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Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Don N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2012 00:24:31

I love the look of the book. The graphics are done very we'll. The reading compression is high. The only issue is the organization of the book. I find I have to constantly flip around the book because information is not grouped together very well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
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Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Dan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2012 16:25:58

First off the quality is GREAT.

I purchased the download in addition to the Hard cover book. I would have purchased both no matter which came out first. It does have a couple typos, a couple charts were wrong, but overall it is a great game and I really enjoy it. They have already released a FAQ, covering the typos, fixing the charts and explaining a few areas.

I think the rule set is very easy to follow. Some people complain that it is not detailed enough, but I don't nor do my opponents have a problem with it.

I am a diehard fan of Dust both Tactics and Warfare therefore, my opinion is based as such. It is well worth the twenty dollars. I really like that with the same miniatures I can play two different but similiar games depending on my mood and my opponents.

I look forward to the additional releases and will purchase both hardcover and a download copy.

I really don't think you can go wrong with the download copy. This is the first time I have ever purchased anything from the Wargame Vault and if the quality is always this good then I know I will be making additional purchases.

Hope this is helpful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Lee L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2012 13:04:54

Dust Warfare is a full on miniature wargame, set in the world of Paolo Parente's world of Dust. Designed by Andy Chambers and Mack Martin, this alternate World War II game adds in a touch of the science fiction element. With various sized walkers that replace traditional tanks, Laser Grenadiers, Zombies and phaser weapons, this game steps froward from the Dust Tactics board game in so many ways!

While some were never upset with the idea of it being a miniatures board game, I know many who were waiting for this version of the game, as they didn't have the satisfaction brought about from the hobby elements of a true wargame. The cards used in games of Tactics are not used in Warfare. Instead, each unit has an entry in the book that has all its relevant information at your finger tips. The stats are also slightly different for some weapons, but that is out of a need to make them more playable in this new system. The addition of ranges to the weapons and movement for units enhances the game play in many ways. It allows for more tactical play and also allows for creative and stunning terrain elements to be added to your table. The terrain rules are quite unique in the fact that one piece of terrain may cause issues for a walker, but still be cause a troop to have no restrictions at all and vice-versa. It also means that scenarios can be flexible and story driven without sacrificing fun or smooth game play. These new rules were designed with organized play in mind as well. The tournament and campaign systems are set up to help organizers and players make each event a unique and rewarding series of games for the players involved. The Battle Builder for tournament play is a great addition to the system and something that as a playtester for Dust, I did not get to see until the rules came out. It is an awesome way for you to be able to look at your opponents list and them bid Scenario points towards the upcoming game to try and give themselves some advantage in terrain, objectives, or battlefield conditions. Each player has without sacrificing fun or smooth game play. These new rules were designed with organized play in mind as well. The tournament and campaign systems are set up to help organizers and players make each event a unique and rewarding series of games for the players involved. The Battle Builder for tournament play is a great addition to the system and something that as a playtester for Dust, I did not get to see until the rules came out. It is an awesome way for you to be able to look at your opponents list and them bid Scenario points towards the upcoming game to try and give themselves some advantage in terrain, objectives, or battlefield conditions. Each player has a limited amount of Scenario Points [2] to spend on these and a roll of 5 dice determines who has to start allocating their points first. These will be used in tournaments and can be used for pick up games as well.

Dust Warfare uses the same core mechanics for "hitting" and "damage", as well as actions, but that is about where they similarities end. Cover, saves, and reaction all work very different in this game. It is all a smooth transition and after a game or 2 you will not notice the changes that much [to be honest, I like these rules much better]. The rules are simple and easier to use and make the play move faster than in Tactics. Reaction, for example, you do not have to roll to try and react, you just get a reaction marker that removes an action from the unit. So, you can not react if you have already received a reaction marker this turn. They have also added rules for Suppression, this can affect your units actions as well as being a way of keeping track of if a unit is in retreat or not.

Each unit is worth a set number of AP and players agree upon a number of AP to play before selection their forces. The game has three different point ranges; Small [200 AP or less], Medium, also called a Tournament Engagement [between 201-400 AP] and Large [401 AP or more]. Players must choose at least one platoon, but may opt to add an additional platoon structure for each 150 AP [or part there of]. So in a 200 point game a player may opt to make one platoon or can have 2, keeping in mind that each platoon mush have at least a Command section and a mandatory 1st Section choice for each one. Each platoon may also take up to 1 Hero for each 150 AP [or part there of] allowed. Some Heroes also have a Special ability called Leadership that allows them to be the Command Section of your platoon. If you use them in this manner, they count as the Command Section, but also count toward the number of Heroes you can take.

The dynamic way you build a force and the scenarios you can play with these rules make the system and exciting and fresh new game. I for one can not wait to face an opponent with an all Zombie and Axis Ape army just to see what they can do!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook
by Tony C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2012 15:16:43

Now the download works! Knew you guys would get it fixed. The game itself is very enjoyable. I would rank it as one of the best army level 28mm games currently available. Excellent mechanics that provide a believable command experience without complicated rules. Plus the models are very nice!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Strongholds of the Empire
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/10/2012 19:45:11

Strongholds of the Empire is yet another essential addition to any L5R 4th Edition Library. Any of the cities presented could spawn several dozen different campaigns that don’t even need to go beyond the city walls. There’s plenty of conflict and politics to go around, and for the ambitious, there’s always the extra challenge of playing in a campaign set in Toshi Ranbo, the Imperial City that is shared between the Lion and the Crane.

Well written, beautifully illustrated, and very useful for new and experienced L5R GMs and players alike, Strongholds of the Empire is a strong first entry into PDF sourcebooks, and I can only hope that Alderac continues to publish in this format.

This is an excerpt from the full review on my blog, if you'd like to read the full article, please visit: http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/legend-of-the-five-rings-review-strongholds-of-the-empire/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Strongholds of the Empire
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Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/30/2012 23:35:28

Five Rings? Five stars! In my opinion, this book is a must have for anyone who is playing this game, or anyone who has any interest in the setting. The writing in the book is detailed and rich. The extra options are incredible and very, very fun.

The book is beautiful. The text is well written and grabs your interest from the start. The book goes deeper into the histories of the clans and really brings the conflicts between them and their origins to life. I especially enjoyed reading the Crane section, as I'm currently playing a Crane character. The information in this book gave me additional options and ideas to bring my character to life and make him much more interesting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
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Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2012 14:02:33

I've always loved L5R, having purchased the last two editions; I purchased this out of curiosity with a negative 'Another edition comment' at the fore of my mind. I hadn't really like third editions look and feel, and was expecting similar. However, I was amazed at the quality of both the layout beauty of the book, it is easily one of the best looking rpgs I've ever had the joy to read. If anything it is perhaps a little too pretty as it is slightly distracting reading through the rules.

Having brought the pdf I was so impressed, I went on to purchase the dead tree version, and the subsequent rule books.

Be warned the approach to building characters has changed, the books acting as more of a toolkit than a blow by blow instruction list, which both allows for more character variation and better development.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
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Legend of the Five Rings: Game Master's Screen and Adventure
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2012 13:47:15

I purchased the Dead tree version from ebay, I was more than a little disappointed by the quality compared to the 4th rules books which I rate highly. The Adventure is ok, a little short but ok. The screen on the other hand is very thin card, the Art work is ok and the table/info is useful, but when compared to the Screens for Dark heresy it is forced to hold its head in shame. And the moral of this story is stick with the PDF.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Game Master's Screen and Adventure
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Grimm: Core Rulebook
by Daniel H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2012 14:22:23

This is one of the more beginner friendly RPG systems out there. Plus, it is set in a place in which any Grimm fairy tale could come into play, which is a lot of fun for the narrator. It could use a larger reference section, which is why I'm only rating it 4 stars. I'm currently playing one game of this right now, and it's great how the setting gives rise to great role playing opportunities. Best played with a group that is creative and quick on their feet.

Really enjoying the game I'm playing of it so far. Besides, the reimagining of Humpty Dumpty as the mad Rotten King is great. Also, their conception of the Ocean as a character is wonderful as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Grimm: Core Rulebook
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City of Lies Box Set
by Rob B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2012 12:37:02

Probably one of the best fantasy city supplements ever developed, City of Lies gives a GM all the tools necessary to run ongoing, long-term campaigns in Legend of the Five Rings. The player's guide to Ryoko Owari is one of the best handouts I've ever seen for city plot development and NPC character information - it tells your players who these guys are, what each part of the city is about, and the major plotlines and unusual practices of the city. It hints at the plots that could be run without giving anything away. I owned the print version of this supplement but I bought the PDF version solely so I could print out several copies of this document for my players as a handout.

The rest of the supplement is equally high-quality. There are handouts that are of use to the players, plots, pre-written adventures, adventure hooks, random rumor generators, ideas about how to create random encounters using the personalities and places in the game, a big map, and so very much more, all written with the high-quality that one can expect from an AEG - Rokugan based product.

I love this supplement, and I was thrilled to find it available online. I highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City of Lies Box Set
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Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2012 14:32:43

Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) [Fourth Edition] takes place in a setting heavily influenced by feudal Japan, liberally sprinkled with elements of other Asian cultures. It contains a variety of fantastic elements, including spell-casting, otherworldly creatures, several planes of existence, and, my favorite, kung fu monks with magical tattoos that let them breath fire. Players assume the role of members of the samurai class and take part in a variety of adventures, from ranging out beyond the Kaiu Wall in search of Oni to slay to maneuvering through royal courts full of honey lips hiding dagger tongues.

It continues to use the Roll and Keep system for action resolution. Whenever a roll is called for, a trait and a skill are selected and their values added together. That many d10s are rolled. The player then selects a number of them equal to the trait, discarding the rest. The faces of the selected dice are added together, giving you the total for your roll. It’s flexible because traits do not have specific skills associated with them; they can be mixed and matched as the situation calls. For example, you might roll Intelligence and Athletics to determine the best way to ascend the cliff and then Strength and Athletics to do the actual climbing.

OVERALL

I highly recommend Legend of the Five Rings, and not only for the fire-breathing monks, to anyone interested in exploring a less European and less Hack-n-Slash style of gameplay or storytelling. The setting is rich and stimulating while preserving room for player and game master invention, the mechanics are simple and cover a wide range of situations, and you get to kill things with a katana.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10 The L5R 4th edition core book marks the beginning of a new direction in cover presentation for Legend of the Five Rings. It is grey with minimal detail, in contrast to the third edition books, which were red and usually included a picture, apart from the core book. The art used within the book itself has shifted tones; it is still card art, but when combined with the whitish background it gives the book a much more ethereal feel than the previous edition. I found the fonts and spacing to be unremarkable, except those of the table of contents and index, which I found hard to read. The layout has remained largely the same and will be familiar to anyone who has looked at a previous L5R core book.

It is divided into five chapters each titled after one of the five rings from The Book of Five Rings, each corresponding to a different aspect of the game, setting, general mechanics, characters, advanced mechanics, and game mastering. One thing of particular note is the improvement in editing, especially over the L5R third edition revised book. My one major critique would have to be the character sheet. One of the objectives of fourth edition was to be able to play your character entirely from the character sheet, without consulting the rules. True, there is space to write everything mechanical down, and space for writing down information about NPCs, but the character sheet can run up to 6 pages. At that point I’d rather use a note pad for major stats and note cards for things like spells. Overall, I would say the book is well-made and laid out in a consistent fashion, allowing familiar players to easily transition to fourth edition and allowing new players to learn the game with minimal fuss.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10 The core mechanics, as well as most of the other general mechanics, remain largely, if not entirely, unchanged. One of the most obvious changes is the lack of large static bonuses and free raises, which will probably be lauded by people who remember the Ikoma Spymaster/Voice/Courtier/etc. builds. The only major downside I was able to find to the rules tweaks was that they require an especially fine read by veteran players to find the few important changes that have been made.

Balance has been improved significantly over the previous edition; Mirumoto Bushi, I’m looking at you. Much has been said about Maho and the Spider Clan schools regarding their balance, mostly that they are too powerful. That said though, they are in the Book of Air separated from regular player character mechanics. Additionally, the theme of the edition is “L5R Your Way,” meaning each group should feel free to change things as they see fit as well as use or ignore whatever parts of the book they like. One potential mechanical pitfall that still remains is what to do with social skills. As in previous editions, there is a certain murkiness when it comes to deciding how to arbitrate social rolls. Overall, I would say again that the fourth edition of L5R is an improvement over the third edition; many balance issues have been fixed and a lot of excess bells and whistles have been trimmed out.

Desire to Play: 10 out of 10 L5R Fourth Edition gives people familiar with the brand more of the same gameplay they’ve had for years, but tighter. It gives new players the opportunity to experience a fantasy setting that is a departure from the traditional European medieval, and possibly Renaissance, world that is so common. The theme mechanics force players to make moral decisions that aren’t strictly black and white, which is a staple of Samurai Drama, and have great effect on how players are treated by the world around them. Additionally, the alternate rules allow groups to model the style of their Rokugan on things from their favorite Kurasawa movie to their favorite Anime.

Overall: 9 out of 10 I initially got into Legend of the Five Rings because of the fire-breathing kung fu monks, but it’s much more than running around and lighting things on fire, although there should definitely be some of that. A single campaign in Rokugan can cover so much ground; you might start out chasing bandits, discover they belong to a rival clan, argue in front of the emperor for the legitimacy of the war you want to start, learn that it’s all a conspiracy led by someone high on the food chain being controlled by an evil demon, and end up confronting them deep in the Shadowlands as the fate of the empire hangs in the balance. Legend of the Five Rings provides you with the opportunity to adventure in a world where Honor is a force greater than Steel and the highest achievement is not to doing great things, but being remembered for the great things you have done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
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Bearers of Jade: The Second Book of the Shadowlands
by Pierre-Olivier B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2012 10:04:31

I already own the L5R new 4th edition, and I was interested in more 'live' aspects from the Shadowlands ... so though it was from an older edition, I decided to buy this book.

I must say that the book is really what I was looking for ! I am really impressed by the material within it. The book gives you first-person perspectives, with multiple short stories and anecdotes on the shadowlands and its corruptive power, and also number stories on the courage, honor, successes and failures of those fighting it ... In summary, the book gives what is promised in the summary.

Note that this is a scanned book, but the quality of the scan is average to good and no part of the text/image is fuzzy.

So if you look for more on the Shadowlands, this is your book.

Please excuse my approximate english (a french native speaker)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bearers of Jade: The Second Book of the Shadowlands
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Legend of the Five Rings: Imperial Histories
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/27/2012 07:17:35

Imperial Histories is another must-buy for the L5R gaming group. The plot hooks are awesome, and all the eras presented are intriguing and present ample opportunity to elevate player characters into heroes.

Those who are looking for new mechanics will find them here, and fans who have been so patiently waiting for details on the Thousand Years of Darkness storyline will finally have the detail they were craving for.

I cannot recommend this book enough to fans of the game. Along with Emerald Empire and Enemies of the Empire, Imperial Histories is a solid addition to the line and manages to enrich the L5R line without coming off as just another attempt to make a quick buck.

This is an excerpt of the full review on my blog. If you'd like to read the entire review, kindly visit: http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/review-legend-of-the-five-rings-imperial-histories/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Imperial Histories
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Legend of the Five Rings: 3rd Edition Revised
by Austin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2012 23:52:03

the process seemed good, however, I am having difficulty in the download process. I says that there is a URL error so I'm trying to figure that out. You may recieve a mail from me soon if I can not get it to work.

Other than that I liked the layout of the site and the purchasing screens where very easy to understand good job on that!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: 3rd Edition Revised
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Legend of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/17/2012 16:36:09

The Enemies of the Empire are surprisingly numerous and the reference to them is nearly indispensable for any Legends of the Five Rings campaign that is not focused purely on courtly machinations (and there are even useful resources for that as well). It provides a wealth of information and along useful new game mechanics and character options.

Enemies of the Empire, a sourcebook for the Legends of the Five Rings RPG (3rd edition) is a 290-page PDF (288 pages if you remove the covers), written by Shawn Carman, Robert Hobart, Brian Yoon; Kevin Blake, Mikael Brodu, Patrick Duke, Dave Laderoute, Maxime Lemaire, Jacob Ross, Ray Rupp, Rich Wulf, and Ryan Reese and published by AEG.

The layout is a straightforward design taken directly from the print version of the book, with a 2-column layout (and occasional one column commentary). As is expected from AEG, Enemies of the Empire is lavishly illustrated with full color art throughout. The table of contents is complete and there is an index as well, so finding what you are looking for should be easy the PDF book-marking is useful as well if not always intuitive.

After an opening piece of fiction, it moves onto a page of advice on gauging the threat, which is always a challenge especially in a system as deadly as Legends of the Five Rings can be. The actual enemies list begins with animals, expanding the choices considerably for natural creatures. Some of the animals can be useful for the characters and not just obstacles.

There are human enemies: the vile Bloodspeakers, detailing their history, organization and provides additional tricks and magic for them as well as some of the most notable (and powerful) bloodspeakers. The sinister Kolat conspiracy, its machinations, plans, example agents of all tiers and new advantages, disadvantages and schools. The Lost, humans who have fallen to the taint of the Shadowlands and often gained great power but at a terrible price, they have new schools, new Shadowlands powers and examples of some of the more well known of the Lost. And the Ronin, who are given a plethora of new paths and the bands who teach them as well as three ronin shugenja schools (something lacking in the core rules). All of which provide new options for player characters as well as providing a wealth of villains for the GM. The new ronin bands, paths, and shugenja schools are especially welcome and make the option of playing a ronin much more feasible within the system.

Rokugan is also home to a variety of non-human cultures: The Naga, snake-people who are joined in a shared spiritual link. The Nezumi, ratfolk who know the secret magic of names. Both of which could, in the right campaign, be used as player characters. Spirits and shapechangers from the other realms and the other ancient races of Rokugan: the Kenku, Kitsu, Ningyo, Trolls, Zokujin and the Tsuno -corrupted Kitsu- are further detailed as well (though not available for players).

True evil is not neglected: The ninja and other servants of the Nothing, which seeks to unravel reality are detailed. The mighty Oni, direct manifestations of evil -complete with tools for making your own oni- and other creatures of the Shadowlands (along with advice on using the Shaodwlands in adventures). Completing the options for evil there are the Undead which is combined with advice for running horror in the Rokugan setting.

The work concludes with an appendix featuring a set of random encounter tables.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, I am friends with several of the authors, but I hope that has not shaded my opinion of the product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire
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