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The Dream
Publisher: Nightfall Games
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2018 20:10:47

The premise that our collective fears could manifest as physical monsters is SUCH a good hook. The creatures and their ecology are frightening. The art and the writing are effective at making your skin crawl. I can't speak to how this Data Packet's crunch plays with SLA's rules system, but the stat blocks are straightforward enough that I could easily translate these creatures to other systems.

This is an awesome supplement that you could easily cannibalize for any horror game (fantasy, modern, anything!). I highly recommend it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dream
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This Old Haunted House, Too
Publisher: Chaosium
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2018 20:04:03

This is an excellent "battle map" resource. The houses included range from simple farmhouses to sprawling mansions to full-on, walled-off estates. It covers architectural styles from the mid-1800s to 1910 or so. A few maps list the kitchen as a "hall"; I mention it just to save other readers from momentary confusion. The diagrams are otherwise clean and easy to read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
This Old Haunted House, Too
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Abandoned
Publisher: Vajra Enterprises
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2018 19:56:33

This is an excellent modern horror sourcebook. It's clear that a great deal of research went into this. The history and layout of the abandoned buildings and sites feel real. Some, like the cannery, even have diagrams that help the reader understand, spatially, how the day-to-day operations occurred. The horror scenarios are as compelling as they are varied--and frightening. But you can very easily cannibalize the abandoned sites themselves for your own scenarios or campaigns.

This is top-notch material, and I highly recommend it to anyone running a modern horror game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Abandoned
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #81: The One Who Watches From Below
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2016 18:30:17

If you like 'Phantasm' you'll love this adventure. Yeah there are killer dwarves (not the bearded kind), but the general vibe of the fantasy elements really nailed the atmosphere of 'Phantasm'. The horror isn't entirely magical; it isn't entirely technological--it falls squarely into an ambiguous, hideously suggestive middle ground. The curse gimmick is the best example (see preview). It added a fun dimension to roleplaying that my new as well as experienced players really enjoyed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #81: The One Who Watches From Below
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #87: Against the Atomic Overlord
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2016 21:16:27

Wildest DCC yet. Fans of the third "Dark Tower" novel or the Metal Slug arcade games will love it. Mobile tank-fortresses, urban spelunking, respirator-sucking octopoids, amoebic nanoswarms--lots of cool ideas here. It's got a good, proper quest; one with meaning and weight, which will have widespread ramifications for both the player characters and the game world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #87: Against the Atomic Overlord
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Dead Light
Publisher: Chaosium
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/23/2014 20:37:03

I found that this scenario served as a great introduction to the new edition of the COC rules. I ran it with the free quickstart rules for five friends who had never played an RPG.

The scenario provides numerous opportunities for roleplaying and allows the keeper to present the mechanics at whatever pace best suits his players; this was very helpful in my case as a steep learning curve might have turned off my players.

My players liked the plot, but I believe it was the atmosphere that really hooked them.

I was surprised by the quality of the writing and the editing. I have read perhaps a dozen or so collections published by Chaosium--and many more third-party products--which I'd describe as "easy reads". Here is an excerpt from "Dead Light":

"Looking out into the storm between the flashes of lightning, a farmer’s truck has just swerved to avoid hitting the gas pumps. The farmer babbling incoherently about a 'Dead Light' he saw on the road and who is now passed out at one of the tables, sweating feverishly with Sam, the station’s owner, and Walter the pump jockey fussing helplessly over him."

This is not an easy read. And a staggering amount of the text in "Dead Light" uses this sort of sentence structure. I found it very distracting. It made referring back to the text difficult during prep and gameplay.

If you can get past the writing style then the scenario itself serves as a nice, quick introduction to the new edition of COC or to horror roleplaying in general. My group loved it. If you simply enjoy reading RPG material and doubt you'll actually have the chance to run it, I would not recommend this product.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Light
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/30/2014 22:46:29

Possibly the coolest low-level modules I've read. The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has each player create a few 0-level PCs a piece and the few characters that survive the first module become classed characters; 'Starless Sea' really captures that desperation, with a mob of villagers besieging a ruinous keep purely to prevent its inhabitants from further preying upon their families. There are no heroes in town--the villagers must make due themselves. And by the end of the module, after losing a few peasants in striking and memorable ways, each player may be lucky enough to emerge with true hero to call his own.

The opponents and the general feel of the module is VERY Appendix N / Michael Moorcock / Warhammer Chaos / Lovecraft. The enemy has its own motiviations and is working towards certain goals, so if the peasants fail, the world will be worse off for it. 'Starless' is a dungeon crawl, and for those who are quick to dismiss crawls as boring or too straightforward (which was me until recently!), it's great to see how such a relatively simple RPG style can have so much depth and flavor. 'Starless' is no railroad, either: the players can approach the problems at the keep in whichever way they can imagine. The module rewards clever decisions and otherwise chews through peasants without mercy.

The writing and layout are excellent, and the artwork really captures the mood and excitement of the story. Would, I'd imagine, convert with relative ease to other systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea
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Hunter Sheets, Issue Two
Publisher: Nightfall Games
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/30/2014 22:26:10

The characters outlined in Issue Two each make for a memorable single-shot or for an equally memorable ongoing presence within your campaign. The top-notch writing really drives home the gruesomeness and bleakness of the SLA Industries setting, as well as its black humor. Production value is excellent; B&W interior is well designed, with each criminal profile extending two pages each, I believe, and with additional stats and details compiled for all characters at the end.

I would recommend Issue Two not just for those playing SLA Industries or sci-fi / cyberpunk games, but for other genres as well. You could easily reskin any of the characters in Issue Two for a fantasy adventure, for example. Dave Allsop's nightmarish artwork practically warrants purchase all on its own. The characters pictured on the cover would make for a terrifying story in any setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter Sheets, Issue Two
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