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APMR #1, Avalon Mini-Games #120
by Hayri A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2011 13:42:50

The game is nothing more than the All Purpose Miniatures Rules published by Crunchy Frog in a new wrapper. Avalon seems to be breaking the system up into installments. This installment is the skirmish game. No massed or massive combat is included. No Robots. No vehicles. I own the original game so I am, naturally disappointed. If you own the original game, don't bother. If you don't and want to buy a game in installments, the system is not a bad one.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
APMR #1, Avalon Mini-Games #120
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Terror Network: A Counter Terrorism RPG by Bedrock Games
by Ricardo N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2011 11:31:58

Terror Network is a focused role-playing game. Players assume the roles of counter-terrorism agents working together in a variety of operations. Personally, I like games like this, which set out to do one thing well. Everything is tied together: character creation options, action resolution system, even the adventuring system (or operations as they are known in this game.) Furthermore, as another reviewer has already written, the game is to the point. The rules take less than ten pages and give the framework to resolve most situations.


This book is well organized. It starts with the nearly mandatory introduction to role-playing games, with a twist: it includes an overview of the game, with terms that will be used throughout the book. It follows with character creation and equipment and then the game rules. After those, there are background chapters on terrorism and counter-terrorism, ideas on how to run the game and a sample scenario. There is also a useful index at the end.


If there is one thing to complain is that I really liked the concept of the "Character Network" and I wish it could have received some more attention on the rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Terror Network: A Counter Terrorism RPG by Bedrock Games
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Scale D Core Rules
by Ricardo N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2011 10:49:11

Scale D is a lot more like a combat system for a role-playing game than a miniature skirmish system. It uses square grid-based terrain and an action point system to determine actions that each character can perform on a game turn (characters have a set amount of points and each type of action has a certain cost.)


I can understand that the goal of the authors was to allow a more varied range of actions during the game rather than just moving and shooting, as is often the case. However, the result is a complex system, with a considerable amount of bookkeeping per character in the skirmish. For instance, it is necessary to roll and keep track of initiative for each character on each game turn. Now consider doing this for even a dozen figures on each side of a skirmish, besides tracking their action points and other statistics. There are references in the text that seem to imply that the game is played with one character per player and even a "game master" is mentioned (for instance in pages 6 and 13). These facts made me think that the game is a lot more like a combat-oriented "lite" RPG than a skirmish game.


Information is not well-organized in the book. Character attributes are described right away but then, character creation rules go into the character development chapter (the last in the book.) Rules for movement are spread throughout the book. The long list of possible character actions is not organized in any pattern that I could distinguish. Information isn't complete, either: there are no scenarios and no examples of play besides a few diagrams. The authors mention that "specific books" would supplement these core rules with more detail (for instance in pages 6, 11 and 26) but I suppose that those were never released.


Visually, the book has a readable layout but the authors decided to add a thick black "noisy" border on each page, so that I would never even think of printing it. The whole book is set in black and white and the illustrations follow the same "noisy" style. The diagrams illustrating movement and some other actions are clear and useful.


In summary, I think that for a skirmish game this is too complex without any added benefits. There are other skirmish games with task systems that allow for different actions in more elegant ways. It might appeal for groups of players looking for a "lite" RPG focused on combat but since there are so many combat-heavy RPGs out there with more source material than this, I'm not sure if it would be worth, either.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Scale D Core Rules
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Altered Earth
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:46:05

Fans of 4e should eat this up. The only real problems here are the lack of mutant animal and mutant plant characters.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Altered Earth
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ASTRAL EMPIRES-THE ROLEPLAYING GAME Galaxy Master's Guide
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:42:30

Of the Astral Empires D6 PDFs, this one as the most original material. ...a fair companion to the freely available D6 Space PDFs.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ASTRAL EMPIRES-THE ROLEPLAYING GAME Galaxy Master's Guide
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ASTRAL EMPIRES-THE ROLEPLAYING GAME Interstellar Arsenal Technology Guide
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:39:29

I only paid a dollar for this, but since the vast majority of it was taken directly from D6 Space and D6 Ships, both available for free in a much more readable layout, I was ripped off.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
ASTRAL EMPIRES-THE ROLEPLAYING GAME Interstellar Arsenal Technology Guide
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ASTRAL EMPIRES-THE ROLEPLAYING GAME Core Rules Powered by OpenD6
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:36:14

This PDF is an excellent example of everything that can go wrong with an ogl product. The text of the first half of the book is taken almost entirely from D6 Space, and the second half is far from original. The formatting leaves a lot to be desired. Download D6 Space instead, for free.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
ASTRAL EMPIRES-THE ROLEPLAYING GAME Core Rules Powered by OpenD6
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Once Upon a Time, OpenD6 Version
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:32:12

This PDF is a little better than some of Avalon's translations from d20 to D6 but still suffers from some editing issues and makes a point to head a colomm "spell points" without saying how characters aquire them.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Once Upon a Time, OpenD6 Version
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Homestead: Guide to Frontier Life, Open D6 Version
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:26:39

This is was a great idea very poorly edited. Some of the d20 references stil remaimd; in fact, the newspaper editor writeup is given entirely without D6 system stats. The stat blocks that are there are poorly formatted...only paid a dollar for this.. Still a ripoff.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Homestead: Guide to Frontier Life, Open D6 Version
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Road Rage Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Donald H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2011 12:07:55

Overall, a fun little game, as advertised. You drive your armed and armored cars (and trucks) down a changing highway. Each player chooses a car template and customizes it to their taste (add those missiles, oil slicks, passengers, etc.). Each player also holds a hand of road tiles which they play during the game, extending the highway as necessary. You make your moves, make a driving skill roll, and if you pass that, you can fire on the other players. Our group found that the driving skill rolls often resulted in more damage to the cars than the weapons. The base set includes 3 car templates and plenty of road cards; the expansions add other cars plus trucks, a handful of new road tiles and some random effect cards to mess up the other players with.


The only minor shortcomings are some misspellings, occasionally referring to the same table by different names, and sometimes we were a little confused by the organization of the rules. Luckily, the rules are short enough that we could always figure things out. Some of our players could have used an example of how to fill out their car templates.


If there are future expansions, we vote for pedestrian rules and the chance to get off the highway. Next game, we're setting up an arena circuit and adding zombies!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Road Rage Bundle [BUNDLE]
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Game Geek Issues #21
by Paul E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2011 12:35:57

Though a great deal of work went into this issue, most of the artwork, the layout, and the great many mis-spellings and poor sentence structure, are extremely amateur, like much of my work with the first four issues of Argent Fire I did between 2004 and 2007. That being said, I know how difficult it is to produce an eZine on your own, without help -though, to be honest, if there had been any help I wouldn't have known because there is only one credit given in the contents-, and still... there is extant software to help with desktop publishing that could have made this magazine more enjoyable to look at. I think the largest peave I have, however, comes in the way of the cards throughout the book; I understand they need to be a particular size to be handled appropriately, though this could still have been accomplished. Rather than placing the back-side of a card to the right or left of its' front-face, put the front face on the top row toward the top of a page, and the accompanying back-sides beneath those on that same page. Much space could have been saved by doing it this way, rather than having a set of two cards on a single page, the remaining space wasted.


Since subsequent works tend to show improvement through experimentation and learning, I would be highly disappointed to see what the previous 20 issues look like.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Game Geek Issues #21
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Game Geek Issues #21
by Ben P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2011 12:21:39

Some of the art in this issue was excellent, but much of it was amateur and grainy (including poor quality scans) and the writing subpar. Lots of ads. It was free, and I got what I paid for. Probably won't continue to follow it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hell on Earth, Issue 1
by matt c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2011 12:19:47

Solid stuff. A great first addon to an already fascinating idea for a wargame. A very unique style of artwork and small fan fiction snippets to tell the grander story. Slightly confusing backstory at first but once you accept its progress through chaos, it all coheres. Highly recommend this and the other rulesets!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hell on Earth, Issue 1
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Altered Earth
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/07/2011 08:35:48

Opening with a Setting Introduction, which describes the variety of game types that you can play in this bleak yet chaotic apocalypic future-Earth, a setting rich with a wealth of opportunity for those brave, perhaps vicious, enough to sieze what they want and defend it against all comers. The background is explained, a gradual decline brought about by wars, economic catastrophes and environmental damage: no single apocalyptic event but a succession of disaster after disaster that brought once-green Earth to its present state of barren wasteland scattered with giant city-fortresses ruled by warlords.


Scene set, Chapter 2: Races looks at, well, the races available to players. The default is, of course, human beings - as described in the 'Humans' section of the Dungeons & Dragons 4e Player's Handbook. However, if 'fantasy' elements are required, the use of this ruleset means that the D&D fantasy races are compatible - even if they are explained away as aliens or from another dimension within your game. Or there are other options here: you might want to play an android, for example, a robot with artificial intelligence that has developed self-awareness... a process which tends to end in insanity. The formulae of D&D 4e have been used to good effect with such as 'Play an XXX if you want...' and powers for androids being renamed 'skill programs' - very neat retooling of the ruleset to suit the game setting. You could also pick a cyborg, a human with a lot of prosthetic enhancement and replacement. Stranger are the experimentals, subjects of mind or body altering biological experimentation, and gene freaks, who are genetically engineered humans, altered to excel in one specific area. Strangest of all, perhaps, are the risen, who have died and been restored to life by technogical means.


Next, Chapter 3: Classes examines the different career paths that characters can follow. Different races tend to be better at different classes, but you can enter whichever one that you wish. There are three to choose from: athlete, diplomat and specialist. Fantasy classes from D&D can also be used, the most suitable being those that draw on the martial or psionic power sources... unless you want to go really fantasy, of course. Athletes excel in melee, specialists in ranged combat, whilst diplomats use their minds and their charms to achieve desired outcomes. For each, a wealth of exploits and other features enable you to customise the character within these broad categories to end up with whatever you want. It's clear that plenty of thought has gone into these.


Chapter 4 then presents some paragon paths for those who reach 11th level and choose to specialise further. These are based on past history and inclinations, not on any specific class, and all are available to any character. Relic hunter, killer, high-tech gladiator, free agent, king of the streets, tunnel rat... it's the style in which you go about your adventures, the areas in which you wish to excel, that determine which, if any, you choose.


Race and class decided, on to Chapter 5: Skills and Feats. There are two new skills - Psych and Science - to equip your character to deal with the world as it is now, as well as notes on how to adapt existing D&D skills to the setting, in particular how to use knowledge of nature to forage in the wastelands. There are plenty of setting-specific feats to choose from as well. This is followed by Chapter 6: Equipment and Vehicles, so that you can kit out your newly-created character. In this setting, each fortress-city has its own currency, often held in electronic format: fine whilst you stay in one place, but what if you are visiting, or travel around a lot - or just have to leave in a hurry? Once you move on, electronic funds need to be converted into something more tangible. Precious metals and gems are a standard, of course, but drugs, medicines and ammunition are also popular. Then on to armour and weapons, and more general gear including medicines, food, and the various necessities characters are likely to need. An interesting point is that gear is defined as the stuff your character has that makes a difference to his being able to complete the adventure. Services - from lodgings to those of 'sex workers' and even a scale of bribes - and vehicles are also included here.


Next is Chapter 7: Experiments. Here are described several protracted procedures that characters might wish to undertake. They fit an analogous position to the 'Rituals' of D&D although they can involve the use of a wide range of skills. So if you wish to reanimate a fallen character, or persuade one of those archaic satellites to give you a view of the world from space... here's how. A character sheet blank, and off you go...


Despite the overview of the setting given at the beginning, the GM is going to have to engage in quite a bit of pre-game designing: surroundings, personalities, as well as whatever adventure is to take place. This work gives you the tools and a glimpse at the setting, but more work is needed before you will be ready to stride forth and adventure in the Altered Earth. What is here is good, clearly presented, consistently thought out... but it feels almost as if there's a second part to the book yet to come.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Altered Earth
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Lightspeed: Alien Contact
by Yilbber V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2011 22:47:23

Totally useless for Fuzion, And stats are incompatible with Fuzion material.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Lightspeed: Alien Contact
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