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Urban Shadows
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Alejandro V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2019 20:09:41

While other games in the genre feel more like "dark superhero games", Urban Shadows brings the political tension of Powered by the Apocalypse to supernatural fantasy.

Urban Shadows really makes use of its base engine to hone in on the tension of horror and the political landscape. The system is easy to learn, and has a gritty feel in its combat and consequences. Lastly, the PBTA mechanics help you create a living city with interesting characters and lore behind each of the different supernatural factions.

By far the BEST feature has to be the "Corruption" mechanic, which summed up simply is a double edged sword that gives the players access to very powerful moves all while nudging them down the spiral into becoming irredeemable monsters. This really captures the inner drama that many other games seek to emulate but mostly often overshadow with action and power fantasies.

The newly added Debt system is hit or miss. While its integral to the games leveling system, the amount of use it gets really depends how antagonistic your players are with each other. A competitive group will constantly badger each other for favors, while a group who actually enjoys working together might find their characters are progressing slowly by comparison.

Overall however, the games mechanics are too good to be overlooked, and I strongly recommend anyone looking for a narrative modern system to pick this up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
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Unknown Armies Book Three: Reveal
Publisher: Atlas Games
by Alejandro V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/11/2018 00:27:38

Was expecting more:

I'm new to Unknown Armies and became quickly interested in the setting after reading Book 1 and hearing great things about the system. When I saw this supplement advertising itself as an add-on filled with more information on the world, I bought it thinking it'd give me more NPC's, Schools of Magick, and plot scenarios. While it did contain many blurbs of info (usually in small paragraphs and at most a page), it hardly offered anything mechanical, or more than a handful of ideas to throw into a campaign.

For instance, it tells you a quick paragraph about the existence of Urbanomancers, and Narco-Alchemists, but it doesn't tell you how they work at all. I found most of the info later in the self contained second edition, until I was later told that they were written for the third edition in Book 5.

This disjointed information makes it difficult to run a complete game, and overall I would advise those interested in Unknown Armies to skip book 3. However if you're a veteran to the universe and are willing to make most things from scratch or just want to hear about the latest rumors happening in the modern world. I'd give it a light recommendation.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Unknown Armies Book Three: Reveal
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Shadowrun: Anarchy
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Alejandro V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2016 16:30:46

I was overjoyed when I heard that Anarchy was going to be a thing, as I know several people (including myself) who love the setting but are turned off by the complexities of the main system.

Pros: -Easy to GM and easy to play. -Incredible amount of pre-made characters and missions -Character Creation is quick and easy to understand. -Still offers numerous amounts of character options with tables to make your own "amps" -Maintains the Shadowrun feel of Attribute + Skill with d6 die -Offers traditional Gming option

Cons: -Terrible Editing issues in the current release as of this review -Can be pressuring to put players "in the spotlight" -Cues are nice for new players and premade characters, but offer no real benefit -Would probably turn off a traditional Shadowrun player who enjoys more simulationist gaming.

An example of play would be nice, as it's not entirely clear how involved a gm should be within the cue system (though I feel this could be intentional to the games "do what you want attitude"). All in all though, would play (and will play) again.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
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