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Tachyon Squadron
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2018 04:59:12

This is a read review of the pdf, which I kickstarted. Disclaimer : I translated some past FATE products from Evil Hat, in French.

Summary :

A nice product, with some strong parts (system for fighter space fights, new rules…) and some very weak points (world building). A must have if you want to play star fighter pilots. If you want a full fleshed space opera Fate game, I think you may still use it for fighter rules.

Content description : It starts with some general information about the world of Tachyon Squadron, and what are the difference with regular Fate.

Second main part is character creation. There are several good things here, for example the Decompression Aspect. Pity the precise rule is not explained from start and you have to wait for 80 pages to understand it fully. Theres is not even a direct link to the rule. Another good thing is the Gear Stunts rules which I appreciate : it helps maximize rolls, instead of a static bonus, and you have as much of them as you want, allowing PC to stack equipments. Can probably be used on other Fate games gear heavy, like Transhumanity Fate.

Then engagement rules. Its it 47 pages long, the biggest chunk of the book. It is a bit more crunchy than your average Fate, but not that much and gives players and GM plenty of options to represent spatial fights. Extended exemples provide good insights on this sub system. It ends with a 6 pages details on aerial fighter terminology, maneuvers and so on. A very good bit ! The only lacking point is a capital ship against capital ship rule, probably excluded out of complexity and lack of space.

After that you have some data one the Tahcyonverse, 13 pages long. It has some interesting story seeds but not much else. It tries to give some general background information about the Draconic system, a secessionist system from a imperialistic Dominion, which was at war with the Terran centric, democratic-in-words Republic supporting the secessionist. A handful of places in the system are described, quite generic.

Next part deals with pilots life, on missions and off-duty. Only 9 pages long, it gives some good examples of Players activities, with mechanical effects.

GMing : 13 pages on how to build and run an interesting militray campaign, and spatial encounters . Ships : 19 pages, with small and large ships, military and civilian. Pretty standard in here. People of interest : 6 pages. Pregenerated characters : 11 pages 2 scenarios : 13 pages, one against pirates, one against the big bad empire. Quick reference sheet, PC Starfighter sheet, and a blanck PC sheet

Art : good, without much else. It is done in a comic tone, but may have benefitted from a darker tone, to fit the theme.

Layout : if you know a the Fate worlds product line, you will be right at home here.

What I liked :

  • Unified stress rules. Stress disappears when the PC take actions to relieve it. It may push the boundaries of plausabilitiy but it may be interesting from a story perspective. GM has to be careful about PC exposition, since it may end with one player taking all light on systemic bar brawls.
  • gear stunt rule : this one was missing for games where stacking equipment is a part of the setting. It is pretty simple and intelligent
  • Engagements rules : already described . It may even stand as a mini spatial game, on par with some board game.

Could have been even better with :

  • capital ships rules. 'Cause if the PCs have to protect a warship it has to be used on something, like the bad guy capital ship / station / you name it…
  • better world buidling. The conflict is pretty uninteresting and mostly incoherent. You have to defend a Macguffin state from big mustache baddies with some support from small mustach no-as-baddies. You fight here because you believe in the cause, but it quite unclear why the Draconic state is much better at anything than the Dominion. How it got ride of it in the first place anyway ? Without any serious military power, it is unclear how it has not been crushed right from the start by the Dominion. NPC described are mostly monodimensional but it fits the genre. The biggest lack is the absence of handful of baddies : the GM has to build them from scratch ; it could have been great to have two admirals / officers, and a roster of four / five antagonist pilots to give more personality at the opposition and some NPC aspects for the GM to throw Fate Points at them. Crap, the GMing tips even advice you to do so, but prefer to spend 11 pages on pregenerated PC. In all honesty, the pregen PC could be used for this, but you have to tweak them.
  • broader focus. The game is meant for playing spatial fighter pilots in a mercenary unit. With almost two hundred pages and 12 dollars later, it delivers but you are not going anywhere else, unless you do some heavy work of background writing, and rules hacking from an Evil Hat toolkit or from another game, like Diaspora.


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tachyon Squadron
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Vampyres
Publisher: MRZ Prod.
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/30/2018 03:06:35

Simple, efficace et gratuit !

Parfait si vous souhaitez jouer des vampires "WoD" like, avec un système beaucoup plus léger et, à mon avis, plus intéressant. De nombreuses possibilités de hack, même si la licence n'est pas ouverte...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampyres
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Creator Reply:
Merci pour ton commentaire! Comme tu as pu le lire dans l'entête du jeu, c'est une version de travail. Je suis en train de préparer la version finale avec 2 settings. Aucun délais de sortie pour le moment. Bon jeu!
Murtle Grr (Tactical Agency Rejection)
Publisher: Small Bite Designs
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2018 04:13:00

A nice hack of Laser & feelings, with a take on GI Joe / Metal Gear Solid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Murtle Grr (Tactical Agency Rejection)
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Cosmic Pilgrims
Publisher: Mutant Chiron Games
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2018 15:00:43

It is for you if you like niche story games, or plain ressources for scenario in a space opera adventure.

A kind of a mixed bag with this game :

  • characters are supposed to be "pilgrims" but religion is not mentioned at all. All revolve around some kind of "philosophy to be build", although characters are mostly walking gods… Religion is not even mentioned as a potential problem to be solved. How can we tell a philosophical story without mentioning it ?
  • I do not like the resolution system as it is. One or two examples on how to deal with failures could have been great, as failures can happen.
  • the game is made to describe the path taken to enlightenement… but also the creepier path to build an all-powerful genocidal maniac. In that case, how to handle PvP both IRL and in character ?

Still, I think the game is worth your time, if not your money :

  • the topic is quite original and can give you inspiration, to start a one shot or a campaing
  • the description of the 35 planets and attached adventure seeds IS indeed brillant and worth reading


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cosmic Pilgrims
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High Fantasy Magic: A Simple Magic System for Fate Core & Accelerated
Publisher: Nathan Hare
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/18/2018 04:06:41

I do not like the magic systems presented in Fate Core or in Fate toolkit.

But THIS magic system for FATE is excellent. Simple, flexible and not overpowered. And it can probably be hacked in few minors ways to represent other magical traditions (low fantasy, rituals, psionics...). So definitely worth your time if not your money, if you are into the FATE systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Fantasy Magic: A Simple Magic System for Fate Core & Accelerated
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45 Biblical Adventure Hooks
Publisher: Church Basement Games
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2018 04:18:11

A good free product, when you want to have adventure seeds deeper than your average "your find someone looking for a party of adventurer in a tavern". The biblical aspect is a plus for anyone looking for a Christian feeling in their games or just a more religious one : it can probabbly be used for other religions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
45 Biblical Adventure Hooks
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The Role With It System
Publisher: Doc & Krueger Games
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2018 03:52:19

An interesting diceless system. I think I will not be able to play with it, much to my regret ! It claims to be inspired by Fate, which seems right to me : instead of trading Fate Points over Aspects written on the character sheet / notecard, between GM and players, you directly trade notecards, with a point value. It could have been better with a couple of more examples of use, not based on the author experiments. A summary page could also have been useful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Role With It System
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Mythic Role Playing
Publisher: Word Mill
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2018 04:23:42

Summary : a very interesting product, perhaps more on the story game side than some other RPG. As a generic RPG system, 4 stars, the fifth because it contains a great deal of advice on how to actually use the system for many things AND for the potential as a GM tool.

I reviewed the pdf, which I bought. I played solo games only.

Content description : The system description starts with character creation, probably to allow reader to figure the new system more quickly. Everything is described with on a ladder, compared to an "average", decided by the players. Then you have the Fate Chart, which is quite central to the system (percentage of success or getting a "yes" to a question, based on the ranks defined before), followed by task resolution, fighting rules, how to generate more randomness in your adventure, how to generate an adventure with and without GM, and advices on converting other games to the Mythic system. There is a complete play exemple, on about 15 pages. It is ended by various reference tables and sheets.

Layout is clear, but internal links are lacking.

I do not like the art. I feel it is cheesy, almost unprofessional.

How it works ? Basically, the GM and/or the players asks questions, and the answer is provided by a roll on the Fate chart (answer is pass / fail or yes / no). Hence, if the GM allows it, you may actually err quickly on the story game side. Though, it is pretty interesting to make a call on many situations.

What I liked :

  • system is easy to grasp and covers a lot of ground, though a bit of work during game may be needed (taking notes for further reference)
  • still there are many examples and advices provided, which illustrates clearly the system, making even easier to understand it
  • the solo GMing part actually works, and I guess it also would as no GMing system
  • the work is modular, you can use a part of it, or as a whole
  • many references sheets. Print them, stick them together, and you have your GM playmat withing minutes

Could have been even better with :

  • better art. The product seems to be a Platinium seller on OBS, so it could make sense to give a few hundred of bucks to an(other) artist to improve it. It is almost disheartening, with many half naked women, one naked mer-dude taking a shower, and a few bad designed monsters… It does not convey the sense of "Mythic" by any way and could maybe even be removed without loss
  • the fight rules are more complicated than the rest of the system, which is a bit surprising, and would slow down everything. The author gives only a few lines of advice on how to get ride of it, a simplified version of fighting rules could have been useful, with examples
  • internal links. We are in 2018, even a pdf bought for a handful of bucks should have them
  • no SRD or CC licence, which I think is a bad point for a generic system nowadays


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Role Playing
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Lion & Dragon
Publisher: DOM Publishing
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2018 07:27:13

Summary : a nice OSR RPG, which delivers its promise, albeit on a high fantasy tone for something "medieval authentic". Four stars as a game, the fifth is earned on the reuse potential for most elements. I have reviewed the pdf version.

Content description : Inside, you get : a complete set of rules, including : character creation, magic (divine , profane, and summoning demons), fight, NPC reaction rules, morale rules to deal with followers, equipment list, medieval poison list, magic item list, adventures seeds, a bestiary… List are displayed in the form of random tables. Art is a strong point. More than one drawing per page, with a medieval and / or OSR product vibe in all of them.

What I liked :

  • most if not all of the content can be used outside of this product.
  • simplicity of the rules. Grab and roll your D20, apply the modifier (generally, one from skill and one from level...) and roll it against difficulty.

Could have been even better with :

  • "default setting" of the author, aka Dark Albion, is still very present is this product. This is a design choice, as explained early in the book, but I feel at least a comparaison table between "real world" and "Dark Albion" could have been useful. Perhaps even a few pages. Or a complete removal of it.
  • the default fantasy level is high, which surprised me a bit, for an "medieval authentic" experience. Some optional rules or rules tweaking advice to tune it down a little or completely could have been great.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lion & Dragon
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Orbis Mundi 2
Publisher: Phalanx Games Design
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2017 07:41:32

A very complete and helpful product which delivers its promise : to give its reader insights into European medieval life. Useful for everyone wishing to have an medieval historical RPG or a more precise medfan one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Orbis Mundi 2
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Republic
Publisher: Mutant Chiron Games
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2017 07:34:22

Being more interested in playing political RPG than investigation ones, I find the proposal of Republic very interesting. The take on the Gumshoe system could probably be more useful than the original one. IMO, it is on the verge of a full diceless system, which for me is a very good point. Form may be lacking a little, even for a pwyw product :

  • typos a second language English person like me can see,
  • a handful of pictures from the public domain would have given a better mood to the game.

Still, a well deserved 5 star product, because of the cleverness poured in it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Republic
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Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes
Publisher: Ganesha Games
by Geoffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2017 04:14:50

Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes is good product for wargaming with a warband, with a few flaws. For this review, I skipped playing with the rules for Magic. It is almost a 5 star review, I gave a 4 star critic to aknowledge the room for improvement.

Pros :

  • the Turn Over AND the Reaction mecanisms, which are quite good, and gives everyone a thrilling feeling of uncertainty
  • the Fight resolution system, which is simple and yet allow for many possibilities on the battlefield. It is quite easy to figure out what is going on
  • The Traits list is complete and will cover must of Fantasy Warband wargaming, though if you use too much of them, you may have some extra complexity and slow down your game

Cons :

  • a lack of polishing in the final product. Some Traits mentioned in the document are not described in it (ex : Headbutt)
  • the Cost for Traits is not mentioned in the document, yet it is available, in a separate document, and in a html warband calculator
    • the separate html calculator IS available and useful, but it mentions several traits as present in ASOBH which are not indeed

I played with a 7 years old kid, keeping only a few Traits and no Magic, and it went smoothly. We had a good play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes
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