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Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free
by Hal G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/28/2018 08:51:39

Like others have said, this is a great installment to the Alpha Blue line up. If you have Alpha Blue, bances are hou have this book grom KickStarter and are loving it. The art in this book is mostly digital. Im not going to say its a big improvement over previous book's art. The art in those books were hand drawn/classic pics that paid homage to old school rpg as much as they decorated the pages and that was/is cool. i will say the art in this one is hot, kick ass, and by far the sexiest stuff to date. If you just get the book for the art, you wont be dissapointed. The last thing Ill say is that this works as a suppliment for almost any space game. The ideas and concepts are laud out in a basic format that is simple to apply. As always, the adventures and tables deliver a charmingly crass social commentary that shines a spotlight on the most ridiculous and stupid nuances of the human condition! I love it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free
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How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss
by Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2018 15:51:42

Every once in a while, a non-game-company book on how to game-master will appear, and it is useful for game-masters to take stock of what they are doing and see if they can learn new tricks. But be warned: this book has mature black-and-white artwork that extends beyond that of the original AD&D First-Edition art, and also Venger Satanis is presenting his own personal ideas on game-mastering, and "Venger will be Venger".

The book is about 2/3rds game-mastering tips, and you will find many pieces of useful advice. There are things even another GM has not thought of before, such as meditating on your campaign for half an hour in-between games. Meditating? Yes! This is in the sense of sitting and concentrating only on your campaign and how it is going, to the exclusion of mundane real-world concerns. That way, you can think more clearly on how it is going and how to steer it better. He also warns not to lose sight of balancing an encounter so it is meaningful: it must have a reason to entice the players into it, a risk, and a reward. If any of these weaken, the players will not bite or lose interest. He made a tip about drawing up a diagram of the names of your players, if you are doing a demo for example and have not met them before. I would have expanded on this tip and said you should take a full-size sheet of paper and draw an outline of the table you are using, write on the outside of the table each player's name in relation to where you are sitting, PLUS on the inside write the name of their character and important stats or information about them, to make an invaluable memory-aid. Unlike social situations, in RPGs we have TWO names to track for people we meet instead of one.

The remaining 1/3 of the book is a grab-bag of random and sometimes whimsical generation tables to add spice and ideas for your game, plus an imaginary language of his own creation, Viridian, with Viridian-English and English-Viridian mini-dictionaries. Want to come up with the name of a Cult quickly, how they look, and what their motivation is? Venger has a table for you!

But his tips were not organized in any thematic way. I would have liked to see chapters classified in chronological order based on the steps of the campaign: world-design, adventure-creation (he actually now sells another book entitled Adventure Writing Something Something Swear-Word Something), character generation and introducing a campaign (often called Session Zero), running the game, presenting the game in an effective way, the age-old discussion of risk-level and character death (in his games with many players, he says he averages a character death every 3 sessions), and he had a tip on concluding a campaign with a satisfying close, whether it's merely the end of a "TV season" or meant to be the finale episode as the group moves on to some other game. The book could have greatly benefited by classifying tips into some such chronological or thematic scheme. Sometimes there will be tips that don't fit in any particular phase of a campaign (like the tip about dressing neatly and being well-groomed as a salesperson would, as if you are presenting something worthwhile and important, which you should definitely consider your campaign to be!)

So I think it's a great book of fresh tips AND tips that bear restating, broadcast on the inimitable frequency of Venger Satanis's persona.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss
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Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free
by Gene V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2018 13:55:00

Once again Venger knocks another supplement for Alpha Blue out of this galaxy! This book adds even more tables, scenarios and characters to the sleaziest space rpg on the planet. The switch to full colour since the last book carries over here with some amazing artwork. The writing is very well done and will add so much to any game with an adult sci-fi theme, not just Alpha Blue. Hopefully this is not the last book in the series, but if it is then it is going out with a bang!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free
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Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free
by Manuel E. B. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2018 12:37:34

The odds and ends of Alpha Blue. If this is the last one - well, it goes out with a bang. It is not a very structured book, more a collection of adventures, crazy tables and wired encounters. And if you love Alpha Blue, it's exactly as you would want it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
by Manuel E. B. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2018 12:35:19

Leasure Suit Larry meets Captain Kirk in adult humor space opera. Nothing more to say.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
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Dead God Excavation
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/25/2018 05:45:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of Kort’thalis glyph, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, first things first: This module was made for Crimson Dragon Slayer, using Venger’s FREE rules-lite dark fantasy rules. The adventure itself, is in presentation, very much an old-school module, in that it eschews read-aloud text and the like for the most part – there is a box provided for a key scene. When using said rules, a brief table for some effects a cleric might have on unearthly creatures is a potent angle. 4 rumors and 4 reasons for the PCs to arrive at the scene of the adventure are provided. Before the PCs reach the excavation site, they will have to deal with fully-statted winged bat-demon-things. Combat-relevant beings like these tend to be statted for Crimson Dragon Slayer, noting HP and dice pool, but conversion should not be too hard for most old-school GMs, should you use another system.

NPCs are noted with flavorful descriptions and motivations, but don’t have stats. The biggest hurdle, conversion-wise, would be a “spell”, which is thankfully slightly tighter in its codification that CDS’s in my opinion non-functional free-form magic system, which boils down to “I try to convince the GM this works.” (Yeah, I will forevermore complain about the like – I just don’t enjoy it. No, I will not penalize the pdf for this.) The module presented sports a couple of Venger’s trademarks: It is very high-concept, has a couple of delightfully nigh-unpronounceable names and focuses on presenting a situation, without prescribing how it’ll run its course. The adventure features a stunning full-page full-color artwork, but not map for the complex to be explored. It should be noted that I can see this work particularly well for DCC’s aesthetics or LotFP, should you be playing those systems.

All right, this is as far as I can go without going into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

So, the PCs arrive at basically an archaeological dig, where one person actually has the Al Azif (rename it if you’re as tired as I am of dragging the poor ole’ Necry around) and from nobility to a Rosicrucian and a sage, there are some interesting NPCs to interact with. Touching the strange metal of the tomb that is explored can btw. have disquieting ramifications. When the sage’s brother arrives, he consults the book and deems the excavation unsafe. No one listens. Sure, his agenda is black as the night, but he, technically, is right. As antediluvian air escapes from the breached sepulcher, the PCs can wander into a strange dungeon where drops of acid drip from daemonic flesh, and ultimately lay their eyes upon the eponymous dead god, sleeping or dead. Indeed, a PC may unwittingly bond with a horrific alien entity that acts as basically a symbiotic, living artifact that can halt the flow of time, a servitor creature that may well kill the wielder, one in service to the dread inhuman god-thing lying there. A dark wall contains mighty glyphs that contain a superbly potent spell; essential salts may be consumed to speak to the high priest of the fallen deity and worse, there are hatchlings…

The finding of the dread great old one/deity may well end civilization, the start of a truly apocalyptic campaign…if you, for example, enjoy Shadows over Vathak, it may make for an interesting prologue to the proceedings hundreds of years later. Or you can use this to start something weird. This module pulls out the biggest punches of the mythos in the very first session, connecting because they are not expected then, but rather at the end of a campaign. This presents a couple of interesting variations for you: As the pdf closes with ideas for the benefits of having a dead god under your kingdom. The angles/suggestions here literally can govern whole campaigns, making this a truly efficient kick-off module.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout is gorgeous and one of my favorites in the whole Kort’thalis catalogue: With shades of purple and orange, blood-spatters and the like, Glynn Seal really delivers here. The b/w-artworks are nice, and the full-page full-color piece is fantastic and not something I expected to see in such an inexpensive supplement. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks and a second, more printer-friendly version. Kudos!

Now, Dead God Excavation is not a hand-holding module; it is a sketch for you to fill out; it requires that you flesh out the main locale, potentially stat the NPCs, etc. It has no synopsis that would make spontaneously running it easier. Here, I get why. This is a proposition for a whole campaign or at least a story-angle, disguised as a brief introductory module. A Gm should think carefully about the ramifications of the adventure, of how it will shape the future. The presence of a variety of very potent concepts usually reserved for endgame-scenarios means that this is deadly; greed can kill PCs; so can curiosity. This is unforgiving, but it is brutal for a reason. It makes sense in the context of the adventure. The high impact nature of the module and clever use of player-expectation subversion makes for a fun and ultimately cool scenario. Sure, as always with Venger As’Nas Satanis’ relatively free-form modules, you’ll have to do a little more work structuring/fleshing out components, but for $2.50, it is worth getting!

That being said, I think that this offering suffers a bit from its presentation – DGE can’t seem to really decide whether it wants to be a toolkit/campaign-theme or adventure; as a toolkit, it is a success – the setting of the stage it delivers, is fantastic and evocative. However, the whole thing is billed as a module, and as such, it is more sketch-like than it should be. The descriptions and prose are top-notch, but the adventure doesn’t offer that much meat/substance. As a module, I think this would have benefited from being less abstract, from being more concrete. On the other hand, the aspects of the toolkit function basically almost invalidate the function as a module. No GM/referee/judge will run this as presented. It doesn’t have sufficient details for that; it’s not intended for that. At the same time, the suggested turn of events and characters make the toolkit-aspect feel less customizable than they are.

DGE would have made a truly outstanding, high-concept toolkit for a campaign, had it gotten rid of its pretensions of being an adventure. As written, it does not really qualify as either adventure or toolkit as perfectly as the quality of the prose and set-up would otherwise guarantee – it tries to have its cake and eat it, too, and is weaker off for it. To cut a long ramble short: This is a phenomenal inspiration for a game; a great little supplement to scavenge materials and scenes from, and, much like the eponymous dead god, a nice place to build a campaign on – I just wished it focused structurally in its presentation more on embracing being the modular toolkit that it wants to be. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, but I feel I can’t round up for this one.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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Battle Star: Trek Wars
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/21/2018 04:00:06

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive Alpha Blue-book clocks in at 76 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page reserved for notes, 1 page kort’thalis glyph, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, leaving us with 70 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This book is an expansion for Venger As’Nas Satanis’ sleazy scifi-RPG Alpha Blue, which is inspired by 70s and early 80s porn-parodies. If exposed boobs and nudity offend you, if you can’t chuckle over what may be deemed to be puerile humor, then this may not be for you. To give you an example: One b/w-artwork has a guy standing in line at the space unemployment agency, asking the clerk to tell him more about “those outer rim jobs.” That being said, at the same time, there are not artworks depicting intercourse or the like – pin-up-style nudity is as raunchy as this one gets.

Then again, at this point I’ve reviewed so many Alpha Blue supplements you probably already know whether the tone is to your liking, so since we have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a look at the material herein!

We begin this supplement with a massive piece of well-written prose to set the stage thematically, “Cold as Ice,” before the pdf begins with a nomenclature-change that was overdue – The official term for the GM in Alpha Blue now is the BDSM – Bold Dungeon Space Master. The abbreviation was so obvious, I kinda hoped it would catch on. The pdf then provides a seven words/phrases means of character generation that works well with the very rules-lite approach Alpha Blue takes – what does the character do professionally, how does the character look like, who is the character as a person,, what is the character good at, likes/dislikes, special equipment/vessels and stand out traits – there, character generation in a few quick steps. If you honestly dislike rolling dice and want an even bigger step of being almost-0-rules, there is an alternative that gets rid of rolling for damage; the brief table makes you pool up attack dice pool and that’s it. Nice: The BDSM gets default stats for stock character NPCs next to some further DMing advice, which champions sticking to briefer scenes. Shutting lengthy combats down and rough guidelines for the number of rounds acceptable, can be helpful – as the header notes “remember the cantina” – it’s brevity is what makes the scene work. A d12 table to end combats that have stretched on for too long The sleaze once more enters the frame via the rather funny table that provides mechanically-relevant effects that accompany an alien’s orgasm. The pdf also provides a d12 table to determine random underwear worn, a d4 table to determine the condition, and a d6 table for the couture of the vaginal area. If you happen to be a fan of Alpha Blue who prefers males, you won’t get any tables for male underpants or genital area.

The section also introduces the dread Cheetosian slut-bots, a sex robot so potent it has a 1 in 3 chance of killing you. Losers of high-stakes games sometimes have to take the bet and introduce fingers etc. in the bot – those that survive end up with permanent cheeto fingers/genitalia, coated in orange dust. A fate that’s rather…disgusting. 12 quick hooks to begin an Alpha Blue adventure, 20 things that folks may want in return for assistance and 30 weapons are next. The latter include assassin blades hidden in clown shoes, crotch cannons, bowel disruptors, etc. 6 weapons, hilariously, were left over and get their own brief table.

The next idea is pretty funny: Snadq’ua is a game, where you have to trick someone to look at your dick/balls. Depending on the move, the loser may have to pay MeowMeowBeenz, and the pdf mentions how this could be used in metagame – the victor can take the loser’s “Steal the Spotlight” for the session. It should be obvious that the latter metagame requires sane and mature adults, but, as a suggestion, it’s very much possible to make this based on boobs as well. Gamifying NOT staring at cleavage may actually do some socially slightly challenged folks some good…

30 detailed random transmissions to pick up (assassin guilds celebrating their 110th kill, Purple Prizm, now with aphrodisiac, etc.) and a brief d6-die drop table to determine stability in a region are next, and then we get a MASSIVE, 100-entry strong table of odd NPCs to add to the game – from space dwarves to armed slugs to really weird folks, this table is really useful and breathes Venger’s creativity in the best of ways. While we’re on the subject of the die-drop component: The pdf comes with a MASSIVE, high-res –jpg hex-map of the Ta’andor galaxy, noting the spheres of influence of factions from “Abhorrent Entities of Eldritch Alignment” to the “Church of Arthos” or “Ta’andorian Pleasure Seekers.”

There is also a 100-entry strong loot table, which includes a detachable penis, parking tickets, a handheld sonic douching machine, vials LS3-D…pretty fun and diverse table. 10 reasons why you don’t get to pick someone up are also provided, which had me think of a weird combination: Space Quest meets Leisure Suit Larry. I can kinda see that work as a campaign idea! This also ties in with a table that determines the degree of being pussy-whipped (extra points for running Steel Panther’s song when rolling on it…) and one that randomly lets you determine how long it takes for a male to be able to go again.

MeowMeowBeenz are concisely defined, btw. – it’s crypto currency that has become popular after the finance markets crashed. Its value is partially contingent on how ostensibly awesome you manage to sell yourself. Here’s the kicker: The system also rates the users on a scale of 1 to 5, not akin to the social rating dystopia shown in the third season of Black Mirror. MeowMeowBeenz thus feel pretty…sinister to me. The fluctuating value and fluid economy is, of course, pretty much carte blanche for the BDSM, so some further explanations give you some guidelines. I really enjoyed this section – the easy come, easy go randomness is appealing and fits the themes of Alpha Blue.

All right, as before in the Alpha Blue supplements released so far, we move on towards the adventure/scenario section next. As before, read aloud text is usually reduced to a bare minimum, namely setting the stage for the adventure; there is no plot-synopsis given, and you definitely should read the entire respective scenario prior to running it. Big plus: We actually get stats where relevant.

All right, since we’re now taking a look at the adventures themselves, consider this to be the SPOILER-warning for players. If you want to play these yourself, you should skip ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only BDSMs around? Great! So, the first scenario “I Wear My Heart On My Sleaze” begins with at the favorite dive bar, where a Dallas Space Cowboy Cheerleader is waiting for the bathroom to become free, proceeding then to peeing herself when she can’t hold it any more. This being Alpha Blue, the aftermath can result is sex. As the PCs happen upon a flyer noting a libertarian party going on, they also get a note that none Ta’andorian citizens will have to have intercourse in the next 3 hours or die horribly. The consequence is simple: Get laid at the party or die trying is the name of the game, and when a humanoid carrot advertizes the symbiotic jellyfish condoms that can actually form ridges etc., we’re definitely in full-blown Alpha Blue territory. While playing strip-sabacc, the PCs may run afoul of a pick-pocket, and there are 12 reasons for some dude wanting the PCs dead. A super smart inventor is thinking about selling a short-range teleportation device to score; a lady may be saved from a scintillating bastard of an alien from a Zonga-line…and then fungoid spacers (alas, sans stats) kidnap a princess…which may make for another interesting adventure. All in all, a delightfully goofy extended encounter/downtime scenario.

The second adventure would be “Emergency Escape Sequence Delta Green,” which begins with a table of 6 different flashbacks as the PCs emerge on the moon A’atu, only to pick up a Romulyn battle cruiser on their scanners, Shasta, which hails the PCs and provides an ultimatum – scram or be pulverized. The moon seems to be suffering from a blockade, courtesy of a change in Federation tax codes. The remainder of the module deals with a free-form approach towards the situation: Do the PCs attempt to save the moon? Will they join the Federation or attempt to brave all odds and eliminate the superior forces of the Federation? In order to defeat a battle cruiser, the PCs will probably have to infiltrate it, and stats for standard troopers and an Admiral are provided alongside a brief d6 table of different welcoming committees. And that’s about it. A solid digression/diversion.

Thirdly, we get the “Outer Rim Jobs of Ta’andor” begins with 6 easy-come-easy-go reasons for the PCs to be broke. Facing their dwindling resources, they are likely to say yes to the job awaiting on Avon 7, where a scouring winds ravage the land and a bald, Tibetan-looking monk awaits. A group of fully statted rival spacers will attempt to take out the PCs as they take the job, taking turquoise teleportation bracelets…only to me dread Xa’ax, the mind-raping orange (nice callback to Kort’thalis early works! And yes, it’s fully statted!). The potent fruit asks the PCs to represent it at a singing contest. And yes, the orange can be killed – wearing its peel can net you the potent powers of the entity for a brief time. The contest itself features glory holes in the rest rooms and the rules to resolve the contest are painless and nice. The judges (fluff-only) include a hip-hop-apotamus…and David Hasselhoff. Thing is, the orange is a bastard – it actually wants to kill everyone associated with the contest. How they get rid of the nuke they were duped into carrying before the 5 minutes elapse, is all up to the players. Some suggestions would have been nice. Killing Xa’ax will be tough – he has caught the famous space cops Tango and Cash, and beyond the orange, a deadly Zith lord, the Crimson Chaos, will need to be defeated. The aforementioned Tibetan monk can make for a NPC-aid or replacement PC and as such, comes with stats. All in all, a hilarious, amazing and outré little module – easily one of my favorites in all of Alpha Blue’s canon.

The final scenario would be “Panty Raid on Papyrus 5” – you see, Papyrus is a cluster of 5 university planets, with #5 being the one focused on culture, language and the liberal arts. As such, there are a lot of ladies there. The module itself is basically a free-form scenario: The motivation of the PCs can oscillate, and the module accounts for that, by providing the tools to generate such a scenario: There is a brief table of reactions to stealing panties, and patrol ships are noted. Campus security gets stats, as do rival raiders. If you desire a straight narrative, there is a specific lady whose panties are particularly treasured by a gross insect thing…good money in it. There is a planet with economy based on worn panties, and it is here that PCs may end up recalling past lives after being exposed to a strange crystal. 8 Sample previous identities and 6 reasons for memory implants quote the total recall angle, but how that develops is ultimately up to players and BDSM.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard, with original artworks that range from amazing to solid, and the map noted before is a nice bonus. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with very detailed, nested bookmarks for your convenience, and the pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version. On a layout-perspective, I loved how e.g. “Purple Prizm” is always printed in purple, with its own custom font – it’s a small thing, but I liked that decision. On another note, the per se great layout and artwork clash slightly in a few instances, but that remains an aesthetic nitpick.

Venger As’Nas Satanis “Battle Star – Trek Wars” is a great expansion for the Alpha Blue game; from the serious to the utterly ridiculous, the adventures should offer something for all folks that enjoy his take on the raunchy scifi-parody genre. Particularly the 3rd adventure is absolutely hilarious in its outrageous concepts. The random tables also easily count among the best in Alpha Blue’s history so far – much like “Universal Exploits”, this book provides quite a few very helpful components that flesh out the implicit setting without feeling overly restrictive, with particularly the MeowMeowBeenz-economy being a great way to explain fluctuating fortunes. Now, while the adventure components don’t engage in much handholding, they do show that the author has learned from past adventures: The environments are more relevant, stats are provided where they make sense, and as a whole, this elevates the encounters and modules from sketches to material you can run without requiring much preparation beyond reading the respective components.

In short: If you enjoyed Alpha Blue or just like gonzo space opera with a dash of sleaze strewn in, then this book is a no-brainer. It is one of the best books in the product line, on par with the quality of Universal Exploits. As always for Alpha Blue-expansions, this will not change your mind if unapologetically puerile, self-referential humor that very much recognizes what it does, if the parody angle, does not work for you. If it does, then this is a gem and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
by Hal G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2018 17:02:36

If you are looking for some mysterious secrets of writing role play adventures book, this might not be for you. This is a walk through of the obvious. As you go through and read it, for the most part you will be saying, "ok, yeah, I knew that... ok, that makes sense..." But that doesnt make the book less valuable. Sometimes between the giants, and the super star mutilators and the brain eating Gugermongers its really easy to get lost in your ideas and the next thing you know you either arn't putting anything out, or the stuff you are putting kind of sucks. Sometimes you need Captain Obvious to say "Hey, remember ice is cold...". Thats what this book does. You can see from the first couple of pages that are previewed, Venger talks aout things like his three month formula... month one, jot down notes and ideas, month two, get a draft together and month three, polish it up. That's not NASA... but its damn good common sense. He talks about things you might not know about, he offeres suggestions on where to invest time and creativity, where to put details, where to leave details out. And its all coming from a guy who has been around the block a few times, an actual guy who writes adventures like a fucking boss....

I plan on writing my own game books. I am using Adventure Writing Line A Fucking Boss II to help keep me grounded and motivatied. At 18 pages I can leaf through and reread the whole thing in about an hour. That should be good enough to keep me focused or bring me back on task. I'd higly recommend this book to anyone writing anything.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
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Girls Gone Rogue
by Van C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2018 21:26:51

Girls Gone Rogue is the first major expansion to Alpha Blue, the sci-fi roleplaying game where your character's sex drive will get him further than his hyperdrive. GGR (as coined by another reviewer), adds some additional mechanics and player creation options, more random tables for everything, insights into roleplaying and Space Dungeon Mastering from the author of "How to Gamemaster Like a F'ing Boss", and 29 pages full of a main adventure ("Ilsa SS"), something of a follow up adventure, and then a bunch of others of varying length and detail. Throughout, this is an entertaining read that has layers of references, humor, advice, and thought provoking ideas glued together by twelve year-old testosterone.

Most importantly, if you were one of us teenage boys that got unreasonably turned on wondering what Sean Young in "Bladerunner" would look like naked, the answer is on p.26. Yes it was worth the wait.

There are game mechanics answers to questions like playing a robot as a PC or playing a half-breed human/alien, as well as the interesting "Weird Sexual Fantasies and Fetishes" optional rule. The ship to ship combat mechanics is refreshingly simple as well. And if you need to role up a one night stand, there are tables for all of that, too. One of the most interesting tables to me are the "Noir-ish Victims, Fall Guys, and Losers" because I didn't realize I needed that, but in retrospect, how could I not and the inclusion makes my storytelling that much better. Another is the Archetypes table: No, it's not a rules-heavy subspecialization of a character class, it's an explanation of a story telling mechanic that I feel gives me the scaffolding as a player or Space DM the ability to be that much better of a co-story teller. I encourage readers to look at each table and additionally ask themselves, "why did VS put this table in here? What is he really trying to tell me?" I feel like you could probably change mechanics or table values without really breaking the system -- I think that's encouraged -- but do take the time to dig into those meta-questions about what's already there and the subtext it creates.

I'm not going to describe the plots to the adventures, but in general, VS sets the stage for you, gives you enough to drive the plot along, and the general ending the adventure is pointed towards. Those are all great, but do plan on actually making up some stuff on the fly to glue things together based on what your PCs do. And if you don't have the glue, there are tables for that.

My one complaint about the entire Alpha Blue franchise overall (as much as I've gotten through, anyway), and I will mention it just this one time rather than harp on it over and over, is that it's written for straight males, or maybe lesbians. I'm all good with the pubescent over-sex drive, because you really have to embrace that esthetic to get the most out of the game, but I feel like there's the opportunity for tables like "Shopping for Purses and Male Meat" and "So you Want to be a Male Satisfier." Yes, other genders and sexualities can do the translation themselves and still enjoy the game, but, as a fan of the author, I have perhaps an unreasonable expectation that he can do better. Fortunately, it's rumored that the forthcoming "How to Play Alpha Blue with Your Girlfriend/Wife Like a F'ing Boss" should help us all avoid Insel-ation.

Rumored by me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Girls Gone Rogue
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Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/17/2018 12:12:02

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 33 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page Kort’thalis glyph, 1 page editorial, leaving 30 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, the eagle-eyed reader will have spotted, at this point, that this Player’s Handbook is a system neutral book. This may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, considering how PHBs are mostly splatbooks, but bear with me for a while. First of all, while system neutral, the book does offer some crunchy bits – in d20/D&D-based games, these should be represented by a +2 bonus, for d6 dice pool-based games, +1d6 instead. Similarly, the pdf assumes that you know what advantage and disadvantage are. So, while mostly system neutral, the pdf does offer some options to make the content matter mechanically.

Anyways, as we’ve come to expect from Kort’thalis Publishing, the book does contain quite a few random tables: We begin with 30 fantasy-sounding names, before providing 8 different fantasy signs/allocated to months. For example, Iar’tan, the sign of the serpent’s foe, is associated with the color green and nets advantage when fighting serpentine, demonic, etc. creatures. Unique here: The months have variable durations, which can be rather interesting when implemented into your game. The table is interesting and flavorful.

From there on, we get a massive d100 table of oddities you may start your adventuring life with – a 6’ long piece of unbreakable string, a weird, purple wizard’s hat made of velvet, an eternal candy cane, a test tube that makes anything poured inside acidic…you get the idea. We have a lot of delightfully odd bits and pieces here, all of which provide some sort of unique angle, a roleplaying hook or simply something weird. The table is one of the finer ones in Kort’thalis’ oeuvre, and considering the amount of tables Venger has written so far, that’s saying something. It should be noted that this table is just as meaningful and helpful for the GM – something that btw. can be said regarding the whole supplement.

Now, in particularly rules lite systems and minigames tend to gravitate towards serious lethality, which is intended, yes, but once in a while, it may be nice to introduce the “Second Chance”-table: 1d4; dead on 1, unconscious on 2, reduced damage on 3 and totally negating damage on 4. Considering the system neutral nature of this pdf, this is surprisingly nice. The pdf also provides an easy to implement honor/infamy system: The system tracks your deeds, associates and reputation as well as your bonds, a term that encompasses deities worshiped, allegiances, etc. For each honorable or dishonorable deed, 1 point is gained. You roll under your honor value with a d20 in your home turf, d30 in borderlands, and d100 in underworld –on a success, you’re well-known and respected, usually providing advantage for different social skills etc. Both honor and dishonor provide 6 suggested, different degrees of fame/infamy.

Need a name for a named item? A handy table lets you roll prefix, root, suffix, each with a d12, resulting in fantastic names:”Vokfenz’mo”? Sounds like something magical! 20 English names/titles for items are also included. I know that I’d like to wield “Evisceration Complete.” The next page provides a d30-table (updated and expanded from a previous pdf) for abilities for legendary weapons – from creating silence-areas to being poisonous, the list contains a lot of suggested abilities. The verbiage is precise, but this table may be most useful for e.g. Crimson Dragon Slayer and similar VSD6-based games, as there is overlap in benefits with regards to other, more rules-heavy games.

More universally applicable would be the d6 “Did you bring it?”-table. It’s basically a quick and dirty means to determine whether a PC has the given item; if you’re preferring a non-simulationalist item-management in your game, this does the trick. I really like the notion of the influence of personal growth: The section codifies a philosophy or weltanschauung of a character in a 4-step progression linked to levels. The respective developments can each provide a one time static/dice pool bonus to one check. This notion is simple, but one that I enjoy and that is pretty easy to implement for even really rules-heavy systems without breaking the games. A d30-table of core values and belief systems can help you decide some of these for yourself – this is certainly a table that could be expanded further.

Inspired by the parody product “50 Shades of Vorpal”, we get a d30-table. Once per combat, a warrior may roll on the table instead of making the usual attack. This has a couple of issues. One, “per combat” makes no sense in game – a combat can last for anything between a day and a round. You kick in the door, kill a goblin. Combat ends. Door opens, reinformcements arrive. Combat resumes. You get to vorpal in each combat, RAW, If you hadn’t killed the goblin quick enough, you’d have just one roll in the same timeframe. Per combat is a flawed metric to determine ability availability in a logical manner in game. The table includes chances to vorpal allies and yourself…or everything. This table, in short, makes most sense for games that don’t take character mortality or the like very seriously. There is a second d30 table for casters as well. This section was my least favorite part in the book.

If you think that bards suck in your game, there is a list of 12 bullet points that bards may use, at advantage. These are, in a way, mostly social tricks. There is also such a selection for clerics. If you’re playing Crimson Dragon Slayer, this section is absolutely REQUIRED for your game, as it finally provides context for healing. You see, beyond the “big” houserules/tables/etc., the pdf also has crunchy bits/suggestions. On this page, one such boxed text codifies cleric healing (1d8 + level); on a result of 1 rolled, the character can’s be supernaturally healed until after 8 hours have passed. This is an interesting way to limit healing-availability without bogging the game down. Personally, I’d have the no-healing-chance escalate with each healing, but that is just my preference and the tweak is easy enough to implement.

The pdf also contains a massive table, where strange physical characteristics can be found. While nominally a d30-table, the respective entries sport different variables as well, 2 or more, in fact. The pdf also has a rather complex and extensive d30-table that spans multiple pages, with each entry providing a defining moment for the development of your character; from new servants that attempted to murder you to foolish marriage, staggering family debt, etc., there are a lot of diverse angles for taking up adventuring.

Next up is another house-rule, end boss battle bonuses. Each may be cashed in once, and only in fight with the final boss. This adds a component of resource-management based on roleplaying for the boss fight; tragic backstory, catchphrases, etc. can yield bonuses. Particularly rules lite systems will benefit from this, as the variant rules make it easier for the GM to create more potent foes, while maintaining a chance for the PCs to win.

Reflecting upon your life can yield advantage or heal 1d6/level, once per session. The pdf then proceeds to provide a quick and dirty rules to determine the outcome of combats versus swarms etc. – for convention games, this can act as a means to skip past the filler etc. when time’s running out.

The pdf ends with one of my favorite aspects of the book, the “Play Like a Boss”-checklist, if you will. This basically gamifies the act of roleplaying your character! If your phone goes off sans emergency, you lose two points. Attuning new magic items nets 2 points, wiping out factions and settlements, inventing quirks/mannerisms/etc. – all with point values added. This is a really great idea and it actually rewards failing saves etc. – in short, the checklist encourages playing your character in a way that is more fun for everyone. This is amazing, and frankly, I wished it’d be even longer! At 3 pages, it is detailed, but the universal applicability of the section makes it really cool.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches on a rules-language or formal level. Layout is, as always in Kort’thalis Publishing books, gorgeous and adheres to a 2-column full-color standard with red veins in the background. The pdf sports a ton of really nice, original b/w-artworks, including a couple of full-page artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience, and there is a second, printer-friendly version of the pdf included in the deal.

Venger Satanis’ Player’s Handbook works much better than a system neutral Player’s Handbook would lead you to expect. Now, if there is one weakness to the book, then that would be that there is no truly distinct separation between the more house rules-y components and the dressing/flavor-centric and truly system neutral components. That being said, this pdf should be considered to be worthwhile for a wide variety of groups.

If you’re playing in a VSD6-based game, then consider this to be THE must-have expansion that you definitely want to have. From healing to the optional means to make the combat engine a bit more nuanced and interesting, this must be considered to be a must-own book for such games.

If you’re not playing these games, the book will still have a lot of inspiring ideas for your games: The dressing is high-quality and helpful, and the checklist at the end is genius. Now, not all aspects herein will be sensible or helpful for every group, and you will not use all materials herein, but as a whole, this pdf is worth owning. Now, yes, I maintain that sticking to a system would have potentially increased the use for a single group, but it also would have diminished the overall appeal of the book. This notwithstanding, you get a lot of nice dressing and houserules for a fair price here – my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
by Kevin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2018 22:42:46

Just like the other products in what I call his "Like a Fucking Boss" product line, AWLAFB2 is easy to read, gets you straight to the point without wasting your time, and is chock full of gorgeous artwork that just inspires you to grab your notebook, graph paper and pen and start brainstorming ideas to torture your friends at your next session.

Currently at a mere $4 on RPGnow, this book is 18 pages with an awe inspiring cover, 5 kick ass whole page artworks and 1 sexy half page art piece. All the PDFs in this line are offered in both the full color version and a tree hugging printer friendly version. The layout is excellent, so the large art pieces and the text work very well despite a heavy water colored (or are these blood stains...?) whole page background art. Overall, the layout, color choices, and art are similar to part 1 (which was already very professional appearing), but it's looking even tighter. Apparently Venger is becoming even more of an expert in his desktop publishing skills.

The text is laid out in 28 small sections with far ranging bits of advice. Each section is typically 3 to 5 paragraphs with a heading that is usually self descriptive like "Interior Art" or "Introducing NPCs" but sometimes something more catchy that forces you to read further like "Let Them Eat Cake", "Hat Rack Descriptions", and "Needs More Tentacles".

The writing style (and art choice) is typical Venger Satanis. Occasional edgy and humorous topics and language along with awesome old school art, some of which is NSFW but all of it is awesome. Included are bits of wisdom spread throughout in easy to comprehend examples that get right to the heart of the matter. Kinda like one of the common themes in the entire book. Your responsibility (as a writer of adventures) is to get to the point so that the reader can get most of what they need without getting bogged down, while at the same time injecting the seeds necessary to allow the reader to expand in the direction they need in real time at the gaming table.

So. if this sounds at all interesting, then just pick it up and read it. You'll learn something, or at least be inspired. I promise.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2018 12:56:49

Venger has a new advice pdf with his Adventure Writing Like a Boss II. The pdf isn't so much a sequel as a logical progression to the first. You can read my review of that pdf here. The second pdf in the series focuses publishing adventures.

The book is laid out in typical Kort'thalis Publishing style. There's a vein, textured background version and a vein-free printer friendly version. The artwork is evocative, sexy, and sinewy. The writing itself is direct and entertaining. The text has many subheadings, which Venger uses to discuss various aspects of adventure writing. While many topics are discussed some I found particularly useful in regards to publishing were the ones that talked about artwork, leaving openings for gm's, and reviews. Seriously these are topics that all new publishers need to think about. Of course the adventure writing advice itself is phenomenal too. Venger's good at what he does.

If you're thinking about taking a stab at publishing and (like me) you're still relatively new, then you should definitely pick this one up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2018 01:04:37

"This is the much-anticipated sequel to best seller Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss. Part II has even more advice for the amateur and professional author - secrets which only a select few are even aware. Or maybe it just seems that way because I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over and over again. " this book to go on an actual adventure not a book about adventure publishing! Sorry, I had to get that off my chest folks. The cover art by Lucas Graciano is very well done but has little to do with the contents of Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II. The interior art by Bojan Sucevic & David Miller range from decent to sheer Lovecraftian but mostly seem to match the cover in a Sword & Sorcery motif. The artwork is good & solid reflecting the author's vision. This book focuses on many of the author's own experiences in the rpg publishing industry from behind the keyboard. Venger has written it in a no nonsense style that hits the high notes & some of the low notes of the behind the industry stuff. The author takes his experiences in stereo style instruction to rpg & adventure design that takes a step by step process approach. On the whole its a very straight forward book that has Venger's usual wit & weirdness throw in without a constant running bit of sleaze. Sure there's some T&A after all this is Venger but this is one of his more down to Earth books and that doesn't mean boring. The artwork & layout here is solid and well done by Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design. The advise here is well rounded and I have to mention Venger's stance on rail roading in adventures; "If you can apply any of the following to something you've written, take it behind the woodshed and shoot it between the eyes. A The PCs have to do… A The PCs can't rescue… A The PCs always fail at… A The PCs never… A There's no way the PCs can… A The PCs will… Sure, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, "the PCs have to offer the bounty hunters a substantial reward if they want to hire them for this job." That's fine because "hire" is specific, but not the only way to get things done. Maybe a PC tries to seduce one of the bounty hunters or blackmails him into tracking down their prey. However, if you write "the PCs have to get into a fight with the bounty hunters in order for them to get captured by Ambassador Kehaan," that's just wrong."

All too often I've seen this exact sort of theme that runs through many old school & even modern OSR products. Don't rail road because its only going to harm the product & Venger continues with this approach. The book is simple & directly down to Earth without being preachy that was one of the short falls I found in many White Wolf products. This one avoids the preachy & pretentious voice. In other words the book does a good job of laying out its voices for writing, publishing, & advise without talking down to its audience. For years I've been telling Venger that he's a good writer & he doesn't need the sleaze gimmick to engage his reading audience. Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II proves that fact in spades & lays the gauntlet on the table for writing more books of this quality. But is Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II a good book? Well, yes for the person whose looking to get into the garage band end of table top rpg's such as the OSR scene.

Are there problems with Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II? Well yes & no, because their small but the book in some ways states the obvious but then if your experienced with small time rpg table top publishing why are you reading Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II?

This book takes the beginning author & walks him or her through the entire behind the scenes aspects of rpg publishing from inception to completion in only twenty four pages with the author's insights, commentary, & humor take on the rpg business. Its actually a pretty solid read for a book with more then slightly ridiculous title. Here everyone needs a hook to grab the buyer's attention and its held. The book's title assures that die hard Venger Satanis fans will be grabbing this book. I'd give this one a four out of five. Grab Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II if you want a no holds bar tour of the rpg publishing world with out breaking the bank!

Eric Fabiaschi Sword & Stitchery blog Want More Original OSR Content? Then subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2018 18:57:21

This is the latest in a series of rpg advice books all titled Like a Fucking Boss. Don't let the name and OMG Bad Ass style fool you. Venger Satanis is the real deal and this book offers excellent adventure writing advice, even if you don't like 70's sleaze or cthulhu cults. The first Adventure Writing book focused more on the adventure side, this one focuses more on the writing side. It offers solid practical advice on writing and publishing an RPG book, as well as what to write, how to write it, and what will be most helpful for your target audience of game masters. If you have aspirations of publishing your own material, this is a great resource.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
by Jacob H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2018 20:34:53

So, is this the best splat book ever? Is it the most fun resource for gonzo space sleezy opera? Can you afford not to purchase this book? Those question's are all answered handily. I had fun reading this book and was aroused by its content in both lust and envy. Why oh why do books like this seldom seem to reach market these days. As an adult I enjoy being challenged as well as being allowed to have wrong fun. I hate to think that Venger is wrapping up his publishing with what could be his final piece of writing. But print is sadly dead and it is our generation looking to resurrect retro space fare as a means of survival in this the digital age. My deep and sincere thanks for this book, I was changed by it and have new things to offer my players in future games. The adventure is suscint and timely allowing for a food length game with great twists and turns making radome tables come to life. READ THIS BOOK goddammit.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
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