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Valiant Universe: The Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Emma M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2014 10:54:13
I have now finally run a game of Valiant Universe, and can confidently report that I feel that many of the issues other reviewers have perceived with this system are, in my opinion at least, part of what makes this a must-have purchase.
I've been a supers gamer for a long time. I've played and run the sublime (DC Heroes) to the ridiculous (Heroes Unlimited), and I've always noticed the same thing every time. In every group I've played in or run for, there is always at least one player who says "But I wanted my character to have (insert obscure power here)!" A lot of GMs are happy to hand-wave and come up with a rule on the fly, and that's great, but some systems actively support the 'go-anywhere-build-anything' mindset, Champions & M&M being the first two that spring to mind. But often, because of this, most of the first session is spent juggling points, calculating modifiers and getting migraines, all before a single die has been rolled.
In Valiant, at last, we have a system that says "sure, why not? If it's okay with the group, define the power as far as it makes sense. Can we play now?"
Yep, that last sentence above is key to the design ethic behind Valiant Universe; this thing is FAST! But that speed doesn't cost the game any depth. Actions run the gamut from combat to skill use to even some very odd power descriptors (Woody's 'Snark' and Faith's 'Pop Culture Knowledge' spring to mind here), hinting at a system that is as flexible as it is fun. And therein lies the point of this review: This is a fun game, perfect for pick-up play or a long-term campaign, capable of telling deep, engaging stories or hosting a superpowered downtown grudge-match, and as adaptable as the players and Lead Narrator feel it needs to be. And this is only the first release...I for one will be giving this new contender a fair shake, as the mile-wide smiles on the faces of my group when the first session wrapped were all the proof I needed that we had ourselves a winner.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Valiant Universe: The Roleplaying Game
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Future Heroes powered by Fate Core
Publisher: Starbright
by Emma M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/30/2014 07:55:29
I have to agree with Joe D on this one. A sad observation about all Starbright's Fate Core products. No actual details on how to apply any of their information to the system; just a lot of half-finished ideas. I came away from this book feeling like I had to write the rest of it.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Future Heroes powered by Fate Core
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Prowlers & Paragons Quickstart Issue
Publisher: LakeSide Games
by Emma M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
Great little system. A surprising amount of depth for such a small book, and a great deal of options. Just wish it'd come out in hardcopy so my technophobe GM will run it!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prowlers & Paragons Quickstart Issue
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Emma M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/14/2012 19:13:06
At just over 140 pages, you'd be forgiven for thinking BASH was a beer-&-pretzels, no-brainer kind of game. Don't be fooled for a second. The writing is tight & concise, the artwork fun (while a bit too DC Animated for my taste), and above all, the system is player -and- GM-friendly, a rare thing in an ever-increasing market of superhero titles. Character creation is effortless, and encourages the player to think in terms of the character as a person, not just a set of numbers. There are some critics who say the game lacks 'granularity', but let's be honest, when you've just picked up an M1 Abrams tank, do you care whether you can throw it 45 meters or 50? No, me neither. In the end, the game does exactly what it sets out to: Presents a fast, fun, adaptable & wide-open superhero game with none of the bean-counting of certain other titles. I've played most of the superhero games out there, but when you (and your players) read a new book and ask yourself 'How can I create *insert your regular character here* in these rules?', you know you've found a keeper. 'Basic' doesn't have to mean 'dumbed-down', and this is one case where it definitely doesn't! Stop reading now & go buy this. Really. You'll be so glad you did.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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Fight! Round 2
Publisher: Divine Madness Press
by Emma M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2011 08:47:35
A useful book, which adds all kinds of crunch & fan-service goodness to an already great product. 'Fight!' is quickly becoming one of my favourite systems, simply due to its' elegance & breadth of character creation possibilities, and 'Fight! Round 2' adds even more to the mix. Sure, there are one or two bits you'll look at & think 'I am never going to use that in my campaign', but the additions & options offered will surprise you. Want fatalities a la Mortal Kombat? They're here. Want team fighting? Got ya covered. Want fantasy, supers or even mecha? Comin' right up. In other words, the options offered here are as varied and colourful as the 2-D games the system emulates. Some of the crunch seems a bit excessive, as I believe the core system is pretty much playable as-is, but there will always be someone who cites an obscure move variation from some unheard-of fighting game, and this book can help GMs deal with those players without resorting to a cattle-prod. Useful? Yes, very. Essential? For me, yes, but some may not agree. Worth it in any case? Oh yes...buy this. If you liked 'Fight!', you'll find oodles of stuff here to make your game better. FLAWLESS VICTORY!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fight! Round 2
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