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Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2014 10:17:40
Crimson Blades does what it does very well. The game mechanics are very good, I enjoy the d6 take on Swords and Wizardry. The power level of the game keys well with mechanics of the game.

Characters are created by old school means of 3d6 each attribute in order. Attributes are each significant to the game but due to the nature of the mechanics modifiers related to mechanics are not overwhelming. Saving throws and major action needing dice rolls are all directly tied to attributes and these are only slightly modified by level as a character grows.

The classes are a familiar mix that fit the presented and implied setting very well. Barbarians don't trump Fighters but are still recognizably Barbarians of gaming and fantasy fiction. The thief is the master burglar of classic FRP but is not alone among rogues in the game as there are also Mountebanks the clever flim-flam con-men who steal with using their wits. Sorcerers are similar to old school magic-users and use the familar pseudo-vancian spell casting system but also make use of summoning to get access to flash-bang magic that is otherwise out of their reach. All the characters are presumably human except for the elder magic-using race the Dendrelyssi that draw most of their power from summoning.

As mentioned above powerful magic in this settign hinges on summoning and sorcerers and dendrelyssi will be able to draw upon a host of elementals, demons, and undead to get the serious work done. The abilites and differences between the various sorts of entities are spelled out and fairly comprehensive but will still need some work from the GM (and players) to flesh out for a campaign (this is a good thing really).

Combat is based on a simple mechanic of one attack roll per HD vs the Ac of a target. HD are scaled down and don't go up as quickly as in other games of this style so the mechanic works well. Characters and monsters tend to have fairly low HP(with a few exceptions) so combats will generally go quickly and can be very deadly. The mechanics make it easy to have fights with one or two PCs against a host of foes as combatants will usually hit unarmored foes.

There's a fair section of NPC foes and monsters in the game properly scaled to the setting and mechanics. Each has Dexterity (as initiative is tied to the dexterity score), armor class, hit dice (I think no monster listed has over 6), saving throws, speicla abilities, and challenge level/exp award listed.

The sample setting is brief and mostly an overview that serves it's purpose as further defining the implied setting without fully chaining the game down to the included setting.

The rules are simple and get the job done without obscuring the flavor and spirit of the setting. Even a first level fighter is going to feel like a mighty slayer of those that stand before him and sorcerers will be aware of their place in the magical world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
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CT-ST-Starter Traveller
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2010 12:33:06
A great download of value to anyone interested in classic Traveller. It's enough of the game for tons of adventure. One to pick up classic traveller supplements that strike their fancy to play along with this version of the rules.

Of the two adventures "Shadows" is a great way to get your dungeon adventuring players into a game of Traveller.

The charts being separated from the rules can be a little annoying while simply reading the rules but they are a great boon to use while playing the game at the table (when printed out of course).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CT-ST-Starter Traveller
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After the Bomb RPG
Publisher: Palladium Books
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2009 08:02:07
This book is a reworking from a previous licensed title about some asian martial-arts action turtles. Material from one of the original supplements is worked in to make this re purposed title. And it's a whoot.

The game is solid but not too serious comic bookish post-apocalyptic action with a whole bunch of mutant animals. The mechanics are familiar to anyone who has played a palladium game before and shouldn't prove difficult for those unfamiliar with the system. There is a straight-forward and easy to employ campaign settign written into these rules but a gm could certainly use the game to explore unique settings of his own invention.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
After the Bomb RPG
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The Mechanoid Invasion Trilogy
Publisher: Palladium Books
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2009 07:55:56
This book is great. It's a compilation and reprint of the first three Palladium RPG titles. I bought the third book decades ago in a comic shop and am happy to have all three books in this format.

Tons of desperate shoot-em-up action with a wide range of sci-fi tropes thrown in. Good Stuff.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Mechanoid Invasion Trilogy
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Creatures of the Wastelands: A Menagerie of Mutants and Mutations
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2009 11:46:47
Creatures of the Wasteland is a welcome addition to old-school post-apocalyptic gaming. As advertised it is a menagerie of mutants and mutations. It's a simple but solid PDF title with art that varies from crude to excellent. The "general" on page 36 is an wonderful piece that captures the spirit of the book for me.

The mutants in the book vary widely and certainly should provide anyone with new creatures for their games. The author makes no apologies for the wackiness of some of the creatures in the book and I applaud him for it; this book is written to play games that are fun. Mutants vary from campaign dressing, to promising regulars and horrifying antagonists that can stomp adventuring parties flat and not even notice.

There are a few new concepts in this book that provide new avenues for a wide variety of campaigns. Parasites and their roles are clever and should provide folks with a lot of fun. Smart Stones are odd and might take me some time to figure out how to use myself but are certainly an interesting concept.

The book is rounded out with 50 mutations for PCs and NPCs and a few extra bits.

I'm happy to see this the first Mutant Future Compatible Product out there that I am aware of, as it certainly fulfills part of the promise of the old-school/retro gaming trend.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creatures of the Wastelands: A Menagerie of Mutants and Mutations
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Epées & Sorcellerie
Publisher: Brave Halfling Publishing
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2009 19:35:35
Fantastique, il certainement m'aidera à améliorer mon français très limité. L'avantage à moi glissera vraiment dedans un peu du temps prochain français que les joueurs errent dans un pays étranger dans le jeu.

(boy oh boy, I hope babelfish translated that correctly)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Epées & Sorcellerie
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Goods and Gear: The Ultimate Adventurer's Guide
Publisher: Kenzer & Company
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2008 16:29:34
This book is great. It is one of the most detaield and comprehensive equipment books I've ever seen. It's useabel with D20 and Hackmaster games (and as such any oldschoolRPGs as well).

I'll mention just a few bits about this comprehensive book.

The discussion of the marketplace and the buying and seeling of goods, taxation, coinage and more is solid.

There are a lot of weapons with identical or virtually identical stats but they have decent write-ups that add some flavor to the game.

The clothing section is great and almost worththe price of purchase alone. There are rtuels about style if yuo want to bother but even better is the simpel fact that clothing pieces are described ..i didn't know what a braies or fillet was before I got this book.

there is a lot of crunch here, fillign lots of spots in many a campaign equipment list but also a lot of detail to help describe the world to the players in the manner of what various goods and gear look like.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Goods and Gear: The Ultimate Adventurer's Guide
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Mutant Future: Revised Edition (no-art version)
Publisher: Goblinoid Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2008 11:46:07
Mutant Future is a great old-school inspired title.

I had the pleasure of playtesting these rules with my family and friends on a number of occasions and it is a joy to see the finished product. I've played it with players as young as 10 years old with no RPG experience to speak of and 50 year olds with decades of experience and it went over well.

The rules work very well for post-apocalptic adventures full of mutant oddities wether on the ruins of earth or so far flung world. Character creation is simple and fun with character choices being Human, mutnat human, mutant animal, android and mutnat plant. Mutant powers and ability scores are randomly determined. Not all characters are perfectly balanced against each other and sometimes it is possible to get a rather odd character that is a challenge to play; I simply love that sort of thing. Mutant animals are kept simple, no long lists of different base critters that generally go ignored with players simply picking from the 2 or 3 best options all mutnat animals are really defined by the mutatiosn rolled up with the occasional natural attack thrown in. There is a fair amount given to playing andriods and replicants that needs a little more work from the GM to fully implemen t(imho) but the starting point is sold and well defined. Mutant plants are a truely bizzare but playable character option.

The ruels assume a quasi-mideaval socitey in a area that once maintained an advanced technological society as the baseline starting point for campaigns and the equipment list reflects this. With a little work it woudl be easy to have campaigns with different starting points as there is a lot of stuff covered in this book.

I was initially surprised to find a lawful/neutral/chaotic style alignment system but the simple breakdown of those brief but broad descriptions work and fit.

There are a host of mutant/monsters included in this book from medusoids to spider goats. There are so many one could easily keep the game going for s good long time without even needing to tap the bulit in monster generator that the Pc creation system is.

There is a wide range of technological artifacts for one discover from dehydrated noodles to x-ray lasers.

The art varies from simple to amazing and includes soem clipart pieces, all in all it is evocative and does a good job in illustratign the game.

I've really just scratched the surface in thise write-up. The rules are simple and old-school: Ability scores, armor class, hit points and saving throws. Good stuff. Easy to get to the fun.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutant Future: Revised Edition (no-art version)
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Wilderlands of High Fantasy (new)
Publisher: Judges Guild
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2007 10:07:55
This is a greta reworking of a classical setting. There is an almost unlimted range of adventure available within. So amny of the writeups of a feature or adventure area leave me wantign to add more to them and inspire me to fill in the rest of the vast area covered wirth even more. This is a great campaign setting for explorers, wanderers, empire builders, mercanaries, traders, pirates and thieves of all sorts.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wilderlands of High Fantasy (new)
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MonkeyGod Presents: From Stone to Steel
Publisher: Highmoon Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2007 10:04:53
Wow. I love this book. It provides a comperhensive and entertaining write-up of arms and armor for a variety of eras. Want to have an aztec camapign..look for the arms and armor within, Roman legionares..you are covered. Hoplites and vikings..also covered, and many more.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
MonkeyGod Presents: From Stone to Steel
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OSRIC Unearthed
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2007 10:00:59
A solid add on to oldschool gaming. Useful for those running an OSRIC based cmapaign, old AD&D game and adaptable to the retro-clone games available now.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
OSRIC Unearthed
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Apes of Nature, Myth, & the Imagination
Publisher: Betabunny Publishing
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2007 09:58:18
Good book it certainly covers the topic at hand very well. I've been a fan of apes related fiction as long as i can recall (kong, mighty joe young, planet of the apes) and this book easily draws on the appeal for the topic I have and adds to it. Lots of entertaining and useful write-ups on a variety of apes.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Apes of Nature, Myth, & the Imagination
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Dreadmire
Publisher: Spellbinder Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2007 09:52:36
I'm really enjoyingn this book. I'm just digging into it rerally, it's a pretty big volume.
The settign is of course a great big swamp and soem folks might think there isn't much more then gators, cyprus trees,the occasional lizard man, mosquitos and mud to deal with well..you'd be wrong.
so what's inside:

A couple of maps of the setting and very good maps they are.

Encounter tables, odd spot to put them in the frotn of the book but they are easy to find there.

Writeups of thepeoel andpalces of thedreadmire really set thetoenwell and manage to present that element of the settin very well in a dozen or so pages. Another dozen pages servers as a surpsiingly comperhensive gazeteer of the dreadmire, notes the clebrations and traditions of hwe region along with a catalog of the bizarre.

3 good sized advetures. I only skimmed but they seem to be flavorful and take advantage of the setting in a constructive fashion.

There is a writeup of a number of notable characters and then the new monsters...there are a lot of new monster, some gators and acupel of surpsing variants on the mosquito and a vast variety of horribleswamop life to challenge PCs with, there are more mosnters in this book then one finds in many monster collections.

Juju items and sepelsl are presneted. Juju is the folk magic of the dreadmire tied to ancient roots of mystic lore.

There is a surpsising number of classes and class outlines in this book that all toghether make the setting come alive, some of them are quicky and strange and might not fit outside the settign but in the setting they work well, a coupel of the outlined class variants woudl have benefitted form a more detailed writeup. Using these classes for NPC and then for Pc as they becoem familair witht e setting will certainly add to the game.

A chapter of equipment includes a varitey of weapons both lethal and non-lethal.

There is a number of very useful appendiced as the back of the book that are essential reading to the DM.

This book is a good read and certainly covers it's setting in alose and entertainign fashion that will cwertainyl allow one to add to a larger campaign. One coudl of course cover an entire campaign with everythign that is covered in thsi book. It's worh tit for it's parts and for a complete setting.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dreadmire
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City State of the Invincible Overlord
Publisher: Judges Guild
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2007 11:59:36
This product kicks butt. The citystate is huge with a lot off included and there is still room for expanison. A shopping trip in this city is an adventure and a night out having drinks could be ones last night out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City State of the Invincible Overlord
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The Great Pendragon Campaign
Publisher: Nocturnal
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/14/2007 20:51:33
A wonder to behold. There is so much in this book to recomend. Even if you never play it but do plan on running a fantasy campaign of any consequence this is a must read. This coudl indeed take an RPG group years to complete and they would be glorious years indeed.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Great Pendragon Campaign
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