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Ashdown: 100 Worlds For Starships & Spacemen 2E
Publisher: Luminous Design
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2018 11:38:28

Honestly I found myself very very disappointed with this product, but to be fair it is exactly what the description says - one hundred planets, divided between 16 star systems. The only information you get about each world is the name, planet type and the type of the star it orbits. No descriptions or useful information beyond that. One of the star systems is our solar system, which accounts for 11 of the 100 worlds. Yes, not only does this include the semi-mythical Nibiru, but also still recognises Pluto as a planet (raises fist in unity with my Plutonian brothers - we will rise again from the tyrranny of deGrasse-Tyson!) There are other problems with some of the "real" star systems too.

On the plus side, the presentation and layout is very nice, very slick looking. Artwork is mainly generic CGI space art, nothing obviously specific to the worlds described but nicely done. The overall design is polished and it's an attractive looking product. I wouldn't be averse to looking at future products by this creator on that basis alone. But the bottom line is I feel there just isn't enough content here to justify the price. Sorry guys, but this sort of product relies on giving the gamesmaster something evocative and inspirational, which just telling us Viden Prime is a class H planet just doesn't do. Give us a line or two of blurb about each world (or at the very least each system) and tell us what makes it special.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ashdown: 100 Worlds For Starships & Spacemen 2E
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Creator Reply:
Greetings Chris J, Thank you very much for your purchase and interest in my product. I appreciate your honest feedback and both your kind words as well as the constructive criticisms.
An updated version of the product will be available in the near future which should address some of the concerns you had on this initial release. Since you have already purchased the product you should receive a notice and be able to download the updated files.
Updated and Expanded version now available with more specific content.
100 Fictional Band Names Part II
Publisher: Pink Dice Bag Publishing
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/10/2018 11:23:55

I'm convinced at this point that PDB have some sort of cross-dimensional viewer that's just pulling the current Billboard Hot 100 chart over from a parallel universe. I swear when I look at some of these names I can see the album covers...

Another great list of plausible, evocative band names, covering as the blurb says a wider range of musical styles. As someone running a campaign set in a fictional Caribbean island nation, I'm delighted to see several names suitable for either latin or reggae/dance hall acts. Gabriel y Los Tigres will definitely be playing my PCs' home town.

The Celtic folk/rock crowd are well represented, as are American bluegrass. Banjos, banjos as far as the eye can see...

There are names that suggest jazz, motown, EDM, metal, everything from the indie-guitar stylings of Beauty Shop Girls (they're all guys, by the way) to the smooth crooning of soul legend Hudson Bank (though personally I prefer his older Motown-era stuff when he was lead singer with The Cruisers). And I won't lie, number 56 made me giggle.

This, and the first list, are admittedly very niche products that won't get a ton of use in 99% of RPG games. But if you run modern or SF games, they're well done and the price is cheap enough that they're worth tucking away at the back of your binder ready for that one time you need inspiration for the name of the band playing at the bar the PCs just entered.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Fictional Band Names Part II
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100 Fictional Band Names
Publisher: Pink Dice Bag Publishing
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2018 17:29:17

A brilliant set of names here. Instead of chopping and swapping real-world band names as I've seen similar lists do, these are all original names, most of which strongly evoke ideas for the type of music they play. So B-lieve is clearly a bubblegum pop band, while Biowarrior must be hardcore death metal, while the Mossy Oak Boys sing guitar ballads about beer, trucks and good-old-boys (Or they might all possibly just be J-Pop bands, who knows?). Not many of these names really lend themselves to "music of black origin" i.e. rap or modern R&B, but that probably deserves a list all of its own (hint, hint Pink Dice Bag folks!)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Fictional Band Names
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Creator Reply:
Hey Chris, We definitely (happily!) got your hint and have made a second list of band names! With this second list we focused on expanding the musical styles represented to include jazz, R&B, rap, blues, even surf rock, Celtic, and big band. We'd love to send you a complimentary copy as a thank-you for the idea! Please email us at thepinkdicebag@gmail.com or use the contact form on our website so we can get everything set up. Thank you, Rowan
100 Town and City Names
Publisher: Pink Dice Bag Publishing
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2018 17:11:44

A really nice selection of names. Despite the title "Town and City Names", they're really best suited as names for your archetypal American "small town you've never heard of", or maybe for towns in the Australian outback. Some of them would work OK for British town or village names but many of them wouldn't, having linguistic roots that you just don't get in genuine British placenames. Though amusingly nestled among all the artificially constructed names, #5 on the table, Bradford, just happens to be the name of a major UK city. Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Town and City Names
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Tropicana: Gorillaconda
Publisher: GRAmel
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/30/2017 13:52:49

I recently ran Gorillaconda for the players in my own Carribbean island paradise campaign. It's not the San Jose of Tropicana's setting, but similar enough in tone and details that it fit perfectly. I'd say this scenario is easily adaptable to most modern-day settings. There's just one slightly pulpy element that might not fit with totally realistic games, but this can be easily cut out without harming the overall plot. The scenario is well written and has a simple but clever mystery plot behind it. It has a nice variety of challenge scenes, most of them not combat related.

The biggest problem is the PDF is so brief, it's really only the bare bones of a scenario outline.It doesn't go into the gritty details that you need to run a fully fleshed out session. For example, the bulk of the action takes place on a movie shoot. In real life, even small low budget film shoots have dozens of people doing various jobs, and in an RPG you're going to need plenty of NPCs for players to talk to, have suspicions about and make the setting seem real. Gorillaconda has 5 named NPCs... two of them are the villains, one of them is a victim and the other two are monkeys. Also there's no real discussion of what the players can do pro-actively, clues that can lead them to uncover what's going on. A GM running this should expect to do a bit of prep work fleshing things out in advance, or otherwise do an awful lot of improvising details during play.

When I ran this I pre-generated about a half dozen NPCs to populate the film crew - just names, descriptions and personalities. A couple of them had behaviours that made them possible suspects to distract the players from the real villains. I also broke down the various beats of the plot and worked out contingencies for player actions. It was enough to bring the adventure to life and keep the players engaged, and with a little bit of pace shifting in response to player actions the scenario ran its course successfully.

If you're looking for a fully detailed scenario ready to run straight from the book then you may well be disappointed with Gorillaconda. However if you look at it as an extended scenario seed to be fleshed out with your own details, it's a fun and original piece that would make an excellent one shot. There's lots of scope to adjust the tone depending on what you're after - dial up the absurdist elements for a light hearted romp, or dial up the strange and dangerous stuff for a more suspenseful/horror game.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tropicana: Gorillaconda
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Mission: Mercy
Publisher: paNik productions
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2017 06:06:41

This is a great little scenario pack that gives you a ton of material for your money.

The scenario is set in modern day Columbia, though with a little work it could be adapted to any developing world country with remote communities. As written, two of the protagonists are described as mutants from the publisher's "REACT" campaign setting, but this is absolutely not essential to the plot and this scenario could easily be used in an entirely "real world" game with no weird or supernatural elements. There is a section on South American superstition and folklore if you want to incorporate these elements, but as the text states, NPC's belief in these things can still impact the adventure even if they don't objectively exist in the setting.

The main thrust of the adventure is the journey by road to a remote location and the delivery of the vaccine to the affected people. It's presented in a fairly freeform manner, with a number of obstacles and events the GM can throw at the players, rather than having a rigid plot or timeline. This is a big plus in my opinion, since over-plotted scenarios always seem to fall foul of player characters and their pesky free will. There are plenty of options for how the PCs can deal with events, and enough information for the GM to improvise should they do something unexpected.

The maps are well done, presented both in PD for printing and as VTT-friendly image files. In addition to trifold paper minis for all the likely protagonists, the set includes larger character "stand-ups" for the major NPCs, with their portrait on the front and their game stats on the back - a really nice touch to help players visualise the characters they're interacting with. Personally I'm not a big fan of the digital painting style used for most of the illustrations, but that's purely a personal preference - they're competently done and on the whole illustrate the adventure well rather than being just vaguely appropriate stock art.

Speaking of game stats, the adventure seems primarily written for Savage Worlds, with a seperate "Polysystem" PDF with the full main text and system-specific info for the four other supported game systems accessible by layers. This is really well done, with certain passages in the main text highlighted and linked to sidebars with game-specific content. Some real thought seems to have gone into the adaptation to the other systems as well, rather than just being a find-and-replace job.

On the whole I'm really pleased with this adventure, and will definitely be looking forward to seeing more from this publisher. My only gripe is that I can't easily use this adventure in my current ongoing Latin American RPG campaign -The PCs run a helicopter charter company and an hour-long flight would neatly bypass the whole "road trip" part of the adventure.

TL:DR - Lots of stuff included, well put together and presented, easily adaptable to other modern-day RPG settings. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mission: Mercy
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Creator Reply:
Thank You, Chris. You hit on just about everything we do to try to make a great title... and yes the multi systems are actually playtested (SHOCK!). Thanks for your assessment and highlights of what we do.
Science Fiction Codex of Lists
Publisher: JEN Games
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2017 16:03:51

If you're the sort of GM who likes and uses random lists and tables in your games, and if you're running SciFi, then this product is a treasure trove. Holy crap, you get a ton of stuff for your money! Nearly 90 different list/tables of various sizes covering a wide array of subjects. When you consider that your typical random table PDF product sells for between 50c and $1 for a typical d66 table, that represents tremendous value. Some are going to be more useful than others depending on the specifics of the game you're running, but I think there's enough in here for most GM's to get their money's worth. Personally I would have liked to see the lists laid out more like traditional tables, with the dice roll numbers first. but since I'm likely to be importing these and using them in Inspiration Pad Pro, it's not a dealbreaker for me. Of particular note are the planetary generation tables, which cover all the usual details, including a D100 list of Planetary Options that looks like an excellent supplement to the World Tags in Stars Without Number. If you're the sort of GM who prefers to carefully plan out every detail of the worlds your PCs visit, you might still find looking over these lists useful as inspiration, but if you're a seat-of-the-pants improvising GM running a sandbox like SWN or running a solo game, then adding this to your toolbox is a no-brainer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Science Fiction Codex of Lists
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Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/11/2016 14:17:20

At the risk of repeating what everyone else has said, this product is excellent. The page quality is so crisp and sharp it looks like it's been generated from the original DTP files rather than scanned like most ex TSR PDFs. The game is an eminently playable fantasy wargame designed to mesh easily with 2nd edition AD&D, but it plays perfectly well on its own merit and should be easy to adapt to 3rd edition+. I used to use this for semi-historical games of Aztecs vs Conquistadors which the basic rules handled fine.

If the rulesystem has a drawback it's that it's a buckets-o-dice system that uses most of the polyhedral dice types, so you may find yourself having to buy a bigger dice bag.

I've been eagerly waiting for this game to emerge from the Wizards' vaults, and can highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlesystem Miniatures Rules (2e)
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Wargaming Objective Cards
Publisher: Art of War Games
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2015 11:29:05

This is a very poor product. What you get is just the text you see in the sample file, arranged nine "cards" to a page. There are no graphics at all, not even any card backs. There are no instructions on how you are supposed to use these cards. Worst of all there are no cutting guide marks to show where to cut to turn a page into nine cards, so you can look forward to a lot of measuring and estimating and unevenly sized cards.

There are some good ideas on some of these objective cards, but some I'm not so sure have been playtested for balance.

This isn't the most expensive product, but if you're going to sell something describing it as a deck of cards, a buyer is going to expect a certain minimum of features - cutting marks and card backs as an absolute minimum. What you've got here is just a list of ideas for objective cards, not in any usable form. With the amount of work I'm going to have to put in to turn this into an actual usable deck of cards, I don't believe this product is worth... well anything really. If it was turned into a proper print-your-own card deck with card backs, guidelines and instructions - it might be worthwhile.

Save your money. Look at the sample file, trawl the web for other battle objective ideas, then fire up your word processor and make your own cards.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Wargaming Objective Cards
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Creator Reply:
This is the printer friendly version of the cards i put up so people could try them out before the actual print on demand cards are available. The POD cards will be available in a week or so when I get the proofs and can green light them for sale. as for instruction print them out on cardstock and put them in card sleeves. Use them however you deem appropriate for your games. One card for 100 points for Gruntz or 500 points for 40k or whatever you want to use them for.
Mutants & Masterminds Archetype Archive 2
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2006 00:00:00

Another ten character archetypes, all still iconic in their own way, although they're starting to look a little more like versions of specific characters rather than universal archetypes. There are few more iron-agey characters in here, like the "Living Weapon" and the "Cyborg".

Each has the same full-page format as AA1 and the artwork is up to the same high standard.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good clear layout, range of characters, value for money.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Archetype Archive 2
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Mutants & Masterminds Archetype Archive 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2006 00:00:00

Ten character archetypes, distinct from those in the M&M corebook, yet still iconic in their own way. Each has their own full page charsheet & illustration, which leaves me wanting to see the original archetypes produced in the same format instead of two to a page.

The artwork varies from good to excellent.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good clean layout, iconic archetypes usable across a range of campaign styles (from Golden to Iron Age) Good value for money.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The fact that as someone still wedded to 1st Edition, I'm only going to get limited use out of this!<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Archetype Archive 1
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Flatlands: Modern Tiles and Tokens Megaset 1
Publisher: 12 to Midnight
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2006 00:00:00

Nice artwork, a great selection of vehicles and items counters in several different styles. The character counters are all 2D and only show head and shoulders, so there's no kit-bashing potential for people who prefer fold-up figures. But the counters are replicated in multiple styles, and a selection of blank counters are included for enterpising GMs to adapt.

The floorplan textures are OK, though I would have liked to have seen a wider range of interior floor textures. The furniture counters are great.

The vehicles are great but limited to Police, Humvees of various styles and Blackhawk helicopters. Some civilian vehicles would have been very useful.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Attractive graphics, lots of stuff here for your $$$<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The 3 interior textures are all crammed together on one sheet, whereas all the exterior textures have a sheet to themselves.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Flatlands: Modern Tiles and Tokens Megaset 1
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Modern Dispatch (#66): Superheroic Adventure Generator
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2006 00:00:00

For those days when inspiration needs a subtle kick in the pants, a random adventure generator like this can be useful to a harried GM. It works by picking out a selection of key words to be plugged into a sentence that outlines the plot.

For example, it might produce ?The main characters must [Rescue] [a Scientist], from [In Orbit], but have to contend with [Equipment Failure] while being confronted by [Hired Killers].? It's then up to the GM to flesh that out with details, coming up with any required NPCs and tying the plot into the campaign world.

Some combinations might need a little mental flexibility to explain, such as why the heroes have to [Kill] a [Celebrity] in the [Jungle] while dealing with a [Dimensional Rift] and opposed by [Lawyers], but that's half the fun.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Clean layout, wide range of keywords appropriate to the genre.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: These tables are all rolled using D8s. We hates the pointy little swine.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Dispatch (#66): Superheroic Adventure Generator
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Mirror Universe : : Volume 2
Publisher: Inspired Device
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2006 00:00:00

This product, like Volume 1 gives you a dozen superhero/villain costumes and backgrounds, paired off to give a hero & a villain for each of six names. The artwork is very well done in the "Timms"/DC Animated style.

Each character has a 1 inch square flat counter, a 38mm high A-frame fold up figure and a large 140mm display figure designed to sit in front of the player to remind everyone who they're playing - a great idea for convention games. No tri-fold figures, for those who use them.

One great idea carried over from Volume 1 is the Status indicators, which can be printed off to show game effects like Stunned, Fallen etc. The publisher has collected these together as a free download on their web page.

Finally the figures are all available in both colour and B&W, allowing you to colour the figures yourself. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good clean graphics, nice character ideas<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The Good/Bad pairs in Volume 2 are even less mirror-like than Volume 1, having very different appearences, backgrounds and power sets.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mirror Universe : : Volume 2
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Mirror Universe : : Volume 1
Publisher: Inspired Device
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2006 00:00:00

This product gives you a dozen superhero/villain costumes and backgrounds, paired off to give a hero & a villain for each of six names. The artwork is very well done in the "Timms"/DC Animated style.

Each character has a 1 inch square flat counter, a 38mm high A-frame fold up figure and a large 140mm display figure designed to sit in front of the player to remind everyone who they're playing - a great idea for convention games. No tri-fold figures, for those who use them.

One nitpick: despite the product's name, the good/evil character pairs aren't true mirror image characters. Some have very different backgrounds, and some look very different from their counterparts.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Good graphics and an interesting variety of characters.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing really.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mirror Universe : : Volume 1
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