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The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/25/2014 06:22:50
A fascinating glimpse into an early superhero - 'the most marvelous woman ever known' - who despite living in a jungle was more of a superhero than a 'jungle girl', at least in early issues.

She first appeared in 1940 billed as 'The Mystery Woman of the Jungle' but was not the typical female jungle-dweller as she displayed superpowers and a strict code of justice - defeating a pair of treasure-hunters intent on pillaging a wealthy hidden city in the first story. This is a faithful reproduction of the original black and white lineart, nice and clear and easy to read.

The second story is in similar vein, Fantomah defeats a mad scientist hell-bent on destroying jungle animals in revenge for a most unfortunate series of incidents during a hunting trip... using, of course, a crazy device that harnesses the power of the moon to create a tidal wave to flood the jungle. That sorted, she's off again to save a valley-full of pumas from another nut-job who plans to use them in his plot for world domination - all classic stuff, and nicely presented. The next story is again one of defence against someone who would damage the jungle and its inhabitants, this time by sorcery.

Then comes the 'rules bit' - with some new feats to model Fantomah's abilities, a starting occupation of Protector of the Wild and associated talent trees and prestige class, along with a full set of statistics for Fantomah herself. Mention is made of the odd fact that over time she became LESS powerful, possibly due to later authors not being quite as inventive as those responsible for the early stories, and this will be explored, we are told, in later volumes.

Lastly there's another comic, in which Fantomah thwarts yet another mad scientist, this one is trying to turn a man into an ape. Again her powers save the day, and the poor fellow is freed to continue his honeymoon safari.

If you get hold of this before your players and you like jungle/pulp adventures you might want to use these stories as the basis for your plots, but they'll only work if your campaign includes truly out-of-this-world superpowers and supernatural abilities that are never explained. A jolly good read, though.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Three Lives of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle
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Sherry Flippe
by David E S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2014 23:35:30
Sherry Flippe is 30 pages of old comics. Stuck in there is four pages of RPG material, a battle scenario for ROLF and some stats for D6xD6, none of which was very interesting to me.

So, Sherry Flippe? Sherry Flippe is funny, cute funny, full of situations that go wrong in predictable comedic ways. It's nothing terribly surprising, but cute for that. As these are public domain, you can find six of these pages through a simple web search, which will give you a good sample.

Which actually goes to my real issue with these. As you can see if you do that search, the originals were in color. The reproduction is okay, nothing I would complain about had the originals been in black and white, but color would have made them a lot clearer and authentic, and there's no reason a PDF shouldn't be in color.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Sherry Flippe
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Newshounds #1
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/21/2014 06:34:57
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/08/21/tabletop-review-newshou-
nds-1-d6xd6-core/

Usually NUELOW Games puts out pieces for their ROLF brand, but Newshounds #1 is different. It’s actually for a system that’s not even out yet! I’m talking about d6xd6 CORE, which nearly 500 games crowdfunded earlier this month. Now you’re probably wondering how you can possibly play this when the core rules won’t be out for several months yet. Well, until the game is out you can pick up a draft copy of the rules at the game’s official website. Besides, it’s not unheard of for adventures to core out before the core rulebook. CHaosium has been doing it for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition and Catalyst Games Labs has been doing it for the Valiant Universe RPG. Now, I was a backer for d6xf6 CORE but only at the PDF level. Backers who pitched in more than I received a free backer copy of Newshounds #1 in addition to Judy of the Jungle. So in fact there are two adventures for this newer than new system if you are interested. That said, the only one I received a review copy for was Newshounds so that’s why we’re looking at that.

Newshounds #1 is more than an adventure. It actually contains five old school pulp comics from 1945. All of these comics are now in the public domain and thus are technically free to anyone who wants to reprint them in a similar fashion to what NUELOW Games has done here. Each of the five comics are in black and white (save for the cover), which works just fine for me as they are pulp fiction, and I always feel they look better in greyscale than in four colour. Three of the comics are from the “Ace of the Newsreels” line (which only had eight comics, so you’re getting nearly half of the run here!), along with one entitled “Gail Porter, Girl Photographer” and another called “Copy Boy”. Quality of the comics varies from story to story and ultimately, it will depend on the reader to ascertain the quality for themselves. I can see why the “Ace of the Newsreels” series didn’t last very long in its heyday and parts of the stories have not aged well such as the dizzy danger-prone dame sidekick who always needs to be rescued by the male protagonist. It is what it is. While I’m okay with it because it is a product of its time, I know some people CAN’T so they might roll their eyes at this running plot hook or worse. The “Gail Porter, Girl Photographer” is bookended with anti-suicide cheese, but the core story is a fun one. “Copy Boy feels like a “Jimmy Olsen” rip-off complete with Judy as Lois Lane, Mr. Jackson as Perry White and Mr. Trent as Clark Kent (No Superman alter ego though!). Again, all the stories in here are worth flipping through. Five pulp comics for $1.99 isn’t a bad deal by any means, but there’s more content than just this, which only serves to sweeten the deal.

In addition to the comics and a one page crossword puzzle, Newshounds #1 gives us a three page adventure for the d6x6d CORE system. The adventure is called, “The Death of a Mystic” and it uses the protagonists from “Ace of the Newsreels” along with the Neulow mascot superheroine, The Black Cat. The story revolves around saving socialite Linda Turner from the machinations of a fraudulent swami. Of course, exposing the swami as a fake is just the start of the adventure as he vows revenge on the PCs for taking a way his meal ticket and will try to murder each of them in turn. The adventure itself is very much an “on-rails” piece with little room for flexibility or deviance, and you really have to know and care about the “Ace of the Newsreels” characters for this piece to work. What’s more, there is no real explanation of d6xd6 CORE at all in this piece. The adventure assumes you have extremely familiar with the rules system, so the mechanics side will read as little more than gobblygook to most of you. The good news is that because the adventure is so scripted out, it can easily be converted to a different system. The GM/Host will have to rework the character sheets if they want to covert “The Death of a Mystic” but every scene and much of the NPC dialogue is all there for you. In the end the adventure is an okay one. For people already familiar with d6xd6 CORE, it’s a fun way to see the mechanics in action and you’ll also get six pregenerated characters, a new Core Occupation and a new Core Skill. For everyone else, you might want to wait until you have the core rulebook in your possession unless you think five pulp comics for $1.99 is a fine deal. For myself, I’m glad I picked this up as I wanted to see how d6 x d6 CORE would look done by a third party publisher and for only $1.99, fans/Kickstarter backers of this upcoming system should certainly consider picking Newshounds #1 up.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Newshounds #1
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Judy of the Jungle: Murder Goes Native
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/13/2014 10:55:17
If you enjoy classic pulp tales set in the jungle where a white face is a rarity and most of the wildlife is hostile (except a few remarkably tame beasts) you are in for a treat, with several full stories reproduced, the comic strips in crisp greyscale, the text ones in less-well-scanned images (not OCRd).

Tales of confusion between modern medicine and traditional ways, and even of a film-maker determined on setting wild animals against each other and never mind any human beings around... stuff that all would make excellent 1920s jungle adventures (does anyone run Justice Inc any more?) or provide additional colour to a plotline that takes the party into the jungle for another reason.

There's also some notes based around a new ruleset that's in preparation, called 'd6xd6 Core'. This is being written by Lester Smith and is due out around December 2014 (this review being written in July 2014), and looks a slick rules-light fun-heavy system. Various characters from the Judy of the Jungle tales have been statted up under this game mechanic.

More, there is a 'Jungle Adventure Element Generator' to help you set up events whenever the party decides to venture into a jungle, most of which is applicable whenever and wherever your game is set (although fantasy gamers might struggle to make sense of Nazis turning up!). This generator lets you select or roll randomly for the main antagonist and the beginning, middle and end threats around which you can build your story.

Finally, things take a watery twist with some stories in similar vein featuring South Sea Girl, including the title story, Murder Goes Native. Plenty to enjoy here in unabashed pulp style.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Judy of the Jungle: Murder Goes Native
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Modern Basics: Feats of an Adult Nature
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2014 15:14:39
This is a hard one to judge.

The feats are for the most part exactly what you expect. They pander to stereotypes in broadest sense and most are somewhat immature.
I think the authors were going for that to be honest. So maybe a point up for blunt honesty.

But the trouble is that most of the feats are not much as unusable but worthless. Will "Gaydar" help me in a situation? Will I ever say "wow I am glad I took that instead of Cleave". No. Plus it would work better anyway as a specialized skill.

The price is even tongue in cheek, so I know they don't take this that seriously. Still though I like to get something for my money.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Basics: Feats of an Adult Nature
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The Werewolf Hunter #1
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2014 15:03:29
I am not 100% sure what this product is trying to be.

The cover is from Weird Tales, so that caught my attention.
There is a short story from Robert E. Howard. Some other stories all around a werewolf theme.

There are some comics featuring the PD character Lady Satan.
There is some ideas for a game, and the OGL.

I like that it feels like an old Pulp or Golden Age comic, but I think it is trying to do too much in one book.
For RPG elements some character write-ups say using a couple of the most popular open Supers games (Icons, BASH, M&M) would have been useful.

Lots of potential here but it needs focus.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Werewolf Hunter #1
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NUELOW Stock Art Collection #5: Visions of Beauty and Nightmares
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2014 14:56:40
Clipart Collection #5

30 pages, split between black & white and color versions of Golden Age inspired art.
A license is included for you to use the art on your website or publication, but you are warned that the images might not be of high enough resolution.
The art has a cool Golden Age Horror comic vibe to it. Not sure what I am going to do with it yet, but it is pretty cool and only $2.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NUELOW Stock Art Collection #5: Visions of Beauty and Nightmares
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Timothy, Thank you for your review! I just want to clarify that the content is adapted from Golden Age comics art, not inspired by it. It consists of retouched and/or edited cover images, or individual panels from stories. Also, the resolution on all the illos should be fine for any digital use--even at 200 times the size we present the art in, I think, if you want to crop this or that detail for a particular image for a spot illo. Most of the scans are NOT high enough resolution for quality print products, though. --Steve Miller
NUELOW Stock Art Collection #4: Scenes From Yesterday's Future
by Dominique C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2014 07:49:56
Some of the art may be usable in my RPG products, although the quality of scanning and such, is often sub-par (but I can improve it fortunately). Yet, at a 2$ cost, there was no need to hesitate and regret.

However, my problem with this compilation of last century art, lies elsewhere. In looking at them, I realized these illustrations were most probably drawn between 1950 and 1960. And this brings me to an important concern: how do I know that these images are in the public domain?! (Nothing tells me that "Nuelow" is the rightful owner of the copyrights.) Since 1950, there has not been yet 70 years passed; and furthermore, the artists could well have died much later, so their art is probably still their copyrighted (or their families). Now, if I decide to use some of it in a book for sale, how do I know that I won't get sued by the rightful owners of these images? I need answers to this, and other customers too!!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NUELOW Stock Art Collection #4: Scenes From Yesterday's Future
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Publisher Reply:
The illustrations in all of our packs were derived from works (work-for-hire projects) published prior to 1963 that did not have their copyrights renewed in \'78 or a later date; I do a records search as part of the process of preparing these, and the sources from which these illos were derived are firmly in the public domain, according to U.S. law. (And there is no need to worry about GATT exceptions, as the publishers were all U.S.-based companies, and we draw from the U.S. editions.) NUELOW Games is the rightful owner of the versions presented in these packs and I can\'t see any issue arising from anyone using them for their own purposes, under the terms put forth in the packs. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me, and I will happily try to point you toward answers. --Steve Miller
Lady Satan
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2013 13:03:29
I'll start off by saying the one thing I found wrong with this collection: The photoshopping of the cover and title page logo could be a LOT better.

Other than that, this is an excellent little collection of two hard-to-find features. The original Lady Satan stories had the aplomb of Lady Luck with the war-time scenarios of Black Venus or Airboy's Valkyrie. I wish there would've been more stories of this particular version made, as I would like to have seen this character develop more in that resistance-style storyline.

The Veiled Avenger was a quaint little feature that was also very enjoyable. As the compiler notes it would've been interesting to learn something of the background of Ginny Spears, but I can live with what we have: Simple and fun comic stories, the hallmark of the Golden Age!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lady Satan
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the feedback! At the time, i felt the \"flash\" I left on the logo was interesting. In retrospect, i may have been wrong. :) We may be retiring this particular edition and folding the content into the \"Complete Golden Age Oddballs\" series, so I might have another crack at the Lady Satan logo yet.
NUELOW Stock Art Collection #4: Scenes From Yesterday's Future
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/07/2013 11:26:15
An excellent and nostalgic collection of eary science-fiction art, the sort that is somewhat pulpesque and redolent of early comic books. The dreams we all dreamed, before NASA and the USSR made manned spaceflight a reality and we discovered what spacesuits and starships really look like...

You might want this collection just to revel in it, but should it prove appropriate to something you are writing, the licence terms are generous (although - a pet hate of mine - you only see them after you have purchased and downloaded the product!). Note that the resolution is suitable for electronic use - webpages or perhaps PDF - only, it is not good enough for full-blown print use.

It's a real feast visually, with all the classic images - space helmets that look like goldfish bowls, scantily-dressed ladies (although at least one such lady is busy rescuing a man!), rayguns and hideous tentacled aliens... oh, and there's a jet pack or two, and man-eating plants!

As well as a fine array of action scenes, there's a bunch of 'head shots' which might be used, for example, to decorate your character sheet in an appropriately-themed game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NUELOW Stock Art Collection #4: Scenes From Yesterday's Future
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ROLF: A Recipe for Evil
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/30/2013 10:36:02
Kitchens always make good places for a brawl - where else do you have hot stuff and loads of sharp knives available in such abundance? Not to mention the mess you can make as the ingredients go flying...

There are a handful of scenarios following Sally the Sleuth as she attempts to discover why some of a renowned cooking school's students are turning killer over something other than fallen souffles and Michelin Star rivalry in her usual classic style - and as a bonus some original Sally the Sleuth comic strips from the 1930s.

Despite the original lead being mayhem in food courts, most of the action takes place at the catering college - in the training kitchens and the faculty offices.

All jolly good fun in the best possible taste!

The comic strip is in similar vein, except this time Sally is sent to infiltrate a model agency to investigate catfights on the catwalks... another setting that would work well for ROLF mayhem.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: A Recipe for Evil
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Carnival
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2013 11:01:10
A real four-colour gem here... some neat scans of what looks like original comic-book pages presented with the clarity of that slight graininess I remember from the first one I found on a visit to New York in 1973!

As for the stories - high jinks (some on the flying trapeze too) in a circus setting, quite repleate with ideas for adventures in the three short stories presented. And if you are inspired to run such a game, there's a D20 Modern occupation of 'Carnie' along with a few suitable feats and talent trees for characters who want to work in a circus.

Enjoy the comics or bring all the thrills of the circus to your games... or both... with this excellent presentation.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Carnival
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Icing Oetzi: A ROLF! Historical Recreation
by Rob M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2013 07:44:47
Icing Oetiz contains two pages dedicated to a prehistoric scenario and two pages of rules clarification and options.

This supplement clarifies some of the more vague rules of ROLF and also provides some insight into how the game should be played. I think that after reading Icing Oetzi, I finally have a good grasp on how to play ROLF as it is intended. Essentially, ROLF is a dice-rolling game inspired by RPGs. Although ROLF is sold on a RPG store and looks very much like an RPG, its heritage is closer to dice games like Button Men.

There is a scenario included in which players recreate three possible deaths of Oetzi, an actual human being whose mummified remains suggests some serious violence in prehistoric Italy. I really like the idea of playing out three possible deaths of the character, like a big, dumb version of the Clue movie.

If NEULOW Games were to release a revised or deluxe edition of ROLF, the rules and scenario in this supplement should definitely be included as they provide the best guidance on how to have fun with ROLF.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Icing Oetzi: A ROLF! Historical Recreation
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ROLF: Steve Costigan and the Thief of Youth
by Rob M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2013 07:33:46
This is a short adventure for two-players (one of which is the gamemaster) based on the adventures of Sailor Steve Costigan, one of Robert E. Howard's lesser known creations. Costigan is an unruly and uncultured sailor who solves all problems with his fists and the help of his little white bulldog Mike. Drawing closely on the source material, this adventure is filled with the pulpiest tropes possible and a sprinkling of old-school orientalist racism.

Having just reviewed the ROLF rule book and being left with uncertainties on the system, I'm glad that this adventure provides some insight on how to run a ROLF adventure. Although it is not clear in the rule book, this adventure makes it clear that ROLF should be played with a gamemaster who takes the role of the antagonists and describes the world to the player who controls the hero.

Unfortunately, this adventure includes Traits and Combat Maneuvers not found in the ROLF core rule book with little indication as to where to find the new rules. The adventure is supposed to be compatible with a game called The Violent Worlds of Robert E. Howard, which may be bundled with other ROLF products but does not have a listing of its own. I understand that ROLF is a very loose system that is spread out across dozens of cheap supplements, but it would be nice to have some idea what products are required to run an adventure.

Likewise, on at least two occasions the notes state that the protagonist is not supposed to attack during a fight. I'm not sure how that is supposed to work, especially since he is expected to win at least one of the fights. Perhaps I am missing some obscure rule or this is a poor way of saying he should be on the defensive, but I don't see how the encounter is supposed to go down with the punch-happy boxer keeping his hands in his pockets.

Assuming that the players have the all the rules required to run this adventure, it should prove to be pretty fun. The plot is very well informed by the pulp fiction conventions and has its tongue locked firmly in its cheek. There is plenty of old-fashioned racist phrases and Yellow Peril is a major theme of this adventure. If you have a hard time telling sincerity from satire, you may want to pass on this one.

Oh, and a tip on getting the most out of this adventure: Don't talk to the cops.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: Steve Costigan and the Thief of Youth
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the feedback. I can see we need to do a better job at labeling these things--or maybe just de-list this particular product. You picked the ONE ROLF! supplement that is the odd-one out among them. It was intended initially JUST for inclusion in the REH anthology "Shanghaied Mitts," but we decided to make it available by itself, in case someone had picked up "Fists of Foolishness" (which included "The Violent Worlds of Robert E. Howard") but didn't want to spring for the second anthology. It's the ONE time where the Combat Maneuvers and Traits not in the core rules but used in the supplement are not included. (Drop me an email... if you're interested, I can set you up with a couple of other ROLF! supplements that are more "typical.")
ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
by Rob M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2013 10:43:48
Yep, it's a "rollplaying game." I've heard an awful lot about rollplaying and how terrible of a thing it is, so I was surprised to come across a game that is all about the ill-aligned practice.

ROLF is a beer and pretzel's game about sexy muscle bound idiots who either want to kill each other or fuck each other. It's a game best played with a lot of beer and pretzels. This is the kind of game you bring to the table when you've lost the cognitive faculties for a more nuanced game. A dumb, frisky warrior is very easy to roleplay when you've had a few too many.

The game is based on a simple roll-low system based three attributes and there are no rules related to anything outside of combat. At only 10 pages, you don't get much more rules-light than this. There are some rules for Traits, for players who want more fleshed out characters, but the book makes it perfectly clear that your priority should be killing things, not telling an interesting story.

The one problem that ROLF may have is its initiative system. Each character makes two moves each round, but in a forward and back order. For instance, if there are three characters in a fight the order of moves would be ABCCBA. This seems like it would add some interesting strategy, but I can also see it getting a bit messy since Character C's first turn may be a reaction to Character A's move, but first they have to wait through Character B's turn to resolve if Character A's move is successful. This can get very dicey if more than three characters are in a combat, which puts a hard limit on how many people can play ROLF and what a gamemaster can throw at the players.

As I wrote that last sentence, I realized that there is no discussion of a gamemaster anywhere in this book. I assumed that there would be a gamemaster, but it's possible that ROLF is intended to be a GMless free-for-all game. There is mention of using ROLF for a campaign, but that seems impossible if this is the case.

ROLF is an incomplete game. The foundation is strong, simple and goofy fun, but you can't help but think that there is a lot missing from this game. It's important for a beer and pretzel's game to be as complete as possible since drunk players are not going to want to figure out a way for fair rulings on the fly. However, ROLF is very well supported by the publisher, so some of the holes in the system may be addressed in other releases.

With a list price of only $1.50, ROLF may be worth a look for your gaming arsenal. The concept of stupid, sexy fighters is certainly something that would appeal to gamers who need something simple and lighthearted. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it can match the quality of similar games like Old School Hack and Kobolds Ate My Baby.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for a very perceptive review. ROLF! was created as a spoof RPGs, which is the reason for the holes you mention; it's shot through with game design meta-humor. Said holes have indeed been plugged in the supplements that are currently available--with the most important "plugs" appearing in "Icing Oetzi." The strictly two-player variant "You Vs. Me" was not shot through with quite as much meta-humor as "Big Dumb Fighters," so it is complete ROLF! was also originally conceived as a GMless free-for-all and we had actually never seriously considered it usable for campaign play. However, we have learned that GMs have been used in running it and that there have been at least one campaign. So, in supplements, we have attempted to take that into account, (Again, "You vs. Me" is very clearly presented as GMless.)
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