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zzz-C&C Dark Chateau Castle Zagyg
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2006 00:00:00
A nice little romp through a house once inhabited by Zagyg; well laid out, some interesting plot. I have to say though - I know it's first level, but why is it always goblins?

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
zzz-C&C Dark Chateau Castle Zagyg
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100 Fantasy Kingdoms
Publisher: Postmortem Studios
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2006 00:00:00
I've already submitted a review to rpg.net about this fantastic product. It does very much what it says on the tin - one hundred fantasy kingdoms, usually based on a clever high-fantasy theme (a nation composed of a thousand doorways and rooms, acting as a secret society of wizards; a city owned and run by a great dragon who leverages her hoard for profit; a perfect kingdom resulting from a well-worded wish, now controlled by demons at the whim of one man). Get it if you're a fantasy GM - it's just chock full of ideas.


LIKED: See above.

DISLIKED: The names are a bit hokey - deliberately, I assume, to remind you what the kingdom's theme is.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Fantasy Kingdoms
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zzz-Castle Zagyg The Outs Inn
Publisher: Troll Lord Games
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2006 00:00:00
A nicely detailed home base and plot collection for any starting party; the Outs Inn contains most of the services they'll need and an interesting collection of NPCs. Not to mention a magical secret or two.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
zzz-Castle Zagyg The Outs Inn
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Quick20
Publisher: Mob United Media
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2006 00:00:00
A compact d20 system in 8 pages? I had to see this. And in fact, it's 7 pages. You have 3 classes (the ever-popular Expert, Mystic (or Spellcaster), and Warrior), and it operates much like a slimline version of True20 (damage saves) without skills or feats. The magic system is freeform, simple, and clever.


LIKED: Quick20 is actually pretty impressive - the magic system alone, while nothing innovative, is worth the cost of the pdf, and I've been expanding on it for my own tweaks.

Likewise, the class ability pool system is a simple but brilliant idea. I'd very much like to see them both in play.

Contrary to Tim Gray's review, a 1st level Mystic can do a fair bit in a day, especially if he prepares his spells; it's just 2 points (out of a likely 4 or so) to heal an ally of 2 hits (which is a lot).

DISLIKED: The layout's not brilliant (it's cleaner now).

I'm no fan of the damage save system (it just doesn't work for me when I GM), but that's easily fixed (I roll damage against a soak TN, rather than the other way around).

The character classes (certainly at 1st level) are a bit cookie-cutter - one Warrior is much like another, and all Mystics can cast all spells if they've got the points. Again, easily fixed if you don't like it (I added specialities at first level, and Mystics have to choose a limited number of effects they can call on).

I think more base stats would be a good idea - I can see where they come from, but the normal six would probably be better (I changed it to Might, Reflex, Fortitude, Intellect, Will, and Grace). All can be used for saves (Intellect vs illusions, Grace vs ageing/polymorph) in a C&C style.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Quick20
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Thunder Rift
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2006 00:00:00
This is a neat little mini-setting for low-level play - it's a self-contained little valley about thirty miles long containing al the basic elements of Basic D&D: elves, dwarves, goblins, one dragon, and a whole bunch of low-level adventures within a few days' walk. It's been called a D&D game preserve before now. I like it a lot. It's probably worth looking at the other adventures in the Thunder Rift setting. The book itself mentions Quest for the Silver Sword (which may be the only one you really need, since it's about a magica plague affecting one of the towns, and so you should resolve it if your party ever goes there, which is likely), the Haunted Tower, Assault on Raven's Ruin, and Sword and Shield.


LIKED: See above. It can be dropped into any world pretty easily (the D&D Cycolpaedia Screen includes Escape from Thunder Rift, an adventure to connect it to Mystara); I plan to use Savage Worlds to run it at some point.

DISLIKED: My only reservation is that hte scan of the map is difficult to look at and somewhat incomplete (the joins don't meet very well).

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thunder Rift
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BASH! Fantasy Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2006 00:00:00
A nice little simple fantasy RPG, but really the generic and flexible rules could work for any game genre - which is not surprising, given that it started life as a superhero game. It's almost but not quite a match for BESM, or another fast fun furious game. With some work, you could tweak it for any heroic genre (I suspect it wouldn't work all that well for the grim and gritty style), and indeed there are some short but well thought out sections on other settings (such as Conan-esque dark fantasy, swashbuckling (expanded in Island of the Forgotten Tomb), Roman empire, steampunk, and Oriental adventures). Really, BASH has learned a great deal from other successful games (such as BESM, 7th Sea, Dungeons and Zombies/Unisystem, and of course D&D) and incorporated what it's learned well. And that's no small accomplishment.



QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Very Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Fantasy Edition
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Publisher Reply:
Well thank you. I don't think I have ever played half of those games before, but I wouldn't be surprised if BASH had things in common with them. As for the gritty style, don't knock it yet. When we make a BASH modern product, there will be a horror section as well as pulp, and there will be plenty of grit to it! Of course, right now, Megapolis is our #1 priority, after that, We may see Modern or Sci-Fi.
MonkeyGod Presents: From Stone to Steel
Publisher: Highmoon Games
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2006 00:00:00
A really very readable and comprehensive product, detailing and illustrating weapons and armour from various eras and locations of Earth history. Great for if you're running a game set in, say, an Exalted-like mixture of Mayan empire next door to Phoenician traders with some Stone-Age-level tribesmen milling about, and you'd like some authentic details and stats on their kit rather than, "eh, they're wearing leather. Or possibly scale. They had scale in Asia Minor, right?" Those playing in the Forgotten Realms probably need not apply.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MonkeyGod Presents: From Stone to Steel
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NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2006 00:00:00
It's an interesting take on d20 combat (and on combat-heavy games in general) - rather than beat up mooks and monsters individually, you basically tot up each character's combat effectiveness as a generic score and then use it to reduce a given plot point's threat rating until the GM determines that you've won (or not), rather like applying an abstract battlefield system to party-level fights. It all feels a bit hands-off to me, so I won't be using it.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
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Island of the Forgotten Tomb
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2006 00:00:00
A nice adventure and expansion for BASH Fantasy, essentially the Swashbuckling Supplement, complete with equipment, swordsman schools, a world based on 17th century Europe, and advanced naval rules. It is EXTREMELY similar to a certain popular swashbuckling RPG, but given how much I love that game, that's no bad thing. Comes in print-friendly and illustrated versions for convenience, which is always a nice thing about BASH products.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Island of the Forgotten Tomb
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Publisher Reply:
Well Paul, I am glad you liked it. Of course, when two games both emulate the same historical period there are bound to be similarities. The next product in this line will focus more on the "New World" however, which many games of that period gloss over. It will be a while before that though. Maybe this Summer!
Iron Dynasty: Journey to Red Temple
Publisher: Reality Blurs
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2005 00:00:00
A reasonable little introductory adventure, though the art is poor and the feel does not bode well for the upcoming Iron Dynasty setting, which seems to be an unholy mishmash of Japanese and Chinese material.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Dynasty: Journey to Red Temple
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Weapons of the Gods: The Book of Wood
Publisher: Eos Press
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2005 00:00:00
It's only the first chapter - enough to get you all salivating. The rules look exactly as imaginitive and exciting as I'd thought. I just wish there was more - I was frustrated at what we didn't know about different martial arts styles and so on. And, as usual for such things, I think the art is fugly, but that didn't put me off the potential.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Weapons of the Gods: The Book of Wood
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Disposable Heroes: Fantasy Set 4 (Villains)
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2005 00:00:00
An all-round useful little set of paper minis for your fantasy (or more off-the-wall Buffy-esque modern arcane) campaigns. It's worth the price.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes: Fantasy Set 4 (Villains)
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Against the Reich!
Publisher: Memento Mori Theatricks
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2005 00:00:00
Your best pulp resource. Even if you never meet a single member of the DeutscheArbeitPartei.

LIKED: It's the best pulp RPG supplement I've found so far: it has a whole list of basic tropes, basic archetypes, and definitions of the pulp genre. The adventure ideas are all very neat (though the future space one was a bit off the wall for me). If you want to run pulp, get it. It's all pretty much rules-independent.

DISLIKED: The small-book format was quite annoying at times.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Reich!
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review, Paul! I agree 100% that this is a great resource for action & adventure roleplaying of all stripes (the Playsets concept is pretty cool). I see what you're saying about Runaway Rocket but I think it's great *because* it's so off the wall. :) Jason, the author of that Playset, was inspired greatly by the weird fiction of the day and less by the actual serials (which were fairly low-key given their effects budgets and capacities).
Wire-Fu
Publisher: Bayn.org
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2005 00:00:00
A useful addition to one's Wushu library, more so than the other adjuncts.

LIKED: It is definitely worth buying above and beyond the basic Wushu set - it has nice ideas, some new rules, and some nice settings. And of course, it's not costly.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wire-Fu
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Gimmick's Guide to Gadgets
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2005 00:00:00
Wow! All the technomania you could hope for for your M&M campaign.

LIKED: It's the M&M book on superhero technology - so it's got the hyperkitchen dimensional sink and more. I particularly liked how they had a list of gadgets, at least one for each Power. Also, the new archetypes are nice - the Sniper is a bit funny (except for an NPC/villain, since most heroes don't set out to kill villains execution-style with enormous rail gun rifles) but the Agent is essential. I felt they could have used a Green Arrow/Hawkeye/Captain Boomerang gadget-projectile archetype, since it's such a classic, but whatever.

DISLIKED: There wasn't as much as I'd have liked on Reed Richards-style hypertech and McGuffins, but I guess they couldn't fit in everything.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gimmick's Guide to Gadgets
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