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Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2012 23:11:14
WHAT WORKS: Epic conclusion? Check. Still leaves the setting intact? Check. Righteous butt-kicking of major NPC, entirely at the hands of the PCs? Check. Random Adventure Generator and expanded Martial Arts Edges are just very sweet icing on the cake.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: I'm not really sure what you want. I mean, even if you have no use for the Plot Point Campaign, the entire player's section is free. New mechanics and all. That said, more than a few of the art pieces are recycled, and that does tend to bug some folks.

CONCLUSION: The book blows up Reloaded martial artists, provides 34 new Savage Tales and a plot point campaign that gives players the chance to get right up in the face of one of the Big Bads of the Deadlands setting and be Big Damn Heroes. $35 ain't much for a hardcover these days, and it's a gorgeous book to boot. The first of the Deadlands PPCs sets a high bar for the rest of the series.

For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/04/tommys-take-o-
n-deadlands-reloaded-flood.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: The Flood
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Deadlands Reloaded: Player's Guide Explorer's Edition
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2012 18:38:13
I must say that Pinnacle / Studio 2 certainly know how to put beautiful RPG books together. The art in the Deadland's Reloaded Player's Guide is nothing short of amazing - everything evokes the atmosphere of the setting. You are given express permission to print the PDF for personal use, but the ink cost would be insane. Still, its a nice gesture.

From a technical standpoint, the Deadland Reloaded Player's Guide PDF is aces. Not only is it bookmarked, but the Table of Contents is hyperlinked. Huzzah!

As for the contents of the book, we get the setting background from the player character's POV. It should be enough to get most players IN character. Character generation (including new hindrances and edges), gear and goodies, unique setting rules... it's all there. Some GMs may feel there is too much there for the players, but as this is an alternate history setting, and the PCs are living it, I think it's perfectly fine to bring the players (mostly) up to speed.

This coupled with the Gamemaster's Guide and the core Savage Worlds rules are all that are needed to run a Deadlands game (and from what I've heard, you probably want the Horror Companion too). I'm hoping to run a story arc or two using the Deadlands setting starting in the summer. Hopefully it's enough time to bring me up to speed ;)

But that's okay, as the Deadlands Player's Guide doesn't read so much like an RPG sourcebook but more like an actual guide to the "Weird West". Therein lies half the fun ;)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Player's Guide Explorer's Edition
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GM Screen Inserts--Deadlands Classic
by larry m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2012 16:17:07
Excellent Screen, Works perfectly in my gm screen. Great info well presented.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM Screen Inserts--Deadlands Classic
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Low Life
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/09/2012 21:46:47
WHAT WORKS: It is, by far, the most unique setting I have ever read...for better or for worse. A common complaint about the plot point campaigns is that they tend to wreck the setting...this one really doesn't. Atmosphere is jam packed into the book, with the extensive listings of trappings for the powers as well as one of the most eclectic sets of Edges and Hindrances I've ever seen.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The setting DEFINITELY isn't going to be for everyone. Snot Goblin Pimps are a bit harder to get into, usually, than something more "basic".

CONCLUSION: Andy Hopp's artwork has a bizarre, yet charming feel to it. The book has a lot of things that you just can't re-skin from Savage Worlds, and does a nice job filling in the gaps. It's definitely the book I would most like to use but am the least likely to ever be able to do so, because I cannot get anyone to take it seriously when I describe it. A shame, really, because I think a lot of fun could be had with it.

For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/04/tommys-take-o-
n-low-life.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Low Life
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GM Screen Inserts--Tour of Darkness
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2012 16:15:46
Buy it mostly for the artwork.

This set features good artwork that will make for a decent looking screen. However there are lots of setting-specific references that should be and could be part of this set.

The tables and such chosen for this set of inserts seem like they were chosen by someone who knows the game very well indeed and only needs a bit of privacy, not quick reference to setting specific details. I needed to make my own inserts to go with this set.

Tour of Darkness is filled with groovy potential, and like some of the best classic horror RPG settings, the GM can use a hand getting the flavour-rich environment details right.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
GM Screen Inserts--Tour of Darkness
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Deadlands Reloaded: Smith & Robards 1880 Catalog
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/04/2012 23:29:44
WHAT WORKS: I love it when awesome stuff from Classic gets updated to Reloaded...and that's what this is. The Scrappers aren't going to be for everybody, but the insane elements of Deadlands are part of what I love about it. Plus the random tables, customization options and so on...and yeah. Good stuff here.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: We've never used a ton of Weird Science devices in our games, but MAN they seem like they would be an almost pointless money pit sometimes.

CONCLUSION: This book really is just an updating of material from Deadlands Classic, bringing it in line with Deadlands Reloaded, but as far as I'm concerned, that's not a bad thing. As more and more Deadlands Classic stuff is brought up, the less people can complain about the alleged "lack of flavor" Reloaded has, and the less work I have to do converting Classic stuff to Reloaded. Thumbs up. A MUST BUY? No...but I am sure pleased with it.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/04/tommys-take-o-
n-deadlands-smith-robards.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Smith & Robards 1880 Catalog
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Deadlands: Toxic Tunes Soundtrack
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/04/2012 18:52:39
“The Last War,” the first track in this collection, perfectly blends rock music with melodies straight out of old (spaghetti) westerns for seven and a half minutes of pure listening pleasure. Unfortunately, the other tracks don’t match the excellence of “The Last War.” “After the Bombs” (track 2) is pretty good, though it has some parts that drag and it’s unsuitable for looping, making it inconvenient to use in the background. “The Rock Hard Saloon” doesn’t imply a “saloon” at all, musically; it’s more like “the irradiated disco lounge,” with nice enough music but violating genre expectations if you’re listening to the album in track order. “Denver” made me think of 60s sci-fi movie and TV scenes where explorers interact with an unfamiliar computer. I didn’t care much for “Drifter,” and although I liked the middle four minutes of “Junker’s Jam,” those strange two minutes on the outside really diminished it for me. The first six minutes or so of “The Ruins” would make great ambience music for post-apocalyptic desert scenes, but the track gets weird and almost literally painful (due to the specific tones and pitches used) for about a couple of minutes starting around the six-minute mark. “Law Dogs” has the right tempo, beat, and energy for a good chase scene, but it lacks the western vibe that I liked so much in “The Last War.” “Welcome to Hell” is only a minute long; “The Fight Goes On” is good, but feels more like “the song that plays under the credits.” This collection turns out to be very much a mixed bag for me. Given a chance, I’d rate it as three and a half stars. Since half-stars aren’t available, I rounded down just to be on the “safe” side.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands: Toxic Tunes Soundtrack
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Deadlands Reloaded: Marshal's Handbook Explorer's Edition
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2012 19:24:57
I first found Deadlands when it was it's own stand alone system. For all intent and purposes, it was the precursor to the Savage Worlds system.

Now I find myself looking at it through a new lens - Deadlands Reloaded: Marshall's Handbook (Explorer's Edition) for Savage Worlds. In a way, we've come full circle.

I still love the divergent history that is the setting of Deadlands. American Western movies are pretty much our version of Avalon, King Arthur and the rest of the English / Celtic legends. Deadlands starts with that Western assumption, throws in undead and magic, changes some major historical events and gives us a huge amount of awesomeness - if your players like Westerns.

Some folks don't like sci-fi, some don't like fantasy, some don't like westerns and others don't like horror. Deadlands is a fantastical western horror setting (with some steampunkish elements), so it will either hit a lot of buttons for your group or miss a lot. It hits all of the sweet spots for me.

The Marshal's Handbook gives us background and history, the major players, critters, new rules for the setting - pretty much everything you need to get the game moving from the GM's side of the table.

The PDF itself is well bookmarked and hyperlinked. For a PDF coming in over 175 pages, these are pretty much necessities. Heck, they even give permission to print the document for personal use. You can even use layer controls to efficiently print the pages, which is nice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Marshal's Handbook Explorer's Edition
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Savage Worlds Deluxe
by David G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2012 12:33:11
We played this for the first time the other night. I like the quick character creation and swift combat rules. We picked up the system very quickly. The inclusion of poker chips and playing cards as aids was fun and it was nice as GM to give out "benny" awards rather than having to give XP.

Why not five stars?

The character progress is much steadier than than D&D or GURPS, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but will probably upset power gamers. The high level combat also gets a bit broken. With raises being given out for every 4 points beyond the target number dice rolls with large variance are going to cause wildly different effects. I'd like to see the threshold for raises scale in relation to toughness so a high level creature/npc/vehicle/pc would have to have maybe 6 or more to get a raise to wound them. I'll try it out a bit more but I think that will undoubtedly become a house rule. A simple table of toughness to raise threshold fixes that without complicating the rules.

The book itself is laid out well and includes a beastiary without needing to buy a supplement. Yay! It would have been nice to have some more npc stats too, such as a mixture of guards, common people (or whatever) as standard but I suppose those will be in the supplements. It doesn't take long to knock them up but GMs are lazy. There are sample wild card characters in there to start play quickly which means you could be starting a game from scratch in minutes.

The vehicle/items list as more than sufficient for instant play but I would have liked to have seen some rules for flying/space combat. It felt like those were missing especially in my Sci-fi campaign.

Overall a very flexible and fun system. I emphasize the "fun" aspect. Having been playing GURPS for two years it's very nice to get away from the simulation style game to something more swashbuckly. I noticed my players were just having fun rather than adding up stats and modifiers even in the first session. I'd happily recommend it to any level of gamer and expect to get a lot of use out of it. If Pinnacle just did one of two of the tweaks I mentioned I'd happily have given this five stars.

Easy and fun without sacrificing flexibility.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Deluxe
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Deadlands Reloaded: Marshal's Handbook Explorer's Edition
by Berin K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2012 09:13:11
So many great things, all rolled into one! The original Deadlands (specifically, The Great Rail Wars) had a large influence on the Savage Worlds system, and then in 2006 a Savage Worlds version of Deadlands was released. Now, finally, both the Player's Guide and the Marshall's Handbook have been released in the digest-sized Explorer's Edition format! Every word from the larger, hardcover editions, reformatted (some of the artwork reduced and rearranged) and lower in price. Deadlands is the benchmark against which all other "weird west" settings should be measured, for both the richness of the setting and the wide array of character types open to players.

The Marshal's handbook has all of the "secret history" and background details on the setting that the player characters get to discover in-game, as well as a nice array of critters to combat.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Marshal's Handbook Explorer's Edition
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Deadlands Reloaded: Player's Guide Explorer's Edition
by Berin K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2012 09:11:03
So many great things, all rolled into one! The original Deadlands (specifically, The Great Rail Wars) had a large influence on the Savage Worlds system, and then in 2006 a Savage Worlds version of Deadlands was released. Now, finally, both the Player's Guide and the Marshall's Handbook have been released in the digest-sized Explorer's Edition format! Every word from the larger, hardcover editions, reformatted (some of the artwork reduced and rearranged) and lower in price. Deadlands is the benchmark against which all other "weird west" settings should be measured, for both the richness of the setting and the wide array of character types open to players.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deadlands Reloaded: Player's Guide Explorer's Edition
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Savage Worlds: Test Drive
by warren f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2012 22:55:55
For a free sampler, this is an amazingly well done product that both introduces the rules of Savage Worlds & offers a sample adventure that is pretty cool as well. I don't have any major gripes, but I may once I get into actually playing through it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds: Test Drive
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Savage Worlds Horror Companion
by Jon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2012 13:35:09
I have the other SW "Companion" books, so I knew that this one would likely be as good. Supplements can be so much fluff, particularly in a system like SW, where sandbox style is so encouraged. Who needs it, right? I can make up my own stuff without it! What I've found with these Companion books though, is that there is so much juicy inspiration for both player and GM, that they're worth having.

As has been stated in other reviews, I really dont so much need the GM tips section, but the spells, magic items and critters sections are worth the price of admission. I'm running Deadlands, but this stuff is usable in horror western, modern, or sci-fi horror settings perfectly well.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Horror Companion
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50 Fathoms Explorer's Edition Player's Guide
by Idle R. H. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/10/2012 08:20:02
50 Fathoms Explorer's Edition Player's Guide is a nice little book of nautical heroism for the Savage Worlds system. It introduces a hefty selection of new Edges and Hindrances, gear, and setting rules that really bring out the swashbuckling theme. There is a whole section on ships including deck maps, mechanics on how to navigate and sail them, how to crew them and how to make sure the sailors get paid enough to not mutiny.

The included setting of Caribdus seems a bit like a aquatic-themed D&D. There are eight new races (not including humans) which makes the world feel rather cramped to me, especially given the small amount of dry land available. The setting is definitely high fantasy, with a few new appropriate spells and spell trappings. These elements are easy enough to strip out if you wanted to run a mundane swashbuckling campaign, though. I could even see these rules being used to run a steampunk style game, with flying galleons and sky pirates.

Basically, 50 Fathoms EEPG is a great resource at a great price for players and GMs looking to add some high seas adventure to their games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
50 Fathoms Explorer's Edition Player's Guide
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Savage Worlds Horror Companion
by Idle R. H. P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2012 05:31:50
I'll start this review off by saying that I'm not really a fan of the Savage Worlds system. Which is why I was surprised when I found myself actually liking the Savage Worlds Horror Companion.

The book is basically a collection of new rules and options for GMs and players who want to run horror style games in Savage Worlds. The book doesn't have to be used as a whole, but rather allows players to pick and choose specific options and rule modifications to create various flavors of horror. There are rules for making different sort of monstrous characters if your players actually want to be the things that go bump in the night; there is new equipment that ranges from serious to silly and spans several eras; and there are setting rules to turn your game into a gore-drenched slasher flick, a Lovecraftian game of cosmic evil, or an action horror game of monster hunting. There is a substantial section of horror creatures taken from many different traditions, a chapter on using magic in horror games, and a great section on how to game master horror games.

I think I like this book so much because it tones down some of the "heroes should be heroic" feel that the standard Savage Worlds game has. I prefer games that feature ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations and seeing if they are able to rise to the challenge. This book allows me to do precisely that. I would even encourage people who find Savage Words a bit too heroic to give this title a look. You may find that the system is capable of doing things you didn't think were possible.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds Horror Companion
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