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Aberrant Rulebook
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2009 23:08:41
My review is not about the system, for I believe the system is flexible and in the right GM's hands, can be quite effective.

This product gets 3 stars because the page numbers on the pdf document don't line up. In other DrivethruRPG products, the front and back cover have been labeled A and B, and the pagination is correct. It is not here.

In addition, the pages are not lined up straight. They are slightly tilted.

Play Aberrant! However, I don't know that I would advise buying this book.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Aberrant Rulebook
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Islands of Gold: The Midnight Archipelago
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2008 17:48:08
Oh man, there's so much good information in here, and so many good ideas that it's hard to know where to start. If a GM were to design a New World for sailors to explore, they should look no farther than the ideas in this book. There may be reprinted material (Straits of Blood), but it's all good. The other strange thing I discovered about these Swashbuckling Adventure books (as opposed to the old school 7th Sea) is that they seemed to have been made in a hurry...this book, Explorer Society and Cathay all had a huge amount of typos. Still, great book full of great ideas.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Islands of Gold: The Midnight Archipelago
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Los Vagos
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2008 17:45:07
As always, 7th Sea books are well-written and based in awesome established fact. Los Vagos is no different...the only trouble being the scope of the thing. It's difficult to have adventures only within the country of Castille, if one of the characters is involved with Los Vagos, or only so many plot lines that will allow your Vago out of Castille on some sort of El Vago centered mission. The Gustavo school is pretty cool, but not worth spending 25Hero Points and the subsequent 125+ experience points to master. El Punal Occulto is even less interesting. If you're from Castille, you want Gallegos, Soldano, Torres or Aldana. Not a bad book, but ultimately like putting your character into the Stelets or Elaine's Knights: too restrictive.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Los Vagos
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The Invisible College
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2008 17:38:59
I believe the Invisible College is one of the most poorly understood books in the 7th Sea series, one that has a lot of background in truth, and very little in the way of power-gaming possibilities, so it gets tossed aside.

In my campaign, I plan on having the Invisible College mix with the Explorer's Society...thus making the Royal Society, which existed in the late 1600's.

I think the biggest trouble inherent in the book is how much research is necessary to make it happen. I say phooey to that. Just have fun...drink potions made of the blood of sorcerers and burst into flames. Invent stuff...dissect dogs...blow up laboratories...journey across Theah in search of brilliant minds...avoid the Inquisition...refine the telescope lens the way Newton did...blow more laboratories up...

last note: Every 7th Sea player could stand to read 'The Baroque Cycle' by Neal Stephenson. It's incredible as reference material.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Invisible College
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Nations of Théah: Book 3: Montaigne
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2008 17:32:30
Montaigne is one of the most sophisticated places in Theah, but all too often players and GMs make the mistake of turning into bleeding hearts as soon as they see some starving peasants. Then the adventure turns into 'depose the emporer and lift up the peasants'. The GM always turns the nobles into arrogant, foppish assholes who are all plotting the downfall of their peasants.

This is not strictly the case. There are plenty of places to deal with Montaigne as a hotbed of political intrigue and gossip. There are noble nobles, and loyal knights. Not everybody is a completely debauched fashion-crazed lunatic stepping on his vassals....it's just that everybody assumes everybody else to be that way.

The difficulty is getting roleplayers to sit around a table and deal with Montaigne as such. Nearly 80% of adventures run by my party have dealt with Montaigne, in one way or another.

Large-scale war-based campaigns are delightful to play...from loyal soldiers facing the brutalities of war to shadowy figures hoping to bring the end to war through intrigue and sabotage.

If you have any inclination to run Montaigne as a tangled nest of nobles engaging in lies and deceptions, I would recommend Neal Stephenson's 'Baroque Cycle', which is as good as stepping back in time. Eliza's letters out of Versailles are a great illustration of just how brilliant and twisted Montaigne can be.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nations of Théah: Book 3: Montaigne
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Eisen
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2007 06:28:34
I believe this book got three stars from somebody who ought to be locked up (and perhaps have torture inflicted upon them). I'm not here to give you all the reasons to buy this book. If you play 7thSea, you know it's essential.

I wanted to post a review here in case you don't know what makes 7thSea my favorite game of all time.

1) Drama Dice. You get dice in order to try things out of your character's ordinary reach. In short: be dramatic.

2) Cinematic style of play: Nothing is better than watching your friends swing from chandeliers or jump and fight between two out of control carriages. You can just about imagine every Swashbuckling movie in terms of 7th Sea's style of play.

3) Character Backgrounds and Arcana: These unresolved stories and Personality quirks give the GM all kinds of fun ways in order to get characters to fall in love with each other, avenge their relatives' deaths, foil their rivals every step of the way, and/or do the unthinkable in order to free themselves from horrific debts.

4) Brute Squads. This ought to be self explanatory...but how many times have you watched the heroes bowl their way through dozens of expendable extras before getting to the real deal?

5) Familiar Setting. The setting for the game is a brilliant twist on 1600's Europe, with all sorts of curious dramas from all eras of Europe's history. There are scheming Cardinals, Zorro figures, Emperors with power trips, Queens with privateer armadas, and Ivan the Terrible.

6) There are pirates. That's just awesome in and of itself.

7) There's some magic too, for those of you bent on wielding lightning, or teleporting, or bringing yourself back from the dead.

8) The system is simple enough to learn in a few hours, yet there is enough depth to character generation (and the host of other optional systems) to make it playable for multiple years.

I've had some of the best creative fun of my life playing this game. You might also.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eisen
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