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Other comments left for this publisher:
Thrilling Tales 2e: Secret Squadron Membership
by bruce b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2010 17:33:03
Good product. poor delivery. I paid $40 for 6 'episodes' that run $2 a piece...I'm still waiting for the rest. I guess I have to complain in public on the Savage Worlds forums to get the remaining material.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Thrilling Tales 2e: Secret Squadron Membership
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THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2010 16:40:59
OK - This is a good product and I would like to say some good things about how good its goodness is. I bought Zepplin Adventures for $1 during a crazy sale by Adamant Entertainment. I got a real bargain. This adventure includes useable plans of a ridgid airship (which is why I bought it). WIth that, you get an adventure fit for Indiana Jones. You get spies. You get action. You get a lost island with dinosaurs. You get a dessert topping! (OK - actually no dessert topping.). There is a lot more to this product than initially meets the eye. At $7.95 I would rate it at three stars and say that your 20 Modern money could be spent here. At $1 (yes, one dollar) I was immensely pleased and I would easily give it five stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
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THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: PERILS OF THE ORIENT
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 21:40:26
Overall, I rather liked this one. While I see the justice of some of the other reviewers' critiques, it seems to me that they were expecting an awful lot from a 40+ page supplement. It seems clear from the context of the book, that while the Oriental villain is FROM China (or at least the far east), he isn't supposed to be encountered IN China. He's here in the United States (or perhaps Great Britain) pursuing his nefarious ends, and to that end most of the material included in the supplement is highly useful, especially including the information on the Tongs and Chinatowns. The various minions and henchmen in the text take up a lot of space, but then, you would expect an Oriental mastermind to HAVE lot's of varied minions and henchmen, so again, it seems like no problem, and, while I will admit the fiction provided as an intro in the first ten pages took up a lot of space, it was well enough written that I really don't see it as a problem either.

Like the supplements on the Nazis and the Thugee, this one provides a sufficiency of information to permit you to at least establish the concept of the Fu Manchu-like villain; though if you plan to make such a villain a major part in your campaign, you'll clearly want to do a lot more research on the subjects briefly touched on in this volume -- just as you would need to with the Nazis and the Thugee. The technical detail provided gives you plenty of information to use in your search (the Wikipedia article on Mongolian Death Worms is an interesting read), as well as providing enough information to play even without exhaustive additional research. The illustrations are evocative and add to the feel of the material. As usual, DriveThru has done an excellent job reproducing the material, and the entire product was legible, readable and viewable. Overall, I have to give this one a "4."

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: PERILS OF THE ORIENT
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THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: THUGEE
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 18:42:43
This is actually a pretty good little sourcebook on the cult of the Thugee. This was the cult in the second of the Indiana Jones movies and the information provided herein allows you to approach the cult from several angles, depending on how you want things to play out in your universe and on what kind of campaign you're running. The history of the actual end of the Thugee is as fascinating a story as any in real history and the variations on that theme provided by this book are excellent and well thought out. Details of the cult are provided, though a more thorough treatment of the ceremonies involved in the cult might have helped play out some of those crisis moments a little more enthusiastically and "realistically" in the game.

Technical information is generally good, with descriptions of the various organizations that you might want to have your cult use, as well as various motivations for the people in charge of the cult. The NPC's provided (while not of much use to me, since I use these supplements to add to my Call of Cthulhu campaign) would clearly be very interesting to play in just about any campaign, but perhaps even more so in a campaign set in the 1890's.

There are a lot of plot hooks in this volume, and generally speaking I have to say that I felt like I got my money's worth on this one. The quality of the graphic reproduction by DriveThru meets their usual high standards, and, overall, I thought this one was pretty well done. There really weren't any big detractors for me on this one, barring the lack of information on the inner workings of the cult. While some of that may simply be unknown, I suspect that a little more research on the author's part might have brought to light all sorts of useful speculation on the part of the British authorities. Still, this one easily earns a solid "4" for its workmanlike nature and general usefulness!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: THUGEE
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THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: NAZIS
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 18:13:50
This is a good, basic, description of the Nazi menace in pulp adventure. As many others have pointed out here, it's hardly and exhaustive discussion, and much of the information included should simply serve to drive the conscientious GM onto the web to look up extra information for him/herself.

There are a large number of excellent plot hooks in this volume, and plenty of ideas on how to work the villains into your campaign. While I don't actually play Thrilling Tales, I do use the information contained in these volumes to help liven up my Call of Cthulhu scenarios -- and while this one is more clearly than most set in the mid- to late-30's, eventually (if they live long enough) my players will get there. And what will they think about the Nazis after confronting eldritch horrors for over a decade and a half? Hmmm.

The technical data included in the book is excellent and generally restricted to the time period being discussed -- no anomalous Tiger tanks here! And while I suppose you could accuse the authors of some mindless pedantry if you're so inclined, I generally felt they did a good job of selecting the material included and described in this supplement. The "bad guys" range from your average SA thug to more dangerous opponents including the ever-popular Nazi Sorcerer (by all means, check out "Ahnenerbe" on the web -- you'll be surprised!)

Still, there were a few surprising gaps in the volume, but an assiduous GM should be able to fill them in with little or no trouble if he's just curious enough to spend an evening surfing the web. DriveThru did their usual excellent job or reproducing this one -- no problems reading any of the material or viewing any of the art work. The biggest problem I had with this one is that it was too short. It could have easily been twice as long without wasting any space. Still, a good solid "4" effort.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: NAZIS
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THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 17:41:40
Well, that pisses me off! I just finished writing a thorough and articulate review of this thing only to have the web page delete it. Rather than go back and try to recreate it (your loss, DriveThru), I'll just hit the high points:

Scenarios -- sort of dull and ho-hum -- failed to live up to their promise, despite enough wrinkles to potentially make them truly awesome. Too regimented and requires the players to follow the script pretty closely to have any possibility of winning (or, in at least one case, even surviving) the scenarios. Yes, I know this is pulp, and we're supposed to give them the chance to overwhelm fate with their two good fists, but the scenarios require more work from the GM than they should have to make that happen. Plus too many opportunities to explore other facets of the scenarios were ignored in pushing the players towards the desired conclusion -- especially in the second scenario.

Graphics -- disappointing, few illustrations of the zeppelins and most of those too small to read without a magnifying glass (thank God for the zoom button on Adobe); plus in at least one case it looks like a simple reproduction of what Chaosium originally published in their first edition of Call of Cthulhu back in the 80's. Several of the pictures and maps were pixilated as well, making them harder to read than they should have been.

Technical Content -- overall excellent -- the authors provided statistics and brief descriptions of most of the rigid airships of the day, as well as additional aircraft and weapons from the '30's including the German "potato masher" hand grenade and various machine-pistols and rifles of the era.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
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Book of Secrets
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 15:48:15
Absolutely brilliant. This is the kind of thing that I wish I'd had 20 years ago! I hope they'll do more of these kinds of prop builders in the future. Mind you, I built some mean matchbooks and other things back in the day -- learned a lot about how to "forge" old looking documents along the way! But this is really helpful. The layering allows you to select from several different texts and symbols as well as a couple of paper types and a few "spatters" (of blood and less identifiable fluids) as well as a really cool hand print. All in all you can create some truly excellent prop books, focusing, admittedly, primarily on the "grimoire" school of book writing. However, if you use just the paper types, you could easily create a blank looking journal (with a suitable blood spatter here and there) and write in the text yourself (perhaps copying from some other player handout from a campaign or scenario you are running). All in all, this is a truly useful product -- and the "instructable" in the back on how to make a hard-back book is excellent to -- and should give you some excellent ideas for additional books as required. (There's a whole web site of instructables out there -- even one on how to build a real secret room, if you want to take your prop building THAT far!)

As usual Empty Room Studios took excellent advantage of the capabilities of Adobe Acrobat Reader -- the layers allow you to create roughly 32 different kinds of covers for the book alone and if you use all the different texts and symbols and paper types and spatters, you can probably create several hundred different pages of text and symbols. The only thing that would have made this better is allowing you to type in your own text and THEN print, though if you have an old manual typewriter at your disposal (especially a non-electric one), then you can do some pretty cool work anyway.

DriveThru did their usual exceptional job of reproducing this one (though in the case of Empty Room products, I'm pretty sure it came that way), and overall I'm going to rate this one a "5" (even though I never give play aids anything higher than a "4") simply due to its incredible flexibility and usefulness. Good job!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Secrets
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Hard Boiled - City Tiles 3
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2010 15:18:09
I ran across the Hard Boiled series purely by accident, and I must say it is an impressive bit of work. They take full advantage of the capabilities of Adobe Acrobat to layer information on their maps. Heck you can even turn the background (that is, the underlying map itself) on and off! In this particular map pack, they even have a secret staircase you can turn on and off.

An extra addition that is amazing (though also amazingly large) is the .TIFF files they provide, allowing you to print the maps on a truly large scale and still receive the pixel definition that makes them look almost perfect. All in all, this is an amazing player aid. Over time I am gradually purchasing all of their 20th century stuff for use in an on-going Call of Cthulhu campaign, and even their "Base Sets" will seemingly come in handy.

Between the City streets, the Docks, The Shearwater, The Church (and graveyard), the Apartments, a rumored soon-to-be produced Airport, and this one, we have a steadily growing cityscape we can use to depict our adventures in urban areas in the roaring 20's and two-fisted '30's. Now if we can just talk them into doing a subway and sewers set and a skyscraper or two, we'd have just about everything we need!

DriveThru did their usual excellent job of reproducing the material and it was easy to use and download. Of course, as usual, this is merely a player aid, so I'll only give it a "4" overall due to the lack of detail that you need to fully flesh it out -- but if I could rate player aids on a different scale from everything else, this one would probably earn a "6!" :-)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hard Boiled - City Tiles 3
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Hard Boiled - City Tiles 3
by jeff m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2010 02:51:55
I ran across these pulp styled adventure tiles the other day at RPGNOW.
They are a great resource for any Pulp game. Of course they could be easily used for just about any modern/supers/horror setting as well but they're gonna be used for Pulp (specifically Dicey Tales) here at the Lair!
I bought Craven Manor and The Docks set. The dock set printed up beautifully. they look like they come straight out of an old Robert Mitchum movie like Macau. The PDF's are layered for complete customization. they also include a nice set of crates and cars and furnishings. Both of these tile sets are packed with value and as your going through them your mind will just start coming up with adventures to use them with on the spot. Did I mention that the manor set has a hidden laboratory and cells for prisoners? well it does!
I have plans for both of these set and for the Rumored "Airfield" set that is supposed to see release soon- till then check out what this line has to offer.
Two thumbs up from The Evil DM!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hard Boiled - The Docks
by jeff m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2010 02:49:52
I ran across these pulp styled adventure tiles the other day at RPGNOW.
They are a great resource for any Pulp game. Of course they could be easily used for just about any modern/supers/horror setting as well but they're gonna be used for Pulp (specifically Dicey Tales) here at the Lair!
I bought Craven Manor and The Docks set. The dock set printed up beautifully. they look like they come straight out of an old Robert Mitchum movie like Macau. The PDF's are layered for complete customization. they also include a nice set of crates and cars and furnishings. Both of these tile sets are packed with value and as your going through them your mind will just start coming up with adventures to use them with on the spot. Did I mention that the manor set has a hidden laboratory and cells for prisoners? well it does!
I have plans for both of these set and for the Rumored "Airfield" set that is supposed to see release soon- till then check out what this line has to offer.
Two thumbs up from The Evil DM!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hard Boiled - The Docks
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Imperial Age Magick
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2010 05:00:04
Provides a campaign-building resource with several different, sound-looking options for more limited magic, along with historical notes, references, miscellaneous period flavour and campaign suggestions.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Imperial Age Magick
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Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition (Savage Worlds)
by Katrina R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2010 07:15:41
This is an amazing book that is a must have for Savage Worlds Pulp. Not only does it give you all the information you need to run a pulp flavored game, but it also gives a large amount of info on the 1930's themselves. The section on 1930 styles cars and the bullet pointed list of historical events of the 1930s were especially useful.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition (Savage Worlds)
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THRILLING TALES: Gamemaster's Guide to Pulp Adventure
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2010 19:18:41
I picked this up to give me some ideas on running pulp-content scenarios in my Call of Cthulhu campaign. I wan not disappointed. This is an excellent summation with enough information to permit the GM to run pulp style adventures for just about any system, and the scenario generator, though a bit mechanistic, does allow the GM to create a basic outline which he can then flesh out with as many plot twists and turns as he has time to develop.

The essay on why Pulp is not a "genre," while interesting, used space that could have been better spent elsewhere. Frankly I don't care as much whether my label usage is "correct" as I do about the nuts and bolts of running an adventure. Perhaps replacing this with more information on the Cliffhanger style of play or a more in depth discussion of how to create fleshed out scenarios using the scenario generator (such as clue placement, etc, etc) might have been a better use of the time and space.

As usual, DriveThru did a bang-up job reproducing the document and I had no problems with legibility or bleed through or anything like that. I'll give this one a good, solid "4."

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Gamemaster's Guide to Pulp Adventure
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THRILLING TALES: Suddenly...Encounters
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2010 19:05:00
Actually, I got this for some ideas on things I could do to spice up my Call of Cthulhu campaigns (my group tends to be more adventurous than the stereotypically pedantic "Investigators" that CoC tends to focus on).

I was very pleasantly surprised. The material is descriptive enough by its nature to not be limited to the Thrilling Tales game or D20 system. The materials is complete and provides enough of a feel for the events (and some possible motivations and outcomes) that it is very easy to place them in any system. All in all, it was a surprisingly good job of providing some one-off encounters with ramifications beyond the expected for the players.

As usual, DriveThru's reproduction of the material was exceptional. All things considered, this one clearly deserves a "4."

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Suddenly...Encounters
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The Imperial Age: True20 Edition
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2010 12:28:09
True 20 is becoming the perfect solution for all sorts of Modern d20 based games for me and Imperial Age shows why. The rules are adapted from the Imperial Age supplements for d20, so a lot here has been seen before, but all of it looks new through the lens of True 20.
All the Imperial Age products ooze style and this one is no different. There may be better Victorian Age games out there, but one can't deny that this is a great product and a welcome addition to any Victorian gaming library.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Imperial Age: True20 Edition
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