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Mind's Eye Theatre (Core Rulebook)
Publisher: White Wolf
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2010 20:42:49
The system is as different from Old World of Darkness MET as day is from night.

The LARP mechanics are not far from the tabletop mechanics, and not far from the kinds of mechanics LARPers have been using for a long time. This has many advantages.

First, you don't have to torture the English language to make a roll. No more "I, uh, am Brawny and I hit you." Just draw a card.

Second, there's no more Rock-Paper-Scissors. Removing Rock-Paper-Scissors from ANYTHING improves it -- RPS isn't truly random and I, at least, feel ridiculous using it.

Third, the mathematical errors in the original are fixed -- you no longer have to be able to overbid for your actual number of traits to be important. You're actually guaranteed to be good at what you're good at.

This edition of MET is also more stand-alone than the previous. You could play a game with just this book, and I'm glad not to have to buy the rules over and over for every creature type I want to play with.

All in all -- vehemently recommended both as an improvement over its predecessor and as a good general system for modern "crunchy" LARPs.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre (Core Rulebook)
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Kitchen Kombat
Publisher: Rogue Games, Inc
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/23/2010 12:18:33
This game shows a lot of promise, but it needs to be, um, finished before being released.

A couple of the cards still say "This card needs better flavor text or none at all." At least one very important rule is in the form of a parenthetical question, as if it hasn't been tested. There is very little illustration on most of the cards.

But like I said there's promise here. With a couple of educated guesses I found myself with a pretty good variable-trick card game here. I'd love to see a cleaned-up version released -- even though it'd no longer be free!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Kitchen Kombat
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Fantasy Stock Art: Female Human
Publisher: Sade
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2010 15:34:15
A nice, simple, useful piece of art. Comes in color, black and white and lineart, with and without background.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Stock Art: Female Human
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Publisher Reply:
im glad you like it :)
Shaman's Stockart MUG SHOT
Publisher: Shaman's Stock Art
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2010 15:25:33
Overall a great collection of stock art pictures perfect for tucking into the corner of a character sheet.

Only nitpick is that it would have been nice to have each picture in a separate file so the user wouldn't have to clip them apart in a photo editor.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shaman's Stockart MUG SHOT
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Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
Publisher: Vajra Enterprises
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2010 11:44:45
This is an absolutely fascinating game at an incredible price point.

Hoodoo Blues is steeped in the mythology, folklore, and religion of the South, particularly the Antebellum South. PCs are members of a community of the ageless, immortal for one reason or another (each character class uses a different justification) and witness to the atrocities and heroism that have comprised Southern history. The book doesn't shy away from the darkest depths, which is why I will say this game isn't for everyone.

I have only two small quibbles with this book that prevent me from giving an unrelieved recommendation.

The first is that the character classes as presented have to be carefully chosen to create a viable play group. Several character classes have as a primary motivation the eradication of a couple of the others! Simple hostility could work, but having a medicine worker and a loup garou as friends is hard to imagine.

The second is the crunchiness of the Light (L) ruleset. This is part of Vajra's design philosophy and so I don't see it as something to criticize in the Regular (R) ruleset -- but the LARP rules section in the appendix, while lighter on the numbers than the main book, still isn't quite light enough to work away from the table. A little more tweaking is needed there.

As a tabletop game, though, and with a carefully-selected party, this game is potentially a masterpiece. The concept and characters are fascinating, the authors actually know what they're talking about with Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Voudoun, and the world promises to offer a very deep and serious roleplaying experience.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hoodoo Blues the Role Playing Game
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Sisters of Rapture (OGL Edition)
Publisher: Fantastic Gallery
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2010 11:34:41
I will admit, I had been hoping for something a little less ... fanservicey ... and more a straight-up treatment of an alternative cleric class dedicated to a more generalized idea of pleasure and love as opposed to just orgasm.

That said ... I'm a pretty rabid feminist. It's not all that hard to offend me. But the only things in this book that made me raise an annoyed eyebrow were a single class ability's "you must be naked or scantily clad to use this power" and the Pleasure Ooze monster. The rest was ... tasteful. I was shocked.

While this material wasn't what I was looking for, it's a well-illustrated, high production value, high quality book for those looking to add a very explicit choice to their class selection.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sisters of Rapture (OGL Edition)
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Clipart Character Set 1 - Good and Bad Angels *Bargain Bin
Publisher: Art Fantasies
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2010 22:35:48
This package contains a selection of angel images, some in Renaissance-type clothing, some in modern, and a couple in a seriously skimpy outfit. The faces are very good but kind of similar; I wouldn't suggest using more than one of these images in a single project.

The package could really use a copy of the license in .TXT format included. If I choose to use these pictures I'd want to have that on file, not just in the catalog description on this site.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Clipart Character Set 1 - Good and Bad Angels *Bargain Bin
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Character Clipart - Camelot Set *Bargain Bin 4
Publisher: Art Fantasies
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2010 22:30:12
The art in this package is absolutely excellent; the faces actually look RIGHT, which is a real rarity! I'm impressed.

I will say that the artwork for King Arthur doesn't look right for the character (too old, too grizzled) but, absent the filename, is still an excellent knight graphic.

It'd also be nice if there was a copy of the file license included, rather than relying on the catalog description to provide it. A .TXT file dropped into the package with that information would be a good thing to have on hand if I use these files.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Character Clipart - Camelot Set *Bargain Bin 4
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Hot Pack #1
Publisher: Dakkar Unlimited
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2010 04:10:19
This is something of a "niche" product, which is a polite way of saying that the implications of the description are accurate. Hot Pack #1 and, more generally, the products it samples, are primarily designed for sex appeal, only secondarily for usefulness (outside of the Hot Chicks RPG, of course).

The first two pages consist of assorted figures, most of them with several different outfits. You could use them all as separate characters, but in some cases it's just progressively skimpier versions of a single outfit.

The first page has modern-day women in various outfits, some with equipment, some just standing there. The second page does the same for men, although there seemed to me to be less variety there.

The third page features "techno-terrors," androids and aliens. It's designed for a horde, with a base creature type and small variations on the model to call shots when they're used on the tabletop. Maybe it's the power of suggestion but a lot of these looked like naked women to me, too, enough so that I'm not sure I'd use them outside of very specific contexts (half-completed Dr. Evil fembots, maybe?)

The fourth page has the characters from the adventure "The Peril Pits of Doctor Vore," which I haven't read. The bad guys here are very useful and are very distinct characters (more on this in a moment). There are also more groups of modern-day women, this time in clothed/stark naked versions, and a couple of pits filled with grisly things for the villains to push them into.

The difficulty I have in recommending this product is that well-designed paper minis tend to suggest characters. Some kind of suggestion of personality. I don't get that from these, at all. The small size keeps them out of the Uncanny Valley area that a lot of Dakkar's Poser-style artwork falls into, but there just isn't much life outside of the PPoDV villains.

There are better selections of paper minis on site -- there are even better Poser-style paper minis -- but last I checked they were all fantasy. If you're looking for sorta-photographic-if-you-don't-look-closely minis for a modern setting, well, there aren't many other options. And the figures ARE usable, even if the first couple of pages are dull and the last two just weird.

If, however, you're specifically looking for minis for the Hot Chicks RPG -- or, for that matter, Macho Women With Guns -- well, here you go. Won't find better.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hot Pack #1
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Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Setting
Publisher: Shaman's Stock Art
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2010 20:40:46
This is frankly some of the best stock art I've seen, especially at this level of quality and detail. Flexible, too. The license is great, too, and as an indie publisher I really appreciate it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Setting
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Scion: Hero
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2009 13:25:32
A fascinating concept in magic-flavored superhero gaming. As the children of gods (with the potential to become gods themselves) the PCs are goodly powerful to start, but not unmanageably so. Even with only a few pantheons detailed in full for player characters there is room for a huge variety of concepts.

The rule system is a little more complex than it needs to be, and more complex than previous World of Darkness games. It took me way longer than it should have to create even a simple character. I wouldn't recommend this as a first RPG to anyone, and experiecned Storytellers may want to trim down the mechanics a little. Even taking that into account, though, the game is a great value for its rich, deep background material.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scion: Hero
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Unorthodox Sorcerers
Publisher: The Le Games
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/19/2008 12:42:33
Some very good ideas here, and some of these character classes can actually be used as-is. Most books of alternate/prestige classes are badly unbalanced, but if anything these sorcerers are slightly lower than average with very strong abilities in one or two areas. Specialists are slightly harder to GM but have a lot of storytelling potential.

The best of the lot are the Numeromantic Sorcerer, who starts out mostly as a depowered version of the class but rapidly gains some fascinating abilities; the Immanent Heresiarch, a worshipper of human potential who seeks to destroy the gods; and the Follower of the Sixfold Septateuch, a millennarian cultist with powers over mathematical dimensions.

These classes are pretty arcane, and possibly suited more for an "intellectual fantasy" campaign (like Planescape) than rough-and-tumble sword-and-sorcery.

The extras aren't as impressive as the main text. There are two short stories leading the book which aren't bad but whose presence doesn't make much sense. The magic items are another set of Baubles and Urus, additional varieties of the same magic item type in most Unorthodox books. The selection of spells is strange -- many of them are very unimpressive, and one of them amounts to a date-rape spell.

Extras or not, though, the main thrust of the book is its character classes, and those are useful and have great campaign potential.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Unorthodox Sorcerers
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UNORTHODOX MODERN Goths
Publisher: The Le Games
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/19/2008 12:33:06
Unorthodox Modern Goths appears to be mostly the type of meta-joke that's popular in gaming circles, combined with some (sometimes really hot, but consistently G-rated) photographic artwork of the subject matter subculture. So what actually matters is how much you chuckle while reading it, and that's four out of five stars for a couple of big laughs and multiple giggles.

I'm not sure anyone could use this except in a joke game (gaining the ability to swim better through body piercing?) and d20 Modern is way too rules-intensive for comedy. It does, however, call to mind some possibilities for interesting characters if it is treated as a catalog of character traits rather than a gaming supplement.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
UNORTHODOX MODERN Goths
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Dungeon Props :: Kit 02
Publisher: Inspired Device
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2008 03:12:36
These are an absolutely beautiful prop, although I prefer to use them as a fortune-teller prop than as a magic item. I also note with some confusion that the symbols seem to be switched -- the CE cube has the CN symbols and vice versa. This isn't a problem for me, but it confused me for a moment, especially since the CE cube *looks* more threatening and thus this probably isn't just a case of switched filenames. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful prop and I definitely recommend it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Props :: Kit 02
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e-Adventure Tiles: Ice Temple
Publisher: SkeletonKey Games
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2008 03:01:56
Not as widely useful as some of the others in this serious, but note the price -- this is an expansion pack for the Ice Cave, not a stand-alone.

Beautiful art, nicely plotted features. If you're on a budget these tiles also look beautiful in black and white. Very useful if you need an ice temple -- actually, worth writing a custom scenario just for the excuse to use it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
e-Adventure Tiles: Ice Temple
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