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OWB001: WWII: Operation WhiteBox
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2017 05:52:08

I was very impressed by this book. Having owned/played/GM'ed many, many modern games over the years, I found this to be a refreshing take on an old system and a relatively under-used genre. I have been very impressed by many of the games coming from Small Niche Games and I plan to continue following them to see what other role playing gems they put out in the future. The support for this game has already been tremendous, with a prolific number of adventures already available in a short amount of time.

The system is still OD&D, but the class structure isn't overwhelming. One of the things I love about OWB is that it uses the grandfather of all fantasy rpg's without being one. You won't find a hint of elves, magic users or dragons in this book. It's a very good take on a modern (by that I mean guns and tanks, not swords and horses) historical rpg. It was nice that they tipped their hat toward weird science and Nazis in space, but the game isn't inherently set up around anything surreal.

At first I was a little dismayed reading through the stats, weapons and combat. I kept thinking, "What about Hit Dice? Why is the weapon damage so flat-rate? Why just d6's?" Of course I was expecting more of a D20 Modern layout to all these things. Then, after I read through the introductory scenario, it all hit me. This isn't an 80's movie action take on WW2. It's extremely realistic. You have 1d6 hit points. Most weapons do at least 1d6 damage. If you run out in the open yelling, "Shoot me Shoot me Shoot me!" Someone will likely quite lethally oblige you. It's a refreshing change of pace. In fairness, you can still play in heroic mode and bump up the Hit Dice, etc.

I also really like the fact that there is no advancement beyond Level 5. It totally makes sense given the war itself didn't last that long. It also helps keep the combat realistic and somewhat gritty. Your character is part of the war effort, not winning the war single-handedly in both theaters of operation, and not coming out at the end with millions of gold coins, his own castle, and hundreds of followers.

My only real recommendations for improving the game are an expanded list of equipment and vehicles, by primary country and dates of deployment. (US, USSR, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan) There don't need to be volumous notes on everything, just enough to give each country's gear a somewhat realistic feel beyond "Rifle, Large." or "Tank, Medium." Also, it might have been a good idea to focus a little more on languages. The language barrier for Americans in Europe and Japan should probably come up on a regular basis in game. A little more detail overall on the timeline at the beginning of the book or in the GM section would have been helpful for a younger crowd or one with less familiarity with history. This is one of the only games I've ever seen where some outside research is fun and helpful in running and even playing the game. My players are getting brief history lessons with their rpg time Bwah ha-ha! and that's awesome.

I was also balked slightly when the hardcover was made available the day after my softcover arrived in the mail. If only I had waited... Oh well. I just have to take really good care of this softcover until I can find a friend to give it to and order the hardcover for me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OWB001: WWII: Operation WhiteBox
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Jeff. Thank you for such an in-depth review! Really glad you like the game. Just so you know, sourcebooks with more detailed descriptions of weapons (M1 Garand, Kar-98k, Springfield '03, etc.) and vehicles (Sherman tank, T-34, kubelwagen, etc.) are on my radar if the game continues to be successful. Sourcebooks of the different nations involved (Germany, America, GB, Italy, Japan, etc.) as well as specific breakdowns of the different Theaters of Operation (Eastern Front, North Africa, the Pacific, etc.) are also on the horizon. I'll also add that OWB has a very non-restrictive compatibility license which allows others to publish these kinds of sourcebooks on their own. Sorry about the delay in print releases. If you email me, I'll be happy to send you a discount link. Be sure to check out our WWII: Operation WhiteBox Community on G+ to receive news and connect with other OWB gamers. Thanks again! Peter C. Spahn Small Niche Games
OWB001: WWII: Operation WhiteBox
by David O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2016 14:00:11

The wait for this was well worth it. Having a Swords and Wizardry White Box game with all the bells and whistles of WWII is an exciting prospect. The book itself is well organized and provides excellent advice on running a military campaign. Of special note was the advice on historical accuracy and limiting the scope of adventures so the Referee is not overwhelmed by the amount of detail that could bog them down. I think this is great advice for campaigns in any historical setting.

Overall, a wonderful game. I may throw in some schmeisser carrying orcs in my next Swords and Wizardry campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks, David! If the Orcstaffel makes an appearance, be sure to let us know! :)
OWB001: WWII: Operation WhiteBox
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2016 08:21:33

A very flexible ruleset for historical WWII adventure gaming. Also includes guidance for running super science, occult, and even space games. Heck, you could run OD&D Modern with it, if you wanted to. Thumbs up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
You certainly could run a more modern game with it. Thank you for taking the time to post!
OWB002: Norway Ablaze
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2016 08:14:43

If you're thinking about taking WWII: Operation Whitebox for a drive, you should definitely get this module. It consists of three short commando raids set in Norway, each one good for a play session. Would make an excellent start for an Operation Whitebox campaign. Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OWB002: Norway Ablaze
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you! More missions are in the works!
COA04: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (PRINT)
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2016 05:01:12

This is a very detailed guidebook that makes me interested in purchasing more products based in the same world. Definitely worth getting for ideas even if you're not interested in running games in this world. Includes a nice set of maps as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
COA04: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (PRINT)
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COA04: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (PDF)
by Nathan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2016 19:11:32

I don't know anything about Labyrinth Lord as a game, but I'm very impressed with the story ideas and setting created. I plan on swiping this for the 5th Edition game I'm doing for my wife. Thank you very much, well worth paying for.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
COA04: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (PDF)
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COA04: Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall (PDF)
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2016 22:48:22

Like the Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay and the Chronicles of Amherth, Spahn delivers a solid and well developed old school setting as he continues to expand SNG's flagship world. Like Chronicles of Amherth, this book paints in broad strokes to make it easily adapted to an existing campaign. The book is chock full of plot hooks, adventure seeds, and just plain old fashioned fun. Highly recommended.

It's implicity designed for Labyrinth Lord, but is easily adapted to any OSR or fantasy RPG due to the minimally invasive nature of Labyrinth Lord's B/X gaming roots.

Highly, highly, highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
by Dennis B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2016 15:24:09

Overall this is a decently structured story and sufficiently succinct for a competent group of players to execute in one to two sessions. Keeping the story contained to a single location/structure is a wonderful concept that more writers should do. This allows DM's to incorporate a story such as this into their campaigns with little to no effort.

Overall the story flows well enough, though I believe the ending is in dire need of a rewrite, and would not recommend executing this story without changing the ending. In short, one of possible outcomes results in the players having an all-out battle to the death between one another until a final victor is found, only to have the party all magically aliveat the end with the "it was just a dream" ending.

In fact, one of the NPCs says this almost verbatim. Literally, the most hated cliché in all of literature is, "...and it was all just a dream". And here it is, in all its horrid glory.

Overall, I feel the book would have been better served if it had been structured more akin to a traditional play, starting with the dramatis personae, then moving to the setting description, then dividing the story into 3 separate acts. As I read through it, I found myself flipping back and forth trying to find out who the characters were initially, then trying to keep moving with the story, then trying to follow the progression.

The random encounter tables are good, and throwing a few fights into the mix is enough of a challenge to keep the players on their toes. A musical transition between the "phases" of the inn is a nice note, ala Silent Hill.

The chambers feel a bit punitive in nature, as each are effectively designed to cater to a specific class (cleric, fighter, wizard, thief), leaving, for the most part, the rest of the party to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. And, of course, if that the party does not have such a member, then the DM needs to partially or completely redesign the entire encounter, which is another headache. Additionally, if the party member dies in that encounter, there will be no one else to complete the task, effectively resulting in a TPK, unless the DM fudges the encounter on the next go-around.

In conclusion, I'd say this is a decent buy for the money, but not something most people could/would/should play as-is. Any DM that picks this up should plan on rewriting the ending, adjusting the challenge chambers to match the party compositions, and probably tailor the NPC cast (it's probably bigger than what is necessary).



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
LLA002: The Inn of Lost Heroes
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review. Customer feedback always helps make the next product better!
WBO03: Tower of Boon Companions
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2015 06:31:16

Small Niche Games is known for fantastic old school adventures. Inn of Lost Heroes, Pyramid of the Dragon, and Shrine of St. Aleena are some of my personal favorites. Tower of the Boon Companions continues SNG's trend of taking classic fantasy gaming tropes and turning them on their ear. Nominally set in SNG's world of Amherth, Tower of Boon Companions is still very much a "drop in and play" module. In addition to providing a unique adventure to keep your players on their toes, it also gives a small bestiary of new monsters for your Swords and Wizardry WhiteBox campaign, a handful of new magic items and the thief class - the latter of which was originally found in the White Box Omnibus by Barrel Rider Games.

For three bucks, you get several nights of great adventure, a corral of new monsters, a new class, and brand new magic items (one of which could kick off an entire campaign). Well worth the price of admission.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WBO03: Tower of Boon Companions
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WSS002: Gray Nebula: Crewmen, Con-Men, and Lawmen
by Jeff R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2015 15:27:32

REVIEW At 21 pages and a price $1.99 it is a good deal for three new classes. It is a must buy for the GM who the problem of Real Life getting in the way of gaming, which is most of us. To have classes that can be used for the campaign and fully statted NPCs with adventure hooks not only for the GM on a time budget but a good buy for the last minute game session ideas.

5/5 for saving the busy gamer some time and for helping out the GM fleshing out his or her game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WSS002: Gray Nebula: Crewmen, Con-Men, and Lawmen
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WSS001: Star Gods Help Us
by Jeff R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2015 12:52:29

Every gaming group has the player who's never satisfied with the core classes. You know the player that has to be different. This book is for them, and to save the GM from trying to shoehorn that player into playing something that they don’t want to play. Star Gods Help Us is a POP cultured filled collection of new classes for that one player who just has to be different. It contains twelve (12) quirky race/class combinations including giant cockroach junkers, spiritual mammoths, living oozes, malfunctioning lawbots, zombie crewmen, and other bizarre creatures that will leave you shaking your head. Here is a list of what mattered to me as a player and a GM, especially if you are new to White Star. • Clocking in at $2.99 it’s a steal. Price 5/5 • Each of the 12 race/classes has art work that gives you an idea of the race’s looks 5/5 • Format for the class entries includes roleplaying tips and a typical Quote of the race. 5/5 • No Glaring typos or format errors 5/5 (please note I’m not a grammar specialist). • Reference to pop culture that will make you laugh 5/5

This is a good humorous add on for your White Star rpg. The only thing that I thought was missing was the race/class combos for Dogs, Cats, Monkeys and Toads. I did get a free copy for review, however it was on my buy list anyways because I am one of those players and GMs that like the chance to be silly and goofy.

At a 5/5 and $2.99 price go buy it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WSS001: Star Gods Help Us
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WSS001: Star Gods Help Us
by Joe J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2015 12:25:11

Observers of pop culture from the 60s, 70s and 80s should recognize the inspiration for the twelve new classes contained within. Some of these go together thematically very well, like the zombie-like Zeddines and the butler like Gurches. For those players less concerned with achieving missions and more interested in silliness, a party of Radiobuddies, Gloops and Giltors will have trouble just getting organized to leave their own ship.

This collection strongly evokes a lot of the sci-fi silliness found in abundance within the pages of Dragon magazine and TSR's early catalog. The content and illustrations within this supplement are pitch-perfect. At $2.99, the PDF is a non-brainer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LLA006: The Shrine of St. Aleena
by Trevor h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2015 22:04:13

I am currently running this for my players. They really enjoy it! This is a great little adventure! It has some great encounters in it that you can use before the party even gets to the meat of the actual adventure in the shrine, with plenty of npc characters. There is danger aplenty, but not to difficult for my group of second level characters. It is simple and easy to run..... which is perfect as I am just getting back into playing again. Experienced DM' s should have no problem making this short adventure really shine!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LLA006: The Shrine of St. Aleena
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LLA005: The Stealer of Children
by Charlotte A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2015 22:26:10

A good module for beginner roleplayers. I DM'd with a party of 5 people who had never played before, using Labyrinth Lord. It's quite easy for the players as well as the DM which is ideal if you're just starting out. The whole story took about 3 hours. It is a very easy campaign but I would recommend it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
LLA005: The Stealer of Children
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TZE001: TROPES: Zombie Edition (PDF)
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2015 10:53:10

Awesome Zombie game! Quick, fun, easy! I have many zombie games AFMBE, Dead Reign, Rotworld, etc. These are great rules for a quick fun Zombie game. Not complicated, easy to learn. You can probably hand out the nice Player Sheets, pick a few characters, and start playing in about 15-30 minutes, even with someone new to RPG. Includes different types of zombies from movies and video games.

Throw a few bucks to a fellow gamer and support TZE!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TZE001: TROPES: Zombie Edition (PDF)
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