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Native Americans Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2006 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 3 page PDF (4 with cover) provides a set of 18 figures. It includes 3 Braves with Bows Figures, two Braves with Rifles figures, reminiscent of Indians portrayed in the Last of the Mohicans movie, four War Braves figures, two Chiefs figures with characteristic feathered head dress, one Medicine Man figures, three Squaws figures, three Mounted Braves figures, and one Bison figure. The dress style of the Indian figures vary some being more reminiscent of eastern woodland tribes such as Iroquois and Mohicans, and the rest resembling Plains Indian?s tribes such as the Sioux and Apache. The figures look quote good overall, and due the variety will allow you to field a believable set of Indians for most of the major American tribes.

Overall, this is a solid product from Arion Games. It provides a nice selection of Native American figures suitable for use in games set in the eastern Woodlands, such as during the French and Indian war, as well as for games set in the plains, such as during the westward expansion. 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 doing any western or early American adventures, you will find this set useful. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Medicine Man figure, variety of tribes represented.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Textures used for horses fur are to smooth and shiny in appearance. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Native Americans Set
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Biblicals Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/29/2006 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 3 page PDF (4 with cover) provides a set of 18 figures. Including one Assyrian Archer, two Assyrian Warriors (one armed with sword and one with spear), one High Priest figure, two Biblical Men (commoners) figures, two Persian Archers, two Persian Soldiers (one with axe, one with spear), one Shepherd figure (sheep not included), two Biblical Women commoner figures, and a Prophet figure. And 3 ?vehicle? figures, an Assyrian Chariot, a Persian Camelrider, and a Biblical man mounted on donkey

Overall, this is a solid product from Arion Games. It provides a nice selection of figures to use in biblical/ancient settings. The figures look good, and can be used in other ancient inspired games. 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 to do any biblical or other ancient era gaming, this would be a solid choice. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Persian and Assyrian Troops.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some of the clothing seemed overly colorful to me. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Biblicals Set
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Sci-Fi Civilians Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/29/2006 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 30 figures. It includes three Cop figures, which all look good, two Engineer figures, two Pilot figures, one Agent figure, one Scientist figure, one medic figure, twenty general Civilian figures, including five different types of aliens as well as humans. The aliens include a cat-type humanoid, a Twi-lek looking alien, a green skinned alien with large pointed ears, a statuesque purple-skinned female type, and a white-skinned imperious looking humanoid alien species. There are two examples of each alien species except for the twi-lek looking one. All of the alien types look good, and would be easily adaptable to most SF RPG?s. It also includes 4 ?vehicle? figures, two Police Patrol Walker type robots, a Hovercar, and a Skorpion Personal Transport.

Overall, this is an excellent product from Arion Games. The array of figures and variety of costume types is very good, the aliens are good looking and adaptable to many settings, all of the vehicles look good. Many of the figures can be used in modern and near-future settings as well, and a few in fantasy settings, giving you extra bang for the buck. 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 extra?s to fill out the set of your space station shootout, all of these figures would do nicely. The large number of figures is also a plus as a well, making it a better than average value. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Purple skinned alien chicks, Police Walker, large number of figures.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: No wookies, no slave girls! <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sci-Fi Civilians Set
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Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2006 00:00:00

Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships is a 64 page PDF (67 with Full color cover, credits & OGL notice page.) It features a system for sailing ships and shipboard combat focusing on the sailing ships of the mid-1600s and 1700s. It also includes rules for adapting the system for ships of earlier eras, and for the age of sail. The guide is made up of 7 chapters and an introduction. Chapter one provides for quantifying the abilities of a ships crew. Chapter two provides an overview of ships as represented in the system, along with stats for several types. Chapter Three provides rules on sailing, including how wind speed and direction affects travel. Chapter four describes the ship to ship combat system. Chapter six provides advanced rules covering topics such as ship repairs, legendary ship types, and crew improvement. Chapter seven provides a selection of rules modifications for adapting the system for sailing vessels in a fantasy situation or during different time periods. Finally, chapter 8 includes a set of deck plans for a brigantine ship, a ship record sheet and crew roster form round out the book.

Corsair quantifies ship combat and sailing vessels in two main ways. First, it quantifies ships by describing the crew as a gestalt entity based on the crewmen that comprise it, and second by defining a ships structural integrity, seaworthiness, and agility via a short-hand stat block. This makes it familiar and easy to use system similar to that presented for combat and monsters in the core rules. The sailing rules provide a decent amount of detail for handling sailing on the open seas, without bogging down land-lubbing dice chuckers with tons of unfamiliar minutiae regarding splice knots, rigging types, the difference between a bosun and focsale, etc. Basically, you get your ?Pirates of the Caribbean? fun without having to learn the history of sail. This is what most players are likely to be after.

The PDF itself is nicely laid out. It is laid out in two columns, with a clear readable font. It features blue gradient sidebars reminiscent of the sea. The cover is a nice full-color piece of a ship engaged in a battle. Pretty, but you will probably want to skip printing it to save on ink. The artwork is of decent to good quality, mostly line illustrations.

Overall, this is a solid product. It features enough detail and ship to ship combat fun to engage players in the imagined salt spray, without having to deal with the drudgery of sanding the barnacles of sailing minutiae. However, it is less use if your not using ships from the period on which it focuses. If you are looking to add sailing rules to your game and feature ships like those present historically from the mid-1600 to 1700s, this is a good buy. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Fun ship to ship combat system without the drudgery.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Limited appeal for other historical/non-historical periods.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Corsair: The Definitive D20 Guide to Ships
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Aliens Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/11/2006 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, 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 3 page PDF (4 with cover) provides a set of 18 figures. The figures include, an Alien figure (obviously inspired by the movie, an Arachnid figure (obviously inspired by Star Ship Troopers movie, a Beast figure, large black xenomorph humanoid monstrosity, a Creeper figure (spindly multi-armed semi-humanoid), a Daemonite figure (large brown humanoid with two spiked head tail appendages., a Exterminatus figure (Heavily armed Borg like humanoid alien. 3 Grey aliens, 2 regular and a psychic version (these are more generic humanoid aliens than the classic little space men fond of kidnapping and probing helpless abductees.). Next there is a set of 3 Hive aliens, (Spiky organic humanoid aliens with insect like features.), a Hydralisk (a rip of the Brood alien from Starcraft), a Mechalien (Predator inspired warlike alien with obvious technological features), a Oracerbon (exotic floating multi-limbed non-humanoid), a Plantalien (Which looks vaguely like a overgrown Vlasic pickle with tentacles and a bad attitude.), and a large Alien Queen figure (an obvious adaptation of the Queen alien in the Aliens movie.)

Overall, this is a solid product from Arion Games. The aliens are more of the monstrous bug-hunting type, little in the way of humanoids with rubber forehead variety for use as PC?s. However, this provides additional adaptability in that they can be used as monsters in Fantasy/Super Hero games as well. Hopefully a 2nd set with more PC focused figures will be released. 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 baddies to spring on your player?s characters in a military-themed or survival horror SF game, most of these figures will serve you well. With the grey aliens suitable for generic humanoid aliens, many of the aliens will also make good monsters for fantasy, and are particularly well suited as invading aliens for a Supers game. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Alien Queen, Beast figures are cool<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Hydralisk is kind of lame. Plantalien looks like a pickle. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Aliens Set
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Modern Music Set 1
Publisher: Silven Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/01/2006 00:00:00

Fantasy Music Set 1, by Silven Publishing, offers gamers a selection of 3 short (around 2 minutes each) instrumental pieces, and one longer 4 minute piece. These pieces can be used for setting the mood for a particular scene or set-piece in a modern espionage, military, or police/crime tabletop role-playing game. This reviewer finds an occasional bit of music played as part of the staging of the game helps people to focus on the game itself, providing a ritual element to heighten involvement and investment in the game. Much like the score in a movie, it can heighten and reinforce the emotional reaction to the unfolding game play.

The four pieces are titled Cyborg (2:11), Evolve (4:20), Robotz (2:23), and Theta (Alpha rhythm) (2:33). Cyborg is an up-tempo action piece, featuring a thumping bass line and electronic blips. It would make a good introductory piece for a modern adventure, particularly techno-thriller or cyberpunk. Evolve is a longer low-key medium tempo piece, good for skullduggery and car chases. Robotz is a banging action piece with electronic blips and whistles, again suited to espionage and action sequences. Theta (Alpha rhythm) is a lounge style down-tempo bit with a brassy rhythym, it would be good denouement music, or post-exposition interlude music. The songs are presented as 128Kbps 44 Khz Mp3s, suitable for conversion to CD audio. They are of good quality, with no particular distortion or artifacts.

Overall, I thought the music was engaging and atmospheric and would work well in setting the relevant mood in staging parts of a modern espionage/military/crime game. If you are looking for some good theme/mood music to jazz up the staging of your game, this music set would be a good buy.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Cyborg<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Songs a bit on the similar sounding side. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Music Set 1
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Fantasy Music Set 1
Publisher: 12 to Midnight
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2006 00:00:00

Fantasy Music Set 1, by Silven Publishing, offers gamers a selection of 4 short (around 2 minutes each) instrumental pieces. These pieces can be used for setting the mood for a particular scene or set-piece in a fantasy tabletop role-playing game.This reviewer finds an occasional bit of music played as part of the staging of the game helps people to focus on the game itself, providing a ritual element to heighten involvement and investment in the game. Much like the score in a movie, it can heighten and reinforce the emotional reaction to the unfolding game play.

The four pieces are titled Attack (1:50), Demon Unleashed (2:00), The Cave of Crystals (2:25), and Visions of Lominthelle (1:49). Attack is an up-tempo action piece, featuring a driving bass line and bombastic strings. It will add tension and excitement to a scene. Demon Unleashed is more a haunting unsettling piece, featuring strings, and cello, with a variety of rhythmic instruments for punctuation. It is fairly up-tempo with an unsettling undercurrent provided by the strings, suitable for introduction of a big bad. The Cave of Crystals is a slow string piece with a lackadaisical rhythmic progression and a high pitched melody; it imparts a sense of wonder and exploration, with an undercurrent of wistfulness. Visions of Lominthelle is a jazzy medium tempo piece featuring a latin flavor with horns and whistles, it imparts a feeling of traveling through an exotic land, and would make interesting montage music.

The songs are presented as 128Kbps 44hz Mp3s, suitable for conversion to CD audio. They are of good quality, with no particular distortion or artifacts, though they sounded a bit tinny to my ear.

Overall, I thought the music was engaging and atmospheric and would work well in setting the relevant mood in staging parts of the game. If you are looking for some good theme/mood music to jazz up the staging of your game, this music set would be a good buy.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Variety of music, Demon Unleashed<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Sounded a bit tinny to my ear. <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!]
Fantasy Music Set 1
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Man-At-Arms Advanced Class
Publisher: Sword&#039;s Edge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2006 00:00:00

This 6 page PDF (8 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Man-At-Arms Advanced Class for use in ?Modern Medieval? Games. Modern Medieval in this case, refers to using the D20 Modern rules for playing in pre-industrial settings, and in many cases fantasy as well. Many gamers, this reviewer included, prefer the D20 Modern rule set over the standard D20 fantasy rules; this class provides a Man-At-Arms class for use in such a game. In this case, the Man-at-Arms emulates the mounted mercenary troops that were present in Europe in the late Medieval and early Renaissance periods with the advent of gunpowder.

The class is combat focused with a d10 for hit die, and fair BAB bonuses, fair Reflex & Fortitude saves, and poor Will saves. The Mercenary advanced class receives 6+1/2 Level action points, and 4+Int modifier skill points each level. It provides bonus feats at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, and Talents at every odd level up to 10th. The Talent trees play to mounted cavalry and command abilities. They include the Unit Skills talent tree, which features abilities focused on commanding troops in mass battle, providing bonuses to attack and defense. Additionally, there are three cavalry talent tree, Cavalry Talent, Heavy Cavalry Talent and Light Cavalry Talent. The Cavalry Talent Tree focuses on horsemanship and mounted abilities, providing bonuses to his attack and defense, depending in the particular talent chosen. The Heavy Cavalry Talent Tree focuses on charge based attacks, providing hefty bonuses to attack and damage, or demoralizing the subjects of a successful charge. The Light Cavalry Talent focuses on the use of mounted weapons from horseback. One of the feats, Mounted Gunnery, relies on rules for pre-industrial firearms, for which they refer you to Sword?s Edge Publishing?s Modern Medieval: Gunpowder Plots for information on including gunpowder weapons in a game. The other talents & featscan be used with the core rules however.

A short write-up of a fantasy D20 version of the Mercenary class, basically done as a Prestige Class, is also provided. It features a d8 hit die, fair BAB, fair Reflex and Fortitude saves, and poor Will saves. It doles out a mix of the Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry Talent Trees on each odd numbered level, and functions largely the same as the D20 Modern advanced class.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with very little whitespace and only bold text used to indicate section heads, it uses a gold shaded, textured, sidebar in the gutter space of each page edge, done as two-page layouts, with a page number and the product title in the middle portion of the sidebar, and a small rifle armed mercenary sketch style line art caricature on bottom portion of sidebar. The print version is done without this decoration, to save ink. Additionally, a RTF file of the OGC is provided for easy cutting and pasting, another nice touch. All PDF publishers should do this for the convenience of their customers. The art is mostly historical illustrations of clip art variety and placed here and there, and are decent. The cover and back cover are simple light grey-blue backgrounds with title above and a mounted knight illustration on cover. Overall it is fairly attractive, due to the rich color of the sidebar, and the sumptuous color of the medieval prints used as artwork.

Overall, this is a decent product, providing an ?elite? mounted mercenary class with an emphasis on command abilities and mounted combat as conducted in the pre-industrial conflicts that were a major factor in Europe?s history. The talent bonuses are a bit on the high side, in many cases adding a bonus equal to the character?s level to his attack or damage rolls, depending on the feat. This bonus is probably too powerful, even if limited to charges, 2/3rds of character?s level is probably better balanced. The mention of Hawkwood?s White Company and Machiavelli?s disdain for the Italian Condottieri, provide a good starter on how mounted mercenaries were present in the conflicts of pre-industrial Europe, however, a bibliography or shortlist for further reading would have been helpful. Overall I would recommend this product to a GM interested in staging a pre-industrial game, but only after giving the mounted talent bonuses a good hard look.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Cavalry talents, Unit command talents, Screen, Print, RTF versions. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Talent bonuses seem unbalanced.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Man-At-Arms Advanced Class
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Romans II Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/16/2006 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. These figures consist of three different Roman Auxiliary figures, 2 Auxiliary Archers, 2 Praetorian Guards, 1 each of a Roman Priest, Engineer and Prostitute, 3 different Gladiators (Myrrmilo, Thracian, & Retarius), 1 Roman General figure, 1 Vestal Virgin figure, Also included are a Roman Onager & Ballista figure, and a mounted Roman Auxillary.

Overall, this is a solid product from Arion Games, providing an expanded selection of Roman figures to complement the selection founding set I. 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 find yourself needing a larger assortment of Roman figures, don?t hesitate to pick this up.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Vestal Virgin, Auxiliary figure.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Gladiator figures aren?t as distinctive as I would have liked.<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!]
Romans II Set
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StarCluster 2 Guide to Starship Crew
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2006 00:00:00

This 19 page PDF (21 with cover & credits page) describes the workings of a starship crew in the Starcluster universe (though a lot of the information is adaptable to other games). The guide includes information on the various crew positions, crew shifts used, crew organizations, daily life on a starship, a generic starship hit location table, and a list of starship weapon damage factors by tech level.

Three crew shift schedules are described, single shift, mainday alterday, and 3 shift. Information is included on the organization of military crews, family crews, married crews, company crews, and communal crews (such as a co-op of owners/parnters of a starship). Additionally, daily life on a starship, including leisure time activities such as eating, drinking, entertainment (Trivox & gaming), exercise, gardening, and creative/performance activities, is described. The gaming section touches on the presence of ?Holo-rooms? on some ships, so you can have your own ?holo-room? gone wild type adventures (Which for some reason, no matter how many ?incidents? occur therein, are never shut down.) Though there is little or no mention of sleeping arrangements, such as hot-racking, as done on some military vessels, included.

Fifteen crew positions are described, including professions based on them and their skill choices, all laid out in the ?trademark? Starcluster 1d6 random table. The crew positions are Pilot, Navigator, Communications, Computer, Scan (i.e. sensors), Shields, Engineer, Maintenances, Cybernetics, Gunner, Observer (More like Science officier/astrophysics in other games), Security, Steward, Supercargo, and MatTran. Several of these positions are specific to the Starcluster universe, but many are also applicable to other games. Also provided is a handy table of compatibility of crew positions, showing incompatibale, compatible and optimal cross-training options for crew positions

The PDF is laid out as a single column in serif typeface with bookmarks to each section. A ?futuristic? NASA style decorative font is used for section titles. It is sparsely illustrated with a couple of half-page art pieces done in the ?trademark Starcluster watercolorized? style. The cover page features an atmospheric capable ?spaceplane? type aircraft taking off/landing in a woodland meadow, done in the art style mentioned, and is decent looking. Like other Flying Mousetrap products, the artwork and layout is functional, but not particularly pretty or inspired.

Overall I think this is a solid product, providing the GM useful information on the crew positions and operations of a starship. It also provides interesting options for crew ?organization? such as the line marriage described for married crews. Much of this information can be adapted for use in other SF games as well. It also provides good information on leisure activities by crewmembers, and bits of daily life, which again can be adapted for use in other games. I highly recommend this product for GMs wanting more information on operations & daily life of a starship in the Starcluster universe, and believe players of other SF games will find much of the material useful.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Various crew organization types<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Material could have been better organized, for some reason crew organization wasn?t discussed earlier in document while crew shift schedules were. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
StarCluster 2 Guide to Starship Crew
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Creator Reply:
Great overview, Rob! I like your suggestion re sleeping arrangements - something that would defitiely add to the usefulness of the supplement. I wll definitely add that in a future revision. :D -clash
Battlemaps Lairs: Orc Sighting Tower
Publisher: 0one Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/30/2006 00:00:00

This 12 page PDF (14 with cover, credits, OGC declaration & ? page add), consists of maps, both overview maps and 5ft square map tiles, for a 3 story ?Orc Sighting Tower?, it also includes D20 stats for one Pugt, Half-Orc Trap maker, as well as short description of the tower and 3 adventure seeds. The maps and map tiles are provided in both color and grayscale versions. Making use of the layer feature of PDFs, you can toggle the furnishings, objects, and other details on the map on or off, allowing for some customization by the GM, or the inclusion of hidden details.

The tower itself is a 50 foot square 3 story tower, a run of stone steps leads up the hillock on which the tower is set to the ground floor entrance, the 1st floor and rooftop (as they are referred to in the maps) are reached by use of a set of external wooden stairs that wind around the tower. The ground floor is a large open space that serves as an armory. The 1st floor has been converted to a kitchen with a large fire-pit, and the rooftop features a small shack used as a bedchamber and a large signal fire in the corner. Each floor has a 1? = 5? map for use with 25mm miniatures provided, as well as a ?mini-map? of the area. The details of this map are taken from 3D renderings and are quite sharp and well-drawn, providing a gorgeous level of detail for your map, much prettier than dry erase markers on the old battle-mat.

Pugt is a CR 4 male Half-Orc 4th level rogue with abilities focused on the use of traps. His tactics in defending himself and his tower are rather clever and should prove a challenge to any PC?s intent on investigating it. He also has a fairly interesting background provided.

Overall this is a solid product; the maps are excellent with sharp, well-rendered details and the option to toggle furnishings and other objects on or off. The orc sighting tower is an interesting location, and Pugt?s tactics make for an interesting encounter in assaulting the tower.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: sharp 3d rendered details, external rendering<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some questionable grammar/spelling bits, how can someone be scrawny, yet well-muscled?<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemaps Lairs: Orc Sighting Tower
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Mercenary Advanced Class
Publisher: Sword&#039;s Edge Publishing
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2006 00:00:00

This 4 page PDF (7 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Mercenary Advanced Class for use in ?Modern Medieval? Games. Modern Medieval in this case, refers to using the D20 Modern rules for playing in pre-industrial settings, and in many cases fantasy as well. Many gamers, this reviewer included, prefer the D20 Modern rule set over the standard D20 fantasy rules; this class provides a Mercenary class for use in such a game. In this case, the Mercenary in question emulates the mercenaries that were present in Europe in the late Medieval and early Renaissance periods with the advent of gunpowder.

The class is combat focused with a d10 for hit die, and fair BAB bonuses, fair Reflex & Fortitude saves, and poor Will saves. The Mercenary advanced class receives 6+1/2 Level action points, and 4+Int bonus skill points each level. It provides bonus feats at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, and Talents at every odd level up to 10th. The Talent trees play to the historical mercenary. They include the Company Skills talent tree, which features abilities focused on mass combat, troop tactics and commanding troops, providing bonuses to various abilities. Then there is the Melee Talent tree, which focuses on the use of the pike in massed formations, as it was historically used, and the Ranged Combat tree focuses on the use of gunpowder fire arms or the bow and crossbow. One of the talents, Double Load, relies on rules for pre-industrial firearms, for which they refer you to Sword?s Edge Publishing?s Modern Medieval: Gunpowder Plots for information on including gunpowder weapons in a game. The other talents can be used with the core rules however.

A short write-up of a fantasy D20 version of the Mercenary class, basically done as a Prestige Class, is also provided. It features a d8 hit die, fair BAB, fair Reflex and Fortitude saves, and poor Will saves. It doles out one of the above talent trees on each odd numbered level, and functions largely the same as the D20 Modern advanced class.

The PDF is laid out in a two columns with very little whitespace and only bold text used to indicate section heads, it uses a grey sidebar in the gutter space of each page edge, done as two-page layouts, with a page number and the product title in the middle portion of the sidebar, and a small rifle armed mercenary sketch style line art caricature on bottom portion of sidebar, which is likely to suck up a lot of ink, unfortunately. The art is mostly historical illustrations of clip art variety and placed here and there, and are decent. The cover and back cover are simple light grey-blue backgrounds with title above and a pike-man figure illustration on cover. Overall it is readable but uninspired.

Overall, this is a solid product, providing a class with a focus on more historical minded pre-industrial combat that was a major factor in Europe?s history. It would also serve as a good class for a campaign modeled after the movie, "Flesh and Blood", for instance. A bit more discussion of the mercenary's place in Europe?s history or a bibliography would have helped inspire campaign ideas for GM?s, however. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Mass combat/Pike use talents.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Gutter sidebar, uninspired layout.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Advanced Class
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17 Magic Rings
Publisher: The Le Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/19/2006 00:00:00

This 21 page PDF (26 with cover, 1 page of ads, and multi-page OGC declaration) provides 17 magic rings, or 18 depending on how you count the friendship rings. Also included are 2 treasure tables incorporating these rings, and a couple of ?mini-plots?, adventure seeds for which the ?recipe? for one of the rings presented could be offered as a reward. Also included are 9 pages of ability, status, and spell descriptions from the SRD that provides ?? definitions for the various spells, abilities, and other effects that are used in this book. This is provided to minimize the need to sift through different manuscripts.? For some reason Calm Emotion was listed twice in my copy

The rings include Familial Band, Firebane Ring, Goodberry Band, Ring of Arrest, Ring of Concentration, Ring of Courage, Ring of Darksight, both a Dwarven and an Elven Ring of Friendship, Ring of Pacifism, Ring of Precision, Ring of Restoration & Ruin, Ring of Spell-Theft, Ring of Telepathy, Ring of Warning, Spectral Ring, Summoner?s Ring, and Wedding Bands.

For the most part the rings are pretty interesting, I liked Ring of Concentration, which allows a character bonus on Concentration checks, and allows him to transfer control of a spell requiring concentration to the Ring. However, this ring is listed as requiring Craft Universal Item, instead of Craft Ring, for some reason. The Ring of Warning is interesting too, glowing with different colors when the wearer is in the presence of certain monster types or hazards. The Spectral Ring is nice item too, creating a Spectral Hand effect which the wearer can use to deliver touch attacks for him. The Ring of Pacifism bestows a constant Sanctuary effect, as the spell. However, it doesn?t indicate what happens when the wearer makes an attack while wearing the ring, since by the normal spell description, the subject attacking negates the effect, yet the ring?s effect is described as permanent.

The PDF itself is laid out in a two column format with a solid blue header and footer with the product title and the company name, page number, and author name in yellow, respectively. The Ring section titles are done in a red font, with some section headings done in a blue font, which I found to be a rather dubious waste of colored ink, especially when coupled with the yellow text on solid blue header & footer. The body font is easy enough to read serif font. There are a few small pieces of art through out the text, two of a photograph of a simple band, done in gold and silver, a few line-art pieces of rings, one of which is fairly blurry looking, and a character headshot piece in the appendix. The art is of poor to decent quality, but for some reason I was expecting an ?h4wt chixxor? pic or two don?t know why though.

Overall this is a good product, with some interesting rings presented, however, the lack of explanation of how to handle the permanent Sanctuary effect of the Ring of Pacifism, the apparent error of listing the ring of concentration as requiring craft universal item, the numerous grammatical errors, and unnecessary padding of placing all the spell, ability, and condition descriptions, all of which are in the SRD and the core books, causes me to mark it down a point. So, if you are looking for a nice selection of magic rings and find the rings provided by this product interesting, I recommend it, but you should be prepared to adjudicate some effects yourself.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Ring of Concentration, Ring of Spell-Theft, Spectral Ring<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Wedding/Familial bands to expensive to be common item, padded text, pointless colored section text.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
17 Magic Rings
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Greeks Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/10/2006 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. These figures consist of three different Amazon Warriors figures, 1 General figure (Who is obviously dressed as a Roman, not Greek), a swarthy Hercules figure, a Greek Hero figure, 5 Greek Hoplites (who look more Roman than Greek), a Greek Man & Woman figure, a Greek Philosopher, and a Greek Princess figure. Also included are 3 monster figures a 7-headed Hydra, a hairless and oddly textured Minotaur figure, and a ?Pegasus? figure

Overall, this is a good product from Arion Games, providing a solid selection of Greek (or Roman, as the case may be) figures. 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. However, the Roman styling for ostensibly Greek figures is annoying, though it does make them useful as stand-in Romans. And the Minotaur is oddly hairless with odd skin coloring. Still, if you need a good set of miniatures for Greek (or Roman in many cases) figures; you will find these to your liking. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Hydra figure, Greek Hero<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Minotaur figure, obviously Roman styled General figure.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Greeks Set
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Monsters Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Rob M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/28/2006 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.

The instructions, which are not included in this PDF, but are available on the publisher?s website, are easy to follow. 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 8 page PDF (9 with cover, weighing in at a whopping 16 MB) provides a set of 20 paper miniatures featuring monster figures. The figures include a freaky faced Manticore, a well-rendered Centaur, a spiky haired Medusa, a beautiful Unicorn (paritcularly the triagonal version), a Bear with some rather odd looking coloration, a psychedelically colored Griffon, a rather dangerous looking Giant Spider, a ravenous looking Giant Worm, some dinosaur thing called a Tawhak, a Giant Snake with the coloration of a pale turd, two Dragons, a Gargoyle Hound (just escaped from Zuul perhaps?), an Eagle, a nicely detailed Satyr, a skinny spiky Gremlin, a Wolf with a bad dye job, a Hellhound with a plasma torpedo stuck in its mouth, a strangely hairless and almost disturbingly naked Werewolf, and a brilliantly colored Phoenix.

Overall, this is a good product from Arion Games, providing a solid selection of monsters for your fantasy miniatures 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. However, the textures and coloring choices on many of the monsters take it down a notch compared to other offerings from Arion games. Still, if you need a good miniature of any of the monsters listed (You can always copy the figure and touch up the colors yourself in a graphics app), this is still a worthwhile purchase.

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Dragons, Unicorn triagonal figure, Giant Worm.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some bad looking textures and weird coloration choices for some monsters. PDF is on the large side.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters Set
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