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Worlds of Pulp: Vampire Construction Tables
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/21/2015 06:14:25
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/07/21/tabletop-review-worlds--
of-pulp-vampire-construction-tables/

I was one of 49 backers for Scaldcrow Games’ newest RPG, Ron Fortier’s Cape Noire, and since that won’t be out for another nine months or so, I thought I’d pick up their latest offering just to see the potential quality of what I’m getting.

Vampire Construction Titles is exactly what the title states – random generation tables for vampire NPCs. To use the tables, all you need are 2d6. However, the charts will be different. Some will be 2d6, while others are d66, which is where you roll two six sided dice and instead of adding the numbers together, you read them as separate numbers, so you would have 4-5, not nine, as your roll result. These are all fairly standard forms of doing random generation charts, so unless you’re completely new to using them (and thus RPGs in general), this should all be extremely instinctive.

Each table in this collection is more than a simple die roll followed by a one or two word description. Each result gives a decent sized explanation of what you just rolled. For example, the first table (Species Detail) gives you a paragraph explaining what the vampire type you generated is all about. Sure, some of these, like Ghouls and Revenants, aren’t actually vampires, but you DO get a lot of information that will help fire up your imagination in regards to how you will use this new creature. With this particular chart I would have been happier if the Species were actually different vampires of legend, like Lamia, Aswang, Stirgoi or Lillin, but I’m still impressed by the sheer amount of detail in this piece.

Other charts in this collection include appearance, country of origin, destruction, weaknesses, exposition character, vampiric origin, modus operandi and more. Rolling all of the charts will give you a very fleshed out vampire to use in your horror RPGs. This would probably work best with Chill or Call of Cthulhu, where a vampire’s stats and abilities aren’t set in stone. With some effort, you could make these tables work with a game like Ravenloft or Vampire: The Masquerade, but you’ll have to leave some of these charts out.

Now many of you, like myself, prefer to create NPCs from scratch and thus don’t have a use for random generation charts like this. However, for younger, less experienced or less imaginative GM’s, something like this collection of tables is a fantastic way to help you learn how to homebrew characters and even adventures. There’s even a “character sheet” at the end of the collection to keep all your roll results organized and in one spot. So this is a very well thought idea that is well worth the price tag if you primarily play horror RPGs.

About my only complaint with the piece is that the cover layout looks really amateurish (there are like five different fonts on it alone for example), but the inside of the PDF is nicely done. So don’t judge a book by its cover – literally in this case.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Worlds of Pulp: Vampire Construction Tables
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Worlds of Pulp: Vampire Construction Tables
by Robert D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2015 22:21:27
This is a pretty good product for those interested in creating unique vampires and need a little inspiration. My only issue with the tables is that they all only seem to allow for a single result. Many of the more famous vampires of myth and story have a number of powers and weaknesses - it would have been good if the book also suggested rolling a random number of powers/weaknesses for some of the tables (perhaps 1-6 to keep with the theme of only using 1 or 2d6).

Another suggestion is for some examples of vampires created using the tables. Even better if the examples could be of some well known vampires (even if copyright doesn't allow them to be named) - perhaps Dracula (book version), Varney the Vampire, Kurt Barlow, The Master (Jusef Sardu) etc.

Otherwise, I like this and think it was worth the money. I can certainly see myself referring to this regularly.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Actual Factual: Dracula - A Compendium of Vampires
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/02/2014 13:41:10
Actual Factual: Dracula - A Compendium of Vampires is an unassuming book. The cover is stock art (I am guessing, not sure) and the preview is text with a small amount of art. That and the $40 price tag (sale price $18) might scare some people off.

That would be a mistake.

Inside are 472 pages of detailed vampire types from all over the world.

In this book we are given a basic overview of vampires (aka the stuff everyone knows) and then we move quickly into the relationship between Vlad the Impaler and Vampires. I will honestly say that this section, while entertaining seems tacked on. The book would have been fine without it, but is likely better with it.

Next we get into the heart of this book. The Compendium of Vampires.
The A to Z section detail vampires from around the world and not only represents the bulk of the book (340+ pages), but also the bulk of the research.

Each entry contains the name of the vampire, pronunciation and translation of the name. Also listed are it's country or area of origin, type of creature (creature, spirit, demon...), how it appears, prefered prey, how often it attacks or feeds, Modus Operandi, abilities, defenses against it and how to kill it. Not every creature has everything listed, this is not a Monster Manual, but there are enough. In some cases the author has used her own imagination to fill in the blanks. This is fine really, given that the author is Theresa Bane.
But I guess if you want something purer you can go to her pages of resources.

There is a bibliography, which is almost as interesting to read as the entries themselves.

What follows next really puts this book into a different category of usefulness, the indexes.
First is a more common index of words, names and other things you might want to find in the book.

Next is an index of Abilities. So if you need a vampire that is Beautiful (as an ability) then you have GREEN OGRESS 124 and SUCCUBUS 274.

There is an index of Appearance. So "barbed tongue" gives you:
ASWANG MANDURUGO 23
BICHOHINDU 44
GROBNIK 125
KRVOIJAC 164
UPIER 294
WIESZCZY 330 (one of my favorite barbed tongue vampires).

An Index on Creation. Indexes of How Often it Attacks, How to Find, Origins, Prey, Types, and finally Weaknesses.

Now what would have been a nice touch would be to hyper link all these indexes to the main document. But I am not complaining.

What the book lacks in art, there are only a few pieces, it makes up for in research and utility.
You can debate on whether or not Creature Y is a vampire or not, but I can't fault the authors for doing all this work.

All in all a great book. A must have if you are at all a fan of vampires or use them in your games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Actual Factual: Dracula - A Compendium of Vampires
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Worlds of Pulp: Generic Random Event tables for Super Heroes
by Luke M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2014 13:58:18
great for needed unexpected plot encounters. Adaptable to any supers SW setting.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Worlds of Pulp: Generic Random Event tables for Super Heroes
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Worlds of Pulp: Generic Random Event tables for Super Heroes
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2014 11:30:16
What do super heroes actually do?

The average super hero's day is spent racing around in a fancy outfit fighting super villains, stopping criminals in their tracks and dealing with accidents and natural disasters, right? But have you ever stopped to think about how they find out what's going down and get to the right place to deal with it? Not everyone has a good enough relationship with the local police to have their own version of the Bat Sign beamed out when they are needed, and not every plotline walks up and taps on the door of their secret lair.

For that matter, how do you, the GM, decide what this week's exciting adventure will be?

This product has an answer. Imagine that our super heroes go 'on patrol' around their local area, and then deal with whatever comes up. When they go out, grab these tables and roll some dice. The first table gives a storyline in broad strokes, then sub-tables refine the ideas... Just reading through the options may suggest an idea for an adventure, or an idea may strike as you roll.

To add a little spice, there are several tables of 'Plot Twists' to add to the core outline already generated. It is recommended that they are used quite sparingly, and not until you are several sessions into a campaign as many build on events that have already taken place in your game world - which is, of course, an excellent way of reinforcing the shared alternate reality that you and your players are creating.

This is a fun and useful resource worth a look for any GM running games in this genre, irrespective of the game system being used.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
by Jay H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2014 06:09:34
Perfect addition to the Bare Bones setting's line of products. The action doesn't pause, and for a pulp setting that's important. the setting is rich in both characters and background, and offers plenty of options for adventures. Highly recommended!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
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The Tower of Dr. Alienstein (Revised Edition)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2014 15:47:36
This is a good concise supplement for the Bare Bones gaming system. The story starters are a quick and useful way to get a game started with plenty of room for creativity from the GM. I particularly like the Cosmic Eye construct for guiding the GM in the story telling without being too specific. Fun stuff.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Tower of Dr. Alienstein (Revised Edition)
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Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
by Nash P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2013 20:44:19
Just like Scaldcrow Games’ Rotwang City: City of Shadows, Amazing Pulp Adventures also uses the Bare Bones rules system, which I enjoy for its simplicity that allows players to get past the “learn” and to the “fun” quicker than other gaming systems. With a large cast of characters, archetypes, and adventure scenarios to choose from, this is a book I highly recommend for first-time gamers and seasoned pros alike.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
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Rotwang City: The City of Shadows Role Playing Game
by Nash P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2013 20:20:04
Got my game in time for the holidays and was not disappointed! The rules are simpler to follow than other games I've played, which meant less time learning the system and more time having fun around the gaming table. Lots of character types, story hooks, and villains vs. heroes to choose from, plus a gritty underworld with multiple settings...a game I highly recommend for anybody wanting to experience pulp at its finest.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rotwang City: The City of Shadows Role Playing Game
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Rotwang City: The City of Shadows Role Playing Game
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2013 10:09:26
Rotwang City is a dark and scary place, populated by everything from jaded detectives to alien monsters. If you want a campaign that mixes the Maltese Falcon with classic Horror films, then you have come to the right place.
The Bare Bones system is quick to learn and only requires 2d6. No messy rules or complicated tables involved. It is a system that doesn't level restrictions on the player's imagination, allowing them to be the character they want to be and still be balanced and fun for the game. I have been fortunate enough to play a game in Rotwang City at MACE in Charlotte, NC, and learned the system in less than ten minutes for a few hours of the most entertaining role playing I've ever had. This is a great system for those that like to use their dice to supplement their role playing instead of driving it. The Cosmic Eye is also a great tool for any RPG system, not just Bare Bones, as it allows GMs to come up with quick answers to those questions that the players always come up with and you didn't prepare for them (they always manage it no matter how well you prepare.)
Rotwang City gives the players the Archetypes needed to pull the flavor of the pulp noir genre into your characters and gives you the chance to play everything from Bare nuckle boxers to secretive sorcerors. The narrative hooks give GMs good starting places to create your own dark adventures in Rotwang.

If your gaming group has always wanted to play the hard boiled detective who might just run into everything from Lovecraftian Cultists to Magically Gifted Gangsters than Rotwang City is a perfect addition to your gaming table.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2013 09:57:57
Have you always been fascinated by the radio plays from the 30s and 40s? Have you ever been lucky enough to listen to replays of the Green Hornet and Phantom broadcasts? This is the world that Davey Beauchamp captures in Amazing Pulp Adventures. Welcome to the City of Tomorrow, To-day. Sapphire City is populated by super heroes and villains inspired by the very beginning of the genre and its well worth the look.
First the system, bare bones is easy to learn, requires only 2d6 and doesn't put a heavy burden of rules knowledge on the players. It is a system designed for those who want to use dice to supplement their role playing instead of driving it. The GM's Cosmic Eye is a great addition to any game system, allowing the GM to come up with quick answers to the questions the players come up with that you weren't prepared for (and they always do). Character creation is much more about what the player wants to create instead of restricting the things they can't do. Any power is acceptable in the Bare Bones system, as long as you can justify its use through RP and your character. Bare Bones is designed to allow the GM to say "Yes" to the player and gives a lot of creative lee way.

The characters and setting in APA are fantastic and perfect for the genre. Each character has a signature move, that one powerful attack that is always followed up by a one liner. Successfully using your Signature move gets you an award of a Boxcar, which you can add to future rolls. The guide to designing your character walks you through Golden Age costume tropes and archetypes, helping you adapt that early heroes feel to your campaign. No spandex here, instead you can choose from goggles, fedoras, capes and even boomerangs.
The story of the campaign, the heroes and its villains are well thought out and come with enough background to allow the GM to craft the stories that are essential to APA, and the story hooks give good starting points to creating your own adventures in Sapphire City.

If your gaming party loves Golden Age super heroes and has the habit of yelling out one liners even when they are smashing up orcs and goblins, then APA could be the perfect gaming book for your table.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
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The Tower of Dr. Alienstein (Revised Edition)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2013 09:40:15
The Tower of Dr. Alienstein is a perfect roleplaying supplement for that gaming group that is into heavy roleplay, strange atmospheres and classic horror tropes mixed with the campiness of old black and white genre films.
The book starts with a thorough introduction to the Bare Bones RPG system, which is quick to learn and isn't bogged down by massive amounts of rules and details. The only dice needed are d6s and the only chart needed is the success table. After the rules, we delve into the plot behind Dr. Alienstein and its a wierd one, in that fun crazy way that pulp horror can be. The adventure is well laid out, the maps are detailed and allow the GM to provide the atmosphere that is required for this genre of game.
One of the more exciting things about the book is the addition of the GM's Cosmic Eye. This handy table doesn't just work for Bare Bones but is perfect for any game when the players toss out questions you hadn't considered (and they always do). The Cosmic Eye allows you to roll 2 d6 and determine whether the outcome is Positive or Negative, Good or Bad and then you can elaborate quickly from there.
This system is very much made for the Role play heavy group, so if your table has seen Plan 9 From Outer Space a million times, or if they love to imitate Boris Karloff, this is the right RP supplement for you.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Tower of Dr. Alienstein (Revised Edition)
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Rotwang City: The City of Shadows Role Playing Game
by Xavier N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2013 05:05:49
Please edit margin, spacing and also text, actually is very hard to read the book. Then i will update my grade

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Rotwang City: The City of Shadows Role Playing Game
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Publisher Reply:
The file is originally formatted to 6x9\". If you are using an IPod, Kendle, Nook, or other reader, this would not be a problem, however if you are printing the document, it will print smaller on 8.5 x 11. If you are printing this manuscript, then I would suggest using the function, \"fit to printable area.\" Otherwise, the body copy of the book is at 11 point centaur. The fast preview at Drivethru RPG is accurate as to how this should appear. I hope this helps. Otherwise, you can always contact me directly at admin@scaldcrow.com and I will attempt to address your concerns directly.
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
by Xavier N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2013 05:05:14
Please edit margin, spacing and also text, actually is very hard to read the book. Then i will update my grade

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures-Role Playing Game
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
The file is originally formatted to 6x9\". If you are using an IPod, Kendle, Nook, or other reader, this would not be a problem, however if you are printing the document, it will print smaller on 8.5 x 11. If you are printing this manuscript, then I would suggest using the function, \"fit to printable area.\" Otherwise, the body copy of the book is at 11 point centaur. The fast preview at Drivethru RPG is accurate as to how this should appear. I hope this helps. Otherwise, you can always contact me directly at admin@scaldcrow.com and I will attempt to address your concerns directly.
The Tower of Dr. Alienstein (Revised Edition)
by Xavier N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2013 05:04:55
Please edit margin, spacing and also text, actually is very hard to read the book. Then i will update my grade

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Tower of Dr. Alienstein (Revised Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
The file is originally formatted to 6x9\". If you are using an IPod, Kendle, Nook, or other reader, this would not be a problem, however if you are printing the document, it will print smaller on 8.5 x 11. If you are printing this manuscript, then I would suggest using the function, \"fit to printable area.\" Otherwise, the body copy of the book is at 11 point centaur. The fast preview at Drivethru RPG is accurate as to how this should appear. I hope this helps. Otherwise, you can always contact me directly at admin@scaldcrow.com and I will attempt to address your concerns directly.
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