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One Knight Games, Vol 1, Issue 6
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2014 10:52:25
If you enjoyed the first future-tech cycle-racing game (One Knight Games Vol.1 Issue 3) this is a continuation of the story with a new set of challenges on and off the track. However, there is sufficient background given for those who have not played the first game to get involved and enjoy this one too.

The backstory remains the same, a Kid racer who is taking a seat once held by his (or her... there's a kind of assumption that it's a boy but no particular reason for this) father and who has to fend off both corporate interests and other more experienced racers to succeed. One player takes on the role of the Kid - if you played the first game, you'll already have him set up and ready to go. A second player has the role of his race partner, an older and more experienced racer; and there are additional racers provided should you have more than two players.

The scenario involves a lot of corporate dealing and two complete races, with plenty of scope for the racers to get involved... and a bit of skulduggery for good measure.

The package comes with full rules for racing, track designs for the two races and tiles to build them on your tabletop complete with a colourful array of racer tokens. Excellent for an evening's entertainment - focussed on the actual races, but with enough role-playing to take it beyond a board-game racing simulation to something in which you can really get involved.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
One Knight Games, Vol 1, Issue 6
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Avalon Class, Amazon
by Jeffrey T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2014 20:27:25
I went into this class with the wrong expectations; when I read "advanced class," I thought that it would be a base class in the same vein of the classes from the Advanced Player's Guide. It's actually a prestige class. I'm going to try to hold that part back in my review, though.

The class mechanically resembles a paladin with smatterings of rogue and monk in it; there is the interesting idea that the code is broken down into parts with keywords. Breaking an oath with a keyword (such as Pride) forces the amazon to lose all abilities tied to that particular keyword until she atones somehow. Their code also has critical portions, for which it is impossible to atone. The idea is a good one, and should be offered as an alternative to the basic paladin.

Unfortunately, the class is plagued by typos, missing letters/punctuation, awkward sentences, and copy-paste errors. It's painful to read, and on occasion it interferes with the ability to use the class; for example, there is an ability that references using Swim checks to resist non-lethal damage (seems like it should have been Con checks). The spellcasting description is a copy-paste that implies that it builds on previous class levels, but just beneath this is an artificial progression that seems to have nothing to do with it. In another example, one ability implies that it continues to scale even after the prestige class is complete. This could make sense if it were somehow based on total character level, but it isn't- it's just worded as though it inserts itself onto future class progressions.

Overall, the class is stuffed with the potent abilities of a few classes (the evasions, uncanny dodges, movement bonuses, flurry of blows disguised as rage), likely with the idea that the restrictions placed even out the increased power level. I'm not sure I buy it.

In general, the massive amount of errors will keep me from using this, and the small amount of genuinely new material makes me feel this was overpriced. The feeling isn't quite as bad as it was with the three-page acrobat, though, which is why I'm rating it slightly higher.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Class, Amazon
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Avalon Class, Acrobat
by Jeffrey T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2014 19:20:56
I suppose I went into this product with the wrong expectations. When I saw the phrase "advanced class" I thought perhaps it was a base class in the vein of the classes in the Advanced Player's Guide. What is actually in this product is a prestige class, and not a great one.

The actual class itself breaks a few conventions of pathfinder- its HD and Base Attack don't line up with standard conventions, and it requires certain attribute scores to obtain, unlike any other prestige class. It has lots of skill points, but the fewest number of class skills I have ever seen of any class, ever. Most of its abilities are glorified Rogue Tricks (in most cases, literally), and there is no customization; just a linear progression from one ability to the next. The class makes it possible to get Improved Evasion without having Evasion first, if you want- to me, it's a sign that mechanical interactions weren't well thought out ahead of time. This isn't including the fact that even though it's clearly meant for rogues, fighters and paladins qualify for it earlier if they choose, potentially for their 4th level. Ranks in Acrobatics would have made sense as a prerequisite and would have helped push it back into the levels prestige classes normally happen at.

In the technical side, the PDF is riddled with typos and awkward sentences. An editor or proofreader could really have helped. In its favor, a printer-friendly version is included.

In all, I feel more than a bit cheated for the price this PDF is going for. This product is too short, under-designed, and poorly written to justify the expense, even before considering the offerings of other companies.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Class, Acrobat
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Arrows of Indra
by Brian I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2014 14:40:11
I bought this one in both print and digital formats, and feel I got my money's worth, easily. Overall, Arrows of Indra's an excellent entry into the OSR in a unique and fascinating way.

I definitely think the game is spot on for the author's design goals as I understand them. It's a pretty clean, self contained game with a lot of flavor that doesn't feel like (but does feel like) an early alt white box. A ton more grok-able (IMO, or for me more appropriately) than Tekumel (for instance) while having a similar sort of feel.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arrows of Indra
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Arcanum
by Quincy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2014 09:14:13
This seems like a fun little game system, with an interesting combat mechanic. I haven't played yet, but I will update my review when I do. If you are considering this game, though, keep one thing in mind: It takes a lot of work to assemble! There are over a hundred cards, and you need to line them up with their backs before cutting it. Also, one or two pages of cards are aligned differently from the others, making it very hard to get them to line up. I really think that should be fixed.

The game is also riddled with typos, but anyone who has bought a game from this company can expect that. Overall, though, an innovative little system that I hope I can try out soon.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arcanum
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One Knight Games, Vol 1, Issue 3
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2014 12:24:57
A neat idea, and one that will have you on the edge of your seats for an evening: a game of racing motorcycles. Rules and character generation are simple by design, as you ought to be able to get this game up, running and completed within a single session with minimal preparation - indeed, it can almost be played without a referee (if the players don't squabble too much!).

The aim is that every player will be one of the racers, but there are other people around so those who want to take this concept and make more of it might take on such roles as support staff, race officials and so on. Played as written, however, there are a series of programmed events that will happen at certain points during the proceedings which make it a whole lot more exciting that just motorbikes racing around a track (and that can be exciting enough...).

The action takes place in two parts. There is a race, in which one player-character WILL be killed. That may sound tough, but it's at the heart of the adventure as a whole, because the second part involves another race several years later when the dead racer's child has grown up and comes to participate in their first race (played, of course, by the player of the dead cyclist).

Specific rules associated with bike racing are included, but the main rules are in a separate document: the core One Knight ruleset (it's included with your download) which is consistent across all One Knight Games.

This is a nice way to fill out a single gaming session, but future One Knight Games based on the cycle racing theme are planned, so even if using this model of gaming you will have the option of returning to the track. There is also the potential to take it all a bit further. The game is cyberpunk in style so if you are playing anything of that genre, cycle racing at the Cylon track might be a popular spectator sport and you could use this ruleset to moderate races. If characters in your 'main' game want to get involved in racing, well, you might choose to use the plotline as well, and either adapting your regular ruleset or using this one for specific race-related matters as you see fit.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
One Knight Games, Vol 1, Issue 3
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How to Create a Great Campaign
by Alexis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2014 09:30:05
This "book" is extremely short: it contains 13 pages of actual content. It contains valid, but very basic advice. It should be the introductory chapter of a book on how to make great campaigns, not the whole book. Maybe worth $1, certainly not worth $6.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
How to Create a Great Campaign
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Avalon Clip Art, Animals
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2014 09:26:43
This set contains 25 low resolution color drawings of animals. While the drawings are nicely done and may have been scanned at 300dpi they are not adequate for prints much larger than an inch or two across. Some of the colors are whimsical such as a blue wolf and a green tiger. There is even a fantasy looking serpent thrown in. There is one duplicate image of a bear/badger.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Clip Art, Animals
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Heroes Weekly, Vol 3, Issue #24, The Academy of Crime
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/20/2014 11:13:32
The concept of a high school for budding superheroes is a common theme... but here is a place for all the would-be supervillains to get their start!

There's an outline of the Academy, buried in a bunker deep below an ordinary and quite innocent high school, with notes on some of the teachers and students. The students are graced with full write-ups and stat blocks, the teachers merely get an outline of their (decidedly crazy) personalities and teaching style. The supervillain community, not usually noted for its generosity, has funded the Academy generously.

Several adventure seeds are also provided. Two are aimed at regular superheroes, one in particular at those attending a high school for young 'heroes; whilst two more are intended for supervillain-focused games. One of these involves students at the Academy, the other puts the party as supervillains invited to an open day.

It's a neat idea, and one which could develop into an interesting part of your campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes Weekly, Vol 3, Issue #24, The Academy of Crime
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Avalon Models, Skeletons
by Eric E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2014 20:20:57
A nice set. good artwork, and not too many fiddly edges to cut around. I like the bases but the 28mm size has 11 models on a sheet and only 6 bases. A sheet of just bases would be a nice addition.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Models, Skeletons
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Dungeon Tiles and Walls
by Kristin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2013 13:52:46
I like this set very much. The pieces are very versatile and fairly straightforward in their construction. My favorite pieces were the 3-dimensional doors that could open and close and the staircases. The gamers in my group loved the visual they provided. Everything stores very compactly (the 3-D items store flat), though the wide variety of items sometimes makes the one item you want hard to find. Also, the initial creation of the pieces can be tedious. It took me a good long weekend to cut out, fold, and assemble one copy of the whole set. I think it's worth it, but don't do it unless you're ready to do a lot of cutting, folding, and gluing!

Overall, a fantastic product for expanding the world of the game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Tiles and Walls
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Astral Empires, Starship Design Components Book
by Jim W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2013 02:55:08
Exactly what the product says. The configurations of ships you can build with the beauty is staggering, and well worth the price of the product. Excellent buy!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astral Empires, Starship Design Components Book
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Slayer
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2013 21:41:04
I truly like this game. I liked it so much that it has prompted me to write my first review ever here at Drivethrurpg after being a member for several years. Additionally, it makes me what to RUN it, as opposed to play, which is something I have rarely done.

This game is grim and gritty in the fashion of the classic pulp swords and sorcery tales of yesteryear.

Combat is deadly and magic is ritualistic and dangerous. It is devoid of the Tolkien influenced standards and is a human-centric such as the tales of R.E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and Lieber.

It is also rules lite which I definitely prefer.

My criticisms are few and minor.

I think the work suffers from sub-par cover art. Not to deride the artist, but I the cover art would have been better as an interior piece.

The ritual Lady's Mercy seems a tad underpowered as it seems no better than the heal skill. Maybe increasing the return to 2 or 3.

Finally, maybe a fate point mechanic. As, the heroes in the tales of the authors mentioned above seemed to recover faster, and make it through against the odds.


So, a big thanks to Mr. Davis and Mr. Butler for a great game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer
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Slayers of the Great Serpent
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2013 11:36:10
A journey begins with but a single step... but here the first stage in what promises to become an epic journey-based adventure, one where much of the adventure is the journey, sweeps the characters from attending a jovial festival across the breadth of the land and indeed towards the edges of explored territory.

Beginning with a campaign overview and then delving deep into background, the product starts with a collection of monsters, items and other game mechanics - including the theme 'Hero of Song' which is rather interesting - before looking at an overview of the lands which will be travelled. There's a lot for the DM to take aboard, but it is well worth it to aid in the development of a rich background through which the party will travel. Throughout, there are suggestions for running the adventure from motivations to participate through to nightmares the characters may suffer.

With the overarching theme being one of travel, the actual adventure itself is presented in a wonderfully flexible way. Once the characters have accepted their task, you are presented with a range of encounters and events to run as appropriate whilst the party travels through the areas which have already been described. The party has freedom to choose their own route and most events can occur as and when you decide during their travels. Random encounters and notes on survival are also provided. It is important to highlight how the journey begins in lands familiar to the characters, but how every step takes them further into unknown territory.

The flexibility of this approach allows the DM to tailor the adventure to his players' tastes. Events where role-playing or investigation might be appropriate are presented in such a way that challenges can be met through die-rolling or by playing out the encounter as preferred. There are also specific quest targets set which may be attempted or ignored... some are incidental, some will advance the core plot. Everything is well laid out with all the game mechanical information you need to hand, and plenty of flavour text on which to base your descriptions. At the beginning, in particular, there is quite a lot of 'read aloud' text to get essential information over. You may need to break this up or otherwise vary the presentation to avoid players being overwhelmed by 'info-dump' especially if they are not the sort to enjoy listening to lengthy discourses.

As the adventure gets into its stride, however, there are plenty of opportunities for the characters to engage in combat and in the struggle to survive often hostile environments. Again, game mechanical information, appropriate maps and notes on the opposition's combat tactics are put at your fingertips. To add variety, there's a story-telling challenge and even a pub game called Seven Tiles for which sufficient information is provided for you to recreate it if wished, as opposed to disposing of a game with a couple of skill rolls which other groups might prefer. There is even a dungeon-crawl (just the one) which provides an action-packed session... and this episode ends with a good fight!

An appendix provide full-page versions of all encounter maps ready for you to use as appropriate.

Overall, the adventure is excellent with a wide mix of activities to suit all types of group with inherent flexibility to enable you to delve deeper into those encounters that most interest your players and a tight plotline that yet manages to work in a 'sandbox' style giving players the feeling that they are very much in control of their own destiny.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slayers of the Great Serpent
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Kitbag #5, Close Assault Weapons
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/11/2013 09:57:37
Close assault weapons are used in situations where you need to get close up and personal with the opposition. Ranges are short and combat can be fierce. Whilst the classical close assault involves fighting your way through a building or within an urban environment, many of the same principles can be applied to a running battle through a starship or space station.... with the added delights of micro-gravity and vacuum to contend with in many cases, a common trick being to turn off the artificial gravity when someone's trying to board your ship, and careless use of projectile weapons in a pressurised environment tends to lead to a loss of atmosphere.

These and other perils of space combat are discussed with appropriate rule mechanics to cover such as recoil in microgravity environments and some of the techniques used by experienced space fighters to maintain control of themselves and their weapons.

After a brief word on terminology regarding firearm types, a series of 'actual' (well, invented) weapons are presented. This is mostly flavour text (and some rather nice illustrations) to allow gunbunny characters to enthuse over their favourite weapons with as much detail as a contemporary gun enthusiast can with the real thing, or at least a gun magazine, in his hands. It's nice to be able to put some detail to the somewhat generic stats presented in the core rulebooks, and everything is described in 'realistic' terms - you might almost be reading a real gun catalogue.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kitbag #5, Close Assault Weapons
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