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Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places
by Brent N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2012 18:06:36

(Full disclosure: I was provided with an advance copy of this book for copyediting purposes. I was not involved creatively.)

Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places serves one function: providing a GM with evocative characters, locations, items, and story hooks.

The key word is "evocative." There are plenty of books that offer dry lists of characters and items, almost as though they were computer-generated. Ben Gerber describes each character, location, or item in enough detail to pique the reader's interest and clearly explain its uses. While the book is system-neutral, each element includes a standard block of basic stats: size, motivation, strengths, weaknesses, and a "power level" ranking from 1 to 10.

Better, each character, location, and item includes a set of adventure hooks, so they're easy to work into an ongoing campaign.

This is not a huge list of characters; EPP has "only" a few dozen NPCs, encounters, items, and places total. This is about quality over quantity. That is exactly its strength: each element is vivid and charged with potential for conflict.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places
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The 2nd Annual Wayne Foundation Charity Pack
by George D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2012 11:47:41

A wonderful assortment of items, many of which I had been considering purchasing for awhile. I am allways a big fan of the charity packs at Drive Thru RPG. While there is some duplication of items that have been included in earlier charity packs like the one offered for Doctors without Borders. There is suficient variety to offset this. Overall this This bundle does not dissapoint, and since the proceeds go toward a great cause I feel like a double winner.

George D'Amato



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The 2nd Annual Wayne Foundation Charity Pack
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Argyle & Crew - Adventure in the Land of Skcos
by Andre K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2012 10:40:21

Argyle and Crew is a fun structured romp through the wonderful world of role-playing for children. The system is simple, well conceived, and looks like fun! This should prove to be a great way to introduce children to role-playing and provide structured play time. Gamers with little ones will find this well worth it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Argyle & Crew - Adventure in the Land of Skcos
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Darn the Torpedoes! A Guide to Naval Combat with Paper Ships
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2012 15:02:11

It's a little strange to be reviewing a freebie, but I wanted to advise people that the title is somewhat misleading: it is NOT a guide to naval combat with paper ships; it is the barest bones of an outline for playing an extremely simple game using ships. It is suitable for children from 5 or 6 to about 10, even though the rules say it is suitable for age 12 on up. I was disappointed, as I had hoped it would help me design a naval wargame for kids in the 11-14 age range, but it really isn't.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Darn the Torpedoes! A Guide to Naval Combat with Paper Ships
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Devious NPCs and Curious Creatures [PFRPG]
by Jason B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2012 13:45:06

Interesting and well written. A useful tool for any GM to have handy when you need to put some flesh onto an NPC but might not really have the time to do it right then.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Devious NPCs and Curious Creatures [PFRPG]
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The Very Best of Troll in the Corner Vol. 2
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/29/2012 11:50:09

An excellent collection of articles on various RPG-related subjects. I particularly enjoyed "Zen and the Art of the Fireball," and the articles on the social contract and bringing the party together. Great content for a price you can't beat!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Very Best of Troll in the Corner Vol. 2
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Argyle & Crew - Adventure in the Land of Skcos
by Jason L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2012 11:51:49

As an educator, parent and designer I would have to say that Argyle and Crew: Adventure in the Land of Skcos is one of those games that's a MUST have for many different reasons. The first big thing that popped out for me was the compassion in the writing itself. The game promotes real world interaction for children that reminds me of shows like Mister Roger's Neighborhood. It understands that each child will respond differently, but that it's ok to feel the way you do as long as you understand why and are having fun.

The basic concept of Argyle and Crew is that players create sock-puppets called Soppets. Players break out a sock and craft box to built their character. That part of the game is great for family time. Having kids myself I can tell you that this part of the game is just the beginning of the excitement. From there the adult becomes a 'Guide' who keeps the players focused on the quest at hand. Daycare workers should really look at this game. I'd recommend it to anyone who works in childcare. The quests are pretty simple. Kids go on searches for a specific item throughout the home and each clue leads to the next until someone accomplishes the requirements. Argyle and Crew also makes it a point to address any type of conflict that might arise from competition. Again, this is a MUST have for childcare workers.

But the game isn't just for kids. Adults can have fun with it too. Just reading the PDF made me think that my family all needed to create Soppets and every time someone loses something or needs help finding something then we could break out the Soppets!

And the price is well worth it. I'm surprised that I haven't seen this on TV. HIGHLY recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Argyle & Crew - Adventure in the Land of Skcos
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Troll in the Corner's Magical Emporium: Mirkmoot's Wondrous Waterater [PFRPG]
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2012 07:47:24

A handy magic item with an unfortunate drawback. I'm a big fan of giving quirks and glitches to magic items and artifacts, and this is one of the more clever examples of that sort of thing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Troll in the Corner's Magical Emporium: Mirkmoot's Wondrous Waterater [PFRPG]
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The World of Aruneus - Contagion Infected Zombies 2.0 [PFRPG]
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2012 19:36:10

A great monster template for infectious zombies, for any GM who wants to bring a bit of George Romero to his or her Pathfinder game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The World of Aruneus - Contagion Infected Zombies 2.0 [PFRPG]
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Argyle & Crew - Adventure in the Land of Skcos
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/01/2012 12:02:39

Argyle & Crew is a very basic set of guidelines for running storytelling games. Since there are no limits to what the Extras can accomplish, it can be very easy for the players to achieve the Goal very easily. It's up to the Guide to make sure that the story remains interesting for the other players, and this can be a real challenge. The rules suggest a "There is only yes" guideline, in which the Guide attempts to answer all questions and requests with "Yes" as often as possible, except when it would involve short circuiting the story (such as letting the players jump directly to the Goal), hurting or being mean to others, or passing any boundaries or limitations that were previously agreed upon.

Personally, I would suggest using the "Yes, but..." method, which gives the gamemaster the option to put a restriction on the request. ("Yes, you can use your pogo stick to jump to the other side of the island to get to the Goal, but once you land there, you find that someone has moved it!")

Some advanced rules near the end of the book turn the game into something a bit more like traditional RPGs, with numbered stats and d6 rolls to determine results - these may make the game a bit more appealing to older players and Guides who would like to work with something a little more concrete. The published scenarios for the game have a general theme of coping with social situations - bullying, for example - and it would be great to see more of these released.

Argyle & Crew is a great introductory storytelling game that will work well with younger players, and could have a lot of potential in teaching environments. The physical element of the puppets will draw lots of players in, no matter their age - who doesn't like playing with puppets, after all?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Argyle & Crew - Adventure in the Land of Skcos
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The Scared Soppet - an Argyle & Crew Scenario
by Jodi B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2011 13:26:56

I have not looked at Argyle and Crew yet but this looks like it stands alone just fine. I like the simplicity of it, and the fact that it can be used in educational settings, or as a fun little game for the younger set. To be honest, I shared the link with my kid's elementary school guidance counselor--and you should too!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Scared Soppet - an Argyle & Crew Scenario
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Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Preview
by Ghost W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2011 13:39:19

Not terribly great.. I would hope it was a preview of a preview, because the con-man detailed seemed to only have half what a fully fleshed out NPC would have. There's a few odd details about his past, some hints of his tactics, but no play-by-play sample, or example stats. Feels half done, but hey, it is a preview.

I just hope the finished product is better.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Preview
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Knock Your Socks Off - the Argyle & Crew Soundtrack
by Chuck C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2011 13:22:11

This is a very impressive collection of music. Each of these pieces would work fine as the "theme song" for the right kind of campaign. Most of them are on the modern/spacey/techno side but could be used for any genre with the right spin. I'm surprised this is free. I'd happily pay $5 or more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knock Your Socks Off - the Argyle & Crew Soundtrack
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Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Preview
by Kyle W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2011 18:21:32

thought the free copy had little content, the application and idea are sound and the one NPC was in depth and could be very useful. If the pattern was consistant throught out the book it would be a handy tool for any GM-DM...whatever.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Preview
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Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Preview
by Chris W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2011 00:54:41

The preview here shows a lot of potential for gaming material. So far I like what I have seen, I would need to see more of the product to give it a non-neutral feedback. One NPC and plot point set up is not really enough for me to judge the overall quality of the product, but I more or less like it so far from what I have seen.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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