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A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/28/2012 19:14:39
It should come as no surprise that with the success of HBO's adaptation of this series, we are now presented with the 'Game of Thrones Edition' of SIFRP. Having only looked at the quickstart rules previously, I don't have much of a comparison. However, after reading this tome a few times I'm left with the feeling that this is an incredibly comprehensive piece of work.

What should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the novels is that there is a need to focus on setting and character, and as such the story and gazetteer-style elements take up the most of the page count. In fact, I'd recommend that non-role-players consider picking this up simply as a companion to the novels. In no particular order the book provides:

- An overview of Westeros, containing geographical, political, theological and historical information on each of the Seven Kingdoms. Reading through this section will give Narrators and players all the information they need (and is somewhat shorter than reading all of the novels).
- A guide to all of the Houses, with histories of the families, notable characters and deeds and in-depth information about their holdings, powerbases and modus operandi.
- Quite extensive guidance for the Narrator in terms of crafting stories for Westeros and how this is different from most other fantasy settings. There is a great section which takes a number of key characters and describes what actual role they had/have in the story and what their inclusion teaches us about storytelling. The main warning I'd level here is that there are serious spoilers if you haven't read the novels. This section has been updated to include the events in 'Dance of Dragons' (the latest novel at the time of writing this review) and makes no qualms about mentioning character deaths and other event-based spoilers.

From the mechanical side, the game is simple yet incredibly decisive and brutal. The entire system is based upon a D6-driven mechanic (you'll need a maximum of ten dice to play). You roll a number of dice determined by skills and add-in bonus dice for situational modifiers and specialisations. Interestingly, once the dice pool is rolled, you remove a number of dice equal to the bonus dice and then tally up the score. The heart of the system is rolling as many dice as possible and then keeping the best results. A Target Number needs to be beaten to succeed in most rolls.

Combat is a relatively simple affair, and this is the first system I've seen which directly calculates damage based on the skill level linked to the weapon. Basically the idea is that if you are better trained, you'll do more damage. After reading over the rules for damage, defending and armour, I feel confident that most combats will not last long. Life is cheap in the Seven Kingdoms, and the system really reflects that.

However, the mechanical side of the book also gives the reader

- A workable system for Mass Combat
- A complete guide to building your own Stronghold, Fiefdom or Country. There are statistics linked to almost every aspect of a holding which allows players to almost play a 'game within the game' for managing their assets. I'm actually thinking that these rules could be ported over into other campaigns as a method of record-keeping. This exercise is quite important as it is directly linked to the Mass Combat rules mentioned above.
- There is also a very large module in the back of the book. 'Journey to King's Landing' was a free-to-download module with pre-generated characters and appears in very much the same format here. It leads to 'Peril at King's Landing' which is a much longer module. To be honest, I would have preferred Green Ronin to offer these as PDF material accessible with a purchase of the main rulebook for two reasons. One, it is a neat opportunity to offer the customer something that is perceived a 'free extra' with the book. Secondly, though is the question as to whether the page count on the modules in a core book is a good use of space. Weighing in at 81 pages (around a quarter of the total page count), one questions how much long-term value this would be to the reader. I make no argument that a module is needed for a game like this, even just as a way of showing the reader 'this is what a SIFRP module looks like', but think it could have been achieved better.

The layout makes the book very easy to read, with plenty of full-colour illustrations throughout. The art quality is very average, but does work for the book. Characters from the novels are shown in most of the illustrations, and those familiar with the story will have no difficulty in recognising them.

Overall, I was impressed with the quality and breadth of the content in this book. It felt to me as though Green Ronin has respected the customer enough to give them a self-contained game in one book. If I was to run a game, I can't think of any aspect which is wanting in the rulebook, especially for the first-time Narrator - which makes it a very sensible purchase for someone looking for a new game. There will surely be other titles forthcoming, but I wouldn't think them necessary to enjoy the game. Given the PDF price, I see it as excellent value for gamers and enthusiasts of the novels alike.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition
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Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #13: Illusion Powers
by matthew o. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2012 13:37:34
good product. what I was looking for. love the M&M system. Hope Green Ronin continues to support it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #13: Illusion Powers
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A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide: A Game of Thrones Edition
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2012 19:09:01
When you produce something for a licensed property there is a tightrope that you have to walk. Green Ronin does this by stating that their line of products for this setting are not canon, instead an alternate world that you can explore. I am guessing that is the reason that you don’t see hard numbers for the major houses within this book.

I feel that they did do a good job presenting the material overall and give you details for the major npcs from the novels as well as various locations. It certainly provides a good foundation for a GM to create additional details for their campaigns.

If I was king for a day, I would have done some things differently but overall this is a strong product. As with the main book though, it is NOT printer friendly.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide: A Game of Thrones Edition
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A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2012 18:56:44
What works for me, a D6 game system that dispenses with the need for attributes and goes straight to what your character uses, skills (i.e. abilities). The system is built around the setting, not simply another D20 cut and paste job (THANK YOU Green Ronin)! Not only is the system tailored to the setting but they actually got it right.

What doesn’t work for me, it is not a print friendly book and no attempt was made to make it so. This was not an issue for me as I bought this as backup for a copy I bought from a brick and mortar store. However, for those that are looking at this as an alternative to purchasing a physical copy it would be a BIG issue.

If you want a backup to your physical copy of this book, that allows you to search through it for key words in a flash, then I can recommend it.

If you are looking for a cheap alternative to the physical book, which you plan on printing out, then I would say you should pass on this product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying: A Game of Thrones Edition
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Trojan War
by James Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2012 14:28:18
This is a good RPG guide for guys and girls who like their RPG campaign which is centre around historical settings such as Greek, Roman or Viking settings. It is quite detailed in depicting the various Greek and Trojan heroes as they appeared in Homer's Trojan War. Overall the book is a good guide.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Trojan War
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DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
by Mattia N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2012 13:49:40
Simply put: M&M 3rd edition handbook with DC universe story and png... If I had know it... The artwork is a little random...

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
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Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #13: Illusion Powers
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2012 21:24:15
Although this series is a bit pricy, roughly $0.20 a page rather than the average PDF price point of $0.10 a page, I'm willing to pay that here because this is Steven Kenson's work. He's the Monte Cooke of Super Hero RPGs. The Power Profile series packs a lot into each issue, with a discussion of specific powers created using M&M3 effects and descriptors around a theme. Each issue also includes stats for various powers. This series, along with the random-roll character generation tables accompanying the Game Masters kit, makes M&M3 / DC Adventures almost as playable on the fly as rules-lite games like ICONS, BASH! and G-Core. It's worth noting that everything in the Power Profiles is optional, but I wouldn't venture to run M&M3 without it. My only minor quibble with the series is that the core rules page numbers referenced are for the M&M3 Heroes Handbook with no mention of the DC Adventures version. The systems are the same. It would be nice to have references for both, as I didn't buy both versions.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #13: Illusion Powers
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DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
by Tony G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2012 20:47:49
I was waiting for a great Superhero game to be released, and here it is! This is a game my friends and I will be playing for years to come. The rules are a little weird at first especially if you are used to the standard RPG setup. This game doesn't use hitpoints, so at first it threw us, but once we were comfortable with it, I love it. All the big characters are here in this starting book, villians and heroes. The art is taken directly from their comics, so it is beautiful. Like I said if this is your first time using this rules set then it may have a learning curve, but once you have it down, your games can be fast paced and action packed!
Definately pick up the second and third volumes they have everyone you could want to use as an NPC. A must have for DC fans!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
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Faery's Tale Deluxe
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/05/2012 17:12:21
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
-G. K. Chesterton (attributed)

One upon a time… is how most faerie tales begin. It is also how many RPGs can start as well. Both are flights of fancy, imagination, wonder, danger and magic.
The biggest Fantasy RPG of history, Dungeons and Dragons, shares many of the same elements of faerie tales, but D&D can be hard to learn, difficult to master and sometimes even scary. Not the game you might want to introduce a 6-year old too.

Well thankfully there has been a trend in the last few years in gaming; the trend to write games for a younger audience. Faery’s Tale represents one of the best of this trend.

Published originally by Firefly Games, http://www.firefly-games.com/, and presently by Green Ronin, Faery’s Tale is an enchanting game great for kids, and sophisticated enough for adults.

For starters you play a faery, a denizen of the Bright Wood. You can play a Friendly Faery like a pixie, sprite, brownie or a pooka. Or you can play a Dark Faery like a fallen faery or a goblin. You can encounter intelligent animals, other faery types, hags, witches, trolls, even humans and dragons.

Characters are defines, stat wise by their Attributes (Mind, Body and Spirit) and Gifts (magical abilities). There are also boons, titles and charms. Archetypes are called “Patterns” and think it gives it a nice mystical feel. Some faeries have natural gifts, others can be “bought”. Titles can likewise be bought.

The rules themselves are very easy. It is a simple dice-pool system based on the number you have for your necessary Attribute and Gift. So sneaking past a sleeping dragon might need Body and Acrobat. So if your faery has a Body of 2 and Acrobat 3 you roll 5 dice. Odd numbers are not counted and evens are a “Success”. The Narrator or Game Master decides how man Success are needed to complete the task. So she decides 3 Success are need to sneak past the dragon then they need at least 3 dice to come up to even numbers. A 6 “explodes”, allowing you to roll it again for maybe another success. That simple. All sorts of contests can be resolved this way.

The book gives all sorts of examples of play and suggestions, all the while never forgetting that the target audience for this is children and their adults.

Frankly. I love this little game. Like many I think I bought it to see what I could mine for other games, but finding not only a good little game but an extremely well written and though out one that works for both children and adults.

If you have young children that you want to introduce to gaming, then this is the game for you.

I also have to add. The art in this book is fantastic. It captures the feel of the game perfectly.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faery's Tale Deluxe
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #14: Heavy Metal
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2012 16:54:28
Like all of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file.

Heavy Metal is the strongman of the Cybertribe (and brother to Sister Steel), tough and powerful, but also the youngest and most gentle of the team. An interesting character and very good at what he does (which is be strong and tough which you can be very of both at PL 11) and an important member of the Cybertribe but not the on the face of it the most interesting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #14: Heavy Metal
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #13: Sister Steel
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2012 16:46:07
Like all of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file.

Sister Steel is the Cybertribe's field leader, strong, fast and effective. Her cybernetic shell compensates for his weakness of her body. Seeking to strike out at the world that has always beat her down, she restrains her anger to better protect her family. An effective and direct combatant (at PL 10) and an interesting character.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #13: Sister Steel
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #12: Rez
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2012 16:32:33
Like all of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file.

Rez is the Cybertribe's infiltration specialist, able to change her appearance at will. As someone who hated her appearance, her new found freedom to be anyone, anytime. Her powers are focused on being other people, which she loves as character, and is a fascinating build for an infiltrator. Again, an interesting mostly non-combat build (at PL 10) which allows for some fun and interesting plots.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #12: Rez
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #9: Motherboard
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/29/2012 16:12:59
Like all of the threat reports this come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file.

Motherboard is the team leader and 'mother' of the Cybertribe, a brilliant scientist betrayed by an evil corporation and kept alive only by a life support cocoon. But her brain is alive and able to manipulate computers on a superhuman level. From their base (detailed here as well) she leads the Cybertribe in a private war against groups she considers evil, especially the corporation that tried to kill her. An excellent mastermind character with very limited combat ability (even at her PL of 12) with a morally ambiguous agenda if such appeals to a campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #9: Motherboard
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Emerald City Knights Chapter 1: Life in the Aftermath
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/28/2012 14:45:43
For new heroes, and new game masters, this is a good starting point for a superheroic campaign. This adventure is nice as it touches on all of the primary types of scenes that can be used and provides a straightforward scenario to begin a team’s career.

Emerald City Knights, Chapter 1: The Aftermath is a 17-page PDF (15-pages if you remove the cover letter and OGL page) for the Mutants & Masterminds (3rd Edition) RPG written by Christopher McGlothlin and published by Green Ronin Publishing. This is the second part of Green Ronin’s Emerald City Knights adventure line for M&M (the first installment can be acquired free from RPGNow).

This follows the standard M&M layout, clean and easy to read with a variety of sidebars to clarify various points. Several nice full color pieces, including one that illustrates all the villains. Additionally HeroLab files for the four supervillains included.

This is a five-scene adventure arc with a mixture of action and combat scenes, a variety of people to meet and innocents to save, and ending on a cliffhanger (in the best comic tradition) that leads into the next adventure arc. The heroes are given a chance to be heroic and rescue people, meet some of the movers and shakers of Emerald City and get to fight members of F.O.E. (the Fraternal Order of Evl).

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Emerald City Knights Chapter 1: Life in the Aftermath
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Emerald City Knights Chapter 4: Sea Change
by Alessio S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2012 10:21:39
Great idea for an epic superheroic campaign!!! I want more adventures in this style. It remainds me the sampe project of the Adventure Path of Pathfinder, that has had a great success 'til now ;)
Keep up the good work, guys :)

I'm waiting for the final chapter: I'm very curious to see Collapsar and all its alien stuff!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerald City Knights Chapter 4: Sea Change
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