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Monster Brief: Goblins
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/11/2010 13:28:23

Misfit is doing a nice job of adding meat to the Fantasy Companion. http://rptroll.blogspot.c-
om



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Brief: Goblins
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Player Races: the Dark Elf
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/09/2010 17:06:16

I can see this one being polarizing.


Arguably the most popular - and hated - fantasy race I can think of comes to Savage Worlds through Misfit Studios' new line of PDFs, "Player Races".


Dark Elves became very prominent in the 90s with the popularity of Drizzt Do'Urden, and now you can't throw a d20 without hitting a D&D player who hates them. That said, I always kinda liked dark elves.


Mechanically, the Dark Elf race has both Infravision (which halves penalities for Dark Lighting) and Low Light Vision (which ignores penalities for Dark Lighting), and unless I'm missing something...that's fairly redundant.


Of the "classic" Dark Elf powers, the race retains the "field of darkness", as the Obscure power.


Dark Half-Elves are also listed, based off of Half-Elves.


The PDF also includes a new Hindrance and three new Edges, as well as four sample Dark Elf poisons and stats for a Dark Elf crossbow.


A sample Dark Elf warrior is statted up, with a sidebar on "Deep Mithral", which is used to make Dark Elf armor but degrades in the sunlight.


A very nice pick for the first Player Race, and what appears to be a balanced take on Dark Elves for Savage Worlds. Combine it with the all the other little niceties, such as the poisons and the
Deep Mithral and you get another jampacked purchase for less than $2.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player Races: the Dark Elf
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Publisher Reply:
Infravision and low-light vision have some functional overlap, true, but they both pick up some slack for the other considering one is heat-based and the other is light-based. Giving dark elves both means they'll be able to spot heroes who may think some of the tricks they use to hide against normal elves will also work on these guys. It's just a minor thing that makes them just that much nastier to face.
Alortun: The Crown of Skulls, v2
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2010 01:34:44

The product description more or less sums it up. I would only add that the game mechanics include the Knowledge checks for its various contradictory legends (with an extended method of telling true from false rumours) and the artifact's powers themselves - no prestige class for the elves, for example, though it seems as if it might justify it. A little rough, but with some work on a DM's part, it could form a basis for a good chunk of a campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Alortun: The Crown of Skulls, v2
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Expanded Professions: The Thief
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/02/2010 17:49:01

Misfit Studios scores again with another Expanded Profession, easily the best and brightest of their microsupplement lines. Ten new Edges and a Knowledge skill, all designed to allow a more enhanced customization of thieves.


A new Legendary Edge, Guild Master, is included...allowing you to begin forming your own thieves guild. Trap Sense allows you to subconsciously detect traps without actively searching for them, and the Trap Springer Edges grant Armor against traps you accidentally set off while trying to
disarm them!


Well worth it, especially if you have a thief-like character in your fantasy game, for a much greater number of customization options, with only one Edge having a direct combat application (Rooftop Ruffian allowing you to fight and climb at the same time). So far, the Expanded Professions are Can't Miss Material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Expanded Professions: The Thief
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Monster Brief: Dragons
by Shotgun G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/01/2010 02:19:19

Dragon's - mythical flying creatures found in many cultures and in many forms. Said to cause fear and terror, used in symbology as a sign of power or strength. So why does one (Arcane Dragon), look like an over-sized Greyhound dog?


The imagery seems a little disjointed, against the awe inspiring stats that are enclosed in the file. Having played SW's, their is no doubting the lethality of these beasts. Ignore the images, just stick to the stats on this one; which will provide you with some great adversaries for your high level adventures. I really like the Smoke Dragon, playful; yet whimsicle in nature. The Sand Dragon could be a nice plot hook, sending the party off to steal some magical artifact for its collection (or be eaten!).


The Arcane Dragon, well best to not even meet that one; if you can. A possible plot hook for the Arcane Dragon, would be seeking knowledge. Can the party persuade the Arcane Dragon to help in their adventure, or will it just teleport them away.


Fairly good suppliment, but for this reviewer; lacking in the awesome imagery that dragons should inspire.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Brief: Dragons
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Monster Brief: Dragons
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/01/2010 01:27:57

The third Monster Brief by Misfit Studios produces four new dragons for Savage Worlds!


The first entry is the Arcane Dragon and it is absolutely scary. In addition to being big and mean, it has Power Points, knows spells and can cast the Dispel power at will. They don't seem to be overtly good or evil, preferring to be left to their own devices to study.


Mock dragons (that's Smoke Dragon to you) are tiny, smoke spewing dragons not much larger than a housecat. Back in the day playing D&D, I had a friend who played a solo Mage, and I would totally have stuck him with a Mock Dragon. They're perfect for that sort of role in a game.


The Sand Dragon looks a whole lot like one of the Metallic dragons from D&D...Brass? Copper? I don't recall...regardless, the Sand dragon is obsessed with collecting magic (for some reason), and does not fly, instead preferring to burrow in the desert.


Finally, the Viper Dragon is another flightless dragon and is barely more than an animal in intelligence...it doesn't come across particularly malevolent, but is still a definite adversary due to its predatory nature.


I'm kind of surprised at the lack of "evil" dragons in this. The closest seems to be the Viper Dragon, with the Sand Dragon also seemingly capable of filling an antagonistic role if need be. The Mock Dragon makes for an awesome companion in a game, while the Arcane Dragon just wants to be left alone.


The variations are nice, but the product isn't brimming with plot hooks for your Savage Worlds game...however, the Mock Dragon and the four write-ups as examples in changing up dragons within the Savage Worlds rules set are still very cool.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Brief: Dungeon Dwellers
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/29/2010 06:48:14

This secong Monster Brief gives more "classic" monsters to use with Savage Worlds.
The art is nice and the stats look good. There is enough fluff here to make it worth while. The product does make me wish for a full blown monster manual.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Brief: Dungeon Dwellers
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Publisher Reply:
Misfit Studios has plans for a large Savage Worlds bestiary down the road, generally and specifically for SpirosBlaak, so keep an eye open for them!
Monster Brief: Dungeon Dwellers
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/28/2010 01:43:03

The second Monster Brief by Misfit Studios takes a different tack: Rather than focusing on one monster, like the Goblin, we get some dungeon classics.


The Carnivorous Cube: A giant, man-eating gelatin cube? Ridiculous...that'll never fly. Frankly, it's just as scary as you remember.


Mad Mouthers: Mad Mouthers are slightly less iconic than the inspiration for the Carnivorous Cube...in fact, Mad Mouthers are one of the few quasi-classics I don't think I ever used. I've gotta compare the entries for this and its D&D inspiration...'cause this is cooler than I remember.


A minotaur remix is up next, designed to focus on the minotaur in the labyrinth, taking them back to their roots. FRIGHTENING if it is allowed to get a full on charge going.


Troglodytes: My biggest memory of troglodytes are their appearance in one of the D&D arcade games, where they still emitted the musky ordery stuff (though I think it was more like poison in that game, I think).


All told, not as cool as the expanded professions, or even quite as cool as the Goblin brief, but still very nice to see some renamed D&D classics slink into Savage Worlds.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
5 Magic Items: Blades
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/28/2010 01:31:21

Another in Misfit Studios' line of microsupplements, we get 5 magic blades. The introduction informs us that each Blade's powers should be hidden, and gives guidelines on researching them...complete with a table to roll on (there is a unique one for each blade), detailing just how much information the researcher finds. A Critical Failure means that they get it ALL wrong. This is a great concept, but stumbles just a bit in execution: If they players roll it, they will know they got a Critical Failure, and will suspect something. If the GM rolls it, they essentially lose the right to use a benny to modify the roll, which some could construe as unfair. Other than that, I love it...just gotta work that part out.


Bloodletter: The first item is an intelligent longsword that actually makes those that hold it less intelligent. Being an intelligent sword, it has a Smarts and Spirit die, as well as Skills and Goals, plus special powers. The mechanics are a little unclear, as it will try to drive Magic Users and the type that hold the blade insane...but it doesn't say how, as the only codified power of the blood is draining Power Points from those it harms. Cool concept, a little unclear on the mechanics.


Dagger of Piercing: Much as it says...this little dagger is the Ginsu of the fantasy world, though it does have limitations...


Deathsever Dagger: A dagger with cool extra bonuses against the Undead and essentially granting the Sweep Edge. However, they were designed for a VERY specific, hidden purpose.


Demonbane: Another unique blade, at first glance...but extra research can again reveal a very cool, hidden purpose.


Frostheart: This one is a bonafide artifact, with Power Points and everything. Conceptually, it's probably my least favorite of the five.


The first magic item collection from Misfit Studios for Savage Worlds is very cool for your $1.55...the plot hooks for the Demonbane and Death Severe Daggers are probably my favorite parts, honestly, and my only REAL complaint is that I'm not sure how the Bloodletter functions with its influencing the its wielder (potentially). Another fine entry.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5 Magic Items: Blades
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Publisher Reply:
A good point regarding bennies, Thomas. I'll address how Gamemasters may want to reconcile that with the mystery of using a secret roll in the next product release. Thanks for pointing it out. As for how Bloodletter works, it's based on rules for intelligent magic items that appears in the Fantasy Companion, which outlines how a battle of wills plays out between the wielder and the weapon if the wielder doesn't pursue Bloodletter's goals. I can't recommend the Fantasy Companion enough as a great resource.
Monster Brief: Goblins
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/17/2010 01:15:57

Like the Expanded Professions, the Monster Briefs are short PDFs at $1.55, taking a given subject matter and "blowing it up" a bit.


In this case, we get an expanded focus on Goblins, complete with a couple of variations. The product is a mild letdown from the awesomeness that is the Expanded Professions, but still very cool. First up, we get introduced to the Beast Wrangler, a goblin that trains various animals for chaos and violence. This entry is mostly hampered by a reference to giant rats from the Pulp GM's Toolkit, an earlier Savage Worlds product that is now a bit on the obscure side due to the push for the various Companions (though the Pulp Toolkit is still available).


Goblin Lords are actually kind of impressive...having enough going for them statistically to be a threat, especially to lower ranked characters, even before you realize that they are also going to be surrounded by a whole tribe.


Goblin Wolf Riders are fairly self explanatory, and include vargrs, which are like dire wolves but big and mean.


The Monster Brief concludes with Ragefur mushrooms, a very scary mushroom that can send goblins into a furious berserker rage before possibly killing them...and then it does BAD stuff to non Goblins that eat it.


You know, its just not quite as cool or as useful as the first Expanded Profession, but this first Monster Brief is still a very encouraging sign as to what could be coming down the pike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Brief: Goblins
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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
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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
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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
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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.


_bChapter 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.


_bChapter 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.


_bChapter 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.


_bChapter 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.


_bChapter 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.


_bChapter 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.


_bChapter 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.


_bConclusion/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
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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
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