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Microlite74 Extended
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Tianxia: Path of Destiny
by Clint F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2015 11:28:47

I was part of the kickstarter for Tianxia, Blood Silk and Jade, being a big fan of Vigilance Press and Jack Norris from their Mutants and Masterminds products. I was a backer at the digital level, but kind of wish I'd gone for the printed edition now that I've played it.


When I did this, I didn't know anything about FATE, other than it was used in Dresden Files, Spirit of the Century and the old Fudge stuff. I knew it was story focused but that was about all.


I did not really do more than picture browse the Tianxia core rules until the Path of Destiny came out for the backers. This is a life path generator to make your kung fu characters. I have always felt random character generators can you help you learn the system fairly well. This product convinced me to dive into the system and FATE to figure it all out.


The Path of Destiny is 24 pages of awesome, pure win. I do love character generators. I wasn't sure how one was going to work in FATE (once I got familiar enough), but this takes all the tropes and a lot of genre savviness and puts together a walk through for making all your ASPECTS, picking your skills, your Kung Fu style and even defining your family members, ages, and relationships.


It all works on a -4 to +4 of FATE/fudge dice (or use the Fate deck!) and can be used going through picking and choosing as easily as randomly rolling.


This is a must have in my opinion. A must have appendix to your Tianxia Blood, Silk and Jade game. Or really, you could use it for inspiration for any Wuxia / Kung Fu character in any system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Path of Destiny
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Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
by Clint F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2015 10:22:27

I was part of the kickstarter for Tianxia, Blood Silk and Jade, being a big fan of Vigilance Press and Jack Norris from their Mutants and Masterminds products. I was a backer at the digital level, but kind of wish I'd gone for the printed edition now that I've played it.


When I did this, I didn't know anything about FATE, other than it was used in Dresden Files, Spirit of the Century and the old Fudge stuff. I knew it was story focused but that was about all.


I did not really do more than picture browse the Tianxia core rules until the Path of Destiny came out for the backers. This is a life path generator to make your kung fu characters. I have always felt random character generators can you help you learn the system fairly well. This got me to read the book in more depth, look at the kung fu system, but still was not enough to get me to investigate FATE enough to use the system.


So now that I've studied FATE enough to jump in and run it, I can say this book is truly awesome. It takes the flexible system and gives you all the wires and guides you need for easy, high flying Kung Fu action!


It only adds one skill, Chi. Gives you the framework for building a Kung Fu style based on two forms, one Element and one Body. Fun and flavorful options like Iron Tiger, Ghost Dragon, Storm Crane and Forest Serpent. 36 combinations in all from six elements and six body styles. Not only that, but it suggests alternate names for the element and body styles. Don't like the sound of Lightning with your Monkey style, call it Fire Monkey.


The book also provides a lot of campaign options for handling weapons, armor, your body as weapon and even how to approach firearms (so if you prefer your Jet Li to be a little less Hero and little more The One or War, it can accommodate you, because FATE is that flexible).


I was thoroughly pleased with my first game, which I set out to meet in the middle of the epic-ness of Hero and the over-the-topness of Man in the Iron Fists (1 & 2).


Throughout the book, their are great narrative introductions to each chapter where one of the provided characters interacts with the setting. These are a wonderful joy to read, and the example of play was a true gem in that regard as well.


This book is just all around fun if you want to Wuxia / Kung Fu fun and awesome, without a lot of rules getting in the way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
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Tianxia Accelerated
by Clint F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2015 10:05:38

I was part of the kickstarter for Tianxia, Blood Silk and Jade, being a big fan of Vigilance Press and Jack Norris from their Mutants and Masterminds products. I was a backer at the digital level, but kind of wish I'd gone for the printed edition now that I've played it.


When I did this, I didn't know anything about FATE, other than it was used in Dresden Files, Spirit of the Century and the old Fudge stuff. I knew it was story focused but that was about all.


This product, as it is accurately described above is the frame work for moving Tianxia, Blood, Silk & Jade to FATE Accelerated from FATE core. It still requires the core rules, and mainly of them, the Kung Fu section, as it requires some modifications from the Skills to Approaches, including some provided changes.


Using Accelerated's Approaches made everyone excellent at their chosen kung fu (if chosen well) and didn't have a skill tax of needing high Fight to be able to actually fight. Character generation was a snap, less than twenty minutes even for the most complicated character at our table.


It played very smoothly, as my first experience with FATE, and all four players were new to FATE as well. Two new to table top RPGs in general.


With about 40 minutes of character generation we had investigation, carousing, seduction, and a huge battle in the unstable burned out grounds of a Kung Fu school. All in all we played for four hours.


Very few drawbacks, and they aren't deal breakers in any way. A lack of an Accelerated character sheet and campaign planning sheets from the main books Appendix. I ended up making a document with all the adjusted Kung Fu styles and techniques to help with character generation and to quit flipping between the two books. I also did a quick and dirty adjustment of the main character sheet for Accelerated with some photo manipulation software. Those two bits of setup went a LONG ways to making everything go smoothly.


Plus, this is a Pay What you Want product, so you cannot beat the price. Accelerated Tianxia was perfect for my game, simplifying character creation and streamlining combat.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia Accelerated
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Tianxia: Path of Destiny
by Brandon P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2015 09:25:52

I found the Path of Destiny to be an interesting and innovative product for Fate. In most Fate games, you have the Three Stages that are ties to Aspect creation, as well intertwining your story with the other PCs. This interesting Life Path system helps a player flesh out their backstory, or create one from scratch. It is very focused on the setting, or at the very least, the genre tropes and Asian motifs. I would love to see the company make a more generalized/multigenre version of this. It was a fun read. I recommend it along with the Tianxia Accelerated product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Path of Destiny
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Due Vigilance- Kaiju Kultists
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/17/2015 18:48:31

Vigilance Press has a reputation for putting together really thoroughly thought out and well produced material. Kaiju Kultists does exactly everything right in its treatment of incorporating giant monsters into a superhero setting.


It starts with several pages explaining the history of giant monsters in literature, film and comics. I appreciate that it attempts to put giant monsters in the context of their creators in different cultures and places.


Next, it carefully lays out some of the ups and downs of putting giant monsters in superhero games, finishing up with systems to include wrecking cities in Mutants & Masterminds, giving neighborhoods health tracks which heroes will want to protect.


I have to admit I haven't been thrilled with giant monster/superhero crossovers in the past. I really want giant monsters to fight against dudes with missiles on trucks and guns on jeeps, not against Superman. So I was shocked with how happy I was with the Kaiju Kultists organization that takes up a considerable amount of the book.


The idea of the organization is that the badguys in the organization bring kaiju into the world through demonic rituals, tying their power to themselves. They wreck neighborhoods and cities in order to become more powerful - heroes who protect cities and people are cutting directly into their abilities. This does two things that giant monster implementations haven't done in the past: it makes fighting the giant monster a conflict between people, and it makes rebuilding and defending a city an effective way to weaken the giant monster. The former is a key way to heighten dramatic conflict and is especially needed in superhero settings. For example, in the X-Men setting, the Brood, otherwise an Alien ripoff, have a Queen that will taunt our heroes and yell at them when they defeat her. The Kaiju Kultists similarly are people who can interact with our heroes, make their positions about the extermination of human civilization known, get hauled off to super-jail, and so forth.


The element of defending and rebuilding the city to weaken the giant monsters and ultimately defeat the cult is something you often see in comics but rarely see in superhero RPGs - where the whole community comes together to support their heroes and stop the bad guys. And of course, having the community literally weaken the bad guys by living well and being decent to each other is a very superhero comic thing to do - to literalize the values being advanced in the comic book.


Finally, there's Hero Lab files and standees at the back of the book for all the bad guys and monsters, AND several small scenarios introdicing and developing the cultists.


As much as I always expect a good product from Vigilance Press, I'm blown away by Kaiju Kultists not just for its new mechanics, but by the attention to how giant monsters should and can be used in various ways in various games. I didn't expect to love the organization nearly as much as I did; the mechanics also back this up really well.


If you trapped me in a building Godzilla was about to knock over and demanded that I give you something that could be improved in this book, I would say that perhaps having more hooks for how to develop or redevelop parts of the city would help. The ever-lovin' blue eyed Thing often had a struggle with his loyalty to his old neighborhood - when the survival of the city against a giant monster is on the line that would heighten such dilemmas dramatically.


Get this right away. You don't know you need it but you do.


(Also, the cover art is great, don't tell anyone I looked at it, it will ruin my "art in gaming books is worthless" cred forever.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Due Vigilance- Kaiju Kultists
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Supplement #1: The Alchemist
by scott w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2015 15:22:30

This was a good product it fit right into the game we are running.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement #1: The Alchemist
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Elements of Ruin: The Challengers
by Dan N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2015 14:54:39

This product is definitely a lot better than you might imagine you would get for free, and I might go so far as to say about the best product of the this type imaginable at any price. These superheroes are grounded in the familiar (powered armor, elemental control, etc.) but each have a unique spin. They are the sort of thing I could not only imagine seeing in a real comic but also taking the stories in new and interesting directions. Besides just explaining their powers and leaving it at that, each has art that gives a sense of character and style, as well as instructions on the kinds of people they would associate with in a campaign and how they might react to situations. There are also hints on adapting them to be villains. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elements of Ruin: The Challengers
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: The Krampus
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/21/2014 18:35:59

A great little M&M supplement for any GMs who want inspiration for a holiday themed game on the campy side. The character illustration and backstory are very good. I can already imagine this fellow kidnapping the mayor and holding him hostage (tied up in garland, no doubt) until someone can promise that there will be snow on Christmas Eve...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: The Krampus
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: The Krampus
by Jae C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2014 03:25:18

Dear Santa,
Thank you for allowing Vigilance Press to release the Krampus before Christmas. My players are so looking forward to wrapping him up and leaving him beneath a Christmas tree as a present for law enforcement - Must admit I was rather expected a demonic presence in my stocking, filled, as is Vigilance Press' custom to overflowing with the Hero Lab POR file, fold out figure of Krampus and a really nice write up of him by an agent of META, so was pleasantly surprised to discover along side all the Christmas goodies that it was really my saccharine-sweet neighbour Mr Christmas in a techno-suit and mask who was responsible for destroying Mr E. Scrooge's toy store on Black Friday and kidnapping all the bankers. I am told that forcing them all to eat coal will have no last effect and they will be back to swilling champaigne soon enough. So thank you again Santa for a wonderful Christmas package of mayhem and christmas fear and I look forward to the rest of the series being released onto the streets in the New Year...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
by Sophie L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2014 14:49:40

Tianxia: Blood, Silk and Jade is based on the Fate Core system, with a martial arts system layered on top. Since this system primarily uses aspects with free invocations, stunt-like techniques, an extra skill (Chi), and the optional Weapon and Armour ratings from Fate Core, it’s actually quite easy to handle for Fate veterans.


The book is simply gorgeous, thanks to the gorgeous illustrations by Denise Jones and an attractive, legible layout. It may appear like a slim book at first (181 pages not counting the appendices and index), but that’s because it doesn’t have to spend much time on system since it does not repeat the Fate system basic rules. Since Fate Core is available on a pay-what-you-like basis from Evil Hat Productions, gamers are not saddled with an excessive cost. Author Jack Norris packed a lot of goodness in these pages, 36 kung fu styles, numerous locations and characters to use, story seeds, a random adventure menu, and good insight into the genre.


The story seeds are open-ended, built exactly right to go with my philosophy of player-driven adventures: they offer a situation, some antagonists, and ideas for ways to embroil the heroes in the plot. Where they lead is up to your group, not a predetermined scenario.


The characters are well-designed, and thanks to the stunt-like techniques, are relatively easy to play. Let’s not kid ourselves, martial arts games always require a little extra effort for the GM to familiarize herself in advance with the characters so she’s ready to rumble in the big fights, but thanks to the Fate system this is not too onerous. This has been the most satisfying wuxia system in my gaming experience, flexible enough that re-matches between opponents don’t generate the same fight every time (unlike games like, say, Weapons of the Gods where you always have the same optimal combination against a given opponent), lighter than Hero or the old Feng Shui, yet more structured than Wushu so each character has a specific flavour.


In short, I absolutely love this book, and I’m really glad I was able to afford the hardback print version during the Kickstarter funding campaign. If you like wuxia games, this is the book for you, and I can’t wait for the planned supplements to come out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
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Due Vigilance- Kaiju Kultists
by Emily B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2014 11:03:27

A well-written, concise, mechanically balanced, and creative product with original monsters, a strong overview of kaiju genres, and a serious tone. It avoids the usual pitfalls of copying Godzilla or treating all kaiju as silly one-note disasters with visible zippers that I've seen in other sourcebooks on the subject, and it provides an array of intelligent and genuinely frightening villains.


It also addresses some of the mechanical issues of using especially huge creatures in M&M 3E, and provides two alternate solutions for people who dislike the normal Growth power rules, but doesn't invalidate any existing characters in the process. It also has extensive optional rules for destroying or protecting city blocks and other frequent targets of kaiju attacks. Finally, it provides balanced and easily-usable stat blocks for a number of complex kaiju villains, and does so without making them boring in combat or unusuably powerful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Due Vigilance- Kaiju Kultists
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OSRIC Unearthed
by Jeremy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2014 19:44:07

I was hesitant to purchase this product because it didn't look like much effort was put into the cover design... However, this is a really good OSRIC reference book that incorporates SOME of the UA book materials and SOME of the OA materials. I would have preferred to see 2 books: one that is an OSRIC conversion of UA and a second that is a conversion for OA. However, I do love the Samurai, Ninja, and the Knight... It is just that this could have been better if it was more focused as a straight conversion of one book instead of condensing and combining two.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
OSRIC Unearthed
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Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2014 21:50:48

WHAT WORKS: A very creative martial arts system layered onto Fate, providing some good mechanical depth. Lots of optional rules that you can take or leave as you see fit. Great examples. Very pretty production values. Enough setting to get you going without overly detailing it.


WHAT DOESN'T WORK: If one isn't into the setting, then I don't think the rules are enough to sell one on it. I always prefer a random adventure generator.


CONCLUSION: One other thing I didn't mention is the Lifepath Generator, which I have already as a Kickstarter backer. I love Lifepaths, and that's another nice piece to the game, one I would probably use in most games. It is still distinctly Fate while feeling notably different from other Fate games, such as Dresden Files or Agents of SWING, and that's a good thing. I don't remotely regret backing this Kickstarter, thanks to both the turnaround time of the product and the quality of it, and can't wait to see what's coming in the line (well, I know Mass Combat Rules are coming, and that's awesome). In the aftermath of the extremely successful Fate Core Kickstarter, folks have been concerned that there's becoming a D20-like glut of cheap cash-in products, but I really don't believe that's the case here. A lot of care and effort went into the book and it shows. If you like martial arts films and you aren't already deeply locked into Wu Xing or Feng Shui, try Tianxia...it's like Fate kicked you in the mouth.


For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadbloge-
ver.blogspot.com/2014/06/tommys-take-on-tianxia-blood-silk-j-
ade.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
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Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/05/2014 20:09:14

Tianxia is a rules-light to rules-medium Wuxia game that introduces the genre in a friendly, easy-to-learn fashion. The book is written well, with a clear language devoid of unnecessary flourish that could distract of obscure the information needed to run the game, something that I certainly find to be very helpful.


The game itself applies minor rules adjustments and a fully formed Martial Arts system on top of the FATE Core rules in a relatively seamless manner, and feels like a system that was intended to work with FATE from the get go rather than being welded on forcibly. Fans of the FATE Core system will find this to be very easy to learn.


Fans of the genre will find that Tianxia covers all the bases when it comes to Wuxia. There’s a little lack of emphasis on the tone and themes of Wuxia in the book, but that’s a minor nitpick on my end as I wish it was brought up a bit in the start of the book rather than at the end with the GM chapters.


There’s an awful lot of mechanical support for GMs, from a campaign creation worksheet, to an adventure menu and pre-generated characters and antagonists to work with.


As a relatively new person to FATE, I feel that I’ll need to get a couple of test sessions to really get comfortable with the combat system to find out the true extent of the various Techniques in the Kung Fu system of Tianxia, but from what I’ve seen they’re certainly formidable.


Overall, Tianxia is a great start to a Wuxia RPG. There’s enough to run a campaign, but plenty of white space around for GMs and the authors to add on new elements. If you’re a fan of Wuxia, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pick this up for your collection.



If you're interested in checking out an in-depth 5 part study of Tianxia, check out my blog:
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/category/rolepl-
aying-games/tianxia/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2014 17:38:47

As a Kickstarter backer, I am entirely satisfied and then some. The loose pastiche of cinema, folklore, and history is absolutely perfect for my needs. Highly recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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