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Tabletop Gaming Guide to: Pirates and Privateers
Publisher: Mystical Throne Entertainment
by Cornelius [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2024 08:03:18

A great sourcebook for roleplaying games in the Age of Sail. I use this a lot in my games in conjunction with a setting book, and I appreciate the work that was done to make Savage Worlds-specific content.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tabletop Gaming Guide to: Pirates and Privateers
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The Case of the Siren's Song (City Guard Chronicles)
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2023 16:40:59

The Case of the Siren's Song is bit shorter than the first two cases and saves the action parts for the big finale, but I don't think it's too short for an adventure or has boring parts. As I already got used to when it comes to the City Guard Chronicles, all the clues and connections are rather well depicted, making this really easy to understand and run. The case itself is a great one, too – not too complicated, but surprising enough without seeming artificial. The authors apparently don't get tired coming up with new pre-gens, either. The ones coming with this case are a bit more unusual than the previous ones, emphasizing the fact that the guard really employs everyo- I mean, recruits members from all walks of life. All in all, another great adventure in the CGC series!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Case of the Siren's Song (City Guard Chronicles)
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The Case of the Missing Daughter (City Guard Chronicles)
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/19/2023 05:38:32

The second adventure in the City Guard Chronicles series keeps the quality level of the first one: The layout is a pleasure to look at and works rather well, important clues are clearly labeled and the linked overview of the whole case makes a return.

The structure of the case is well-made (not too strict and linear, but always with useful clues what to do next) and also includes a bunch of other cases that you can introduce in different ways, which is a neat idea. Also, it doesn’t just follow the same formula as the first adventure, which was a nice surprise as well. Important locations come with their own floor plans. I hope the authors can keep this up!

There’s an quick overview of the setting included which also covers new Edges, should you create your own player characters. If you don’t want that, there are also eight pre-generated characters inside, which are not only an interesting mixture but can also shine in the particular adventure.

If you like fantasy-noir detective adventures, you should pick this up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Case of the Missing Daughter (City Guard Chronicles)
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The Case of the Misguided Lover (City Guard Chronicles)
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/03/2023 11:12:58

City Guard Chronicles is an interesting kind of "meta-setting" that doesn’t have to be a setting on its own – although it can be –, but rather provides some essential setting information and makes it possible to integrate the adventures into other settings. We were able to put the adventure into another setting (which wasn’t mentioned as an example in the product) without problems and just needed to look up some names from the setting in question.

The micro-settings comes with a few new interesting Edges, a collection of Setting Rules (both from the core rulebook as well as new ones) and eight archetypes, which are well-made both mechanically as well as regarding their personality. I especially appreciate that it clearly says what their strengths are as well in case you’re new to the system and can’t tell by the first glance.

The product has a great-looking layout and illustrations that fit together well and support the content.

The adventure is on the whole an investigation, but has a fair mix between action-filled parts and time for searching clues and puzzling together information. It does not rely on the players to solve any riddles, but keeps the tension even when the player characters do very well in their rolls. I feel that this is where other published investigation adventures fail, so I’d like to emphasize how well this works out here.

There are a lot of information, hints and clues which make the investigation feel very convincing. Also, the adventure is not linear and can go in different directions – dependent on both the players’ decisions and rolls – which add to this impression. For the GM, it’s clearly labeled which clue is essential and which is just for the scenery, and it also includes an overview of possible scenes and their connections. Both are a huge help to running the adventure. The overview is even hyperlinked in the PDF.

Although the setting is presented as more gritty and noir-like, it does not try to express that in making the case unreasonably hard to solve. We intentionally played it with a player character group that did not contain only the pre-generated characters from the product and was (again, intentionally) rather bad at actual investigation, and we still managed to solve the case – but the adventure includes different ways of solving it and possible complications, so it did not feel like the success was given away for free.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of this line and can recommend the micro-setting and adventure to everyone looking for a fantasy investigation adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Case of the Misguided Lover (City Guard Chronicles)
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Stingers & Spores
Publisher: Twitchy Butcher Studios LLC
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2023 07:25:37

A very unique and fun setting in a beautiful book. I'm really happy how it turned out after getting excited by the Jump Start. Although the setting is unusual, you can adapt a lot of fantasy adventures and tropes to it without much difficulties. So don't be afraid that you have to wrap your mind around the setting too much before you can start playing! There are quite a few different ways in which you can play the setting, so it shouldn't be too hard to make it work for your group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stingers & Spores
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Wayfarer's Deck: The High Seas
Publisher: Double Proficiency
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2021 04:53:33

A great mix of events and random encounters for an age of sail setting. The events have various degees of challenge and a short, but inspiring description. The format as a card deck (instead of a rollable table) lets you easily adapt the collection of events to your liking, depending on your setting or the required level of drama.

Since the events are kept short and independent of any rules mechanic, you might need to adapt it to your game before usage. For me, that's an advantage – I'd usually do that in some form anyway.

Additionally, I'd like to thank the publisher for offering this as a digital-only product, as it's easy to put into a VTT or just save shipping costs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wayfarer's Deck: The High Seas
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Stingers & Spores: Pirates of the Still Sea
Publisher: Twitchy Butcher Studios LLC
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/22/2021 16:45:01

An adventure with an interesting premise. It's very compact and the information is presented clearly. I would've enjoyed solving the conspiracy which is - to me - the heart of the adventure, but as it is written, it pushes the players in a rather reactive role, solving everything in the aftermath with combat. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the full setting!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stingers & Spores: Pirates of the Still Sea
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Titan Effect RPG: Outbreak
Publisher: Knight Errant Media
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2020 16:57:13

An exciting adventure that gets to the point and raises interesting questions for the group to answer without limiting the players decisions or giving the anwers itself.

I ran this without any additional preparation as a one-shot and introduction into Titan Effect – worked perfectly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Titan Effect RPG: Outbreak
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Citizens Divided
Publisher: Aegis Studios
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2020 10:56:21

I picked up Citizens Divided in search of a fast, streamlined cyberpunk setting for SWADE.

I like the idea of the setting, which is over the top near-future cyberpunk that doesn't come with reawakened magic, elves or other stuff that I think would make it feel overloaded. What I especially appreciate is that cyberware isn't the norm for everyone just because it's cyberpunk. The setting isn't described in deep detail, but I think it mostly just gets right to the point and lets the players fill out the rest. In some places, it's a bit too sparse for my taste. I would've appreciated a few more factions, ongoing conflicts, interesting areas or other adventure hooks to get the game started or connect the players to the world.

The graphic design of the product is good – the style of the artwork might not fit everyone's taste, but it uses evocative artwork and looks cool. It's also nice to read, both from the looks and from the structure.

Where I think the product could be much better is the mechanics. There are a few leftovers from SWD, especially in the amount of bonuses granted by Edges and equipment. This isn't solely the author's fault, of course, since the product relies on the Science Fiction Companion which isn't out for SWADE yet. The new mandatory professional Edges feel a bit like classes and seem to be wildly unbalanced. The worst thing to me was the Sheen setting rule in which a new meta-currency is introduced. Sheen points are limited, can't be renewed, require a certain GM-style (you can't know the penalties / bonuses of your roll when you spend a Sheen point) but aren't really exciting in their usage compared to Bennies. I didn't understand their point at all.

All things considered, Citizens Divded isn't for me. As a GM, it doesn't add anything to a game that I'd like and isn't already in the core book or the Sci-Fi Companion (which you still need to play this). As a player, the setting is too vague to excite me.

I'm looking forward to read an updated setting book once the SWADE-SFC is out and I hope the setting will get a bit more detailed with supplements and the like!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Citizens Divided
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Creator Reply:
Thanks so much for your thoughtful review! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the look and structure of the book. I would recommend checking out the free Bad Chips and Gun Control supplements for a few adventure seeds that dip into the setting, and Election Night, which was just released and discusses a bit about the political state of the U.S.A. in 2068. As to the modifiers from equipment, I did a bit of wrenching as I updated to SWADE, and felt that the things I wanted to convey in the setting (huge Hacking bonuses for a custom deck, for example) were fitting in emphasizing the importance of tech and the right tool for the job. The way this plays out from a Hacking perspective is further elaborated on in Election Night, where you see penalties applied for the target system quality, and an example of hacker vs. hacker conflict. Regarding the mandatory Professional Edges, part of the purpose of the design is to spotlight power structures and imbalances, while encouraging cooperation. Ideal groups will include a selection of Professional Edges that compliment one another while letting each person have their specific spotlight. Of course, one can also play an entire gang of Gutter Punks, or a mobile medical unit filled with Doctors (and maybe a Chromer bodyguard), which I assume is likely a common play style. With regard to Sheen, it is really designed as a last-ditch resource (which speaks to its rarity) that you can use to get out of a sticky situation without the need to spend a Benny. You are just cool enough to get out of that scrape. I greatly appreciate the feedback and will keep it in mind as the Citizens Divided setting grows! Thank you, Travis Legge
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Burning Seas of Hell
Publisher: GRAmel
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/16/2020 09:03:02

I read through Burning Seas of Hell and (so far) was the GM for one game with it. The review includes both my thoughts and the comments of the players.

Burning Seas of Hell is published as a mini-setting, so it’s shorter than a „full“ setting. In comparison to the mini-settings by PEG I’ve seen so far, Burning Seas of Hell puts more detail into the various places and areas and skips Savage Tales. For me, the length of the setting was very good and it’s well structured, so I never had the feeling of having to read through a long paragraph without knowing what it’s supposed to go on about. It gives a good impression of the setting so I can start making notes right away without getting slowed down.

The different kinds of hell’s inhabitants are varied and interesting without feeling like a kitchen-sink. I like the concept of sins that play a big role for the damned. The ability of choosing an Edge as a nightmare feels a bit weak when the High Adventure setting rule is in effect, as the setting advises.

The concept of dealing with death when you’re already in hell is given a good thought, but I found it a bit unfair that certain kinds of PCs can just never die while others can. Also, fights can drag out quite a bit when there’s not even the possibility for someone to die – both mechanically and fictionally. The setting covers that point only with a few suggestions how to handle it in the fiction. All in all, the idea that you can’t just send someone to hell because you’re both already in there is an interesting one, but the players might need to work a bit on buying into that.

The description of the different places in hell is really awesome. What a collection of varied, freaky and cool ideas! The way it’s written worked rather well to help me getting the mood across to the players. It includes different kinds of enemies you might meet there. It also lists factions and important NPCs that are pursuing their own goals without the setting revolving solely around them, so you’re free to ignore them without needing to rewrite parts of the setting.

If that settings sounds interesting to you, go grab it and take a look!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Burning Seas of Hell
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The Kerberos Anomaly
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2020 12:41:10

I was one of the playtesters of this adventure and received a free copy this way. Apart from that, I’m not paid or otherwise compensated for this review.

The Kerberos Anomaly is a dynamic, flexible adventure and doesn’t come with a rigid sequence of scenes. After the intro scene (which is a playable, action-packed scene, not a paragraph to be read to the players), the players have a clear goal and the GM has a collection of NPCs, challenges and encounters to throw at them. The adventure is suitable for a one-shot.

To help the gamemaster and keep the tension, there are random elements to decide what’s going on, e.g. a random encounter table. The encounters are described in a short, but distinct way. That works to give the GM an idea what’s going on without having to read a lot of text or skipping to different parts of the document, so you can just roll on the table and get going - no awkward pauses, hectic read-throughs or obligation to memorize everything beforehand. If the GM thinks the encounter needs to be even more dramatic, there’s the possibility to spend GM Bennies and introduce certain additional complications – good idea!

The adventure includes five pre-generated PCs which are all interesting in itself and made in a way that everyone gets their spotlight without being one-trick ponies.

The included maps should help visualizing the structure of a ship you’re boarding and there’s even a battlemap included if you want to use it. If you liked the game FTL: Faster Than Light, I’m sure you’ll instantly like the ship maps.

What I also really appreciate is that the author took the time and page space to explain how certain elements of the adventure could make sense, so nothing is just suddenly there to give the players something to roll. There are also quite helpful tips for the GM to run the adventure without telling him or her what to do. Given the page count, you probably shouldn't be too surprised that it doesn't feature a complicated background story to discover. So if you're more the investigative kind of group, you might need to come up with something to investigate.

All in all, the structure of the adventure provides plenty of opportunities to introduce both action-packed and calm scenes. I presume GMs used to adventures with paragraphs to read out loud and a set order or scenes to play through might have some trouble with this adventure, but since it says sandbox adventure in the description, you can’t really blame it for that.

I happily recommend it to play it yourself!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Kerberos Anomaly
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Shadowcraft
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2020 04:55:54

Shadowcraft is an interesting collection of arcane and weird options for stealthy characters. The new Arcane Background also comes with new Powers which gives it a nice twist in comparison to just giving Powers from the core book a nice trapping while they're still balanced.

The table with name suggestions for core Powers, allowed modifiers and ideas for trappings is really neat – good ideas, clear and precise.

Apart from the Powers, there are Weird Edges which (mostly) build on the Assassin Edge and do not require an Arcane Background. Althought I wondered about this at first, it's a good idea to enhance shady characters without forcing them to go a more magical route which might feel like mechanical baggage for some character concepts.

I also have to praise the layout and graphic design of the product. It's clear to read while still looking interesting and giving some shadowy vibes. I really like that!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowcraft
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review and rating! I'm super happy you enjoy this product. I had a lot of fun putting this together and I'm glad that other people are getting use out of it.
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Dungeon Delver's Toolkit
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/20/2020 05:30:36

Although it’s aimed at recreating old school dungeon vibes, I enjoyed this toolkit without particularly missing any older systems. It brings a good rhythm into exploring dungeons and similar areas, although you should be aware that it changes the severity of Wounds as written in the Savage Worlds Core Rules.

Additionally, it offers setting rules for combat and magic. I can see the combat setting rules work in a lot of settings way beyond dungeon delving. The setting rules for magic are a good idea for adding flavour to the Arcane Backgrounds in your fantasy game.

If you’re into dungeon exploring with Savage Worlds in any setting, this add-on is definitely worth a read!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Delver's Toolkit
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Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for the kind words. I truly hope you use and enjoy the product.
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Dragon and Raven
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/20/2020 04:03:20

Dragon and Raven is a wacky gonzo-adventure suitable for a one-shot.

The pre-generated player characters have an interesting variety and Hindrances that are referred to in the adventure in an engaging way. The hook for the PCs is easy enough and makes sense, but doesn't actually force them into a particular path.

With two big issues to deal with and only one clearly stated to the PCs right at the start, the adventure doesn't feel too obvious at all. Since it isn't designed to have a rigid sequence of scenes or encounters and even throws a few random tables on top of that, the adventure is quite flexible and can be run multiple times without feeling too similar – even if the PCs start out with the same approach every time.

You have to like the style of humour, of course, but I didn't find that very hard. I didn't stumble over things that are just weird for the sake of being weird. Actually, I was surprised that all the weird happenenings have understandable reasons and motives behind them. I think you can run most of the adventure with a straight face if you really want that. The maps and assets certainly help to convey the mood and if you're running with maps and tokens, they are very useful.

We enjoyed our stay in Vapoór a lot and I will happily run this adventure again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon and Raven
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Herbal Alchemy
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Cornelius W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/13/2020 13:00:58

A short and fast set of alternative to going the full Weird Science + Artificer route for low-powered alchemy. You could even put both in your setting for different kinds of alchemy. I tried it and liked the results. Jenn and Kristian understand Savage Worlds quite well and it shows once more with this supplement.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Herbal Alchemy
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Creator Reply:
Thank you, Cornelius! We are very grateful and appreciative of your praise for Herbal Alchemy. We hope our future products continue to be as well received as this was.
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