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Colonial Civil War
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2015 08:08:25
dieheart.net/colonial-civil-war/
-----------------
Colonial Civil War (CCW) is an homage to Battlestar Galactica. This is obvious if you look at the cover. For 1 buck, you get a 9-pages-PDF with 6 pages of content (the rest is the cover, some intro text and the OGL).
The module comes with two small no-frills maps and some sparse but good-looking illustrations. The layout is classic with 2 columns. Everything is easy to read. There are some minor issues when stat blocks are spread over two pages, but that’s a small nitpick. There is some confusion with the names of the starships, I think the author renamed them in the process of writing this module but forgot to update the PDF.
All in all, it’s not an exciting looking product but solid work for a small niche publisher.

Warning: spoilers ahead!

What do I like?
This is such a cool “rip-off” of BSG, it’s quite cheeky but also pretty awesome if your players know the series. There is a lot of suspense and action for the players. The story is interesting.
You start in space around the Continental One, the flagship of the president. There is an attack by the Cyborgs and you have to protect President Rose Lane (Act I). Afterwards, you return to your WarStar “Unicorn” just to discover that someone has injected a computer virus into the system. Now the players need to defeat the virus and find the Chimera Cyborgs (Act II). I like that you have to fight on two fronts: stop the virus and find the enemy. The rules for battling the virus are pretty neat.
There is not much material for Act III:

There is no act three because Act Three is what your players do. How do they resolve this problem, for good or ill? It all happens when you play the game. Enjoy!!!
but the author gives you some pointers on how to uphold the tension. They could be more fleshed-out, but at least there are some ideas.

Where do I see room for improvement?
It would be helpful to state that this is a low-level adventure in the description of the product.
The module feels a bit railroady. There is a clear idea how it plays out. Rescue the president, then get back to your WarStar. Oh, there is a virus. Hm, what caused it? Oh, wait, here is a cluebat which I can drop down on my players so they know that Cyborg Chimeras are on board. This feels kinda lame to me.
The rest of the adventure is per default kinda hack-&-slashy. There are six Chimerans on board which the players need to eliminate. The GM doesn’t get a lot of info on how to flesh out the Chimerans. Ultimately, their goal was to assassinate the president to start a civil war or take control of the WarStar to attack the planet. So, when it comes down to hunting the Chimerans are they willing to give up or will they fight till the end? I guess that’s what you’ll need to decide yourself. Furthermore, with the Chimerans able to look like any crew member, I assume that you constantly have the players catch them in the act or play the Chimerans as quite dumb. Wouldn’t it be more logical to pretend to be an innocent crew member? There is no info on how the players can find out if someone is a Chimeran or not if one pretends to be. Wouldn’t that be an interesting role-playing opportunity where the players try to question the crew in order to find out who is an imposter? If you want that, you as the GM need to come up with ideas yourself.
The map of the WarStar is serviceable, but I wonder why everything plays out on one level. It’s a big starship, it makes no sense. I would have liked a map with different levels.

TL;DR
Again, a really nice idea and a module with some potential. Like the first module by DM Studios, I feel this a bit bare bones and could use some more background material to make it a bit more interesting and offer more options than the default route. Still, I like it better than Star Temple of Saturgalia as fighting the virus and finding the Chimeran Cyborgs is pretty cool.
All in all, for $1.00 I like this module and with some adjustments I would also run it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Colonial Civil War
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Star Temple of Saturgalia
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2015 13:43:52
http://dieheart.net/star-temple-of-saturgalia/
--------------

A few days ago I asked for review material for White Star (aff) at the G+ community. Darrel Miller from DM Studios was one of the people who answered me. So I’m reviewing one of his adventures today. I got a free PDF for reviewing purposes.

Star Temple of Saturgalia (StoS) is a short mini-adventure for the sci-fi OSR game White Star.

"You and your team have been sent, or forced to go, to the Star Temple of Saturgalia. There you hope to find the fabled Star Amulet that may turn the tide in the Space War. Ignite your Star Saber, strap on your blaster, and prepare to avoid the Imperial Customs – you’re going on an adventure. Prepare to enjoy a couple of hours of FUN!!!"

Warning: slight spoilers ahead!

You get 4 pages of content. The look of this product is pretty good for a small niche publisher. The layout is done in two columns (the spacing in between could be a bit bigger) with a good-to-read font and nice tables. There is some artwork which looks very nice. The adventure contains one map where the font is hard to read but other than that the product’s visual quality is quite good.

Obviously, this adventure is a nod towards Star Wars and Tatooine. There are some space encounters and then you land on a desert planet to retrieve the McGuffin from the small dungeon/temple. Although the blurb says you should avoid Imperial Customs, there is no mention of them in the book. That’s a bit strange.

While there are good things to say about StoS there are also some problems.

Let’s start with the things I like:
As said above, it’s a nice looking product. It has a sleek looking cover. The adventure itself is simple but for a one-shot there is nothing wrong with that.
The included dungeon map uses some circular routes which is a plus for such a small dungeon. There are some interesting features, traps etc.
I really really like the homage to Star Wars. This is very nicely done.

Where do I see potential for improvement?
First, I’m not sure what the target audience for this adventure is. It doesn’t say if this is a low-level adventure or not. I assume it is, as the random encounters feature 1 HD or 2 HD monsters. However, the end boss is pretty tough in comparison which doesn’t fit.
Second, for an old school adventure I as a potential buyer (and the Game Master) want something tangible where I do not need to fill out too much myself. Improvisation is fine and dandy but if a great portion of the adventure hinges on it, it doesn’t help me much. Unfortunately, that’s the case with SToS. On the way to the temple, there are obligatory (not-so) random encounters. It starts on route to the planet where the players are on board a ship and the GM has to roll 3 times for encounters. The chance of no encounter is 1 in 6! But if the encounter is another starship the chances for a friendly or neutral reaction are pretty high. I am missing material to flesh out these encounters. What if I only roll neutral reactions? Where is the challenge in that? How can I make this interesting for the players? Are there additional hooks? This info is missing.
This continues with the journey on the planet. Here the GM needs to roll two times and the chance of an encounter is 6 in 6. So, with 100% chance of an encounter, there is not so much randomness. There is only the question of what you meet not if you encounter something. Again, the table is very bare bones and I will need to come up with some interesting stuff on my own.
If this was a product for a game that encourages shared narrative and improv like the Powered-by-the-Apocalypse-family the sparse details wouldn’t carry much weight but for an old school game I’m expecting more.
In the end, I guess this adventure could have used some critical playtesters to smooth out its rough edges.

Where does that leave us?
This adventure has some potential but falls too short if you want more than approx. 2 hours of fun. I’m encouraging the author to overhaul this product: either provide more background material for the encounters or change the adventure’s reliance on those. I would rate this as 2-3 out of 5 stars.
It looks like it is the first product for White Star by DM Studios. While my review is a bit harsh it is given in the spirit of trying to help to improve this adventure. I still hope to see more products by this publisher. I know that Darrel Miller has at least one more adventure (Colonial Civil War) which I will review, too.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Star Temple of Saturgalia
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Star Temple of Saturgalia
by Lawrence H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 19:44:11
http://followmeanddie.com/2015/05/12/review-star-temple-of-s-
aturgalia/

The first(?) available third party adventure for White Star, Star Temple of Saturgalia is a six page PDF, that after the cover and OGL leave four pages for the adventure.

This was billed as an introductory adventure. Nowhere in the PDF does it indicate that is is for low level characters. It is obvious from a reading of the text that it is for a group of low level characters.

The method of handling encounters almost guarantees that there will be three space encounters en route to the planet. Instead of a 1 in 6 chance of there being an encounter, there is a 1 in six chance of no encounter. The odds of the encounter ignoring the players or being friendly combined are 50% or greater. So even if there is an encounter, it does not guarantee a chase or fight. The intent of the designer is to have tension. If one is playing up to the tropes of the genre, this is understandable. However, the GM is free to handle this his or her own way.

Once on the planet, there are two encounters, potentially competition from an NPC party, or natives are the greatest possibility. A natural disaster or a creature encounter are also likely. The use of bumble dogs, or a new creature, the gindo, introduced at the end of the module.

This is a very basic outline of an adventure. With the near guarantee of one or two ship encounters, plus two encounters on the way to the temple, it will stretch out the adventure. If you go by the roll of the dice, and there are no space encounters, and the planet side encounters are neutral or friendly, this could be a quick one maybe two hour one shot.

It is an interesting idea, and has enough meat on it that an experience GM could make an evening of it. If you don't have a list of natural disasters, you will need to make your own table, as the author only gives a couple of suggestions.

The temple itself is a basic dungeon crawl, and it an interesting twist. The map is he standard square rooms and passages, which server to get the point across. The fonts used for the room numbers are not clear, so that some numbers look like each other. I assume that the rooms and areas are numbered in a clockwise fashion, so it is easy to make sense of it, but it still takes a moment to be sure of this. There are also a few grammatical errors, indicating that the text needed a quick review by a new set of eyes or to sit for a few days before finalizing. A suggested description of the natives of the planet, if not a new race, would be interesting.

At one dollar, the items, tables, new creature, and other ideas presented can make an interesting one-shot introduction of the rules to new players, and a skilled GM can easily expand it to be something more substantial in their own campaign.

If you need some help for prepping last minute, this module only needs a few things to be ready to play on short notice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Triumphant! Clip Art Pack 1
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/07/2013 16:11:23
Another great collection of Public Domain super-hero character clip art from DM Studios. With more and more Public Domain comic character being resurrected by comic publishers it means that there is going to be interest in these characters from other sources as well. Now, designers can have good quality, low cost art for their tie-in games as well. Another good package of art from DM Studios!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Triumphant! Clip Art  Pack 1
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Public Domain Heroes and Villains #1
by Christopher K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2012 07:54:33
First, I have to admit that I am not the target audience for this product: the Public Domain supers site contains characters that I really could care less about. But I bought the book because I'm really interested in CCVF and I wanted to see more example characters. The problem is that these characters are so low-powered that even the open-ended Trait system is stretched to its limits to give these characters "abilities." Furthermore, there are several mathematical errors and some rules errors as well (many characters have more than one Auto-Defend Trait). The layout is minimalistic and the artwork is passable at best. I gave the product 2 stars rather than 1 star on account of its price and because someone more interested in the subject matter could get more use out of it than I will.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Heroes and Villains #1
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 10
by Steve M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2012 19:09:01
Another excellent art pack from which I already found use for most of the illos, and I have no doubt that I will find use for all of them. (A few I will eve be able to use more than once.)

While these products are presented as superhero art, there are several illos in this pack that can be used in just about any genre of product you need art for.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 10
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #4
by Steve M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2012 15:53:24
I love raiding Darrel's art packs for use in NUELOW Games's publications. We've used three out of the five characters featured in this pack (even if they were Mother Eve, Red Robin, and Butts Boy), and I've no doubt that the final two figures will eventually find their way into a publication as well.

The "Red Anne" drawing was even used as an element in a cover illustration.

Great and VERY useful atuff for an excellent price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #4
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 14
by Steve M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2012 15:45:54
I just want to offer another note of praise for Darrel's art packs. So far, this one has provided illos for five different NUELOW Games releases, including elements for a cover.

It's nice art for a great price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 14
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 12
by Steve M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2012 16:59:05
When my ROLF! co-designer came up with a villain named "Chickenhawk" for a forthcoming product,. I knew exactly where to turn to find the perfect illo of that character. Airman was repurposed and became a menace to the good citizens of Guardian City in ROLF!: "Bat Meets Cat".

This pack has previously been the source of character portraits for Anarchist and Texas Hellcat in "ROLF!: POTS vs PANS", Black Phantom in "ROLF!: Bathtime on Bear Creek", the Great Question in "ROLF!: Chinese Take Out", and the titular Commies in "ROLF!: Attack of the Commies from Jupiter". That's six of the ten characters featured that have been used in products... making this a great value for NUELOW Games. (And most of the above-mentioned products featured illos from other DM Studios collections.)

We continue to use the "Public Domain Supers! Clips Art" packages as both sources for just the right illo and as inspiration for NUELOW Games ROLF! silliness. Keep them coming, Darrel!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 12
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 16
by Steve M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2012 17:31:57
The Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art packages continue to be of great use to us at NUELOW Games. We've featured art from them in 11 releases so far, and we will continue to do so. They are great value for the price... and there are usually one or two illos in each package general enough that they can even be used in non-superhero products.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 16
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 13
by Steve M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2012 00:51:15
I continue to grove on Darrel's art packs. Although they're renderings of PD superhero and comic book characters, several of the packs feature characters with generic enough appearances that the illos can be used to represent other characters. This set features several such drawings. And the price is certainly right!

Darrel's illos have already been featured in a handful of releases from my NUELOW Games outfit, and some are going to be showing up in several planned ones, including a couple that were inspired by some of Darrel's drawings.

This one might bring about a product as well... there's a character in here with a name that is SCREAMING to be the center of a release from us.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art 13
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #4
by Gerry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 09:58:52
Picking up where the last clip art pack left off, this features more characters associated with the Black Terror: His partner Tim, ally Red Ann, and some villains he fought.

I hope to use some of the villain pieces for a project down the road, so I definitely found this a worthwhile purchase.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #4
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #3
by Gerry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 09:55:48
Third in the PDSH clip art series, this one features The Black Terror (who was revived by Dynamite as part of Project Super Powers), as well as a few other characters from the Public Domain Supers release featuring that character for Supers!.

As with all the releases, the art tries to emulate the more simplistic art style used in Golden Age Comics, so you may find some pieces better than others. Still, a decent set of clip art, and relatively inexpensive.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #3
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #2
by Gerry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 09:50:31
The second in the PDSH Clip Art series, this pack features various Golden Age heroes and their sidekicks. Great for use as NPC's (hero or villain), especially if you want to make a one shot for a convention, etc.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #2
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Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #1
by Gerry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 09:44:17
The first in a series of clip art packages (the 13th was just released today), this is a great way to get art inexpensively. This first pack is free (others run at 0.99) You get both color and B&W images of various golden age characters featured in the Public Domain Supers books for the Supers! rpg.

You can use this clip art for personal use, or even for your own rpg products. I really like the art. It tries to emulate the Golden Age style of drawing, which was less polished than today. Some pieces could be better, but overall, I find the majority of art to be well done, and I hope to use some for some of my projects future.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Public Domain Super Hero Clip Art #1
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