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RPG Background Loops MP3: Villain's Spaceship Bridge
RPG Background Loops MP3: Villain's Spaceship Bridge
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USR Cyberpunk
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/03/2014 09:56:47
To be used in conjunction with the Unbelievably Simple Role-playing system, this provides the resources and game mechanics necessary for running a cyberpunk game.

Beginning with a very brief introduction to the cyberpunk genre, it then launches in to creating a cyberpunk character under the USR rules. This is, as you might imagine, really straightforward. Core attributes are Action, Wits and Ego, with subsiduary ones being Hits and Humanity. The primary attribues each have a die assigned to them, one each of a d10, a d8 and a d6 - choose depending on what you intend your strength to be. You complete character generation by picking three Specialisms, skills you are particularly good at, these give you an initial +2 to a roll of the appropriate die for the controlling Attribute for that Specialism. The one oddball Specialism is Weapon Proficiency, which only gives a +1 to your roll.Then you need equipment and cyberwear, and to write some background for your character. That's it. Pretty simple.

The next chapter deals with Character Archetypes - the standard cyberpunk ones of a Face, a Hacker, a Mechanic and assorted combat types. Each comes with a brief overview of their role and suggestions as to Specialisms. The following chapter gives more detail on each Specialism. Throughout, players are encouraged to invent their own Archetypes and Specialisms so as to create precisely the sort of character they'd like to play.

Then there is a chapter on Weapons and Armour. Each weapon gets a modifier to an attack roll, and has a range, possible special features and a cost. Armour negates a certain amount of damage if you're unlucky enough to get hit.

The next section is on Cyberwear, which includes 'OverNet Decks' - the interface Hackers use to connect with the OverNet, this game's term for what the internet has become. Other Cyberwear includes sensory enhancements and body enhancements/replacements... but no implanted weapons.

Next up, Hacking, which gives a quite comprehensive overview of how to go about it in terms of game mechanics, and is followed by chapters on Writing Software and Viruses. It's good to see a cyberpunk system go into plenty of detail, often the poor Hacker is neglected in favour of more action-based characters. Here, the software creation system gives the Hacker something to do apart from actually messing about online - although if you know many serious coders, you'll know that they can be as uncommunicative when writing code as the popular image of a cyberpunk Hacker netrunning!

Another classic aspect of cyberpunk culture comes next: Drugs. A lot of those presented provide enhancement to mind or body (at least until the effects wear off), and quite a few of these are actually street-legal. There's also a brief note on creating your own.

Next there is an overview of life in a cyberpunk world, and the work finishes with a couple of example characters.

For a cut-down basic ruleset, this has most of what you need although it is best if you already have a clear idea of what 'cyberpunk' means, the overview of life in a cyberpunk world is quite thin.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
USR Cyberpunk
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Grave Undertakings: The Tomb of Caragthax [Revised]
Publisher: Total Party Kill Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/01/2014 12:34:59
I never saw the original version of The Tomb of Caragthax, but apparently it was one of Total Party Kill Games's very first adventures and by all accounts deadly enough to be worthy of the company name! Now its back, revised to accommodate both advances in the Pathfinder RPG and the improved capabilities of its publisher... starting with the magnificent cover art that almost reaches of the page to grab at you, and almost doubled in size.

The backstory presents a picture that would surely scare even the bravest adventurer, and deterr them from entering the cairn the discovery of whose entrance is the starting point of the adventure, did they but know it. Keep this to yourself! Three 'hooks' are provided to sucker them in. Whichever one you use, they will soon find themselves at a small circle of stones, in the centre of which is a sinkhole, through which they can see some steps leading down into darkness...

And the fun begins! Each location, event or encounter is well-resourced with 'read aloud' text, appropriate stat blocks and tactical notes to accommodate just about any character reaction. That said, the nature of the adventure's opening event means that you will need to be on your toes and well-prepared to deal with what is to follow. Without giving too much away, the party gets split up and you will have to manage individual characters as they strive to regroup with their fellow adventurers.

There is a nice touch in that when they have managed to do so and cleaned out the crypt they suddenly discover that it is by no means over and there is an even more fateful foe to fight (and a whole other complex to explore). It is suggested that adventurers should be at 5th level when you begin this adventure, and that they be allowed to level up to 6th for the second part... suffice to say they'll need it.

If you relish truly deadly dungeons and are not afraid of inflicting a Total Party Kill (it's quite possible here), this is an excellent example. You might prefer to run it as a one-off with characters created for the occasion, though.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grave Undertakings: The Tomb of Caragthax [Revised]
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Bosun's Booty: Extras for Journeys to the West (Pathfinder RPG)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/31/2014 10:32:43
If you cannot get enough adventure on the high seas (you are not alone), this work contains four complete new islands in Midgard's Western Ocean (already featured in Journeys to the West and Pirates of the Western Ocean) along with a glorious 2-page map, more monsters, a selection of NPCs and more.

The islands are described as 'lesser' but come provided with a wealth of information on history, geography, interesting locations and notable inhabitants. There's a nice colour map too... everything you need to facilitate a visit by the party to the island in question. Even better, there are interesting features to investigate and full-blown adventure hooks to kick matters off to a flying start. Snippets of poems and songs, and exerpts from the journals of one Bellalucca Caravicci adorn the pages too, building up a rich and living background that you can present to your players.

If you enjoy Bellalucca Caravicci's contributions, she is also written up as a full NPC, perhaps the party will meet her - maybe even feature in future journals!

The monsters are fascinating and unusual... the Diving Bell Spider (which traps air in its webs so as to live underwater although it's air-breathing!) and the Carnivorous Ship stand out, but there are other intriguing creatures there to meet/fight with.

Finally, there's a full plan of a galleon: views of each deck from above and a side elevation which helps you make sense of the layout.

A good addition to the Western Ocean, and even if you don't play in Midgard the islands could be located in any suitable sea with little modification - and of course the NPCs, monsters and the galleon are useful wherever you play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bosun's Booty: Extras for Journeys to the West (Pathfinder RPG)
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No Quarter Presents: Iron Kingdoms Urban Adventure
Publisher: Privateer Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/30/2014 09:47:33
Urban adventures are always fun, never more so than in a steampunk campaign. This product contains a wealth of material for taking your Iron Kingdoms game onto the city streets, from new skills and classes for your characters to detailed background information on cities and an urban-based adventure for the GM. As such, the GM is going to have to look over the book and decide which bits the players will be allowed to access.

First up, Urban Adaptation looks at new careers for non-human races living in urban areas. Ogrun, for example, can put their strength to use as labourers as well as on the battlefield, while gobbers seem tailor-made for a role as Guttersnipes, surviving on petty theft and information brokering. Both ogrun and trollkin make formidable Pugilists, fighting to entertain their betters or working as doormen to some of the dodgier nightspots and gambling dens. Those interested in more legitimate careers might, if dwarves, become Searforge Traders with unmatched negotiation skills whilst an iosan might become a Seeker, a religious sect whose quest for knowledge can lead them down strange paths with even stranger company. Some nyss find that their natural hunting skills translate well to life on the streets as Urban Nomads. Each career comes with all the details needed to create and play a character - skills, assets, abilities and background notes on what it's like to be one. This chapter also has a selection of new abilities, mostly open to characters of any profession or race.

Next comes Urban Gear, being a collection of useful items that any urban adventurer may find of use. Weapons, equipment, alchemical substances... you name it, it might be found here. Characters who enjoy shopping will revel in these delights.

This is followed by a chapter on Urban Combat. This has lots of ideas about brawling effectively in an urban area, as well as the necessary game mechanics to make it happen. Things like using a large sword in tight quarters as well as an extensive section on unarmed combat - carrying an arsenal around with you is not always practical, socially acceptable or even legal in a city environment after all! Such skills can also be used in the arena by those who fight for pay. Also covered are improvised weapons - you may need to defend yourself with whatever comes to hand in an emergency.

Next up, Urban Labourjacks - with an array of new uses and modifications suitable for urban workplaces such as foundaries and manufactories.

We then move on to Five Fingers: A Concise Guide to the Port of Deceit. History, a beautiful map and copious notes on what it is like to live and work in the city, or just visit it for a few days. Crime, law, the Watch, and the costs of doing business are covered. There's also the chance to meet some leading citizens and notable organisations, before a detailed breakdown of the city island by island. The wealth of information here sparks plenty of ideas for adventures embedded in the life of the city... indeed this section is best kept for the GM (and possibly players of characters who are natives born and bred of Five Fingers).

Now we are into GM territory proper, with a collection of Urban Encounters which can be used as passing events, side-adventures or even full-blown plot-driving elements of your campaign as appropriate to your needs. In-character hooks are provided in the shape of news snippets, then there are notes about what is really going on and suggestions for what adventures or activities this situation might engender. Even outline stats for people involved are included.

Next, The Servants of Thamar introduces the cult of a dark goddess popular in the underbelly of crowded cities. As well as a description of the cult and its beliefs and practices, there are the necessary details for creating and running a cult member, spells and new abilities... and more. Not all of it nice - they practise necromancy amongst other unsavoury habits.

A chapter on Risk and Reward follows, a study of criminal activity and criminal enterprises, spreading well beyond the city limits and across all of the Iron Kingdoms. There's a comparative table of punishments in different cities and kingdoms - for all, it's best just not to get caught!

Finally, a full-blown adventure called Friends In High Places. It's designed for characters newly-arrived in Five Fingers - always a neat move, as characters and their players can learn about their new surroundings together, rather than players trying to cope with an unfamiliar setting that their characters have lived in for years. It's an exciting ride of gang warfare and intrigue, with plenty of action and opportunities to establish the party as a new force in town.

Overall, recommended for anyone running the Iron Kingdoms RPG especially if cities and the associated opportunities for intrigue and high-octane action appeal.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Quarter Presents: Iron Kingdoms Urban Adventure
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Super-Powered: Operation: Marshal Law
Publisher: Misfit Studios
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/29/2014 12:20:29
In a world where superpowered characters - villains and heroes alike - are to be found, it is necessary for official law and order organisations to adapt to the new threats and opportunities they pose... and the US Marshal Service is no exception. After all, governments never feel comfortable leaving things to vigilante groups, so law enforcement agencies need to prepare themselves to cope.

This product details how the US Marshal Service has changed, both in developing new doctrines for dealing with supervillains and in recruiting superpowered individuals into the service. This recruitment programme is known as Operation Marshal Law. Here we have notes on the recruitment and training process, as well as the roles superpowered US Marshals are likely to fill within the organisation. As this programme is in its infancy, it is unlikely that there will be many veteran superheroes who have done a stint with the Marshal Service, but characters might be approached with a job offer. For a campaign with an organised approach to law enforcement, the party could all be US Marshals - a move which makes it easy to direct the superheroes to undertake missions and gives a framework to their activities. (And, of course, rules and codes of practice which they'd better not transgress...)

Mechanically, becoming a US Marshal requires characters to obtain a Professional Edge US Marshal, reflecting the training they undergo. This includes a +2 Charisma bonus when exerting their authority as Federal Agents. A local office is described, including the resources and equipment available and the type of work undertaken.

There are also three adventure ideas to incorporate Operation Marshal Law into your game. One, interestingly, involves the party getting deputised, which is a good way of floating the idea of federal service to see if your players might be interested in a full-blown US Marshal-focussed campaign.

It's a neat idea, and a good way to get away from the vigilante approach taken by many superheroes.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Super-Powered: Operation: Marshal Law
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Super Powered Bestiary: Aboleth to Cyclops
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/27/2014 05:29:54
Superheroes need foes! To be honest there isn't much point in being a superhero unless there's someone or something to fight. Often, it will be someone else who likes spandex costumes and has superpowers only they like to use them for evil, not good: a supervillain, in other words. But what else might you fight...

How about all the fantasy monsters that many of you know and love from fantasy, swords and sorcery RPGs?

Here the good folks at Rogue Genius Games have made a start at a systematic retooling of monsters from Dungeons & Dragons 3X (under the OGL) to Mutants & Masterminds 3e. They are not the only people doing this, from inhabitants of various online communities to other game publishers, but this is the first systematic bestiary (rather than a handful of monsters selected for a specific purpose) that I've seen.

The approach is systematic too, with each beastie getting a full stat block as well as descriptive text and sometimes an illustration. The descriptions are quite concise: if you need more, consult the 'fluff' element of the original, modifying it as necessary to suit the campaign world that you are using for your superhero game.

Not every creature gets an illustration, but the ones here are fresh and new, and in an appropriate comic-book style.

This is an interesting innovation. It won't suit everyone's superhero game, but many creatures can be used as 'aliens' (or their pets) if you have alien invasions as a theme in your game, whilst some may have developed under the influences of the same forces that have caused some individuals to develop superpowers in your world.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Super Powered Bestiary: Aboleth to Cyclops
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Threat Analysis: Hominid - NG201401
Publisher: Nightfall Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/26/2014 12:04:00
Fascinating and copious background to one of the latest threats to be found in Downtown, the strangely savage Hominids. Their ferocity has an otherworldly edge, there's something about them that stops experienced Operatives in their tracks - and that hesitation is sufficient for the Hominid to charge, biting, clawing and clubbing... and for those Operatives to survive, something has changed.

For the worse.

There is masses of detail here, yet most will never be discovered by the party. Much is not known to anyone in the World of Progress, and of that most is secret, or uniformed rumours. Hints are provided for the GM about how to use Hominids to best effect, and to engender the appropriate fear and foreboding in the Operatives.

Presentation is gorgeous, except... odd words are missing which makes it quite disjointed to read.

Hominids are an intriguing addition to the perils of Downtown, and one with potential to lead the characters into some dark places, especially if they get curious about them rather than merely blasting away.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Threat Analysis: Hominid - NG201401
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FC2 - Slaughter at Sengais
Publisher: Adventures in Filbar
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/25/2014 11:51:50
This adventure is suitable for a group of low-level adventurers who have just completed two or three adventures and are beginning to talk about taking a rest... only they won't be getting it straight away, as the peaceful village they are heading for is under attack even as they arrive!

The adventure is straightforward: the party must beat off the attack, and if possible find out why it happened and where the attackers came from. To that end, the village is described, with plenty of incidents for the characters to get involved in, and assorted villagers meeting with greater or lesser success at defending themselves - although most if not all will be grateful for some help. However they have no idea why they were attacked. The clues are there, however, to lead the party onwards to defeat the aggressors in their lair... if they find them! It may take a measure of DM prodding to make sure that they find sufficient information.

As usual from this publisher, there are good simple descriptions of everything to be found, with associated stat blocks as necessary, with clear simple maps and a few photographs to set the scene. It adds a nice forest village to the campaign world (provided it survives relatively unscathed), and leaves the party feeling that they can be useful members of society wherever they go - as there will always be those willing to threaten peaceful folk.

Overall, a simple and straightforward adventure that can fit in readily with whatever else is going on.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
FC2 - Slaughter at Sengais
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Supplement 15: Powers and Principalities
Publisher: Mongoose
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/24/2014 08:39:16
This is a fascinating and thought-proking collection of ideas and resources to help in world design, looking as it does at three key areas that the party is likely to interact with on any planet visited: governments, corporations and religions.

First, corporations. You have to buy their stuff, you might get hired by them, if you are lucky enough to have spare credits you might even invest in them. It comes in two layers: information which is available publically and that which is not widely known (and hence, at least initially, for the Referee only). Some of the latter can be researched or otherwise discovered. There are also ideas for plotlines involviing the corporation in question, just in case the information presented about it hasn't spawned a few ideas already.

Each corporation is also given a Universal Corporate Profile, a hexadecimal string that gives basic information about it in the same way as UWPs (and indeed UPPs) work. The information includes 'allegiance' - basically, in which jurisdiction it is based - as well as number of employees, how wide-spread it is, gross annual revenue and how risky it is as an investment. (Remember Dunn & Bradstreet ratings? That kind of assessment.) Further digits give influence, public image, type of ownership, industrial classification and the style in which it operates - how much R&D they do, how traditional they are, how centralised are their operations and even how much dissent there is in the boardroom. (I'm beginning to think this would be a useful way to classify real-world corporations too...) There's even a couple of ratings for how they treat employees (and what said employees think of their employers). The whole UCP is given a detailed explanation with some worked examples and a worksheet for doing your own before we get to look at the actual list of corporations.

The corporations given here are divided into different sections, beginning with the catch-all of 'Administration' - everything from firefighters to whole planets run as a single corporation and privatised tax collectors... plenty of scope to mess with the party as they interact with corporate workers with a completely different outlook on how things should be done. Next is Agriculture, followed by Construction, Finance (including Insurance and Real Estate), Manufacturing (of a whole profusion of products), Mining, Service Industries, Trade, and Transport (including Communication and Utilities).

For those who enjoy a sly giggle, look out for gems like the game manufacturer Far Past Enterprises or Gridlore Technologies with their penguin logo, in-jokes by and for those who have been playing Traveller since its inception.

The next section deals with Corporate Scheming and is repleate with ideas for whole campaigns never mind adventures. To make it all sound good there's a glossary of business terms as well.

Whether they like it or not, everyone has to deal with governments - their own and those of places that they visit. The latter can often prove awkward as they may have strange rules that you are unaware of... until you fall foul of them. This section is ordered according to the government codes in a UWP, and goes to prove that each category still allows for a great diversity of government styles and types. Again, there are plot ideas a-plenty, as well as those that you will have as you read the descriptions.

Finally come the Religions. Whilst the Imperium promotes religious tolerance - everyone may worship in any way they see fit provided it does not threaten the peace and security of other systems - religions themselves, when met on 'home turf', may not be anywhere near as tolerant. So it doesn't matter what the characters' own views are on the subject, they are likely to have to interact and cope with all kinds of weird beliefs and customs on their travels.

Religions are classified by broad groups of belief system - Animism, Dualism, Monotheism and a range of other styles - each with several examples. Every example comes with public knowledge, Referee notes and at least one plot idea. If you find it hard coming up with religions that don't have at least some elements of real-world ones, this is a treasure trove - apart from one which is derived from Judaism none have fallen into this trap.

Overall this is an excellent resource for embedding adventure into the everyday tapestry of commerce, government and faith: things which likely loom large in the minds of the inhabitants of every system the party visits.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement 15: Powers and Principalities
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Starships Book I00II0 : Kite Class Corvette
Publisher: Christian Hollnbuchner
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/24/2014 04:58:27
Looking oddly like a beetle, the Kite Class Corvette has excellent sensors, but limited range and rather cramped quarters - meaning that crews generally have to pull double duty as there isn't space for enough people to run more civilised shift patterns. It seems to serve well in system defence modes, however.

There is a rather muddled account of the development of this class of vessel, apparently done in tandem with the Cutlass Heavy Fighter which uses it as a mobile base. The success of the Kite has rather piggybacked on sales of the Cutlass, it seems, to the delight of the manufacturer (just who that is we are not told...).

Some notes on typical crew - generally fresh out of Space Academy - are given, along with full stats, several external views and a deckplan. This shows how cramped it is - you have to walk through the Ship's Locker to get to the Bridge, and there are no common areas whatsoever!

The beetle-like appearance is due to huge sensor booms, by the way.

Best use for this vessel is a near-planet patrol, something your party may encounter as they arrive in-system.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Starships Book I00II0 : Kite Class Corvette
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Urban Dressing: Theatres
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/23/2014 07:45:31
In the vaguely mediaeval world in which most fantasy RPGs are set, theatres were not frequently found... travelling players generally used whatever hall they could cajole their way into, or an inn yard or - in best mystery play style - performed on the back of a cart. Many earned most of their money appearing by request in some local lord's hall for the entertainment of his guests not a paying public. But this is fantasy, and theatres can be fun places for adventure, so it makes sense to include them.

And given that you intend to have theatres a feature of your game, this product will help you design interesting and memorable ones for the party to visit - or even perform in, should they be that way inclined.It begins with a couple of tables that give ideas for characteristics and appearance: the first dealing with external features and the second with internal ones.

The 'external' table presents a great variety of options from tents and puppet theatres to full-blown concert halls, playhouses and opera houses. Each is described in a sentence or so. Whilst you can roll dice, it is probably best to read them through and pick the most suitable one for the location and plot that you have in mind. Likewise the range of options provided for interiors needs some thought as some will not be appropriate for the setting you are creating.

The next couple of tables cover assorted things that might be going on there and the actual shows taking place. Not all the action, after all, will be on the stage; and there are some twenty ideas, each with several options, which could prove adventures in themselves, never mind something which just happens whilst the characters are at the theatre.

The last table is called Sights and Sounds, and provides seveal incidental events that might happen, all quite dramatic and both visual and audible... it all adds to the flavour of things.

Finally there is a collection of 20 NPCs who may be encountered there. Many might be involved in all the events listed in the tables. Each comes as an outline (rather than a full statblock) with name, race and class, and notes on their appearance, mannerisms, personality and 'hooks' - suggestions on how to use them. Loads of flavour here.

If the theatre is to play a part in your game, this will help them come to life in your shared alternate reality.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Dressing: Theatres
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ROMA AETERNA 4 - Patricians
Publisher: PERMES
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/23/2014 06:14:41
A nice collection of well-drawn 2-sided 'flat' miniatures showing a variety of 'upper-class' Romans and their body servants.

The collection includes gentlemen in formal togas, parade armour and 'leisure' tunics, as well as ladies in flowing gowns. Some are seated or reclining (as one would for meals). All are fully-coloured, with a goodly range to pick from... not that I have ever heard of someone wearing a bright yellow toga!

Both male and female servants in appropriate dress are included, bearing jugs of wine and fans (and one fellow with a hat and a stick, not quite sure what he's doing).

A nice touch is incidental furniture - tables, household statues, even a fountain.

A selection of bases are included, along with basic assembly instructions.

Unless your game includes a lot of high-level intrigue where it's important to know where people are, this is more decorative than practical, but very good scene-setting for any Ancient Rome game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ROMA AETERNA 4 - Patricians
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Alien Starship - Track 3 from The Final Frontier Soundtrack
Publisher: Ambient Environments
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/23/2014 05:52:12
It's all a bit off... not quite identifiable sounds that will make looking around an alien starship all that more scary...

Much of it almost subliminal. If you concentrate you hear it, but as soon as your mind moves away or someone speaks to you it becomes inaudible... yet it's still there.

It's just pottering along in the background as I write... in some ways almost restful yet it is edgy as well.

Just the thing for playing when your party is exploring Traveller Hephaestus by 13Mann Verlag, available hereabouts, for example.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alien Starship - Track 3 from The Final Frontier Soundtrack
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Publisher Reply:
I think that\'s the best review I\'ve ever read. Thanks!
Laser Battle - Track 2 from The Final Frontier Soundtrack
Publisher: Ambient Environments
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/23/2014 05:42:20
Loads and loads of zapping sounds... a few 'tings' and bangs for variety.

I don't know about your players, but mine are very good at generating zapping sounds of their own when there's a laser battle in progress.

It makes for an intriguing and atmospheric scene-setter, though, and as there is no real patten to it you can just turn it on when a brawl breaks out. It certainly makes you want to keep your head down... and I did wait until the house was empty before playing it!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Laser Battle - Track 2 from The Final Frontier Soundtrack
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Into the Breach: The Magus
Publisher: d20pfsrd.com
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/21/2014 12:07:18
The Magus is a fun class to play anyway, but here is a whole bunch of options to explore to make it even more interesting.

The bulk of the book is taken up with a collection of new archetypes. Each one comes with a description, notes on any changes to a regular Magus build and an array of special abilities to amend the class features appropriately for the archetype in question. There's an illustration of the archetype in action as well, which gives an indication of possible styles of play. The different archetypes explore various aspects of the balance between arcane power and martial skill, often giving a specific focus for the character to specialise in. Some are fun to play, others are best left for NPCs, often adversaries - unless, of course, your campaign allows the party to explore the depths of the dark side.

Many of the class features are original inventions, all with notes on their use and all necessary game mechanics. Some replace named elements of the class as originally published, others add options which may be chosen at appropriate levels alongside existing ones.

Next comes a Prestige Class, the ki magus. He blurs arcane power with his inner ki and often delivers a spell with a blow or strike. It's quite an interesting idea and could work well in conjunction with monk unarmed combat abilities.

This is followed by a selection of extra arcana and new spells, and a bunch of new feats rounds the book off. Overall, if you like the Magus class and want to add to its range and capabilities, you will find plenty of material worth considering here.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Breach: The Magus
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Publisher Reply:
On behalf of all the contributors from Into the Breach: The Magus, thanks for the review, we appreciate feedback.
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