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The Two-Headed Serpent
Publisher: Chaosium
by drew l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2020 15:36:19

I'm currently running this campaign for my group and we are loving it so far! I'd highly recommend it. Prior to that I ran them through Masks of Nyarlathotep, and it was amazing. IMO this campaign is at least as good as Masks, which is pretty high praise since Masks is widely regarded as one of the great campaigns of all time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Two-Headed Serpent
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Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by drew l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2020 15:26:37

If you are looking for a product that is faithful to the B/X rules and presents them in a way that is easy to digest and read, then this product is a five star product.

However, if you want the feel of the B/X rules but some tweaks to improve them a little then you won't really get that here. For example, the RAW B/X rogue is kind of useless because the base percentages for the thieving skills are so low. It would have been easy for the designer to tweak those to make them actually useful. Of course as a GM it's not that hard to houserule, but I do like it when the designer takes time to do some of that work for me. That being said, I don't really think that was the goal of this product, so I can't really criticize it for that.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome
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Shadowplans - Corporate Office (5 Floors)
Publisher: Shadowplans
by drew l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2020 15:20:39

The maps in this series are all pretty solid. I really like that the maps have a security overlay png file, so that as a GM running on VT, I can put the security features on a separate layer that isn't visible to the players. My only complaint is that the grey maps (which have the most detail) are a little too dark and some of the gray tones are too similar, so objects don't really stand out. I think the creator of these maps should try for a bit more contrast in future products.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowplans - Corporate Office (5 Floors)
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Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by drew l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2020 15:07:18

I really want to love this game. I love the genre, I love the setting. I'm excited for the full version of the game.

As a starter set this product has many good qualities, but it is also lacking in many areas. I ran my first session last night, and we had a blast, but I had to do a lot of house ruling to make up for the lack of detail in the rules of the Jumpstart Kit.

Where to start...

Firstly the writing. It is written in a very conversational tone, which makes for enjoyable casual reading, but the downside is that it is not as useful as a rules reference. Sometimes important rules are kind of tucked away in the conversational sentences.

The rules themselves are a bit all over the place and don't always make sense for the world. For example, a "slice and dice", which is described as a highly dangerous monofiliment whip, but it only does 2d6 damage. Most edgerunners are walking around with at least 11 points of armour (damage reduction), so it wouldn't even hurt a typical character. Furthermore, although they are described as being easily able to slice through any organic material, there's nothing mechanically that gives them any kind of special armour penetration to match the fluff. Firearm damage is also highly variable, and there are no pages with costs or ammo counts or anything like that in the book. There is a range chart, and damage values for different types of guns but that's it. There are rules for burst fire, but no rules for full automatic fire. For some reason a character can attack in melee twice as an action but can only shoot once. I'm not sure why attacking with a melee weapon is so much easier than shooting someone with a firearm?

Armour is quite powerful, and for some reason it is assumed that armour covers your entire body, including your head even if you are just wearing an armoured jacket. A light armoured jacket has a 11 stopping power, and a heavy pistol does 3d6 damage, so a character with a light armour jacket will only rarely be injured by a heavy pistol. A heavy armour jacket has 15 stopping power, so even an assualt rifle, which does 5d6 damage won't hurt that much. One thing I do like is that if the armour does take damage it degrades by a point, so over time it gets weaker and eventually the character will take damage and armour will need to be repaired or replaced.

I should also mention that there are no prices to be found for ANY gear in this book. The cyberware selection is highly limited.

There are also no character creation rules or character advancement rules, so you pretty much are limited to using the pregens, which aren't really even complete because only the special ability of the Netrunner is detailed.

When I ran my game last night, I found myself winging it to make up prices for equipment. I created some house rules for armour pentration, so that some weapons that would otherwise be useless could actually be cool. I also house ruled that armour would only protect the locations it would actually cover (a crazy idea), and I added in a hit location table. All in all, I think these house rules made the game a lot more playable and we had a lot of fun, but that was more a testament to my 30+ years of experience as a GM and having good players than to the rules.

In conclusion, I think this game has a lot of potential, and I hope that the final game delivers on that potential, but I don't think the Jumpstart Kit is really that well done. It is a tease, and and as a GM I found it frustrating to work with because there is so much missing.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit
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Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Beyond
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by drew l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2016 15:40:34

This book is fairly similar in format to the Enemies Within and Enemies Without, so if you are familiar with those two books then you know what to expect. There's a bunch of new worlds described with some interesting plot hooks, and some player stuff related to Ordo Malleus daemon hunters- special weapons and ammo, talents etc... It does include some new psychic powers, mostly related to demonology/summoning- I haven't looked at them too closely yet, but they seem like they would be of more use to villainous NPC psychers than PCs. That being said, an extreme radical acolyte might make use of them.

Of the three books I think that my favourite one is Enemies Without, but I like that there a lots of stat blocks for various daemons- not just Nurgle related ones (which was all we got in the Core book). I GM, so for me that is the highlight of this book, and my main reason for getting it. It should be noted that Daemons are pretty powerful RAW in 2e DH- for example the hellblades of the Bloodletters do something like 1d10+16 damage with a 5 Penetration- not sure how balanced that is. There's also rules for creating daemon princes, but I haven't had a chance to delve into those to deeply yet.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Beyond
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