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Fantasy Heroes Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/29/2006 00:00:00

Miniatures, for those of us who don?t want to ?collect? miniatures, due to limited space, cash, or desire, are a necessary evil due to the many games with detailed tactical combat systems. This puts us in a bind; miniatures make handling combat much easier, but how to use them without having to handle a ton of minis. Paper minis provide a good solution for to this problem. Paper minis provide a nice alternative to traditional minis, in that they are inexpensive and disposable. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a reusable, readily available source of minis for your games. Print those that you need, when they get to be a pain to have lying around, you can throw them away, with PDF tucked away for when you need to print some more. They are also handy for ?collectors? of traditional minis to provide additional figures, or non-precious stand-ins if you don?t want to worry about your minis being damaged or lost at an unfamiliar, or merely overcrowded, gaming table.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 5 page PDF (9 with cover & assembly instructions) provides an expansive set of 41 paper miniatures featuring a selection of 34 ?Fantasy? hero figures of all archetypes, Barbarians, Fighters, Rogues, Wizards, Clerics, Elves, Dwarves, Paladins, Druids, Archers etc. It also includes four mounted figures, a mounted Elf Knight, a mounted Paladin, a mounted Female Scout, and a Pack Pony.

The set includes two Archer figures (both a male and female, each looking quit striking in light armor and hip mounted quiver), two Barbarian figures (one male, looking far too cartoony for my taste, and one female one who makes Red Sonja proud (The new comic, not the movie!), seven Fighters figures (six male and one female by my count, it?s kind of hard to tell, they?re all wearing armor! Their panoply covers the gamut of the medieval era, looking Saxon, Norman, late medieval, and Persian like.), one Elven Sorceress figure (who seems to be holding a lemon-lime slurpee fast-frozen as it was dumped from the 2nd floor balcony in the mall.), two Dwarf Fighters figures (could be female, who can tell with Dwarves, both very Nordic influenced), one Halfling figure (looking like he just escaped the Rankin-Bass version of the hobbit.), one Paladin figure(in silvered ornate half-plate), one Valkyrie figure (which works as a generic Nordic inspired female fighter), one Priestess figure (in a plain white robe style dress), one Bard (ready for business with a sword over his shoulder), one Cleric figure (looking quintessentially D&D Cleric like with the mace he is sporting), one Female Scout figure, one Rogue figure, one Dwarven Cleric figure, two Wizards figures (one old school Tolkienesque style wizard, and one new school stylin? wizard in a subdued overcoat style robe with high contrast hem & sleeves, he wins the best dressed wizard award.), two Thieves figures (one male and female) one Warrior Mage (in light rogue style clothing brandishing something or other), one Elf Knight figure (with a baroque helmet), one Druid figure (Looking very much like Grizzly Adams in a white robe.)

Finally there are the four mounted figures, one Mounted Paladin figure, one Mounted Female Scout, one Mounted Elf Knight figure, and one Pack Pony.

Overall, this is very good set from Arion games. This is an earlier set in the series, and the figures seem a bit smaller and muddier compared to the later sets, however, the variety and number more than makes up for the less detailed artwork. Many of the figures, such as the Fighter, Archer, and Scout figures, would work well for historical gaming, or you can prepare several of a particular fighter figure appropriate to the historical period. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I recommend this set to anyone looking for large section of Fantasy figures for general use, particularly for PC figures. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Fighter figures, Archer Figures, Female Barbarian<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: barbarian too cartoony, Elven Sorceress, Warrior Mage.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Heroes Set
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Robin Hood Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/08/2006 00:00:00

Miniatures, for those of us who don?t want to ?collect? miniatures, due to limited space, cash, or desire, are a necessary evil due to the many games with detailed tactical combat systems. This puts us in a bind; miniatures make handling combat much easier, but how to use them without having to handle a ton of minis. Paper minis provide a good solution for to this problem. Paper minis provide a nice alternative to traditional minis, in that they are inexpensive and disposable. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a reusable, readily available source of minis for your games. Print those that you need, when they get to be a pain to have lying around, you can throw them away, with PDF tucked away for when you need to print some more. They are also handy for ?collectors? of traditional minis to provide additional figures, or non-precious stand-ins if you don?t want to worry about your minis being damaged or lost at an unfamiliar, or merely overcrowded, gaming table.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 5 page PDF (6 with cover) provides an expansive set of 30 paper miniatures featuring ?Robin Hood? character figures, including the iconic characters from the stories as well as a selection of generic circa 13th century medieval characters. The style of dress is gritty and realistic, no men in tights here. It includes four mounted figures, 2 mounted swordsman, a mounted Guy of Gisbourne figure, and a Tax Cart (which is a small 2 wheeled covered wagon-like design)

The iconic figures included in the set are a Robin Hood (looking a lot like the Garret character from the Thief games for the PC), Marian figure (Sporting a bow, but not blue body paint and killer Knightly abs), a Little John figure (looking like a medieval Grizzly Adams), a Will Scarlet figure, a Much the millers son figure, an Allan-a-dale figure (Who looks like he is ready to ?Rock into Mordor?), a pot-bellied Friar Tuck figure, a rather prissy looking Sheriff of Nottingham, and a Guy of Gisburne figure, looking like he is ready for the Crusades. Also included are a number of generic figures, including a Tax Collector figure, two Outlaw figures, five Man-at-arms figures, with swords, five Man-at-arms figures with spears, and five Man-at-arms figures with crossbows.

In addition, the ?vehicle sized? figures include a Mounted Man-at-arms figure, with sword, a Mounted Guy of Gisburne figure, which looks quite good, and a Tax Cart figure.

Overall, this is another excellent set from Arion games in their ever burgeoning line of paper minis. It provides a nice selection of legendary figures, suitable for use as PC or notable NPC figures. The ?generic? figures would work well in all manner of medieval fantasy settings, and look quite good, and are supplied in useful quantities for use as mooks. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I recommend it to anyone looking for a set of realistic medieval figures with a gritty realistic style, and especially to anyone looking to do a Robin Hood style campaign.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Robin Hood?s Thief style, Gyle of Gisburne Mounted Figure. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Allan-a-Dale is rocking a bit too hard on that guitar. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robin Hood Set
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Vikings Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/07/2006 00:00:00

Miniatures, for those of us who don't want to "collect" miniatures, due to limited space, cash, or desire, are a necessary evil due to the many games with detailed tactical combat systems. This puts us in a bind; miniatures make handling combat much easier, but how to use them without having to handle a ton of minis. Paper minis provide a good solution for to this problem. Paper minis provide a nice alternative to traditional minis, in that they are inexpensive and disposable. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a reusable, readily available source of minis for your games. Print those that you need, when they get to be a pain to have lying around, you can throw them away, with PDF tucked away for when you need to print some more. They are also handy for ?collectors? of traditional minis to provide additional figures, or non-precious stand-ins if you don?t want to worry about your minis being damaged or lost at an unfamiliar gaming table.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 4 page PDF (5 with cover) provides a set of 19 paper miniatures features Viking character figures, 4 ?vehicle? sized figures are included, 2 Jotnar (giants), Fenrir (Fenris Wolf), and a Drakkar (Viking longboat). The set includes five Vikings figures, with a variety of weapons, swords & axes, and shields. The dress and color are historically appropriate and look quite good. Also included are a Viking Chieftan figure and a Viking Beserker figure. Next are two Viking Women figures. There is a Viking Godar (Chieftan-Priest) figure. In recognition of the Vikings? renowned seamanship, there is a Viking Sailor, a Viking Shipwright, and Viking Whaler figure. Also included is a Viking Skald with what appears to be a lute (Which he could no doubt use to lay down some brutal riffs, and Awaken, Awaken Mustakrakish, the Lake Troll!) Also included is a Valkyrie figure (Do you want to live forever? Dunn da dunn dunn.) Finally, there are the ?vehicle sized? figures, including two fearsome looking Jotnar (Norse Giants), a Fenrir the Wolf figure (which could work as a Dire wolf or similar beasty), and one Viking Drakkar (Longboat) figure, with its characteristic prow and shields along the gunwales.

Overall, this is an excellent set, providing a useful selection of historical Viking figures. These figures would also work well for all manner of fantasy cultures, as the Viking look is fairly popular among fantasy cultures. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good set of Viking historical figures or some general Viking type culture in their fantasy game.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Colorful, accurate shields, figure variety.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: No Grendel type monster, no Thor? <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vikings Set
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Robots II
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/09/2006 00:00:00

Miniatures, for those of us who don?t want to ?collect? miniatures, due to limited space, cash, or desire, are a necessary evil due to the many games detailed tactical combat systems. This puts us in a bind; miniatures make handling combat much easier, but how to use them without having to handle a ton of minis. Paper Minis provide a nice alternative to traditional minis, in that they are inexpensive and disposable. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a reusable available source of minis for your games. Print those that you need, when they get to be a pain to have lying around, you can throw them away, with PDF tucked away for when you need to print some more. They are also handy for ?collectors? of traditional minis to provide additional figures, or non-precious stand-ins if you don?t want to worry about your minis being damaged or lost at an unfamiliar gaming table.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 3 page PDF (4 with cover) provides a set of 19 paper miniatures featuring some humanoid robots and several non-humanoid robots, some of which are ?vehicle? sized. The set includes one CIPP-Biohazard Robot figure, one CIPP-Medic Robot figure, and one CIPP-Law Enforcement Robot figure. These figures are humanoid shaped with an obviously artificial look, and no facial features, similar to those in the movie ?I, Robot?. Also included are two Cyborg figures, these are similar humanoid-shaped, but artificial looking, though they do have facial features. Also included are several ?animal shaped? robots, a Cyborg Dog figure with an obviously artificial look (Muffit!), a shiny chromed Robocat figure (Looking something like Sony?s toy dog), also included are a very mechanical looking Robospider, Robowasp and a Snake Robot, figure (No green robotic mosquitoes however, Suck it Down Romero!)

There are two traditional wheeled type Repair Robots figures, two flying orb type Scout Drone figures, and a semi-humanoid flying Sentinel Robot figure. In addition to these there are 4 ?vehicle? sized robots. There is a thin, droidish looking Mining Behemoth, a walker-type SWM Patrol Robot figure, and two Warbots figures featuring a torso on a weapon mounting tank-like base.

Overall, this is a solid product, providing an interesting selection of more artificial looking style robots, with some more traditional vehicle type designs. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I recommend it to anyone looking for some ?artificial looking? bot figures for an SF or cyberpunk campaign. The figures could also work in a super setting as well. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good looking textures, mechanical details on robots.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: No homage to Lost in Space Robot, but at least there is a Muffit stand-in. Would have liked a few more spindly droid looking types. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robots II
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Science Fiction Soldiers II Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/01/2006 00:00:00

If you are like this reviewer, you have neither the desire, or space, or cash, to ?collect? traditional miniatures. Yet, with the tactical combat systems used in many game systems these days, being able to bust out the battle mat and a set of minis is often necessary. Thus you find yourself looking for a practical and inexpensive option for your miniatures needs. Paper miniatures meet this need. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a readily available source of minis for your games. You are able to print as many of a particular figure as you need, without having to invest too much money in them, or time and effort, in the case of those who paint their minis. It also saves you from being upset if one of your minis ends up misplaced or lost after an overzealous player bemoans his defeat by sweeping the table in a rage. In short, paper minis are an attractive option for their low cost and convenience, and are also logical options for collectors needing a particular miniature, or several of them, for their game.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 5 page PDF (6 with cover) provides a set of 19 paper miniatures featuring Science Fiction Soldier/Trooper figures. The figures feature dark grey BDU style uniforms with reinforced sections of ballistic type cloth. Their weapons are bulky bull-pup style slug-throwing ?pulse? rifles, evoking an Aliens feel, no lasers or energy weapons here. The figures most evoke the feel of the soldiers from aliens, with a more ?futuristic? body suit style uniform. The figures include eight Space Marines, 4 male, 4 female, carrying a basic ?pulse rifle? type assault rifle, two Space Marine Heavy Weapons figures, carrying large machine gun type weapons, one Space Marine Sergeant figure, one Space Marine Officer figure, one Space Marine Driver (driving the APC presumably), one Space Marine Pilot figure, and one Space Marine Sniper figure. The figures look good with a fair amount of detail and a variety of interesting poses.

Also included are four ?vehicles?, 2 Exoskeleton figures, a direct derivation of the loaders in Aliens, two Armoured Personnel Carrier figures, again inspired by aliens, two Dropship figures, and two Troop Carrier figures, roughly inspired by aliens and similar SF sources. All of the vehicles look good, with the aerial units looking sleek and uncomplicated.

Overall, this is a solid product, providing a nice selection of well-detailed figures in a variety of poses for your miniature needs. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I recommend it to anyone looking for some more ?realistic? style near future science fiction units; they could also serve as police or para-mility units in a more futuristic SF setting. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: details and textures, Good looking weapons and variety of figures.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: colors a bit on the drab side, no insignia or other details to add visual interest<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Science Fiction Soldiers II Set
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Stuff! (EABA)
Publisher: BTRC
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/19/2006 00:00:00

This 230 page PDF contains a set of design sequences for creating weapons, vehicles, gadgets, creatures, and civilizations. It is based on BTRC?s EABA system, however items designed using the system provide design details in real world measures such as meters, kilograms, liters and watts. Thus it is fairly easy to convert items designed with it to another system, and it includes damage conversion for several game systems including BTRC?s own 3G3 and CORPS system, SJG?s GURPS, HERO Games? HERO System, GRG?s Action system, DP9?s Silhouette Core rules, Pinnacle?s Savage Worlds, PIG?s Impresa system, Marco Chacon?s JAGS, and Sanguine Production?s Albedo game systems. It also includes dynamic PDF spreadsheet forms which you can use to quickly and easily design weapons, vehicles, gadgets, creatures and civilizations using drop down boxes that calculate values for you automatically.

The Stuff design systems use ?design for effect? concepts with no need for nitty-gritty design details (such as the grain weight of gunpowder in your bullet, or the volume of your combustion cylinders) and equation-based derivation as did 3G3 (BTRC?s Guns Guns Guns weapon design product), the CORPS Vehicle Design System, or GURPS Vehicles and similar system. Instead it relies on applying on Effects based modifiers. For weapons, it is to a Size, usually expressed in Hexagons, or 1 meter across or about .75 cubic meters, or Millihexes, 1/1000th of the aforementioned hexes. These modifiers are based on key performance values for the item (Damage for a weapon, Power plant strength/speed for a Vehicle) based on the tech level of the technology used to create it. Theses key performance values per tech level are based on some heavy research and distillation done by the game?s author, Greg Porter, one of the finest gear-head game designers on the planet!

Further these details, being done as design for effect, are handled fairly abstractly with the ?special effects? being realized and applied by the players based on the game world and the tech used to create it. So the fine details of the difference between a soul-fueled burn chamber and a science fiction zero point energy module are layered over this by the player?s and the RPG rules. In terms of the design system, they both produce so much effect for such a size. This makes the system, like all design for effect systems, very flexible, if a bit abstract, all in all perfect for a universal system like EABA.

The second ?brilliant idea? on which the system is based is the use of EABA?s universal scale. The Universal scale is a exponential/log based system that provides a scale of exponentially increasing measures of speed, distance, weight, volume etc, which can be handled via the use of their corresponding linearly increasing scores with just addition and subtraction. The combination of this with the design for effect approach provides a system that can build anything from humming-bird pulled fairy sleds to colossal interstellar dreadnaughts without breaking down.

Thus the actual design process is just adding up plus or minus modifiers based on the parameters chosen for the item being designed. Thus Stuff! makes for a powerful, consistent system that is still easy to use.

WEAPONS Weapons are designed by providing a base damage effect of so much for a 1 hex of size at each tech level. By default the basic weapon operates much like a basic firearm under the rules, this can of course be modified. The extensive list of modifiers affects the size of the weapon first, then various operational parameters. Thus you can only get a handheld weapon capable of so much damage at a certain tech level based on the best tech available, and yes this is most relative to the design of traditional chemical propellant slug-throwing firearms. However, the exact details aren?t specified, so the special effects are nailed down by the particulars of the game world and the players.

Once again, the values used are based on Porter?s research, of which he had done an extensive amount in designing Guns! Guns! Guns!. All of that gear head detail has been boiled down for you convenience in Stuff. So you can use his values without worrying about the results being too off the wall.

The list of modifiers includes Auto-fire, burst fire, side effects, loading times, etc. Applying these modifiers you can design weapons simulating most any real-world weapon for the game. With game ready values for it?s Damage, range, size, mass, cost, accuracy, etc.

VEHICLES

The vehicles system produces stats answering the most important design questions for use in a RPG. ? How Fast will it go? ? How big is it? ? How Tough is it? ? How big of a gun can I put in it? ? How many gizmos are on it? ? How much does it cost? ? How Do I blow it up? Thus you start by determining the strength of the power-plant used in the vehicle based on its size and tech level, and modifiers based on its reliability. Again, the exact mechanism and details of the engine are specified, though lower tech levels are assumed to be animal or natural force powered, while higher tech assume some kind of engine, however esoteric and magical effects can be assumed and used as well. The exact details of the special effects are dependent on the particulars of the game world.

Having set a size and strength for the power plant, you then determine the vehicles top speed and related performance characteristics based on its loaded mass. This can cause you to have to refigure your design if you either can?t fit everything you want in the vehicle, or its performance isn?t up to snuff. (?I want all that in there.?)

From there you determine it?s armor, how much space the design takes up and how it is laid out, how many gadgets and related subsystems (communications, nagivation systems, etc.) it contains. You can then determine a cost in semi-generic credits based on the tech level and elements of the design so far. Finally, you determine how much damage it can take. The actual amount of hits any particular weapon can do to a vehicle is limited based on it?s size. This is done to account for the compressed damage scale used for vehicles. A human has 10 hits, while a battleship would have 44 in this system. Thus, the damage limit caps how much damage from any non-area effect explosion type the vehicle can suffer.

GADGETS

This section provides a simple system to create various types of gadgets and gear such as communications gear, tools, survival and related gear. All the cool stuff you browse through sporting goods and military/survival and electronics catalogs for. The system allows you to determine the size and cost of the gadget based on the tech level of the tech used to build it and its features, as well as its total possible effectiveness. You can create a full supplements worth of shopping experience for your game with the system.

CREATURES

This section provides a system for creating ?realistic? creatures/animals that can be found in a particular ecosystem/niche based on biological principles. Allowing you create reasonable size, mass, attributes and abilities for it. There are also guidelines on how to create unrealistic/fantasy creatures, and fantasy races.

CIVILIZATIONS

This section provides a system for creating civilizations, or more accurately settlements, based on considerations of climate/ecology, food production technology, and government type. It provides you with the means to develop reasonable populations based on the type of food production available. The system also lets you generate economic and population distribution data for a particular settlement in a number of general categories. This information provides the designer with a wealth of hard data with which to determine how many artisans, craftsmen, soldiers, nobles/rulers, a particular settlement could support. Its likely infrastructure and available amenities, all based on archeological and historical research and information.

LAYOUT

Stuff is laid out as two column document using a plain, readable serif font for it?s body, and simple graphical bars for headers and section headers. Extensive use of colored text is made to differentiate between general text, in black text, Important notes and explanations in red, examples in green, and advanced topics in blue text. Artwork is limited to chapter heads. Overall it is a serviceable document with extensive bookmarks and easy to follow text.

SUMMARY

Overall, Stuff! is one of the best, if not the best, generic capstone design system ever published. It provides an easy to use highly adaptable set of design sequences based on hard numbers and solid research allowing the GM or world designer to create all sorts of realistic gear and equipment appropriate to the technology and nature of the game world. Its usefulness is not just limited to EABA players either, thanks to its use of real world values and the inclusion of conversions for several systems. It could use a bit more explanatory text and a quick overview of the process for each sequence. As it stands, it requires a bit of re-reading and use to get the hang of how it works. However, despite this learning curve, I still highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy to use but still rigorous and consistent design system with which to do some gear-head sub-creation and world design. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Design for effect and Universal Scale approach<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Could use more explanatory text and context to make it easier to use.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stuff! (EABA)
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Celts Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/13/2006 00:00:00

If you are like this reviewer, you have neither the desire, or space, or cash, to ?collect? traditional miniatures. Yet, with the tactical combat systems used in many game systems these days, being able to bust out the battle mat and a set of minis is often necessary. Thus you find yourself looking for a practical and inexpensive option for your miniatures needs. Paper miniatures meet this need. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a readily available source of minis for your games, being able to print as many of a particular figure as you need, without having to invest too much money in them, or time and effort, in the case of those who paint their minis. In short, paper minis are an attractive option for their low cost and convenience, and are also logical options for ?collectors? needing a particular miniature, or several of them, for their game.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame? and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics. Vehicles done as Triagonal versions of the minis work very well.

The instructions, which are not included in this PDF, but are available on the publisher?s website, are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 3 page PDF (4 with cover) provides a set of 18 figures. The figures include one Celtic Archer figure, six Celtic Warriors figures; armed with a variety of weapons in a variety of dress, all with historically appropriate costume. Also included are four Celtic Warrioress figures, also armed with a variety of weapons in a variety of historically appropriate costume. Finally there four individual figures, a Celtic Druid, a Celtic Hero (sporting the notable checked pants worn by the Celts), one Celtic Queen, and one Celtic Sorcerer figure. Finally, 3 ?vehicle? figures are included, a Celtic Chariot figure, a Mounted Celtic Hero figure, and a Mounted Celtic Warrior.

Overall, this is an excellent product from Arion Games, providing a wide selection of historically faithful Celtic figures. They would work well as barbarians for any fantasy or pseudo-historical setting. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. If you need a good set of miniatures for Celtic, or other ?Barbarian? figures, I highly recommend them. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Hero, Queen figures<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Horse hair textures are too smooth and shiny looking. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Celts Set
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Saracens Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/30/2006 00:00:00

If you are like this reviewer, you have neither the desire, or space, or cash, to ?collect? traditional miniatures. Yet, with the tactical combat systems used in many game systems these days, being able to bust out the battle mat and a set of minis is often necessary. Thus you find yourself looking for a practical and inexpensive option for your miniatures needs. Paper miniatures meet this need. You are able to print as many of a particular figure as you need, without having to invest too much money in them, or time and effort, in the case of those who paint their minis. It also saves you from having to worry about your painstakingly painted miniature falling off the table and getting eaten by your friend?s dog, who would surely suffer from the ?Stick of Pain!? for such a faux paus. In short, paper minis are an attractive option for their low cost and convenience, and are also logical options for collectors needing a particular miniature, or several of them, for their game.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame? and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions, which are not included in this PDF, but are available on the publisher?s website, are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 3 page PDF (4 with cover) provides a set of 19 paper miniatures featuring historical Saracens figures. The Saracens were the ruler?s of the Holy Land during the period of the Crusades. The miniatures include two Saracen Archers figures, three Saracen Soldiers figures, three Desert Nomad figures, in the traditional loose robes and head garb of the region, one Saracen Lady figure, three Saracen Knights, in the colorfully decorated light armor favored by the warriors in the region, one Saracen King figure, looking quite noble and daunting, one Saracen Physician figure, and one Saracen Merchant figure. The set also includes 4 mounted miniatures, one Mounted Saracen Archer figure, one Mounted Saracen Knight figure, one Mounted Saracen King figure, and one Mounted Desert Nomad figure.

Overall, this is an excellent product from Arion Games, providing a beautifully detailed believable set of historical based figures for your historical or fantasy gaming needs. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. The figures provide a nice Middle Eastern flavor making them a good choice for more exotic cultures in a fantasy game and a nice change of pace from western European style figures. They are of course perfect for a Crusade era game, and I recommend them to anyone who might need such a set of figures for their game. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Mounted Nomad, King<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Figures seem a bit small compared to paper size.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Saracens Set
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Science Fiction Soldiers Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/23/2006 00:00:00

If you are like this reviewer, you have neither the desire, or space, or cash, to ?collect? traditional miniatures. Yet, with the tactical combat systems used in many game systems these days, being able to bust out the battle mat and a set of minis is often necessary. Thus you find yourself looking for a practical and inexpensive option for your miniatures needs. Paper miniatures meet this need. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a readily available source of minis for your games. You are able to print as many of a particular figure as you need, without having to invest too much money in them, or time and effort, in the case of those who paint their minis. It also saves you from being upset if one of your minis ends up misplaced or lost after an overzealous player bemoans his defeat by sweeping the table in a rage. In short, paper minis are an attractive option for their low cost and convenience, and are also logical options for collectors needing a particular miniature, or several of them, for their game.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 2 page PDF (5 with cover & assembly instructions) provides a set of 22 paper miniatures featuring Science Fiction Soldier/Trooper figures. The figures feature light armor body suit style uniforms, sporting a near future style, though some evoke a more space opera feel. The figures include two Imperial Guard figures, a Medic, two Officer figures, two Jet Trooper figures, five Commando figures comprised of 3 different types, and 10 trooper figures comprised of 7 different types. The detail on the figures is excellent. The colors use are mostly grays and dark colors, the armor vests and boots and such are interesting projections of current equipment, with the weapons being futuristic bull pup style weapons. The commando figures feature red, green, and grey uniforms. Overall all of the figures look good and feature convincing equipment and are rendered with detailed textures.

Overall, this is an excellent product, providing a nice selection of good looking figures in a variety of styles for your miniature needs. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I recommend it to anyone looking for some basic infantry style near-future SF soldiers. They could prove adaptable for a large variety of settings as lightly armored troops, police units, mercenaries, etc. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Very sharp details and textures, Good looking weapons and variety of figures.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: No Vehicles. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Science Fiction Soldiers Set
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Crusaders Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/23/2006 00:00:00

If you are like this reviewer, you have neither the desire, or space, or cash, to ?collect? traditional miniatures. Yet, with the tactical combat systems used in many game systems these days, being able to bust out the battle mat and a set of minis is often necessary. Thus you find yourself looking for a practical and inexpensive option for your miniatures needs. Paper miniatures meet this need. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a readily available source of minis for your games. You are able to print as many of a particular figure as you need, without having to invest too much money in them, or time and effort, in the case of those who paint their minis. It also saves you from being upset if one of your minis ends up misplaced or lost after a long gaming session. In short, paper minis are an attractive option for their low cost and convenience, and are also logical options for collectors needing a particular miniature, or several of them, for their game.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame?, and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut-out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics.

The instructions are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. There are also instructions provided on how to prepare a custom sheet of figures to meet your specific needs. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 3 page PDF (6 with cover & assembly instructions) provides a set of 19 paper miniatures drawn from historical European figures from the period of the Crusades. The set includes four Knights Templar figures, three Hospitalers Knights figures, two Tuetonic Knights figures, a Tuetonic Magistrate figure, a King figure and four Assorted Knights, each sporting a variety of weapons and heraldic devices. Finally, the set also includes four mounted figures, a Mounted Templar, a Mounted Hospitaler, a Mounted Knight, and a Mounted King. The detail on the figures is excellent, looking sharp, the chain mail textures are quite convincing and the various cross devices look good, and the helmets are variations of the pot type used during that period.

Overall, this is an excellent product, providing a nice selection of good looking figures in a variety of styles for your miniature needs. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some historical Knight figures from Crusades, or some stylish and distinctive knight figures for a Knightly order in a fantasy game. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Very sharp details and textures, mounted figures. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Other than the fact that they require you to bust out the scissors and glue and revisit your elementary school days, none. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crusaders Set
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Talent Trees Assembled
Publisher: Sword&#039;s Edge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/26/2006 00:00:00

This 11 page PDF (14 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) provides 16 Talent trees derived from Sword?s Edge Publishing?s Roles and Classes line. They are derived from the three ?specialized classes?? products, the Capable Hero, the Combat Hero, and the Covert Hero, and the three military prestige classes? products, the Counter-Terrorism Assaulter, the Special Operations Marksman, and the Spec Ops Recce.

The more general talent trees from the specialized classes include the Craft, Knowledge, Skill, and Social talent trees from the Capable Hero specialized class, and from the Combat Hero specialized class we have the Combatant's Defensive, Combatant's Leadership, Combatant's Powerful, and Combatant's Tough talent trees. Finally, from the covert hero specialized class, we have the Covert Defensive, Covert Offensive, Covert Scout talent trees. From the military prestige classes we have the Assault, Firearms Training, Long Range Reconnaissance, and Sniper talent trees. These talent trees provide a total of 41 talents between.

In addition to the talent trees, there are guidelines on how to incorporate the talent trees for use with other classes, both basic and advanced is provided. This discussion also includes suggestions on how to swap the talents out for class features of prestige classes.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with very little whitespace and ?army green? text used to indicate section heads, it uses a fancy camouflage & night-vision silhouette graphic for page numbers in the gutter space of each page edge, done as two-page layouts. Though this looks nice, it is likely to suck up a lot of ink. However the talent write-ups are also provided in an RTF file for your compilation and printing needs. There is a fair amount of art. Mostly photos of real life military and paramilitary units, along with a few character illustrations, most of which are decent. It is the same art used in the various roles and classes products from which Talent Trees assembled is derived. The cover and back cover are simple White text on black with a military style font. Overall it is readable and attractive but not terribly atmospheric.

Overall, this is a solid product providing a nice collection of talent trees which be used to augment existing talent trees or be used to build a custom class. Most of the talents are useful and worth taking, with none of them being terribly unbalanced. For anyone looking for more talents, especially military focused ones, this is a good purchase.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: military talent trees.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: a couple of the talents are lackluster and underpowered<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Talent Trees Assembled
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Covert Hero
Publisher: Sword&#039;s Edge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/25/2006 00:00:00

This 5 page PDF (8 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Covert Hero Specialized Class for use in D20 Modern games. The specialized class is an intermediate step between basic and advanced classes, allowing a character to obtain more specialized abilities at a low level. A character can take levels in a specialized class starting at 2nd level.

The entry requirements for the Combat Hero specialized class include 4 ranks in the Hide or Move Silently skill , and one of the following feats, Alertness, Deceptive, Nimble, or Stealthy.

The Combat Hero is a 10 level stealth subterfuge skill focused class. It features a D6 hit die, and fair BAB bonuses (2/3rds level) (with 2 attacks available at 6th level and above), good Reflex saves, and poor Fortitude and Will saves. Members of the class also receive a DEF bonus equal to approximately half their level, starting at +2 due to combat focus, and reputation bonus equal to approximately 1/5th their level starting at 3rd level. The Covert Hero receives 6+1/2 Level action points, and 6+Int bonus skill points each level. It provides bonus feats at, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, and Talents at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level.

Covert Heroes have access to a few talent trees focused on defense, sneak attack, and detecting danger, these talent trees are the Defensive talent tree, the offensive talent tree, and the Scout talent tree. This choice of only three talent trees basically, allows the character to pursue two different talent trees. The Defensive talent tree allows the Covert Hero the Evasion and Uncanny Dodge feats, the Offensive talent tree provides the Opportunist (allowing an AoO on an opponent that has just been damaged), Sneak Attack, and Crippling Strike. Obviously, Sneak Attack is the killer talent here. The Scout talent tree provides Skill Mastery, Trap-finding, and Trap-sense talents. Skill Mastery seems most appealing, though the Trap-Finding talent is likely to prove useful. The Covert Hero has a large number of feats focused on combat, stealth and evasion available to him.

Two NPC write-ups of Covert Hero characters are provided as well. Mostly as stat-blocks with some brief history, one an ex-thief turned Bounty Hunter and the other a freelance commercial espionage freelancer. They both are interesting characters, and show the more interesting and competent low level character?s that can be made using the Covert Hero specialized class.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with very little whitespace and ?army green? text used to indicate section heads, it uses a fancy camouflage & night-vision silhouette graphic for page numbers in the gutter space of each page edge, done as two-page layouts. Though this looks nice, it is likely to suck up a lot of ink. However an RTF version in black & white text is also provided should you wish to print out the class write-up. The art is sparse, with a picture of a rappelling black-ops trooper and daring infiltrator planting a bomb whilst hanging from a ceiling, both look good. The cover and back cover are simple White text on black with a military style font. Overall it is readable and attractive but not terribly atmospheric.

Overall, this is an ok product. The specialized class is an excellent concept, allowing for more competent, focused low-level characters. The covert hero talent trees seem a bit ho-hum and could have used one more for variety, and perhaps more stealth focused abilities. This is a decent class, just don?t be surprised to see sneak attacking skill masters every time. Still, with the specialized classes, you can have competent characters without the problem of overly inflated hit point totals brought on by artificially inflating their levels to provide characters with decent skill ranks.
<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Skill Mastery, Specialized Class concept.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Limited and uneven talent selection.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Covert Hero
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Carthaginians Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2006 00:00:00

If you are like this reviewer, you have neither the desire, nor space, nor cash, to ?collect? traditional miniatures. Yet, with the tactical combat systems used in many game systems these days, being able to bust out the battle mat and a set of minis is often necessary. Thus you find yourself looking for a practical and inexpensive option for your miniatures needs. Paper miniatures meet this need. When they are packaged as a PDF, you are provided with a readily available source of minis for your games, being able to print as many of a particular figure as you need, without having to invest too much money in them, or time and effort, in the case of those who paint their minis. In short, paper minis are an attractive option for their low cost and convenience, and are also logical options for ?collectors? needing a particular miniature, or several of them, for their game.

The figures in Arion Games? miniatures sets come in 3 styles, ?A-frame?, ?Flat?, and ?Triagonal?. The ?A-frame? and ?Flat? figures can be constructed from the same sheets, depending on how they are cut out. The ?Triagonal? minis are constructed from a separate sheet. These construction choices provide additional options in preparing your minis for use in the game, major characters or monsters can be constructed as the ?Triagonal? versions to provide a more visual flair, and to emphasize their importance. Other figures can be done as ?A-Frame? or flat versions to make them easier to handle or distinguish them from each other, thus providing a functional use beyond their graphical characteristics. Vehicles done as Triagonal versions of the minis work very well, giving a better impression of their relative size.

The instructions, which are not included in this PDF, but are available on the publisher?s website, are easy to follow and assembling the minis is quick and painless, just requiring a bit of work with scissors and some glue. The minis look good, even when printed on plain paper. Each figure is drawn from a 3D rendering (done in Poser using figures provided by DAZED, according to the credits), providing sharp detail and life-like shading, even when printed.

This 5 page PDF (6 with cover) provides a set of 23 figures. It includes a Carthaginian General figure, two Carthaginian Marines figures, one Carthaginian Merchant figure, one Carthaginian Sailor, and one Elephant Handler figure. The Carthaginian figures feature a more Greek/Roman styled raiment, and look quite good. Among mercenary figures it features one Iberian Scutari (Heavy Infantry), two Iberian Slingers, two Libyan Spearmen, one Numidian Archer, and two Numidian Light Cavalry. The mercernay figures show a Moorish/ Middle Eastern influence in their dress and look quite good as well, with appropriately dark complexions. It also includes two types of elite unit figures, three Sacred Band of Ba?al (Spearmen) figures, and two Sacred Band of Astarte?s (Cavalry) figures, both of which look quite good. Finally it includes two Armored War Elephants figures and one Elephant figure. The texture used for the elephant?s hide looks quite good, as do the other details.

Overall, this is an excellent product from Arion Games. It provides a large selection of interesting figures from a rather interesting people, who were able to, unsuccessfully, challenge the might of Rome. They are interesting for their use of elephants of Hannibal?s famous march. The figures provide a nice selection of figures to use for gaming in this area, or for fantasy ancients. Adding in the fact that you can print as many as you need, and prepare your own figure sheets, this is excellent value as well. If you are looking for some interesting ancient figures with a middle eastern/African influence, these figures will provide some excellent contrast to the usual Greek & Roman style figures. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Elephant figures are sharp and detailed with good textures.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some female civilian figures would have been nice<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Carthaginians Set
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Combat Hero
Publisher: Sword&#039;s Edge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/01/2006 00:00:00

This 5 page PDF (8 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Combat Hero Specialized Class for use in D20 Modern games. The specialized class is an intermediate step between basic and advanced classes, allowing a character to obtain more specialized abilities at a low level. A character can take levels in a specialized class starting at 2nd level.

The entry requirements for the Combat Hero specialized class include a base attack bonus of +1, and one of the following feats, brawl, combat martial arts, defensive martial arts, or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

The Combat Hero is a 10 level combat focused class. It features a D10 hit die, and Good BAB bonuses (+1/level) (with 2 attacks available at 6th level and above), good Fortitude saves, and poor Reflex and Will saves. Members of the class also receive a DEF bonus equal to approximately half their level, starting at +2 due to combat focus, and reputation bonus equal to approximately 1/3rd their level starting at 3rd level. The Combat Hero receives 6+1/2 Level action points, and 4+Int bonus skill points each level. It provides bonus feats at 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, and Talents at 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level.

Combat Heroes have access to several talent trees, The Defensive talent tree, The Firearms talent tree, the Leadership talent tree, the Powerful talent tree, and the Tough talent tree. This gives the player of the Combat Hero several options in how they wish to focus his abilities. The firearms talent tree allows the character to achieve a high level of ability with a specific firearm, the Leadership talent tree allows him to improve the effectiveness of one or two allies under his command, if his charisma modifier is high enough. The Powerful talent tree can let him make more damage melee attacks, while the tough talent tree can make him more resistant to damage. The Defensive talent tree abilities seem kind of weak compared to the other ones, particular Defensive Roll, due to the limitation of only when he takes damage that would reduce him to 0 points, or requires a Massive Damage Save, if he is eligible to use it, then he still must spend an action point and make a Reflex save versus a DC equal to the damage dealt, to reduce the damage by half. These extra limitations make it a bit of a wasted talent slot, compared to the other abilities.

Two NPC write-ups of Combat Hero characters are provided as well. Mostly as stat-blocks with some brief history, one an army combat medic and the other a big game hunter. They show the more interesting and competent low level character?s that can be made using the Combat Hero specialized class.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with very little whitespace and ?army green? text used to indicate section heads, it uses a fancy camouflage & night-vision silhouette graphic for page numbers in the gutter space of each page edge, done as two-page layouts. Though this looks nice, it is likely to suck up a lot of ink. However an RTF version in black & white text is also provided should you wish to print out the class write-up. The art is sparse, with a picture of a female character with a rifle slung over her shoulder, whose proportions seem a bit off, and better looking illustration of Desert trooper. The cover and back cover are simple White text on black with a military style font. Overall it is readable and attractive and elicits the mood of the class.

Overall, this is a good product. The specialized class is an excellent concept, allowing for more competent, focused low-level character?s, while the combat hero provides some interesting options for creating combat focused characters. I recommend this to anyone who is looking to run a D20 modern campaign focusing on competent combat focused character?s without the problem of overly inflated hit point totals brought on by artificially inflating their levels to provide more skilled characters.
<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Firearms Talent Tree, Specialized Class concept.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Defensive Roll talent is a bit weak. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Combat Hero
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Counter-Terrorism Assaulter
Publisher: Sword&#039;s Edge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2006 00:00:00

This 5 page PDF (8 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Counter-Terrorism Assaulter Prestige Class for use in D20 Modern games. The image of a SWAT team or other elite unit dressed in black uniform, heavily armed and armored, his bullet proof vest festooned with ammo clip pouches and other equipment pouches, carrying a submachine gun or assault rifle is a popular one in the collective imagination, and brings to mind exciting & tense action scenes. This Prestige Class represents the highly trained operators that make-up units such as the US Delta Force, or FBI HRT (Hostage Rescue Team), UK SAS, German GSG-9, and many police SWAT units. Operators from these teams and units are tasked with making rapid entry into and securing a building or location occupied by hostile forces that are usually holding hostages. Character?s who take this Prestige Class will be on the forefront of such exciting action.

The entry requirements for the CT Assaulter PrC include a base attack bonus of +6, 6 ranks each in the Move Silently, Disable Device, and Spot skills, and 4 ranks in the Knowledge (Tactics) skill. The Advanced Firearms Proficiency, Personal Firearms Proficiency, and Precise Shot feats are required as well.

The CT Assaulter PrC is a 10 level combat focused prestige class, but it also has a heavy emphasis on skill use. Thus it a d8 for hit die, and Good BAB bonuses (+1/level), fair Reflex & Fortitude saves, and poor Will saves. Members of the class also receive a DEF bonus equal to approximately half their level, and reputation bonus equal to approximately 1/3rd their level. The CT Assaulter PrC receives 6+1/2 Level action points, and 5+Int bonus skill points each level. It provides bonus feats at 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 10th level, and Talents at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th level. Additionally, at 3rd, 6th and 9th levels, members of this class receive ?Cross-Training? which allows them to select a talent from either of the CT Assaulter Talent Trees, or from the Sniper Talent Tree.

The Talent trees focus on CQB & assault training. The Assault Talent tree includes the CQD, Breaching, Instinctive Shooting, and Clear the Room Talents. These talents allow the character to avoid AoO while making ranged attacks, a bonus to initiative when making an entry, to automatically identify friendly & hostile targets, as well as automatically confirm criticals against, and allow the character to make auto-fire attacks against only targets of his choosing within an area, respectively. The Firearms Talent tree provides a variety of firearm based talents, including Personal Weapon Focus and Specialization, providing bonuses that stack with normal Weapon Focus and Specialization feats, as well as an Improved Critical talent that works as the feat, except only applies to weapons with which has Personal Weapon Specialization.

The character also has a number of feats available to him as bonus feats, including several weapon based feats. The Sniper talent tree provides the Camouflage, Careful Aim, Quick Aim, and Critical Strike talents. The camouflage talent allows him to double modifiers based on ability, cover and concealment modifiers with a full round of preparation, the Careful Aim talent allows him to double his ability modifiers by taking a full round of preparation, Quick Aim allows this to be done as a move-equivalent action. Critical strike provides automatic criticals, without requiring a confirmation roll.

Two NPC write-ups of members of the Prestige Class are provided as well. Mostly as stat-blocks with some brief history, one a military member, the other law-enforcement, and reflect the two focuses well.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with very little whitespace and ?army green? text used to indicate section heads, it uses a fancy camouflage & night-vision silhouette graphic for page numbers in the gutter space of each page edge, done as two-page layouts. Though this looks nice, it is likely to suck up a lot of ink. However an RTF version in black & white text is also provided should you wish to print out the class writeup. The art is limited to a couple of ?stock? photos of Military Special forces type mounting a stairwell, stacking to make entry to a room, and a pair performing a tandem Australian rappel with pistols drawn. The cover and back cover are simple White text on black with a military style font. Overall it is readable and attractive and elicits the mood of the class.

Overall, this is an excellent product, providing D20 Modern players with a believable elite unit prestige class with some rather impressive skills, given the right preparation and circumstances, sure to lead some tense and exciting combats as the players make entry into hostage situations. I recommend it to anyone who might be interested in such a focused paramilitary style campaign.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Assault Talent Tree<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Personality notes on NPCs would have been nice. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Counter-Terrorism Assaulter
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