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Villains and Vigilantes:Attack on the Poseidon Line
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/27/2012 16:02:13
Attack on the Poseidon Line involved the heroes on a cruise ship which is threatened by pirates but a much deeper plot is being played out. It is a functional enough scenario but as structured it involves a lot of civilian deaths and not a lot of discussion on how the heroes can mitigate that, which strikes me as a serious flaw in a superheroic scenario. It does have excellent maps of a cruise ship, submarine and supervillain base which could be useful for a variety of games.

As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works. Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Attack on the Poseidon Line
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Villains and Vigilantes:Great Bridge
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/27/2012 16:01:38
Great Bridge is a collection of Japanese supervillain from the files of Department 88. Primarily is it a source of anime/magna inspired supervillain and as such, it succeeds in it design goals. However, that is all it does, none of the characters are particularly innovative in mechanical design or background, which there are a few clever lines scattered the descriptions it does not do much to distinguish itself from any other such sourcebook.

As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works. Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Great Bridge
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Villains and Vigilantes:Signs of the Zodiac
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/27/2012 16:01:12
Signs of the Zodiac presents the Zodiac Syndicate, a group of diverse supervillain who have banded together for their mutual benefit, not world domination, but profit. Each of the Zodiac members is fully written out and has an android assistant as 12 members are a bit unwieldy, they often function as 3-person teams built around the elements tied to the various Zodiac symbols, each team’s basic dynamics and tactics are covered. Two full scenarios, along with additional superpowered characters, are included along with several scenario ideas.

As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works. Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Signs of the Zodiac
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Aftermath! Survival Guide
by Dan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2012 04:50:00
First of all let me say that this pdf is of outstanding quality. Easy to read and with both photos and illustrations. That being said, it wasn't quite what I expected. Though things such as zombies and alien invasions are covered, the book, for the most part, is an actual quide explaining how to prepare and survive through various types of real world disasters. The pdf contains 100+ pages but the only actual game information is found in the appendices. And even with that not much new material has been added.

Not a bad product, just not what I expected. Thats the reason I'm only giving this a score of 3 stars.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Aftermath! Survival Guide
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Villains and Vigilantes: From the Deeps of Space
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/18/2012 09:36:26
There’s nothing quite like an alien invasion to bring superheroes together (just think of the Justice League cartoon from 2001, or the JLA origin story in the New 52), and this “classic” module for Villains & Vigilantes does a good job—for the mid-1980s—of dressing an alien invasion up in spandex and dice. Well, mostly. The space invaders themselves, the Capellans, are a really stupid-looking race, with green reptilian bodies and brown, furry canine heads. Their initial strategy, though—establish a beachhead in a relatively “unimportant,” undefended area—is reasonable enough. Although the adventure is called “From the Deeps of Space,” it actually has two roughly equal parts: “From the Deeps of Space” and “Into the Deeps of Space.” Not only does author Stefan Jones introduce interstellar travel rules (modified slightly, according to editor Scott Bizar, by Jack Herman and Jeff Dee), but he also provides a starmap of the systems “near” Capella, a good aid for GMs who take their heroes into that region of space. Bill Reinhold’s artwork fits the V&V style to a T. This new PDF version of an old print product does have a very few OCR problems. Overall, the adventure is good, not great; the best part may be the interstellar travel rules.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: From the Deeps of Space
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Villains and Vigilantes:Attack on the Poseidon Line
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/13/2012 21:45:41
This adventure for Villains & Vigilantes combines super-powered piracy with superspy-like intrigue to form a fairly engaging story. The best type of GM for this adventure is one who can really ham up a wide variety of NPCs. Enough “if/then” decision points are built into the adventure to allow for a good range of PC choices, all ultimately leading down parallel paths toward the climax. You need relatively mature players for this adventure—not due to anything objectionable, but just because young players aren’t likely to get the jokes, pick up the more subtle clues, or understand the villain’s plot (without additional explanation). Author James Bishop also contributes the artwork, including figure flats; Bishop’s black-and-white style works well for the retro feel of V&V. Despite its strengths, this adventure isn’t a “must-have.” It’s got a good story, and would be fun to run and play, but it doesn’t really compel attention. You won’t regret running it, but you probably won’t regret passing it by, either.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Attack on the Poseidon Line
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Villains and Vigilantes:Always Outnumbered
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/12/2012 17:49:07
This collection of “three plus one” brief adventures for one or two Villains & Vigilantes player-heroes hums with the classic V&V vibe. Don’t be confused by the term “solo adventures,” used on the front cover; these aren’t adventures you play without a GM, but adventures suitable for a lone superhero. If you’re interested in these as a player rather than a GM, you shouldn’t read the rest of this review, as spoilers lie ahead!

The first adventure, “No Crime Like the Present,” is the least satisfying of the three. One encounter (plus aftermath) constitutes the whole adventure. The city planetarium makes a wonderful set-piece for the adventure, and the scenario includes some fun and memorable non-powered NPCs. However, the main villain’s name, Miz Happ, features a pun that falls a bit flat when you’re speaking instead of reading; more importantly, Miz Happ’s motivation is left vague, and seems to be simple greed, in which case her target seems ridiculously mis-chosen (how is she going to fence stolen meteorites)?

The second scenario, “Survival of the Fittest,” transpires mainly on a golf course. It introduces two super-powered NPCs who could become regular guests in an ongoing campaign. I particularly like Contender’s shtick (a super-powered protection racket), and Ilk provides a great link into the V&V adventure “Escape from the Micro-Universe.”

The third adventure, “True Believer,” features another interesting villain, Pioneer, although his shtick is different from Contender’s. The scenario believably brings together two or three villains that otherwise wouldn’t likely be involved in the same fight. Before you use “True Believer” and “Survival of the Fittest” in the same campaign, however, decide carefully whether you want to include multiple instances of “apparent heroes who are really villains.” The player-heroes might get too suspicious to trust any truly heroic NPCs.

I don’t quite understand the names of the adventures. The planetarium heist in “No Crime Like the Present” seems to have nothing to do with time; “Survival of the Fittest” could perhaps apply generically to any fight, and the confrontation is potentially lethal, I guess; and “True Believer” doesn’t have any kind of religious overtones or even “(dis)believable” illusions in it. What’s up with that? Also, some of the villains seem to have come out of a random generator, which is classic V&V but comes off feeling odd. The villain write-ups leave a lot of unanswered questions. The most nagging of these surround the villain Scrimmage, in “True Believer”; he has a devitalization ray that is never really explained, either in his origin or in terms of special effects, or even how he projects it. Some GMs will enjoy filling in these blanks; personally, I’d rather have more information provided in the adventure itself.

The fourth, brief encounter introduces yet another useful NPC, a photojournalist with insidious powers of his own. He could make a great recurring antagonist for the player-heroes in an ongoing campaign.

Overall, I generally like these scenarios, and this format. The single-encounter or mini-adventure format provides a great vehicle for introducing interesting villains and NPCs, much better than a simple roster book like Most Wanted. James Bishop’s black-and-white interior artwork and color figure flats are reasonably good, though not up to Jeff Dee quality. In the end, Always Outnumbered isn’t quite a must-have, but it’s a very good resource for a V&V gamemaster running games for one or two player-heroes, and the scenarios are easily adapted to other superhero game systems (just restat the villains and you’re good to go).

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Always Outnumbered
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Villains and Vigilantes: Opponents Unlimited
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/25/2012 14:17:50
Opponents Unlimited is a collection of supervillains, lone villains and groups, most of which are very offbeat or even outright zany. For colorful and unusual characters, it is worth a look.

Opponents Unlimited is a 33-page PDF (31-pages after you remove the covers) for the Villains & Vigilantes RPG written by Stephen Jones and published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. This is a scan of the original physical book, while a clean scan it makes the product a large file and unsearchable, both of which are inconvenient.

Opponents Unlimited has mostly a traditional two column layout. Each character has a black and white illustration (done by Jeff Dee one of the co-creators of V&V), there are several interior maps and two sheets of full color counters.

Opponents Unlimited is a collection of supervillains (and more) for V&V. It starts with a table of 24 encounters, paragraph long adventure seeds, and statistics for the Prankster (a trickster hero) and rouge robots and komodo dragons which show up in some of the other encounters.

Next are seven solo villains (well, one is neither hero nor villain) several of which, including an organ-legger and an alien cyborg who intend to kidnap children to use as raw material for future cyborg, could be quite dark but others which are rather light hearted.

The organizations continue the light-hearted theme with:

*B.A.D. (the Brotherhood of Amoral Dudes) lead by Auntie Phil and containing such members as Cosmic Zoom (a size-shifter with a sword) and Swarmmaster.

*The Amazing Floop Brothers, a family team of supervillains.

*V.I.L.E. (Villains In Larcenous Enterprise) who are a little more serious but only a little.

Each of these three include a mapped HQ.

There is also the Tarot Master, three Tarot Card-themed supervillains backed a group of suit-themed agents.

Each of the characters is given a fairly short description but enough to build from and often implies scenario ideas. But it is a product from the early days of RPGs and shows that to some extent. The characters are all a bit strange, as the random nature of character generation for V&V shows through, but it should be easy enough to convert them to another system.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Opponents Unlimited
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Crisis at Crusader Citadel
by John G W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2011 12:31:06
Well all I can say is that allthough the character generation system is a little cumbersome,and not as quick as say Tsr's Marvel heroes system It's still the original, and one of the best and Iv'e played them all.With a little effort,and creativity you can generate any character you've ever seen or heard about. And Crisis at crusader citadel is an excellent launch point module

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crisis at Crusader Citadel
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Villains and Vigilantes
by John G W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2011 08:30:10
The products ive gotten here are great I have no complaints its great that there is a place where I can get the old Rpg's that I started role playing with I will definitely shopping here quite a bit. V&V is one of my favorites Unlike palladiums Hero's unlimited that didnt have a combat system I found out later on that you had to buy other books to get the combat system .But for me V&V is the best because it was the original.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes
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Danger in the Depths, Issue #2
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/23/2011 21:54:03
As the name implies, this module presents the second of a two-part adventure. Conceivably, you could run Issue 2 without having run Issue 1, but the story will make a lot more sense if the PCs have been through the adventure in Issue 1. Originally slated for publication in the 1980s but never released, this adventure takes the superheroes on an undersea voyage to overthrow Queen Shalel, the tyrant who has usurped the throne of the city of Aquina from its rightful occupant, Prince Kalm, who has appealed to the PCs for help. Aquaman and Sub-Mariner fans should enjoy the story considerably. Believe it or not, the module actually includes “wandering monster tables” for use during the heroes’ transit to Aquina. However, these are just mundane sea creatures or “giant” varieties. Cliffe actually punts on creating any exotic undersea monsters; the second random encounter table includes the entry “Unknown,” but the description simply tells the GM to make up something similar to an aquatic dinosaur (no statistics are given).

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Danger in the Depths, Issue #2
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Villains and Vigilantes: Enemies at Large
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 22:42:32
Originally slated for publication in 1987, Enemies at Large offers almost three dozen NPCs for Villains and Vigilantes. Several of the villains presented here bear too close a resemblance to familiar comic-book characters (the Wiecks’ Wasp bears an uncanny resemblance to Marvel Comics’ Wasp, except that the Wiecks’s doesn’t shrink, and the Wiecks’s Twister reminds me of Marvel Comics’ Texas Twister), and others are just clichéd (such as a super-viking named, well, Viking). Others are more creative, including the 30 ft. tall Army Ant, the intriguing Darc Warp, and the memory-draining Lethe. Pat Zircher’s illustrations are perfect for the genre; my favorite illustrations—irrespective of the quality of the villain writeups as such—are Couatl, Condor, Gargan, Styx, and Talas Baum. I do think that FGU should try to avoid duplicating character names in products like this; the Matador from Enemies at Large and the Masked Matador from Vigilantes International are easy to confuse.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Enemies at Large
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Villains and Vigilantes: Dawn of DNA
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 22:38:24
There’s fun to be had here—I mean, the adventure has zombies—but the scenario shows its age. Genetics just isn’t as mysterious as it used to be.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Dawn of DNA
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Danger in the Depths, Issue #1
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2011 22:33:21
A refugee from an undersea kingdom arrives on the beach, dragging your superheroes into an international incident. That’s the basic plot of “Danger in the Depths,” which requires two separate products (Issue 1 and Issue 2) to complete. The story in Issue 1 is fun, and will feel a bit familiar if you’ve read enough Sub-Mariner appearances in Fantastic Four. Whether you like that familiarity or consider the adventure derivative as a result is, of course, up to you. I’m not sure whether the interior maps are scaled as intended; the legends indicate that one square on the maps represents 10 square feet, which would make each square about 3.16 feet per side. This leaves one of the offices, for example, with a couple of couches that are about 3.16 feet long, which seems a bit small.

Issue 1 includes an appendix laying out underwater combat rules for V&V; the appendix alone might be worth the purchase even if you don’t use the adventure as written or you don’t pick up Issue 2. However, Issue 1 does not really stand on its own; the ending is very unsatisfying as a stand-alone adventure, and throughout the adventure assumes that you'll buy and run Issue 2. Breaking the adventure into two separate purchases is, in my estimation, not cool. Back in the 1980s, doing so may have been dictated by printing considerations, but that surely doesn’t apply to PDFs.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Danger in the Depths, Issue #1
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Villains and Vigilantes: Enter the Gene Pool
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/27/2011 13:15:06
This is a fairly straightforward kidnapping-and-rescue adventure with a bit of an interesting twist. The scenario introduces a supervillain team called the Gene Pool, suitable for use as recurring enemies in an ongoing campaign. James Bishop’s illustrations are okay, but don’t reach Jeff Dee quality. The maps, mostly depicting outdoor areas, are fine for their purpose and easy to reuse with or without reskinning. The female supervillains need more practical uniforms; there’s really no reason for Persephone to have bare legs, or for Serenade’s costume (meant to resemble an evening gown) to sweep around behind her to reveal a bikini bottom—never mind the way it gathers around her feet, a design almost guaranteed to trip her up during a fight. I could easily imagine myself using the scenario, but I don’t feel that players would miss much if I didn’t.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Villains and Vigilantes: Enter the Gene Pool
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