in the book (I think) but what we've discovered during play is that it's in a really fun way set against delivering "big stories". It's all about the small details, the day to day on the trail, the conversations around campfire, and not a massive goal at the end of weeks of travel. Just getting through the day when you're lost on the mountains is exciting in itself!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ryuutama : Natural Fantasy Roleplay
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Over Arms
Publisher: Rookie Jet
by Joonas L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2020 15:24:23

The system reads fine for what it is, but is skimpy on anything concrete.

I like the system of assigning a die per stat, and then your stat die plus your anima's stat die becomes your roll. But that introduces a massive spread of results, and I'm not convinced that plays nice over time. The rules don't give a feel of having been tested a whole lot - I may be wrong, I don't really know, but confidence inspiring it is not.

What I hoped to get were rules for building my own, Persona style, animas, but instead what I got is what basically comes down to "come up with the powers yourself". There is no guidance on how to make the powers fun or balanced. Even things like "how does a one point power differ from a three point power" go unattended. I'm sure there could be a fun compromise between assembling everything from massive lists á la Big Eyes Small Mouth or picking from ready made spell lists á la D&D, and complete freeform, but unfortunately this game isn't that.

The day being split into phases (like Persona) is a fun notion, and they even give some guidance on working jobs while juggling school. But these end up as undeveloped ideas that don't really go anywhere. Essentially I feel like I'm getting the introduction to a concept, and instead of then diving into that concept and making it fun and workable at the table, we're already onto the next thing.

A lot could've been done with the wholly abstract side realm where anima live (again, like Persona), but that, too, is left on the level of "anything goes". You're not given anything to build with. Even a sandbox needs edges.

Ultimately I feel like I'm better off running my Persona style game on Fate.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms
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Creator Reply:
Hey Joonas, Sorry to hear you weren't satisfied with Over Arms, I urge you to sit down with it and try out a game! You might like it more than you expect. To address a few points here: 1. This game has been tested quite a bit and the original system was actually scraped in favor of this one for balancing purposes, don't worry, the math checks out on these stats and checks! 2. One of this games big pushes was to allow you to create your own abilities in order to avoid a massive list of what is possible and what isn't. You could easily take the skill "Marin Karin" from Persona for example and apply it to one of your abilities in order to replicate a Persona style game, I haven't seen much this wouldn't be compatible with exceptions for maybe mudo and the instant kill stuff that wouldn't be fun at the table. 3. There are guidelines in the book on how to balance powers including many Anima examples with their own abilities listed. I think this is something we could have expanded on overall but we do also have videos on our Youtube account that assist with this. I hope you give Over Arms another chance soon and thank you for the honest review!
The Dark of Hot Springs Island
Publisher: Swordfish Islands
by Joonas L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2019 05:37:14

I don't really use premade adventures anymore in my games, but HSI is an exception. It is the best sandbox game on the market, all original tasting fantasy, easily slottable into whatever fantasy world you're running.

Your players won't be able to tell exactly what they're facing. Many of the encounters seem like something you already know, but if you take your time to understand what's going on, you'll learn you were wrong, and the real deal is much more nuanced.

The magic items alone are worth the asking price. None of them are what you'd expect, and they weave a fascinating story about the island's history and culture, when uncovered.

Simply exploring the island, hex by hex (with each hex having three layers of secrets to uncover!), is all the gaming plan you'll need for the next year or two. Our office game has been on the island for all of 2019 (ten sessions or more), and they've barely scratched the surface.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dark of Hot Springs Island
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Monstrous Races
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Joonas L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/12/2019 12:52:33

Wonderful work! I really appreciate the in-depth notes on the logic behind the choices for every single creature, and not avoiding some of the "well that just sounds unplayable to me" cases. I'm positively bursting with character ideas now, eager to let my players become mummies, vampires, succubi, lizardfolk, swarms (!) and more. Haven't tried at the table yet; as written this is amazingly balanced and nuanced, down to whatever minor aspect of the monster statblock your players might be keen on.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monstrous Races
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Hamund's Harvesting Handbook: A Complete Guide to Harvesting and Crafting in D&D 5e
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Joonas L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/12/2019 12:49:18

This is an amazing book! Precisely what I've wanted. I've always had to improvise something on the spot and often end up coming up with inconsistent rulings. Makes monster hunting a lot more interesting for the players. Haven't tried this at the table yet, but as written, the rules seem very well balanced and consistent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hamund's Harvesting Handbook: A Complete Guide to Harvesting and Crafting in D&D 5e
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