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Of Towns and Heroes
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2014 10:40:23

Of Towns and Heroes is a collection of 100 different in-town plot hooks to help Game Masters throw together adventures on the fly. Each entry has a lot of detail, and new hooks and ideas can easily be extracted from the summaries provided. Of particular usefulness are the town maps interspersed throughout the document. Not only do they look nice, but they are also not labeled so they can be dropped into nearly any fantasy campaign. And while this is originally intended for the BareBones Fantasy RPG rules, it can be applied to nearly any fantasy game system without trouble.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Of Towns and Heroes
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Ambition & Avarice: 1st Edition
Publisher: Chubby Funster
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/12/2013 16:23:12

I've played my fair share of OSR games, from the original D&D family of games, hacks, re-imaginings, boiled down versions, etc. I've purchased so many I can't even TRY to name them all anymore. Doesn't stop me from buying new ones. This, however, is the first time I've purchased something on a whim, thinking that maybe it's just be another digital file collecting dust on my harddrive for no other reason than I can control my impulse buys. But I was quite pleasantly surprised. I've only had Ambition & Avarice now for, what, two or three hours? It took me only half an hour to digest its mechanics and main rules. Maybe another ten or fifteen minutes to read over the races and classes. Another five to look over Tropes and making monsters.

And already this is my favorite OSR game. And I haven't even had a chance to play it yet.

It has many of the hallmarks of classic dungeoncrawls that one would expect, while keeping a lot of the modern touches that have streamlined gaming since the 70s. I'm not having to dig for information, or flip through page after page trying to cross-reference anything. It has descriptions that draw me in, making me want to pick it up and play it right away...(which is hard to do while at work).

My heart may be firmly planted now in the realm of indie games and narrative-heavy adventures, but if I need that old-school feel, THIS is the game I will bring to the table.

...in fact, I think I'll start prepping a campaign right now...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ambition & Avarice: 1st Edition
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Edge of Space: Science Fiction Roleplaying
Publisher: Chubby Monster Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2012 10:32:43

If I need to run a quick, off-the-cuff game in the style of ALIENS, this would be it. Simple rules with a bit of depth to get a feel for your character, it's all you need to get dropped on some miserable rock of a planet for a bug hunt. It's EXACTLY what I want for a PocketMod game, at the price I like for a mini-game. My only negative would be the mechanics behind Strings. While I LIKE Strings (connections to other characters), the way you use them to help others seems a bit wonky (a String roll resulting in 6 or higher is added to the other person's roll? seems a bit overpowered...maybe just add +2 to their roll?). But the rule about "burning" Strings is perfect, in my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Edge of Space: Science Fiction Roleplaying
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Wild West Cinema rulebook
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2010 10:51:16

Initially, when I saw the preview of this game, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I kinda liked what I saw. Now that I have the actual game, I DO like what I see, though it could use some work. Mechanically, this game closely resembles Feng Shui, with one negative and one positive dice being rolled, and their combined result being added to your ability, which in turn is compared to the difficulty or opposing ability. Pretty basic. Overall, I'd say this game fits its intended genre pretty well. No real complaints when it comes to that. Mecahnically, too, it works pretty well. You could get a game running pretty quickly without much trouble. My only real quibble involves the editing and art. Aside from the cover, which was pretty cool, the interior artwork was...well...uninspired. And the text could've used another round of spellchecks and grammar checks. There were many points while reading the game where I had to put the book down for a minute, remind myself that I wasn't an English teacher any longer, and went back to reading. Still, overall, this was a good game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wild West Cinema rulebook
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Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook
Publisher: Mongoose
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2010 10:43:41

I never really played that many choose-your-own adventure books back in my childhood, so I really wasn't sure what to expect with Lone Wolf. Overall, it isn't bad, and makes for an interesting diversion. Maybe not entirely worth the price, but I don't regret the purchase. The rules are boiled down to really the most basic concepts, require little in the way of math, and you technically don't even need dice. It would be a perfect way to get newbies introduced to gaming, while not completely dumbing it down.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook
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Wild West Cinema -- Preview
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2010 17:46:14

For a preview, this doesn't really give you much...unless you happen to recognize the game system it closely resembles - FENG SHUI! ...and that is not a bad thing. If Spectrum Games can bring the magic to the old west that they brought to 80s cartoons, then consider me SOLD!

...did I mention I love the old Feng Shui game system? And Clint Eastwood? Combining the two can't go wrong.

Still, this is a short preview with little aside from the most basic of mechanics, so we will have to wait and see.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wild West Cinema -- Preview
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Dogs Of War
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2010 17:42:24

From the same mind that brought us Barbarians of Lemuria, this is quite possibly the easiest modern game system since Recon. The rules are easy, the combat fast and furious, and it's inexpensive to boot. Especially with the current nostalgia for the old 80s action flicks and TV shows like the A-Team, Dogs of WAR is a great choice for a night of guns a blazing. I think the only bad thing about it is the art is nowhere near as good as the original Barbarians of Lemuria. Not even close. But we're not playing the game for the pictures. That would be silly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dogs Of War
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Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2010 17:37:38

This is, by far, the best fantasy roleplaying game I have come across in a long, long time. I was getting pretty tired of all the D20 variants, which all looked pretty much the same. Barbarians of Lemuria is a perfect blend of swords and sorcery, action, and story-gaming. Easy to make characters, easy to play, and a magic system that's perfect for its particular genre.

...now if only I can draw the rest of my friends away from the 4E, I would be able to play Barbarians of Lemuria all the time!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
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Cartoon Action Hour: Season 2
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/09/2009 20:05:49

This is, quite possibly, the best of the flexible, heroic, cartoony systems I have ever played. I was kind of put off by the older edition, which didn't have the flexibility needed to represent the retro-toon genre, but 2nd Season makes up for it in spades. It avoids getting too complicated, while offering enough options for your abilities, and keeps it so even a rank amateur can understand how things work. I think my only peev against it is how very cartoony the sidebars and sample campaigns are. Despite that, though, it is still a good system. I await with much anticipation any and all supplements they may offer, particular the hints at anime-inspired adventures, etc. Already have the GTR supplement, and will be starting my own Transformers campaign soon.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cartoon Action Hour: Season 2
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Quick20 Modern Adventures
Publisher: Mob United Media
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/15/2007 00:00:00

An excellent follow-up to Quick20. Offers a few more Traits than the original, and a very nice list of basic weapons and vehicles (good for those players who like crunchy bits). Especially liked the reload rules...simple yet perfect for the action-movie feel. Actually thinking of using that for my normal Modern d20 games, rather than the tedious keeping track of ammo.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Lots of variation, lots of weapons and vehicles, and a great reload system.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Maybe could've used a list of other equipment?<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quick20 Modern Adventures
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Quick20 Advanced Characters
Publisher: Mob United Media
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/15/2007 00:00:00

A must-have addition to Quick20. Increases the playability and the options.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good flexibility with Traits. Allows for more free-form characters, rather than having to multi-class.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing bad about it.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Quick20 Advanced Characters
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Quick20
Publisher: Mob United Media
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/15/2007 00:00:00

A good, relatively playable system. I mean, hell, it's just d20 boiled down to its most basic components, and for one-shots or just adventures on the fly, it works pretty well. Spells are the only drawback, as they seem pretty underpowered...too few points to spend on effects.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Nice and simple.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Spells need a little work.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Quick20
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Ultimate Power
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2006 00:00:00

God I love Mutants and Masterminds. This book is the KEY for making, quite possibly, any super character you could ever want. Similar to Guardians of Order's Silver Age Sentinels, this allows you to build powers based on effects, but UNLIKE Silver Age Sentinels (thankfully) the effects are carefully balanced. The power examples are also a great help. Really, with the main book, the Mastermind's Manual, and Ultimate Power, you may never need another superhero roleplaying game again.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Quite possibly everything.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Not exactly printer friendly. A color-light version would have been nice.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Power
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Dungeon Tile Designer
Publisher: 0one Games
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/17/2006 00:00:00

For a relatively simple PDF program, this is an amazingly versatile product. One product can let you make and print any tile for pretty much any basic dungeon or building layout. I can only hope that future documents will expand on the options possible, allowing for increasingly complex tiles.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Versatile, easy to figure out, and easy to use.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Not Ink-Jet friendly. Needs to have options for solid-space shades, instead of ink-wasting pitch black.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Tile Designer
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Privateers and Pirates
Publisher: FJ Gaming
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/08/2006 00:00:00

Really and truly a great game. Simple rules, quick characters, and elegant resolution. Provides information on everything from starving to burning to death, and has enough background information to start a campaign right away. <br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Easy to learn, easy to play, easy to campaign, easy to have fun!<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Ship-to-ship combat is possibly the only thing that needs work, and you should take them up on their suggestion of using their Ships of the Line game to supplement your broadsides.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Privateers and Pirates
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Creator Reply:
Hi Michael, Thanks for taking the time to review the game and I'm glad you and your friends are enjoying it :) -Jon
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