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The Creature Crafter
Publisher: Word Mill
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
Very easy to use. It has a lot of great ideas for creatures built in, but you aren't forced to take what the tables give you. Flexible. Use it before a session or during a session. I think I mentioned its easy. Also fun.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Creature Crafter
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Deck of Fate
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/04/2013 00:16:15
Production values are great. I like the addition of the two arcana. You can use these to quickly create a character or character concept. I love that each of the number "rolled" cards have several phrases on them that can be used to describe the actions of PCs or used as aspects. Great way to think this through. I can't wait to figure out how to use the moons and suns. Thanks for a great product. I can't give this a perfect score just because the deck doesn't come with some example descriptions for how to use the aforementioned arcana, card descriptors and moons and suns.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deck of Fate
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Nemezis
Publisher: GRAmel
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/03/2012 21:47:18
I have been looking forward to this one for months as well. Have to say I am disappointed. This is an average setting, not good enough to earn a 5 star rating. I was pleasantly surprised by the text. GRAmel is a Polish company and they seem to have done a serviceble job of translation. The rules, what there are of them, are concise. (with one exception) The only issue I have with the wording is the excessive use of hyphens that tend to break words and sentences into sometimes difficult to read mess.

As a whole the potential is there to use this setting as either one of Darkness with the forces of evil winning at every turn. Or a lighter one where humans battle insurmountable odds and come out victorious but bloodied. I don't know if this was intentional. But, it is nice when so many newer games seem bent on shoving bleak evil down our throats.

That said. I like the idea behind the setting. However, I was expecting a galaxy with 10,000 planets at war with a ravening horde of Dark Gods and their minions. In all honesty that was at least hinted at in the history. However, the setting as it stands is totally wrapped up in one star system. Three planets, one dying, one filled with hedonistic self centered rich, and the other a jungle world on the edge of being overrun with Dark Horde creatures.

There are cultists, black magic and psionics. There is no magic or miracles, and certainly no super powers, but there are cyborgs and cybernetics.

Much of the book is devoted to flavor over substance. Great art interspersed with not so great art. (The best you have already seen if you have SWD). The pics are generally not gory or suggestive. (However, there is one of Lij the poisoner that somehow passed censorship; erotic in a very disturbing manner.) Three chapters devoted to the three worlds of the system. Their history, organizations, and personalities. The writing is devoted mostly to setting history and flavor. There seems to be a lack of crunch.

You won't find an extensive section of new cool weapons or equipment. The only real additions to the SW tool kit are plasma weapons, personal deflectors and personal forcefields.

The Beastiary is only 20 pages long. The creatures don't all have pictures which is hard because they aren't like anything you could have seen anywhere else. The pics that are in the book don't seem to match, which is probably an editing issue. Half the creatures aren't even the evil Dark Horde kind...they're genegineered monsters made by humans. Most of the Beastiary is taken up by rehashes of Human critters like Homeless people or street thugs.

There is no plot point campaign; a PEG staple. There are no creature generators; like Savage Mojo's Caladon Falls. No adventure generators: like Gunmetal Games Interface Zero. There are no adventures per se, although there are tentative ideas for hooks in Histories, Organizations and Personalities sections. This is a sand box setting without much in the way of sand. [Note: I just downloaded the Adventure Generator listed in the blurb for Nemezis. Better than before, but still pretty generic. It has some more great art. There are references to travelling out system, but without descriptions of other systems let alone a method of getting there it sees a bit odd]

Overall it is worth the 10 dollars presently being charged. Unless there is a major revamp a la the Golden Edition of Beasts and Barbarians this setting is not worth 20 dollars.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nemezis
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for your review. I`m sorry that I dissapointed you. I just want to say that there is (and will be) an adventure generator - it is http://www.rpgnow.com/product/107727/Nemezis-Adventure-Generator and will be in book. And the normal, not discounted, price will be 14.99 for pdf, 20 only for printed book.
Lost Valley Survivors
Publisher: AB One Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2012 15:20:35
Really great imagination. Liked the "nasty neighbors". I wish there would have been a scenario generator for them so there were an easier way to integrate them into an extended campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lost Valley Survivors
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Plague City
Publisher: AB One Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2012 15:16:42
Very imaginative set of missions/scenarios. Price could be a bit lower for what you get. If there were additional survivor types or a scenario generator this might be worth 5 USD. As for now I'd recommend a drop in price to somewhere in the 3 USD range.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Plague City
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Pike & Shot & Zombies
Publisher: AB One Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/23/2012 15:13:31
I really love the feel of this game. If there was ever a war in need of a Zombie plague it was the 30 Years War. Now it has it.

Whether you just want a change of pace from your regular Pike and Shotte games or you are looking for a system with a few more zombies...this is it.

Fast paced. Tongue in cheek. What more could you want.

The rules can be a bit confusing for tabletop neophytes. Combat/Melee rules seem to be simultaneous but all actions are also governed by "actions". Examples of Shooting rules and Combat rules that follow the whole sequence of play would make the game a lot easier to understand.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pike & Shot & Zombies
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Microscope
Publisher: Lame Mage Productions
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/30/2012 11:30:38
Great.

This is like no other RPG I have ever played. I know there are other story telling games out there. I know there are other diceless games out there. This one hones in on taking a big concept history and zooming in like a microscope on the events and scenes that create that history. Players (there are no GMs) decide on a large period of history (the beginning and the end) then using the mechanics play out how that history came to pass.

Now this may sound like you are railroading the players, but you aren't. Each player makes sole decisions for how history plays out. They can describe a period of history (a barbarian invasion). They can, describe an important event during a period of history (the fall of the Capitol). Finally, the players singly or as a group can play out a scene from the history (the guard captain that single handedly holds back the horde so the emperor can escape).

The rules are simple and elegant and allow for the option to negotiate certain aspects of the creative process, while preventing the process from becoming a boring and homogeneous committee made history.

Really fun and has the potential to be used by GMs who want a history for their campaigns but don't want to invent it the whole thing themselves. It is also great for giving PCs in other games a sense of ownership of their campaign history they may not otherwise have.

Straight forward mechanics, good examples, plus designer notes. You won't have any difficulty figuring out how this game is supposed to work. All you need are note cards, writing utensils and your imagination.

(Frankly this is also a great tool for training young minds to think critically, or not so young minds)

Great. I am definitely recommending this to everyone I know.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Microscope
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High Space Core Rules Beta
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2012 00:31:07
It is a Beta. But, I expected more. This is billed as a generic set of manuals, but not so much. There are no shields for ships. There are no phasers. There are no inertial compensators or grav plates. No anti-gravity at all that I can tell.

The unique aspects of the manuals don't mesh well with regular SW. Mainly because no attempt was made in the Space Combat Section or Transonic combat (XS+) to interface with the regular rules.

Many of the rules are poorly written. Leading to almost as much confusion as not having the rules to begin with. There are no rules for Zero-G or Micro-G. There are no rules for operating on different types of planets.

There isn't even a single set of stats for a starship in the "Fleet Manual".

The amount of gear presented is minuscule. There are a dozen ranged weapons that aren't completely explained and 9 melee weapons (one is a knife/shiv!) that are even more poorly explained than the ranged weapons.

There are only three transonic vehicles for examples. There is no method for creating your own.

Computers, which are key to making robots, are poorly explained and lacking in details necessary to understanding how they work in game.

Edges and hindrances are few in number for characters and ships. In the Fleet Manual we are promised more edges and hindrances in upcoming supplements. We are also promised more ship weapons and systems in upcoming supplements.

The joy of using SW in general is getting a single book and having all you need to play a setting. Or at least getting enough crunch to create your own rules and settings.

This missed the mark.

It is a Beta, but it seems rushed to production to the point that it should have not been put out for awhile yet. It needed more alpha testing before it was offered for sale. It really seems to suffer from an identity crisis. Are these products really a generic set or rules for SciFi? They don't seem so because they are too thin on necessities. Or are they just some rules for some upcoming setting and a way to get us to buy more supplements?

I hope I am wrong. And I hope that this Beta test results in some major changes other wise pass this set of rules by. There are other hard sci fi settings just around the corner. At the PEG forums one Publisher is promising an issue date prior to Christmas!

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
High Space Core Rules Beta
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Shadowrun: Quick-Start Rules (Free RPG Day 2012)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/19/2012 17:22:03
Bottom line up front: It is a shame that an otherwise good looking product should be marred by such horrible inattention to detail. Pretty much unusable by anyone that doesn't have the actual core rules.

Great production values and great art. I used to play the game in 1st and 2nd editions. I got the quick start rules hoping I could run a game with my kids to see how they'd like it.

Ouch. There were the typical typos etc so I am not judgmental about this, this is a free product after all. However, I do want to be able to use magic. The document is 37 pages long. Three pages are devoted to the Awakened World and Magic. On page 14 it says the following twice... "the Combat Mage’s spells and descriptions are listed directly on
the Character Record Sheet (in the middle of the booklet)." In the booklet the Combat Mage morphs into a Street Shaman. The spells names are listed, but there is no more information beyond that. Pretty much I used up a good hour or two of my time reading a document that I can't use.

It's not just the Combat Mage that gets this treatment. In the rules the Street Samurai is listed as having 3 Initiative passes (and it says he is the only character with multiple passes). On the character sheet it only lists one (I have to guess that Enhanced Reflexes 2 provides additional passes). The Combat Adept's page says she has 2 Initiative passes so I guess the rules were wrong and there is more than one character with multiple passes?

It is a shame that an otherwise good looking product should be marred by such horrible inattention to detail. Pretty much unusable by anyone that doesn't have the actual core rules.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Quick-Start Rules (Free RPG Day 2012)
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Faith & Demons: The Rising
Publisher: Mystical Throne Entertainment
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2012 12:28:09
Bottom line up front. Incomplete. No real understanding of the religions portrayed.

This book falls into some of the pitfalls that other independent Savage Worlds setting books tend to do. Namely making changes for changes sake. There is a great deal of flexibility already built into the system. The Fantasy Companion and the Horror Companion add more for this genre. The author has added rules for armor (layering, arcane user penalties) that are cumbersome and unnecessary and have been addressed by mechanics in the core rules. Weapons are also treated with new cumbersome rules (basic and martial a la DnD, and up to +5 to hit!) that show a lack of understanding of the basic system. This could all be ignored, except then there wouldn't be much to use.

As a setting this book it is very incomplete. As mentioned by another reviewer. Western Europe is entirely left out of possible nations to use. So is Islam and the Arab conquests. Muslims had conquered Arabia, North Africa, Spain and had even marched on Paris by this time! They aren't in the setting. There is no explanation in the book why this is. As a Sandbox style setting this would be an epic fail.

The Plot Point campaign and Savage Tales exist which is a plus, however there are no Adventure generators and the Savage Tales are pretty sparse on details.

Religion is oversimplified to the point of dangerous. The Author tells us that religion plays a large part of the lives dark age peoples. It did but what we get in the book is grossly simplistic and wrong. The Plot Point campaign is set in Kievan Rus. There is no mention of the Eastern Orthodox Church (key to the formation of Kievan Rus) and its differences with the Roman Catholic Church. Although the Catholic Church is mentioned. The Catholic Church is represented as a inquisition driven organization with no mention of its powerful and altruistic unification of European culture. When specifics of Christian religion are mentioned it becomes a mish-mash of pantheistic theology poorly reminiscent of DnD. Christians are viewed as a bunch of haters whose main mortal sin is not punishing the wicked (which in this setting is everyone other than Christians). Reading between the lines the Christian Religion and its followers run a close second to the Demons as villains. In discussing Demons and the Undead the author cavalierly attributes motivations that are at odds with a functional alliance that stretches credulity from a secular standpoint let alone a theological one. And fails to logically explain why.

This setting book has tremendous potential. If you decide to buy it be ready for a lot of effort to make it work. I would suggest waiting for a re-write or another setting book.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising
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Gods of Steam: Shock Troopers Set 1
Publisher: Desktop Wargames
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2012 18:51:18
I am changing my initial review. This set is worth the price. The phenomenal number of figures and you can print with this comes from the full use of layering in pdf's. Grenades, chainsaws, sniper rifles, grenades, pistols and even gatling rifles! You want forces for Gods of Steam or Deadlands or any other steam punk game you've got it.

I am looking forward to seeing the game that has inspired this set of figures.

My thanks to the publisher for making the changes to this product. It is now in line with the best of paper mini products out there.

My only complaint would be the simplicity of the figure art itself. One Monk and OkumArts have greater character in their art. However, One Monk doesn't use layers and Okum doesn't do this genre.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gods of Steam: Shock Troopers Set 1
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Interface Zero Hacking 2.0
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/13/2012 14:20:08
Two dollars is a steal. If you have bought Gun Metal Games before you may even be able to get a coupon for a dollar off. Check out their website.

IZ 2.0 in it's glorious entirety is scheduled to come out later this year. This product offers the Basic Hacking rules only. Advanced stuff like hacking vehicles, weapon hacking and even brain hacking will be coming out with the new and improved version.

What you do get is Fast, Fun and Furious. Gone are the "ghosting" rules. Added are rules for "hyper gloves" that allow you to manipulate Hyper Reality at range (albeit hand grenade ranges).

The rules are simplified and fall in line quite nicely with the normal modifier system used in Savage Worlds Explorer and Savage World's Deluxe additions.

Everyone that wanted a hacking system for Savage Worlds that is FFF and doesn't lose the flavor of Cyberpunk these are a great introduction at a great price.

Like Savage Worlds itself this system is "simple like Chess". Easy to learn, with all the levels of complexity you could hope for or need with little likelihood of getting bogged down.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Interface Zero Hacking 2.0
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Darkfast Classic Fantasy Set Zero: Basic Adventure
Publisher: Okumarts Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2011 20:09:40
It's free. The art is clean and evocative of the characters. You have the run of the mill character types. You also have a separate layer that offers a whole other set of character color schemes. This is a good taste of what Okumarts has to offer. Remember is is just a taste. I have another set and am incredibly please with it. "vikings" is the set I own and you can see a more comprehensive and concise review there. Oh yeah...this is free.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Darkfast Classic Fantasy Set Zero: Basic Adventure
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Dark Age Of Adventure Set One: Vikings
Publisher: Okumarts Games
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2011 20:02:09
I can't write a good enough review for this project. I wish I could give this a 6 or even 10 star review.

What you get Front and Back figures. Multiple layers that gives each figure three different colors schemes, three different weapons swords, spears and axes and with or without shields. You get twelve figures on the page. That is the basics. Each figure is sharply done. Not too much detail and not too little. Each figure has its own character and personality. That means that you could easily use each figure as an individual character/NPC if you want to. There are ample poses and difference in gear that you can pick out a few of the figures to be leaders/commanders if you want and use the rest to build an army.

I will be using the first run of printed figures as wildmen in my Savage Suzerain campaign "Caladon Falls". You could also use this group for "Totems of the Dead". I have been eyballing the Whiplash Trigger set for a Deadlands campaign.

This set uses the available PDF technology effectively. The art is spot on. The price is better than ANY set out there for what you get.

Dislikes very minor. I wish there were archers. I wish there were more sets. For that matter I wish there were more David Okums out there making more sets! Specifically I would like to see some medieval soldiery...but I am sure we will get there.

Don't pass up this set if you like paper miniatures. This should be the standard that other paper minis should aspire to.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Age Of Adventure Set One: Vikings
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EABA Verne character creator v1.0
Publisher: BTRC
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/30/2011 15:54:24
My initial review for this product was very harsh. I tried to use the character sheet twice and it failed twice after lengthy periods of question asking and answering. I tried the sheet again the next day and followed the instructions completely. This time it worked as advertised. I am sure that the first series of problems were my own fault.

I do have one complaint. The sheet is an ink hog. If you try to use gray scale to cut down on color ink cost forget it...you won't be able to read 20% to 25% of the sheet. In newer versions I would heartily recommend that the sheet background be simplified to make it easier on our printer cartridges.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
EABA Verne character creator v1.0
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