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Monsters Macabre (Kickstarter Preview)
by Scott G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2015 20:40:43
Very nice teaser. I have the full 64 page draft from the Kickstarter, but I was curious as to what was included here. This may be only 15 pages, but it’s a very good sample of what the full supplement includes, providing a page or more from just about every section, and giving a pretty good idea of the diversity of the 71 new Things included in the complete book. And the full Table of Contents should whet the reader’s appetite for more information on the rest of these creepy creatures and malevolent monsters, as well as the other expansions to the CRYPTWORLD world offered in the supplement.

This sample of 15 pages from throughout the Monsters Macabre supplement includes the new unsettling powers, 6 pages of Things (some complete, others partial, depending on their placement on the pages), a couple pages on playing Monster PCs (a particularly interesting take on that idea, IMO), a page on variable damage, and the first page of a new adventure, “Tangled Threads.” So just on its own, this free sample has some interesting content that would be useful to any Crypt Master. But once you see it, you’re virtually guaranteed to want more! And to want it illustrated, which is what the Kickstarter is all about.

Scott

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters Macabre (Kickstarter Preview)
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Cryptworld
by Richard T. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2015 16:12:55
CryptWorld is really the spiritual 2nd edition to the pacesetter game called “Chill adventures into unknown”. This 96 ‘page book is surprisingly comprehensive and complete, with 29 or so monsters and 15 animals, a dozen paranormal talents for player characters, clear rules for fear, information for car/vehicle chases and a fairly comprehensive skill list. My overall impression is that the rules are a little tighter than in the original making it a smother for a CM, (referee). For example I particularly like the simple range modifier rules for weapons.

In a slight change of style, some skills like Art criticism, hypnotism and psychiatry are missing from the skill list making the overall feel a bit less gothic and a bit more modern slasher movie. These skills however would be easy to add back in. The almost complete lack of historical material and equipment such as mentioning popular songs, films, events and relevant inventions and prices from a particular time period means that the game rather has to be focused in the here and now, which is fine but there’s nothing like a good 1800’s 1920s gothic horror in my opinion.

CryptWorld maintains the same action table and simple percentage system that made the original popular.

The 100% compatibility with Rot world RPG and in particular Majus RPG, (both of which are also from Goblinoid games) actually means that there is already quite a bit of new to CryptWorld supplementary material out there, which can be easily shoed in to any CW campaign.

This is an excellent game and well worth the purchase price for both the PDF and dead tree formats.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cryptworld
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Starships & Spacemen 2e
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2015 11:07:36
So what is Starships & Spacemen (S&S)? It is a "military style" missions-based, old-school game in the milieu of Star Trek. First off it is important to point out that while this is the "2e" version of Starships & Spacemen it is more compatible with Goblinoid Games other products like Labyrinth Lord, Realms of Crawling Chaos and Mutant Future. In fact I would go out on a limb and say Mutant Future is a must have since it has rules that can used to create mutants aka aliens. Realms of Crawling Chaos is Cthulhu and those creatures are aliens after all. Labyrinth Lord of course provides more monster/alien creatures.

The author, Dan Proctor admits his love for Star Trek in the forward of the book, and the cover is certainly evocative of the Original Series.

Also, given that it is compatible with Labyrinth Lord it is also compatible with 100s of other products also compatible with LL. It is also compatible with 1000s of other OSR/Old School products too.

The book itself is 95 pages of content, some ads for other Goblinoid Games products, two full color covers (front and back), character sheet, ship record and hex map. There is no OGL page that I could see.

The system is class and level based. There are various races your character can belong to. Three basic classes all in the "Confederation" military-like branch; Military/Command, Sciences and Support/Tech. Or if you prefer, Gold Shirt, Blue Shirt, and Red Shirt. There is Officer level advancement to level 12 and Enlisted advancement to level 9. So if you are running a game of a starship "boldly going where no one has gone before" then you are set. While I am enjoying class/level systems much more now than ever before I do have some issues with this, but I will talk about that later.

The introduction covers the basics of the system; very much the same as Labyrinth Lord.
Section 2 covers the characters and character creation. Here we have our classes and basic races.
Each class has some basic skills that improve with leveling and each race has ability modifiers. The races are as expected pastiches of the expected races. This is fine since it works so well here. There are a couple of others too, including some reptoids and a frog like race.
Equipment covers the expected range too. Though there are two entries that caught my eye. The robot dog for you K9 or Daggit fans. Also there is a telepathic dog. This caught my eye because back in college I ran a brief "Trek" game where the medical officer had a telepathic dog on board.

Section 3 covers Psi powers. These are not class based, but a random d6 power. The powers are detailed like spells and there are couple of special powers for stronger characters. Like other sci-fi games built on the d20 core adding new powers can be easy, but care should be given as to not make the game too much about powers.

Section 4 covers Planetary Adventures. Or what your away team is doing. This covers a lot of "adventuring" style topics including mapping, various weapon damages, and other hazards.

Section 5 is the meatiest of the book. This covers Galactic Adventures. I think my favorite bit here are all the space hazards. Space Mirrors, Gravity Wells. Enough for a full season of starship disaster scenarios. Atmospheric combat, diseases and even time travel is covered. So of the top of my head nearly any episode of the classic series can be reproduced with this chapter. How is plays out of course is up to the players.

Section 6 covers Starships and discusses their basic use, creation and stats. Combat systems are covered, energy weapons, solid projectiles and shields. Transporter Teleporter systems are discussed including the ever popular mishap (yes there is a table). Computer systems are covered (yes they can run more than one program!) Ship to ship combat gets a pretty decent section since it covers new ground.

Section 7, Alien Encounters is the biggest. This covers not just sentient aliens, but "monster" types as well. Again move creatures from other games back and forth here with no effort. The best section is the random "forehead" alien system. Roll some dice and you have a new alien race. You can even randomly determine a background and environment.
The flows right into Section 8, Alien Artifacts. Lost tech of ancient civilizations.

Section 9 is advice for the "Star Master" or Game Master. Some brief background on the setting is given. There is just enough information here to start a campaign and then get going. Really this is all you need. The game is one about exploration and discovery. So it follows that much of the galaxy should be unknown. This game is so flexible that you can do just about anything with it.

Frankly, the game really is awesome and has all the joy of Labyrinth Lord, only with spaceships and lasers.

Critiques
Ok so this game is perfect for a Trek-like game where everyone is serving aboard a starship. The class/level system works for this. But I do have two issues I want to bring up. One is outside the scope of the game, the other is inside it.
First off. If I want to play a game of "Orion" Pirates or Smugglers I have to bend my Officers level advancement a bit. Indeed, some of the classes would not quite work with a group of characters where everyone has to do a little bit of everything. Yesterday my friend Greg Littlejohn (gm for my oldest in his other game) talked about a Smuggler class. That might work well here too.

Secod point is the level titles them selves. While it make perfect sense to have a bunch of Ensigns (1st level) running around doing things, it makes less sense when everyone on 10th+ level and all Admirals. For this I would use the level titles as suggested ranks only. Or maybe make the PCs part of a special task force that allows them to work outside the normal ranking system.

Despite this there is enough here to make it all work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starships & Spacemen 2e
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Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition (no-art version)
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2015 22:21:23
Labyrinth Lord is hands-down the best classic B/X retro-clone/simulacrum system available; the only way to get a closer experience to the original Moldvay/Cook is to buy the original Basic and Expert books!

When you add in the material from the Advanced Edition Companion, the overall game plays more like the "Best of the LBBs" than Advanced D&D, which I feel is a definite feature, not a bug. The two volumes together have everything one needs to play for decades of campaigning.

Even with all the improvements in the new, 5th Edition of D&D, Labyrinth Lord is the best way to introduce young players to fantasy role-playing. As with the original, the system is clean, simple, and easy to understand, yet leaves wide vistas open for the imagination, on the part of the player as well as the Labyrinth Lord.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition (no-art version)
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Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition (no-art version)
by James W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2015 15:36:52
As a B/X fan I look upon any attempt to emulate or clone it with great criticism. This book does not disappoint. It is lovingly true to its source material while being its own thing at the same time.

The key difference between LL and B/X is that this game takes your PCs all the way. Each XP chart goes through 20th level (or to the level limit for the class). The spells go through their 7th or 9th level limits so you can play your campaign at any level you prefer.

I own print version of bot the LL and AEC so I highly recommend picking those up and buying the full PDFs. The art is wonderfully old school.

Whether you are a game writer creating material compatible with B/X or simply wish to play something like the best version of the greatest game, Labyrinth Lord is right in the sweet spot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Edition Companion (Labyrinth Lord, no-art version)
by James W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2015 15:03:29
The Advanced Edition Companion, or AEC, is a companion to the core Labyrinth Lord rules, playing on the word "companion" as promised in the 1981 B/X rules. But instead of giving us rules for higher levels of play (we already got that in the core LL rules...basic, expert AND companion all wrapped up in one), this book gives us a B/X-style treatment of "advanced" rules. We get the classic 1e classes (Ranger, Monk, Druid, etc.), many more spells, many more magic items, and many more monsters.

And we don't get any more crunch. No combat segments, casting times, or weapon speed. This is basic play with advanced stuff, period.

Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Advanced Edition Companion (Labyrinth Lord, no-art version)
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Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2014 07:54:22
This is the retroclone I keep coming back to. Simple and solid foundation of rules; not too skimpy, but not overbearing. Great layout and artwork as well. While the originals are once again available in PDF, and they're great to have for nostalgic reading, Labyrinth Lord will continue to be my fantasy RPG.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition
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The Tomb of Sigyfel
by Joe J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2014 20:15:03
This one page-ish adventure is really cuts to the meat of Old School RPG. While it is a module for novice adventurers, it is clearly not an introductory module that holds the game master's hand. That's a Good Thing. This little dungeon can be inserted into almost any other place you need a side quest. And the price? You can't bet it.

Dan Proctor is known for his rulebooks, but he's got module designer chops to boot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Tomb of Sigyfel
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Majus
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2013 01:02:01
Another sound Pacesetter RPG. It feels more like a sourcebook even though its a stand alone rpg. The rules for magic use could easily be used for the other Pacesetter game worlds (Cryptworld/Rotworld/Timemaster). On its own though it desperately needs some support products. Its a good game if you like the Blood Shadows, Dresden Files, Cast a Deadly Spell type genre.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Majus
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Cryptworld
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2013 00:54:23
If you are or were a fan of the Original Pacesetter Chill: Adventures into the Unknown RPG then you are gonna love Cryptworld. It truly is the spiritual sucessor of the original, one could even say it's the 3rd edition of the game. if you have access to any of the original modules or sourcebooks they are instantly usable with minor modifications (e.g. XP intead of IP point awards), etc.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cryptworld
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Starships & Spacemen 2e
by Jonas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2013 03:13:06
Starships & Spacemen is roleplaying game of 1960's original series Star Trek with serial numbers filed off. It's rules are based on Labyrinth Lord that is 1980's Dungeons & Dragons serial numbers filed off. Dispite perhaps lacking on originality it does not lack enthusiasm. This game is in short really skillfully put together fan tribute to the TV-show.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starships & Spacemen 2e
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Cryptworld
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2013 13:49:50
This is the horror RPG you have been waiting for. Extremely well produced and nostalgic.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cryptworld
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Majus
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2013 15:44:16
Majus is Goblinoid's venture into urban fantasy, specifically Fantasy Noir. It covers much the same ground as Dresden Files or Mage:the Ascension.

Like other games in the Pacesetter line this one is based around the Action Table. A simple percentile dice roll on a one page table determines the outcome and degree of success of almost any action in the game.

The game is truly Old School in that it sketches but does not detail its background for GMs and players. There is a background included in this game, and it is a good one, but it can easily be ignored without causing major problems.

There are separate systems for Paranormal Talents and Magic. This is because they represent different abilities. Paranormal Talents tend to be narrowly focused psychic abilities. Magical "adits" are broad skills at using Magic to alter reality. Because magic is treated as skills there is no need for pages and pages of spell lists, components, etc. the components, chants, props etc used to invoke magic will vary from Mage to Mage depending on their tradition and training. Powerful and experienced mages may be able to cast magic merely by focusing their will upon the desired result.

The descriptions of the background to the Great Game and the Towers of the Maji are worth reading even if this background will not be use as they contain a number of examples of magical items, enchantments etc which will provide guidance for CMs and players to create their own.

The bestiary chapter includes a number of familiar creatures, but with new origins and abilities. These can provide some surprises for players who think they know it all.

A final note is that the game uses the same mechanics as Chill, Rot World, Crypt World and Time Master allowing elements from those games to be brought into Majus or magic to be brought into those games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Majus
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Majus
by Paul F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2013 16:29:02
The newest game in the Pacesetter line of games from Goblinoid Games treads ground that has been done before and will be done again. Combining the Urban Fantasy and gangster/spy Film Noir genres of the 40s, they have come up with the “Magical Noir” setting of Majus. Players are members of one of several grand conspiracies engaging in the Mehen (Old Game) for the grand prize of the Skein. Select a side, prepare your magical implements, and dive into the world of Majus.

Characters are generated from a random set of stats and choose a small complement of skills, Paranormal Talents (PT), and magical adits to round them out. Neither the PT nor the magical adits hold anything new for the experienced gamer. The character creation chapter also lacks anything about selecting or being inducted into a Tower (one of the grand conspiracies of the setting). The Paranormal Talents and magical adits occupy a very similar space begging the question why weren't they rolled into one core system.

The Pacesetter game system utilizes d10s for everything and a master chart for most combat and conflict resolution. Players can get various degrees of success on the chart which grants them different effects, depending on the task being attempted. The system shows its age with many conceits that were common in the early days of game design but are starting to feel constrictive and a little nonsensical nowadays. The idea of gradated success is the one which I would other games would incorporate directly into their mechanics (a la Alternity).

Majus tries to spread itself across multiple approaches to the setting but fails in the attempt. There are nine Towers and four interpretations of the Skein. Between them they get eight pages in the book. The skills chapter is ten pages. This is the problem with Majus. Too much of the setting is left up to the GM to create from whole cloth. Instead of a fully fleshed out setting we get a bare bones skeleton and an antiquated rule system.

For the retro gamer, the Pacesetter system is there, but there is precious little else in Majus to recommend it. The few nuggets of inspiration are not worth the price of admission. This isn't a bad product, but with the paper-thin setting and the clunky system it doesn't stand out even amongst other retro offerings.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
GORE
by Paul K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2013 23:46:34
Gore is an excellent reincarnation of the old D100 systems. The book has been organised to allow the system to be used for all manner of settings, from fantasy to science fiction, moderrn sleuthing and classcal horror. GORE is clear and concise. An excellent system for those who long for simpler and more approachable set of D100 rules.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GORE
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