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Secondaries #02 PSI Files Edition (M&M3e)
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2012 20:03:57
The Secondaries are a a series of short PDFs that propose to provide not a single super powered NPC, but rather a handful of low powered, secondary NPCs (hence the name). These are fairly no frill products designed, art free, with compact stat blocks and backgrounds and game use that run roughly 1/3 of a page, with the stat block each NPC is roughly a half page. The intended use is to provide GMs with second string and backup NPCs that are more than just a generic collection of stats without personality. Each character is presented with a background to distinguish themselves from the stock template and make for a more unique and memorable character

Secondaries #1
Three characters are provided here: Aunt June, Jenn Marie, and Butch all at PL 2 and filling the roles of elderly relative, attractive young woman, and athletic teen respectively.

Secondaries #2: PSI Files
The three characters here are intended to provide depth to the PSI Files: Grey Ops product also from Rhinotaur. Each of the characters here, Dr. Terra White, Derrick Chase, and Colonel Philip Prowess, is elaborated on in greater detail here than in the Grey Ops product.

Closing Thoughts
The idea behind the Secondaries line is an interesting one, and while I didn't see a strong need for it based on the first product, the second showed the promise of the idea as implemented. By expanding on second string NPCs from the Grey Ops product the Secondaries provided additional information for those GMs who desired additional detail, while allowing the publisher to maintain the focus of that product on the Grey Ops team. In this way the Secondaries proves a useful addition without also diluting the core intent of the primary product.

The idea here has merit, and I would like to see more of it covering other NPC types, especially characters within the Law Enforcement community, underworld characters, and other NPCs that player characters would use in-game as contacts, informants, or have interactions with, during the course of a game. Personally, as a GM, I would find more use from those forms of NPCs rather than character specific ones, which I prefer to see players work up on their own to better dovetail into their character;s background.

Rating: 75% - a good idea that would benefit by focusing on more GM used NPCs rather than character background NPCs

Author's note: Review copies of these products were provided to me by the gentlemen at Rhinotaur for the purposes of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Secondaries #02 PSI Files Edition (M&M3e)
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Secondaries #01 (M&M3e)
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2012 20:03:11
The Secondaries are a a series of short PDFs that propose to provide not a single super powered NPC, but rather a handful of low powered, secondary NPCs (hence the name). These are fairly no frill products designed, art free, with compact stat blocks and backgrounds and game use that run roughly 1/3 of a page, with the stat block each NPC is roughly a half page. The intended use is to provide GMs with second string and backup NPCs that are more than just a generic collection of stats without personality. Each character is presented with a background to distinguish themselves from the stock template and make for a more unique and memorable character

Secondaries #1
Three characters are provided here: Aunt June, Jenn Marie, and Butch all at PL 2 and filling the roles of elderly relative, attractive young woman, and athletic teen respectively.

Secondaries #2: PSI Files
The three characters here are intended to provide depth to the PSI Files: Grey Ops product also from Rhinotaur. Each of the characters here, Dr. Terra White, Derrick Chase, and Colonel Philip Prowess, is elaborated on in greater detail here than in the Grey Ops product.

Closing Thoughts
The idea behind the Secondaries line is an interesting one, and while I didn't see a strong need for it based on the first product, the second showed the promise of the idea as implemented. By expanding on second string NPCs from the Grey Ops product the Secondaries provided additional information for those GMs who desired additional detail, while allowing the publisher to maintain the focus of that product on the Grey Ops team. In this way the Secondaries proves a useful addition without also diluting the core intent of the primary product.

The idea here has merit, and I would like to see more of it covering other NPC types, especially characters within the Law Enforcement community, underworld characters, and other NPCs that player characters would use in-game as contacts, informants, or have interactions with, during the course of a game. Personally, as a GM, I would find more use from those forms of NPCs rather than character specific ones, which I prefer to see players work up on their own to better dovetail into their character;s background.

Rating: 75% - a good idea that would benefit by focusing on more GM used NPCs rather than character background NPCs

Author's note: Review copies of these products were provided to me by the gentlemen at Rhinotaur for the purposes of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Secondaries #01 (M&M3e)
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PSI Files: Grey Ops (M&M3e)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2012 09:43:00
A treat indeed, combining superhero goodness with classic alien antics! What if that Roswell 'incident' back in 1947 had deposited four 'Greys'... and they'd decided, for reasons unfathomable to puny mortal minds, decided to become agents of some alphabet soup US government agency?

Complete with a supporting cast of human beings, here's the 'Grey Ops' Unit, operating out of Area 51 (naturally!), spending their down time absorbing Earth pop culture whilst their day jobs sends them out to combat threats to Truth, Justice and the American Way wherever they dare to raise their ugly four-coloured heads. Or at least, paranormal and alien incidents, that being their specialty. For the sake of mankind's sanity - or at least, so as not to scare the horses - they have the ability to shapechange into reasonably human form when out and about.

A wealth of detail is packed into a few pages, bringing each character to life - whether you fancy playing them yourself, or want to use them as NPCs - complete with paper standees you can cut out and use for those action scenes when you want to get the battlemaps out.

It's all rather fun and a good way to bring in a classic 'alien' theme with a neat twist into your M&M game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PSI Files: Grey Ops (M&M3e)
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Hero Happy Hour Presents: Rhinotaur (ICONS)
by Walter E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2012 12:02:18
For a free product, this is rather nifty. The back-story is short, but packed with a lot of background info. Definitely a strong springboard for adventure ideas. Now I want to see write-ups on the other heroes and villains mentioned.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour Presents: Rhinotaur (ICONS)
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Hero Happy Hour - Super Hero Character Standees
by Walter E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2012 11:58:23
You can't beat FREE! 10 cool looking super hero characters sort of done in the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED style. Well, there's 9 heroes and a civilian. Wouldn't mind seeing more standees like this set. Will definitely check out the other Hero Happy Hour products.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour - Super Hero Character Standees
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Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #1 - Guardian (M&M3e)
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/29/2012 06:54:14
This is a line review for the first seven Super Shots ...


The Super Shots product line details a series of characters from the Rhinotaur comic Hero Happy Hour, which is something I have not read ... yet. I say that because after taking a look at these seven characters and knowing that I was also sent the omnibus edition of the first five comics, I really do want to check out the comic, I probably would even if it weren't sitting for free in my DriveThruRPG account.

But enough about a comic I'm not here to review (yet) and have not read (also yet), let's talk about the characters. Each Super Shot is a single character, their background, details on their skills and powers, and a couple paragraphs about how they fit into the Hideout Bar & Grill, which is a bar catering to supers within the comic. There's also a brief adventure hook. All seven characters follow that basic format with only minor variation.

Each Super shot has two pieces of artwork; a full color full body shot on the first page, and a small B&W headshot. The art style is stylized, and a little chunky/blocky, but I think it works as well as any other for conveying the look and poise of the characters. The roughly half page size color shot is really the only color in the product outside of company identifiers and the like, but that's fine too; I'd rather not have full color borders and layout if it means that a small press can keep costs down, and at 99¢ a pop nobody can complain they don't get what they paid for.

The profiles and descriptions work well as written and in some cases got a good laugh out of my by way of clever wording/phrasing. Making a product entertaining to read is as important as making it useful in my book, so the occasional chuckle is welcome. The stat-blocks for the characters, all in Mutants and Masterminds Third Edition, are generally laid out cleanly. There were a couple of instances where an Array was losing a grappling contest to some of the other powers, but nothing I couldn't get over once I figured out where one ended and the other began.

#1 - Guardian, PL 14
One part Superman and one part Green Lantern. Police officer finds a dying alien and gains the powers of a paragon, super strength, flight, and a duty to patrol for super criminals and aliens. I loved the adventure hook with this guy, a loopy nod to the more innocent days of comics involving a "slightly evil" alternate twin.

#2 - Phantom Dread, PL 14
A super villain with magic and a cape with darkness powers. Dread is a staple villain, apparently willing to throw down with any hero, or perhaps unfortunate enough to have to deal with all heroes, I guess that depends on how you look at it. He is fairly flexible in use, and downright powerful considering the main oomph of his powers comes from a magical variable effect. By the time I got to the end of his adventure hook I knew that this product line and setting were as much about the humor as the super heroics.

#3 - Eradicator, PL 10
He doesn't sound like a hero does he? Well he's an anti-hero/vigilante really. He's also the one who made me chuckle the most. Eradicator an un-powered guy with an attitude, weapons, and a willingness to use both to give villains what they deserve. He's a little like Casey Jones from TMNT in that respect.

#4 - Krimson Klaw, PL 9
What do you get when a punk gets his hands on an advanced piece of military power armor hardware? A punk with an advance military power armor suit. Klaw reads like the joke villain he's meant to be (at least I hope he was meant to be a joke). His armor's Klaw is still a dangerous weapon, but he's just not his own villain, being a pawn of the bigger fish (like Phantom Dread).

#5 & #6 - Night Ranger, PL 12 & Scout, PL 8
An inventor with a tragic past and a desire for revenge, by way of justice. Night Ranger has all the usual crime fighter toys, and a crime fighter's problem sidekick as well. The Night Ranger's sidekick, Scout, is the kind of sidekick who needs a kick. An early life that was a bit rough, and a lack of real responsibility, mark him as a bit of a foil for his mentor.

#7 - Trouble, PL 10
Trouble is hard to put a finger on. She's an amnesiac with impressive combat skills and no powers. She's a villain, but it seems that is as much a factor of being a "wild child" type and less that of the world dominating, city destroying, monomaniacal type. She's a martial artist type with a penchant for improvised weapons, and impressive physical abilities, including a nicely wrought healing trance.

Closing Thoughts
On their own each character has enough going on to well justify the price of admission, especially, I would imagine, if you were already a reader of the Hero Happy Hour comic. As stand alone NPCs to drop into your campaign they work, though in such a situation I would actually recommend the bundle for $3.96 as there is a great deal of cross reference between the characters with regards to their backgrounds. Plus $4 for 7 is a great deal no matter how you shake it. Plus they give me a hint at what to expect from the comic, which looks to be rather fun. I'll review that soon.

That said these aren't perfect either. I mentioned that I had some trouble with the formatting of arrays not being clear, its a minor issue, but it's there. There are also a fair number of typos and spelling errors. Not an egregious number, but enough to catch my eye. Again, not a deal breaker by any means, at least not for me. The art style may not appeal to everybody, but honestly art is subjective, and I don't ding points unless it fails to convey the subject. The artwork here is stylized, but it works. Luckily you can get a taste for it from the preview pages on DriveThruRPG so if art is enough to steer you away from something look before you leap.

Rating: 85%, These are solid characters running across a number of PLs and backed up with some humorous writing. Spelling and formatting issues are present, but not cripplingly so. Art snobs should look before they buy.


Author's note: Review copies of these products were provided to me by the gentlemen at Rhinotaur for the purposes of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #1 - Guardian (M&M3e)
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Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #7 - Trouble (M&M3e)
by Ben H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2012 19:46:01
I love this type of product because it allows me to see different concepts. We all tend to think in particular patterns and when some one comes up with some-one like "Trouble" it can help break the mold with enjoyable results.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #7 - Trouble (M&M3e)
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Hero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01
by Walter P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2012 19:14:39
This was a great read! A bar for superheroes is a great premise. I'd love to have more!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01
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Hero Happy Hour - Super Hero Character Standees
by Jeffrey C G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2011 21:32:45
Very good pseudo Justice League Unlimited style art- I like these very much, especially going along with BASH UE or games like that! And you surely can't beat the price!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour - Super Hero Character Standees
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Hero Happy Hour - Super Hero Character Standees
by Zero C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2011 19:21:41
Useful, I suppose, but the art is not to my taste.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #3 - Eradicator (M&M3e)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/17/2011 09:00:36
Did your Mummy tell you to be very, very careful about talking to strange men in bars? She probably would not have recommended the Hideout Bar & Grill in the first place... but should your character venture in, this is one of the people you might meet there.

For the GM, here's a fully-developed and fleshed out NPC. A big guy, built like a linebacker but never able to thrive as a football player, or a Marine or even a security guard because, despite all his good intentions, his temper always seems to get the better of him. He's a well-known figure on the superhero circuit, though, an unlicenced vigilante who's popular with the honest poor, from whose ranks he rose and whom he protects... with his fists and with a rather motley array of weapons 'confiscated' from the villains he puts down. Strictly speaking, he's not a superhero - no actual 'powers' per se - but he's in the peak of physical perfection and is gifted with weapons.

As well as a very detailed background and a colour portrait, you get a full Mutants & Masterminds 3e character sheet for him... and an adventure seed you could use to make him the focus of a scenario, an especially good one if you have already established him as a regular acquaintance of your characters. (Or of course, someone who fancies playing him could take this as a pre-generated character and run him themselves!)

The detail is spectacular, and inventive enough to take him out of 'mere thug' and into real personality, ready to slot into your game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #3 - Eradicator (M&M3e)
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Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #1 - Guardian (M&M3e)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/22/2011 17:01:49
If you need a good backup / mentor character for a superhero game, you may find Guardian useful for such a role.

Hero Happy Hour Super Shot: Guardian is a 4-page PDF (3 pages if you remove the credits/OGL page) for Mutants and Mastermind (3rd edition) RPG written by Dan Taylor and published by Rhinotaur in partnership with GeekPunk. This may be the first part of a series.

The layout is a standard page design (though some may object to the use of the comic sans font, it seems appropriate here) illustrated with two pieces of art (one color, one black and white) from the Hero Happy Hour webcomic, from which this Guardian originates.

This product presents one of the characters from the Hero Happy Hour webcomic in entirely usable form for any Mutants and Masterminds (3rd Edition) game. Guardian weighs in at a very beefy Power Level 14, making him a major player in the superheroic world and useful for emergency rescues and holding off major threats while the player characters accomplish the needed mission. One scenario seed is included.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Super Shot #1 - Guardian (M&M3e)
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Hero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01
by John G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2011 07:56:51
This is a fun book for your reading list - how can you go wrong with an after-hours bar for superheroes? I read a couple of these issues in print, but they were always hard to find. Now, you can get a great collection digitally for a great price.

Clever humor, fun scenarios, good characters. If you need a break from all that is serious, this is a good place to turn.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01
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Hero Happy Hour Presents: The Sheen (ICONS)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/25/2011 19:38:15
This might well be the most awesome product I have ever paid under a buck for.
You don't get many pages here, but you get alot. A "ripped from the tabloids" personality that can be a snap to play. All the Icons stats you need, a background, awesome art and a little paper mini to use in your game.
All for less than you would pay for a Mt. Dew out of a vending machine.

I just don't want to see more like this, I want to see LiLo and all her awesome powers of...well something I am sure.

Worth it for humor alone.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour Presents: The Sheen (ICONS)
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Hero Happy Hour: The Hideout Regulars (ICONS)
by Thomas F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2011 03:41:00
I have been a fan of the Hero Happy Hour comic for many years now, so having stats for the characters is a real treat. Icons is a perfect fit for the style and tone of the comic. But that does not mean they should not consider stat packs for other super rpgs like M&M or Bash! My only grumble is I wanted *more* character write ups and a map of the bar itself, but for two dollars, it is a solid start.

Publish more!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Happy Hour: The Hideout Regulars (ICONS)
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