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Thrilling Tales Theatre: Undersea Kingdom, Chapter 1
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2010 18:30:28
Thrilling Tales Theatre: Undersea Kingdom, Chapter 1 is a roller coaster ride with all the expected twists and turns. As a fan of the genre, I watched the chapter with anticipation of each "new" twist. The hero is dashing. The damsel is curious. The genius professor doesn't put the obvious clues together. The fool has a side kick and his own theme music. The traitor is cowardly. And the villain wants to destroy the world. I can't wait to see how it ends. Actually, I can probably guess, but that doesn't ruin the fun of watching it. The included stats allow the devices to easily be included in a Savage Worlds game. The tips are useful for any pulp RPG. Adamant, please, make chapter two available, soon.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thrilling Tales Theatre: Undersea Kingdom, Chapter 1
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Sci-Fi Civilians Set
Publisher: Arion Games
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2009 07:55:27
Arion is still the industry standard. These figures have appeared on so many of my gaming tables that it would take too long to enumerate them for this review. I'm sitting at my home office desk and can see several on a shelf and I have several drawers in a parts box filled with figures from this set alone. Highly useful for most sci-fi settings, and probably all sci-fi settings with a forgiving (or predominantly near-sighted) gaming crew. This set has stood the test of time. If I lost the file, I would download it again, if I couldn't do that, I'd pay full price again.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sci-Fi Civilians Set
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Wilderness Tile Designer
Publisher: 0one Games
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2009 07:48:22
Three years later and I'm still using this product. I couldn't give a better review to mapping or tile-making software. I have used almost every product line available from RPGNow to print or make tiles and this is one of two wilderness products that I continue to use.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wilderness Tile Designer
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e-Adventure Tiles: Sewer Chambers
Publisher: SkeletonKey Games
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/27/2009 07:37:40
Excellent addition to the collection. This set dovetails nicely with the sewer tunnels, and greatly enhances the options available to a GM.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
e-Adventure Tiles: Sewer Chambers
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Daring Tales of Adventure: Figure Flats
Publisher: Triple Ace Games
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2009 11:17:47
This is my first purchase in the Daring Tales of Adventure product line. Overall, I am quite impressed with the value present in this product. The quality of the artwork is superb. The selection is more than adequate. There are plenty of heroes, sidekicks, villains, and by-standers provided. The tri-fold design is not my favorite, but I was quickly able to manipulate the images to provide two-sided figures which I then mounted to home-made slotted foam core bases. I printed multiples of the Nazi figures, since, as you well know, there are always more Nazis. There are enough different poses to make the Nazis look good in a horde. My only complaint is that there are too few poses of some of the other figure types. There are plenty of different colors uses bewteen the figures, but a different pose or two (or five) would have been nice. Still, I'm completely satisfied with the purchase and am planning on buying more the Daring Tales of Adventure line for my home and convention games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Daring Tales of Adventure: Figure Flats
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Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Dead Duke
Publisher: Hamster Press
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/16/2009 10:03:08
I've played a lot of Sherlock Holmes games and this scenario has the potential to capture all the flavor of a classic Holmes mystery. If you're not familiar with the Engle's Matrix Game, the idea is very simple: each player gets a chance to decide one fact in the game and chooses another player to set the difficulty level of the die roll. There, you now know about 90% of the rules. The game engine is simple, but it allows for players to create the game that they want to play, without a great deal of preparation from a GM.

I ran this at a recent game convention and we had a blast playing it. I printed the map and one set of character cards in full color. I printed another set of cards in grayscale, cut out the pictures, and stuck them in foamcore to use as the playing pieces. We didn't have a great deal of movement in the one session that I ran, but the pieces still looked good standing on the board.

The players decided that they were going to play this one a little on the silly side, so there were some funny twists and turns, but it still had the feel of a Conan Doyle story. In our story, the cook was having an affair with a gentleman friend of the Duke. She managed to escape from Holmes after stealing both the Duke's and the gentleman's silver. She booked passage on a steamship bound for the United States, arriving just a little too late to book on the first ship she wanted to sail: RMS Titanic. The gentleman stood trial and was convicted, while his backstabbing lover lived on the stolen goods in a fancy apartment in New York.

All that developed and was resolved in less than two hours. And that's how it goes with these Engle's Matrix games. I'm hooked, and if you're looking for a fast-playing game with the emphasis on character interaction and story, then you can't go wrong by giving any of the Hamster Press' products a chance.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Dead Duke
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Sci-Blocks
Publisher: Finger and Toe Models
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2009 16:16:42
Another excellent set from Finger and Toe! This set is very versatile and I plan to use this over a number of different campaigns, so the value is extremely high. I purchased this set and had the first models built and on the gaming table within a couple hours. While the designs are simple, I'm not sure I'd let my kids work on this without a great deal of help from me. The walkways require precise cuts and folds or they just don't look right and those precise folds and joints are exactly where they'll be contact other models, so strength and alignment are effect by a mistake in that vital area. Still, the cubes and blocks are easy, and I had my kids working with me to get the first batch of models ready for game night. Keep'em coming.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sci-Blocks
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Orc Warband
Publisher: Mayhem in Paper
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2009 05:41:38
One Monk Miniatures has quickly become the standard by which all other paper minis are judged. At least that's the way it is around our gaming table. So, when I needed a band of orcs for my scenario, I immediately downloaded the Orc Warband. I was not disappointed, and neither were my players. The detail is excellent. The colors are distinctive. The poses add interest. There is much added value to this set by the plethora of other One Monk sets to complement any layout. Likewise, I was able to add a few more figures to the scenario by adding a few figures from One Monk's free sets, some available here on OBS, and others available from the One Monk Miniatures web site. I even went to One Monk's site to find the right texture for the battle board I was using, and found exactly what I needed- for free. Talk about great customer service. I've been buying One Monk Miniatures for a little while now, and frankly, I prefer this style to all others. For the hero characters, yes, we still use white metal. The One Monk minis look very good next to 3D models. The only down side to this style of paper minis is the time it take to cut. When time is short, I still rely on my extensive collection of rectangular paper minis, but I am slowly building up my One Monk collection, so even that will be mitigated with time.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Orc Warband
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DRAGONSHIRE: Base Set
Publisher: Fat Dragon Games
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2009 08:01:10
Brilliant design! Top-quality art! An excellent product with much utility for fantasy and historical gamers. The different levels of the houses are interchangeable; you can swap roofs, ground levels, and upper levels among themselves. Which means its a little bit more work to put together a single building. I found myself cursing the designer while I was going through all of the extra steps involved with making the levels interchangeable. However, I took it all back once I saw how this actually worked on the gaming table. By only putting together two complete two-story houses, I actually had a bunch of different houses for different scenes. By swapping the roofs and omitting the upper floors, I could make two different-looking single-story cottages. Again, brilliant design!
The church looks a lot more difficult to build than it really is. Sitting at my work table, I put together the entire church in about forty minutes, and that includes edging and drying time between steps. I think I even cut and folded a few smaller models while I was letting some of the church parts dry. The interior floor tiles of the church are a nice touch. Because my players knew we had the interior tiles, our party's cleric went into the church to pray, and he had a great little role-playing scene with the vicar. When a RPG accessory actually encourages role-playing, I'd say it has done its job quite effectively.
All in all, I am very satisfied with this purchase and plan to continue to build more models from this set as time permits. Fat Dragon Games continues to support hours of excellent table top gaming.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DRAGONSHIRE: Base Set
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THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: PERILS OF THE ORIENT
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2008 08:02:19
Excellent treatment of the subject matter, well up to Adamant's usual high standard. Perils of the Orient is a primer on utilizing the "Yellow Menace" in your pulp games, and it serves that purpose well. The product opens with long piece of flavor text, which I find a bit too long for the purpose. While this detracts from my overall rating, the rest of the product redeems this editorial choice. The introduction cites numerous examples of oriental pulp villains and provides the social and historical context of the "Yellow Menace" as a genre. Different types of villains are detailed in successive chapters, and there is even a chapter on Asian weapons, their origins, and uses. The d20 stat blocks would be useful for anyone running a pulp d20 scenario.
This product could have used a few more maps, perhaps of an historical or quasi-historical Chinatown neighborhood. The illustrations are evocative of the era and genre, even if some of them are seen elsewhere in Adamant's product line. Overall, I'm satisfied with the purchase and happy to recommend it to any pulp GM, especially if you're running a d20 system game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES - Pulp Villains: PERILS OF THE ORIENT
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Dead Man on Campus: A Lovecraftian Engle Matrix Game
Publisher: Hamster Press
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2008 07:54:44
Awesome game! Dead Man on Campus is one of the most successful games I've ever run at a convention. I ran this game twice just this past weekend at MEPACon (mepacon.com) and both game ran at or over the announced player limit of six. Here's the thing, the first game ran in the midnight slot Saturday over Sunday; the second game ran in the Sunday morning 9am slot, the traditional "dead" slot because you simply can't attract enough players. Dead Man on Campus (DMOC) was easy to teach and run, and the players all had a blast playing this. The two different groups each created wildly different plots, but still definitely Lovecraftian and each engaging, dramatic, and fun to play! DMOC is now among my favorites and I'll be adding Engle Matrix Games to my GMing repertoire for all conventions in the foreseeable future.
The idea of Engle Matrix Games is dead simple. A player states what he or she wants to see happen, then chooses a referee, from among the other players, who sets a target number, based on how likely the referee thinks the result is to happen. Other people can make counter-arguments and choose their own referees. In the end, a few simple die rolls indicate if what was proposed actually happens. So, literally anything can happen, and it's always something that at least one player wants to have happen.
The presentation of DMOC was very good. The color map prints on four pages and is easy to assemble. My color printer wasn't working, so I was forced to print in greyscale, but the map was still easy to use. The character cards contain a picture of the character in the form of an actual "old-timey" photo, along with a memorable and informative quote. I printed two copies of the cards and used the second copy to cut out the photos and use them as playing pieces to represent the characters on the map. My co-GM used color markers to place a color-coded border around the pictures on both the cards and the playing pieces, this made it easy to see where everyone was at a glance.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Man on Campus: A Lovecraftian Engle Matrix Game
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Island Book I
Publisher: Judges Guild
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2008 08:58:51
This is an excellent resource for a number of different settings and for virtually every genre. I've incorporated these maps into my fantasy, sci-fi, and modern military campaigns. For the price, you just can't go wrong if you can find a use for hex-mapped islands. The charts at the beginning of book are useful for a number of different settings, too. Overall, I consider this to be one of the best RPG purchases I've made online. My only complaint is that the map on page 27 has some inexplicable shading on the top half of the page, and fooling around with the settings doesn't fix the problem.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Island Book I
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THRILLING TALES: Gamemaster's Guide to Pulp Adventure
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2008 16:03:31
This is, by far, the best GM resource for pulp role playing. The information on the times and styles presented in pulp adventures is thoroughly covered. The random adventure generator is excellent. It's more than just an adventure seed generator, but helps generate each individual act. I've used the adventure generator to create adventures for our group's home brew RPG rules and also for Pulp-Fu. You can even use the adventure generator to create adventures on the fly. If this product were just the adventure generator, it would be well worth it, but with all of the material on the genres and styles covered by the pulps, plus all of the useful hints on actually GMing a pulp RPG, this one is a no-brainer: if you're a pulp GM, buy Thrilling Tales: Gamemaster's Guide to Pulp Adventure.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Gamemaster's Guide to Pulp Adventure
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THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/18/2008 11:53:20
The included adventures are excellent. They're not suitable for a single campaign, but anyone running a pulp campaign should be able to make at least on of these adventures fit. The plans of the zeppelins aren't the best, and I would have liked to see a better job done in that department. Battle maps aren't necessary, but something to allow the players and GM to get a better feel for the layout of the zeppelins would have helped. Bottom line: I bought this product and managed to actually use it at the gaming table to the delight of my players.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
THRILLING TALES: Zeppelin Adventures
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Pulp-Fu
Publisher: Bayn.org
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2008 15:29:06
Wushu is a great system and Pulp-Fu adds just enough information on style to make pulp action easy. There are a few added rules in Pulp-Fu, like an insanity attribute, which brings Wushu into the realm of Eldritch horror, or vice versa. The usual character templates and information about the genre are all there. I have no regrets about this purchase, as my gaming group has added Pulp-Fu to our regular rotation.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pulp-Fu
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