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Dead God Excavation
by Tamas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2018 09:10:30

Dead God Excavation (DGE) is a gonzo horror/science-fantasy scenario by Venger Satanis (review copy provided by author).

DGE is a short, simple scenario, explicitly written as a "session zero" adventure = a quick and dirty introduction for low-level players. However, it is NOT a throw-away story. The possible consequences and outcomes of diggin' up the dead god (what it says on the tin) will change the game world. Definitely a great way to jumpstart a campaign.

First, the adventure gives you the site and the people who conduct the excavation.

I really like the way NPCs are presented: the role of the character is the main header, the name is a smaller one (it makes sense, because you need to know their function first, not their complicated unpronounceable moniker). Then there is a motivation for each NPC. This format is much better than the infodumps Venger usually prefers in his scenario-writing. DGE is quite easy to navigate, information easier to find.

In the second half, you get the weird tomb. Thematically, it's Yog-Sothothery and body horror.

My favorite thing about DGE is the final paragraph entitled "BENEFITS OF HAVING A DEAD GOD UNDER YOUR KINGDOM", listing some marvelous campaign hooks.

Overall, I dig this adventure, and I think it can be easily inserted into any horror / fantasy type campaign.

The original review can be seen here: http://eldritchfields.blogspot.com/2018/02/review-dead-god-excavation.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Chad R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2018 03:24:47

The book is a set of tables for helping you flesh out characters. Ideas for appearance, equipment, life events. Its got sweet pulpy art and, even if you don't end up using his ideas, its just fun to read. Worth the small price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
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Battle For The Purple Islands
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/29/2018 07:10:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This adventure clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page Kort’thalis glyph, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Well, as you may have deduced from my reviews, to this day, I consider Venger’s “Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence” perhaps the best of his adventures; it is certainly my favorite, for the combination of Carcosa-style weirdness without the constant doom and gloom (though there is plenty of bad stuff waiting to happen to everyone…), infused with healthy doses of gonzo and humor, created something that really resonated with me.

Suffice to say, I was rather excited when Venger suddenly sprang a return to these unique locales, haunted by basically a Great Old One, with all the “fun” ramifications for the locals that ensues. Now, this adventure, like all of Venger’s adventures, doesn’t really sport a synopsis, though this time around, this is well justified: In a sense, this is a scenario into which PCs are plunged. How it develops and what exactly happens remains a mostly player-driven thing.

It should be noted that I STRONGLY suggest getting the “Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence” before running this one; without its unique backdrop, the putrescence itself, etc., this loses a bit of its flavor. Also, much like Venger’s other modules, this is not something you can pick up and play – you definitely have to read the module in its entirety, preferably while taking notes, but since the preferred way to run this, is one situated within the islands, you will want to modify it anyways. It’s just important to note if you expect the level of convenience provided by quite a few of current modules.

That being said, the pdf is significantly more convenient than usual for Venger’s adventures, in that it explicitly provides three different entry vectors for the scenario: One for newcomers to the purple islands, one for veterans of the place, and, since the tie with Alpha Blue has been established (in fact, Alpha Blue was, to my knowledge, first mentioned in the Islands-supplement!), we also get an entry-vector for Alpha Blue. A big plus would also be that Venger actually included stats for the creatures encountered here: If it’s likely to attempt combat, you’ll get stats.

This isn’t all, though! We do get a massive 100-entry strong table for roll-as-you-go hexcrawling: From clearing to metallic sphinxes, possessed pythons etc., the table is pretty neat and a welcome addition to the GM’s arsenal. We also get a table to randomly determine the reaction of locals to lovecraftian entities, which cover abject terror, worshiping the entity, trying to defeat it – you get the idea. An 8-entry weather table allows the GM to further enhance this aspect – though I do suggest you check out the Islands-book, for purple rain there…well. You’ll see.

Beyond all of these, we have further help for the GM: A total of 8 different motivations can be used to further entice either players, or act as a fill in for an NPC-motivation that you just didn’t think of. There is an additional global rule on the islands for the context of this adventure, one that I rather enjoy: The Purple Destiny. The table depicting those is 20 entries strong, and the implementation is simple: Basically, when a character acts in accordance with the predestined fate, he gains advantage, but not more often than once per battle. (Note: This does not impose anything on the character – it’s just another angle to develop: predestined does not mean that the character is locked into this destiny!)

Now, I should mention that the fully-developed entry vectors do add an in medias res angle that can dramatically change the circumstances of meeting the person that kicks off the action…but to tell you more, I need to go deep into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMS around? Great! So, perhaps the PCs are half-delirious and hanging, captured by cannibals over a pit of sewage, as he is thrown into their cage; or, they encounter an ape-men-patrol hunting for the fellow, but things begin when the PCs meet this man from the Guild of Purple Prose, one Stenz B’wca – this purple-spandex-wearing fellow is on a crucial mission, namely to save the universe. He must find none other than H.P. Lovecraft and convince him to write his tales. You see, Lovecraft, dejected by refusals to be published, lives the life of a hermit on these islands, as he managed to venture here via the Dreamlands. Oh, know what? He’s guarded by shadow shoggoths. Yeah, it won’t be easy to get to him.

Anyways, the middle section of the module beyond the entry vector is, as you can glean from the different starting positions, very much is a dynamic field that oscillates between the actions of and interactions with the factions herein: Each of them comes with stats for rank and file members as well as for the leader, if applicable. Here, we embrace Venger’s gonzo Sword & Sorcery to the full extent: We have the cannibal tribe of the Uba-Tuba, with notes on typical behavior and a 12-.entry table for strange customs of such cannibal tribes; when the crescent moon is in the sky, one of the last snake-men named H’ssan, with deadly apparitions, comes down from the mountains to procure sacrifices; there would be the ape-men and we can encounter the deadly Brotherhood of the Unquiet Void – a cult of the old ones, inspired by their profane messengers, who has instructed them to create the Purple Missile: A missile that is bound to spread extreme, sanity-destroying mutation-causing radiation over the islands…there is just one component missing. An indigo crystal. A Crystal that also contains the hologram that Stenz is supposed to show Lovecraft…yeah, this directly puts the PCs at odds with the powerful brotherhood.

The crystal’s hologram does have a surprise: It’s Lovecraft, 20 years down the line, talking to himself, giving words of encouragement and pointing him towards an old art museum, situated at the bottom of a deep crevasse. Entering the weird museum, the PCs can find all sorts of strange things…and accompany Lovecraft to see the movie. Well, smart PCs will wait outside. The movie will do its job really well, but characters may well become permanently-changed by attempting to see the film.

How does Lovecraft leave the islands? Well, obviously, dream journeys are an option, but the GM can easily make the evacuation of the author yet another adventure…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. Layout adheres to the neat 2-column full-color standard of Kort’thalis Publishing, with splotches of dried blood, purple veins etc. making the pdf aesthetically-pleasing. The pdf sports a ton of really nice b/w-artworks, all original pieces that highlight the weirdness of the islands. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and sports a second, more printer-friendly version.

This is Venger at his best, simple as that. We get a glorious mix of pulp, sword & sorcery, horror and some subdued meta-references (without relying completely on them) and even a bit of humor. The blending of these aesthetics and themes works to the module’s advantage, making it feel more unique than his trinity-modules, for example. While the organization isn’t perfect, and while there are modules out there that are easier to use, this is a huge leap in the right direction and frankly, considering what this is, I am perfectly fine with how this is presented; this is a sandbox/toolkit, pure and simple.

While I tend to really enjoy Venger’s adventures, this is the first in a while where my rating doesn’t come with a caveat; the increased number of stats, the improved structure – this is a really cool set-up for another trip to those thrice-damned purple islands, where all manner of horrors lurk and almost everything is possible. While it would be nice to have names bolded, a synopsis, etc. for easier go-and-play use, this is pretty much my only valid complaint against this, and frankly, considering what this is and tries to be, it doesn’t feel fair. This is a brief set-up for a frame-narrative and a series of strange factions that coalesce into the plot and sequence you create; it has to retain this open structure to maintain compatibility with the diverse iterations of the Purple Islands out there (which, as you know, can go a LOT of different ways…), so as far as I’m concerned, the wide open nature is a here a feature, not a bug.

In short: This left me more excited about future modules by Venger than any of the Trinity-modules. Get the Purple Islands-book, then get this one. Marvel at the glorious, combined madness. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle For The Purple Islands
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Dead God Excavation
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2018 14:08:14

(Disclaimer, Venger did send me a review copy, but I'd already bought this before I got the review copy.)

Dead God Excavation is campaign starting adventure by Venger Satanis. It's written for Crimson Dragon Slayer, but because that's such an elegantly simple system, it's an easy one to convert to any variation of D&D. Thematically, I think it would be a great funnel adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics. Change a few names (if you're using the early modern Earth setting) and it'd be a great way to start off a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game too. Thematically it would also be great for Astonishing Swordsman and Sorcerers of Hyborea. 

The premise is phenomenal. A massive earthquake has revealed a a massive alien mausoleum in a kingdom. I mean if you want to kick off a campaign with a bang, this is how you do it. We are presented with several colorful characters, rumor and effect charts, new creatures, a series of encounters, and a dead great old one! Then again is it actually dead? Is it sleeping? I mean, we all know the quote...

After the adventure is over, we're given the effects of having an great old one under your kingdom, which includes some great follow up ideas.

If you play CDS this is a must. You get a great campaign starter, monsters, unique and powerful magic item, new spell, and new cleric rules. If you don't play CDS, you should still pick it up, because this is a well written adventure your players won't forget. 

At two bucks this adventure is a steal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by larry h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2018 18:43:03

This booklet was made up of "short and sweet, quick and dirty guidelines" that provide a solid foundation for those with little or no idea of where to start. Perfect for me. Venger gives you some practical ways to come up with an adventure idea and how to turn that into enough material to become a playable adventure that should hit all the points of interest for your players. Guidelines for writing with style, sandbox vs railroading, and a nice breakdown of an adventure into its composite pieces were the most helpful to me mainly because I was a blank slate and needed help getting started with the basics. Advice on setting a scene and when to end it or take it up a notch and up the stakes was also new info for me and I'm glad it was included. As good as this was, the book How to Game Master Like a F+cking Boss was such a bigger book of GM tips and advice that I'd recommend that if you read this one and want to get more of Venger's advice on GMing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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Death Race: Fury Road
by William A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2018 20:07:47

"Best Death Race Ever!" I'm so glad I picked this one up and I'm looking forward to running it. Reading through it it just seems so ludicrously fun, above and beyond the usual lunatic fun I've come to expect from a Kort'thalis release. I think in practice, I'd use the standard saving throw chart from Alpha Blue instead of the shortened one included here, and I'll agree with another reviewer that using a randomized d20 roll to determine placement is unsatisfying - but at the same time, I think a large part of the fun with Death Race: Fury Road is going to be in the race itself, not the conclusion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Death Race: Fury Road
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by William A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2018 19:55:07

When you buy a Kort'thalis Publishing release, what you are buying is a trip to the proverbial flea market. You're never quite sure up front what you're going to get, only that it's going to run the gamut. You're going to find things you don't have an interest in, a things you want but will never use, and maybe a few things that might just be exactly what you're looking for.

It's a $3 PDF. If you think it's going to contain detailed advice on how to write best-selling RPG scenarios, you're barking up the wrong tree. But if you're an experienced GM looking for something a little offbeat to get the wheels in your head turning and maybe unearth some new fertile ground for ideas to take root in...this might be exactly what you need. Isn't it worth a roll of the dice to see?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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The Outer Presence
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2018 14:06:47

I've not read through the adventure portion of this product, only the system. I like it. Very simple and effective. Easy to hack (for example, I'm thinking of hacking in rolling for initiative as well as using dice for opposed rolls...very, very easy to do). Some may not like the lack of crunch but I think there's just enough here in this system to unleash creativity and keep things fair while not getting bogged down in systems issues in the middle of play. I think that this simple system could be used to power other investigative horror rpg scenarios, not just the included adventure. Making characters takes literally a minute, and that's good, as characters can get wiped out with a single die roll. These are 'normal' people investigating Things Humanity Was Not Meant to Know, not pulp or super-powered characters. You won't find deep characters here, in terms of mechanics, but again, the system is great for creating and enabling tear-away 'normal' characters and there's no real bookeeping between sessions. If you want a dirt-simple, pleasantly effective system for high-lethality gaming, this may just be your go-to choice.

Update to review 1.15.18:

Had an opportunity to run The Outer Presence again on Sunday for a couple of friends. It’s just so easy to take off the shelf and get a game on with this minimal (yet satisfying!) game and game system. There was myself as GM and two players. One was an archaeology professor and the other was a Catholic deacon. I love how the Outer Presence system handles professions: anything an archaeology professor could be expected to know, roll 3d6. Anything a Catholic deacon might be good at, roll 3d6. Otherwise roll 2d6 (or 1d6 if somehow hindered). Brilliant, just brilliant.

Without giving away any spoilers, my intrepid pair of investigators into the unknown got a lot further into the jungle and the mysteries therein than my players last week. Both groups suffered Total Party Kill, however, since lethality in this game is so close to real life. And I love that. You go into any dangerous situation, there’s a good chance you’re coming out wounded or not at all. And it’s all handled with a bare minimum of dice rolls, so the GM can just get on with describing the scene, and the players can get on with describing how their investigators act or react, and there’s no page-flipping or rules lawyering.

The included adventure in The Outer Presence is pretty lethal. Again, no spoilers here. But it’s a meat-grinder when you look at how frail characters are in the game. That’s not necessarily a criticism, just an observation that most groups that persevere to the end of the mystery will very likely lose many characters in the process.

Going forward, I’m going to experiment using The Outer Presence with the bookshelf of Cthulhu adventures I’ve acquired over a long history of being a gamer. They can be converted on the fly, as long as the Game Master is comfortable eyeballing the npcs and creatures published in other systems and converting to 2d6, 3d6 or higher if we’re talking monstrous abominations. Same with insanity ratings. It's just so easy to tinker with the simple insanity system in The Outer Presence that you can flavor it to taste without any headaches. It demands some subjective discretion on the part of the Game Master, and some trust between players and Game Master that all is in service to the narrative of the game, but it’s so refreshing not to get bogged down tracking individual point-loss for various menaces and the minutiae of character sheets or monster stat blocks.

Having the simple, rugged, adaptable system of The Outer Presence allows me to adapt just about any Lovecraftian adventure from any other game system with no thought to conversion headaches. This effortless flexibility cannot be undervalued.

One of my players remarked that The Outer Presence will work well for gamer groups where folks really like the unfolding story - including their own contributions to it via their character’s actions - rather than groups who love getting into the minutiae of building a character like kit-bashing a hot rod car and fine tuning every little element for maximum performance. Some gamers just love the details: their exact skill rating in spotting hidden things, the rate of fire of their handgun, the points they’ve put into their smarts or dexterity attribute (or whatever). The Outer Presence is not for them, where a character is almost entirely summed up with “your profession is X. When doing stuff that X would be good at, you roll 3d6. Otherwise it’s 2d6.” That ain’t gonna fly with a whole slew of gamers that love every little detail of their character sheet, and distributing advancement points to get better in certain abilities, and so forth.

BUT! If your Game Master (like me) wants to unchain his/her imagination from stats and just have the barebones but serviceable minimum to whip together a great investigative horror scenario...and your players want that same barebones but serviceable minimum to put into their character stats (and focus on the personality and actions of said investigator instead of managing ability points to the nth degree...)...well then, The Outer Presence is a win, win, win. I’m so glad I found it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Outer Presence
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Crimson Dragon Slayer
by Brian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2018 13:28:55

I am fast becoming a fan of Kort’thalis Publishing. It started a couple of weeks ago with my purchase of The Outer Presence rpg and then having a great time running/playing it with friends this weekend. I’ve just now downloaded the Crimson Dragon Slayer bundle (CDS, Candy Crypts, and No Escape from New York) from DriveThruRPG.

The combination of simple, playable rules plus utterly gonzo situations is glorious. I’ve been on the rpg scene a long time (started with AD&D a loooong time ago) and this stuff is a breath of pure FUN.

Crimson Dragon Slayer adventures feel like a 1980s Conan rip-off made in the back half of a Spencer’s gift shop! Adventures that feel like a 1970s black velvet fluorescent poster lit by black light. I can get ‘somber, serious’ (aka: more muted and dull) stuff in a pile of other rpg offerings. Venger's stuff pops off the page because: a) it’s gonzo and b) he writes it very well.

The potent combination of simple, rugged rules and unchained, un-politically-correct, refreshingly original craziness has made me a fan.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Dragon Slayer
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Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/12/2018 10:22:31

You gotta love Venger Satanis and his Kortthalis Publishing.

He is out there doing his own thing. Doing to make the stuff he wanted to play with back in the day and if we want to come along, well great. While he takes himself far less seriously than other publishers, he takes his games and books very seriously. And it shows in his production values. Out now is Venger's latest in his "Like a Fucking Boss" series.

Venger is a man after my own heart, and PHB-LAFB takes many nods and cues from Basic-era D&D, or at least his reading of it which is just as good.

PHB-LAFB is not a rule book or an adventure, but a collection of various tips, tricks and odds and ends to help your game along. There are some very obvious nods to classic/Basic/OSR style play and there are nods to more modern/D&D5 style mechanics and design. The bottom line here (and a big one for me when reading this) is I can use it with just about any game I play.

In truest old-school fashion there are plenty of tables. "Stranger Things" gives us a table of various odds and ends, emphasis on the odd. "Honor and Fame" and "Dishonor and Infamy" are also very useful tables for rewards that reminds me of some the rules I have seen in AGE and Blue Rose; again a natural idea given Venger's own twist.

There is a lot of great character building ideas too. Tables, checklists, backgrounds. It's all here.

For $5.00 and 33 full-color pages, it is quite worth it.

I am not quite sure if it is up to the level of awesomeness that is How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss but it is also more focused on players and characters and is half the price too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
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Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2017 11:50:04

Even though this f**** book is called a "player's handbook" there are a ton of awesome resources for DM's as well! The book is technically system neutral, although it leans towards old school games that use polyhedral dice. As is the case with everything that Venger puts out, the layout and artwork is fucking fantastic. I originally downloaded the printer friendly pdf and read it the other night, (which btw is a wonderful thing to add as an extra in the downloads section), but flipping thru the actual pdf, the whole thing pops!

The book is filled with tables, charts, and interesting ideas for old school (or stripped down 5e games) for players. For instance my players always have f**** trouble coming up with a name. Well there's a excellent table for that!

There is a cool table for basically what "sign" you are born under, which of course gives extras to players. It reminded me of Oblivion (the video game) where you get little bonus's depending on the month of your birth (beats the crap out of being a Cancer anyways). My only issue at first was "k wait there's only 8 entries for months, aren't there 12 months". However when you look closely some of the months last longer that Earth's typical 30,31 day cycle. And why shouldn't it? I mean we are talking about fucking fantasy world's here!

The "stranger things" table is similar to the trinkets table in 5e, however it has the wonderful fucked up Venger twist to it. "this table is a list of items, abilities and weirdness to start your adventuring career". This table is getting printed out and put in my DM binder next to my character backgrounds table

I thoroughly enjoyed the table for naming magical weapons. This is another table that I will start using on a regular basis. option 1, player: "I hit it with my plus three axe", option 2: "I unsheathe Zod Bjorn Crushing Blow" fuck that is fantastic!

Some of the background mechanics presented here will also be of use to me (I'm guessing as time goes on in a session). The dishonor & infamy and "did you bring it" tables specifically.

The book comes in at 33 pages, and there are little nuggets of things on every single page. As a DM/Player you don't have to use every single table. Heck you might only use one, maybe another character will use a few of the options. The thing I like about this book, is if I was say going to run a basic old school game it adds a nice little spice to it. However it doesn't make my old school game all new and fandangled like a 5e game. As an example I use adv/disadvantage in my old school games, because it makes thing's fun. I enjoy the flip flip that can occur. I don't use it all the time however, only when situations dictate. The same goes for some of the fun tables in this book.

I agree with Eric F.

This book is a solid effort, my only thought is that its not really a "players handbook" per se. Well it is and it isn't. If this book had a bunch of f* up spells in it, maybe a table of "weird trainers and what they cost", proficiency's, etc (Your basic "player's handbook" that we have seen time and again). Counter point, this is a cool fucking book that gives a player some inspiration, fuels the imagination and gets them ready to game. That's a f handbook isn't it?

As a somewhat side note, I really do like the idea of O5R. I would be very curious to see the outcome of a book (set of rules) if someone locked Venger in a basement with the 5e SRD for a month. His version of the game, would be super fucking cool!

Player's handbook like a f**** boss is going to be sitting on my gaming table in the near future. If you like weird things, random tables, excellent naming resources, interesting fucking mechanic ideas and you play elf games with fucked up dice, this book is for you!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2017 01:12:21

I don't think Venger Satanis ever takes a break. His newest release is Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss.

What is this pdf? Essentially its thirty some pages of mostly system neutral material that is useful for any version of D&D or games like it. What we're given is a series of new rules, random charts, and suggestions to flesh out any sort of games with swords and magic. It really does fit the whole spectrum of these games too. The vorpal charts are over the top and metal as hell (while still being well designed). In contrast if you have a low magic game, The Art of Barding and Be the Best Cleric You Can Be To Cleric Like A Fucking Boss are excellent suggestions for doing your thing when you don't have a game full of Drizzt's and Raistlins. These two sections really fit well in OSR games.

As with all of Venger's books, the layout is fantastic, the art is top notch, and the random tables are ueful and interesting. If you like Dungeons and/or Dragons, you should pick this one up. Your players and DM will thank you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/24/2017 11:16:31

Christmas confession time I've been reluctant to do a commentary review Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss By Venger Santanis .Why pray tell? Well, because I'll be honest I'm not a Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master or player. I've tried the system , looked it over, wrapped my head around it, & sorry folks its not for me. Basically I did all of this at the behest of a player of mine & to convert or use some of the Fifth edition stuff if necessary. If you love it then fantastic! Go for it but for me & my players Fifth edition hasn't made an impact. I'm an OSR & retroclone system dungeon master. Fortunately Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss By Venger Santanis is actually almost entirely system neutral. So what the heck is it?! Well according to the Drivethru add; " This is a grab-bag of fantasy goodies for use with O5R roleplaying games. That means everything from Basic D&D, AD&D, all the various retro-clones, systems similar but not identical (like Crimson Dragon Slayer), and 5th edition." This is more or less what Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss By Venger Santanis is. This a bunch of PC options that can more or less add punch & power to your player characters. " But it done in a slim style & with the razor style of Venger. But first let me say that Glynn Seal of Monkeyblood Design must be a God damn genius. The layout is clear crisp but easy on the eyes. The artwork is good and there's a fold out piece battle scene artwork piece that is killer. The philosphy of the book touches on something that I've been finding with folks in the OSR over the last couple of years; "Though I grew up on Basic D&D in the mid-eighties, my old school tastes have straddled the dark, mistladen past, as well as, the contemporary conventions of today. My own fantasy heartbreaker, Crimson Dragon Slayer, had done away with the more cumbersome elements of the game. To me, the old school renaissance is about taking the essence and philosophy of the past and then making innovation after innovation until everything that seemed inordinate, clunky, and weird is made smooth - sanded by decades of theory, practice, common sense, and talking to other gamers with a shared passion for RPGs. But sometimes we can go too far, innovating ourselves right off the map." This past summer, I decided to re-read the many fantastic posts at Grognardia. That inspired me to go back to basics, or Basic D&D. I kept all the funky stuff that I usually threw out - rolling for initiative, racial access to certain classes and level limits, different tables for saving throws and experience points… pretty much everything except descending Armor Class, one spell per day magic-users, and worrying about circumstantial modifiers (just used Advantage/Disadvantage).To my surprise, I really got into it. The minutia which, for many years, I assumed to be awkward relics that stood in the way of progress actually turned out to be absorbing and a whole lot of fun. When every point of experience is counted (fighting monsters, looting treasure, exploring, making the game world your own, etc.), then every experience (point) counts. It matters if the PCs wait in ambush for the ogre to walk by or if they charge into the next room. A couple dozen XP might be the difference between going up to level 2 and staying level 1. It's amazing what simple pleasures you forget about after the game's been streamlined. In my desire to maximize our enjoyment of the macro-game - the story, overall battles, interacting with NPCs, and exploration - I had neglected the micro-game that takes into account precious resources and their management. Not only arrows, torches, and rations but also gold and kills before having to rest. Even silver pieces are cherished when they can be spent on training!" So, even though I'll continue to run and primarily write for Crimson Dragon Slayer, that recent minicampaign reminded me just how awesome old school retro-clones can be. For all of our renaissance, innovation and renovation, there's something about the original iterations of the game that can't be beat… even with a ten-foot pole."

So it seems to be really well written, nicely thought out, from the heart, & then we get chart after chart of system neutral character options for your old school games. From 'fantasy sounding names' to 'dishonor & infamy tables'. I admit the random 'CRIMSON PHASIC DETH WYZARD VORPAL' table is very METAL & well done. Its basically a metal table for battle wizards to get an extra edge & it would fit quite nicely into Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition or Dungeon Crawl Classics game. Behold the sort of effect I'm speaking of; "Invisible fire strikes 2d6 opponents for 3d6 exploding damage, as well as, affixing them to the floor and walls as if they were caught in a spider's web." Cue guitar or keytar syth riff here! Then he goes into short essays on bards, clerics, reflecting in battle as an optional rule, cut down swarm rules for play, a fun list of possible character actions, words,and accomplishments in order to gauge your raw quotient of awesome in a given adventure, awesome point rules & that's it!?!

What the hell did I just read?! At thirty two pages this was way too short of a book. Venger is a solid writer & designer who needs to settle down & do more writing & designing. This is a three & a half or four star book because of the fact that I was expecting more from a book with the title Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss. This book seems to be a catch all of random tables & PC options for players with a few solid random tables and it seriously needs a lot more expansion before it hits the four or five star territory. Alright Venger so you've been playing since the mid Eighties then I'd love to see more essays & actual options of yours on the subject. Players actually value your wisdom & by the fallen Gods I'd love to see more of it from you as a writer! This book should be about hundred pages with all kinds of bits & bobs about your gaming over the years that pepper your blog & books. Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss feels like a bit of catch all and in that regard I was a bit on the disappointed. But as a player optional reference well that's a bit of a different story. As a book of player options Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss

if your DM agrees to using it at the table its a book that works as a quick fill in & fill out for players. There are tons of optional pieces that the player & DM can easily & quickly work into an adventure on as a part of the on fly & seat of your pants style that Venger loves. So in this regard its a four out of five. Understand exactly what your getting into when you purchase Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery blog Want To See More original OSR Content For This & OSR Systems? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Hal G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/24/2017 11:14:44

First of all, what D&D player can resist a book called Players Handbook Like A Fucking Boss? I couldn't, and being a bit of a fan of Venger's work, I wanted to look inside of this. If you have any of his other works like Alpha Blue, you sort of know what to expect: loads of charts filled with the wierdest crap around to flesh out a character or game in one way or another. You get the obligatory name chart that I actually sort of like and some more charts to add birthdays and unique backstories/detasils to a character at roll up. One of the tables might even have you generating a character with one eye a bit larger than the other. Who thinks of this stuff? But thats a pretty unusual and cool distinguishing mark that really makes the character feel "alive". And dont tell me you havent seen that guy in Walmart with one eye bigger than the other!

I run a bit of a dark and serious game, but I'm still going to try some of these. Its the kind of stuff a good DM can use mid adventure to turn the normal monster in a room 12 into a real plot device that makes the player feel like part of the world. He has a section on swords thats pretty damn cool. It talks about naming swords... another chart... and how they develope when a character dies. Makes sence right? A sword that has been wielded by 10 generations of heroes would be more powerful than one right out of the fire. There is even parts about rewarding/acknowledging player's actions outside the normal realms of collecting gold and killing monsters.

I plan on using a few of the tables and charts in the book. It's well worth the money if you're a DM because it makes you take a look at and think about some stuff in a different way. If you write your own adventures, its a MUST!!! as its just blowing up with plot hooks. I give it 5 starts and stand behind each star. I hope to see more works in the future that are compatable with the old AD&D rules!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport
by charles h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2017 11:20:57

Bought this PDF and actually used it in my groups game just last night. What a blast to play! The group loved the style and the more adult humor in it. I put the wasteland of Santa Fe starport in the geographical area of the White/Marsh Desert the party has been having their adventures in. I highly recommend this PDF. Well worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport
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