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Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus! (BASH)
by Wilfredo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2016 19:42:48

Night of the Krampus! is a Xmas-themed adventure for the Basic Action Super Heroes role-playing game. As the title suggests, the players must face Krampus, Santa Claus' opposite number. Not so obvious is that you must play superhero children. This does not mean that the game is intended for kids, though it certainly can be played with them. The game also allows it be played with the original characters, even adult ones, though those might have a harder time because Krampus has the power to corrupt adults.

All of this might sound cheesy, and it is- but Xmas stories like this are an old tradition for superheroes in comics and cartoons. Also, despite a few silly moments (like fighting a giant christmas turkey) the story is surprisingly dark: all of the children, for example, are orphans; even the super-villain kids who work for Krampus make you feel bad for them because of their origins. Also, adults get turned into monsters, children are endangered and put in chains, and Krampus' plan goes beyond punishing naugthy children- something very bad will happen if the heroes don't stop it!

The story is short and simple, yet enjoyable. If played right you get to be a kid who gains superpowers during Xmas (from Santa Claus) and must then save the world! Ironically, the Jolly Old Elf himself is missing from the story. He shows up to deliver the powers and is never seen again. There isn't even a character sheet for him. Now I understand he was only a plot device, but you know many players would have wanted to interact with him, especially children. Not to mention that the question of "So why does Santa let a bunch of novice kids handle something so serious?" is left hanging.

The art is cartoony, which helps the impression that this a goofy adventure. On the other hand it diminishes the scare factor as well. I feel it did a good job describing the characters, although for some reason there are no illustrations of Krampus' super-children to go with their character sheets.

Rules-wise, I was a bit puzzled by certain details in the character sheets. For example, I don't feel Red Shift really needs the Instant Change Advantage for her shape-shifting powers, while Terryn does. And many characters did not have matching sets of Advantages vs Disadvantages. But this is nit-picking; the game is perfectly playable as it is.

Overall, Krampusnacht is both a nice superhero and Xmas adventure; good Narrators might even make it better by goading their players into helping their "evil" counterparts overcome their loyalty to Krampus rather than just beat them up.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus! (BASH)
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Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus! (BASH)
by BENJAMIN N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2016 18:03:44

Krampus is coming this Christmas to the children of the St. Nicholas Orphanage, and these forgotten kids will not be dreaming of sugar plums and opening presents in the morning: they will be busy trying to save the world from a hellish fate.

Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus! is a nightmarish, holiday adventure featuring 5 protagonist heroes, aged 10-16, given super power gifts from a being that may have been Santa Claus (but not necessarily so, if you find that too silly) and must use their newfound abilities to fight an unholy, supernatural creature and its helpers.

If you’ve seen the movie Krampus (and why wouldn’t you?), you’d know how creepy this demonic entity can be? Sure the artwork for this product looks a little campy and cartoonish, but don’t let that detract from what is otherwise a quite crafty adventure.

The adventure takes place over three acts. Act 1, “Have You been Good Little Boys & Girls?”, sets the stage for the story with a visit from St. Nick and gifts for the children. This is the fun bit where players get to do a lot of roleplaying amongst themselves, the other children and the various adults (including the jolly gift-bearer, himself). It is also the point where the weirdness begins to unfold and their young characters ultimately find that they must use their Christmas ‘gifts’ to save the other children.

I won’t go into too many details as I don’t want to spoil the fun but Act 2, “It’s Krampusnacht, Tonight!”, dials up the badness level when the players encounter and confront the Kinder (Krampus’ little helpers, children like themselves with their own unique gifts) in their neighbourhood and first meet the Krampus itself.

Act 3, “Krampusnachtocalypse!”, is the final showdown between the heroes and Krampus. If they succeed, then all is well for another year: but if they fail…

The Bad:

  • The art for this adventure is cartoonish and might unfortunately turn off a few buyers.
  • It’s a Christmas-themed adventure which will probably dissuade some from purchasing what usually turns out to be half-inspired scenarios meant to fill the holiday season with related tropes.
  • If you haven’t seen the Krampus movie then you are probably like me and rolled eyes at the idea of a Christmas ‘demon’. Seriously, a demonic nemesis to good old St. Nick? Please…
  • Super children. You play super-powered children fighting a lame Christmas demon… Okay, I’ll stop there. You probably catch the drift.

The Good:

  • The art. Yes, it is cartoonish, but its actually quite nice. If this were an adventure for Monsters and Other Childish Things (a very serious horror game, aimed at adults playing child heroes) then it would fit very nicely. Sure Storn Cook, Jon Gibbons, or some other artist could have turned out some seriously cool, superhero-worthy artwork for Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus!, but that would have been expensive and Skirmisher Game Development Group would never have made even half of their investment back. As it is, William T. Thrasher made some character images that are quite interesting. He shows us each of the five heroes both in, and out of, costumed identities (among other things in the adventure).
  • Ages. The heroes are allowed to define the age range of their heroes across a 4-5 year span (10-16 years). They can be the older children at the orphanage, dealing with teen issues, or young kids struggling with the awkward tween, transition stage of life, where they are not quite children and not yet the cool teenagers they’d like to be.
  • A campaign starting point. Whether or not you want to include an actual Santa Claus in your game, this adventure provides an interesting origin story, campaign launching framework for young heroes within a supernatural theme. There is a lot of potential for superhero adventures set outside of the usual mutants and four-color genres. You have a flame-based character that can transform into an insubstantial, smoke form; a four-legged, centaur warrior; a rock-bodied, earth controller; a tough, regenerator with the ability to radiate a damage field; and, a shape changer with a red-coloured, give-away tag. All characters are built around the 25-point, Street-Level campaign scale (some a couple of points over, others a couple under).
  • The Kinder (! Spoiler alert !). These young villains make interesting, possibly recurring, opponents for the heroes for an ongoing campaign. Darklord, Gargoyle, Grim and Tween Wolf are villains characters on par with the hero’s super abilities. They are presented with both motivations and a “Greatest Fear” that adds some interesting colour to their character.
  • Ritual magic (! Spoiler alert !). Krampas is not just a big bad boss character for the heroes to beat; he is a supernatural creature that intends to use some heavy magic that could dramatically change things on Earth, forever (depending on how well the heroes succeed). The ritual spell being used is a great example of an Extended Check in action. It puts the heroes under the gun when trying to end this villain’s diabolical plan and makes a great, exciting climax for the adventure.

Overall, Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus! is a worthy super hero adventure, that just happens to use Christmas-themed elements. There are plenty of advice offerings to use this adventure differently (as part of an existing campaign, or to even dissect and re-skin for use in new ways).

Do yourself a favour and pick it up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Krampusnacht: Night of the Krampus! (BASH)
by Christopher C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2016 18:00:19

Krampusnacht: Knight of the Krampus is a fun little adventure. It starts off a bit light but as the story progressess it gets quite deadly. It is designed to use in 3 acts (sessions) but can easily be modified other types of Gaming Nights. The art fits the feel of the product and the production values are quite good, something that is normal for Skirmisher Publishing.

A fun little product that can bring a bit of the bizarre to the holiday season. Well worth picking up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Oddities for a Wasteland
by Wilfredo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2016 19:34:56

This is my first experience with the "Oddities" series, and it was interesting and informative. For those not familiar with the concept, these books provide random lists of objects that could be found during a role-playing game, depending on the genre- a Post-Apocalyptic campaign, in this case. Note that the cause of the disaster is up to the Game Master- it can be anything from nuclear war to the zombie apocalypse; the ideas included here could be adapted for any of those.

Because that is what the "oddities" are, actually- ideas. Everything from simple "well, that's unusual" to "geez, I wish I'd met the person who left this behind (or maybe not)." On their own, the Oddities are not much; just a way to fill the time as characters travel the wasteland to whatever their goal is. But they're very creative. I cannot truly explain how without giving the twists away, so take my word for it. By they way, don't let the intentionally cartoony art style fool you- some of the examples included can be creepy.

I only had two problems with the book, and to be honest they are more biases of mine. First is that I don't like random generation; I prefer thematic lists that help me find exactly what I need. The other is the format; each description alternates between "black text on grey" and "black text on white". I get that this is meant to help tell the oddities apart, but honestly, a simple line would have been better.

But as I said, those are personal biases that most people are not likely to share. Most Game Masters playing in a postapocalyptic setting who need quick ideas will find this most useful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Oddities for a Wasteland
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100 Oddities for a Wasteland
by Christopher C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2016 18:56:14

There is nothing worse than having the group wander off in a direction you weren't set up for. Quick thinking will help, but sometimes you need something more. This product provides that. The idea behind 100 Oddities for a Wasteland is to provide a myriad of different things someone can stumble upon. The random nature of the product means that you can roll or simply choose the object your characters come upon. The item can be used as the start to a new adventure or a simple red-herring meant to kill some time.

While this is specifically geared toward sci-fi/modern wastelands much of it could be used in a Steampunk setting as well with a little imagination.

Well worth the price...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2016 19:10:45

This product is an interesting mix. While all the items listed inside are in the vein of the famous Arthur C Clarke quote about magic, the power levels are varied by quite a bit.

There are several items that could very well be the beginning of a campaign because of how strongly they would affect the surrounding area out to a considerable distance. These need to be handled carefully and not dropped into a campaign on a whim as they will change the world when they are fuilly revealed Some are weaker, but still powerful enough to start a story arc as they would easily hold sway over the area of a large city. These are season long stories begging to be told, if you view the game from a tv series metaphor, as they can easily change the balance of power in their areas. Finally some are weird but lower powered. In my experience these are the items you hand out to stir the pot or discover just what sort of trouble the players will get into with them. These are the items that will see the most play in a game, as they arent a plot point, they arent a goal, or a dues ex machina, but they weirdness that makes post apocalypse gaming different from sci-fi or fantasy. The mutant running around with the weird animal totem item that she doesnt understand but still uses will always be more memorable than a flat mechanical bonus item.

My complaint with this is not content based, but layout. All the items are listed alphabetically, so a trinket is next to the train of doom. This doesnt work for me, as I see several distinct power levels and would have prefered to see them listed by that. That way when im looking to do world building I could just look up the most powerful items, but if Im doing long term planning I could look at the middle group, or look at the weakest when it comes to game session prep. All in all, good ideas that are jumbled up, which gets distracting for me



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts
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Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting
by Christopher C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2016 10:39:17

Swords of Kos Fantasy Campain setting is a great compilation of the entire Kos line. It takes what has been created before and puts it into a single comprehensive tome. It saves the reader the frustration of flipping between different files in search of information.

Everything is presented in a clean manner that makes reading easy. It is comprehensive enough to flesh out large portions of a world. Even better is that there is still enough room left for groups to create their own additions with ease.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting
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World of Kos (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
by Christopher C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2016 12:31:42

Worlds of Kos is a great product. It contains a well writen overview of Kos from a 'higher' persepctive. It touches on thigns such as the religion and creatures of the region as well as different illicit orgaizations and clothing styles. Worlds of Kos begins with excellent maps of the region and ends with a detailed timeline. Although some of the information in Worlds of Kos has been presented previously it is nice to have these pieces of it in one place. There is also a wealth of new information that works to bind everything together.

I especially like how well presented the sections on commerce and the military are. It is nice to see such potentially difficult topics handled in a detailed, yet flexible manner.

Worlds of Kos is a great addition to any fantasy game whether they are playing in the presented setting or only using it as a potential mine of ideas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Kos (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting)
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Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52: Nanotech Undead
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2016 00:29:36

Wasteland horrors and zombies are always a favorite but here in Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52: Nanotech Undead we get a boat load of monster options and weirdness for the Mutant Future rpg. But is the issue worth getting? Yes but there are some interesting give and take things here in the wastelands. My sweet spot for post apocalyptic rpg's has always been Gamma World first & second edition, the games were and are some of my favorite systems & rpg's. They form a good part of my next phase of gaming in my life. The thing about Gamma World was its flexibility, the apocalypse could be anything from a zombie plague to a full blown holocaust of Biblical proportions with little bits of everything in between. Everyone I knew mixed in everything from Logan's Run to Night of the Living Dead. In case you don't know;"Gamma World is a science fantasy role-playing game, originally designed by James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet, and first published by TSR in 1978. It borrowed heavily from Ward's earlier product, Metamorphosis Alpha."

So I was thrilled to see Mutant Future a retroclone of old school post apocalyptic rpgs from Goblinoid games was available but like its originator the DM has to do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to developing the background, setting material, adventures, etc. Which is fine because there's some great licensed products out there to help fill in the gaps such as Skirmisher Publishing's Wisdom From the Wastelands and other fine source books to help fill in the gap. Now Skirmisher Publishing has come out with Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52: Nanotech Undead. Basically this is Skirmisher's undead & zombie source book for their version of the Mutant Future setting. The book is really nicely done at twenty nine pages for three dollars, I do wish it had an index because this issue is slightly bigger then normal issues. The undead rules are very well done and there is a vast array of undead to keep your players busy but once again we've got the same issue that I've had with Skirmisher Publishing in the past. None of the content of this book is OGL. They used public domain sources such as Wiki for the artwork and interior art work modified but none of the sweet Mutant Future content from Chris Van Deelen or the Skirmisher crew is 'open game content'. This has been a huge thorn in my side with about ninety nine percent of their publications going back to Skirmisher Publishing's issue #1 of Wisdom From Wasteland. For me as a blogger & writer I understand their stance upon their trademark and copyright but its God damn frustrating too. Skirmisher Publishing makes some of the best content for Mutant Future out there but I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot radioactive pole. Without the OGL open game content label I can't publish or use these great monsters in an adventure or scenario for Mutant Future without the risk of legal action. This is something I'm not willing to do. See that's one of the reasons why its important for companies to use and produce 'open game content' it lets other writers and companies continue the OSR momentum while at the same time putting money in the coffers of companies. Because of the success of properties like Walking Dead, the Night of the Living Dead films, World War Z, and so many numerous video games,etc. zombies and thousands of variations are in circulation. This is because of a lapse in copyright & trade mark of the original Night of the Living Dead. The fact is that this another example of companies raiding the public domain without fueling the content to continue the creativity at the expense of future projects that could benefit the whole Mutant Future community. But is Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52 undead necessary or needed? Well in fact not at all. Labyrinth Lord and The Labyrinth Lord Advanced Companion both provide lots of undead and a zombie template that can be used with Mutant Future with little modification and some numbers crunching. What Issue #52 of WFW does is provide a whole host of zombie and undead nanite animated goodness. The rules cover the entire gammit of zombification and the various types of Mutant Future undead. There are over a dozen varieties and sub types across the board in Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52. The pdf is worth getting for the support of the monsters and zombies alone but this book covers the whole range of wasteland horrors. Do I think that Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52: Nanotech Undead is worth getting? Yes I do especially for Mutant Future and other OGL players but is this product for me? Probably not because I've got this end of the wasteland covered.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want to see more then please subscribe to see more reviews and support for this system and other OSR as well old school rpg system right over at http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52: Nanotech Undead
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Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/30/2016 20:48:54

I remain a huge Mutant Future rpg fan and in point of fact my copy of Mutant Future finally had the binding fall apart today after who knows how many wasteland outings. I usually use it for reference at my table despite whatever old school or OSR game I happen to be running. You can see the edges of the binding giving and well the rest wasn't pretty. This was a copy that I got back from a 'friend' after it was 'borrowed' over a year ago and traveled to Maine on an extended vacation. Now that being said there are other titles that I've used in the past that players are loath to see peeking out from under books such as anything written by the Skirmisher Publishing crew. This brings up one of the newest titles in their Mutant Future based and licensed product line. Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts is an expansive set of items that brings home the idea that certain relics are beyond unique. These are items that were beyond the cutting edge of the apocalypse's science. These are items that form those set pieces of the wasteland, those super science items and locations that form one of the backbones of adventuring in post apocalyptic environments. Things that PC's are going to have to unlock over time and with some very good rolls. The Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts book is mostly system neutral in point of fact and could be with a bit of work used for a wide variety of post apocalyptic campaigns. There's lots of options here for the DM to really use. There are eighty six unique items that come with this book; "Quantum Flux contains 86 unique superscience artifacts suitable for use in any modern, sci-fi, or post-apocalyptic setting, and range from amulets to buildings. They were designed to show game masters the possibilities for superscience artifacts in their campaigns while emphasizing that these items are not just treasure or one sentence, throw-away items. Each has a history that will hopefully enrich, inspire, possibly even drive your own gaming story and most entries are longer and more detailed than for equivalent gear in other equipment or treasure books." My advise is to use these items very sparingly with parties of adventurers within the post apocalyptic wastelands. That being said there are some fantastic super science items authors Derek Holland, & Chris Van Deelen do an excellent job of creating some weird relics and items. And how do these items relate to a Labyrinth Lord/ Mutant Future crossover game? Well according to the rules presented in the pdf ;"Each item has multiple functions, and every ability must be discovered with a separate technology roll. The artifacts’ powers are described using spells from the Advanced Edition Companion and mutations from Mutant Future, both published by Goblinoid Games. For easier reference, spells are boldfaced and mutations are italicized. These both appear in parentheses, and have the same ranges, effects, damages, etc. as the original craft or ability (unless otherwise noted). Each power takes an hour to recharge, unless noted. However, MLs are encouraged to customize items or powers to suit their games. Because comparing the objects would be apples versus radiators, a Caster Level gives the harried ML a relative scale for each item’s potential or strength." This style of rules & play works out quite nicely within the bounds of Mutant Future. So what sorts of items are we looking at? Well for example there's the Bear Mask which has all kinds of uses as a post apocalyptic shaman or druid's item;"Bear Mask (Caster Level 14) The Bear Mask is a realistic full-head covering, complete with fur, eyes, ears, and toothed muzzle. It was part of an animal themed toy line that allowed children to use harmless virtual matter projectors (see dInfinity #6: The Mythos for details on these devices). The various masks projected or “created” the animal they portrayed, which was controlled by the mask’s AI. A child could study the animals, play with them, or pretend to be one; for some reason, slug masks were unusually popular. Adults also used larger versions, but more as part of identity/ totem performance or fetish play. The masks generate subliminal light patterns to engage and stimulate certain areas of the wearer’s brain, a refinement of the seizure-causing effect of strobe flashes discovered many decades earlier. Before the final wars, some Ancient parents used the masks to increase emotional understanding (empathy) in their little sociopaths... err, children. Now, a segment of the Bear Mask’s AI just wants to cause physical and emotional pain, and study subjects’ responses. It does this by corrupting children, allowing their dreams and nightmares to become real for a time (Advanced Phantasmal Monsters). But the Mask can also protect its child with a powerful force field (Wall of Force). The wearer/Mask relationship is even more complex, beyond the artifact’s warped research. Another part of the AI still responds to instructions and can talk, but only to the child wearing the Mask. And the wearer must be a child: the AI will not work with an adult, nor will it talk to someone not wearing the Mask. This can lead to diagnoses (accusations) of spirit possession or mental illness, or believing the child has a “sixth sense” of some kind. A very emphatic child can have the Mask reduce pain felt by 2d4 people within 50', if the targets fail to save versus stun (pain insensitivity). The Mask AI also does this on its own, but to conceal the damage its victims suffer until it is too late for anyone to intervene. To further mess with its victims’ minds, and the minds of those around them, the Mask can warp light waves in a 100' diameter (vision impairment), but allow the child to see through it all (True Seeing). Another favorite trick of the Mask’s AI is to project large holograms of locations (Veil) taken from either an on board database or a wireless connection to outside image sources. For an additional twist, the Mask can paralyze up to 25 people and cover them with"

Now according to Skirmisher Publishing;"This licensed "Mutant Future" sourcebook contains 86 unique superscience artifacts suitable for use in any modern, sci-fi, or post-apocalyptic setting, and range from amulets to buildings. All can easily be adapted for other games, especially those using the d20 system as their basis." Umm yeah not quite as we shall see. There are over eighty six of these items and some fantastic items & relics to use in a D20 style game or OSR style games. From bot slayers to the Golden Turnip Machine these are some great relics with some really interesting and solid post apocalyptic wrinkles to them. As an OSR writer I wouldn't touch these items & relics with a barge pole; I read through Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts expecting to see the Open Game OGL content label which allowed me to use them for later publication . No such luck at all, in fact what I found was this;"All contents of this publication, regardless of other designation, are copyright 2015 Skirmisher Publishing LLC, all rights reserved."

After a recent court case I'm extremely careful to know where and when to step with regards certain items and relics found in the rpg wild. Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts makes me very nervous. I can see all kinds of uses for these items in the post apocalyptic wastelands. But this looks to me like a case of the kind of tomfoolery we saw back in the AD&D 3.5 D20 days of, "we've got the best toy box but you can't touch it." My answer to this is to open up the content for others to use. That being said I can easily see using this material in all kinds of places in old school or OSR publishing. Publishing's Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts gets a four out of five with the caveat that if Skirmisher Publishing wants a five out of five then go back and make all of these wonderful toys 'Open Game Content' so that others can play. One more thing I would do before purchasing is to wait for Drivethru or Rpgnow to have a sale as they frequently do before purchasing this one. As always keep those bones rolling. Eric Fabiaschi Want to see more reviews and support on this or other OSR products Be sure to subscribe to Swords & Stitchery for more original OSR content. http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Quantum Flux: Unique Superscience Artifacts
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Men & Monsters of the Aegean (BASH Fantasy)
by BENJAMIN N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2016 22:25:04

For the most part, MEN AND MONSTERS FO THE AEGEAN is a monster book for the BASH: FANTASY rules. However, it also does a good job of sketching out a setting based upon ancient Greece. The Aegean setting, is the magically infused world of Greek myth, mixed lightly with traditional fantasy elements thanks to a war with the titans, known as the Cataclysm, which devastated and altered the entire region (sinking islands and forging mountains) and also brought back a number of forgotten races and beasts not seen in ages (many of the familiar demi-humans and monsters of DnD fantasy).

The book provides two fantastic, colour maps of the region (one for Aegean region and another of the greater Mediterranean area). There is also a useful map of the island of Kos, the center of the Swords of Kos fantasy setting (described in greater detail in other Skirmisher Publishing products). Still, there is enough information in this book to comfortably integrate your players into the world of ancient Greece.

Nine nations and regions of the Aegean are described, each with but a few paragraphs of information. This is sufficient for the Narrator to grasp the regions in broad strokes (and perfect for those not wanting to be shackled by great volumes of stifling, encyclopaedic detail). This is a monster book, so if you are looking for more of this setting, check out THE PLAYER’S GUIDE TO THE AEGEAN and other products (http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/2132/Skirmisher-Publishing/subcategory/3908_8688/Swords-of-Kos-Fantasy-Campaign-Setting).

The section on non-humans describes a number of player-friendly races for the setting. You’ve got centaurs (and their larger cousins, the Cyprain Bull Centaur), spider/human hybrids (arachnaea), the Antaeans (half-giant descendants of Antaeus), dog-headed cynocephalians, merfolk (human/fish hybrids), satyrs (half-goat/half-human), and the myrmidon (a fierce, warrior-race of men, created by Zeus from ants; which also have many ant-like traits). It also has your standard DnD fantasy races (elves, half-elves, dwarves, halflings, orcs, and gnomes) that emerged during the Cataclysm.

The Monsters of the Aegean section offers a number of setting specific creatures but also takes half a dozen pages to describe how to integrate beasts, already described in BASH: FANTASY, into this game world (among which, already includes the Hydra, Harpy, Medusa and Minotaur).

New monsters offered: Humanoid Automaton, Calydonian Boar, Cetus, Carybdian, Koan Cyclops, Dog, Dolphins, Drakon, Empusa, Erynis, Giants (Hill, Frost, Fire, Dagonic, and Typhonic), Gnolls (Goblins and Hobgoblins), Bugbears, Hippalectryon, Hippocampus, Hyppogriff, Kerber, Lamia, Manticore, Old Man of the Sea, Ophiotaurus, Pegasus, Sea Leopard, Giant Serpents, Siren, four types of Sphinx, Mutant Squid, Stymphalian Birds, Triton, and Enlarged Vermin. All in all, there are 37 new creatures and creature variations (including a number of unique, setting specific variations of BASH: FANTASY like the various Giant types).

Each of the monsters and non-humans in this book is presented with an adventure worthy encounter description to help give you a ready-to-use story to involve your players with.

The end of the book offers random (d100) encounter tables for the location types (sea, islands, and the various coastal regions) as well as a table for the various types of humans that the heroes might run into while on their travels. There are also new weapon descriptions, a new talent (Sarissa and Shield: the ability to use a two-handed spear and shield together), a new power (Divine Champion, which gives the hero access to any one of three advantages for the duration of a scene), and a new disadvantage (Out if Its Element).

So, how does the book look? The interior art ranges from basic to beautiful. Some art line drawings, some are photos of architecture, tiled mosaics, sculptures and other genuine era, artisan creations. Other pieces are beautiful paintings and sketches created by genuine historic artists whose work is now in the public domain. There are a few typos and a couple of issues where stat blocks hang uncomfortably overtop of an image on that page (pg. 22, 48, and 68), or where text is integrated into a picture in a way that is difficult to read (pages 50, 53, 60).

Still, this is a well done monster book for ancient Greek adventuring and a welcome, and useful, addition to the BASH game system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Men & Monsters of the Aegean (BASH Fantasy)
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Men & Monsters of the Aegean (BASH Fantasy)
by Wilfredo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2016 17:52:14

As the title indicates, Men & Monsters of the Aegean is a useful bestiary for the Sword of Kos setting in the BASH Fantasy game. The fact that it describes creatures from classical mythology makes it a great reference source for other games or even when writing fiction, as well.

My favorite feature is the fact that the book makes it clear that most of these creatures are not necessarly malicious or uninteligent, and that violence is not the only answer when dealing with them. In fact every "monster" comes with an 'Adventure Hook' that shows how it can be used. Some of the hooks can be even be tied together for a longer adventure.

If I had a nit to pick, it would have to be the art. It ranges from crude drawings to full paintings. While I feel this is hardly important, some people might wonder at the inconsistency.

Overall, M&MOTA is a very well put-together sourcebook, more than just a simple bestiary. Recommended for fans of Mythology and Fantasy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Men & Monsters of the Aegean (BASH Fantasy)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2016 17:19:38

Men & Monsters of the Aegean is an excellent product that shows off the flexability of BASH Fantasy. It contains a slew of new player races and monsters. Men & Monsters also provides readers with a short primer on the Swords of Kos setting.

Men & Monsters excells at detailing all manner of monsters. It has everything from more 'standard' fantasy fare such as dwarves and elves to beasts such as hippogriffs an tritons. One of the best features is that every creature comes listed with an adventure hook. The hook is designed to allow people to place the creature directly into an existing campaign or as a springboard for a new adventure. There is also a section that provides information on new Items, Powers and more to help further flesh out a campaign.

I happily give this wonderful product a rating of 5-stars. Not only does it provide creative creatures based on our 'real-life' mythology but it provides a well thought out preview of the companies Swords of Kos setting.

Well done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Men & Monsters of Ethiopia: An RPG Sourcebook for 5th Edition
by matt D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/09/2016 05:20:54

This book adds about 23 new NPCs and Monsters. It has some pretty good new mechanics for a couple of the monsters, and the selection is certainly different from the series of monsters that we've all come to expect. Some of my favorite points: The villager is a great improvement on a commoner, using a fairly simple but inovative mechanic to make villagers feel useful to the PCs, and giving DMs a bit more to work with when using the simplist of NPCs the system has to offer. The dragon they add has some interesting flavor. I would have liked to see a side-bar for the dragon that explains the additional effects of spells like stoneshape or move earth, but very fact that there's a reason for that is why these dragons are cool and unique. (I don't want to spoil the feature). They've added a simple block for giving dragons spells. I really like this, but for me, they haven't gone far enough. One of the first times I DM's resulted in the PC's sneaking up on a sleeping dragon and nearly killing it in it's sleep, I vowed never to run an dumb or easy dragon again, and every dragon knows the alarm spell in my worlds. Back to the review, a good addition in this book: Dragons spellcaster rules. For the bad, I think the CR on a comple of creatures isn't quite correct. Also, the very first monster in the list has in my opinion, a poorly designed and explained attack. It allows multiple saving throws to completely avoid damage, and the damage isn't that significant compared to other attacks by a similar CR monster. The explaination of the effect is not effeciently worded and somewhat confusing. This had me worried that this would be a trend through the whole book. I can happily say that it is not, and they just have one badly written monster at the top of the list. Everything after that point is pretty solid.

So in conclusion, I'd say this is a fairly solid addition to the standard monster manual, particularly if you are planning to run a low level game in an outdoor world with african-like terrain.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Men & Monsters of Ethiopia: An RPG Sourcebook for 5th Edition
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Men & Monsters of Ethiopia: An RPG Sourcebook for 5th Edition
by Wayne W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2016 16:49:59

Men & Monsters of Ethiopia: An RPG Sourcebook for 5th Edition

by Michael O. Varhola

Men and monsters of Ethiopia is a somewhat different sourcebook for a system like 5th D&D. This book gets players and GMs out of the western Europe setting that most players are used to and takes them to a more desert and dry environment that most Players are not familiar with, and to very good effect.

The book is just full of new monsters and NPCs for this new setting. The NPCs are very well done and are my favorite part of the book A competent GM should be able to come up with many types of encounters with these NPCs and should have a large range of reactions ranging from information gathering, to dire combat.

The monsters range from the mildly irritating, to extremely deadly. The ARWEAN DRAGON was my favorite of the bunch, and I am really looking forward to putting this Dragon in my game.

The monsters listings have a detailed description. I think lots of plot seeds are in these descriptions and the start of many adventures are in here.

The book over all is well laid out and easily printed on my Black and white lazer printer. The color pages looked ok in grey scale. The line are is quite nice and prints out well. The color pages on my rather cheap ink jet printer look good and are easy to read for the most part.

If I have a complaint about the book, I would have liked to have seen a bit more background on a fantasy setting for Ethiopia, perhaps a small part of the Kos World that Skirmisher books also publishes. A fe more photos of what Ethiopia looks like would have been helpful to describe what the various terrain looks like

Also, the one page on Religion is a bit terse and could have used some extra information.

These are minor nit pics and the books is worth the price.

Ill be looking forward to more such location books from Mr Varhola, so use those frequent miles , Bub, and get cracking….



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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