RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Expanded Professions: The Druid
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/17/2010 00:59:22
Expanded Professions: The Druid

Holy smokes...now this is what I'm talking about. Misfit Studios officially tosses their hat into the Savage Worlds ring with a tiny supplement...of awesome. For $1.55 you can download a three page PDF that adds a Druid Professional Edge and then...expands it. What this product really is, is nine Edges starting with Druid and then allowing access to a number of special features and abilities,including a new Legendary Edge that allows the Druid to tap into the senses of all the animals in the surrounding area.

Yeah.

Another Edge piggybacks off of the Beast Master Edge and allows the Druid to impart cool abilities on their animal companion, or even boost the animal's stats. Yet another Edge allows the Druid to be powered by the land, complete with a table you can use to modify the Druid's power points with depending on where they are actually AT (a desert bumps the Druid's points down -4, while a jungle rockets them up a whopping +6, for instance).

Some people will say "too many edges" and "use what's already there"! I say "Holy crap, I wanna play a Druid, at least until some more of these come out...what's that? 'Champion' just came out? I need to pick that up..."

I am obviously very much a fan of this concept. The addition of more Edges (that have a reason for existing) can help dispel that notion that Savage Worlds "ends" at Legendary...and this supplement has a neat trick or two rolled into Edges that some might have tried to place into the Powers system.

If future releases hold up with this one...and I kinda hate Druids, so there you go...Misfit should have a bright future as a licensee.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Expanded Professions: The Druid
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Monster Brief: Goblins
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2010 21:52:12
At three pages this might not seem like a lot, but it everything you need to get you started with goblins in Savage Worlds. A good deal for the money, though I was left wanting more. Looking forward to other products in this line.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Brief: Goblins
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Unusual Core Classes The Spellweaver
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/20/2010 14:30:34
A very interesting take on the spellcaster. The spellweaver presents a different sort of mechanic for doing magic.
Great for the players that want to give something very, very different for a try. The spells from the d20 SRD are re-written as Spell Weavings so there is a ton of information here. The downside is that to adapt other d20 books to this class requires some work.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unusual Core Classes The Spellweaver
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Metahuman Martial Arts
by Matthew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/30/2010 17:36:19
This tome clocks in at a massive 330 pages (which is funny when you consider that the original Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition rule book clocks in at only 257 pages). I was amazed and a bit daunted when I saw the size of it. With the enormous amounts of material they have managed to fit into the product, you realize that it could not have received any smaller treatment.

_b_Chapter 1_/b__br_
The book begins with an introduction that clearly spells out the author’s intent. Though the book is generic and can be used for a number of genres, its primary focus is on superheroes and other genres at that level of play. It also clearly states that it is not intended as a historical discussion of real world martial arts, rather something influenced by them and their cinematic representations.

_b_Chapter 2_/b__br_
The second chapter begins the real ‘meat’ of the book, with a page of guidelines on running a martial arts game. It also includes the ‘Metahuman Threat Scale’ something that Misfit has used in other products. We then proceed to the archetypes. This is where you get a real inkling of the kinds of things possible with this book. Archetypes span the usual suspects such as the Ronin, Brawler, Chosen One, and Fighting Monk. But it doesn’t stop there, we also have some surprises such as the Geomancer, Gimmicked Archer, Heroic Luchador, and Wheelman (yes, a martial artist master of driving).

What I like about the archetypes is that each one is two pages, with lots of details on how such a character might develop in back story and then three different takes on the basic archetypes. Essentially, each one of these could easily be three or more unique characters with the same stats. This makes them very usable by players and gamemasters. There are 17 different Archetypes presented that really demonstrate where the book goes beyond simply people who fight with their fists.

The only concern I had with this section is that, for someone coming fresh to the system (I’m a relative newbie with M&M Superlink), the feat blocks for these characters are so large that I cannot simply read the characters and know how they would play, unlike a standard super archetype. To be fair, the same problem exists with any character that is feat heavy (and years ago its one of the things that drove me away from d20 based systems).

Following the archetypes are a few pages that discuss the various genres that might make extensive use of martial arts, including anime (both dramatic and fantastic), chop sockey cop, fantasy, mystic tournament, and of course, supers.

_b_Chapter 3_/b__br_
The next 64 pages of the book are filled with crunch.

First, it provides new skills and expanded uses for old skills. Challenge rules are also included, like those from previous M&M Superlink books. I’m a bit suspicious of the new Martial Arts skill which has so many uses crammed into it I cannot help but think that every Martial Artist would have it at the max their PL will allow. I think some of its abilities could maybe have been broken out and spread among some other skills (such as acrobatics and bluff).

Then we move on to Feats, and hoo boy are there a bunch of them! Over 150 to be precise.

To be fair, many of them (as well as some of the skill rules) will be familiar to those who’ve read books such as Manga and Mecha. They are reprinted here in full, which is nice as it collects many feats from various sources and puts them into a single place. But there are a whole bunch of completely new feats as well. So many in fact that I find it difficult to come to grips with all of them. Superlink’s point based creation allows players to have many, many feats if they wish, which helps prevent the problem that occurs in more static, level based d20 games of needing to completely ‘master’ your build from the beginning. This is a very good thing, as it allows you to create ‘side-concepts’ like Wheel Men who are not useless whenever their primary feat tree cannot be utilized.

But oh my gosh, there are a lot of choices here! I think for players, this will be an absolute boon, but for GM’s, I can imagine it as something of a headache. Depending on your feeling of synergy and optimization, this part of the book has the potential to be a real gold mine… or a mine field.

It’s difficult to evaluate the feats due to the tremendous amount of them and the inability to adequately imagine how they might combine together to unleash some hidden potential. M&M Superlink’s PL limitations will help keep much of the dangers of over optimization down, but this does bring us to another issue with some of the feats. Not all of them that provide bonuses actually spell out if they are designed to fit within, or break, the PL cap. For the most part, I think the decision is common sense, but it could cause problems for some groups. I would have preferred it every feat explicitly spelled out whether it broke or did not break the cap.

On my read through, most of the feats seemed fine and balanced more or less. A few felt weak and a few felt a little over powered (many of the ones that did feel over powered were actually from other sources, to be fair).

Speaking of feat trees, many feats are built with prerequisites of other feats or abilities. So there is some sense of balance for the more potent feats, as they require an additional ‘buy-in’ cost. Whether this degree of added complexity will suit a campaign, however, will be up to the individual groups.

I should stress the majority of these feats are usable without the character being martial arts focused. However, a new category of feats is also introduced, the Martial Arts feat. These are different from normal Combat feats in that they require practicing a martial arts style to justify purchasing them. These are often the more powerful feats as well. It is possible that, in a campaign not focused on the differences between styles, that a GM could do away with the style requirement and just rely on the prerequisites of the feats to help balance them. This would allow more easily for the ‘master of all martial arts’ concepts most commonly seen in comics. Considering the martial artist will be up against people who can lift tanks and fly, this does not seem like it would cause many problems.

Interestingly, there is another concern that the plethora of feats creates. Typically, with d20 products, the base concern I would have is that a lack of balancing or awareness of synergistic combos would create super-combos that would make the character far more powerful than intended at a given level. With M&M Superlink’s PL system, this isn’t really a problem (typically). However, since many of these feats are exception based bonuses (meaning they only trigger under specific circumstances) yet are still capped by PL, to get the most benefit out of them, the character will have to be built with those limited exceptions in mind. Consequently, the character will be built to ‘under-perform’ except for during specific circumstances, if they want to see any use out of these bonuses. This issue exists in core M&M Superlink, so it isn’t something unique to this product, but the sheer number of these feats will lead to it being a more pronounced occurrence. There are ways to
fix the ‘problem’, if the GM wishes to, but its something that concerned me in regards to playing these characters within a Super genre game where the majority of characters are built to operate at PL cap consistently. If the campaign were entirely focused on martial arts characters, it would be fine because everyone would more or less work the same way, and there is plenty of mileage in this book for running those kinds of campaigns.

Next we come to New Powers. Again, some of these may be familiar already, such as Chi, Combo Finisher, and (the often reviled) Extra Attack. There are other new powers and even some of the pre-existing powers get some new treatment in power feats or modifiers. A list of recommended powers from other sources, including Ultimate Power and Better Mousetrap by Misfit Studios, that would also fit the motif of Martial Arts. In addition to new powers, there are new power feats, extras and flaws. Most of these are generally useful, regardless of a martial arts focused character or not.

There are also new complications, which while often seen in martial arts style characters, are not intrinsically linked to them and could find uses for other characters.

_b_Chapter 4_/b__br_
The next chapter focuses on new or expanded rules. Here we see the rules for skill Challenges, which mostly seems derived from pre-existing rules, but includes a few new challenges, especially for the new skills and alternate uses for skills presented earlier in the book.

There are rules for ‘Team Checks’. These are situations where an entire group needs to succeed at a simultaneous task (such as a group sneaking). They seem quick and easy, far preferable to everyone making a check which tends to be the norm.

Then there are rules for Hit Locations. The benefit of striking a location is detailed as an alternative to the normal save method with different results than those normally given by failed Toughness checks. Also, a random hit location chart is provided for humanoid opponents, with damage multipliers based on the location struck. I find the chart a bit odd since a result of a ‘20’ is a hand, one of the worst possible results, which seems to go against the design of the d20 system (even if numbers have the same probability of showing up regardless of what they are…it just feels odd to roll a ‘20’ and be disappointed).

While I think those rules would work for certain styles of games, the default super setting does not seem like one of them. I can see a gritty fantasy, or even Iron Age game perhaps using them.

There are also hit location charts for types of vehicles (air, ground, and water). This could definitely see some good use regardless of the genre I think.

Following on from that are rules for disabling critical hits (such as tearing off someone’s ear, breaking a nose, or other gruesome specifics). The rules are interesting and again, would fit in a pure martial arts or other gritty setting, but less so for general supers.

Then follows a host of general combat optional rules. These will have different uses depending on the genre you play, but there is possibly something for everyone here. New vehicle chase rules are included, allowing more manoeuvres to spice up a chase scene.

_b_Chapter 5_/b__br_
Finally, the rules for martial arts styles. These start with a detailed discussion about styles and whether they are armed or unarmed, and how to bring weapon elements into it. Stances follow on from that, which are an interesting expansion on the stances in the main rules. These provide a lot of flexible options, but require extra Martial Arts skill rolls to move from one stance to the next. It’s an assumption on my part that, like the two basic stances in the rule book, these stances ignore PL caps, but I didn’t see where this was made explicit.

Then we proceed on to Basic Maneuvers. These are essentially separate variations on Strike or a few other basic powers, costing between 1-4 PP each (barring one exception that is based on the character’s strength). I could not help but be reminded of HERO’s martial arts maneuvers, and to me that is a good thing. The martial arts system in HERO was one of my favorite elements. With a few of these maneuvers, a character will have a diverse set of options with which to tackle an opponent.

Then we leave the realm of the realistic and head into Advanced Maneuvers, which is where you’ll find more ‘super’ or ‘mystical’ martial arts abilities. These follow more traditional power builds, and allow for standard martial arts tricks like Wuxia leaps, Dim Mak or Flaming Fists.

There is then a discussion on building new maneuvers, and various base powers, extras, flaws, and drawbacks from M&M Superlink to create effects that feel like super martial arts powers. This section is quite thorough and provides plenty of options for emulating those abilities that the book does not stat up for you.

Then actual styles are presented. A discussion is given about how to add flavor to a style in play, and alter it to taste. An important element of this introduction is a discussion on adjusting the style to different PLs. Because this book is essentially aimed at super level characters, the styles are often built around a lot of power points with the basic assumption that PCs are masters of the style at the beginning of the game. If you are playing a lower PL game and still expect the same degree of mastery, you will need to reduce the number of feats and maneuvers that each style has (unless you do not want PCs to begin as masters of course).

We move on from there to styles, beginning with traditional styles (such as Aikido, Bando, Krav Maga). There are many, many styles here, representing both common and uncommon martial arts (many of the styles I’ve never heard of, but they are all real world styles). I think a martial arts buff will likely find their favorites amongst this list. After that, we have Cinematic Styles, such as ‘Drive-Fu’, ‘Jinzouningen-Dageki’ (a style for mecha pilots), ‘OSOK’ (One-Shot-One-Kill Sniper Fu), ‘Tien Wei Wu Qi’ (absolute mastery of a single weapon), and ‘Wooryu’ (or Gun Fu). There are lots of fun styles here for building all kinds of anime or hong-kong action movie characters.

Finally we have some example styles for different genres, specifically Fantasy (a good creative mix covering everything from Orcish Barbarian styles to Elven Archers), Metahuman Styles (which includes styles for Flyers, Elastic characters, and Bricks among others… oddly missing was a style of dedicated Energy Blasters), and then finally Spiritual Styles (which deals with the more metaphysical and supernatural styles).

Other than the missing Blaster based style, I feel like it would be difficult to imagine a martial arts character that would not be covered by one of these styles (even if you had to file off some serial numbers and reskin it slightly).

A large list of martial arts weapons follows, which include everything from the traditional, to trick arrows and mystic weapons (Devices that drip story possibilities). New headquarter features are presented, which again could be of use to many genres and there is a section on Unorthodox weapons which quite frankly should be mandatory for Super Genre roleplaying games (it is the only place I’ve seen stats for manhole covers, helicopter blades, i-beams and wrecking balls!). A few suits of armor are also presented.

_b_Chapter 6_/b__br_
This chapter deals with martial arts based antagonists and starts with several archetypes ready for play. Like the player archetypes, these have several different spins on each, allowing you to easily use a single archetype for several different villains.

After the standard archetypes, there are a handful of individual villains of different power levels. These villains are fully detailed characters that can be used as is. There are solo villains and some groups, including a ninja clan. Good stuff for a martial arts campaign. Finally there is a large group of minions of various types.

_b_Chapter 7_/b__br_
The final chapter is dedicated to the good guys that can exist in a martial arts campaign. The mystical city of Shambhala is provided as a place to find or be from, providing the martial arts equivalent of Atlantis.

Like the villains, there are a group of fully stated heroes (who could double as villains of course) that range from various genres (though mostly supers) and power levels.

The book ends with an extremely thorough index.

_b_Conclusion_/b__br_
This book is so large, and is packed with so much stuff, that it is difficult to imagine it not being of some use to every group that plays M&M Superlink games. Whether you simply pull a few feats out, pull the villain organizations, use the new powers, or the alternate combat rules, there is something in here for just about everyone.

Visually, the artwork ranges from good to extremely high quality. The layout is clean, and when you purchase the PDF you get a full color and a printer friendly black and white version.

I do have concerns with the level of complexity this would add to play, as well as the requirement for characters to behave at less than PL cap in order to take advantage of their feats and maneuvers. For my own, fledgling group, I think it would be way too much to throw at them since they have only a bit of experience with the system. For a group that was very familiar with the rules and the interaction of the base feats used to represent martial artists and costumed adventurer types, this book will provide tons of new concepts and characters. I do think that, in many ways, the best use for this book would be in strictly martial arts or anime flavored campaigns, where everyone is built for exception based models instead of sitting at their full PL capabilities. Another use for this book would be creating Exalted or Weapon of the Gods style settings using the M&M Superlink rules. I think it would excel at settings like that.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Metahuman Martial Arts
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Superior Synergy: Fantasy
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2009 03:15:49
Two innovative ideas, thoroughly developed and well executed. Well worth a look if you might want to place a little more emphasis on skill development or less-spectacular feats in a campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Superior Synergy: Fantasy
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Zombie Art Pack
by James D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2009 02:59:06
Very mixed quality here, not quite up to the snuff that the cover implies but useful nonetheless.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Zombie Art Pack
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Misfit Studios Stock Background 2: Banners 1
by Julie D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2009 13:11:38
Functional design and interesting color options. You get not just the border but matching "filler" images for use as buttons, text blocks, etc.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Misfit Studios Stock Background 2: Banners 1
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Misfit Studios Stock Background 3: Simple 1
by Julie D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2009 13:11:13
Functional design and interesting color options. You get not just the border but matching "filler" images for use as buttons, text blocks, etc.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Misfit Studios Stock Background 3: Simple 1
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Misfit Studios Stock Background 1: Circuit Board
by Julie D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2009 13:10:29
Functional design and interesting color options. You get not just the border but matching "filler" images for use as buttons, text blocks, etc.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Misfit Studios Stock Background 1: Circuit Board
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Misfits & Menaces: Archenemies
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2009 14:29:33
Misfits & Menaces: Archenemies proves that there are no original ideas anymore, just uncreative uses o them here and there.

Archenemies is a collection of supervillians for your Mutants and Masterminds 2nd edition campaign. The villains in Archenemies are connected by a loose thread; that is they are all major level villains that will take a well oiled team to take down. Each of the nine villains consists of a stat block, description, brief bio and adventure hooks. They are all quite powerful if not very generic. Most of the villains presented have been seen many times over in superhero supplements. Because you only have a limited number of powers in the superhero universe, it is expected that you will run into super powered villains who resemble others.

Where Archenemies stumbles is that each villain lacks a power section, and each of their adventure hooks sounds like they were spit out of the generic comic book idea machine. One-third of the villains are pulled from fantasy and horror folklore. Also weighing the book down is the lack of explanation of the powers of each villain. Instead they depend on the game master to inspect in detail the stat blocks, instead of including a brief power section. With some of the villains you do not gain a clear understanding of their power until you read the adventure hook. The book attempts to separated itself from others by including a threat level with each villain. In concept it is a great idea, but trying to remember the Greek alphabet order became more of a distraction during preparation. A simple system that involved alphabets, numbers or colors would have been so much better.

For the Gamemaster
Hiroshimas is the brightest spot of the villains. A well crafted nuclear supervillians bitter about a 70 year old war. Also the entire write-up of Autocrat, the cold war engineer turned terrorist has an adult theme that feels fresh.

The Iron Word
Archenemies is a decent set of supervillians, we have just seen them in other places before. Bypassing the duds, a skilled game master can pull out enough material to produce some fun, world dooming game sessions.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Misfits & Menaces: Archenemies
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Without addressing the subjective aspects of Nathan's review, a factual correction is needed: this work contains ten villains (plus several minion entries), not nine.
Misfits & Menaces: Tricks & Treats
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2008 01:34:46
I'm not currently running a M&M campaign, so I can't comment on how well any of these villains actual come off in a game session or adventure. However, they certainly sparked my imagination, and fit in well with a Hallowe'en theme. For a product like this, the stat blocks are obviously essential; I also appreciated the "Caper Ideas" (adventure seeds) provided for each villain, though the word "caper" seems a bit weak for some of these menaces.

I particularly like Armageddon, the Horseman, and Pumpkin Jack. Graveside is an interesting character, and a good pregenerated Dracula could be useful. The Bogeyman didn't do much for me. Of course, any product that brings Cthulhu into Mutants & Masterminds is worth having!

Some of the artwork and writing seemed a little amateurish, but overall, I'm glad to have this PDF in my M&M collection.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Misfits & Menaces: Tricks & Treats
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Supernames
by Dennis M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/30/2008 23:04:37
For the price, it's worth the cost, assuming you just can't seem to organize your thoughts enough to come up with a codename for your meta/power/cape/super/etc. It's also handy for those GMs who have players in their group that just can't seem to come up with a name they or anyone else will be happy with.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Supernames
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Better Mousetrap
by Raymond S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2007 18:26:54
Villains, what would superheroes be without them? From the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom, Superman and Lex Luthor, Spiderman and his cadre of villains, they have been a staple of comic books for decades. Better Mousetrap by Misfit Studios is a PDF designed not only to give you the options needed to build villains, their minions, bases and organizations as detailed as you want, but also has advice on mining sources such as comic books, television shows and movies for ideas and how to make a better villain. Although designed for villains mainly, there are so many options in here any characters made for the Mutants and Masterminds 2nd edition system will benefit from this PDF. Fully bookmarked and easy to find what you are looking for, this is an excellent product. The artwork of Eric Lofgren is wonderful and fits each area perfect, helping to draw you in.

Chapter 1 starts off with a few skills, with uses listed for them and a highly detailed section on Profession [Hypnotist] and its many uses. The feats section has many ones, including expanded and revised versions of Contacts and Connected to make them more useful in specific areas. Feats to help out vehicle drivers, acrobatic individuals, to help out commanders of minions, many feats to help out those who make inventions [including those of the psionic variety] and rituals, trap makers, headquarter builders, a feat to help build organizations such as those owned by criminals of Kingpin and Lex Luthor, and even a feat to help out those who train animals. Several feats are included to help out with skill uses, including for those who uses poisons or torture.

Minion feats are included that expand the options to minions who take them. From ones which help them to aid their leader to ones which help them to survive longer in fights, the options these feats give expand the minions role greatly. 4 feats are included specifically for organizations to help file out their options and make them more effective. New powers are included, with a few new options for such things as Enhanced Feats, Enhanced Save and Enhanced Skills. The two stand out ones in this section are Marksman and Weapon Master, making the owner of such powers deadly and skilled with either ranged weapons or melee weapons. A few new power feats are included to expand the options of some powers, Easily Repaired is included as a Device power feat for those who don't want their Device to be indestructible but not hard to fix if damaged.

The new Power Extras give several new dangerous options, especially for villanous powers or those of reckless heroes. The new Power Flaws are where the ability to customize powers and Devices really shine. From Bulky to make Devices which are big and hard to conceal, Fragile for a power which has a chance not to work when you are injured or not work at all when injured even a little, Gradual for an area-based power that builds up with time, Reload which allows the design of powers which have limited uses and take time to recharge [the time and number of uses varies, you have to see the whole Reload flaw to fully understand it] and Trait Reduction where every use of the power drains one of your Ability scores, there are a lot of new things which can be made just using the Power Flaws.

A few new complications are included, good for villains and for those with some trauma in their past. New Drawbacks are another area which expands the options for characters a lot. From Bad Luck, Complex for devices, Flawed Trait for skills and feats, Light Touch for attacks that hit hard but have a lower chance of knockback, drawbacks for characters who don't heal, are poor healers or heal slowly, and many others, this section will keep you busy with the new character options for a while to come.

Chapter 2: Making a Better Badguy gives guidelines and suggestions on how to build better villains. Such things as not falling into the trap of making homage villains too much like the character they are based upon, ways to alter them such as making solo villains into team players, having a hero or villain switch sides from the source material, etc. How to make villains work with their plans, such as why they are a villain and how not to fall into the cliches of the genre. How to make different types of villains for different eras, such using the different ideals and stereotypes for both heroes and villains of an era. The art of crafting a good history or backstory for a villain that is well prepared and works with the setting and its pre-existing elements. How to design villains and different takes on the dark reflection villain, one which shows a hero the path they could have gone down. How to set up a villain as a hero or hero team's archenemy, including the different ways to make it work. A section on how to use villain teams and evil organizations to throw in some variety to your games. Also a section on how to make villains who won't be killed off or simply locked easily everytime, for good reoccuring villains.

The chapter continues with several new villain archetypes, from the Beast Lord who uses animals for his plans, to the King of Killers who is an assassin without peer, and even the Trap Master, who can set up whole buildings with deadly set-ups to take out a hero, like the X-Men [and several other heroes} villain, Arcade. The rank and file troups and minions are the last thing in this chapter, with two different power level versions for either low-powered or high-powered options. From Brutes, Cyber-Troopers, Sharp Shooters and Technicians, there are options for any villain when choosing his minions.

Chapter 3: Gadgets and Gear is just what it sounds like. From new types of poisons and illegal drugs, several new weapons from the simple to the very exotic [a sword with a chainsaw blade and net rifles are just two of the many new ones included], various explosives and grenades, new gun ammunitions types such as acid rounds, riot rounds and even tracer rounds. New Devices are included as examples of the stuff villains or their minions might use, from the flame pistol and rifle, to the quake cannon these items are perfect for superhero settings. Missiles are included, along with a few exotic versions for those villains with unusual plans. New vehicle features such as chaff, radar jammer and even ram prow are perfect for villainous vehicles or even for heroic ones.

Several robot constructs are included, from bodyguard and servent robots to the spyfly and weapon drone, these are the kind which are seen in villains bases a lot. Classic weapons of mass destruction which villains have used over the years in comic books, from the death ray and quake machine, to nuclear missile and weather machine, these items can spice up any villanous plot. Guidelines on building defense and security systems are included, with many examples from pressure plates and video cameras, to arcane and psychic sensors, these will make protecting your bases much easier. Deathtraps and how to design them, from the filling chamber and press of death, to the classic pit trap and all its variations, this is a must read for a true supervillain.

Chapter 4: The Many Faces of Evil gives guidelines and some examples on how to build organizations like you would build characters. Along with all of the things needed to represent them, from only having mental stats to represent the abilities of the organization as a whole, to which skills to give them and how they are used by an organization, to how to give them minions, arsenals, headquarters, super-weapons and drawbacks to flesh them out. As well as how to choose which members of an organization to stat up as individual characters. 3 sample organizations are included, a demon worshiping cult, an urban police precinct and a terrorist brotherhood, although the final chapter has two larger and fully detailed examples of organizations and what they have. Organization morale and how to keep track of it is included, such that with a low enough morale the whole organization could fall apart.

Rules for crowds and mobs are found in this section as well. From how to figure out the stats for the overall stats for group from as small as 2 beings upward to millions, how powers, feats and skills work with crowds and mobs, and how they work in combat. Some examples are included such as a C.O.R.E. Assault Team [from the C.O.R.E. organization in Chapter 6], a platoon of soldiers, a swat squad and even a street gang. Overall this chapter gives you ways to include criminal empires or even government agencies without having to detail every little thing about them.

Chapter 5: Headquarters, Revised and Revisted is just what the chapter title says it is. A greatly expanded version of the headquarters rules from the main books, with many more options and the ability to detail things in ways you never were capable of before. It uses an optional Space rule, with each feature taking up a certain amount of Space(s) from the headquarters total. The number of Spaces used for a feature can vary greatly for some based on the size of the headquarters or be set no matter what the size of the headquarters. If not using the Space rules given herein, it is suggested you keep with the Equipment feat for building headquaters instead of the Headquaters feat given in Chapter 1.

From as small as a single room to the size of a small town or village, headquarters vary in size a lot but the larger they are the Space they have for Features. Features are as many and varied as seen over the years in comic books, television shows and movies, from an Amplifier designed to boost a specific power, labs for any type [arcane or scientific] and workshops, combat simulators, computer systems, communication systems of all sorts, defensive options such as automation to control some of the bases systems, barrier of any sort, living quarters of many levels of comfort, and everything inbetween. It can include defense systems, security systems, areas for any type of vehicles, be concealed in many different ways, including electronically. Exotic options such as a dimensional gate and mystic locale, make designing magical villains or inter-dimensional warlords a lot easier.

The ability to add powers to a base are included, with some Power Feats for specific powers and their interaction with a headquarters. Drawbacks specifically for headquarters are included, from accessible bowls large enough for Medium sized beings to crawl around in like ductwork, etc., having taken it from someone else and they might come back for it, being in a dangerous location, being famous, or even having weak defenses. Everything in this chapter is designed to allow the building of headquarters of any sort, including satellite bases in orbit, ones built over a volcano or even at the bottom of the sea.

The sample headquarters include many examples seen in comic books. From the abandoned warehouse, moon base and orbitting satellite, to the stately manor, underground lair and urban fortress, these examples show only the tip of the iceberg of what can be built using the revised and revisted headquarters rules.

Chapter 6: Evil to the Upmost shows how things from the previous chapters can all come together. First up is the world-wide terrorist organization and warmongers, CORE. Detailed history and listing of their tactics and goals are shown, along with organization stats showing how powerful an organization can be, this one is PL 27 with all of its resources. It list CORE equipment and weapons next, which there many, from such things as stealth armor and plasma pistols, to jet packs, personal mecha, exoskeleton armored suits, all the way up to several flying fortresses completely outfited with staff and crew, vehicles, armory, and so many weapons and options it could take on a whole nation's army and win. The rank and file members of CORE are listed here, from drivers and pilots, to field agents and stealth operatives. The Elite are a group of 9 superhumans that work for CORE, carrying out tasks at their command. They don't all get along well and normally are sent out in smaller groups as needed. From an individual capable of stealing the identity of anyone, to a cruel psychic, disease-spreading ex-doctor and even a man of living magma, this group is ruthless and not above killing. They are CORE and its mysterious leader's trump card.

Master Inc is an international conglomerate with many subsidiaries it uses to keep the heat off the many company. The company is known for making charitable donations, although it is suppected they do this to distract from their many illegal activities they keep concealed from the public. The whole organization was built up and is run by Maxwell Masters, a genius who has been able to keep himself out of trouble for a long time. The organization and its leader is a good foil for any superhero team who hate corrupt coporations and wish to find out the truth behind everything Mr. Masters does.

The last section are of a few solo villains. From the Craftsman who is a retired supervillain now designing headquarters for others, The Gamemaster who makes deadly traps and locations based on science fiction and fantasy shows, movies, etc., to Gunpunk who has a nature skill with ranged weapons and works as an assassin for hire, Scarlet Jester who is a crazed circus girl out to get revenge on all superheroes and villains for the deaths of her parents caused by one and with her glider and themed weapons is like a cross between the Joker and Green Goblin and finally Tarantula, a French genius orphan who gained the powers of a spider and....well you will just have to get the PDF and read his history for yourself, anything more would spoil it completely.

Overall this PDF is jam-packed with a lot of good stuff for everyone to use, not just people designing villains for the Mutants and Masterminds 2nd edition system. It is a fun read and the ideas behind a lot of the mechanics spark ideas easily.

Liked: Virtually everything, especially Chapter 2 and how to improved on making villains and Chapters 3, 4 and 5 for all of the new things to use.

Disliked: The only thing that I remotely disliked was the math involved with the Crowd rules, although an example table is given to help out, it is complex compaired to anything else found in this PDF or the Mutants and Masterminds 2nd edition system as a whole.

Quality: Excellent

Value: Very Satisfied

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Mousetrap
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Supernames
by David G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2007 00:00:00
A disappointing product that could have been so much more. It is no more than a list of words that you could find in any good thesaurus. No random name generator, which would have made the product a little more fun. I think more words in each of the categories would also be an improvement. This wasn't really the product that I was expecting. But it may be what you are looking for.


LIKED: It was cheap.

DISLIKED: It should have been bigger, with random generation options.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Supernames
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Modern Misfit: Storming Heaven's Shores
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2007 00:00:00
The original good idea that the authors had was to set an adventure in the Vatican with all its fascinating flavour and history. That, I could have got from a guidebook, and it would have had a better map.

From there, it needs a plot. So there's a terrorist hostage situation. Wait, it turns out they're not actually terrorists (though the adventure still uses that overworked term throughout), they're thieves, and not smart thieves either: their plan is just to bust in and Greyhawk the place.

It's said to be a non-FX adventure. While that may be technically true, it's certainly not real-world, relying heavily on wacky robots and bizarre chemical transformations. Any bizarre and illogical things that the bad guys do (such as supposedly terrorising the PCs with sub-optimal bow attacks when the character carries a rifle that's in all respects better) are because they're insane and obsessed.

What tears it for me is the way that the major characters' backgrounds throw in every bad guy in the world and the kitchen sink. Look, this guy's so evil he worked for al-Qaeda .. then he went to Sudan to help out with the genocide there .. so his plan is to run away to North Korea. Maybe China. This is not D&D where you can invoke different evils at will for a cumulative effect. There's so much contradictory detail that it becomes an unusable grey mush.

That's pretty much how I'd sum up the product as a whole: too many ideas, not enough cohesion and very little, in the end, that I can use.



QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Misfit: Storming Heaven's Shores
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 91 to 105 (of 183 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG