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ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by Anthony P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2014 10:03:02

A few years ago when I first picked up ICONS, I did it because I didn't have access to my copies of Mutants and Masterminds. My friends and I wanted to run something supers related but none of us had our normal materials so I popped onto the internet and did a quick search for something that would let us get to playing quick.

I'd always liked the old school Marvel RPG as well as FUDGE/FATE and ICONS looked simple enough. I figured "Hey, why not".

We rolled up our characters, had a hilarious time trying to sort them out and come up with great names and origin stories. Our game was a little on the wild side, we played Super Powered Lawyers who used their abilities to handle all the different harassment, threats, bribes, and other problems that a single Mega Corp (also run by a powered being) used against our clients (Think Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law, but a whole lot less humor).

The game only lasted one session but that was all I needed to come to appreicate ICONS for what it was.

Assembled Edition did the same thing that the original did for me, I scrolled on through each page of the PDF and was brought back to that moment when I realized what a gem the ICONS Supers RPG is.

This version of the game includes a lot of changes, but they feel more like minor tweaks and additions than full on revisions some from other source books and adventures and others just bits that were adjusted in the new book. While I see what's different, I am definitely able to say at the end of the day "This is ICONS" without any reservation. The new Assembled Edition is different and familiar at the same time; of all the different games I play, it's those types of games which usually remain on my shelf (physical and digital) for the long haul.

One of the changes that I noticed right away was the dice mechanic, the D6-D6 method was replaced by a slightly more intuitive (Attribute+D6)-(Difficulty+D6) method of resolution. It still works the same for the most part but it feels just a little better in my opinion. Other changes include the villain character creation system, pyramid system (an extended test method) and powers being brought in line with the material from their Great Power source book.

The art of the book is great. I've always loved the art styles of Dan Houser (no not that one, the illustrator), his stuff immediately evokes instant memories of the various DC Animated shows I love so much, he blends that comic book with cartoon feel that I think works best for the ICONS products. The cover was the most obvious new piece and it manages to hit that spot in me that suddenly wants to start rolling up new characters right away.

ICONS Assembled Edition clocks in at 232 pages and is absolutely worth the low price of $15.00 for the PDF or $34.95 for the print edition; either version of the book deserves your attention.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition
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Silvervine Games Core Rulebook and Cyrus Worldbook
Publisher: Terrapin Foundries
by Anthony P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2013 10:29:42

I was first introduced to Silvervine only a few weeks ago, I had been informed they were going to be attending our local gaming Convention and figured I should go look up what they were about. I found the idea behind what they were doing to be interesting, unique, and ambitious (three of my favorite qualities in a game).

Come COSCON 2013, I've signed up to do their character creation but I hadn't seen many other folks do the same, so I told my wife she should go check out the game (her scheduled game had fallen through). When I came to check up on her, my wife excitedly told me "I made a My Little Pony Character who can throw daggers with her Unicorn Magic! You need to play this!"

So come the next day I sat down with the guys there and a few other folk, I was pleasantly surprised to see that their boast of "create anything" was not only valid but exciting to engage in. There are plenty of games that tout a similar claim but ultimately the process is long and tedious if not downright horrible (Yeah, I'm looking at you GURPS and Hero). Silvervine just didn't have that feel, even if I ignore the energy that comes from a convention setting there is a palatable sense of fun in figuring out how to make any character I can dream up without sacrificing ease of play in the process.

By the time I was done I'd created Connor Stryde: Gentleman Thief Teleporter based off the abilities from the movie "Jumper" (don't hate, I love that movie) and felt confident in his ability to successfully teleport through most of the game (I might have been a little overbearing on the GM because of that power, Ryan has my extreme apologies for that and my deepest respect for keeping a great attitude even when I was being a tool).

Gameplay itself was wonderfully smooth, though I have a gripe about stats that have literally no bearing on my character as built (Mana and Tech) I can see why they made the choice to include them for all characters regardless of concept. The D10 System they've employed is like and unlike all the other dice pool systems out there which gives it both a familiarity and unique feeling at the same time, something I appreciate as a long time -but easily underwhelmed- gamer. The crunch of the system did not seem to diminish the cinematic quality of player narrative control when it was handed over to us. Though this can sometimes put a player on the spot (I saw it happen at least once) overall it's an absolutely under appreciated type of gaming and I was thrilled to see it so seamlessly incorporated into the game design and game masters tools.

The world of Cyrus stood out while we played through our demo, its anime/steampunk/fantasy tropes were so familiar to us yet still put together in a fun way that players really felt able to understand and visualize the surroundings as the GM described scenes to us. While I was unable to read through the core book at COSCON, my purchase of the hard copy on Drivethru came with a PDF and I've since poured through a bit of it. Put together in a way that shows years of gaming experience (and just a tad too much time spent on JRPG's) the world feels "right" without feeling like it was tailored for gamers to like.

If there was any one criticism I could give this book it would be the artwork, not that it doesn't lend itself to the daring and indy feel of the book but its sometimes sloppy style stands out as the weakest link. If the boys at Silvervine ever decide on a second edition I would be remiss if I didn't suggest they find artists of a different caliber. However, that all being said: the book is still wonderful and there has been very little negative to say otherwise.

Overall this game was well worth trying out and eventually purchasing, my gaming group was thrilled to discover I'd gone ahead and ordered a print copy and I am sure we will be using Silvervine often in the coming months/years



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silvervine Games Core Rulebook and Cyrus Worldbook
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Dredan Realm of Metal & Myth Campaign Setting (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible)
Publisher: Metal & Myth, LLC
by Anthony P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2011 13:57:30

Dredan: Realm of Myth and Metal.

A long time ago I was given a copy of this and requested by the creator to write a review. I've had a lot of things happen since then but I like to keep my word so here goes.

I love Good vs Evil, and so the idea of a Positive Energy Vs Negative Energy world is always something I can enjoy.

I'm never a fan of cybernetics in a game that isn't cyberpunk, that being said, it's an interesting concept and I didn't dislike it so much as I just don't feel it.

I have a few problems with Crystals as the basis for all core energy in this domain, whether its technology based or magic based. My biggest issue with this particular thing is that it reminds me too much of Dragonshards, but does too much to try to be original. It's a neat idea, but it could have been neater.

I felt that this whole book was an interesting combination of Traveller and Pathfinder. A skilled GM could easily use this with parts of the Golarion campaign setting.

the setting isn't bad, I wasn't feeling the artwork but I can understand that an indie company isn't working as hard on hiring an artist nearly as much as they do on the setting itself and I respect that.

All in all I think the setting is worth a purchase to the dedicated GM but I warn dedicated players to purchase at their own risk.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dredan Realm of Metal & Myth Campaign Setting (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible)
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QUERP - Modern
Publisher: Greywood Publishing
by Anthony P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2009 14:51:43

At first glance, the QUERP Modern book makes you scratch your head and say "Another modern setting?" But once you open it up and take a look you find yourself sort of excited by the prospect of using it's lite rules to create characters and run scenarios. I found myself as I read, considering one of my current favorite shows: Burn Notice and how this system could be applied to it. Within minutes I had my own version of Michael Weston put together and was ready to have him help clients along with a Fiona and Sam character that each of my friends put together.

All in all the system is fun, and much like the QUERP Fantasy rules it's exactly what it was promising to deliver: Quick & Easy Role Playing.

In giving it a modern feel, this book has allowed the QUERP rules to open a whole new world of possibilities, the modern spy movie, the psychic thriller, the crime scene investigations show, all of these are now possible using a great, fun, and simple set of rules for a nice night of relaxed role playing or intense action depending on how much you want to do.

I for one, look forward to seeing what other possibilities my friends and I can cook up using the QM rule book



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
QUERP - Modern
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