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Eldritch Skies
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2012 18:03:43

when I tried to open the file I got and error (109) please help



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Skies
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Publisher Reply:
I tried to contact you privately, but for some reason I can not locate an email address for you in the sales reports. Try to download the game again, as it might have been being updated at the time you downloaded it originally. If you are still having problems, please contact me directly and I will personally send you the PDF. Thank you so much for your patronage.
Kaiser's Gate
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/05/2012 22:42:46

WHAT WORKS: I don't really like Power Points, so an alternate magic system is always welcome. I like the wide range of material covered in the timeline, from the beginning of magical crime through the end of World War I. The new Edges (mostly aimed at dogfighting) feel particularly appropriate, given the setting.


WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Setting-wise, it feels almost like TOO much has been crammed into one book...but I could also see how one could prefer that to a more limited book. Enterprising GMs can certainly expand from the material given, and if demand is there, Battlefield Press can always expand the setting with supplements. Minor quibble: A lot of earlier Savage Settings had the problem of multiple shared elements, namely zombies and Atlantis, so linking the events of Kaiser's Gate to the Tunguska event immediately took me back to Necessary Evil, which does the same (albeit with a completely different result).


CONCLUSION: First off, it's nice to see something focused on World War I instead of World War II. Second of all, they showed a lot of restraint with the new material added, especially Edges, focusing on expanding aerial dogfighting. The races are included with a caveat of "Humans are the default, the rest must be approved by the GM", and I vastly prefer options to turn on and off over omission in just about every case. There are some d20isms still present, including the racial selection, some of the new spells and the magic item selection. I always like a good bestiary, but a lot of what you need for this is already going to be in Savage Worlds. Lastly, in an odd note, it refers you to the Explorer's Edition over the Deluxe Edition. Very good work here and a great time to jump on, with the Kickstarter still in effect, because of all the bonus material that has already been unlocked.


For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspo-
t.com/2012/04/tommys-take-on-kaisers-gate.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kaiser's Gate
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Publisher Reply:
The reference to the Explorer's Edition over the Deluxe Edition is and editing error that we missed, thank you for pointing it out. We will get that fixed as quickly as we can, and should be fixed before we release the print version of the game.
Eldritch Skies
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/19/2012 19:14:00

I like this RPG, though the succeeding paragraph may not seem to make that point -- trust that the rest of the paragraphs do.


First the negative: this book is not really laid out (or organized) to my tastes. It's done in a competent manner, but there are certain slips that, in my opinion should be addressed to make the book stronger and easier not only to read, but also to use a as a reference book. In general, I do agree with the ordering of the material, but I feel strongly about trimming the 'game fiction for flavor', a more refined layout from the two column approach, and a more detailed table of contents.


Next, the positive: this is, surprisingly, a different take on the Lovecraftian mythology. It goes purist in that it ignores a lot of the post-Lovecraft additions to the Mythos, but allows for both the pessimistic and optimistic Lovecraftian play. And it takes the characters into space, allows characters to play with sorcery, forces characters to deal with the various races on Earth and beyond, and exposes characters to Hyperspatial radiation.


The games you play here could easily echo a Twilight Zone episode or Bradbury's Mars tales, your games can inject a sense of exploring the unknown, pushing the limits, and taking mankind beyond its cradle into a dangerous universe that could easily kill him or, strangely enough, king him. Not all endings need to result in the deaths of the protagonists -- some might survive, or even thrive as Randolph Carter did in the Dreamlands.


The juxtaposition of the open secret of hyperdimensional travel with the strange dangers of the mythos-filled universe is interesting for me. The actions of world governments and individuals in the timeline feel plausible and interesting to me, and the opportunities for a different type of space adventure / horror / exploration campaign are very appealing.


I also like (though I've not playtested) the unfolding of the cinematic Unisystem ruleset to allow for fast play. The character templates give a broad spectrum of recognizable archetypes, the character creation rules and gear give enough twists to optimize and ready your character for adventure.


This is a densely detailed, finely crafted setting. It provides standard kits for different types of military and scientific teams. It details a wide variety of realms and worlds that humanity has gone to or can go to. It provides a ready kit of well-known (and lesser known) creatures and dangers to threaten the PCs with. And it manages to maintain a Science Fiction feel despite the presence of the Lovecraftian elements. You don't get that overwhelming 'small band of heroes against a government conspiracy' feel that you do in Delta Green (which I love); in Eldritch Skies you get a 'humanity with all its strengths and foibles against the sea of unknowable terror and wonder that is the universe' vibe.


There's potential here to celebrate exploration of the universe, to celebrate the human spirit that seeks to push farther and delve further into cosmic mysteries than it has any right to, to celebrate cooperation and conflict and courage. There's also potential to expose all the ugly sides of the human condition -- greed, pride, and a lust for personal power at the cost of other peoples' lives and loves.


It reminds me of the potential of shows like the early season(s) of X-files and Earth: Final Conflict, and of (as mentioned above) the Twilight Zone episodes about space exploration and the Bradbury Mars Chronicles -- a wonderfully dark merging of science and weirdness that somehow avoids becoming science fantasy (which it technically is) and somehow avoids being merely horror in space.


If this is your kind of thing, give Eldritch Skies a shot.


(this review also appears on my blog: http://armchairgame-
r.blogspot.com
. I originally posted a shorter version of the review, realized I had more to say to fully represent my opinion; so I deleted the old one and posted this new one.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Skies
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Eldritch Skies
by Paul D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2012 17:15:20

Eldritch Skies is quite a fascinating product. It takes the Cthulhu mythos and translates into a sci-fi setting with a logical alternate history of the 20th century. It presents a space game where there is both wonder and terror to be encountered among the stars.


Shortly before purchasing this I was thinking of having a homebrew setting with aliens that were both much more powerful than humanity (rare in my experience) as well as less advanced (quite common). There is a reason for finding other planets with human populations built into the setting as well as interpretations of the Mi-Go, Deep Ones and Ghouls that work well and will keep adventurers on their toes.


If you like sci-fi, cosmic horror and/or Sorcerors and Starships this product is worth your while.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Skies
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/17/2012 16:08:41

So what can I say about Eldritch Skies?


Let's go basic. Certainly there is the feel of Aliens here more than say Avatar. One thing though for certain, this is not Star Trek, Star Wars or anything like that. Though to be fair, Trek did have a story by Robert Bloch and it was very Lovecraftian in tone. Also if that is what you want (SW or ST) then the rules will support that. This book is Lovecraft as SciFi (dark SciFi to be sure), but not so much as horror.


Chapter 1 deals with the recent history and the present day, 2030. The history of the world here is slightly different. Think of it as if all those Lovecraft stories were true and humanity found a way to start using some of that alien tech/magic to get to the stars. There is a history and the changes start out subtle till we get to the 90s. We get to the present day and now we are stepping out into the reaches of space and we find wonders and horrors.


Chapter 2 is Character Creation and Chapter 3 is Game Rules. The game system is Cinematic Unisystem. The same system that powers my own Ghosts of Albion and other games like Army of Darkness, Buffy and Angel. So if you are familiar with those games then you will be familiar how this one works too.
Like other CineUnisystem games there are three "levels" of characters, Civilians, Operatives and Veterans. Unlike other CineUnisystem this game uses the Secondary Attribute Speed, from Classic Unisystem.
For Qualities and Drawbacks there are all the expected ones, Fast Reaction Time, Nerves of Steel, etc. But there are also a lot of "Ab-Human" abilities, such as Deep One Hybrid and Sorcery (it is not the same as Buffy's) and some augmentations.
The rules are same as other Cine Unisystem games with some additions to support the game, ie lots of gear.


Chapter 4 is Arcane Secrets including the secrets of hyperspace. Not just how to travel, but the biggest issue of the hyperspace madness. This is the keystone of the game. What separates this from other Unisystem games and it from other Mythos games.


Chapter 5 deals with the Realms of the Mythos. These are the worlds known to humankind. This also includes the psychic Dream Realms. This is a very cool chapter that had to be a lot of fun to write. Tons of new worlds ready for you to use and have adventures on.


Chapter Six: Eldritch Threats and Wonders: The monsters and creatures of the settings. Includes the mythos creatures, humans and ab-humans. If you have any passing interest in mythos monsters or expanding your CineUnisystem games with more creatures, then this chapter is worth the price of the book alone. Yes, you can play it as is. Or use it in your Buffy, Army of Darkness or Ghosts of Albion games.


Chapter Seven is the Director's section on how to run a game. This includes setting the tone and what to do.


The Appendix has rules for using the Classic Unisystem and a bunch of tables for your ease. No character sheet though.


I think one of the troubles about playing games like D&D and even to a degree Call of Cthulhu is we have tended to categorize the mythos creatures as well, Mythos Creatures. They often times are "Stated up" as gods or some other similar sort of being. We tend to forget that while humans may have worshiped them in cults most were not in fact gods at all. Powerful alien beings yes, but not so much gods. Looking at them again as aliens is a deft move and this change of the point of view makes this book less Buffy-doing-Aliens and more Armageddon/ConspiracyX-doing-Event-Horizon.


What I really, really like about this is it treats the Mythos Creatures as aliens and magic as advanced science. The Thing is a good example of Lovecraft as SciFi story.


Also this book remembers that Lovecraft's stories were also not all about tentacle monsters and evisceration. Sure we have the Mi-Go, but this more about the madness that lies between the stars. Honestly to get a better feel of what you can do here, take the Sam Rockwell movie Moon and assume there are outside alien influences on the whole thing. We never see the aliens, except for maybe when Sam's character sees a Mi-Go with a brain tube at the very end.


I mentioned the playtest files because I'll admit I was not initially a fan of this game when I first read it. But I was focusing on the crunch rather than the fluff. The Unisystem parts were (and are) fine. But since it's release I have grown to like it more for both the crunch and the fluff.


If you like SciFi, Lovecraft, the Mythos or Unisystem, or all the above, then this is a great game to get.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Anime
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2012 12:33:52

Open Anime is based on the OGL but differs quite a bit from it. It is very, very similar to Open Core, but with more of an anime overlook. What does that mean? Well, for starters we start with the various Anime sub-genres and how these change how you view and how you play your character. If Open Core is the Marvel Universe then Open Anime is the Marvel Manga Universe.


It is designed to allow the GM to create his/her own game with the tools provided. It uses a basic roll system; 3d6 + Attribute + Skill. (or even 1d20 + Attribute + skill). The system is modular, so you can take or leave what you like.


Like a number of game, OA uses a point buy system for attributes and skills. The number of points granted is based on the game's power level. You have six attributes, three physical and three mental, that map nicely to d20 or even Unisystem. These abilities then can be used for derived abilities, like initiative or health or even variant ones like SAN.


Skills are covered and use the same point buy system. And there are a lot of skills, though given the modular nature of the game and maybe the your own games focus, you might need to use all of them.


There are also a number of effects-based abilities which look very similar to BESM d20/SAS d20 or other open Super's games. Though the "hows" of these effects may not be defined. For example a "Fire" effect could be magic (fireball), tech (flame thrower), advanced science (heat ray) or anything really. The aim is to describe what is happening and then GM/Players decide how it happened.


Also included are a list of Disabilities, things that can affect your character. This is very similar to other games, in particular GURPS. These grant a certain level of Character Points back to you. Finally we also get Action Points, which work like Drama Points in Unisystem.


The next part of the book are the rules of play, which is heavy on the combat and things like chases and mental battles. The rules are simple really, using the same basic rolls, just applied in different situations.


Open Anime is actually a game I have wanted to write. When BESM disappeared there was a vacuum for a good Anime RPG. With all the Open systems out there and the BESM-d20 system open, all the elements needed are out there. Open Anime combines all of these using Open Core as their guide. While I don't think it quite reaches the heights that BESM does/did, it is a rather good effort. Good enough that I don't have any desire to write my own Anime game anymore, I'll just tweak this one. There is a heavier emphasis on Magic and Magical Girls than say other types of Anime Genres. Which I think is a little disappointing.


What gets me the most about this one is there seems to be a lack of what makes an Anime RPG an Anime RPG. I think in the attempt to make this game more open and more flexible they lost a little of what makes Anime different than some other games.


This is a great game system wise, but lacks something in the Anime area.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Open Anime
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Open Core Role Playing System Classic
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2012 12:15:21

Open Core is based on the OGL but differs quite a bit from it. It is designed to allow the GM to create his/her own game with the tools provided. It uses basic roll system; 3d6 + Attribute + Skill. (or even 1d20 + Attribute + skill). The system is modular, so you can take or leave what you like.


Like a number of games, OC uses a point buy system for attributes and skills. The number of points granted is based on the game's power level. You have six attributes, three physical and three mental, that map nicely to d20 or even Unisystem. These abilities then can be used for derived abilities, like initiative or health or even variant ones like SAN.


Skills are covered and use the same point buy system. And there are a lot of skills, though given the modular nature of the game and maybe the your own games focus, you might need to use all of them.


There are also a number of effects-based abilities which look very similar to BESM d20/SAS d20 or other open Super's games. Though the "hows" of these effects may not be defined. For example a "Fire" effect could be magic (fireball), tech (flame thrower), advanced science (heat ray) or anything really. The aim is to describe what is happening and then GM/Players decide how it happened.


Also included are a list of Disabilities, things that can affect your character. This is very similar to other games, in particular GURPS. These grant a certain level of Character Points back to you. Finally we also get Action Points, which work like Drama Points in Unisystem.


The next part of the book are the rules of play, which is heavy on the combat and things like chases and mental battles. The rules are simple really, using the same basic rolls, just applied in different situations.
There is a section on adventures and a quick overview of character creation.


The Appendices cover different play modes. So for example Sorcery which adds "D&D/d20 Arcana" like spells to your game. Another is an expanded wealth system.


The art is sparse, and most of it is other Open art, but it is appropriate to the sections so for me it works.


Overall a solid game system to play or to mine for ideas.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Open Core Role Playing System Classic
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Gaslight Victorian Fantasy (OGL Edition)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/06/2012 17:09:55

If you enjoyed the old Masque of the Red Death game, or just Victorian Gothic games in general then this is a great choice. What is particularly nice about this nice about Gaslight is how much history is included in the book. While that might be your thing, this is quite important for a Victorian game. There is also a great overview of the whole world, not just England. For these alone Gaslight is a worth the price as resources for any other Victorian game. Gaslight does give you more than that. There are new races you can play, such as werewolf and vampire, which are found in many games. But also the more uncommon Beast Men (which I have only seen in one other game) and the unique (as far as I can tell) Wildlings; or unaging wild children.
There are plenty of new options for all sorts characters, of any race or background. Not to mention new magic, groups, and plenty of foes to face.
I compared this game to the old Masque of the Red Death. Well if MotRD is "Dracula" then Gaslight is "Varney the Vampire"; less familiar, but maybe a touch darker.


This OGL edition is a complete game, over 300 pages of everything you will need to run a Gaslight game including a complete section on classes.


They layout is simple and easy to read and the art is authentic Victorian illustrations and maps that give a real authentic flavor.
Battlefield Press provides a lot of freebies and support for this game and that pushes up a bit in my opinion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight Victorian Fantasy (OGL Edition)
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Gaslight Victorian Fantasy (Savage Worlds Edition)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/06/2012 17:09:28

If you enjoyed the old Masque of the Red Death game, or just Victorian Gothic games in general then this is a great choice. What is particularly nice about this nice about Gaslight is how much history is included in the book. While that might be your thing, this is quite important for a Victorian game. There is also a great overview of the whole world, not just England. For these alone Gaslight is a worth the price as resources for any other Victorian game. Gaslight does give you more than that. There are new races you can play, such as werewolf and vampire, which are found in many games. But also the more uncommon Beast Men (which I have only seen in one other game) and the unique (as far as I can tell) Wildlings; or unaging wild children.
There are plenty of new options for all sorts characters, of any race or background. Not to mention new magic, groups, and plenty of foes to face.
I compared this game to the old Masque of the Red Death. Well if MotRD is "Dracula" then Gaslight is "Varney the Vampire"; less familiar, but maybe a touch darker.


This Savage Worlds edition requires a copy of the Savage Worlds rules.


They layout is simple and easy to read and the art is authentic Victorian illustrations and maps that give a real authentic flavor.
Battlefield Press provides a lot of freebies and support for this game and that pushes up a bit in my opinion.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight Victorian Fantasy (Savage Worlds Edition)
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Gaslight Map Pack
by John L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2012 13:30:07

Interesting Resource, but not Play-Ready
This consists of reproductions of a number of genuine Victorian maps. The most significant is a map of London (divided into a number of sections). There are also maps of Bombay and other locales. Consdidered as a background resource they are interesting and informative, but I expect it would require considerable work to convert a section of one of these maps into a playable game map.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight Map Pack
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Gaslight Savage Worlds Character Sheet
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2011 06:34:45

Savage Worlds sheet for Gaslight. Very functional, and despite it's plainness I like it better than the Rippers sheet.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight Savage Worlds Character Sheet
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Gaslight OGL Character Sheet
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2011 06:33:56

Quick and easy OGL sheet for Gaslight. Nothing fancy but gets the job done well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight OGL Character Sheet
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Gaslight Calender Pack: 1888 Edition
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2011 06:32:59

Very useful resource for Gaslight or any other Victorian era game. Important dates and moon phases. Wish it had some more detail, not looking for a full almanac here, but just a touch more.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight Calender Pack: 1888 Edition
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Gaslight Victorian Fantasy (Savage Worlds Edition)
by J C. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2010 16:34:18

I am a big fan of Scientific Romance, Steampunk, and Victoriana style gaming overall. I have played many games in the past (Victoriana, Age of Empire, Castle Falkenstien, etc.) and while I liked most of them I always found the systems a bit too much in one direction.
I love the fact that this game has put down some groundwork for doing this sort of gaming with the Savage Worlds system.
Gaslight gives me a great foundation to port in all my fave genre tropes and use it with SW. Years ago i wrote a LoEG scenario for SW and recently tweaked it using some of the rules from this book.


If I were to give feedback, I would ask that they focus less on races and more on meaty bits. Everyone and their grandmother's Victorian game has elves, and other mythic creatures. If anything I would have went for a more Bros. Grimm approach to creating the setting.


I hope to see more development on this game in the next year.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gaslight Victorian Fantasy (Savage Worlds Edition)
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Open Core Role Playing System Classic
by Brian R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2010 18:57:23

Well first off this isn't a bad system, i rather like the set up. Especially the Attributes and Derived Attributes, this alone gets a thumbs up because i am so tired of the usual d20 OGL rip off. And this introduces a albeitly simular scores, the ability range can vary from 1-6 for a more mundane game, to 1-10 in a more extraordinary game. But there is no limit to the actual score itself. Perhaps the biggest bog down was when you had to develope your skills, i tried using the detailed skill system and found myself going way over in points. Im sure this system works alot better if you use the broad grouped skills variation of the system. Now i love playing Super Heroes, and i always try to test the system when it comes to this. And this is where i was let down. It looks like they borrowed the power/trait system from the Tri-Stat system. And the values of some of the powers and traits were simply borrowd over without taking them into account with the points the game gives you. I tried using a Very High Level game setting, to recreate an important character from my own super hero setting. And found myself 99 points over before i even got to determining drawbacks.


I give this game 3 stars over all, it has a great retake on the attribute system and skill levels. But i found the powers section, less than desirable and perhaps not thought well enough through when pricing them.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Open Core Role Playing System Classic
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