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Harp SF Xtreme
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2012 16:15:10
Harp SF as a game was split into two books to keep the page-count of the core book lower. Harp SF Xtreme are those parts that was split out to its own book. These are rules for vehicles, vehicle combat, cyberware and electronic characters. In some sense these are more narrow areas, for a large gaming group it makes sense to have more copies of the core book around than this supplement.

Another point of view would be that this book covers parts of the original game design that was so expanded with player feedback that it could not fit in the main book. If you are looking for original content, what makes Harp SF different compared to other games in the market then the majority of such content can be found in Harp SF Xtreme.

A simple example would be the name of the setting, why the setting is named after the Tintamar space station is not very clear after reading the main book. When you add the vehicle rules, especially how hyperspace travel works, it becomes quite clear that the Tintamar space station is pretty much the center of the setting in the gaming universe. It is the natural staging ground for long range space expeditions and it is also the choke point that the enemies of the human race need to conquer if they want to do serious battle with the human race.

Personally I think the move to split the core game into two books was a mistake. At the core games like Harp and Rolemaster are about challenging monsters like a dragon or a demon. These are compared to much else very rules heavy games, but the detail of the rules mean the battle with monster is interesting and worthwhile on its own. From the main Harp SF book it is not very obvious why to prefer this game over the Harp Fantasy game. There is no obvious dragon to battle and the technology is some senses quite low-tech compared to other SF games and more futuristic settings. Harp is a competent game engine, but no real answer is given on why the effort was taken to export this rules set to science fiction.

I would say the answer to this riddle is pretty much hidden inside Harp SF Xtreme. Harp SF is meant to be a game when a group of heroes work together to do space combat. The comparably low-tech science fiction ties directly into that space combat should not be a one man affair, but be an effort of the whole group. The clever hyperspace rules invite for a game of exploration and drama as heroes stumble on enemies and can not just jump to safety directly but must find a way to stay alive until they are in a position to return.

If you are looking for a game when the "Tricorder" and some technobabble solve everything Harp SF is not something for you. Harp SF gives you plenty of gadgets to play with, but mostly it is a science fiction game about the characters and how they struggle to stay alive. The GM is given a massive set of tools to realize the "High Action Roleplaying" part of the Harp name.

All in all I think Harp SF Xtreme is a purchase that might give new inspiration how to run more gritty space combat also for people who don't play Harp SF. I think it is a essential purchase.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Harp SF Xtreme
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Castles and Ruins
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 05:17:02
Castle and Ruins is mostly game rule independent and a real treasure if you want to fill your campaign world with an economic setting where castles are actually produced and fits with the overall setting. In far to many game worlds you can find castles that exist in locations that seem totally incapable of producing such architectural effort. The review gets 5/5, but if you are users of another gaming system 4/5 might be more appropriate since the spells are rather tied to the Rolemaster rules.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles and Ruins
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Guild Adventurer #3
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 05:11:55
The Guild Adventure product keep getting better. This issue include a number of good points. A very good article about coins in fantasy games, some good adventure material including a classic crawl with undead and a fun adventure about sci fi adventure theft.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guild Adventurer #3
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Guild Adventurer #2
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 05:00:58
I find this product to be excellent. The adventures have a rather strong focus on super natural creatures. Personally I don't have a problem with this, but it might be a thing to consider if you plan to include the material inside your own campaign instead of using the adventures as is.

Overall the production quality feels good, but some people might have issues with that the maps are very tile-like.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guild Adventurer #2
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The Toyman's Fair
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 04:50:11
This product is a bit problematic to review. At one level the adventure contained inside is workable as such and I might perhaps use it some day, on the other hand adventure material and production quality is not up to level with Guild Companions Publications quality in modern times.

The motivation of the product was as far as I understand to promote the excellent Construct Companion from Guild Companions Publications, unfortunately The Toyman's Fair is written to be standalone from the Construct Companion. The downside of this is that the result become rather dull. If you have Construct Companion it would take little effort to produce a more interesting adventure that makes use of the many more options contained in Construct Companion. Without Construct Companion the Toyman's Fair makes less sense since the adventure lose much of the point if you don't have access to the rules to crate the challenges in this book.

To sum it up, this product has some good points but it suffers from the tries to make it standalone from Construct Companion. Purchase it if you want to support Guild Companion Publications, but if you have limited funds many of the other Guild Companion Publications products are better choices.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Toyman's Fair
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Guild Adventurer #1
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 04:35:36
I find this to be an excellent product. Not every part of it will be usable in every gaming group, but you can use it for your own adventures. There are some minor issues with the production, like the title of the PDF file being "Layout 1", but besides that the quality is excellent.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guild Adventurer #1
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RMFRP 1999 Arms Law
Publisher: Guild Companion Publications
by Per-Anders S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2011 04:17:06
This without doubt the best edition of Arms Law ever. If using Rolemaster it is simply the best option around. Optionally the product is also usable with other gaming system, but buyers be aware that the needed tables for handling magical combat is found in the Spell Law modules of Rolemaster.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RMFRP 1999 Arms Law
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