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Your Best Game Ever
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2021 22:28:19

This book is a wonderful examination of the tabletop RPG hobby and what it means to participate in it. It analyzes what it is to be a player, a GM and is packed full of advice to help you be a better participant at the table. The discussion and advice is applicable to all experience levels, from beginners to 40+ year veterans. Because of this, some of the issues and their solutions will strike some as obvious, but I found myself nodding along at the genius of other approaches, or shocked to realize that I, myself, was guilty of the sins presented. All in all, this book is about playing tabletop RPGs and making your experience, and that of the other players at your table, the best they can be.

Strewn throughout the book, small articles by other games professionals present their own thoughts and comments on facets of the hobby. You might find something by your favorite designer or personality. Everything in the book is approached in a casual manner, and speaks to the reader at their level. I did not feel condescended to by the text. I felt welcomed, and conversed with as an equal.

The layout of the book is clean and attractive, as I've come to expect from all Monte Cook Games products. It's easy to read the text. The art seems to be sourced from other game products, but is all fun and interesting. If you are searching for advice to better yourself as a player and/or GM, I highly recommend this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Your Best Game Ever
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HELLAS: Worlds of Sun and Stone 2nd Edition
Publisher: Khepera Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2020 16:04:12

I absolutely adore this game. The premise was a little out there for me, at first. Greeks in space! But, reading through it, I realized that it's so much MORE than Ancient Greeks in space. It's a game about people who care about things, who are heroes and who fight for what they believe in. It's a game that takes things at a slower pace, if you use training times and the Respite Phase. Or, it's a game of fast-paced, heroic action where the heroes burn bright and quick as they seek their Destiny and try to avoid their Fate.

It took me a long time to find a group that wanted to play this game with me, and that's sad. It's a wonderful game. The characters have depth and lots of special abilities they can use, but the base mechanics are so simple that the action just rolls from one moment to the next, never stopping or grinding to a halt.

The world of HELLAS has so much going for it and I can't wait to explore it in more depth with my gaming group. I hope you give this game a try and I hope you love it as much as I do!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HELLAS: Worlds of Sun and Stone 2nd Edition
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Infernal
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2017 19:59:18

This is a highly entertaining read. I expected to want more at the end because it's short, but it's all wrapped up very nicely.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Infernal
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The Song of Aracos
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2016 13:53:50

I enjoy pre-made adventures when running D&D. Most times, I feel they are better than most of what I could come up with personally in the limited time I have available to prep. This one delivers that and more!

To begin, the document is beautiful and feels like it belongs in a dark and cursed land. The writing is complete, well-done and sparks so much imagination while delivering what you need to know in a concise way. There are notes sprinkled onto blood splatter giving advice on how to run encounters and what to do if (when) the players deviate from your plans.

One of my favorite things about this is that the villain's motivations are spelled out and can vary each time you run it and throughout a single play-through. I also really love the fact that each scene has a goal stated just under the scene title. This makes it easy to relate everything that happens in that scene back to where you need to be rolling.

Very well done. I'm going to have to find a place to insert this in my current campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Song of Aracos
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Mythic Game Master Emulator
Publisher: Word Mill
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2015 10:39:20

I just finished reading through the book and I'm very excited to give it a try. Not only for playing solo games, but also as a gm-ing tool at the table. The process and advice presented in the book are very well presented.

Like all products, it's not perfect. I docked it one star due to the illustrations of scantily clad women throughout the text that have nothing to do with the book's text. Perhaps they are supposed to be adventures, I don't know. I found them distracting and lacking inspiration. There's no action in the art, just cheese cake.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Game Master Emulator
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Dresden Files RPG: Our World KINDLE/NOOK Editions
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2014 09:49:23

First off, I want to say that I'm thrilled that they decided to put out an epub version of the book. I love epub books. The format is very versatile and minimal, perfect for viewing on almost any device at the table. That said, I think a bit more care should have been put into creating this one.

This review is only for the epub version of the book. I have a NOOK HD+ and I loaded this epub onto it to use at the table while playing. I loaded the book on and started to scroll through the book to preview what was in it. The book seemed to have all the material I'd seen in my friend's physical book, but I was baffled why they didn't include any stats for the monsters in it. And then, I realized they did, but my NOOK was only showing about half the stat block.

I opened the book in Calibre and saw that all the stat blocks are included and showing up completely in Calibre, but for some reason, not on my NOOK. Wondering what was happening, I decided to open up the epub file and take a look at the files to figure out what was going on.

The tag soup I found is a mess, but seems to work so I don't think that's a reason to rate this product low. What is a reason is that there are TABLE tags used for the stat blocks. It's the TABLE tags that are preventing the text in the stat blocks to be visible on my NOOK since they prevent the reflowing of the text. I am in the process of replacing all the TABLE tags with DIV tags in the file in the hopes that will allow me to use this product as I want to use it. All the information I want seems to be there, but it's really inaccessible on my NOOK at this time.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dresden Files RPG: Our World KINDLE/NOOK Editions
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for letting us know. I\'ve passed it along.
Our eBook specialist says he\'s going to just go ahead and re-do both books (we\'ll update them here so everyone who\'s previously purchased will get the updates) without tables. That\'s a lot of work, so it\'s a few months out, but wanted to let you know. Thanks again.
A Game of Blood
Publisher: Bards and Sages
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2013 21:16:10

This is an absolutely wonderful book. I really love reading vampire stories and this has got to be one of the better ones I've ever read. The main character changes throughout the story. The change is gradual and you're left wondering which moments, exactly, were the ones that cause him to shift. The antagonist is an awesome character, someone who I started out hating to love and then just began to love him. He's very much a vampire, and yet has a sense of wonder to him.

The story is wonderful but there were a couple of times where the book slowed down and I had to put it down and come back to it later. It's well worth the read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Game of Blood
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Spirit Dance
Publisher: Douglas Smith
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2013 18:17:59

I got this as part of the 2013 Read and Feed America bundle.

This is a fun short story. It starts of and gives you just enough information to know that something is going wrong. Things are already set in motion that the main character cares about. Then, it rockets you into an intriguing meeting and action. The mythology is very fun and interesting and this story is a great read.

It only gets 4 stars because it's very short. The writing makes you care about the characters and what happens to them and then, BAM, it ends. It seems more like the introduction to a novel than it does a complete story.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spirit Dance
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A Hunger Like Fire (Vampire: The Requiem Novel #1)
Publisher: White Wolf
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/19/2013 12:42:03

This was a fun book to read. It provided me a look into the world of the Requiem, something I've craved as I love the game, but have never had an opportunity to play it. The politics were interesting if at times a little difficult to follow. My only complaint is that the book doesn't follow a coterie, so it doesn't serve as a How-To when it comes to playing Vampire: the Requiem. It does, however, inspire a ton of story ideas.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Hunger Like Fire (Vampire: The Requiem Novel #1)
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Little Wizards
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Devon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/06/2013 21:33:22

Little Wizards is a great game. It really is. The PDF is a very easy read and the pages just pop with ideas as I read them. The game is designed to be played with children and is very accessible. I've played this with my 5 year old son many times and we've had a blast every single time. While it takes work to get him to play (not the game's fault) he loves every moment, engaging his imagination, fighting goblins, getting familiars out of trees and scaring zombies into shark infested waters.

The world is divided into two sides of a coin, light and dark. The book has little detail provided on each side of the world and small write-ups of a couple of the archipelagoes create explosions of inspiration for me. I can't stop thinking of adventure ideas as I go through the book.

I've run this game for my game group consisting of adults and we had a blast, as well. The Tails side of Coinworld has all that dark magical goodness that lets you get as dark as you want. The rules are loose and free, yet provide just the right amount of structure. This game is wonderful as a one-shot and for campaign play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Little Wizards
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Savage Worlds Deluxe: Explorer's Edition
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/26/2012 15:03:31

While on vacation recently, I stopped by a game store and found the print version of the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer’s Edition. I picked it up and read through it and was amazed at the quality it contained. This book is an amazing value at just $10.

I’ve played Savage Worlds before and have read the old Explorer’s Edition extensively. The rules in the Deluxe version are not a great departure from what was in the previous book. The basics are all there and there have been some minor tweaks to the system. The most notable change was the elimination of the Guts skill from the core rules, which I think is a great move.

The thing that stands out to me the most from this book are the Situational Rules. There was a section in the old book with the same name, but the section stands out so much more in Deluxe. I think part of it has to do with the development notes that are strewn throughout the entire book. And there are now rules for social conflict! Woo!

All in all, this is a wonderful product, and it’s so freakin’ gorgeous! The value you get is worth way more than the $10 that you’re spending. If you dig Savage Worlds, you really can’t be without this book. And, if you’ve never played Savage Worlds, this book is the perfect entry for you. All the rules to play any kind of game you want, at the tip of your fingers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Deluxe: Explorer's Edition
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Savage Worlds Deluxe
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/22/2012 22:00:14

While on vacation recently, I stopped by a game store and found the print version of this book. I picked it up and read through it and was amazed at the quality it contained. This book is an amazing value at just $10.

I've played Savage Worlds before and have read the old Explorer's Edition extensively. The rules in the Deluxe version are not a great departure from what was in the previous book. The basics are all there and there have been some minor tweaks to the system. The most notable change was the elimination of the Guts skill from the core rules, which I think is a great move.

The thing that stands out to me the most from this book are the Situational Rules. There was a section in the old book with the same name, but the section stands out so much more in Deluxe. I think part of it has to do with the development notes that are strewn throughout the entire book. And there are now rules for social conflict! Woo!

All in all, this is a wonderful product, and it's so freakin' gorgeous! The value you get is worth way more than the $10 that you're spending. If you dig Savage Worlds, you really can't be without this book. And, if you've never played Savage Worlds, this book is the perfect entry for you. All the rules to play any kind of game you want, at the tip of your fingers.

http://sharkbonegames.com/sharkbonecast/2012/09/savage-worlds-deluxe-explorers-ed/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Deluxe
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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Civil War Event Book (Premium Edition)
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/25/2012 16:20:32

All pre-written adventures should be written like this. This book is a wonderful example of what adventure supplements can be, and it's wonderful!

The Civil War supplement for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying followed the Civil War story in the Marvel comics. I'm not a Marvel Comics fan (as in, I don't read the comics) and, if you're not either, that shouldn't deter you from picking up this book.

This Premium version of the Civil War also contains the Operations Manual. Since I have the Basic Game and have read that quite a bit, I didn't do a complete read-through of the OM as included in this book. I did skim the pages and it seems to be the exact same book, although, according to a couple forum posts I've read, there were some very minor changes to some areas of the text to clarify some of the confusing things that came to light after the Basic Game was released.

The Civil War Event consists of three different Acts. The Acts take your group through the period just before the law, as the law passes, and the aftermath of the law. There's so much wonderful goodness contained in the book! I'll try and tell you what's in there without giving anything away.

In this Event, the US Government, and other governments around the world, start out debating a law that requires superhumans to register with their government. Superheroes are going to have an opinion of this, whether they're for it, against it, or just don't care either way. The wonderful thing about the way this Event is written is that, not everyone has to be on the same side! At the beginning, this will likely cause some strife between the characters, but it probably won't come to blows.

Then, during Act II, the heroes must pick a side, because if they don't, the powers that be will interpret their non-choice as a choice. Again, this section has lots of notes on how to play the Event from either side; whether you're running from the law, or chasing down the rebels.

Act III is the culmination of the Event and has got so much explosive awesomeness that I can't even pick an item to talk about!

The Event also includes lots of new Datafiles for popular heroes. I really liked seeing the Punisher and Deadpool in there.

The part that gets me so excited about this Event is the discussion on how each side would view and react in each scene described. It's a list of possibilities and I can see story threads stretching out to an infinite horizon. There's so much to do, so many possibilities and this is an excellent launchpad for any Marvel story.

http://sharkbonegames.com/sharkbonecast/2012/06/mhr-civil-war-premium-review/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Civil War Event Book (Premium Edition)
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A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/13/2012 20:19:05

I picked this game up at the recommendation of a listener to the show. I'm so glad I did. The game rules are simple enough and very easy to understand. What I really like about the system is that, there are additional layers of complexity you can add on. If you want, I really don't see why you can't play with the basic rules. You'll still have a great game with full characters and some amazing times. That extra layer of complexity really gets me fired up to give this game a whirl.

One of the things I'm most impressed with is the House creation. All the details that are created by the group, all the points spent collaboratively to create an entity that will impact all the PCs is just wonderful. And the fact that the players can spend earned resources later in the game to make it even better just turns on all sorts of lights in my head. So many ideas and I don't know where to start!

Another thing I really love about the way this book is organized is that it provides numbered steps for combat, war, intrigue and pretty much anything you need or want to do in the game. The numbered steps really make it easy to step through the action while you're learning, so you can make sure you're doing things according to the rules. I imagine that, once you've got the rules down, you don't have to worry about the numbered steps and everything just happens the way it's supposed to.

The book is very well laid out and very attractive. The art is generally good and really adds to the text. I think the pieces are well placed and really evoke the feel the designers are going for in the sections of the book where they are added.

This game is not a simple fantasy game. You can use the rules to run a typical dungeon crawl, but I don't see why you would. With rules for Intrigue and with everyone having a House as backdrop for their character, there is so much potential for conflict and stories just by creating a character. I'm very excited to give this game a try. It's a little more crunchy than I typically enjoy, but the possibilities are extremely interesting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition
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Legend of the Five Rings 4th: The Great Clans
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2012 23:35:28

Five Rings? Five stars! In my opinion, this book is a must have for anyone who is playing this game, or anyone who has any interest in the setting. The writing in the book is detailed and rich. The extra options are incredible and very, very fun.

The book is beautiful. The text is well written and grabs your interest from the start. The book goes deeper into the histories of the clans and really brings the conflicts between them and their origins to life. I especially enjoyed reading the Crane section, as I'm currently playing a Crane character. The information in this book gave me additional options and ideas to bring my character to life and make him much more interesting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th: The Great Clans
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