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Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity
by sebastiano s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2013 13:21:28

I think this is the best rogue trader supplement I bought. I love the simple but well done star systems generation rules; I'm a fan of all edition of traveller from the first to mongoose one and nowhere I found rules to generate a star system so pleasurable, simple but detailed and above all it's captured the unique feeling of WH 40k universe. The colonial rules are a marvel and I found it enjoyable, making the colonial endeavour a challenge for every team of explorers. Useful and well done the encounters and treasure chapter with a lot of tables for the lazy and short of time gm.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity
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Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity
by Malcolm M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2013 01:39:25

Another solid Rogue Trader support product which hits all the usual strengths of the best products in the RT line.

The book gives a solid chunk of useful detail on the central topic -- building WH40K science-fantasy-appropriate star systems and colony worlds -- with mechanics in place for handling things like player-sponsored colonies, in the abstract.

Those looking for hard-science detail regarding solar system creation are looking in the wrong place, as this is Warhammer 40K -- fundamentally, a science-fantasy universe, for all its gear and tech.

Most of what's here is conceptual, and meant to facilitate adventure-running and storytelling. It respects the appearance of astronomical and planetological science, for the most part, but it does not set out to replicate science in this regard.

As with the best RT products, this book also provides goodies and details one might not expect from reading the back cover blurb. For example, a Genestealer is presented here, using Rogue Trader stats, as well as its Tyranid cousin, the Broodlord.

Add to all this the quality production values, and the imagination-inspiring color artwork, and Stars Of Inequity seems a welcome addition to the line.

All in all, a worthy purchase if the main focus of the book seems useful to your campaign.

NOTE: My 5 out of 5 score represents solid content and production throughout the work, with no major or obvious failings relevant to what the book appears to promise. It does not signify universal and perfect satisfaction. for all who may purchase it. I review in the real world. :-)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/30/2013 23:36:35

WHAT WORKS: The production values are amazing. The flavor text is generally short but evocative, and the art almost universally compliments the feel of the setting. A ton of information is provided (it is a 400 page book), giving ample material to run the setting out of the one book (or so I assume…I do own the whole game line). A lot of effort has gone into making the world oppressive. In many ways, Midnight is more horrific than classic horror settings like Ravenloft. Also, there is no metaplot. The game line never really advances the timeline, so the setting is truly yours to do with as you will.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: I would kill for a version of the book that isn’t written for d20, though I do have a great Savage Worlds conversion downloaded. I don’t necessarily need more supplements, but the line being available via print on demand or something would be great. The setting is written with the assumption that the heroes will always fail, though with no true metaplot being present, that can be worked around.

CONCLUSION: Midnight, along with the Art Haus Ravenloft, is the best thing to come out of the d20 era for me, regardless of how I feel about the game system. I’m eager to give the Savage Worlds conversion a go, and I’ll report back on how that goes here on the blog. I went out of my way to ensure that I purchased the entire Midnight collection in print (I even own the first edition and Against the Shadow, both of which were largely folded into Second Edition), and I’m glad I did. And while I will run the setting harsh, the outcome will ultimately be very much in the hands of the PCs, not myself or the designers’.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2013/01/tommys-take-on-midnight-second-edition.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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Only War: Core Rulebook
by Seamus C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2013 13:43:30

It's interesting to think that this started off as merely a splatbook for Dark Heresy, and funny to see just how much this whole great idea ran away from them. Short version: good book, good game, worth the money.

Being more-or-less the same system as DH it is easy for a 40kRPG veteran to get into, but there are some interesting changes to pay attention to. Righteous Fury has been streamlined a bit, for instance. Probably the most interesting change is 'leveling up'. In previous 40kRPGs what class you were determined what skills and talents you could learn and how much they cost, in addition to the XP cost of improving attributes. In Only War there is something called the 'Aptitude' system. For instance, one might have an Aptitude in both Ballistic Skill and in, say, Offense (I'm almost certainly paraphrasing). That's two aptitudes that run along the same track, so talents and skills along the lines of Two Weapon Wielding (Ballistic) will be at their cheapest (the 100 XP track). A single aptitude gives you slightly less of a discount (the 250 track) and having none of a talent, skill, or attribute's associated Aptitudes means you'd be paying full price (the 500 xp track). A character gains Aptitudes depending upon what specialty/class they choose, with additional ones sometimes being granted by your regiment. While this certainly makes a given character specialty lean towards taking certain things it does not actually restrain them from going for the most expensive options; there are no character paths to progress by, merely a small block of 'recommended' advances. While going outside of your Aptitudes is expensive, actual prohibited advances are few to none.

The regimental set-up is very interesting, especially the regimental creation rules which allow the entire party to build the regiment that they come from using a point buy system. This also simplifies the character creation process, as your regiment plays a large part in determining your basic kit, a few starting talents or skills, and maybe an aptitude. Replacing a dead character is much easier, as you are handed a bunch of equipment and goodies at character creation and do not have to worry about being TOO far behind the older, surviving characters.

The Logistics set-up is interesting, in-character for the universe, and potentially hilarious (were supposed to be issued a tank, were instead issued several crates of booze, for instance).

The Comrade system allows for PC created and controlled NPCs to fill out the squad (and for the GM to kill mercilessly whenever the players make a mistake).

The vehicles are a great addition, ESPECIALLY the new tables for Critical Damage as done to vehicles. The Crit tables in the FF 40kRPGs were always a blast, and now we have an entirely new set.

I will say, however, that there was a severe oversight in the vehicle section: no aircraft. The explanation given is that they are more the purview of the Imperial Navy and will thus not be in Only War. But there is an entire type of regiment designed to be jumping out of aircraft, a specialty that is built to handle vehicles and would need just one more option to choose to be able to fly them, and there are pictures of Valkyries. All. Throughout. The Book. Teasing you. And Valkyries had to be flown during the Free RPG Day last year! They clearly are being used, so where are the stats guys? They've used a decent in-universe excuse, and I understand the need to hold things back for future books since this IS a business, but this seems a little too forward for me to just nod in an understanding fashion. So, even though I'm probably nitpicking, I'll wave a yellow card and dock a star for Overly Blatant Milking of the Customers.

That's . . . pretty much the only thing about this book that bothered me. I love what they've done with the Imperial Guard, I'm looking forward to the upcoming splatbooks giving us more pre-built regiments, Rough Rider options, and mixed regiment creation, and would highly recommend that any fan of 40k or gritty military sci-fi get this game and try it out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rulebook
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Only War: Core Rulebook
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2013 19:38:24

Only War is the latest RPG out for the Warhammer 40k rpgs released by Fantasy Flight Games. After tackling the Inquisition, Rogue Traders, Space Marines and Chaos, the series finally pays attention to the true backbone of the Imperium's endless war: the men and women of the Imperial Guard.

In many ways I was looking forward to this book the most. While there's some kind of glamour associated with the Space Marines, the true heart of many stories set in war come from the front lines. The Imperial Guard are the ones who see the fight first, and suffer incredible losses in their days at war. They are the ones who stand to lose the most, and are most vulnerable to the enemy but they don't back down despite the horrors of war, because that is what they do.

Most of all, this is the game that allows you to really tell more well-rounded, human stories rather than the laser focus of just plain hating on the Xenos, the Mutant, the Daemon and the Heretic. (I know I'm oversimplifying things here, but bear with me.)

In any case, those familiar with the rules for Dark Heresy will find that Only War uses the same system, with some intresting new mechanics. One of my favorites is the Regiment creation system, where a group (or the GM) can plan out what kind of Regiment they want to play if they don't want to use any of the ones provided. That said, there's a lot of interesting Regiments to choose from, starting with the Cadian Shock Troops to other iconic Regiments like the Catachan, the Mordians and the Tallarn.

Players can take on the roles of more than just Guardsmen as they get to choose specialties such as Heavy Gunner, Medic, Operator, Sergeant and Weapons Specialist. Furthermore they have Support Specialists as further options including the infamous Commissar, Ministorum Priest, Ogryn, Ratling, Sanctioned Psykers, Storm Troopers and Tech-Priest Engineers. The sheer variance provided is a very nice touch as it helps dispel the impression that everyone essentially plays a grunt with a helmet and a lasgun.

Another interesting mechanic is the generation of Comrades. These are special NPCs that fight alongside the player characters. Mechanically they're sort of like familiars, as each player has direct control over their Comrades by the use of Orders. This doesn't mean that Comrades are expendable by any stretch as certain abilities rely on having a Comrade, and it is to a player's best interest to keep their Comrades alive as long as possible.

Vehicles also a large part in an Imperial Guard game, and vehicle rules account for movement and combat, including some interesting systems critical hit charts that go a long way to simulate the harrowing nature of taking a critical hit while inside a vehicle. Repair rules are also present, giving more opportunities to simulate the "less than ideal" world of living with vehicles that have been patched together by field repairs.

As with all the books in the Warhammer 40k line, the artwork is solid and the layout is readable. I'm glad that the fonts they chose for this are readable while retaining the whole Warhammer 40k vibe. Also of note is the fact that the PDF has been cross-linked, making rules look ups as painless as possible.

Overall, I feel that Only War is a product that shows just how used to the system the team is already at this point. Furthermore, they have a very strong vision as to what the game should be about and aren't afraid to push that agenda via the rules. There's a lot of fluff discussing the nature of the war and how it grinds humanity down, but it never comes off as too depressing as to be utterly unplayable. There are real opportunities to live (and die) as heroes in the war. It's admittedly not the easiest thing to do in the context of RPGs, but in this case Only War deserves a Medal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Enemy Within
by Douglas N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2013 00:01:40

Missing some of the material found on the cards in the larger box, but otherwise a great product. Great story,



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Enemy Within
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Night's Dark Masters
by Sebastian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2013 20:35:42

The best WFRP supplement imo. I love it for it's dark fantasy atmosphere.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Night's Dark Masters
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Deathwatch: Rites of Battle
by Marc S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2013 15:36:12

As a player, I love this book. I find it kinda difficult to tell when a book is meant for the player as oppose to the GM but Rites of Battle is easily one of the best player-centric books for Deathwatch. The expanded chapters, the new equipment, the advanced specialties, new psychic powers all cater to being a better Space Marine. Obviously, if you're a GM, you'll want this so you know what your players are doing. The quality is great and I have no complaints there.

The biggest gripe I have with this, which is why I rated 4/5, is that the bookmarking is TERRIBLE. It's just a giant list with no collapsible categories and and a lot of section names in all caps. It's not fun to scroll through and it's a huge peeve of mine having it like that. I hope this can be resolved somehow by DTRPG or FFG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Rites of Battle
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
by Sebastian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2013 16:52:05

Probably the best fantasy RPG out there. If you looking for something different from D&D get it! But remember; this is grim world where death is always near.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings: The Book of Earth
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/02/2013 19:31:44

Second in the series of elemental-themed sourcebooks for the timeline-neutral 4th Edition, the Book of Earth is the latest release on PDF.

The Book of Earth focuses on the facets that are relevant to Earth, as broken down to a look into War, the Court, Magic, Enlightenment and the Setting. Like the Book of Air, the Book of Earth also provides a self-contained setting that can be dropped into any campaign. For those looking for new Mechanics, they follow the same format as Book of Air, and have it all on the last chapter of the book.

I find that the approach of showing off each of elements as part of a greater culture and further subdivided per clan is a unique one, and the Book of Earth has some very good insights. My favorite section would have to be a discussion on armor, and the focus of Shiba Artisans creating ornate and functional armor for the bushi of the Phoenix was a very insightful touch.

I'm certain that Crab Clan fans will be very happy to get this book due to the focus and attention it gives to Heavy Weapons as well. There's also a quick section that shows how to use non-standard Skill / Trait pairings that focus on Willpower and Stamina, some of the most underused traits that get some interesting new combinations for both combat and non-combat characters alike.

That said, all the Clans get something from the book. The discussion on armor, castles and sieges for example, apply to all the clans. GMs and Players alike will find inspiration and plot hooks dripping from nearly every sentence, and I can see how this can be an inspiration for character concepts that go beyond the usual Bushi-Courtier-Shugenja trifecta. Sumai Champion bushi? Why not. Shiba Artisan focusing on Armor? Absolutely.

Those who are looking at the spiritual side of the element need not fear as there's a discussion on Earth magic, as well as the families that excel in it. The Tamori family for example is given some spotlight time here, as well as the infamous Chuda family. New Earth spells will make many shugenja players happy, and the Monks get their own set of kiho to shake things up.

Again the Book of Earth is a great addition to the L5R 4th Edition line. Much like the Book of Air, the book manages to expand the depth of culture and history of the setting while still remaining iconic and accessible to new players. Solid writing, combined with L5R's always excellent artwork make this one a winner.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: The Book of Earth
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
by Brendan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2012 18:02:45

Impossible at this early stage to rate a game at 5 stars. I played 1st edition back in the day and loved it so I'm really anticipating something special, RPG-wise. I read the designer notes at the back and felt the reasoning for the the amendments were sound. The main attraction of the game is its low fantasy vibe. Yes the setting is fantastical but it's less Masters of the Universe and more Lord of the Rings. A completely immersive experience in a convincingly realised setting. A note of caution on the quality of the PDF version that I bought. Sometimes it is difficult to read the text as it is blurred. Also, when the character sheet has bits of text missing. For example, the words 'name', 'age' and 'race' are almost completely missing!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings: Second City Boxed Set
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/11/2012 20:22:21

It's been quite a wait for us who rely heavily on PDF copies of rpg books, but the Second City Boxed set that was released earlier this year has finally made it to electronic format.

I have to admit that I've been curious about this product for a while now, as I'm not entirely caught up on the canon storyline of L5R. Making a whole boxed set placed in what can be considered to be a very new development of the story is an interesting choice, as it does help people like me understand what is actually going on.

The Boxed set download is actually a group of PDF files for easier downloading. These include:

The Pillow Book A Map of the Second City A "for printing" version of the map The Campaign The City The People The Journal of Yogo Tanaka

It's a hefty download, but that's par for the course in L5R pdf books. Besides, most of the time the gorgeous production values and layout are always worth it.

The Maps

Both maps of the Second city are in full color, showing the massive scale of the city in question. It's impressive to look at and gives you a good idea as to just how many people can fit in this place. The difference between the files is just that the for-printing version is cut up into 8 pages, while the other has the entire map in one big image.

I did notice that there didn't seem to be any labels of any sort, so it's really a collection of buildings with some farmlands and a walled city in the middle with a palace in it. I'm curious as to why there weren't any labels, or if the files will be updated later.

The Pillow Book of Ide Arahime

The Pillow Book is a 20 page work of fiction meant to serve as an in-character guide to the Second City as written from the point of view of Ide Arahime, a Unicorn Clan author. Presented as a journal of the author's travel and experiences in the Second City, it presents an interesting "outsider's" view of just how different the Second City is compared to traditional Rokugan, and perhaps to the more astute L5R fans, just how many concessions were made to exist there.

The Author touches on all aspects of life, from the look and feel of the place, to the stranger customs, artwork, and architecture. There's a lot to be learned through the fiction, and I found it to be interesting reading and a good way to slowly introduce the differences to those unfamiliar with the colonies.

The Journal of Yogo Tanaka

This second journal is another in-character account, but serves as a record of Yogo Tanaka's investigations and how it slowly gets out of hand. The writing is well done, and I have to admit that it works well for it's purpose, which is a supplement to the Campaign included in the Boxed Set. I'd rather not go into too much detail with regards to the contents lest I spoil any pertinent information, but the book makes for an interesting prop for the campaign.

The Campaign

This pdf contains the rather... plainly titled, "The Campaign" which is a full length campaign meant for characters using the Second City setting. It's an extensive campaign, with interesting characters and a compelling villain go to after.

The campaign itself is fairly broad, starting from Rokugan proper and spinning off into a tour of the Second City setting itself. It's a strongly investigative campaign that lends itself well to characters and players who are more interested to mysteries than pure combat, though there's enough of that as well to show the unique dangers posed by the new setting.

I'm glad to see the variance of plot hooks in the campaign, and it suits a good mix of characters from different clans as the varying points of view and approaches to solving a problem can come in very handy.

The Campaign ends with a bestiary of the various monsters in the Second City setting, including the Destroyers and stranger creatures that can threaten even the most stalwart of samurai.

The City

This book is the one that provides the meat of the setting. Starting off from the History of the Second City as the Rokugani understand it. There's some mention of the Ivory Kingdoms, but the section starts from the rise of the Cult of Rhumal, and Kali-Ma the Destroyer and how Empress Iweko I proclaimed the colonies as territory of Rokugan.

The book also goes on to discuss the layout of the city, complete with sections of the map as presented in the PDF complete with the annotations I was looking for with regards to the important locations in the city. I'm starting to understand that the maps are the ones that can be provided to PCs who are new to the city, and they can be free to add their own notes as necessary, while the GM has this for reference.

Each district is covered in great detail, with all the locations given a thorough treatment and notable NPCs scattered throughout. The RPG team of L5R is known for being thorough, and it shines through in this book.

The last chapter of the book goes into the smaller details, including the routes by which people travel to and from the colonies, and a discussion of the culture and mannerisms of the Second City and how they differ from Rokugan main. A mini-Emerald Empire supplement, if you will.

The People

This PDF goes into the detail of the various social structures in the Second City, including the Ivory Court, the government of the Colonies. This is a great way to preserve the political / intrigue feel of Rokugan in a new setting. With so much to be discovered and explored, this is new territory even for the political characters as they try to push the influence and control of the Second City for their clans.

The next chapter discusses the movers and shakers of the setting including Otomo Suikihime, the notorious Imperial Governor and the various ministers of the setting. While strongly tied to the colonies, those who don't plan to use the setting can always transplant these characters into their own settings with little to no trouble.

The People of the Second City discuss the Great Clans and the Imperial Families. Again these are a host of NPCs that can be used to populate any campaign, and help paint a vibrant (and well populated) location.

Not to be forgotten, the minor clans and wave men of the setting also get their own chapter, discussing the opportunities and nature of their presence in this brave new frontier.

Fnially the last section discusses a smattering of new Paths for the Great Clans and Basic Schools for those native to the Ivory Kingdoms.

The Second City Boxed set is huge. It's also an impressive body of work to bring to life a new and exciting development to the L5R universe outside of traditional Rokugan.

While I have to admit that I was initially lukewarm to the idea of this sudden shift outside of the borders of the Empire, I do appreciate the advantages of changing the status quo in such a traditional society. The NPCs and locations presented in the Second City are all done by a team whose enthusiasm shines through, and I'm glad that the team has managed to make sure that none of these characters are mere caricatures.

The usefulness of the set for those who don't plan to use the Second City is still high, as even if you don't end up using the setting, the NPCs alone are worth the price of admission.

Those GMs who wish to have a campaign get their wish, and it's certainly one that spans the length of the Second City and the empire, with equal opportunities for politics, investigation and combat.

The two books are nice for flavor, and the journal makes for a great prop for the campaign. I'm ambivalent about the pillow book however, but it can still be useful for new players who aren't in the mood to slog through The City book.

Is the Second City Boxed Set worth the price as a PDF product? Definitely. There's a ton of detail here, and one could easily run a full campaign with just the contents of this box and the corebook and never look at another supplement again.

The Second City Boxed set continues the winning streak of the Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition supplements and I'm more than happy to say that it can certainly add tons of value to anyone's L5R Collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Second City Boxed Set
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Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer
by Jamie D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2012 17:51:39

I think this is a great book. It covers some very in depth rules on navigating the warp and astral telepathy. Which no doubt most GM's will be happy with. It has some extra careers for most explorers and new powers and ship to ship skills for astropaths and navigators. Some of the powers seem a little under-powered compared to what is already out there. However, they certainly have good roleplay aspects to them. A few xenos psykers are covered (with powers, equipment etc) and enemies of psykers. Although there isn't a huge amount of new explorator equipment there is an excellent section on familiars including creating your own.

In short this book is a must for GM's & psyker players (or wannabe psyker players.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Book of Grudges
by Florian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2012 08:32:29

The PDF is of high quality and there are no mold-lines like in some other 3rd Edition pdf-books. The Information in this set are mostly Background stuff concerning Karak Azgaraz from 3rd Edition. Also some information on Warhammer Dwarfs and the rules for the runesmith and engineer. Although you still need the full box for the use of all tokens and careers which are not in the pdf.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Book of Grudges
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Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
by Etienne S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2012 16:45:13

If you are buying this to read on your tablet, it may run quite slow.

I have a very fast Quad Core tablet and this document is very slow to load. It takes minutes for some pages to load up and for some of the pages to zoom in and out.

However, the majority of the information pages load up in acceptable times. If you need to jump from one page to another that is futher away, then it may take a while to load.

Wish there was an option for a lower quality on so that it can be used comfortably on tablets. There is no reason to be able to zoom into the document so that a few words takes up the whole screen. I tried to downscale the pages but wasn't allowed because the the document is secured against page extraction.

It still works absolutely fine on a PC but is a bit of a chore on the tablet.

If I had a chance to do it again, I would have bought the paper version instead, even though it is big and heavy.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
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