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OneDice Steampunk
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2014 13:33:51
A complete Steampunk RPG in a digest sized book.

One Dice provides a nice light RPG requiring only 1D6 per player. It covers skills, combat, experience and more. Resolution is a dice roll+Skill+Ability vs Target Difficulty.

The book is illustrated throughout in the style of the cover art.

The provided "skins" for Automatons, Lost Worlds and Gothic Horror provide good guidelines for any GM wishing to create their own Steampunk world. An alternate 19th Century background is provided as well. These are all optional and the game will not suffer at all if a GM decides to create his own campaign world.

Overall a nice light game to serve with tea and crumpets.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OneDice Steampunk
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OneDice Pirates & Dragons
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2014 13:24:20
Five reasons for Five Stars:
1. The One Dice a Universal game system. Quick, easy, straightforward, but surprisingly robust rules light generic core mechanics.
2. Pirates! Arr Maties, here there be pirates.
3. Dragons! Flying, magic using, fire breathing, gold loving dragons.
4. Extensive background. Almost the full background from the Pirates and Dragons Renaissance game is in this little book.
5. Stand alone complete game. No need to buy the One Dice Universal core book or the Renaissance Pirates and Dragons book, this is a complete game.

One Dice provides a very quick to learn, easy to run system. The base mechanic is 1D6+Skills/Attributes vs Target Difficulty. It includes magic, character experience, skills, combat, ship bs ship combat and more.

Pirates and Dragons provides exactly what it says it does. Lots of pirates, from four different nationalities plus native Islanders, sea monsters, mythological beings, and of course Dragons! The setting is a riff on the Caribbean of the Golden Age of Piracy, but with magic, spirits, monsters and more. Little detail is given to the world beyond the basic setting, but that is covered in rich detail.

Each of the dragons detailed is a major personality with its own quirks. Some are worshipped by tribes of Islanders, at least one is Undead, some are shapeshifters.

For those who like the idea of Pirates and Dragons but want either a less expensive entry, or a lighter set of game mechanics I highly recommend One Dice Pirates and Dragons.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OneDice Pirates & Dragons
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OneDice Universal
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2014 19:06:25
Should be 4 1/2 really.

A nice light game that I plan to use as filler while waiting for the full crew to show up on RPG night.

The rules are complete, but not ready to play. The GM will need to do a bit of world building first. This is why I knocked off a half-star. Even the three "skins" provided are just enough example to set the ball rolling, they are not complete.

People looking for a ready to play light game would likely be better served by picking up one of the forthcoming genre adaptations.

I am actually planning on using this most with the settings from other games that I don't want to have to teach yet another set of game mechanics to my players to enjoy. Once they get these rules down, which should be all of five minutes, they can jump right in to any setting.

I thought the inclusion of supers as a skin was an interesting choice. It is not a genre I play much an I wondered how such a light game would handle four-colour action. It actually looks to handle it pretty well. As I read through the powers and skills I found myself mentally building certain famous comic book heroes who matched the traits. Not every power that I would have liked to see was present, but there was a good list.

The Sci-Fi skin is for a humans only universe, which is a bit of a disappointment to me. I like aliens in my soap opera. But it should be easy enough to borrow some abilities from the Fantasy and Supers skins. The rules for starships could easily be used for Mecha or other vehicles and are surprisingly elegant.

The fantasy skin presents fairly standard Elves, Dwarves and Humans, with a spell casting system. I think that "Magic" an optional attribute for worlds with spellcasters could form a good basis for psionics as well.

No art beyond the cover, which is a pity as that is fun and it would have been nice to see more.

Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
OneDice Universal
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OneDice Universal
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2014 14:46:02
Really good system - It works. It's good for experienced and new players as well as younger gamers. The mechanics are based around a d6 roll so are simple to pick up with a quick read through. What needs to be realised is that this is a toolbox for creating your own settings and worlds: There are some "Skins" included but are deliberately kept minimal to show what the rules are capable of.

I like the writing style and it comes over well. I love the the digest size and I just wish more companies used this format. Also of note is the cover art - please keep the cover as common theme through future releases. A great product at an amazing price. Quick, fast and fun. Savage Worlds has a worthy basic digest sized game competitor at last.

Can't wait for the promised settings books - they really will be the icing on the cake (bread ?) !

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OneDice Universal
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2014 10:50:10
Solid game system that forms a great base for GM tweaks and unique setting development. Simple, straight forward rules make one think TWERPS on steroids. Only reason this is not 5-stars is general need to minor ducument reorganization and spell check to easy readability (but these can be overlooked by competent players). Really looking forward to addtional supplements.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
OneDice Universal
by David B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2014 19:15:45
grubman sez...

OK, I purchased this...it's digest size, so its really only about 30 pages of reading. I read the entire rulebook in about an hour. I haven't played it yet, but have played enough games (33 years of role playing) to know how this one stacks up. I'd like to give a comprehensive rules review, but to be honest, giving too detailed a mechanical review would pretty much give away the game, and might actually take away from sales because a descent GM (or game designer) could take the basics and just run with them.

Thumbs Up
On the one read, I will say it's a pretty nice little light game. Very traditional meat and potatoes skill system stuff (If you are like me and don't care for artsy fartsy games). It has a very streamlined and simple core mechanic that would handle any situation (using a single D6 roll). It also has rules that cover most everything you would expect from a generic game system in the most concise, yet "complete" way possible. It has a satisfactory looking advancement system, so you could potentially use this for a longer campaign, not just one shots (although I still think it would be a sort of one-shot campaign...if that makes sense). All in all it's pretty comprehensive for such a small package.

Thumbs Down
I would have liked a little art to break up the text. While the core game is pretty good at covering large ideas in a concise way, some people might be put off by the lack of more details. The game is really a centerpiece for games, not a full universal game by itself. The GM is going to have to have his own setting (that's a given), but they are going to have to invest some time in expanding and modifying the skill lists and bestiary (which sadly lacks guidelines for creating balanced "monsters"). The "skins" (genre settings, fantasy, supers, sci-fi) provided in the game are such barebones examples as to be pretty much unplayable as-is settings (although the authors are upfront about this). I think the superhero skin was a particularly poor choice, because there is no way anyone would choose this game for superheroes over other much more complete light super hero games (like Supers!, Icons, or BASH for example).

In Summary
Comprehensive, concise, lite universal system with core rules that will satisfy the need of most games. Good traditional mechanics that are easy to comprehend and learn and will raise very few questions. Good for one shots or longer term play. Will require GM to do modest to a significant amount of work before playing an actual game. Will only appeal to people who like lite games and prefer to develop their character through role playing and not through cool powers.

Overall good...a little pricy for what it is (I think $2-$3 is more reasonable). I look forward to seeing what the genre games look like...but wish this one included longer "lists" (skills, vehicles, creatures & monsters) to make this more of a pick-up and play universal game out of the box with less GM work.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Streets
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2014 20:54:59
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=42912.

Dark Streets is a setting guide for the Renaissance system, set in Georgian London with Cthulhu Mythos and investigative horror influences. I say influences because both of those items influence the setting, but don’t ultimately define it. In Dark Streets, characters take on the role of Bow Street Runners; hired hands determined to fight against the horrors plaguing the streets of London in its less-than-desirable areas. Some of these horrors are supernatural, some are Lovecraftian, and some are just thugs causing problems. It’s almost like taking the FBI and throwing it into 18th century London.

I like Renaissance and I like Clockwork & Chivalry. However, I REALLY like Dark Streets. This is, so far, my favorite implementation of the Renaissance system as it combines some of my favorite gaming elements: horror, intrigue, dark secrets, Lovecraft, and action. Although I know nothing about Georgian London, the overall theme can easily by ported to other locales where law and order suffer and horrors could easily hide in the shadows due to the ignorance of the people and the willingness of the worshipers.

The prominent concept that is quite unique to Dark Streets is playing the role of a Bow Street Runner. By using this role, the setting creates two important things: the characters have a very well-defined purpose and the streets rule. If a setting such as this were thrown into modern times, the police force and whatever special investigative force was created would quickly rid the streets of all these ruffians and whatever else is bothering the public. If the setting were placed earlier, the runners may not have the right tools to survive against so many antagonistic factions. By placing this setting prior to the Victorian era and after the English Civil War, the characters are given the tools they need to survive, but it’ll be a constant struggle as there are so many opposing them. Thus, the setting itself becomes an obstacle that the characters can overcome, but will always have to contend with. And this includes games where many aspects of the Mythos is removed (to balance combat, for instance). The gangs and cults could easily worship simple aspects of the occult, as opposed to the very overwhelming aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos, and the characters would still manage to have a difficult time surviving, but ultimately prevailing, against everything else within the setting.

In other words, Dark Streets is a very compelling setting due to its very basic design elements of setting (Georgian London) and purpose (Bow Street Runners). There are a number of possible adventure ideas, with or without the inclusion of the Cthulhu Mythos. The era its set in is so fraught with danger, in an almost ridiculous way, that it’s hard to fathom that so many people survived it. There are gangs, political rivalries, religious rivalries, vice clubs, cults, corrupted law officials, radicals, and who knows what else. And just think, all of this is shoved into one city… Your adventures and campaigns could virtually go anywhere! I would love to take it to the Five Points area in New York.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Streets
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Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2014 06:30:42
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/05/22/tabletop-review-pirates-
-dragons/

Hey look! I’m FINALLY getting around to review it. What can I say – April and May have been busy month for me reviewing-wise. Still, I finally got a chance to look finish my thoughts on this weight tome from Cakebread and Walton, so let’s get into it.

Pirates & Dragons was a successful Kickstarter back in October of 2013. While the first attempt failed, the second succeeded and a 114 gamers invested in the system. While I was not one of them, I did decide to pick it up upon release. This is partly because there hasn’t been a dearth of new games/systems like the past two years and partly because other reviews have enjoyed Cakebread and Walton products. Chuck Platt for example adored their, Abney Park’s Steamship Pirates while both Lowell Francis and Matt Faul enjoyed Clockwork and Chivalry (First and Second Edition respectfully). I felt it was my turn to give Cakebread and Walton a try. What I found was an interesting game that, while not my favorite new game of 2014, was definitely worth the time and energy to both read and try.

Pirates and Dragons uses the Renaissance system. Now I haven’t played anything using those mechanics so I can’t compare the P&D rules with the core ones, so please don’t be looking for that in this review. One thing that I can state is a bit of strangeness that caught my eye almost immediately. You’ll see the third page of the PDF (second page in the physical copy) has the Wizards of the Coast OGL. However, the system used in Pirates & Dragons is Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing. I’m a little confused and perplexed why the play note to WotC but not the company that actually owns and controls the system P&D (and thus Renassiance) is based on. Just look at the character creation process. It’s ripped right out of BRP (Or Call of Cthulhu if you prefer). The stats, how they are rolled, professions, skill points and everything else aren’t based off d20 mechanics. I did a word search on the entire PDF for “Chaosium” and nothing came up, which is interesting and although potentially legally shady. Ah well, that’s more publishers to duke it out about. At least you know the groundwork for the game is based off one of the best systems ever, right?

Chapter One of Pirates & Dragons talks about the games setting. Here you’ll find quick summaries about all the factions in the Dragon Isles (where the game takes place). The world is set up similar to our own with the Dragon Isles appearing to be in the equivalent of the Caribbean. The main ocean the game takes place in is the Adalantic and on the eastern side of said Adalantic is the continent of Uropa. Yep. Different factions include Islanders, Dragon Tribes (islanders ruled by a dragon), the Uropans, Pirates and of course, Dragons. The game isn’t low fantasy considering there is magic and dragons, but it’s definitely not high fantasy either, as things are somewhat grounded in the real world and there aren’t a ton of fantasy races running around. It’s just humans and dragons for the most part.

Chapter Two is “Characters” and its here where we get the BRP style character creation system mentioned earlier. Here’s also where you start to get specific lingo for the game. The person running it is the GM. Characters are Adventurers. So on and so forth. Starting skills are done slightly different from BRP. Instead of set values per skill to which you add bonus points, in Pirates & Dragons all the core skills are determined by a specific stat times or plus a multiplier. So Ranged Combat is INT+DEX while Influence is CHAx2. You then pick your profession and culture which gives you further bonus points. There are a lot less skills than in BRP and it is worth noting only Islanders start off with a Magic attribute (MAG) where most BRP games use POW for Magic. Finally you pick a talent which makes your character stand out a bit more, and then you’re done. It’s a pretty fast and easy character system.

Chapter Three is “Skills” and here is where we start to get into mechanics. Skill tests are rolled via d100 (again similar to BRP). Equal or less to your characters rating in the skill and you succeed. If you roll over, you fail. Again, pretty cut and dry. The game also included Doubloons which are similar to Savage Worlds‘ “bennies” or the XP method in Numenera. Doubloons are super useful as they can give characters automatic successes. However, one doubloon in each game is actually a cursed one and instead of giving an automatic success, it is an automatic failure. This is a cute system actually, although unless the GM is paying close attention, it will be easy for players to peak and see which is the cursed doubloon and thus keep away from it.

Chapter 4 is “Combat” and you get things like initiative, distance modifiers, how to attack, parry and so on. Like BRP, you roll a d100 and if you roll equal or less than the skill you are using, you succeed. However the opponent has a chance to dodge or parry, but only once a round. There are various combat maneuvers to give the system a bit of depth, but it’s pretty simple over all, and I mean that in a good way. Pirates & Dragons should be a very easy system to learn, allowing gamers of all skill levels to just jump right in and have fun.

“Rules and Systems” is the name of Chapter Five and it’s more mechanics ahoy with this one. Do you want rules for travel speeds? It’s in here. Need mechanics for how weather effects skills? It’s in here. Want to know what darkness does to perception tests? It is in here. This is obviously the most rules heavy part of the book, as well as the driest and dullest, but when aren’t these things true for a RPG? Fatigue, fear, falling, poisons, encumbrance and all the usual rigmarole can be found here. Just be aware there isn’t any set order for this section. It’s a bit chaotic and can be hard to find the bits of mechanics you are looking for the first few times through the book. Trust me when I say the index is your friend with this one. This is also the chapter where you learn how Adventurers advance. You actually get XP (called Improvement Points here) instead of the usual BRP advancement system where you get a chance to improve any skill used in the previous adventure. Here you earn a few Improvement Points per game and then can spend each point on a chance to improve a skill. You then roll your d100. If you go over your current rating, you get 1d4+1 points added to your skill. If you get under or equal your rating, you get a single point added. It’s also worth noting that skills do not have a set maximum, so you could keep spending points on a skill you have at 100, only to raise it a single point each time. With perseverance and a lot of sessions, you too can get that skill up to 150 (although it might showcase you as certifiably insane).

Chapter Six is “Ships and Crews.” This is pretty much what you would expect. There is a long list of different types of ships followed by a chart showcasing the stats for said ships. There’s a also a short list of upgrades and a host of combat rules for naval vessels. What’s here is very interesting, but also a bit chaotic. The chapter could be easily re-arranged for better flow as well as putting things in a more logical or intuitive order. The chapter ends with various ways (legal or otherwise) to obtain a ship and/or crew. Because some ships can have hundreds of crew people, this is also where you will find rules for large scale combat between crewmen.

Chapter Seven is “Equipment.” It’s worth noting that Silver Ducats are the primary coin in the game and instead of the old 10: 1 ratio that exists in most fantasy RPGs, you’ll find 20 Silver Ducats equals a single gold one. This chapter has everything you will ever need for your characters and then some. Clothing, general home items, food, weapons, even animals or prosthetics are in this chapter for you. You’ll also see two “Dragon Artifacts” mentioned quickly in the chapter, but most eyes will pass over them as the weapons and respective charts for killing implements follow immediately after.

Chapter Eight is “Magic,” and remember, only Islander character start with the ability to cast spells. There are two types of magic – Island Magic, which is basically white magic cross with shamanistic style spell casting, and Dragon Magic, which is black, foul necromantic type stuff. The rules are mostly the same, but a character can only cast one form of magic or the other – NEVER both. So be aware of that. Dragon Magic will almost always be used by evil NPCs while Adventurers will pretty much only have Island Magic unless you are playing a game of evil dragon worshippers. It’s also worth noting that there is no Magic in the east aka Uropa…even if the book has a typo and calls that the West. This is the chapter where you learn how MAG works such as the number of spells one can cast per day and how one learns new spells. There are eighteen pages of spells to close out the chapter. Some have descriptions as short as a paragraph while others are half a page long. Regardless, these spells should keep PCs and GMs busy for some time. Who knows? If the game is successful, maybe we will see a supplement for new spells. The chapter ends with Adalantan Magic Items and it’s simply a list and decription of magic items PCs might come across in their game. The chapter also suggests they shouldn’t be sold ala D&D and that cursed items are very rare indeed. Most of the items provided here are combat oriented. It’s a pretty short and sweet chapter.

Chapter Nine is “Cultures,” and it’s a deeper, more fleshed out version of Chapter One. You get the history of the known world and the nations (including pirates and dragons) currently engaging in intrigue within the Dragon Isles. This chapter is perhaps my favorite in the book as you really get to know all the nations in the game. I walked away from this chapter feeling Pirates & Dragons is basically a nautical D&D mixed with BRP and of course, 7th Sea. There are no secrets or GM only tidbits to be had here. It’s just a straight up, extremely informative look at the fantasy world that Pirates & Dragons takes place in. Everyone will find a particular group that they will especially love. In my case, it was the dragons. There are some fantastic takes on the old tropes here.

Chapter Ten is the Gazetteer and it gives a list of islands in the area along with a description of each. If you’re looking for a full map of the Dragon Isles, you’ll want to go back to Chapter One for that. The information here is extremely brief with each island only getting a paragraph or two at the most. The exceptions are Paradis, Safehaven and Nieuw Brugge, which gets a full page of content devoted to them. It’s a very sparse and underwhelming chapter. In some ways, it is the opposite of the previous chapter.

Chapter Eleven is “Creatures” and this is the equivalent of the game’s Monster Manual. Now the creatures in here aren’t going to be orcs or hobgoblins. Nor are their wights or death knights. These are all creatures that fit the game’s theme and atmosphere. For example, you have a Aspidochelone, which is a turtle so large, vegetation has begun to grow on its shell, making it resemble an island. Now the game does have Cyclops, ghouls and Insect people, so those of you used to more D&D style monsters have options here. Otherwise, expect to see an Island style Lich (who is somewhat different from the version we are used to in RPGs), Krakens and even south/central American style mummies. Perhaps my favorite creature in the section is the Monkey Bat, although the fowl mouthed parrot comes close.

Our final chapter in the collection is “Games Master” and this is obvious for GM eyes only. So don’t look players, or you’ll get spoilers. In truth, all that is here in this chapter is the usual GM tips and tricks every core rulebook gives you. It’s advice on how to run a game and keep it fun. There are a few adventure seeds to be had too. There are seven pretty generic seeds here, but they are meant to help you learn how to create adventures for the game, rather than dazzle you with their complexity and/or originality. The chapter ends with a list of NPCs and…that’s the book my friends. Well, aside from characters sheets and an index.

So overall I liked Pirates & Dragons. it probably won’t ever be a game I play regularly and it certainly won’t replace options like 7th Sea in my collection, but I enjoyed it for what it was. The game isn’t perfect by any means, and there is definitely room for improvement, but what first edition core rulebook can’t you say that about? I think that a pirate/fantasy hybrid is probably a niche title at best, and also one that could already be done by other systems so I’m not sure how big of a market there is or will be for Pirates & Dragons. That said, the world is nicely fleshed out and I do hope to see some further supplements for the game. I’m definitely glad I got to spend time with Pirates & Dragons and although it’s a pretty expensive PDF compared to other options out there, if you’re looking for a pirate oriented mid-fantasy RPG, this is your best (only?) option that I’ve seen so far.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review! Just a quick note on the OGL licence, since you were a little perplexed... The Renaissance rules (which are OGL) are based on the OGL OpenQuest rules, which are based on the OGL Mongoose RuneQuest rules (licensed from Greg Stafford), which were one of the branches of BRP, which *isn\'t* OGL. Mongoose\'s Legend system is also OGL, and is more or less the same as MRQII. The reason Wizards of the Coast gets a mention is that the original Open Gaming Licence legal document is copyright WotC - this is to stop people tweaking the wording to their advantage and still claiming it\'s an OGL game. The license itself can be applied to *any* game system, not just those based on WotC products. The full small print of the OGL is to be found at the back of P&D, and there its lists all the other OGL games we\'ve referenced and borrowed from when creating P&D. So nothing dodgy going on! :-)
Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2014 23:28:05
Pirates & Dragons is perhaps one of the most honestly named RPGs I know of.

In a nutshell, it's a rather well-written game with fairly extensive mechanics that will appeal to those that enjoy more substantial games rather than narrative ones. The Artwork is pretty good and evocative of the setting, which is more realistic than it is fantastic. There's plenty of opportunities to get in trouble in the game, and there are hefty swashbuckling rules to mirror dynamic combat and more than it's fair share of fumbles.

I would recommend Pirates & Dragons to those looking for a pirate game that has a stronger adherence to "realism" as opposed to fantasy, despite the presence of dragons. That said, those looking for lighter games might find themselves looking at a ruleset that is perhaps a little too crunchy for their tastes.

Overall, would definitely recommend this to those looking for something new in the Pirate genre of gaming.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Corvette
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2014 14:19:03
Just got my copy of this through and WOW ! A great addition to the P&D line up from Cakebread & Walton. Floorplans are done by DramaScape who are what I consider to be the leaders in this field.

In total there are 77 pages (YES !!! SEVENTY SEVEN !!!)

First there is the cover showing the ship in all its (non-zombie) glory , a page of credits and then a page of stats for the vessel as a standard Corvette and as zombied one. Next are instructions on how to construct the plans and then there are the plans themselves available in square, hex or overlay-free format.

Excellent quality as would be expected with lovely detail. Five Stars !

I would love to see a few additional ships in this format. Maybe a Brigantine and Frigate or possibly a first to third rate Man o War ???

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Corvette
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Dragon Isles Poster Map (Pirates & Dragons)
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2014 06:42:16
Fantastic map of the PIRATES & DRAGONS world. The definition is superb and is of an unequalled quality. Recommended "MUST HAVE" for any player/GM of the game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Isles Poster Map (Pirates & Dragons)
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Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2014 06:39:02
Well, I have been quite looking forward to this since it was first announced and happily backed the Kickstarter to see it come to fruition. So, what is the actual end result and was it worth my money ?

The very quick answer to these questions are : Mighty fine and Hell yes !

The longer answer is here but first I must state that this review is based on the PDF and not the Printed Product as the latter hasn't yet arrived with me but is due oh so very soon and I decided to write this up now:

FIRST IMPRESSION : The Art is, like all Cakebread and Walton products excellent. They really have some great artists onboard (no pun intended... well, ok maybe a small one) who really create excellent visuals. This cover is so evocative and wants to really draw you in. The choice of font is good too and the layout adds rather than detracts from the feel of the product. The page count means this is one hefty tome too coming in at 349 pages (actually 347 less cover and the blank last page). So, all good so far.


THE RULES : The rules are a tweaked version of RENAISSANCE DELUXE also by Cakebread & Walton . The system is based on the D100 percentile rules that will be oh so familiar to players of Runequest, Call of Cthulhu and a stack of other games meaning most roleplayers will have a good grasp of the mechanics from the first read. For anyone new to gaming the D100 system is one of the easiest rulesets to pick up and understand which makes this (and the other Cakebread & Walton Renaissance Series games) a good starting point and also good for kids as well as adults. I really like the inclusion of Talents which works really well and Doubloons which are basically like "Bennies" from Savage Worlds and allow extreme cinematic Swashbuckling actions to be made by the players. The addition of a "Black Spot" on the back of one of these bennies really adds to it . Draw that one and you will have a really bad day :). I hope that C&W somehow make these available as a physical product at some stage as that would be a truly awesome addition.

THE SETTING : Now, the Setting. Well, let's face it THIS is what the game is about. The best way to describe it is to think 7th Sea combined with D&D, Deadlands and Pirates of the Caribbean all rolled into one with an additional multitude of ideas and thoughts as well. P&D is set on an Earthlike world around what would be our mid 18th Century but with magic and fantasy permeating it for good measure. Just one part of the world is covered: A Caribbeanesque sea and lands full of mystery and adventure. As you would expect from the title both Pirates and Dragons play quite a large part in the setting. The Dragons have made this part of the world their own. Evidence exists of a once mighty Draconic Empire on a closeby continent but for whatever reasons the remains of this empire are little more than crumbling ruins. The simple fact is that dragons are now here, in the isles along with their associated wealth due to their love of gold. Mix in some external powers entering the islands not dissimilar to the Western Powers of 18th Century Earth, local tribes, an insectoid race and the Pirates and you have a hotbed of intrigue and danger with lots of swashbuckling.

OVERALL : The book is well written and is a credit to Messers Cakebread and Walton. Long may they keep up their purveying of fine games ! There is also some good support coming for the setting and I suspect the next few years will see some real expansion of this world. I would love to see more fiction about it and also further sourcebooks as well as Doubloons ! I have just scratched the surface of the product here to give an overview. Buy it , read it, play it and enjoy it !

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
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Abney Park's Airship Pirates
by Amy N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2014 21:01:44
With an interesting twist on the Steampunk genre, setting it in the far future after a slow apocalypse, Airship Pirates is a fun light weight system, good for those who enjoy telling grand stories. It's doubley fun if you're a fan of Abney Park, as the game's universe bases itself upon the lyrics from their songs.

I do find the combat system a little clunky at times, especially with the need to roll initiative each combat round, but if players and game master agree, this can easily be streamlined with a house rule to only roll once for a combat encounter... though this change can be particularly crippling, as winning initiative does also convey a dice bonus. The use of dice pools and exploding dice will make this sytem feel familiar to those who played a lot of White Wolf.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Abney Park's Airship Pirates
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Renaissance Deluxe
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2013 07:24:29
The Hardback copy of Renaissance Deluxe arrived today and this review is based on this version of it.

This is the first Print on Demand from CAKEBREAD & WALTON since they decided to leave the Cubicle 7 stable and make their own way in the world.

First things first : It was well packed in a cardboard sleeve which ensured no damage in transit. A big plus to start with

Second thing that stuck out was the quality of the product : The binding is excellent as is the quality of the paper used and the clarity of the print itself. It actually feels good to hold it in my hands. I am confident that the book will survive many gaming hours at the table as well as being carried and transported around. Much kudos to the printers - Lightning Source based in Milton Keynes UK.

I also need to comment on the speed of printing and delivery. I collected the book from the Post Office today (Saturday) but the card for it advising of attempted delivery had arrived on the previous Tuesday. That means that the order would have arrived on the 6th day rather that the expected 14 days. Now, that is FAST !

Now a list of the contents but before I start on this section I do need to state that I do actually write Adventures and Supplements for this system and regard it as one of the most flexible and easy to use D100 systems on the market. So far I have used it as a base to write Cthulhu Mythos, Heroic Fantasy and Historical Adventures set in the French Indian War.

The book consists of an introduction, 12 Chapters plus a very comprehensive Index.

Introduction : This is what it says. It provides background as to what a RPG is but does give some thoughts on how to use the rules in a variety of settings and historical periods which means that, unlike many such commentaries in other games, it is useful and worth reading even by experienced gamers. It also includes a handy glossary of terms used.

Chapter One : Character Generation. What it says - How to create your Adventurer set out in a logical and ordered step by step way which refers you to other parts of the book as required. It also includes a great way of connecting the Characters together and giving them a base reason as to how they know each other via a useful Connections & Events table.

Chapter Two : Professions. A list of 26 (yes ! 26 !) different careers to choose from covering the Dark Ages through to the Victorian era.

Chapter Three : Factions. Now, I really like Factions. These are social, political and religious ideals that the Character may belong to. These really help with fleshing out the Character but also provides extra options and some great hooks for the games master. A variety of generic, customisable, factions are presented along with four fully fleshed out examples.

Chapter Four : Skills. Skills are split into Common which everyone has to some degree and Advanced which require some level of training or expertise. The lists are comprehensive, without being overly specialised and allow the creation of well balanced characters that can positively contribute to a game session.

Chapter Five : Combat. Comprehensive rules for ranged and melee combat. The chapter is written in such a way that you can include or leave out what you want resulting in either a quite complex system including hit locations etc. , a fast and furious ruleset or something in between. It works and works well but just be warned - Like most D100 combat systems, it can be very deadly. Just make sure the odds are in your favour before launching into a fight ! The Combat Reference Sheet on page 61 is well worth copying and keeping close to hand.

Chapter Six : Rules and Systems. This covers all non-combat activity and has a stack of optional rules covering aging, vehicles and encumbrance. Like all the other sections it is easy to read, logically set out and comprehensive.

Chapter Seven : Equipment. The currency used is the old English pounds, shillings and pence which some may find confusing at first but when equated to the D&D copper, silver, electrum, etc method you soon get used to it. The lists and descriptions are well researched and pretty much complete covering clothing, services, melee , firearms, armour, etc.

Chapter Eight : Alchemy. This is an example of a magic system for the game including spells, potions and familiars which is easily adaptable and expanded upon.

Chapter Nine : Witchcraft. Another magic system with its own distinct flavour and further options complete with spells.

Chapter Ten : Bestiary. 14 pages of natural, un-natural, fantasy creatures and races. Using this as a base you can create Elf, Dwarf, Orc, etc. characters rather than the standard human ones. The artwork provides some interesting images of goblins and orcs in historical dress which fires the imagination as to pseudo-historical fantasy worlds (French Orcs, German Elves, Dutch Goblins anyone ?)

Chapter Eleven : Sanity. A set of optional rules for the inclusion of sanity in the Renaissance game. This opens up the way for dark fantasy and horror themes, including Lovecraft's Cthulhu lore, to be effectively added into a more traditional setting.

Chapter Twelve : Games Matering. A superbly written chapter on game worlds and adventures as well as thoughts on how to run a Renaissance game. My only complaint about the whole book really is I would have liked to have seen more covered here as Ken and Peter obviously have a wealth of experience on the subject. I am hoping that a Gamesmasters Guide is released at sometime in the future as a standalone product.

Overall : A great product and very recommended in the hardback format. I still have the paperback version of the rules from their Cubicle 7 days and that will certainly continue to see use as well but this hardback will be reserved at the table for me and will provide many hours of reference and reading. My best RPG acquisition of the year for the writing and quality (As a pointer this list includes: Traveller 5th, Achtung Cthulhu !, Rocket Age, Swords And Wizardry, DCC Core Rules and The Dark Eye RPG amongst others).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renaissance Deluxe
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Dark Streets
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2013 05:23:06
The first printing of this was a little sparse, and I'm happy to see it's been updated with an atmospheric interior layout. Upon reading it, there is a massive potential for highly intriguing investigation within this setting. The Lovecraftian elements have been done a lot before, but are well illustrated and fit into the grimy London setting pretty well. In fact, the 18th Century seems quite an overlooked era for Cthulhu gaming generally, and sets up a strong 'Bow Street Runner' (protocops) hook that is very useable. The London maps and personalities are well researched, and in all, this is a very good supplemental game for the (excellent) Renaissance rules.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Streets
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