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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Shannon M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2014 18:43:14
This game was nominated by Origin for "Best Roleplaying game in 2007".

I played it at Kublacon 2007 and had a great time.

Okay. So what's this game all about?

Think of pulp action stories.

If that doesn't ring a bell, think if movies like INDIANA JONES, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, ROCKETEER, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, DOC SAVAGE, DICK TRACY, KING KONG, JURASSIC PARK, AT THE EARTH'S CORE, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, LOST HORIZON, SHE, THE SHADOW, LAND OF THE LOST, TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY, YOUNG INDIANA JONES and THE TIME MACHINE. Or, think of authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip Jose Farmer, H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

You get the idea.

Action is meant to be fast and furious (you can use special dice that quicken the game), characters are always bigger than life, the villains are meant to also be bigger than life and extra evil (think black and white morality here which means lots of Nazis), the unbelievable becomes believable, science and magic/occult cross paths, dinosaurs walk the Hollow Earth with other types of long past creatures, history can be used or made into an alternative world (i.e. setting is typically early 1900s), various areas still remain unexplored (and are therefore ripe for holding the unknown) and, while Hollow Earth is the main setting, there's enough information here to do something different or even have adventures set in the surface world.

What about characters? Think of fun archetypes from the movies (some here are listed in the core book): Indiana Jones, a cowboy, a big game hunter (who is bored with lions and wants to kill dinosaurs), a curious female reporter (in a man's world and out to prove she's the best), a snooty know it all professor, a dying rich industrialist (looking for the fountain of youth to cure him of his cancer or other disease), a peaceful missionary, a mad scientist, the imperiled actress, the fortune hunter, etc. All have special reasons for desiring to explore Hollow Earth.

I would say the characters are balanced enough, especially if the GM doesn't make it all combat. Most of the characters start not with similar skill levels, of course, but with similar enough ability point distribution (and you can only go so high or low when picking your stats), so, when I played it, even the weakest characters had a fighting chance (though this was based more on surviving than wiping out a more powerful enemy).

Last on characters, there's a good spread of advantages and disadvantages in this game, as well as enough skills and sub specialties to make it interesting for a long term campaign.

Three special highlights of the game come to mind:

1. FLAWS: a flaw is something you play up in the game, like being overconfident in your field or stubborn to the point of it working against you or being a danger magnet (i.e. you attract bad things or go out seeking them). When you play this properly, you get a style point (see number 2).

2. STYLE POINTS: style points can absorb damage, increase your skill ability, sometimes affect the story, give you more of a chance of success in combat or be up to the GM for other matters. One basically gets it for playing their flaws properly, pursuing your motivation, being in character and/or adding to the quality of the game.

3. CHANCE DICE: when the chips are down and you're about to die or get into a very bad situation, you can call on more dice to increase your chances. The only problem is that the number of dice you select makes the obstacle harder to accomplish. As the chance is typically 5-10%, you really only want to use this if you are truly desperate.

OTHER NOTES: this game lets you take your average roll as a default to rolling. Think of it like "taking 10/20" in D.20/D&D. Another thing, similar to D.20/D&D, is that you can use your soft attributes (like intelligence and dexterity, per D&D) in combat with the right talent/advantage that lets you. That's a nice touch for the smart or agile types.

What about knowing the setting? There's some chapters on understanding The Hollow Earth as well as what was taking place in the USA and other countries (focused mostly on 1936 but with some basic overviews back to the very late 1800s). There are special resources in Hollow Earth and there are several organizations on the surface world who want to get them. The big problem is that Hollow Earth is very hard to get to and even harder to leave.

The core book also starts you with NPC stats (villains and allies), a basic adventure, equipment (gotta love the "Tommy" submachine gun), and, of course, a bestiary (yes, it has a T-rex).

Overall, this is a superb game for getting into the spirit of pulp. It does use Hollow Earth as its setting but it implies/lists other settings, and, with all the supplements coming out, GMs can run their games in other settings.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2014 18:53:53
Absolutely fantastic pulp game. I have both the pdf and print copies and both are of excellent quality and are fine additions to my library of games.

There's a newer 6x9 print edition of it available now too which packs a lot of awesome into a convenient size!

If you are at all interested in the pulp genre you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Perils of the Surface World
by Ronald P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2013 09:09:11
This is a compilation of the previously released adventures, that being said they are very good adventures and a must have for any fan of Hollow Earth. These adventures can create a great Segway into the Hollow Earth by starting your players out above ground and then you could tie the end of the adventures into the beginning of an expedition into the Hollow Earth, but remember to leave them with a cliffhanger so they will be clamoring for more.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2013 12:17:52
I DARESAY I MIGHT HAVE ENJOYED THIS PRODUCT WERE I ABLE TO READ IT. When I saw the book version at Gen Con a few years back it looked awesome.

THE PDF IS UNREADABLE on my computer the majority of it looks like a blackhole on the page. I would really love a refund because what I bought from you people was a black book with nifty illustrations in some of the margins!

I WISH YOU PEOPLE HAD A PHONE NUMBER SO I COULD VERBALLY COMPLAIN TO SOMEONE.
Do yourself a favor. If you want this product by it as physical media and not a PDF!

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Perils of the Surface World
by Anthony B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 18:01:06
Perils of the Surface World compiles the four scenarios and optional rules expansions for Hollow Earth Expedition released to date, bringing them all under one spectacular cover. This PDF is the byproduct of producing the compilation in print.

Layout of each adventure is mainly unchanged, but the background 'old page' look has been dropped in favor of a clean white. No bookmarks or hyperlinks are included, which is a surprise. The table of contents lists the adventure content separately from the attendant rules additions so finding what you want is not hard, it's just not as slick as it could be.

The quality, clarity, and excitement content of the adventure material is very high and for HEX fans old and new, should offer a lot of enjoyment. The rules content, designed as optional add-ons to reflect the specific surface world environments and tones of each adventure is also top-notch.

The four included adventures are: Miracle Stone of the Amazon, Frozen City of Terror, Legacy of the Terra Arcanum, and Five Talons of the Jade Dragon.

The supporting optional rules are: Faith and Miracles, Horror and Infection, New Sorcery Rituals, Vehicles, and Artifacts, and Martial Arts.

This is an incredible value in terms of roleplayed bang for buck for those who do not already have the 4 adventures. The convenience of having them all in one place may also be attractive to those who do.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Surface World
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Perils of the Surface World
by Roger J. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2013 18:03:01
A brief observation: it might be nice to let potential buyers know that this is actually a collection of the four adventures previously released individually, to avoid someone making the mistake of buying the same scenarios twice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Perils of the Surface World
by richard s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2013 16:44:38
love it! been waiting to read "Jade Dragon" for some time now and i am not disappointed by what i have read so far. each adventure adds some wonderful flavor to the Hollow Earth world, with some exciting new rules and a few monsters and villains to keep a party on it's toes and the four new characters are a nice addition to the game.
thanks Jeff and company...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Ken D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2013 19:15:00
A thoroughly enjoyable book. Really well put together and a joy to read.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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Frozen City of Terror
by Mac S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2011 08:44:45
Although it was not the adventure I had hoped it to be, it read thru easy and looks to be a great romp on the ice. It does have a taste of " the Thing" in it's storyline which I was not prepared for, so make sure the party is prepared for the possibility of mass devastation. But I am looking forward to sending out the message to my players of a danger on the South Pole that calls for their immediate attention.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Frozen City of Terror
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Miracle Stone of the Amazon
by James P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2011 11:25:32
At last! Official Hollow Earth adventures. I was very pleased with this purchase. The story was good and had a strong Indiana Jones feel to it. The flavour text was all well written and did a good job of creating the mood for the adventure and there was a good mixture of encounter types. Recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Miracle Stone of the Amazon
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Frozen City of Terror
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/25/2011 10:31:33
Iron Nugget
Hollow Earth Expedition: The Frozen City of Terror takes a group of investigators from a simple rescue into the bowels of a creepy experience. The straight forward adventure is perfect for a one shot. In the adventure, the PCs are investigating a missing research team in the frigid unknown of Antarctica.

One of the most important things that a writer can do when trying to write an adventure in a modern setting with supernatural elements embedded in is to perform enough research so that the setting feels authentic. If the PCs do not feel that the setting is real, you can ruin the creepy, terror atmosphere you are trying to create. The writers succeed admirably at this task, reinventing a better setting and plot than the flop of a movie Whiteout.

This adventure may not fit in an ongoing campaign, as it restricts archetypes and stays fairly straight forward. However, as a one shot, the isolation of the setting brings a feeling of anything can happen, which is what you want when running a one shot.

In the end, players will enjoy the several twists in the story and the strong prose writing.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Frozen City of Terror
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Frozen City of Terror
by Ronald P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2011 20:39:50
Exile hit this one out of the park! Horror is my favorite genre and now I can use one of my favorite gaming systems to run horror based games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Miracle Stone of the Amazon
by Ronald P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2011 20:37:51
This is a great scenario for the Hollow Earth game. I have been a huge fan of the game setting and system from day one and now I can run a great adventure for my group when I don't feel like making my own. This definately worth the money and you will not be disapointed.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Miracle Stone of the Amazon
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Miracle Stone of the Amazon
by Plugh P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2010 22:39:11
This is Exile Game Studio's first published adventure.

Pros: It's a good story, first of all, with a couple of surprising twists. The art is minimal, but in a pdf, is a bonus. There's no wasted fornt cover image, the art at the top flows directly into the text. Adds rules for miracles, and a couple of artifacts.

Cons: Not everybody likes hunting down rules in various adventures, though that's not really a reason not to buy it. I would have liked more originality in the artifacts. It's a Surface World adventure. I certainly hope that the company is also working on some official adventures taking place within the hollow earth.

If I could, it'd be a 4.5, but I'll round up to a 5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
by Shawn H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2008 20:25:58
This an an AMAZING product. When it comes to PULP...these guys didn't write A book, the wrote THE BOOK!

10 out of 10!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollow Earth Expedition RPG
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