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RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2017 20:37:08

So I went to Rpg Pundits publisher & asked to get myself a copy of RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours. for review. This isn't a regular book of hours, a regular book of hours is, "a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. ... Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and psalms, often with appropriate decorations, for Christian devotion." Umm no this isn't remote a book like that, instead this a book of magick & occult knowledge that I happen to know something about. This is a text of occult knowledge that I wished I had when running Lamentations of the Flame Princess & Dark Albion. Why because the Book of the Art of Hours provides rites & rituals that do something different & unique within an occult context that a wizard needs within an old school campaign that makes him or her unique & dangerous. Like many occult & magick texts this one is ascribed to a powerful Christian Saint of some renowned. So what is the Book of the Art of Hours? "The strange and powerful Book of the Art of Hours was said to have been revealed to the great wizard St. Apollonius at Corinth, where he ascended to the Third Sphere of the Seven Heavens. It reveals the method of contacting and summoning discarnate spirits that rule over the twenty-four magical hours of the day, and describes what gifts those spirits can provide." Book of the Art of Hours provides a fast & flexible ritual system that quickly & easily adds more scope to a wizard by providing them with a series of incantations & spells that can aid in old school play. These are rituals that only take fifteen minutes within the game setting & provide some very interesting & dangerous spirits at the caster's beckon & call provided that they have a Table of Operations available to them.

"This text reveals the method of contacting discarnate spirits that rule over the twenty-four magical hours of the day. These hours are not quite the normal hours of a day, because they must be calculated in a certain way. There are twelve hours of day and twelve of night. To know the time each hour takes, you must calculate the moment of sunrise and sunset. Taking the whole time from sunrise to sunset and dividing it by twelve gets you the length of each hour of day; doing the same from sunset to sunrise gives you each hour of night. Thus, the hours of the day are longer than night at certain times of year, or vice-versa at other times. Each of the twenty-four spirits can only be summoned on their particular hour of the day or night. The ritual of summoning itself takes only about fifteen minutes to perform, but it requires that the magician ceremonially wash himself beforehand (this can be done before the hour of the summoning starts). To summon the spirit, the magician requires the use of a Table of Operations, which is a special board that contains symbols of the sun and planets. These are arranged in a certain orientation, depending on the spirit being summoned. The construction of a Table of Operations costs about 30gp (2L in Dark Albion), and requires 1d4 weeks at the hands of a skilled craftsman."

Clocking in at only ten pages I surprised & delighted at the layout & easy of reading material. This isn't stodgy & over the top OSR rpg magick book. Instead its simple down to Earth with language that covers the reader in exactly what its trying to do. RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours. presents a ritual & rite system for the summoning of the spirits of the Hours in the first book & a very dangerous second section that discusses a death rite that has all kinds of applications for adventure construction.

What the hell I'm I talking about? Well let's take a look at the spirit of the eleventh hour number 11. Athos Spirit of the Eleventh Hour (DC: 16+1d4) This spirit can cause a house of the magician’s choosing to collapse. It can be constructed of wood or bricks, but not solid stone. There is obviously a risk of anyone inside taking damage. The magician can instead request a person be compelled to walk out of a house (this person can make a saving throw if they have strong enough motive to remain inside the house)." Minor shrines, small Roman style miniature temples, etc can all be brought down on the heads of priests or officials. Doesn't seem like a big deal but when your talking about a retroclone game such as Lamentations or Dark Albion it could get a PC burnt at the stake. For Lamentations of the Flame Princess this is a great addition because The Book of the Art of Hours. is exactly the sort of weird occult tome that would be present in a an academic occultist's library or an educated witch's study. Just the sort of tome to get the PC's in way in over their collective heads when their own wizard tries these rites and rituals. For Dark Albion the book's character doesn't have to change & its timing in history is right for the War of the Roses. Copies of this book might be under lock & key especially when some of its content can alter the behavior of Albion royals, temple guards,even minor couriers might be affected by some of the spells. There's also that tricky little matter of possession by spirits. Take for example the spirit of the third hour;"3. Thena Spirit of the Third Hour (DC: 10+1d8) This spirit causes discord, making two individuals of the magician’s choosing enter into conflict. The magician must know the true name of both individuals. If the two individuals have an intense love (platonic, familial, or romantic) for each other, they both get a saving throw to resist." Given the lower tier NPC levels of Dark Albion some of the spells in The Book of the Art of Hours. could change the tide of a campaign's direction. But given some of the forces of the occult from Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos, the PC's are going to need the edge that the spirits of the Book of the Art of Hours bring to the table. Surely there's nothing then that The Book of the Art of Hours could offer a traditional original, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons , or B/X Dungeons & Dragons party?

Well given that some of these spirits have a practical & very down to Earth application there are definitely some solid spirits that a wizard could bring to bare. The spirit of the first hour is perfect for a wide variety of applications especially for party's thieves, bards, and other outlaws;1. Thamore Spirit of the First Hour (DC: 10+1d10) The spirit can free a captive from their bonds or cells—jail doors open, and shackles or ropes slip off, for example. The magician must know the captive’s name and where he is imprisoned."

The second half of the book has a rite of death magick that allows one to know the circumstances surrounding the death of the spell's target. There's an air of destiny about this spell that touches on dealing with the spirit of Death herself. Now I mentioned earlier in this review about the great wizard St. Apollonius at Corinth, where he ascended to the Third Sphere of the Seven Heavens. Well dallying in the affairs of death & having truck with spirits of Death is essentially necromancy. The Seventh Heavens are present in many of the worlds religions & the third Heaven is mentioned in the epistle of the Apostle Paul as very important;

"An epistle of the Apostle Paul, included in the New Testament, contains an explicit reference to the Third Heaven. In a letter to the Corinthian church he writes, "I know a man in Christ" (usually interpreted as: himself) "who fourteen years ago was caught up to the Third Heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Corinthians 12:2–4) The Greek says "caught away", not "caught up" possibly reflecting Jewish beliefs that Paradise was somewhere other than the uppermost heaven.[16]

In the Second Book of Enoch, Enoch travels through the seven heavens and gives geographical and visual documentation of them, describing houses, olive oil and flowers. He passes through the Garden of Eden in the Third Heaven on his way to meet the Lord in the 7th Heaven" There are secrets that The Book of the Art of Hours

might reveal that might mean the intersession of an angel of Death or worse if abused. PC's dallying with such occult books must watch their steps. The Book of the Art of Hours

like all good rpg products spins more adventure fodder the more one dives into it. Are there quibbles? My only minor quibble is that there should have been more to it with a bit of the book's back history & perhaps its place within real world history. The The Book of the Art of Hours

appearance during the Hundred Years War at a pivot moment in history & time might have contributed to a some decisive directions that history took in both the real world & Albion. Do I think The Book of the Art of Hours is worth getting? In a word yes because of the ideas,spirits, rituals, and substance that this product brings to the gaming table. The product does all of this in ten pages & at two dollars. So yes its a five out of five product in my book.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want to see more reviews & support for this & other OSR products? Then please subcribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #9: The Book of the Art of Hours
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RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons
by Dan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2017 22:12:24

As Robert P mentioned, it is a nice little book if you want to add firearms to an OSR campaign. For the most part, it is functional and if you are running Science Fiction or Space Opera, and maybe even Hard Science Fiction, then the book covers it fine.

I have already mentioned to Pundit that I have a couple of mild disagreements sort of and I think a bit of the material can be expanded on. The book itself is basically an abridged take on firearms, which is not a bad thing. My comments are mostly personal preference.

My major disagreement is Pundit's assertion that plasma weapons do not use burst fire. Every single blaster in Star Wars is a plasma weapon, and if you happen to be a being of living tissue over a metal endoskeleton firing a Westinghouse M-27 Phased Plasma Pulse Rifle, then you most certainly have burst fire. That is easily fixed by the GM simple allowig plasma weapons to have burst fire, so no big deal.

In any case, if you want a quick source of guns for your OSR game, be it fantasy or otherwise, this is a decent book to pick up. It's only a couple of bucks.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons
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RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons
by Robert P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2017 18:06:22

Excellent product! If you want to add some hi-tech weaponry to your OSR games - from slug throwers to precision lasers. Covers a lot of material in eight pages with some good mechanics for implementing them into your game. Good production quality as well… Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia
by Ron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2017 16:11:58

In need of a demon and the kind of stuff he can do to your victim Eh pc ? Expert GM's may not need this for the summoning spell, but it does have a list of the kind of stuff demons inspired by medieval occult lore could do.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia
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RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef
by Ron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2017 10:12:57

It's short and sweet. If you need a few guidelines on what to tell your players when they decide to snack on a random creature then this will help you. It's nothing a good GM couldn't improvise himself, but to newbies like me it is interesting to see how one could apply rules to this type of question.

It does make me wonder what the fantasy equivalent to a "Bear Grylls' survival handbook" would be like ...

Summary : I'm hungry for more.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef
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The Solo Wargaming Guide
by Peter J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2016 15:37:22

The system for determining weather will be particularly useful. I also enjoyed reading the examples of the author's campaigns.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Solo Wargaming Guide
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Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir RPG (Third Edition)
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/27/2016 05:12:04

Thoughts:

  • I like the openness of the world. Given how undocumented the world is, it's easy to insert pretty much whatever you want, from places to creatures. Doubly so when you factor in that the setting explicitly hasn't closed its doors to other dimensions.
  • I am a huge fan of the magic system. Reminds me a bit of the system from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which has both a similar flexibility and danger.
  • The book is black and white, and the whole aesthetic feeds into the "noir" tone of setting very well. None of the art is very bad, most of it is very fitting, and a lot of it is downright great.
  • The species options almost seem a little over the top. With 16 options, some of them seem excessive (or downright weird, looking at you, Orrim). While I generally err on the side of "give them choices", the "Points of Light" setting with humans at the top of a food chain that includes 15 other viable species (plus the NPC options) feels like a stretch to me, unless each species is in such low of numbers that they have no real power. This clearly doesn't apply to Taxim, at least, as they are the most powerful union in Selastos.
  • I've always like the idea of exploits in GenreDiversion. I've never tried the system in play, but I'd be willing to.
  • Experience can be used in ways other than advancement, as "creative editing/story control" that allows you to introduce subplots to the game, or invoke specific features based on your role (like a Sentinel being able to call in reinforcements or a Private Detective automatically noticing a clue). I dig mechanics like this in games, especially when it's light and unobtrusive.
  • It's weird and doesn't make any sense, but the setting is juuuuust a bit harder to wrap my head around than it should be, even though it's really just a fantasy setting with fewer swords and orcs and more gumshoes and night clubs. I love the concept (and the magic..a lot) and I like the game mechanics, but I just gotta get past that setting hump (since noir assumptions are no weirder than quasi-Middle Ages assumption in any other fantasy setting).

Thumbs up on this one, even if I'm not convinced I wouldn't be too intimidated by the weirdness of a few of the setting elements to make it work at my table.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/09/tommys-take-on-bloodshadows-third.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir RPG (Third Edition)
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Barbarians Versus... RPG
by Luca L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2016 06:34:38

Easily one of the most funny and entertaining rules-light RPGs on the scene.

The setting is loosely defined, with broad strokes that help creating the mood and give more inspiration than hard data, the rules are very friendly both to newcomers to the tabletop RPG world and to old grognards that will enjoy the modicum of creativity given to players and GMs alike. A simple and very intuitive system to handle most situations - from combat to social mayhem, as barbarians are destined to - provides a very solid yet flexible framework.

Players and GMs should work together to build up and better define the world and the situations to face during the adventures, and a fair bit of homework is needed to have something that will work for more than a one-shot adventure. It is also highly customizable for something different than cimmerians against dino-aliens, from something more akin to classic sword-and-sorcery to quite outlandish results.

The real gem, is the sum of the parts: the fun factor of playing a bloodthirsty, loud and headstrong barbarian is surprisingly addictive in such a fast flowing game.

Recommended.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians Versus... RPG
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Exiled in Eris
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2016 13:56:57

This PDF is 173 pages (169 are the content). Artwork is ok, b&w. Exiled in Eris is Sword, sorcery and blaster fantasy. P15-24: Your character concept, involves: where you came from, Family background and Profession, and why are you in Eris. Artifact hunters are the general profession. Certain weapons and armour are restricted (only available to military and Noble houses). Exiled in Eris uses a D20 for tasks; other dice are used (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12). Races: Human, Cyberdroid, Dakazi, Deru, Drudge/Brux. Myrmidon/Orix, Savant/Ix. Attributes are: Strength, Stamina, Dexterity, Agility, Intellect, WitsCharisma Willpower. There are 16 skills, and 6 restricted skills.

Exiled in Eris does remind me a little of Mekton (first edition).. At £5.25/$6.95, it's worth a look.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exiled in Eris
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A Fistfull of Miniatures 2E Basic PDF
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2016 09:13:15

I played the fantasy version long ago and like this historical update. The "advanced' rules mentioned would be interesting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Fistfull of Miniatures 2E Basic PDF
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Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 1: WWII
by Evan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2016 21:08:39

Very well-drawn set. I especially like the varied poses. Only thing that bugs me is that the colors don't quite "feel" right. I may be wrong, and this set may depict variant colorations, but I usually picture World War II German uniforms as a gray-green, and American uniforms as lighter and more brownish than depicted here. Still, a great set for the money, and a good buy for anyone looking for inexpensive World War II minis.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 1: WWII
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Maelstrom Storytelling (Dogbound Edition)
by Scott F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/05/2015 22:53:41

The classic Story Engine in its infancy, with a full world setting, coupled with the fact that the Story Engine Rules (sold separately), can be fused seamlessly with it makes this a true gem for lovers of Roleplaying over Roll-playing. An influence on most modern storytelling games, Maelstrom deserves a solid place on your shelf. Although a little outdated (the Story Engine is a more refined and clarified set of rules), Maelstrom still holds it's own, with a setting, races, and numerous factions to play any type of game with. From murder mysteries to adventuring, Maelstrom offers players a broad selection of options to choose from. If you're a fan of FATE, Precis Intermedia's other RPG systems, such as the Masterbook system, the genreDiversion3E or Story Engine rules (or any of the more other "scene-amatic" games) Maelstrom still offers up the goods, even at the expense of its age. Prepare your Krel Airship and sail into the realms of the twin suns or journey through realms of your choosing. It all starts here.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Maelstrom Storytelling (Dogbound Edition)
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City in the Mirage (for Exiled in Eris)
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2015 16:31:11

This PDF is 42 pages, 40 are the content. You party guide the scholar to some 'ruins'. Some encounters, a puzzle, etc. Not too bad. There are portraits of the NPCs; also Maps (some are quite small, need enlarging). Artwork is OK. Like the rulebook, this PDF gives me the 'Mekton' feel', in style, look, etc. Not bad for $5.00/£3.18. Worth a look.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City in the Mirage (for Exiled in Eris)
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Exiled in Eris
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2015 15:04:10

Out of 172 pages, 168 are the contents, including character sheet (2 pages). It appears to be a variant d20 system, looking at the pages on skills and combat. Example: Melee (Major Action: Dex+Melee Fighting+1d20); Difficulty: 20 (difficult). For skill rolls, etc: add your attribute, applicable skill bonus, bonuses from specialties, situational modifiers and add the result of a 1d20. Compare that with a difficulty/target number from the GM (easy: 16, Difficult: 20, challenging: 24, etc).

I only spotted 2 typos (page 154 & 152), so far.

Plenty of data on the various species, creatures, land areas, etc. There's a world map (not too bad).

Parts of the book remind me of Mekton 1&2.

Apart from data on supernatural powers, there's also a Game Masters Resources section (premise, alternatives, themes, genre, motivations and rewards, and artifacts).

At £3.24/$5.00 it's not bad for a variant d20 system; worth buying just for the background information/data.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Exiled in Eris
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Exiled in Eris
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2015 23:06:21

This is a fantastic little game. I haven't heard any buzz about it, but it deserves to be well-known. The game is presented as a pulpy planetary romance, and it delivers. The system is easy to learn and plays quickly. The one thing it could stand to improve is that a couple of the esoteric disciplines aren't fleshed out very fully, but the ones that are fleshed out give incredible detail.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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