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The Rifter #56
The Rifter #56
$11.95 $5.99









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T2000 v1 Twilight: 2000
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2014 02:08:00
1st Ed T2K - a wonderful, if a bit convoluted, character generation. It provides a bit of backstory (tho' less than Traveller), and gives percentile skills, and provide the appropriate competencies. I originally got this in dead tree back in 1984... and I loved it. It had some convoluted rules for armor and gunfire interaction, but it gave a real feel for the combats. And it made combat undesirable yet fun. The art is mostly pencils derived from army stock photos, and the gear is pretty much bog-standard 1980's issue. (They got the early 90's gear dead on - but by 2000, it was well outdated.) The setting makes a great "what if", but many of the assumptions are now quite wrong. Game needs 4d6 and 2d10. Note that mechanically, this is a precursor to the later GDW House System, but is not part of that system. If you ignore the background, this game can be used for any mid 90's US Army actions one cares to play, and with some careful attention, back to the 'Nam war.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
T2000 v1  Twilight: 2000
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Cat (Revised & Expanded)
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2011 21:11:09
Revised? Expanded? Uhm... only kinda. It's not really all that revised (several obvious typos survived), and the expansions are recovery of magic points, how to run it for kids, and some advice on setting it in other settings. The new layout is not as good as the old (but the fancy font is more relevant, and less used), has almost exclusively silhouette art that gives LESS sense of the theme, and does not even answer questions that have been raised over the years. The examples are no longer readily set off, there's a sidebar of good info that got lost, and in general, 1E looks better (but required me doing brutality inside the file to make it print as a booklet), and given only one short paragraph of rules difference... Recommend: Pass. The only GOOD point is the inclusion of an ePup.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cat (Revised & Expanded)
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CT-G03a Azhanti High Lightning Original Draft Drawing
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2011 03:32:46
A really cool freebie, the original sketches from which the later deck plans were done. Not useful in game, but a wonderful peek at the process behind the game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CT-G03a Azhanti High Lightning Original Draft Drawing
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Fudge RPG: Interactive Version
Publisher: Dimensions Game Software
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2011 03:29:36
While excellent for building a customized FUDGE rulebook, I found it cumbersome. It also really helps to already be familiar with FUDGE so you know which options you're going to pick, and while I first met FUDGE in its WWIVnet days, I must admit I'm not overly familiar with it. Best way to use: After selecting your options for each section, hit the printer-friendly version button, copy the resulting text, and paste it into your word processor. Then, touch up the format, print to PDF, and then, from that PDF, print your play-copy. Otherwise, you'll end up with lots of white space.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fudge RPG: Interactive Version
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MT MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2011 03:00:33
This is my favorite MegaTraveller product for introducing people to the game. Which is why I own 4 dead tree copies... It combines the Library data, equipment catalogue, and the Travel Flowcharts, plus the full UWP list for the Spinward Marches. It's one of three core rulebooks for Megatraveller. Having the PDF, however, has allowed easier use. I've hardly cracked the dead tree copies since getting the PDF.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MT  MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia
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Monsters!Monsters!
Publisher: Flying Buffalo
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2010 03:33:51
For those who don't know, Monsters! Monsters! (M!M!) is in fact using the Tunnels and Trolls rules system. It is not, however, using either of the two current editions (5.5 and 7.5 are both current editions), but it is based in earlier rules. Further, it's the 1st edition relayout, rather than the T&T 5th Ed compatible second edition.
——¶——

The material inside can easily be used with 5th edition (simply use T&T 5th edition weapons tables), and includes some material that probably should have been in T&T 5th edition... namely, monster special abilities, and rules for oversized weapons. The Charisma rules are very different from those in T&T 5E and M!M! 2E. That said, it's a pretty good ruleset in itself, and provides the guidelines needed for 5th ed based play.

——¶——

The scans are clean, but not OCR'ed. That's issue 1. It's the older rules edition is issue 2. Still, I recommend it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters!Monsters!
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Career Book 1
Publisher: Spica Publishing
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2010 00:03:05
An excellent addition to one's Mongoose Traveller game, providing over half a dozen new careers, and expanded event tables for a number of core careers.

My personal favorite is the Space Patrol, but having clergy and militant clergy careers allows both modern and sci-fi religious themes pretty easily. Well written and easy to use, it integrates almost seamlessly into a Traveller game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Career Book 1
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Buffy RPG Revised Corebook
Publisher: Eden Studios
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2009 12:11:20
The Revised Core Rulebook is a fully realized RPG in a single volume. The supplemental materials in other products are just that, supplemental. The core mechanic is 1d10 + Stat + Skill +Difficulty Mods for 8+, human stats run 1-6. The game mechanics are tailored well to the style of play; fast, furious, and cinematic. Further, compatibility with the Angel RPG means that more of the buffyverse is available. Sadly, Eden no longer is developing new material for either line. That said, the game is clearly written, simple to play, has both template and custom-build options for character generation, and addresses strongly the needs of running a game that feels like the Buffyverse. There is one hitch, which I found as a player: The GM rolls no dice. That's right, it takes the approach that the GM doesn't roll to hit, the player rolls to dodge, instead. The combat mechanics work quite well, in part because of this, and in part in spite of this. Combat is fast, brutal, and works well both in narrative mode and with minis. Should you go on to expand with the other books in the Buffy line, the tone is consistent. You can also expand with Angel, Army of Darkness, and Terra Primate easily, or with Full Unisystem games as well. • Bottom line: Best licensed game I've played.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Buffy RPG Revised Corebook
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Tunnels & Trolls v7.5
Publisher: Fiery Dragon
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2009 06:56:34
This is, without a doubt, my favorite edition of T&T to run. The rulebook is far better than the 7.0 rulebook. Ken St. Andre, the Trollgod, has revised 7.0 into a much more useful (and 30% longer) rulebook. FDP has added lots of goodies. And the game is, for me, nearly perfect. It's rules light, stat heavy, and suitable for Sword and Sorcery, high fantasy, and more general fantasy. Only thing missing is priests, and that's almost now a running gag with Ken; there is no clerical magic, per se, in any edition! The standard races (Dwarf, Elf, Fairy, Human, Hobb, Leprechaun) and 32 more; 11 types (Warrior, Rogue, Wizard, Citizen, Paragon, Specialist Wizzard - Conjurer, Specialist Wizard - Combat, Specialist Wizard - Cosmic, Specialist Wizard - Metabolic, Ranger, Leader), and a talent system more flexible than ever. It's still the best house-rule-friendly system out there. And the edition here prints nicely on 4-up in acrobat, too... Not that it is flawless... it suffers mostly from Troll-speak... the Trollgod rambles just a bit, so reading it feels more like a conversation than a rulebook, and the organization could be improved, and wink-wing still isn't in the core book, but at least it is in the box now. At the price, it is well worth it. Easy enough for a rank newb to be knowing what he/she/it is doing in 4 sessions. Old School improved!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tunnels & Trolls v7.5
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SLA Industries FREE Rulebook
Publisher: Nightfall Games
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2009 00:23:24
SLA Industries rules the World of Progress, a World called Mort.
You work for SLA. Everyone works for SLA. You work in the troublshooting department, on call. When you work.

A brutal violent hybrid of Paranoia, cyberpunk, and fantasy, with a touch of noir. A nice, clean d10 based system. The PDF is nice, and OCRed for convenience.

This is not a game suitable for children. The humor in the rulebook is dark and brutal, and often sexual. The images are PG13 to softer R. The theme of paranoid cyber troubleshooters with wigged out elves with super-psi... well, let's just say it can be a blast... but it can also turn totally juvenile with the wrong approach.

I'd forgotten about playing SLA back in the 90's, until I saw this up for download, and it brought back memories. Fond, disturbing memories of death in the sewers of Mort. The world of progress is a grim place. A good place for a killing spree... make yours count.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SLA Industries FREE Rulebook
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Two Worlds Tabletop RPG
Publisher: RPG Objects
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2009 00:13:03
Very pretty, easy to read, D20-light system. The magic system is not stock D20, and is the primary flavor difference, tho' the races could easily be ported.

Pros:
[+] Short, to the point D20 core book.
[+] Minimum rules clutter
[+] Beautiful renders.
[+] 3 unique races, plus humans, dwarves, and orcs
[+] most of the weirder of the 20 monsters have a beautiful render.
[+] Price: $0.00!!!

Cons:
[–] White text on black bakground; ink hog.
[–] only three classes: Warrior, Mage, Thief
[–] No setting information

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Two Worlds Tabletop RPG
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Dragon Warriors RPG
Publisher: Magnum Opus Press
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2009 00:03:20
Well presented, solid system, consistently roll low on 1d20, with extensive magic choices. It should be noted, however, that the game is a very mild rework of an older edition, consolidating much of the material from 6 novel-sized books into the core.

The classes are not D&D knock offs as much as classic medieval archetypes for adventure fiction. Knights and Barbarians are the combat monsters. Barbarians include vikings, mongols, and moors.... Assassins from the Middle East ply their craft of killing for hire. 4 different magic user flavors using a common mechanic provide a good starting point.

The critters included are a goodly selection, tho' not well illustrated in this book. They are detailed enough to give the flavor of Legend. They are statted much like PC's, so if one wants to personalize them, it's easy.

The layout will print nicely, since it's mostly black on white, and clear, well indexed text. Looks great on a Sony PRS505, tho a bit small on that screen.

The system is being supported by Magnum Opus; this isn't James Wallis' first "resurrection" of a beloved game. We can look forward to worthy expansion, and as with his prior work, he shows he respects the system by making only a few minor changes.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Warriors RPG
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Supplement 2: Traders & Gunboats
Publisher: Mongoose
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2009 09:32:14
The designs are decent, and a goodly number of useful ones. The deckplans, however, are basically worthless in the PDF version as of today. Why? they are low-dpi raster images, and thus are blurry. Worse, Mongoose has been aware of this complaint about the process, and the issue, since the issue is the core rulebook as well. I can not recommend this product until after Mongoose cures that issue, and it's a line-wide issue. The ship books, however, suffer for it far worse than the others; this book is purely ships and deckplans.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement 2: Traders & Gunboats
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Book 2: High Guard
Publisher: Mongoose
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2008 11:59:25
This expands quite thoroughly the ship design system. All in all, that's a good thing. The lack of a power point system, however, is retained, resulting in some unrealistic requirements. The expanded character generation is a lot more work for little gain. The deckplans were included in bitmaps; don't bother trying to zoom in, as they are at about 100dpi... meaning the capital ship plans are fuzzy and effectively useless. Mongoose left me sorely disappointed with this one, especially since there has been fan clamor for vector based deckplan images in the various PDFs.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book 2: High Guard
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Book 1: Mercenary
Publisher: Mongoose
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2008 11:51:39
The PDF itself shows Mongoose's disregard for quality control; it is at least better than the paper copies. There are numerous layout errors that can be caught by an experienced editor in 5 seconds (I know I did), including issues with chapter headers on chapter title pages. The writing in this one is amateurish, shows a lack of grasp of military organization and tactics, and a total disregard for reality. ¶

As stated in another review, this almost totally fails to emulate the original.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Book 1: Mercenary
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