DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories
$ to $















Back
pixel_trans.gif
Other comments left by this customer:
You must be logged in to rate this
pixel_trans.gif
The Diocesi of Montfroid
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Christopher [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2024 16:19:24

The Diocesi of Montfroid provides a nice starter setting divided roughly into thirds: 1. Gazetteer, 2. GM Tools, and 3. a 4-level dungeon. Some thought has been put into the plight of the new GM with a modest amount of explicit advice on consuming and using the material, and in general I find there is a nearly perfect balance between providing enough to work with while avoiding becoming cumbersome with too many details and particularities to track or remember. It's a solidly worked out foundation which any GM can pick up, run, and elaborate through play over time, and it provides an excellent example of what someone could do with the tools provided by WWN and the Atlas of Latter Earth. Well done! I look forward to using this with my group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Diocesi of Montfroid
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Prison of the Hated Pretender
Publisher: Hydra Cooperative
by Christopher W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/03/2021 20:23:18

This is a great little adventure. In addition to this, it is a great introductory adventure both for new players and new GMs. I really wish there were more of this kind of thing with solid GM advice for running old school games. I have been running games in a variety of sytems for a year now, and the broad strokes of the guidance are things with which I'm already familiar. Even so, Gus L's advice improved my understanding of a few nuances. I would love to see similar adventures introducing important ideas behind other elements of play, such as hex crawls, developing a home base, or a setting. Presenting the guidance as sidebars to aid in running the specific adventure provides a more immediate feedback loop compared to reading a variety of essays published in blog posts and trying to apply that to unrelated adventures which may or may not be designed in a way to support the advice. I love this. Great job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prison of the Hated Pretender
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Encumbrance Tracker (DCC)
Publisher: Black Arrow Press
by Christopher W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2020 18:35:27

This is a nice implementation of what I first saw introduced as "Matt Rundle's Anti-Hammerspace Item Tracker." The benefit here is the provided sheet and the equipment list. I will note, however, that I find the system rather punitive. I did an analysis of the system against the OSE Gridventory System—a supplement for Old School Essentials which goes beyond B/X's Details Encumbrance to track the weight of every item, which can be found here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/314569/Gridventory-System The Gridventory System is pretty detailed, relatively hard-core, but works well in practice. As it is the encumbrance system I know best at this point, and as OSE and DCC have very similar equipment lists the Gridventory System provided me a nice baseline by which to evaluate this DCC Encumbrance Tracker. It turns out that the DCC Encumbrance Tracker is significantly tougher on base equipment, especially torches and rations, the key consumables of the long term campaigner. Here are some key observations and suggestions based on my comparison of the two supplemental encumbrance systems:

Observation

• OSE's Gridventory System supplements OSE's Detailed Encumbrance option by providing weights for all items. OSE RAW Detailed Encumbrance assigns 80cn for the entirety of the equipment and only tracks weapons, armor, and treasure. The only penalty for encumbrance is speed reduction, with the side effect being a greater number of random encounter rolls for a given dungeon area, as well as a decreased chance of escape when fleeing a pursuer. This is due to strict time keeping with regular random encounter rolls being performed every X turns where X is a number appropriate for the adventure location.

• DCC's Encumbrance Tracker system supplements DCC's armor penalties, stacking additional penalties for speed and fumble die, as well as adding a penalty to the action die. DCC's published adventures rely far less on a strict exploration turn, and far more on set piece encounters, so the primary impact of the encumbrance system is to penalize combat effectiveness rather than to increase the number of encounters.

• It should also be noted that when using DCC in more traditional crawls, the effects of the Encumbrance Tracker system will be both an increase in random encounter rolls and a decreased effectiveness in combat; i.e. the party will likely engage in more combat and be less successful at it as the penalties kick in.

• For categorically heavier items—armor, weapons—the DCC Encumbrance Tracker allows aproximately 2-3x as much gear. This may be in order to avoid having to accomodate an unmanageable number of slots. This is purely combat-oriented stuff.

• For categorically lighter items, most significantly including the explorer's consumables, the DCC Ecumbrance Tracker system allows approximately half as much as OSE's Gridventory System. Note that this is the category of stuff that allows for creative problem solving and for keeping your characters alive.

• The DCC Encumbrance Tracker makes little provision for characters with greater than average Strength. A Warrior or Dwarf with a Strength of 18 will never be penalized!

Possible Resolutions

• Worn armor is already penalized by DCC RAW. It's a bitter pill to penalize it twice. Remove worn armor from DCC's slot based encumbrance consideration. Unworn armor should still qualify for encumbrance, and the allowance for it should be reduced to bring it in line with OSE's Gridventory System.

• If the goal of equipment management, including consumables, is to prioritize resource management, the Judge can leave the equipment per slot ratios alone.

• If the goal of equipment management is to eliminate a de facto "bag of holding" for each character and not specifically to prioritize resource management, then the Judge should adjust the equipment per slot ratios, perhaps starting with a 200-300% improvement; i.e. reduce equipment slot consumption by 2-3x.

• When DCC is employed for traditional crawls, some care should be given to balancing the penalties of encumbrance. OSE's Detailed Encumbrance only becomes seriously punitive when maximum encumbrance is surpassed, at which point the character cannot move at all. For traditional crawls, it may be better to reserve the Action and Fumble Die penalties for the 3rd or a new 4th Level of encumbrance.

• The DCC Encumbrance Tracker's slots range should be increased to include penalties for Fighters and Dwarves with a Strength of 18.

The full analysis is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dq6M2xdTHg8COmqsH8E7qYdJ13VBJxin5gXVVnA9OZU/edit?usp=sharing



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Encumbrance Tracker (DCC)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Creator Reply:
Thanks Christopher for taking the time to put together such a fantastic review! You're right that I do lean toward players having to take less into the dungeon--I find it makes everyone work together a bit more to "spread-load" the essential gear and make tough choices about what to carry. That said, however, I love your suggestions on how to make it easier on them. Thanks again!
pixel_trans.gif
Gridventory System
Publisher: Lucille L. Blumire
by Christopher W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/05/2020 09:24:36

This is a nice supplement to OSE's optional Detailed Encumbrance. As I'm currently playing exclusively online, I haven't had a chance to use the grid, itself, but it is a clear and visual way of managing inventory and encumbrance. I picked it up for the detailed equipment list which adds weights to the basic equipment list from OSE. (There is one detail missing—the crowbar is missing both cost and weight, but the book has the cost and you can assign 50cn to a crowbar and call it good.)

I don't think anyone actually enjoys managing inventory and encumbrance, but its important as in the traditional crawl it influences how many random encounters will be rolled in a given area of dungeon. Not tracking encumbrance eliminates a critical element to the risk-vs-reward element of classic crawls. This system makes such tracking easy to manage and visualize without constant recalculations at the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gridventory System
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Electric Bastionland
Publisher: Bastionland Press
by Christopher W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2020 16:51:37

I started playing tabletop RPGs just over a year ago, and started looking to run games a few months later. The sheer amount of advice—so much of it conflicting—is hard to navigate, especially as new folks learn about the broader spectrum of the systems available. I wish that Electric Bastionland had been available to me a year ago. This system, like Into the Odd before it, distills traditional RPG mechanics down to what is most playable and most interesting and rewarding about tabletop RPGs. Perhaps it's not for everyone. Lovers of dense or byzantine mechanics and complex character builds will likely find this unfulfilling. And that's okay. This is a game that anyone can play, and anyone can run without cognitive overload. But it's not just the game system that has this distilled focus—the GM-facing guidance here is excellent. It focuses on what is both suggestive and actionable and avoids that which is overly prescriptive and laden with lore and detailed complexity.

When I realized that the book was going to contain 100+ two-page spread starting characters, I became concerned that this was going to be more of an art book and fluff layered upon the excellent Into the Odd rules—essentially a coffee-table book for fans of Into the Odd. It's an understandable concern, but what's going on here is important. Every two-page character spread is chock full of items and characterizations which effectively build up the setting and provide the GM with tools for use in play. The artwork is tasty and excellent and are the kind of thing that inspire interesting NPCs and situations. The items and character features are terrific. And undergirding all of this is that distilled focus on what is playable and memorable.

I love this game. I love this book. It is a joy to run and play. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Electric Bastionland
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Displaying 1 to 5 (of 5 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
pixel_trans.gif
pixel_trans.gif Back pixel_trans.gif
0 items
 Gift Certificates