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Star Mangled Manor
Publisher: Azukail Games
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/14/2018 12:03:38

What we have here is one-page affair (in regard to content, without the legal text, artwork, etc.) To get to the point, this supplement falls short of delivering a good encounter description. It has fancy artwork, a good kick-off for the thing to come (a nice scene description and a backdrop story), but as soon as that is established... it fails to provide any meaningful tips on how the combat encounter should play out. You get the stats, but in regard to running the encounter you get lines like (quote) “When playing the Raukamar/Balor you should remember that they have innate magical abilities and these should be used to maximum effect!” “In any event, if the demon looks in danger of defeat then it will flee using magic to avoid pursuit.” To me, this does not really provide help for running a combat encounter. By the by, do not expect a manor. The manor is a smoldering ruin right before the combat encounter starts.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Star Mangled Manor
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PMG's Free Audio Sampler [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Plate Mail Games
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/12/2018 13:12:40

PMG incloude five titles that cater to different genres. All of them are 10 minutes long and "loop-able". The tracks are provided as mp3 as wall as "flac".

Futuristic City starts off with sounds that would not be uncommon in our everyday 21st streets, but quickly passing hover vehicles, swishing high-flier and buzzing drones are added to the soundscape. There are pedestrians, two, but the streets are mostly for the vehicles. Little human conversaion is heard (and NO blaring advertisements). Sometimes, there is even the sound of some "heavy mechanic thing walking". Good for SciFi a sidewalk.

Day Medieval City is conjures the picture of a medivial street at the day. A smith is at work, horses and charts are heard, birds twitter from the roof tops (yes, TWITTER was not unheard of in the times before the internet!) and there is the constant rabble-dabble of the busy citizens out in the street. One can even here goose, chickens and other assorted lifestock. A good track for both fantasy and historical medivial RPG (as soon as the PC hit town, that is!).

Cthulhu´s Call is an ambient track as well, but instead of relying on "sound effects", this track uses music in theatrical way to create a sense of strangeness, unease and tension. "Effects" are used as well, but the instruments are the dominant part here. All in all, the track IS really good for any kind of "meet Things that Men Was Not Meant to Know".

Dungeon Realm 1 Remix is spherice, in a dark and brooding way. It is not especially "Dungeon", so it does include sound elements that remind of a waling wind (or air movement) in a cave. There moments of brief "rat chittering" and dropping water, two. I guess it would work with other horror/suspense scene, too, as long as it is supernatural in nature, or just scary/gloomy. One could, for example, use it for a deserted, post-apocalyptic city, too.

Space Cruiser Bridge ramps up the bling-bling, in the electronic and accustic way. A lot of things in the background make quick beep-sounds, there is the humming of powered devices, the deep vibration of something in the background and of course, the swishing sound of futuristic doors opening and closing once in a while (foot steps include). Otherwise, the bridge is SILENT. There is no voice, artifical or human, just the technology playing its own symphony.

Thunderstorm at Horror-House delivers exactly what the title says. Rain, rolling thunder in the background (not loud enough to be RIGHT THERE, but somewhere near), and scary background tunes in the background that would match a horror movie scene where somebody sneaks through a lightless, old house at midnight. This track is for sure not as versatile as the others, but it is for free, so one should not complaint.

All in all, the tracks would cost a couple of dollars if bought individually. Plate Mail Games gives you a good sample of what they offer. I say: get it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PMG's Free Audio Sampler [BUNDLE]
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Blood Dark Thirst
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2017 08:17:25

Blood Dark Thirst weighs in at 22 pages (if you do not count the cover and the artpage at the „inside” of the cover). Reading it in order to get ready to roll may thereby be done quickly. What else does this title offer?

First of all, it offers really good artwork! While I for one doubt that a 22-pager has to have 7 pages that are artwork only, this artwork is up to the cover illustration in regard to quality, and summons a gritty-sleezy-cheesy vampire vibe. Good stuff in that department, really!

After a small introduction (that does not overstay its welcome), p.3 to p.19 give GM and player all the rules of B-D-T (together with some random tables for character creation, for those who HAVE to have them). The products -is- rules light, it does not even have an attribute or skill set but follows a rather free-form approach where every player picks three things the characters is good at, two things the PC is bad at... and thats it! On to the vampire-stuff (which is the real focus of the game)! The rule system is easy to understand and easy to run with. Of course, that means that it is not a nuanced affair where things besides the characters general aptitude make to much of a difference. It is all about the number of d6 that the character may roll for a task (most of the time: one, two or three). If the overall circumstances are beneficial, a D6 is added. If they are obstructive, a D6 is removed from the pool. While this approach speeds things up greatly and makes sure that the rules may be explained quickly, I would have loved to see a bit of info about weapons in combat here. While the author does declare that this title is not about heroes with gear (and offers a quick rule for armor), a(nother) two-line optional rule about weapons in combat would have rounded.

The rules for the supernatural aspects of the (demon-based, mind you!) vampires were clearly inspired by the “Vampire” product lines of WhiteWolf (and now: Onyx Path Publishing). Blood points are used to measure the amount of the red stuff (optionally called “ichor” here) that a vampire robs from humans and used to fuel supernatural powers and the vampires existence, a humanity stat goes up and down in response to the good and evil acts of the character (evil characters are easier to identify as a vampire and have problems to animate themselves during the day), willpower is gained by adhering to once character (flaws) and may be spend to fend off mind-control or to boost ones own dice pools for important actions...

In fact, the rules read and feel like a complete adaption of the mentioned “Vampire”-rules to Venger Nas Satanis own VSd6 system. The line between “being inspired” and “being a copy-cat” seems thin to me here.

The available supernatural powers make-up the “vamp-thing” of a character, and these are as rules-light as the rest of the system. In some cases, that works very well but in others, I would have liked a -tad- more information about how to handle a given power in the game. To name a few: Allure, Dread and Evaporate Blood would have gained a lot clarity if just one more sentence with a rules statement would have been added to them (like it it is the case with Acidic Blood and Resilience). A good GM should still be handle this on the fly with a few house rules, so.

What I personally like the most here is Venger Nas Satanis slighty different take on “blood bounds”,as they no longer are a surefire-way to enslave another vampire: things just -might- end up not as “yes-master”-ish as the donor of the ichor thinks they will...

The advertisement text for the title says that “a brief introductory scenario is provided”, and that is a statement I could not disagree more with. This “scenario” is made up of a plot hook (“you get a LEAVE OR GET KILLED” letter by another vampire of the city), a prop (said letter), a d6 table with six facts about Lyrean (said antagonist), and a random d20 encounter table for the “scenario”. AND THAT´S IT. All in all, this covers the pages 19 and 21, but only 50% or 75% of each page is actually content, the rest is “filler”. The random encounter table (titled “What is going on in the city tonight”) includes the one and only hint to the antagonists whereabouts [“Lyrean Du Kane´s stronghold in the ware-house district”]. To me, that is not a scenario but a plot idea and a random events table (...and how exactly is the stronghold meant to be a random event?).

All in all, you get a nice, quick-and-dirty “Vampire”-rules adaption to an easy-to-learn, fast-to-play d6 based rules system, and the title is thereby true to the first statement of its advertisement [All the bloodsucking, none of the baggage! ]. The artwork is GOOD, the layout is nice and clear, the rules would have profited from one more explanation here or there, but all in all the system is “solid” and ready for a ride. It is not what I call original, so, and thereby I stick to a 3/5. If you are looking for a system that will support your Halloween-Horror-Quicky, do not hesitate and make the purchase. The same is true if you look for something nice and easy that you may build upon.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Dark Thirst
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Chains 1 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:42:00

I like this release of the Knotty Works a little less than other titles of their product range: the “washed” effect (I don´t know how to call it any other way, as I am not a native speaker) lets you think twice before you use a small font size in your title. But if you are looking for the heavy-metal-hell” approach in your product (and the other offers of The Knotty Works do not fit your bill somehow), this one will be it.

Plus, the price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chains 1 Page Background
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Knotty Works Backgrounds Set 7
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:37:44

By now, this one became one of my standard covers for non-mutated post-apocalyptic list/item titles. Before, I found it hard to find a suiting cover, as I looked for something dark but non-flamboyant and matter-of-fact. This set does the trick.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knotty Works Backgrounds Set 7
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Black & White 3 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:34:42

This thorny-looking piece of b/w background forms the background for personal-use character sheets in a dark-fantasy FATE(tm) micro-campaign of mine, and I happy that I have found it. I can also see its use in the printer-friendly versions of dark-fantasy-themed PDF products.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Black & White 3 Page Background
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Silver Cool 3 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:31:36

The title looks a bit plain to me, but this might only be me (I would have suggested a different color for the details on the corner spaces, as I think that silver on light blue looks a bit sallow). Never the less, the background fills a niche: if you need something that is linked to both “future / scifi / technology” and “cold / ice”, you should not look further but pick this one up. It is clear-cut, fits the aforementioned themes perfectly and offers a fine touch to your release while still providing more than enough writing space.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Silver Cool 3 Page Background
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Black & White 1 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:26:23

A good b/w page background for SciFi titles that are meant to be printer friendly. I used it in both commercial products and free hobby/community releases by now (a bit of background turns a good text into an appreciated PDF) and did not regret the purchase, nor do I see myself doing so in the future.

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Black & White 1 Page Background
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Rituals 1 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:23:21

A wonderful page-background for releases centered on magic and/or summoning. The details in the text space a wonderful, as are those near the corners and the picture arrangement in general. I will not use it for ALL of my products (as it has a rather strong “them” that does not lend itself to each and any fantasy title), but when I am going to write further “dark spellbooks”, it will be more than handy (as I found out already with a release of mine).

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rituals 1 Page Background
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Coppery Coolness 2 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:20:06

This is another title from The Knotty Works that I really admire. The polished look makes it “posh”, the writing space is an eye-catcher as well but not interfering with the readability of the text and last but not least, the whole picture arrangement makes it usable for both SciFi and Science-Fantasy (at least, it does so in my books).

The price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Coppery Coolness 2 Page Background
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Knotty Works Backgrounds March Celtic Set 1
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:16:36

This is a rock-solid package for those who begin to publish “generic fantasy” titles, especially in regard to item/list-based releases. The seven different color versions allow the author to establish “product lines” which the customers may be able to identify by the cover alone (and it is good to fit different moods or backgrounds of adventure material as well).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Knotty Works Backgrounds March Celtic Set 1
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Apocalyptic 1 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:13:28

I love this background. I really do. The playful little details near the corner turn it into something special, but it still does not interfere with the writing space.

For Mutant Future(tm)-compatible releases, I cannot think of a better background, and I guess that it will suit other radioactive OSR-clones as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Apocalyptic 1 Page Background
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Burnt Umber 3 Page Background
Publisher: The Knotty-Works
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2017 02:09:59

I was unsure at first if the style of this page would fit my products. It reminded me of wood somehow and I wondered if this would really look good. Well, I found out it does! I use it for titles centered on dwarfs or fantasy in general.

As with all of the products from the Knotty Works, the price and license condition is more than fair and a true treat for those who just begin to release their own material.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Burnt Umber 3 Page Background
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Pro RPG Audio: Night of the Ebon Star
Publisher: Plate Mail Games
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2017 14:09:47

I use this is one as an „alarm track“ for strange, foreboding or „dark“ events that begin to unfold themselves. I used it few times a "dark fantasy" OSR adventure and it did not failed to underpin that something is not right about a situation or event.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pro RPG Audio: Night of the Ebon Star
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Pro RPG Audio: Madness
Publisher: Plate Mail Games
by Kai P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2017 14:07:18

"Madness" is an unsettling, but non-chaotic, rather melodic arrangement of different tunes that form a slow-but-disturbed background piece. I use it to add some „un-realism“ to a scene and as a „fade-out“ track after one that featured gruesome or disturbing events (as a kind of „after glow“, so to speak). Aside from my disagreement with the title of the title (so to speak), I can recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pro RPG Audio: Madness
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