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Never Going Home
Publisher: Wet Ink Games
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2019 15:06:37

Wet Ink Games captures the horrors of war (and worse) while being respectful of both real world vets and protecting the feelings of players playing the game. I will be do a more in depth playtest review at EN World, but my initial read through convinced me I have to run this game. Players will take on the roles of soldiers slowly giving up their past memories and bits of their humanity to survive an inhuman war. But things are even worse, as otherworldly monsters bring even more insanity and killing to the battlefield. PCs will have some personal control of events through a clever dice pool while working at a unit level using playing cards to complete missions, help with tasks, and if they survive improve their own abilities. The intro sums it up for me: Never Going Home is a party-focused role-playing game set in horror haunted trenches during the First World War. If that sounds good to you, get ready to deploy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Never Going Home
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DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Holiday Special - FREE pdf
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2018 06:45:53

What a great present to receive. Turkey demons (Tur'da Kun, ha!), Krampus, a zombunny, and the Christmas witch are only a few of the holiday creatures that visit J'town, KY.

This wonderful freebie includes 11 creatures to challenge or help the kids of J'town. The art is amazing, some of it in full color. Several creatures have a theme song from the eighties to inspire the imagination.

The system is d20 so you could easily port this to the Shudder Mountains for Dungeon Crawl Classics or your own D&D homebrew. I could even see some of these beasties showing up in D&D Ravnica.

If you think having a zombie plague starting with a zombunny is entertaining then you need this gift. Seriously, take it, otherwise, the Krampus will get you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Holiday Special - FREE pdf
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Spirit of 77 Core Rulebook
Publisher: Monkeyfun Studios, LLC
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/25/2018 20:34:28

Full review: Spirit of 77 review

Spirit of 77 is a combination of street racers and kung-fu fighters, cross-country road races, and big scores in the big city with a killer '70s soundtrack. If you have ever wanted to cross paths with Bigfoot and punch him right in the face because he’s asking for it, then Spirit of 77 is for you.

The DJ (GM) receives great roleplaying advice along with a series of moves they can make. Some are surprising like separate the PCs or capture someone. Each move is meant to add new challenges for the PCs to overcome. They also demonstrate how the designers envisioned Spirit of 77 being played and show how to run the game to achieve that vision.

Spirit of 77 is an entire game and setting packed into one book. Players will take part in high octane crazy adventures while listening to the music of the '70s. DJs will enjoy surprise after surprise as they react to the PCs' shenanigans via the City and its denizens. Spirit of 77 is a joy ride I highly recommend you take.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spirit of 77 Core Rulebook
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Summerland Second Edition
Publisher: Fire Ruby Designs
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/25/2018 20:29:09

Full review: Summerland Second Edition review

Overnight a vast forest sprang up ancient and full grown. It devastated the works of man. Foreboding and somehow alive, the Sea of Leaves is a wild place permeated by the Call, a siren-song that lures the majority of humans into the woods never to return. Survivors know that tight human connections strongly binding communities together provides resistance to the Call. A small number of people, survivors of terrible trauma, are able to resist the Call to journey between settlements and enter the ruined cities. You are one of these damaged people. You are a Drifter.

Drifters have a Trauma scale, numbers of d6s that describes how the event in their past affects the character’s relationship with other people. The aim of the game is to reduce the value to zero, whereupon the character becomes acceptable into what remains of human society. A Stress scale records how close a character is to losing control. Drifters must face their Trauma to reduce it but suffer Stress while doing so. This Stress requires rest in a settlement to heal and that settlement will then require the Drifters to perform a needed task for them in the forest, starting the cycle anew.

Summerland Second Edition is a comprehensive, well put together, beautiful RPG with all the resources needed for players and GMs to explore their own version of the Sea of Leaves. Summerland is about survival and horror but also hope and redemption. Drifters yearn to be welcomed into a community, but they must risk everything in the Sea of Leaves to redeem themselves and cure the wounds of their past. The question for players is how much are you willing to risk to make this happen?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Summerland Second Edition
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Troglodytes of the Tentacled One
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2013 18:00:32

I received a comp PDF of this product to review.

When I’m designing adventures, I find the statistics take the most time: NPC stats and any new magic I want to throw at my players. I can come up with a scenario and I have plenty of maps. But the mechanical stuff takes a lot of time.

So when I had the chance to check out Troglodytes I jumped at the chance. Here is a nice handy PDF filled with statted monsters, new magic items, and a few other new mechanical bits, all connected with decent story bits. Tying the fantasy amphibians and reptiles together is Lovecraft horror, a delightful squamous mix. In fact, Troglodytes came across like a focused issue of Dragon from the old print days which to me is a great thing.

Of the twenty pages, four and a half are title pages, intro info, and OGL. There are two half pages of decent art. The rest is rules and roleplaying bits along with a table of contents. Included in those two and a half pages are some useful tables of the new mechanics as well as a descriptive paragraph and a poem. Anything well written that includes the word gibbous always grabs my attention: “Emerging on fog‐shrouded nights when a sullen, gibbous moon hangs low in the sky the troglodytes raise their croaking voices to the ebon heavens in terrible, half‐forgotten rites of veneration to unknown, elder beings.” Yeah, that’s cool.

The troglodytes get two pages of ecology including religion and tribal body art. They also get a new demonic god complete with a holy text called the Amoninomicon. These troglodytes are bloodthirsty violent savages.

Next up is a page of battle feats unique to the tribe which help with moving through difficult terrain in caverns, getting some spell-like dark powers, and killing people even more violently with claws. All the feats fit the theme of the savage tribe. Two alternative class features help turn the fighter into a tunnel fighter and the barbarian into an unarmored savage. My PDF had a typo that had me scratching my head for a moment: the feat reads when armored instead of when unarmored but I figured it out.

Following feats is a page of spells. Weight of ages is a nice use of aging rules that otherwise might not see much use. I liked these spells and could see the troglodytes using them to wither their foes.

Two potent intelligent magic items follow, both of use really only to the tribe. Destroying these foul weapons could be an adventure in itself. Both weapons are named and have personalities and backgrounds of their own.

A random encounter chart lists four different possible encounters with the Ebon Lake tribe. ELs start at 4 and end at 10.

The description of each encounter includes a way to modify the EL up or down one. This info gives twelve possible encounters. A description explains what the creatures are up to, which is a great guide for the GM.

Eleven fully statted creatures follow, including warriors, chieftain, shamans, and the unnatural leader of the trogs. A template is included as well. The stat blocks are well organized and easy to follow.

In addition to stat blocks, many of the creatures have backgrounds and tactics listed as well to aid in roleplaying the villains in and out of combat. As would be expected, the warriors are not subtle combatants and are crazed killers fighting to the death in most cases. They eat fallen human foes.

The template creates a degenerate creature. The example is a degenerate troglodyte possessed of savage brutality. It inflicts increased damage with natural weapons used in melee.

A handy stat block for regular trogs ends the PDF. Included are notes on adding to base stats when adding class levels. A handy reminder.

This PDF delivers exactly what a time-pressed GM needs. Eleven plus bloodthirsty Ebon Lake tribe-troglodytes and their slimy leader armed with dark magic and possessed of terrible bloodlust and violence. If you want to save several hours of statting up a tribe of trogs, get this PDF. The information provided could be reused easily, so a campaign featuring many trogs could get a lot of mileage out of this PDF. The descriptions are also inspiring and add quite a bit to how I pictured the Ebon Lake Tribe in my mind’s eye.

.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Troglodytes of the Tentacled One
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Finwicket's Bestiary: Along the Faerie Path
Publisher: Clockwork Gnome Publishing
by Charles D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2011 13:46:07

Provided a copy to review.

Excellent product and I highly recommend it even if you don’t play Pathfinder (any GM could use the roleplaying parts). I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or more of these creatures appear in a Paizo product in the future.

I was surprised and thrilled by the cover. Classy and colorful and a good start to a great product.

The book starts with a description of the Faerie Realm. The realm is flavorful but grounded in the planar rules that Pathfinder utilizes as well as common myth. For example, time passes haphazardly in the Faerie Realm and can cause a visiting mortal a lot of problems when he or she returns to the Material Plane. The Faerie Realm is divided up into dominions but the product doesn’t go into the specifics of any individual dominions.

The Nowhere Dimension is a creepy place that causes travelers there to disappear and slowly be erased from reality. No rules are given for this event; it is GM driven. Thin man assassins are fey partially touched by this terrifying realm.

However, fey can be filled with fear by indicating they are going nowhere. The fear result is handled by a Will saving throw and uses the standard Pathfinder rules for handling fear. This touch is great as is the consequence for using it too often: thin man assassins will come after those who use these words and learn too much about the Nowhere Dimension.

Next up are the fey themselves. The stat blocks follow the standard Pathfinder layout. I didn’t do a large amount of math checking, but the numbers look correct from a quick overview. One teeny tiny error is that one time the GM is referred to as the DM which is a word that belongs more properly to D&D.

The faerie seer is a diviner who can see into the future in exchange for a unique price. Nice and simple creature that fills a unique roll and can be used as both an ally or a foe (some faerie seers are driven made by their visions).

Harvest haunts are tiny fey that use crops to continue their life cycle. This method of reproduction will bring the fey into direct conflict with farmers. Great roleplaying and problem solving would result from introducing harvest haunts into a campaign.

The spindler is a fey that creates magical clothing. Nobles might have a spindler creating clothes for them. If an unfortunate adventurer slighted the clothing produced, the adventurer might be forced to wear a shirt of frolicking kittens complete with a curse for everyone who views it. Great flavor here and the social convention of trades at major festivals and The Great Swap for mating is a wonderful touch.

Thin men are the assassins of the fey world. Existing in only two dimensions, thin men have potent defenses and providing a natural attack in the form of arm blades. The details on society and habitat as well as ecology give a well designed monster a frightening reason to pursue murder.

The art is decent as well with only the harvest haunt and thin man having an almost cartoon like quality. However, even those two pieces are above average and manage to still capture the essence of the depicted fey.

Shouldn’t be too hard on printers except for the cover. Pages have just a splash of color, no border, and some nice looking gears surrounding page numbers. It is bookmarked.

These fey are not just spell-casting or fighting monsters. Each fey has a reason to exist, a society of sorts that are alien by normal standards, and a variety of defenses and attack that accurately reflect their origins. The creator had an obvious grasp of the Pathfinder system as well as real-world knowledge of myths about fey and faeries.

Well done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Finwicket's Bestiary: Along the Faerie Path
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