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Wizards & Mystics (Fantasy Add-On)
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/14/2021 16:35:27

A great product for creating new Arcane Backgrounds. Uses point buy system for creating an Arcane Background that uses a method similar to racial trait/creation. I could only wish for some examples of trappings.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wizards & Mystics (Fantasy Add-On)
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Creator Reply:
Hi, what do you mean exactly with "some examples of Trappings"? I'm working on updates to all my books, maybe I can add that to Wizards & Mystics updates?
Day in the Life: Gaming the Downtime
Publisher: Savage Mojo
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2021 16:23:03

BLUF: This product has not aged well. With several versions of Savage Worlds having come and gone and a movement toward rapid paced play with meaningful outcomes at each stage of play this product is showing it's age.

It gets three stars because it is a great idea. However it will get no higher for various reasons.

First, "why" the descriptions of the various activities leave a bit to be desired and need to be concise and at the very beginning of the description.

Second, "how" is cumbersome. Two potential actions a day each broken into 3 rounds. Draw cards based on edges/hinderances to start with possibly 8 cards (?) per round. Each card represents potential boons/banes to die rolls with each suit and card value having a particular effect. Each round is run in "round robin" with each player taking a turn. PCs earn tokens for adjusted rolls.

Final outcomes for each downtime activity is then compared to a chart reminiscent of the Dramatic Task system for each type of downtime activity.

Third, this isn't a dramatic task...you are just trying to see if you accomplished effective training. You are spending a great deal of time to do these tasks. The GM has to determine if the tasks are even possible in the given situation. If they are what skills to use, maybe one per each round in a task. Players then draw cards. The GM determines the backstory of how the cards effect the die rolls. Players thenmake rolls for the various rounds to get tokens (these rolls are affected by the drawn cards and their edges and hinderances); you may have further rolls penalized or inhanced based on your results. You alternate rolls with the other players. You alternate rolls using the GM tailored skill choices for each activity two more times until you get your total number of tokens. You then compare your total to a chart based on your activity to get your results. While in many ways satisfying this is a time intensive event for a group of PCs. If you have 4 PCs and you spend only 1 minute for each roll (with narrative by PC and GM and adudication of Cards that is a minimum) for one day of down time you are going to spend 24 minutes just for one day of rolls. That seems like a lot of time for groups that generally only have 4 hours to meet. If you have more than one day of downtime you lose a corresponding amount of time from your session.

The process needs to be streamlined. The idea is good; honestly necessary. However, it is just too cumbersome as is. An update should be made based on rules changes with SWADE.

EDIT: Additional comment. This really needs an example or two of play. The card draw system is not easy to understand and would benefit from examples.

Three out of five stars.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Day in the Life: Gaming the Downtime
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Shaintar: Legends Arise
Publisher: Savage Mojo
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2021 16:10:20

BLUF: Long in the tooth and unlikely to see a change for awhile. With the latest KS upset it is unlikely that Savage Mojo is going to be making changes to their products anytime soon.

The group at Savage Mojo had a successful KS until their partner pulled out at the last minute. You can go online and glean what you may. Effectively this means it will be sometime (uncertain at this point when) the various products will get updates.

The most obvious changes are to the various edges/hinderances to get the product in line with SWADE. However, the changes need to be made carefully. Present documents for conversion do not match SWADE. Charisma being chucked out by the newest version of Savage Worlds has made a hash of many of the edges to be sure. However, that means care needs to be made to be taken with ensuring that changes retain their balance. Charisma being taken out means that a flat bonus of +1 to both Persuasion and Performance needs to be made. That isn't happening with the conversion documents some races like the Eldakar are getting boosts to Persuasion but not to Performance. etc.

The original author of Shaintar (pronounced Shine-tar) proposed some radical changes to advancement that aren't being used by the subsequent editors. Namely instead of four advances for each rank he used 5. I liked it. Suzerain the overarching system uses "Pulse" instead of power points

New Character Sheets need to be made to reflect changes for SWADE (no Charisma) and increased Fatigue track.

I've covered the woes of a small publisher, but now to specifics for the setting book.

It is fine for use with SWD, but doesn't have a well written conversion document for SWADE. (A carefully edited and proofread conversion document is an absolute necessity).

Shaintar either needs to be part of Suzerain or not. Right now it seems like an afterthought when it comes to the Suzerain universe.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is adventures...Savage Tales, One-shots, Random Adventure Generators, and a plot point campaign. For a GM this is frustrating. Yes there are plot hooks for potential campaigns but these are singular blurbs/paragraphs outlining a story that GMs are forced to fill out themselves. This makes it difficult for GMs to create a story for the PCs to become part of because it is not obvious what part the players have in the setting. Each group seems to be destined to become a part of either the Grayson's Rangers, the Black Lanterns, or the Chosen of the Silver Unicorn. The big problem is that none of these organizations are really detailed in the book. Anthologies can be purchased for 25 USD that will help, but not much.

The book itself uses a parchment like layer (which can be turned off in the PDF). The art is primarily sepia toned line drawings that are quite good. However, not every entry in the bestiary gets a picture. There are full color pictures for each new chapter, but they aren't necessarily relate to the chapter (at least that I can tell). I got a hard bound book and have had it less that a month. The binding is glued and doesn't look particularly sturdy. I am noticing some pages beginning to pull apart. There also seems to be the beginnings of a gap starting between the cover and the binding. Finally the jacket is beginning to warp. It is dead winter here and it is pretty dry (we are a semi arid region anyway) and the warping hasn't happened with any of the other hard bound books I own.

There is no index and the Table of Contents isn't particulaly detailed. If you have a PDF you can at least use the find function.

Only 88 "new" denizens. These are often lower ranked followed by stat blocks for higher ranked. Goblins, Orcs, and even Ogres can be PCs! They have the outsider hinderance but that's awesome for SW settings. However, some of the denizens of the bestiary are corrupted versions...troglydtes, hobgoblins, and trolls. Each of these get pictures while the "normal" versions don't. Many of the PC races don't get pictures. The strengths of the denizens are also quite high. This seemed to be a consistent with SWD and SWEX, but critters in SWADE seem to be better balanced. (a minotaur is a summoned creature for a seasoned sorceror!).

Savage Mojo is a small group of dedicated gamers and publishers. They have had some bad luck lately. I would recommend the PDFs (knowing you will have to do a lot of work to integrate SWADE), but cannot recommend the print versions.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shaintar: Legends Arise
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review, Dillard. A fair an balanced opinion (and yes, don't get me started on the woes of small publishers in 2020/21!). As for the quality of the printed product, that's where DriveThruRPG and Lightning Source come in. That's outside of our control, but the good news is that they're very proactive about replacing copies where the print or binding aren't good quality. I recommend getting in touch with the customer team at DriveThruRPG and letting them know that you've got a book with a problem. All the best, -MMK, Publisher, Savage Mojo
Crown of Kadashman - Campaign for the Kethos Setting (SWADE)
Publisher: Kethos Project Publishing
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2021 00:46:24

Kethos

I am writing this review as a placeholder. This review will be added to the World Book, the Savage Worlds rules and the campaign book. Right now, I am giving it a 3-star review. The Author pointed out in an earlier comment that he released this too early. I agree. Overall, at the present time I would give each of the three documents no more than 2 stars. Technology (and techniques for layout, art, and new content) for making pdfs has improved since Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition came out with Fantasy Companion; however, it seems Kethos did not get the word. Layers? Why can’t I get rid of the background? If I want to print anything it would use entirely too much ink. If I try to print the (inadequate) maps they turn out muddy from the brown background. There are so many technical issues that I cannot even find the time to address content. I will talk about one content issue only. The “Salamander Curse” in an oversimplification if you Critical Fail a roll using a gunpowder weapon there is a potential for a group of fire elementals showing up and blowing you up then setting everything around you on fire for about a half minute! In Savage Worlds terms an average shooter (Shooting d6) with a wild die has a 1 in 36 chance of this happening. This increases dramatically for non-wild cards! Yet somehow light hunting rifles akin to a Kentucky Long Rifle can be had for (an enormous) price. How could anyone make 300 to 400 years of gunpowder weapon development when they stood such a high chance of being destroyed every time, they used it? It is a cool idea but doesn’t pass the commonsense test. I am going to look at this game setting again in 6 months (June 21). I will write another review at that time.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Crown of Kadashman - Campaign for the Kethos Setting (SWADE)
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review and your interest in the product. Most of your issues will be addressed in the revisions that I am currently working on as time permits, though not necessarily by June 21.
Kethos World Guide
Publisher: Kethos Project Publishing
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2021 00:44:59

Kethos

I am writing this review as a placeholder. This review will be added to the World Book, the Savage Worlds rules and the campaign book. Right now, I am giving it a 3-star review. The Author pointed out in an earlier comment that he released this too early. I agree. Overall, at the present time I would give each of the three documents no more than 2 stars. Technology (and techniques for layout, art, and new content) for making pdfs has improved since Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition came out with Fantasy Companion; however, it seems Kethos did not get the word. Layers? Why can’t I get rid of the background? If I want to print anything it would use entirely too much ink. If I try to print the (inadequate) maps they turn out muddy from the brown background. There are so many technical issues that I cannot even find the time to address content. I will talk about one content issue only. The “Salamander Curse” in an oversimplification if you Critical Fail a roll using a gunpowder weapon there is a potential for a group of fire elementals showing up and blowing you up then setting everything around you on fire for about a half minute! In Savage Worlds terms an average shooter (Shooting d6) with a wild die has a 1 in 36 chance of this happening. This increases dramatically for non-wild cards! Yet somehow light hunting rifles akin to a Kentucky Long Rifle can be had for (an enormous) price. How could anyone make 300 to 400 years of gunpowder weapon development when they stood such a high chance of being destroyed every time, they used it? It is a cool idea but doesn’t pass the commonsense test. I am going to look at this game setting again in 6 months (June 21). I will write another review at that time.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Kethos World Guide
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review and your interest in the product. Most of your issues will be addressed in the revisions that I am currently working on as time permits, though not necessarily by June 21.
Kethos - Savage Worlds
Publisher: Kethos Project Publishing
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2021 00:44:20

Kethos

I am writing this review as a placeholder. This review will be added to the World Book, the Savage Worlds rules and the campaign book. Right now, I am giving it a 3-star review. The Author pointed out in an earlier comment that he released this too early. I agree. Overall, at the present time I would give each of the three documents no more than 2 stars. Technology (and techniques for layout, art, and new content) for making pdfs has improved since Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition came out with Fantasy Companion; however, it seems Kethos did not get the word. Layers? Why can’t I get rid of the background? If I want to print anything it would use entirely too much ink. If I try to print the (inadequate) maps they turn out muddy from the brown background. There are so many technical issues that I cannot even find the time to address content. I will talk about one content issue only. The “Salamander Curse” in an oversimplification if you Critical Fail a roll using a gunpowder weapon there is a potential for a group of fire elementals showing up and blowing you up then setting everything around you on fire for about a half minute! In Savage Worlds terms an average shooter (Shooting d6) with a wild die has a 1 in 36 chance of this happening. This increases dramatically for non-wild cards! Yet somehow light hunting rifles akin to a Kentucky Long Rifle can be had for (an enormous) price. How could anyone make 300 to 400 years of gunpowder weapon development when they stood such a high chance of being destroyed every time, they used it? It is a cool idea but doesn’t pass the commonsense test. I am going to look at this game setting again in 6 months (June 21). I will write another review at that time.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Kethos - Savage Worlds
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review and your interest in the product. Most of your issues will be addressed in the revisions that I am currently working on as time permits, though not necessarily by June 21.
Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition Core Book Savage Worlds Edition
Publisher: Modiphius
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2020 14:11:51

Let's call this an exploration of the earlier version of 2d20 and what looks to be the Modiphius model for producing games.

Mutant Chronicles seems to be an excellent predictor of how Modiphius views its creative properties. Namely "milk them of all the short term monetary value don't spend anything time wise beyond short term gains".

Now I say this having bought Mutant Chronicles 3d ed. and this product. I have watched the reddit pages on the other games and veiwed with disappointment in various industry forums as the story has repeated itself over and over with John Carter, Conan, ad nauseum...

Take the 12 page conversion book for Savage Worlds. 2 pages of splash and then note after note of how to convert this or that. Sounds good except when you realize that this is supposed to be converting the almost a 500 page MC3. You can't even come close and it looks like a half hearted try.

Many of the conversions are undercut by the examples given in the document. Take armor for instance. The write up suggests that you convert armor on a 1:2 basis. Yet in the example it shows a 1:1.5 basis. At the same time it gives an example of power armor without any strength bonuses?!?

SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) seems to be the order of the day when converting characters as well. Looking at Sister Eve and that conversion makes me wish that some time would have been spent in the SW core book doing a better job of converting system to system. Chronicle Points, Momentum spends all need a lot more love translating into SW rules.

I give this an average rating because the very idea of translating Mutant Chronicles for SW is such a great idea. I just wish that we'd have gotten something more thorough. (The writers were operating at a disadvantage as I think the MC3 had some gaps already before they tried the conversion).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition Core Book Savage Worlds Edition
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Tactical SWADE: Modern Gun Options
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2020 17:00:08

Concise. Useable for any modern/future setting. 4 stars because I want more! Thanks for this product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tactical SWADE: Modern Gun Options
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Iron Dynasty: Way of the Ronin
Publisher: Reality Blurs
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2020 19:11:25

I have been meaning to write a review for years. This is one of the best products for SW out there. Not just in the fantasy/steampunk genre. It is too bad that there hasn't been a SWADE conversion document for this. If you want everything you've asked for in a SW setting get this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Dynasty: Way of the Ronin
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Deckbox (large)
Publisher: OneBookShelf, Inc.
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/22/2019 20:30:26

5 of 5. I have only ever used the large plastic cases for my decks. My only gripe, which is small, the lids don't stay on that well. I put a rubber band around the case to make sure they don't come apart in my book bag.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deckbox (large)
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The Mutation Deck
Publisher: Just Insert Imagination
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/15/2019 17:01:06

3 of 5. The cards are dated now that SWADE has come out. With 52 chances to make 52 different mutations I felt like there seemed to be a number of mutations that were quite similar. I like that each card has hinderances and edges. Using the cards as temporary effects for mutation trappings powers was intriguing but there were no examples of how this would work in game. For example, draw a card from the mind power suit when using a mind power if you critical fail a roll and suffer the hinderance on the card for the duration of the power. If you get a raise on a skill roll draw a card and take the edge from the card for the duration. Add an Arcane Background and a setting rule or two compatibile with SWADE. Make sure the cards reflect the new rules (consequences on Critical Failures instead of 1 on the skill die etc). I love that this set has 4 Jokers and have large numbers and suit for easy reading across a gaming table. I would recommend a lower price point until this is updated. I would also recommend that previous purchasers get a discount for purchasing a new version.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Mutation Deck
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Revelation: A World at War - Dark War Series Novel
Publisher: Tiny Battle Publishing
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/20/2019 16:09:15

BLUF: I cannot give this 5 stars. 4 stars may be too generous. I read this to get a handle on the lore surrounding the Dark War Rebooted game I bought from TBP. The game lore differs in dates from the book. The book says the war starts May 14th the game says it starts May 22nd. This is glaring as the book indicates several times when the war starts just as the game does. In each case the lore of both book and game differ.

(SPOILERS) The lore covering the encounter of Martin Witherspoon and the vampires is quite different between the book and game.

I am not sure which came first the book or the game, but I know that it is difficult to maintain suspension of disbelief when errors while small are so obviously different.

I realize that this is self published. I also realize the author is professionally published, but I also realize that the author is not a professional editor. If you are going to self publish I would ask that the author spend some time making the various stories published across the ouvre be consistent.

Having said all that the story is creative and entertaining. There are errors discussing tactics and equipment. The author was a Navy diver. I was a loader, gunner, and tank commander on the M1. I have also been a Night Battle Captain, Assistant S3, and Tactical Intelligence Officer in a M1A1 battalion; FIRST TANK! I joined the military in 1983. The war I spent my adult life preparing for was the war depicted in this book. I could tell the author gave it much love. This is where the 4 stars come in. The author's love for the subject matter.

This is not Larry Bond, Harold Coyle, or Tom Clancy. It is not that polished. Don't expect the depth, breadth, or tight plot of any of these books. It is a ripping yarn. Worth the 2 dollar price tag. I would not spend more than that.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Revelation: A World at War - Dark War Series Novel
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to review the book. And thanks for your service. BTW, personally, I think I kick Coyle, Clancy's, and Bond's ass, but your mileage obviously varies.
Savage Rifts: Character Folio (SWADE Edition)
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/26/2019 00:26:42

Not formfillable. This was complained about a year ago still not fixed. The first two pages are direct copies of the Character Sheet and therefore have little space to put powers, cybernetics, gear etc. Other pages are provided for powers, but not cybernetics. There is a notes page with graph paper style grid, however if you turn off "background" in the layers section the Coalition skull that fills a quarter to a third of the page turns black and you lose that much space to write in. Overall this was not a well thought out folio. The support for this product is lacking. Since people have commented in the discussion section about the product not working as advertised over a year ago and it is still not fixed. Not worth 5 dollars. Do yourself a favor if you want a folio for your character make one on notebook paper.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Rifts: Character Folio (SWADE Edition)
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Reedwater
Publisher: Anderian Designs Ltd
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2019 00:47:33

BLUF: This was written for "Strands of Fate" and uses terminolgy from Spirit of the Century. It is compatible with other versions of Fate if you are willing to work really hard to make it so.

The Reedwater Campaign would work quite well as a fantasy strand for Strands of Fate. The NPCs are well thought out. The sand box is truly full of wonderful ideas and maps. However, don't expect to understand how to use this product at first glance without understanding how Strands of Fate plays. For those of you coming from Fate Core or FAE be prepared to be very confused. To use the magic users in the game you need to understand the magic system presented in Stands of Fate. To use the skills you need to understand the skills from Strands of Fate.

Each NPC has 10 Aspects! (Strands of Fate only has 6 so that seems quite odd). Sticky aspects are referred to something in Spirit of the Century.

I'll give this three stars because it is a good campaign for Strands of Fate, but it will not work straight of the box for other Fate systems.

EDIT: Now I am not sure it will work quite right with Strands of Fate either.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Reedwater
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High Fantasy Magic: A Simple Magic System for Fate Core & Accelerated
Publisher: Tallstrunt Press LLC
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2019 01:10:03

BLUF: Great not Superb. There is room for improvement. Add Drain a la Shadowrun. The stunts are well thought out and useful for thinking of others. The discipline ideas are great, but would have benefited from thorough descriptions of skill usage and the four actions with each discipline (what can it do, what can't it do). There is only 19 pages. So the rules are light in description, but have great impact for players willing to spend a bit of skull sweat to define the uses of their disciplines.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
High Fantasy Magic: A Simple Magic System for Fate Core & Accelerated
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