RPGNow.com
Browse











Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Dogs Of War
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2017 03:23:01

Great beer and pretzels rpg. Fast and fun, this light rpg system (BOL Barbarians of Lemuria 2d6) allows players to get in quick on the action. The overall theme of the game feels like every 70s-00s action movie ever made from The Delta Force to The Expendable. As a GM you could easily craft missions and scenes inspired by the ActionAdventure genre. What is even better is that the system is not limited by this genre. For example, in the first oneshot game I ran as a GM, the PC's recovered WMDs that were....not from this world! Injecting SciFi elements. Heck yeah! DOW can easily support long term campaign play especially with an invested GM/players There are no long lists of charts or cross checking tables and the system mechanic is easy to grasp. As a guy with a busy schedule, I don't have 4 hours to run through ONE combat scene (looking at you other rpgs), so for me DOW hits that spot for 2-4 hours for an adventure. Get this game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dogs Of War
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The BoL Hack
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2016 20:04:32

I'm a sucker for Simon's games, and at $2.50, I didn't pass this up. The hack carries over the best aspects of BoL: careers, versitle non-Vancian magic, hero points, etc to a d20 roll over mechanic. The system here looks highly playable, but it lacks in one key area: monsters. There is a monsters section, but many Sword & Sorcery classics are missing. I would have liked to have seen either conversion guidelines from standard OSR, or random monster creation tables. And, and this is just my preference, I would like to see ship rules. I am a huge admirer of "Queen of the Black Coast".



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The BoL Hack
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
You\'ll be pleased to note I\'ve updated the pdf with a few more pages of monsters
Crimson Blades 2: Dark Fantasy RPG
by Philip H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2016 16:34:52

Having bought the first edition, was v excited when this came out. The new rules are more consistent and easier to explain. Score of 18 now gets you a little extra +1 modifier. Book cover looks great. Would have been nice to see a bit more new internal art but guess this keeps the cost down and layout changes less onerous. Now we need to see platemail rules for magic incorporated as a supplement (it uses multiple d6 to cast spells). Great work again Simon.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Blades 2: Dark Fantasy RPG
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review! There is a little new internal art by Peter Frain (the cover artist). Maybe you have to dig a little to find it. I\'ll check out Platemail.
Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2016 13:31:56

I will let the review by Zachary H. describe the mechanics as he does a great job.

I do need to add my thoughts. From a Super powers game I need quick character creation and fast, lite rules allowing creativity to manage how the powers are used. Triumphant does both of these things.

I normally try not to compare a game to other games as I feel that does a disservice to both games. However in this case I must compare it to SUPERS!. Both games have a similar feel of quick action not being tied up in rules but allowing the players and GM to be creative but with a simple resolution system allows for a structured system. I know I contradicted myself but both games do such a great job of mixing both.

What is different is the dice system which again Zachary describes very well and I will let that review do the talking. It does however play a little faster than SUPERS! which has been my favorite system for a supers game for quite a while and I have used a lot of them.

Triumphant may now be my new favorite for how the dice system works.

The reason I give it only 4 stars is because of the colored art and blocks of info. It feels like they tried for a top game layout but failed at the text layout. It would have been better had they just stuck to text only instead of adding the art but leaving the text the way it is. Nit picky maybe but I definitely wouldn't keep me from buying a revised version with a much more flushed out campaign setting, even in the same layout.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Go Fer Yer Gun!
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2015 12:56:35

I don't like it because I don't like turning ampluas into fixed classes. Also other rigid things in it



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Go Fer Yer Gun!
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by Stefan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2015 04:45:50

If you want to get into some crazy barbarian or pirate adventures this is the system to do it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Woodland Warriors Rpg
by Steve P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2015 06:05:36

This is terrific. I really like the simple way the rules have gone with using standard six sided dice. It works well. A good, easy to follow game with bags of flavour. A little starting setting, a starting scenario and expansions available to take the game into new genres. This is really well done. Thank you Mr.Washbourne for making this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Woodland Warriors Rpg
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by Martin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2015 10:32:50

Wonderful rules-light game. Currently my favorite there is for any type of fantasy campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2015 11:36:08

The author has a barbarian world in mind with lite "steam punk" elements. I bought a source book and it really was fantastic. Much better than the initial game. In the source book, the author really shines and the source book could fit into many campaigns.

If you are looking for a barbarian game, this touches it but doesn't deliver. The setting books are fantastic.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Lords: Dark Fantasy RPG Supplement
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2014 16:11:43

As usual Simon has created a rules light game that captures the feel of the genre perfectly. Crimson Lords is an excellent supplement to Crimson Blades as it adds a even more life to the world and for the PC's. If you like rules-lite and dark fantasy this may be the game for you. It definitely is mine



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Lords: Dark Fantasy RPG Supplement
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2014 10:17:40

Crimson Blades does what it does very well. The game mechanics are very good, I enjoy the d6 take on Swords and Wizardry. The power level of the game keys well with mechanics of the game.

Characters are created by old school means of 3d6 each attribute in order. Attributes are each significant to the game but due to the nature of the mechanics modifiers related to mechanics are not overwhelming. Saving throws and major action needing dice rolls are all directly tied to attributes and these are only slightly modified by level as a character grows.

The classes are a familiar mix that fit the presented and implied setting very well. Barbarians don't trump Fighters but are still recognizably Barbarians of gaming and fantasy fiction. The thief is the master burglar of classic FRP but is not alone among rogues in the game as there are also Mountebanks the clever flim-flam con-men who steal with using their wits. Sorcerers are similar to old school magic-users and use the familar pseudo-vancian spell casting system but also make use of summoning to get access to flash-bang magic that is otherwise out of their reach. All the characters are presumably human except for the elder magic-using race the Dendrelyssi that draw most of their power from summoning.

As mentioned above powerful magic in this settign hinges on summoning and sorcerers and dendrelyssi will be able to draw upon a host of elementals, demons, and undead to get the serious work done. The abilites and differences between the various sorts of entities are spelled out and fairly comprehensive but will still need some work from the GM (and players) to flesh out for a campaign (this is a good thing really).

Combat is based on a simple mechanic of one attack roll per HD vs the Ac of a target. HD are scaled down and don't go up as quickly as in other games of this style so the mechanic works well. Characters and monsters tend to have fairly low HP(with a few exceptions) so combats will generally go quickly and can be very deadly. The mechanics make it easy to have fights with one or two PCs against a host of foes as combatants will usually hit unarmored foes.

There's a fair section of NPC foes and monsters in the game properly scaled to the setting and mechanics. Each has Dexterity (as initiative is tied to the dexterity score), armor class, hit dice (I think no monster listed has over 6), saving throws, speicla abilities, and challenge level/exp award listed.

The sample setting is brief and mostly an overview that serves it's purpose as further defining the implied setting without fully chaining the game down to the included setting.

The rules are simple and get the job done without obscuring the flavor and spirit of the setting. Even a first level fighter is going to feel like a mighty slayer of those that stand before him and sorcerers will be aware of their place in the magical world.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
by sean w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2014 13:00:33

Crimson Blades succeeds in coupling an elegant system adapted from Woodland Warriors with an evocative setting influenced by Moorcock's Young Kingdoms.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2014 21:25:17

Crimson Blades is an interesting modernization of Basic D&D, which drops the d20s for a d6 based resolution mechanic. The smaller die size gives combat a more consistent, less 'swingy' feel, and several other innovations distinguish Crimson Blades from other OSR games. Their interesting take on Elves, which owes a little more to Moorecock than Tolkien, well thought out Fighter and Rogue options make this my favorite retro-clone out there.

I also have to commend Beyond Belief Games on making good use of stock art and public domain artwork- they're taking advantage of Sine Nomine's generosity in putting much of their in-game art into the public domain. The designers made some smart choices- though a relatively small company, they were able to put out a great looking, well illustrated game with a minimal art investment. Good for them.

CHRIS



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Classes for Tombs & Terrors
by Dennis Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2014 02:49:11

In general Tombs and Terrors is an entertaining take on the idea of Dungeons and Dragons. It's a kind of 3.5v lite, with some old school flavor. It's incomplete and will require a lot of work from the Gamemaster to make a rich and satisfying game environment, but there's enough here to get you started and beginners can plunge into the action without having to learn great big volumes of rules.

In the main game we see characters rated according to six basic attributes (the ''Classics": Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma). What is interesting is there are six basic character classes that each makes one of these attributes it's Prime Requisite (Strength for Fighters, Intelligence for Wizards, etc.)

With the add-on Book of Classes what we see is eight new classes, some of which are balanced and well thought out approaches to multiclassing. For instance a Spellsword is a kind of Fighter-Magic User; light armor, lotsa weapons, and some spells. Similarly you have classes like the Knave, which is a Thief-Magic User, and the Lorewarden, who's a combination Cleric-Magic User. Again, these multiclasses are balanced and well designed. In addition there are a few new specialty classes such as the Witch/Warlock, a powerful new spell caster; the Marksman, a specialist in ranged weapons; and the Gallowglass, a sort of elite mercenary bodyguard.

On the whole, Tombs and Terrors, although more of a framework than a highly detailed modern RPG, is a good choice from among the many alternative games vying for your attention. If you're already familiar with old time D&D it's no problem to simply add the monsters and magic items from the old game. They'll fit right in. The Book of Classes for Tombs and Terrors adds welcome new flavor to the mix with many new character options. And the whole thing is free, so download them and see what I mean.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Classes for Tombs & Terrors
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2013 16:36:42

It seems to me as though a lot of superhero RPG games have jumped into the market in the last few years. It makes sense, of course; we’re living in an age where big-budget superhero films are prevalent and more and more heroes are jumping from comics to the silver screen. It seems as if for every new blockbuster superhero movie, there’s a new supers game on the market. It’s a crowded RPG genre right now, and it’s tough to sometimes discern which supers RPG is right for a particular Game Master or group.

Today’s review is of the TRIUMPHANT! Super Heroic Roleplaying Game (yes, that’s the full title), the most recent title by Simon Washbourne at Beyond Belief Games. Washbourne and BBG are perhaps best known for their excellent Barbarians of Lemuria, although as a fair warning, I will say that game differs mechanically from Triumphant!. This is the 129-page pdf version, purchased through RPGNow. As mentioned above, Triumphant! is facing some serious competition from other supers games, so let’s see how it would measure up.

Triumphant! begins with the usual introduction, with Washbourne taking time to explain a bit about the overarching supers RPG genre, as well as define key terms to be used through the text. He also mentions the game is designed to be “light and heroic”, so there’s not a lot of built-in, Iron Age angst here (although I suppose there’s no reason it couldn’t be introduced, it isn’t a focus of the game).

The next chapter entails character creation, and begins by listing two dozen archetypes, ideas for characters that might be stuck on what type of superhero to play. These range from “Acrobat” to “Mentalist” to “Teleporter”, and are merely suggestions—not a mechanical template by any means.

The first table we come to deals with power level of the campaign, which will govern how many and which type of dice each player will receive. You’re going to start with more dice to allocate if you’re playing at the “Stellar Defender” level versus “Street Vigilantes” or “Local Heroes”. This is our first indication that the product uses a sort of step-die mechanic in play, and dice allocation for creating characters. Characters with a discrepancy in power level are balanced by the number of “Triumph Dice” they receive (more on those shortly).

Once you have your concept and power level sorted out, you allocate dice to your Conditions. Conditions are comprised of your Ego, Health and Reflexes. For each dice assigned, the level goes up one. So if the default of my Ego is a D4, and I assign a dice to it, it bumps to a d6. Depending on the level of your game, you might see anything from a D4 in a Condition or Skill (regular human) to 2D10 (Cosmic-level, noted in game as DD10).

Conditions are important because they are passively used as different damage tracks of a sort, as well as to resist certain types of attacks. So my Ego might be used to resist interrogation or mental attacks, my Health can be used to as a measure of resisting or taking physical harm, energy attacks, and the like, and Reflexes can measure how quickly I can get out of the way of something.

Skills are assigned in much the same way as conditions. You allocate your dice to the desired skill. There are 21 general skills, which cover the usual areas—from Perception to Animal Handling to Occultism to Socializing.

Skills bought at a higher level will have a specialty. If a skill has a die level than D6, then you’ll be choosing a specialty. For example, I take Survival at D8. My Survival skill would rate D6, but I’d be able to take a skill like Trapping at a D8. Each additional dice level would allow me to increase the number of specializations I have for my character.

For Powers, the dice type is equal to the dice type allocated; no counting steps. So if I put a D8 in Fast Healing, it’s going to be D8 on my sheet. You can bump up your dice if you give it a Limitation, such as tying a Mind Blast power to an amulet the character has to wear. That could raise it from a D6 to a D8, for example. A power Enhancement can provide a boon such as armor penetration, but correspondingly drops the dice level in return.

The game lists over 60 powers, and everything essential seems to be covered. Due to the nature of the mechanics, it would be extremely easy to add more powers as desired. The Powers section of the book is truly excellent about providing possible limitations or enhancements, and it feels like you could make plenty of characters very easily that didn’t feel the same or just slightly varied.

The slight difference in how Condition/Skills and Powers are allocated was momentarily confusing, but once I had made a few characters, I was generating characters in minutes.

When you’re done, you can add Benefits to your character to give them an edge, or perhaps just another sort of hook. Benefits can range from an animal companion to having a helpful companion or a totally awesome hideout (there’s an awesome section in here about building one that I absolutely loved). Of course, there are also Drawbacks, and you have to pick one for each Benefit taken. Drawbacks can be a nasty arch-nemesis, a terrible secret, or even old age.

Once the character is fleshed out, we get to Task Resolution and Combat. I really liked this section. For task resolution, you’re going to roll the relevant Skill or Power to see if you tie or exceed the Target Number for a success. What’s interesting is that if you’re using a Power, your Target Number will only be half compared to someone using a Skill. So a world-class gymnast using the Athletics skill might need to roll a 4 to complete a certain task, whereas the guy using his Super Agility power only needs to roll half the for a success. A character with top skills can make up for a lot, but superpowers are still, well, super.

Essentially, combat flows by matching a Power vs. another Power or Skill, with the differential going to damage. Stick with me, because this is actually very quick and clever in play.

The characters roll their Priority Die for initiative (the dice type is higher, based on your classification of hero. So Superman is likely to go ahead of the Mystery Men). The attacker then declares the Power or Skill they are using to attack, and the targeted defender responds with a Power or Skill they are using to try to stop the attack.

An attacker only attacks once per round, but a character can defend each round with as many ways as they have of defending. So if my Super Fast Guy is targeting by four different guys in a round, I could use my Super Speed to try to counter one attack, Super Agility for another, Precognition for a third, and my plain Athletics skill for the last. Part of the fun seems to be in figuring out just how you’re defending the attack.

If the defender rolls higher on his roll than the attacker, then the attack is blunted. If the attacker rolls higher, then the difference between the attacker and defender’s result is noted, and applied (by Defender’s choice, assuming they have a good explanation—the book otherwise provides guidelines) to Ego, Health, and Reflexes. It's important to note skills-based and normal weapon attacks do half-damage compared to Powers-based attacks--in keeping with the earlier notes on task resolution.

Combat Example: Super Speedy Guy uses his Super Speed (D8) to create a tornado around Doctor Cretin. Dr. Cretin attempts to stop the attack with his Pyrokinesis, creating a flame wall around him. Super Speedy Guy rolls a 6, whereas Dr. Cretin only rolls a 4. 6-4=2, which means Dr. Cretin takes 2 steps of damage. That speedy tornado cuts through and blasts him solidly. Dr. Cretin's player decides the damage comes off of his Health, dropping it from a D8 to a mere D4.

If a Condition drops below a D4, it goes to a D3, which indicates an extremely weakened level. If a condition drops to zero, any additional damage is carried over to one of the other conditions and the character is out of the fight for the rest of the scene. If all three conditions drop to zero, the character is out of commission, and probably in really bad place.

There are rules for combo attacks (teamwork), taking an aggressive stance, delaying—all the little tactics that can make combat really come to life. All of is easily understandable, and shouldn’t require any additional work on the part of the group.

Remember at the start of this interview, when I mentioned disparate power levels could be smoothed out a bit by Triumph Dice? Well, that’s also covered in this section. Triumph dice allow for the some special effects to “level the playing field”, so to speak. These effects can be to instantly take out a group of mooks, temporarily add an enhancement or drop a limitation from a power, re-roll, or max out a single roll. (The text in this section confusingly says all players get five triumph dice, but this appears to be a typo—generally, lower-powered characters get more Triumph Dice as compensation). It’s probably not enough to make your iteration of a low-powered Crimson Avenger feel adequate next to Superman and Martian Manhunter, but it will help them stay useful and active, which is good—teamwork and allowing disparate power levels to work together should be an aim of any good supers RPG.

Oh, and kudos for including a very in-depth example of combat. New and old players alike should pick this up quite nicely.

After Combat, we come to section for Game Masters. This is often wasted page space in RPGs, but Triumphant! does a nice job of keeping it relevant. I liked the parts about having super teams deal with things like natural disasters, and how to make those in their own right. Really, the entire section on using scenery in fights and on various types of threats is very good. This section also includes some sample baddies, animals, and other threats statted out for your game.

The final section is Sovereign City, which is in some ways the weakest part of the book. I understand why a sample setting is included, but in my experience, most GMs usually work with their own setting or that of a popular comics imprint. There’s nothing wrong with it as a setting, but it probably won’t set the world on fire, either.

Triumphant! also includes an index, which is nice even in a smaller RPG product. Full points there.

In terms of layout, the product is nothing fancy, but is quite serviceable, and shouldn’t cause too much strain or headaches. Art? Well, that’s tricky. There are some really nice pieces in here that were clearly commissioned that work well, but there are also some pieces that appear to be more like stock art. I’m usually not huge on art in RPGs, but for whatever reason, I think it’s important to have a nice bit of inspirational art in supers gaming, to set the tone and give ideas. The art here is sort of a mixed bag—not bad, per se, but not really presenting a unified vision or remaining consistent in quality throughout. That’s not a huge deal for me, though it’s probably worth mentioning.

Pricing is a bit tricky on this product. The pdf is on sale at RPGNow for $10 (EDIT: It now appears to be only $7.50), but the print-on-demand format actually has two offerings: a black-and-white interior version ($22.84), and a full-color version ($41.54). As this is a pdf review, I can’t comment on how the book comes off in print, though I suspect it’s pretty close to the usual lulu print-on-demand offering.

For an overall rating, I’d give this game a very satisfied 7.5/10, and tracking higher. Art aficionados and those who want ornate production values will probably be uninspired, but those who are fine with a serviceable layout and get to the rules will probably come away impressed more often than not. There are a few pesky typos I certainly hope get revised in the near future.

If you’re in the market for a new supers RPG, or still haven’t found one that quite scratches that itch, Triumphant! Super Heroic RPG is well worth checking out in at least pdf form. As to whether someone might enjoy this over ICONS or Mutants and Masterminds, that’s a bit deeper of a question. ICONS is a fine game, though some folks struggle with Aspects and Determination. Triumphant! is no more difficult than ICONS, and might be a bit more straightforward in some ways, especially if you’re looking at playing with your children. It seems as if it will do lower-level supers a bit better than Mutants and Masterminds 3e, and is a bit less “crunchy” in terms of rules. It’s beyond the scope of the review to compare Triumphant! to every supers game on the market, but suffice to say if you’re a fan of dice-allocation character creation, straightforward mechanics, and some rules that manage to deal with most superhero conventions without bloat, Triumphant! Super Heroic RPG will likely be right up your alley.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 128 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG