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Entropic Gaming System
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2014 21:49:20
This is not a full review, but I am so intrigued by the EGS system, I have to place a comment here.
For me this generic RPG system is the EABA, a perfect blend of the old Cortex, Savage Worlds and Master Book systems.

Basically characters have an Ability and a Skill, all measured from d4 to d12 and you combine these two in a way that suits the situation. After that you roll both dice and compare them to a Target Number, usually 7.

But there is a lot more to this system. The combat system is not a plain „roll-hit-damage“ thing, but offers tactics, strategies, qualities and hero points to make combat entertaining and memorable.
Especially I like the Fear Dice Pool for monsters and the Heroic Dice Pool for the characters. An additional layer of brilliance and fun.

I would say these rules are not overly complicated and can be put in the rules medium section, same as I would put Savage Worlds. But this is NOT Savage Worlds, although it might look similar on the surface. It is different, does not use any cards (thumbs up!), characters are being defined by Skills & Abilities and Qualities are used for gaining Hero Points during dramatic situations. And not a lot of calculations here: a good thing on Friday evening after a long week of work.

The book includes a good amount of situational rules (Falling, Drowning, Poison, Chases, Morale for Minions/Allies, Exhaustion, Disease, Aging, etc.) but they are all easy to comprehend and use common sense - very intuitive.

A Bestiary with enough monsters and characters to keep you going for some time is included as well. It consists of just the stats for the beasts, but hey, we all have our own understanding of a goblin or dragon anyway. Oh, and Stats are short: 8 lines to describe an average monster/animal/adversary.

What else can I say except of this is the game I was looking for since 2006. Well worth the $5.00 and a hot alternative to a lot of other generic RPGs.

I hope this system really takes off and a lot of people will hop on and put out some cool settings for it. The included OPEN GAME LICENSE is a good thing for developers, I suppose.

This is a real gem.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System
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Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
by Jimmy P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2014 13:06:16
This book is a clear example that Savage Worlds is slowly being invaded by sub-par products, like in the days of the d20 Era. It is an obvious attempt at capitalizing on the popular system of the hour, by bringing a low value product on the market at a rather high price.

The appearance of the book is uninspired to say the least. You will see a piece of stock art here and there, maybe about 15 pieces in this 80+ pages document.

The first part of the book - a full 20 pages - focus on creating creature templates, basically re-writing what has already been provided in the deluxe Savage Worlds Core book. Then comes the new hindrances and Edges. Hindrances hold onto 2-3 pages, and the Edges on about 4-5. This is the only part of the book I found interesting. The next section re-explains what the skills stand for and what other skills could be used to complement others. It also attempts to codify what can be done with each skill, when the said skills are left deliberately vague in the Savage Worlds Core book.

The idea of creating a complement to character creation, with new options, is a good one. However, the Ultimate Characters Guide by MTE lacks direction and, in its current format, has no purpose at my gaming table. It is, in my opinion, a pure cash grab.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
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Publisher Reply:
The Ultimate Characters Guide does not attempt to re-explain skills, but rather introduces two new skill-use mechanics in the form of Supporting Skills and Complementary Skills. These new mechanics can allow players to get more out of the skills they\'ve chosen for their characters, including the many possible Knowledge types that could be chosen to correspond to a character\'s concept. This way, players can get the most out of their character\'s chosen skills instead of having to purchase skills they don\'t want.
Entropic Gaming System Core Rulebook (Open Beta Playtest)
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2014 00:08:27
It's not exactly fair to review a playtest, but I'm doing this to give those who may be interested in it an idea of what Entropy is about. Entropy is going to be released as an OGL rules system. It plays like Savage Worlds with a bit of Star Wars SAGA Edition thrown into the mix. The author is very responsive and open to criticism. Everything down to the cover of the book is up for debate with the testers. I recommend getting in on this. And as a note, the fifth star will be forthcoming if the final release has good production values, everything else (rules, prose, etc.) are just great.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Entropic Gaming System Core Rulebook (Open Beta Playtest)
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Publisher Reply:
Yes... the playtest packet lacks layout and all the artwork. I assure you the final release will be fully laid out with all the applicable artwork. Thanks for the comments! :)
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
by Neal H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2014 14:23:41
The Ultimate Characters Guide is a must-have for anyone who plays or runs Savage Worlds. It shows how players and GMs can work within the SW system to create races, character types, and even individual characters that are unique and exactly what is desired while keeping the ease of play that is a hallmark of the SW rules. The UCG provides setting-agnostic new Hindrances and Edges, but more importantly, it shows how to create your own Hindrances, Edges, and Special Abilities while retaining balance. In addition, UCG has new ways to look at skill uses and supporting and complimenting actions that add dimension to SW’s skills without adding unnecessary complexity. Every GM should read the section on Villain Creation and the final section on Villain Combat Balance is worth the cost of the product by itself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Characters Guide (Savage Worlds)
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Perilous Journey #2: Great Island [Colonial Gothic]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2014 09:55:45
The adventure continues (from Perilous Journey #1: Portsmouth) with the characters now embedded into the Portsmouth scene and occult society, and beginning to explore... this one takes them to certain isolated houses on Great Island where it is said demonic activities take place, with a range of spooky incidents for them to deal with.

As with the previous adventure, there is a lot going on but presented in a loose style that enables the party to engage with the plot in pretty much any way that they please. Information gathering as well as sheer intestinal fortitude in the face of ghostly and demonic manifestations will be required of the party, and there's a lot crammed into these pages. There is a mystery to be pieced together: this may be done by classic investigation or the use of appropriate spells... and it will help if the party finds a certain map to aid them in their investigations. Indeed, the map is quite pivotal so the GM will do well to ensure that it comes into their hands.

As the party gets deeper into the occult scene, they will meet some interesting individuals, and some of these are described here, along with their areas of interest and how they can be of help.

For those who would like a 'side campaign' to run alongside the main thrust of the adventure path, notes are provided here for one called Dark Magic. This provides various side missions that the characters can undertake to aid one of the occult researchers introduced above, and which could lead to them becoming warlocks themselves if so inclined.

There is a section on adversaries, both human and of the spirit world, and an account of the historical Great Island. This last is deemed 'player-friendly' and may be shared with the players as background information without giving anything plot-related away. There's a delightful period map to help you picture the place (and you may wish to hunt it up on Google maps as well)

Finally there are a few new spells that characters might learn, and the rules on Corruption are repeated for reference purposes. There's also a few new skill emphases, many of which could be useful either as a means of earning one's living or in furthering investigations.

All in all, a good continuation of the existing plotline, and the introduction of a 'side campaign' - which, of course, could become the main thrust of the adventure if that's what you'd prefer. If you like Colonial Gothic and are interested in the occult side of things, this is definitely one to watch!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Perilous Journey #2: Great Island [Colonial Gothic]
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Ultimate Mass Battle Guide (Savage Worlds)
by Stephane G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/26/2014 10:35:31
It has good ideas that work with the Mass Combat system of the Savage Worlds core book. It add a bit more details to quantify the strength of irregular troops, especially common in a fantasy setting. And also takes into account the abilities of a Wild Card as well.

It does this without requiring a lot of tables and calculation. If you're running a quick mass combat session, you can skip the steps in this book, but if you have some prep time, then this book's contents are a welcome addition.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Mass Battle Guide (Savage Worlds)
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Perilous Journey #15: Mission Alpha
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/04/2014 11:54:03
The title of Perilous Journey #15 is a little misleading, this is the opening adventure in a new campaign set in the Hastilion Expanse, and expected to last for some 14 episodes... so don't get confused. The introduction attempts to reduce the confusion, explaining how the campaign is constructed to use the Savage Worlds ruleset, and Mystical Throne Entertainment's Mercenary Breed setting.

The basic premise of the campaign is telling the stories of an expansion into a new area of space, the Hastilion Expanse. Naturally, many corporations are eyeing up the opportunities, and there's the potential for many a fortune to be made. The characters will be hired - as mercenaries - to facilitate the plans of one such corporation, Drake Mining and Manufacturing... and the adventures begin.

Mission Alpha actually comprises three missions, which may be run in any order. They involve the party in various activities on behalf of Drake M&M - anything from diplomacy to more 'traditional' mercenary activities - as well as introducing them to some of the major players in the corporation and the murky world of corporation politics! This ensures plenty of activity that should keep the players entertained whether they prefer brawling or intrigue, or a bit of both.

Both the introductory sequence and the actual mission locations are well described with plenty of atmospheric detail that makes them come alive in the shared alternate reality that is your game. The neat thing is each of the missions would rate as a full adventure in most people's books - there really is a lot going on, and a vast amount to do. Although the adventures are quite open in structure, suiting the GM who likes to run with an outline of what's to take place, there is plenty and enough detail so that you are not left wondering how to respond to character actions.

As well as the actual missions, there are 'travelling encounters' that may be run when the party is in transit - interplanetary travel is quite slow and whilst it is OK for the characters to be bored, it is a good idea to keep the players entertained. There is also a Bestiary which covers any alien creatures mentioned in the adventure text, but which of course are available for use anywhere appropriate as well, and background notes on the Hastilion Expanse (it is suggested that you allow players to read these notes, most of this is general knowledge as far as the characters are concerned). For those interested in new character options, some are presented - you might want to make these available during character creation as there are three new xeno templates that would fit in quite well with this campaign. One is of a native species that will be encountered, you may prefer to hold that back against needing a replacement character when on their world, however. Notes are also provided about the corporate benefits available to loyal employees of Drake; and finally there's a bit of scene-setting fiction. Again, you may share this with the players, it doesn't give away any plot.

Whilst the material refers to the characters as 'mercenaries' I think they are more like 'corporate troubleshooters' in the nature of the work they are being asked to do. This has all the potential to develop into a truly epic campaign that will live on in a group's memory for years...

All I need now is some players!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Perilous Journey #15: Mission Alpha
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Perilous Journey #1: Portsmouth [Colonial Gothic]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/12/2014 10:50:03
Here is the first part of what promises to be an epic adventure series in the New World of Colonial Gothic, only a bit later - 1745 to be precise. The backstory to the campaign posits that the characters have just left England in search of the opportunities and religious freedoms offered across the Atlantic in the Colonies... but that they are also interested in the esoteric secrets that they might discover out there. At least one character has to be interested in the occult, others may share that interest or be along for reasons of their own.

The intention is for the occult-seeking character at least to arrive in Boston from England with a view to travelling on to Portsmouth in New Hampshire. Other characters may have come over with him, or meet up in Boston which is a good place to pick up all manner of other people when attempting to form a group. War has broken out between the colonies and the French (aided by Native Americans) so characters of these nationalites must expect a rough time unless they have a convincing argument for being where they are.

Portsmouth has been selected as the destination because of its size (big enough for the characters to pass relatively unnoticed but too small for the Inquisition to be active there) and the general level of opportunities available there. The first part of the adventure involves getting there and having a look around. A wealth of NPCs are provided to aid the party in embedding themselves into Portsmouth society and arranging residences and employment (which hopefully will last for the entire campaign and give them the resources needed to engage in the occult-hunting activities that are central to the plot). A nice touch is a 'vignette' to use to introduce each NPC as appropriate to the party.

As well as the initial adventure, which provides for some occult investigation once the party is settled in Portsmouth, this book also contains information about variant Character Options appropriate to the campaign's concept which are worth looking over before creating characters for this campaign. There is also an article on Historical Portsmouth, very useful in setting the scene. This includes a period map of the area.

Then there are some 'Occult Missions' which serve as side adventures should the characters be interested, and a collection of Adversaries, both animal and spirit in nature. Finally, there's some fiction, nice scene-setting but not linked to the adventure, so perfectly player-safe. That's the only real issue, this book lurches somewhat between bits that players can read and bits that are for the GM's eyes only. Just as well it is a PDF, the GM can distribute the pages he deems safe to share and hang on to the rest.

Overall this is a promising start and if your interests tend to alternate history and the occult, its well worth a look.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Perilous Journey #1: Portsmouth [Colonial Gothic]
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Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (Savage Worlds)
by Mr P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2013 18:38:49
I really like the Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (URLG). It is a concise and informative book for gaming in the Principate area of the Roman Empire. It includes a brief military history of the period, notable personages, discussions of weapons and armor, units, ranks, tactics, sample characters, a short adventure and more. I would gladly give the URLG a 5 rating except for two issues.

Page 11 briefly discusses the units that make up a Roman legion. The discussion of the maniple states that each maniple contained hastati, principes and triarii. This is actually not true. A maniple consisted of only one type of troop. The organization expressed in the text is actually describes a full mid-Republic legion in miniature.

The second issue is the discussion of Legion tactics on page 15. The text gives a concise and correct explanation of manipular tactics. However, manipular tactics had given way to cohortal tactics by the time of the Principate, the era covered by the book. Manipular tactics faded away through the mid to late 2nd century B.C. The maniple as the main tactical unit was replaced by the cohort. This was complete by the time of the Marian reforms at the end of the 2nd century B.C.

So, as much as I like this book and think it would be very helpful to Savage Worlds players, I can't give it a five star rating because of two errors mentioned above.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (Savage Worlds)
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Mythos Core Setting Guide
by Scott W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2013 09:32:30
MYTHOS - A WORLD OF EPIC DEEDS

In full disclosure the amazing folks over at Mystical Throne Entertainment gave me access to the PDF at no cost.

“Sing, O muse, of the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans.”
Bottom Line Up Front: If you want epic adventures pitting Demigods against each other, their Progenitors, or Furies-spawned creatures this is the setting for you. Hercules? Xena? Check, Game, Set, and Match.

Layout and Art

The design and actual layout of the book is very well conceived and implemented; a fully detailed index is present. The pages themselves are watermarked by images of actual Ionic or Doric columns and accented with traditional Greek borders along the top and bottom. Each major section of the book begins with several stanzas from a Greek Epic, each of which serves to set the tone of the following chapters. The artwork is a bit of a mixed bag for me, as the color art did not evoke Greek Epic at all, yet the stock art, pulled from literary sources and/or research tomes, fit perfectly well. Also, a hyperlinked index would have been HUGE, but it is not a deal breaker by any means. The use of a pseudo-hellenic font for chapter titles is a fun bonus.

The Setting Itself

After a brief (13 page) introduction to a truncated (by necessity) and slightly divergent (in a good, Sliders way) timeline and overview of Hellas mythology, we get to creating a character. This is pretty standard...or so it seems at first. The concepts/Archetypes are all nicely Greco-fied, but it is when the choice of race comes into play that the setting truly begins to shine. Players may choose either human or Demigod. Demigods are given, of course, many wonderful benefits from their progenitor, though there are some very serious drawbacks as well. Every Demigod has a d10 in one attribute from their patron and have access to a host of new edges which require, at a minimum, Demigod status. Some even require a benny, or Fate Point, to be sacrificed in order to take effect. Demigods are beloved by their Patron and are loyal until the end, however not all is milk and honey upon Hellas for these bright stars; they are also immediately loathed by another god in the pantheon. They will go out of their way to make this displeasure know, though always in the background so as not to anger the other gods. Each Demigod also begins play with two Major Hindrances and four Minor Hindrances (yes, you read that correctly). But wait, there’s more! These are chosen by the GM, whose sole duty is to strike the character in their, well, Achilles’ Heel. And this makes for an outstanding hero, full of potential, cursed from on high, and as laden with foibles as any woman. Or man.

The rest of PC creation discuses which skills are and are not present and how some might work differently, plus a short discussion on literacy. All of the weapons, armor, and miscellaneous gear/needs are addressed appropriate to the setting. Overall, there are so many options and flavor to character creation, you will be hard=pressed to find any fault here.

Bennies, called Fate Points, function a tad differently in Mythos, but those differences, such as spending more than one Fate Point at a time to elicit greater results, are remarkable. Their use also aids in gathering a cult-ish following. When they are utilized during a Divine Edge roll, the effect may actually bind others to them, weaving their Fate together. These folks, called Predestined Ones, take on very specific roles when in proximity to the Demigod. These are classic Masks from mythology and can be great fun at the table as a hero may also not live up to the expectations of the Predestined One…

There are 13 gods to seek out as patrons, and each is very unique. Each possess an overview of their ethos, as well as sins, virtues, and how the cults differ concerning open or at the mystery level. The gods, specifically a patron, must always be appeased in order to curry favor, and Mythos provides a few means of doing so. A hero make create Votives, from a clay idol to a temple, gaining favor (or disfavor if poorly done), which earns them rewards such as more Fate Points, or worse. Remember that Kraken and the Sea-side city? Sacrifice is always a great answer as a means of appropriation, and this takes the form of items, words, and deeds as pertinent to the patron.

The setting is not devoid of magic, not in the least. We are talking Greek Epics, where Zeus crushes cities and doles out magic toys for his beloved. A hero might beseech her patron for one of the infamous divine items, such as Athena’s Helm...but know that there is a Persuasion roll and some items carry hefty penalties.

A hero might also join a Mystery Cult and gain supernatural powers. The Mystery Cults are very well detailed and give a sense of purpose to each adherent. Each carries its own rites (and sometimes sub-rites) and allows for, essentially, the casting of spells. But these are not vanilla, plain vanilla spells. These are epic spells, such as a hero multiplying the number of arms and weapons. And the loss of energy from casting spells has an actual effect on the hero during play. One does not simply extend all of his energy and continue to fight unabated.

The setting book also has a geographic resource, detailing the lands and royal houses of Hellas. These details help set the mood for a discussion on playing an Epic game using Epic Deeds and how all of Fate is tied together in the Heavenly Contest. The last portion of this section concludes with a bestiary, which is an amazing assortment and who’s-who of the Hellas world. Medusa to Pirates to Hydra. They are all well presented and definitely evoke the feeling, no the need to defeat them and bask in the glory of Areas!

The last section of the book contains information on using a deck of cards as an Oracle to put together scenarios. It is very interestingly done, with both the suit and color of a card being vital to the set up. There is a short adventure for Novice PCs included and 12 Epic Tales divided by Rank; these are essentially one-sheets, but there are some very good ideas here for getting ‘Olympus’ right.

Overall, this is a very clever setting with some interesting sub-rules for bennies, gods, and how it all ties together. Even if you do not want to play in a Greek-inspired setting, much of the book will be an major gain to any fantasy campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythos Core Setting Guide
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Savage Insider Issue #8: Technology at the Table
by francesco b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2013 15:14:16
Always a few things per issue that are quality reads. Not as polished as some game magazines out there, but with just as much inspiring tidbits as the best of them. And inspiration is the main reason to read these things!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue #8: Technology at the Table
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Savage Insider Issue #9: Tales of the Weird
by francesco b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2013 15:13:59
Always a few things per issue that are quality reads. Not as polished as some game magazines out there, but with just as much inspiring tidbits as the best of them. And inspiration is the main reason to read these things!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue #9: Tales of the Weird
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Mercenary Breed (Expanded Edition)
by francesco b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2013 15:05:27
The plot creation system was very unique and useful. The system helped expand my thinking on story creation. The background materials are average, but the system is well worth a read to inspire.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed (Expanded Edition)
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Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
by francesco b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2013 15:00:27
Interesting mini-setting, but most of the information was just a re-interpreting of ground other materials have already gone over. Not a waste of money, but not completely necessary to any horror/monster hunter campaign.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
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Savage Insider Issue #9: Tales of the Weird
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/12/2013 09:00:03
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/07/12/tabletop-review-savage--
insider-9-tales-of-the-weird-savage-worlds/

I’m not really a big Savage Worlds gamer. I enjoy Deadlands Noir and the Savage Worlds Horror Companion, but generally I stick to other systems. I’m a big fan of gaming magazines as I love to read about the industry, so when the latest issue of Savage Insiderpromised to be an all “weird horror” issues, I had to pick it up. After reading the seventy page issue, I found things both good and bad about the publication. Of course that’s true about any gaming magazine since it’s a hodgepodge of articles. Basically, I found it to be better than other gaming magazines like Pathways and Kobold Quarterly, but not as enjoyable as Gygax Magazine or The Unspeakable Oath. The positive is that Savage Insider seems to be one of the better gaming magazines right now that actually publishes on a regular schedule, but that’s just my first impressions from this single issue. I’ll have to pick up a few more issues to see if that holds true.

One interesting thing about Savage Insider is that it’s part of a new trend in digital RPG products, which allows the gamer to “Pay What They Want.” So yes, you can get the magazine for free if you really want to. This doesn’t make you a cheapskate. Think of it as the first hit is free. I DO think that PWYW games do need a suggested price, but that’s just me as a reviewer and it becomes hard to recommend a piece on content quality per price tag. The previous Savage Insider magazines are free at DriveThruRPG.com, so consider picking them if you like what I have to say about the magazine here. I know I will be!

There are thirteen articles in this issue of Savage Insider. Two of them are short stories, neither of which I cared for because I’d rather be reading articles about gaming content. I can read short fiction anywhere, after all, but at least the stories weren’t terrible, right?

• From the Designer – This article is a discussion by the EIC about changes coming to the magazine and an overview of the “Weird Horror.” It’s a single page that does what it needs to. 1 for 1.


•In the News –This is several pages of recently releases and upcoming products for Savage Worlds. I was impressed by the sheer number of Savage Worlds products coming out and many of them look pretty interesting. My favorite were the pulp adventures by Adamant Entertainment, but there was a wide range of different themes and campaign settings showcased, all of which used Savage Worlds rules. Excellent job here. 2 for 2.



• The Enemy in the Shadows – A long rambling dull story about Nazis dealing with the mystical horror of invading the USSR during WWII. It’s something I’ve seen and read several dozen in my lifetime, and I’m just bored with this same exact story being retread right down to the Baba Yaga references. Snore. 2 for 3.


• The Mask Peddler – A fun article about different magical masks and the effects they can have on a PC that dons them. Excellent job and it got me thinking of all kinds of adventures that could be done with these. 3 for 4.


•The Asylum – a generic paint by numbers adventure that would work best with the Realms of Cthulhu setting for Savage Worlds. It’s an 1890s fantasy horror about an asylum and a crazy scientist corrupted by his quest for knowledge. It’s not a bad adventure, but it’s pretty paint by numbers and woefully generic at times. It would be great for younger gamers, but veterans of systems like Call of Cthulhu and Chill will probably be bored with this as it’s all things they’ve seen, done and killed before. 3 for 5.


•Thule Society – This is a nice nonfiction article about the actual Thule Soceity, its origins and how to use such organizations in your gaming sessions. This was wonderfully written. 4 for 6.


•Combat Deadliness – Two pages on making attacks more deadly in order to raise the fear factor in your players. It didn’t do anything for me and it felt more unbalanced and not properly vetted than anything else. 4 for 7.


• The Ministry of Decisions – another piece of fiction. It’s better than the first in the magazine and feels a little like it was ripped from The God Machine Chronicle Onyx Path Publishing recently releases. It’s not great, but at only three pages I was amused and entertained. It’s not something I’d seek out to read again, but it was good as filler between articles. 5 for 8.


•Dust to Dust – A neat little adventure set in the 1930s. My only problem is that is doesn’t FEEL like the 1930s. This is the era of the Dust Bowl after all, and Dust to Dust (Not to be confused by the Vampire: The Masquerade adventure of the same name) doesn’t feel the 1930s at all. There’s no real attempt to flesh out the time period or to make the adventure feel like it’s actually in the time period. Hell, it could be easily dropped into any very rural community at any time in the first half of the 20th century. The writer really should have done a better job in this regard. Aside from that, Dust to Dust is a well written creepy affair worth playing through. The adventure could have really used a bit of editing or tweaking, but it’s a free six page adventure in a technically free magazine, so brevity and depth are obviously going to be the first things cut with this space allotment. Overall, I’m very happy with Dust to Dust and will enjoy inflicting on my players at some point. 6 for 9.



•Semi-Divine – a discussion on the Demigod “rank” in Savage Mojo’s Suzerain campaign setting. I can’t say I’ve ever been interested in it, nor did this article make me change my mind, but it’s well written and should bring in some new players to the line, which means it served its purpose. This didn’t really fit the “weird horror” theme of the issue though… 7 for 10.


•Accursed – A preview of the upcoming campaign setting by publisher Melior Via. It seems pretty interesting, as players are all affected by various curses from witches. I don’t know if it is a setting I’d ever personally use, but the article did make it sound quite interesting. 8 for 11.


•Book Reviews – This is more a review of Savage Worlds products than, say, the type of books reviewed in the New York Times, but what do you expect – it’s a gaming mag! There are only three products reviews (approximately one per page of the article) and they’re okay for the length. They aren’t really in-depth (This review of the magazine is longer than any of the reviews for example) and in the age of the internet, reviews in a magazine feel more like product placement than anything else, but they are nicely done and hey, I’d hire the writers to help with some of the massive backlog of tabletop review products we have here at Diehard GameFAN. 9 for 12.


•Calendar of Events – I missed this from the old days of Dragon Magazine in the TSR era. Basically, this is a write up of all the gaming events going on from July to October. It’s great to see everything. They only problem is that the magazine came out on July 5th and something like CONVergence was already running for two days at that point, you see? I think it would be better done had it been August to November as running a list of events for the same month the magazine comes out can be a tricky thing to pull off correctly. Still, this is a wonderfully done article and I like seeing the word get out about events in this manner. 10 for 13.

So not bad, right? Ten out of thirteen articles got a thumb’s up from me which is basically a 77% quality rate. I’ll definitely be back to check out future issues of Savage Insider as well as perusing through the back issues of the magazine at some point. If you’re a fan of the system or just a fan of gaming magazines in general (I have a lot of friends who are), Savage Insider #9 is well worth picking up. I’m definitely glad I did.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue #9: Tales of the Weird
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