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The Magnificent Joop van Ooms
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/16/2012 10:40:12
I just finished James Raggi's The Magnificent Joop van Ooms.
The design, layout and artwork were very nice indeed.
And the writing made it an enjoyable read.
A mini sourcebook for DMs to make their own Death Art Dooms.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Magnificent Joop van Ooms
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Shadowrun: 2050
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/21/2012 08:00:24
As a fan of the original FASA Shadowrun, published in 1989, I was really excited to see a sourcebook for Shadowrun 4e set in the original setting. While I understand the logic in updating the technology of the 2074 setting to reflect real world advancements between the 1980s and 2012, for me Cyberpunk works best like Steampunk - a retro futuristic setting. It's the dark future, as imagined in the 1980s.

As much as I like the setting of the original game, I have to admit that the 4th edition rules are an improvement and easier to learn. With an excellent (and free!) set of Quickstart rules it's also better for getting new players up to speed with the system.

The 2050 Sourcebook includes setting information for players who started with the current edition and are unfamiliar with the world of Deckers, Lonestar, Maria Mercurial and the Renraku Arcology. It also has rules for the old school Decking, Magic, Gear and starting characters. There are a few minor differences between the character selection here and in the original book - there are more Meta Humans, and an Adept instead of a Gang Member, but overall it has the same feel as the 1st edition selection.

I was planning on running a game of old school Shadowrun with the original rules, but the 2050 sourcebook has convinced me to switch to the 4th edition instead.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: 2050
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Knockspell #5
Publisher: Mythmere Games
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/28/2011 19:57:05
This is a really fun periodical and I look forward to new issues being available. It reminds me of the D&D magazine I used to read back in the 80s and is filled with the same kind of material. Interesting articles, new monsters and spells, and a couple of neat adventures. I highly recommend spending the $5 for this PDF especially if you have an iPad or other E-book reader you can transfer your PDF to. Sitting with a cup of coffee and reading an old school gaming magazine is great.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knockspell #5
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Tobyart 2: Warriors
Publisher: Postmortem Studios
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/05/2010 20:30:09
This is some of my favorite stock artwork that I've seen posted on RPGNow. Excellent rendering and good use of black and white and solid line work lets the images "read" at even small sizes.

Definitely a bit more heroic comicbook style than some other work I've seen, but there's lots of room for that in the hobby and I think this will be a popular product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tobyart 2: Warriors
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LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/10/2010 08:11:33
I've really enjoyed reading the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing game so far. It's a new, traditional style RPG, based on the solid foundation of 1st edition RPGs you're likely familiar with already. However, unlike other "retro clones" which can have a sameness and vanilla fantasy quality to them, this game has a strong authorial voice and the implied setting is much darker and more "weird fantasy" than most fantasy RPGs.

What I particularly enjoyed about LotFPWFRPG (that's some acronym) was seeing the new ideas being brought to a traditional game. It's these interesting additions and changes that make me most interested in reading more of the book - where other "old school" products tend to just get used as reference and are largely left unread. The unified d6 based skill system, and accompanying character sheet design was a nice surprise, as was the Choose Your Own Adventure style tutorial adventure to teach new (and old) players how the game works. The LotFP take on the Thief -- the Specialist class -- is also nicely done. I can see many of these ideas making their way into other Traditional RPG games in the near future.

The PDFs are not the same layout as what you'd get in the boxed set, and I have somewhat mixed feelings about that. If you're planning on just using them on the screen then you'll be very happy with them. They're formatted in a single column so they're much easier to read with a landscape format monitor. However, if you wanted to print them or view them on an iPad or portrait format monitor, while quite serviceable they're not as nice as what you'd find in print.

Having said that the PDFs are only $12.50 which is a very reasonable price for so much gaming material. The artwork that accompanies them is also much higher quality than many games you'll find at that price point as well.

Overall I'd highly recommend this game to anyone who's taste in RPGs tends towards the rules light and setting dark.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Deluxe Edition
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The Gaslight Equipment Catalogue
Publisher: Chaosium
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/08/2010 20:21:37
Although written for Call of Cthulhu, this is a fantastic resource for any historical game set during the Victorian era (including the Wild West). I had spent a bit of time researching similar info for my own games but I'm thrilled that Chaosium has made this available -- It's so much more extensive and complete!

In addition to lists of items and prices theres also valuable info on the years certain things were invented. This makes it a good resource for world building and campaign design in general.

While it has a simple design and layout the book more than makes up for this in information and utility. If a book of "Victorian Era Equipment" for an RPG sounds like something you could use in your game - this will make you very happy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gaslight Equipment Catalogue
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Initial Guidelines Booklet I (1976)
Publisher: Judges Guild
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/27/2010 20:19:15
Wow! This is great - like an RPG time capsule from 1976. Scans of the in-house copy of what would one-day become The City State of the Invincible Overlord. The layout is pretty unforgiving with a solid wall of text greeting the casual reader with only 2 small maps to serve as "illustrations". Despite this it's a fascinating document to look through with plenty of interesting ideas, rules and charts that are still quite useful for running a city based adventure. This booklet could easily be 2 or 3 times the page count if the text were more generously spaced out - there's a lot to digest in a relatively small number of pages.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Initial Guidelines Booklet I (1976)
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OUBLIETTE Issue 3
Publisher: Gold Piece Publications
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/24/2010 20:58:38
I like Oubliette. It's not as polished as Dragon Magazine, or even Fight On! or Knockspell, but it has a great DIY / Zine enthusiasm to it that I really enjoy. I'm not sure I enjoy the comics as much as the gaming content, but that's part of the charm of a zine.

This issue is all about Barbarians for Labyrinth Lord (a retro-clone of B/X D&D) with gaming fiction, a new character class, and a barbarian themed adventure.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
OUBLIETTE Issue 3
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Introduction to Space: 1889
Publisher: Heliograph, Inc.
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/23/2010 20:47:03
My boxed set of Sky Galleons of Mars has been one of the quirkier parts of my gaming library since I won it at a Demo game in 1989. It contained this intro to Space: 1889 and I also had an opportunity to play in a Demo game for the RPG.

Space: 1889 was about 20 years ahead of it's time. Back in the 80s nobody had heard of "Steampunk" and the idea of alternate history Victorian Science Fiction seemed pretty weird to a lot of gamers. Today it's a very different story, so it's nice to see this being made available again.

If Steampunk, Pith Helmets and/or Flying Ships are your thing, this is a great game and worth checking out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Introduction to Space: 1889
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BattleTech: Vintage Rulebook Bundle
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/23/2010 13:16:39
I think of all the products I've seen posted on DriveThruRPG this is the one I've been most excited about to date. I started playing Battletech in the mid-80s with the original boxed set. Over the years I've come and gone from the game, but always had a soft spot for it and from time to time get out my miniatures and start painting again. I'm thrilled that Catalyst have made all the vintage rules available in one place to download. Looking through the rules and how they changed over the years gets me excited about this game again, and curious about checking out the newest version. For the $12 they're asking for this I can't recommend it highly enough.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Vintage Rulebook Bundle
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Hornet: Engine/Cargo Module
Publisher: Wydraz
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/11/2010 22:35:46
A nice free battlemat of a spaceship cargo hold. The map uses 3D models and photorealistic textures for many of the accessories like the engine, while using more basic shapes for walls and doors. My personal taste would be for a more consistent style, either photorealistic or basic shapes, to improved the overall effect - although that might not be as much of an issue when printed. At any rate the price ($0) is certainly right, and I'm sure this will be helpful for many scifi gamers.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hornet: Engine/Cargo Module
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WorldWorks Games / TerrainlinX / Treasures and Tombs
Publisher: WorldWorks Games
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/11/2010 21:53:35
If you're going to go to the effort of painting your own minis it's nice to have some great looking terrain to go with them. This is a good set to get started with if you're new to paper models since some of the more advanced models can be a bit intimidating for a beginner. WorldWorks Games create some excellent textures, but more importantly I appreciate that they really think about the process of building these models and take into account that you might want to mount your tiles and walls on something a bit more durable like foam core. The TerrainLinx system of joining board sections together is a very nice addition, as is the choice of scale (1" or 1.5") squares your minis will fit into. Part of me wishes the statues were a bit more "3D" and not part of the wall, so I'm considering printing that piece again and mounting those bits on foamcore so that they "project" out from the wall a bit.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WorldWorks Games / TerrainlinX / Treasures and Tombs
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Crescent Moon Tavern Paper Model
Publisher: Dave Graffam Models
by Stuart R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/11/2010 21:37:29
This is a great paper model and really adds a lot to your gaming table. There's a lot of attention to detail, such as the underside of the roof being nicely textured, and enough variety in shapes and angles to give it a more natural appearance without it looking like a little paper box. This was one of the first of Dave's models that I built and I had a lot of fun putting it together. For such a nice model I'd suggest printing it on the highest quality printer you have access to (I used a copy shop) and a nice thick cardstock.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crescent Moon Tavern Paper Model
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