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The One Ring™ Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/15/2016 21:57:14

Thoughts

There are a lot of moving parts in this game, and it's easy to miss stuff. From the pre-encounter rolls, to Hope and Fellowship points to getting used to the Stances. We have kinda trialed-and-errored our way through the first two sessions. It's not a dense, math-heavy system, but it's also not light and quick, but pretty much all the mechanics feel like they have a purpose. The Corruption Tests, Journeying, Encumbrance, Hope, Hate...it feels like a Tolkien game to me, and not just a generic fantasy RPG.

Speaking of Journeys and Fatigue...this is the first game in years that I haven't handwaved the Encumbrance rules, because Encumbrance makes sense when there is such a heavy focus on hiking across mountains and tromping through swamps. The little adjustments here are great, as your Spring gear and Winter gear, for instance, weigh differently because you prepare differently, and the burden of your equipment isn't a constant one, but one that grows as your journey becomes more daunting and arduous.

The Corruption system is harsh and unforgiving, especially at early levels, and it practically guarantees that no one is going to have an adventuring career and retire without SOME stain on their soul. This is Boromir losing his sense of perspective in the face of an overwhelming foe and trying to steal The One Ring, Thorin losing his mind at Bilbo not giving him the Arkenstone or even Frodo finding that he can't settle back at the Shire because of how he's changed. None of them were villains, but their adventures changed them forever (and led two of them to their deaths)...the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions, indeed.

The Virtues and Rewards are very cool and evocative. A Dwarf channeling their Shadow Points into their efforts gives them a reason to give in to their weakness a bit, or even having your axe become a fearsome item of legend in and of itself.

18 skills is about the upper limit of what I will stomach for a skill list, but you have to love a game in which your character's ability to sing (Song) can be every bit as important as their knowledge of combat (Battle) or their ability to find food in the wild (Hunting).

That starting adventure is HARSH with the Corruption Tests, combat is a touch more complicated than necessary, and a few things are unclear (can Standing be gained through adventures and deeds? The rules don't seem like it can, but one of the adventures in another book provides just that option).

I'm not sure if I'm in love, but I can easily say I'm infatuated. A great game in which the mechanics feed the atmosphere in one of the finer marriages of mechanics and theme I've GMed, in my opinion. It's surprisingly harsh, at least at low levels (we've lost one NPC to the first adventure, and one PC has a permanent Shadow point, while the other PC is knocking on the door of one, two episodes in...and the second adventure would have ended in a TPK, but I rolled with the Epic Feat and interpreted it to get the heroes out of their predicament).

Two sessions in, and I'm glad I didn't go with Adventures in Middle-Earth. I'm sure Cubicle 7 did a fine job with the 5e version of Middle-Earth, but The One Ring feels very much like what I wanted from a Middle-Earth RPG. Hopefully we'll get to play it enough to work the kinks out, because I've enjoyed my first time playing in Tolkien's sandbox.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/11/tommys-take-on-one-ring.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™ Roleplaying Game
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Army of Darkness Corebook
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/18/2016 05:50:02

Thoughts:

  • The biggest problem the book has is that it's shackled to Army of Darkness. It strains to convince you that playing the Blacksmith would really be fun. Well, the bench just isn't as deep in this setting as it is in Buffy or Angel. The true highlights are the other time periods, the archetypes (and what they mean for a potential game),
  • The Mass Combat rules may not sound like much, but I have used the Savage Worlds version of them quite a bit, and adapted the Army of Darkness rules into D&D5e to good effect. The core conceit behind these rules are my favorite mass combat rules of all time, and my players actually get excited when they realize I'm wheeling them out. I actually like these rules better than the Savage Worlds version because the Savage Worlds rules have a Knowledge (Battle) prerequisite that almost none of my players ever take, while the AoD rules are based on Intelligence and Influence.
  • The production values on licensed Eden Studios books were always on point, and this is no exception. Everything about the book screams Army of Darkness, from the screen caps to the layout to the quotes peppered all over it. The writing is similarly evocative. This isn't a dry rulebook, this is a book laden with pop culture references and snark. Now, you will have to decide how much or how little that bothers you. Personally, I hate rulebooks that read like textbooks.
  • The nature of the setting, and the portrayal of Deadites, makes it so that adapting new monsters in is not only easy, but fitting. Demons seem to come in all shapes and sizes, especially if you take the canon of Ash vs Evil Dead into account. The various monsters in the Army of Darkness book, plus the list of monster abilities, give you a good start on creating your own.
  • While the book was "one and done", it is completely compatible with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel RPGs (rules wise...a little work would be needed to reconcile the settings, but monsters, Qualities and mechanics like magic can be swiped at will), expanding your options. Taking it a step further, and Classic Unisystem games like All Flesh Must Be Eaten and Witchcraft use the same base system, just a bit more complex (more Skills, the Essence mechanic and so on).
  • Army of Darkness was a movie, and pretty well wrapped up its story in 90 minutes. The GM section recommends structuring your game like a "season", which Ash vs Evil Dead does a nice job of demonstrating. In fact, it feels much more appropriate now, ten years later, than it did then. Similarly, the structure of groups filled with Heroes and Primitive Screwheads is demonstrated much better in the Ash vs Evil Dead show than it is in the Army of Darkness movie.

So if you've been watching Ash vs Evil Dead and decided to start looking for something that could emulate that style of game, you don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. Army of Darkness covers most of the ground that you would need, in a solid and unobtrusive system (Cinematic Unisystem just does not get in the way). I mean, it even has a rule for extreme gore. Even better, it's not nearly as out of print as I thought it was. Obvious labor of love from all involved, which now seems strikingly more relevant than it did when released, thanks to the Ash revival tour on Starz.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/10/tommys-take-on-army-of-darkness.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Army of Darkness Corebook
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Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir RPG (Third Edition)
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/27/2016 05:12:04

Thoughts:

  • I like the openness of the world. Given how undocumented the world is, it's easy to insert pretty much whatever you want, from places to creatures. Doubly so when you factor in that the setting explicitly hasn't closed its doors to other dimensions.
  • I am a huge fan of the magic system. Reminds me a bit of the system from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which has both a similar flexibility and danger.
  • The book is black and white, and the whole aesthetic feeds into the "noir" tone of setting very well. None of the art is very bad, most of it is very fitting, and a lot of it is downright great.
  • The species options almost seem a little over the top. With 16 options, some of them seem excessive (or downright weird, looking at you, Orrim). While I generally err on the side of "give them choices", the "Points of Light" setting with humans at the top of a food chain that includes 15 other viable species (plus the NPC options) feels like a stretch to me, unless each species is in such low of numbers that they have no real power. This clearly doesn't apply to Taxim, at least, as they are the most powerful union in Selastos.
  • I've always like the idea of exploits in GenreDiversion. I've never tried the system in play, but I'd be willing to.
  • Experience can be used in ways other than advancement, as "creative editing/story control" that allows you to introduce subplots to the game, or invoke specific features based on your role (like a Sentinel being able to call in reinforcements or a Private Detective automatically noticing a clue). I dig mechanics like this in games, especially when it's light and unobtrusive.
  • It's weird and doesn't make any sense, but the setting is juuuuust a bit harder to wrap my head around than it should be, even though it's really just a fantasy setting with fewer swords and orcs and more gumshoes and night clubs. I love the concept (and the magic..a lot) and I like the game mechanics, but I just gotta get past that setting hump (since noir assumptions are no weirder than quasi-Middle Ages assumption in any other fantasy setting).

Thumbs up on this one, even if I'm not convinced I wouldn't be too intimidated by the weirdness of a few of the setting elements to make it work at my table.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/09/tommys-take-on-bloodshadows-third.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir RPG (Third Edition)
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[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Fainting Goat Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/20/2016 21:47:53

Conclusion: I loved the Basic Edition so much I named it one of my Top 6. This book tops that, expanding from 98 pages to a whopping 231 pages, written with both love and thought by Jason Tondro. I recommend it for any supers GM and anyone interested in the structure that has molded some of the finest villains in comic book history. Now if we could just get Mr. Tondro's Field Guide to Superheroes in print as well...

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/09/tommys-take-on-super-villain-handbook.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[ICONS]The Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition
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AZ: After Zombies
Publisher: Apocalyptic Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/08/2016 21:52:45

Looking for an all-in-one zombie game that you can get into because nothing else has quite scratched that itch? This could be what you're looking for. I love the whole idea of the Unity mechanics and Values. My favorite part of the book, for sure. My only concern is that all the modifiers that can be in play just isn't going to work for some groups (I don't think my group would take to them very well), though this is mitigated somewhat by the percentile mechanic, which is about the simplest thing in the world to wrap your head around. One other thing: I would recommend the black and white version if you're going hardcopy. I say this because a lot of the art in the PDF is black and white anyway, and Jon Gibbons' art is at least as amazing in black and white as it is in color.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/09/tommys-take-on-az-after-zombies.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AZ: After Zombies
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Shadow of the Demon Lord
Publisher: Schwalb Entertainment
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/01/2016 01:28:43

Six Points:

  • Combat is dangerous and small bonuses - to hit and to damage - can be huge game changers. Very much a game of "play it safe and smart" at low levels (especially 0).

  • The Paths are great, as they are so varied, and you are free to take whatever makes sense for your character's story, and not what you have meticulously built your character for.

  • Corruption and the Weird Magic effect of The Shadow aside, magic feels too safe. Corruption can be avoided pretty easily as long as you don't use certain types of magic, and don't grossly abuse the magic you do have, and the Weird Magic effect may never appear. The setting just feels like magic should be more dangerous than what it is.

  • The setting is more about "feel" than "detail", and I consider this to be a good thing. No lists of details or NPCs, just a broad overview that you can then do with as you will.

  • The rules do straddle a weird line between "here's a rough guideline on how to do this, go nuts" (hint: it probably involves Banes or Boons) and "draw your line of sight from the appropriate vertices and here is the number of enemies your heroes should fight each level". Now, I lean towards the former, by far...and if you want to ditch some of the more detailed rules, there's not much to stop you, but it's a weird divide in places. Most importantly, the rules cover a lot of ground, then give you ample tools to fill in the rest of the blanks as needed. (Hint: it probably involves Banes or Boons.)

  • The Ancestries are great, and cover less common ground (like Clockworks and Changelings), to putting twists on old standards (Humans are what you expect, mechanically, but read their descriptions very closely)...to Dwarves kind of standing out as being pretty much exactly what you're used to. And oooooh the random tables. I love just rolling up the various random tables and making all of it make sense. That's perfect for me and my mindset.

I was super thrilled with my experience running this. I'd love to run it again with a better handle on it now. It will not replace Savage Worlds or D&D 5e for me, but it does a great job of scratching the grimy and gritty fantasy itch, preventing me from needing to run out and buy me a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Edition, or hack and fold Savage Worlds or D&D to the point that it accomplishes the same thing. It's dark, it's dirty, it's terrible and it's glorious. Jump in, don't be self conscious and just roll with it. It's a good game that provides a lot of little tools to do what you need to out of the box, with a ton of adventure support to boot.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2016/01/tommys-take-on-shadow-of-demon-lord.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow of the Demon Lord
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Winter Eternal
Publisher: Just Insert Imagination
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/08/2015 07:29:08

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • The book is just filled with NPCs, with images, many of which are photos. I assume they are Indiegogo backers who bought their way into the book. Some images look great, some have noticeable photoshop, but the whole effect would work better if it was uniform around the book instead photos plus traditional art. The layout as a whole is fantastic, with great looking "old" maps and the drawn art being uniformly evocative.

  • No adventure, no random adventure generator and no plot point campaign. Even a Savage Tale or an adventure generator would have helped out a bit.

  • The editing was still rough in spots, with noticeable typos jumping out in places. I have been told that is under revision, however.

  • Dog people are a nice break from standard fantasy people. If anything, we usually get wolves or shapechangers, but this was a nice touch.

  • A lot of ground is covered in a short period of time, as the book rarely lingers too long while detailing even the past or present. A brevity that I surely appreciate.

  • Despite the broad strokes familiarity with Hellfrost, Winter Eternal still manages to strike a unique profile as a "dark fantasy game in the bitter cold". Its unique spin on a "Points of Light" setting is not something I immediately recall being done in Savage Worlds, and is one of the better implementations of that that I have seen.

Winter Eternal strikes a unique cord despite the familiar elements, marred mostly by editing that could have been tighter and design choices that could have been more uniform, but were probably a necessary evil due to crowd funding. I don't see many games that particularly place themselves in a "world in recovery", and the "optimist wrapped in a cynic" in me surely appreciates the aesthetic of people trying to pull themselves out of the darkness. Definitely worth checking out, and - of course - you still have plenty of time to win a copy!

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/05/tommys-take-on-winter-eternal.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Winter Eternal
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Barbarians Versus... RPG
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/02/2015 00:04:40

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • Random Barbarian Facts (Barbarians argue with Barbarians, they fight with everyone else) are scattered around the book and are pretty humorous.

  • The game reads like it's hard to take seriously, and the adventure backs that up by being too lite. A good, goofy random adventure table could have gone a long ways here.

  • The system is simple, but easy to play around with, as evidenced by some of the combat options. Some of those examples serve as a nice example of how a little description can sell the action more than tables of modifiers can.

  • The price point is pretty good, especially with the "read the PDF, upgrade to the print" option.

  • The sample settings can give you more ideas on how to tweak the setting. Barbarians vs Elves? Barbarians vs Vampires? Barbarians vs Underground Psychic Bomb Worshippers? Most of the book focuses on Barbarians...you can play around with it and figure out who they fight.

  • Because this stuff MATTERS in a game about Barbarians, you also get a random loot table to make the GM's job easier when determining what the Barbarians' latest victims had.

Barbarians Versus is a cute and fun book with a solid skeleton under it, and options that allow a GM to play around with the setting, suitable for a one shot or short campaign play and priced accordingly.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/05/tommys-take-on-barbarians-versus-2nd.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians Versus... RPG
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Corporia RPG
Publisher: Brabblemark Press
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/28/2015 06:10:17

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • The book and PDF are meant to be incredibly user friendly, with all the links and such, the form fillable character sheet and even a character creation summary after the full index.

  • The Knightwatch is guide by the AI known as M.E.R.L.I.N. That's not just a cute nod at the legend, it is outright mentioned that if the legend of Merlin living backwards through time is true, that this may be his birth.

  • The book uses little art, instead opting to use photographs (often with a lot of make-up and/or photoshop), which is very jarring for an RPG, and took some getting used to. Ultimately, it's not bad, and gives the book an incredibly distinct appearance, especially combined with the "corporate handbook" feel.

  • The Bibliography is terribly important here, I think. This isn't King Arthur in the Future. The recommended reading and viewing includes Dracula, Cthulhu, Demolition Man, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Robocop, The X-Files, Deadlands, Office Space and MUCH more. Interesting set of recommendations.

  • Several in-universe magazines and pamphlets are provided through the book, providing valuable information as well as a look at the world.

  • Random charts for populating the city, as well as creating corporate encounters on the fly. They felt oddly incomplete, though, but that may just be my love for random tables talking.

Corporia stands out on its own, as I'm not sure there are many corporate supernatural Arthurian cyberpunk games out there, especially with all that photo art. The corporate angle is particularly unique, and I like how everything largely works, though I'm not sold on the adventures...just feels like they could have been built up as something a bit more epic than they are (though I approve of Mass Combat rules...pretty much always, as long as they are narrative).

Corporate monsters hunters are not new, but Corporia puts just enough twists on the genre that it stands out from the pack as something worth investigating.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/04/tommys-take-on-corporia.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corporia RPG
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Wicked Lies & Alibis
Publisher: Imaginary Empire
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/24/2015 23:43:09

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • The game is designed so that The Great Detective is always right, as suits the source material...there's an optional rule that provides Verdict cards to the suspects, which can lead to the detective being wrong.

  • Tons of background information on evoking the art deco era.

  • The game is definitely more about the journey and not the destination, from a game standpoint, as there is no real winner, though there is a pretty clear loser (unless you use the Verdict cards and the killer gets off scott free).

  • Reference sheets are included for each of the nine case set-ups, to help you keep track of the background details.

  • Though a lot of information is provided for playing in the art deco era, it wouldn't take much work to update the setting to something more contemporary, if that suited your tastes (and I know from the contest entries I have received, that it does suit many of your tastes).

  • The PDF includes all of the cars from the game, if you want to print them out instead of buying the card deck.

Wicked Lies & Alibis seems like a great party game for amateur actors, or for anyone who likes their story games with a stronger emphasis on "story". I think my group will enjoy it, given how much they liked Fiasco (though this doesn't have quite the same humor emphasis), and my gut says it could be a great convention game (moreso than EPOCH, which relies a bit more on mood setting).

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/04/tommys-take-on-wicked-lies-alibis.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Lies & Alibis
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Attack of the Buzz (Adventure for AMP: Year One)
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/11/2015 00:24:16

The first AMP adventure, Attack of The Buzz takes a moment from the AMP timeline (a crazy killer bee attack) and leads the PCs to it. Hooks are provided to help the PCs along, no matter which AMP affiliation they belong to (including being unaffiliated.

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • Smart move providing different entry points to the adventure based on affiliation. It drives home that there is no "one true way" to play the game, but there truly are options.

  • Beekeeper suits.

  • Critter, a major NPC from the corebook, is included again at the back of this adventure for convenience, as she plays a large (though it shouldn't be overshadowing) role in the adventure. Nice move for convenience sake.

  • I believe the art used is unique to the adventure, and it is well placed and evocative (bees attacking people, plus the titular villain, who looks just a little pathetic...which is intentional).

  • Two new augments for the Leash power, one that allows you to ward off animals and one that allows you to forge soldiers out of swarms.

  • The adventure provides a few more nice examples of how to use Skill Combos in different situations (like hiding from bees). Does a nice job of illustrating the flexibility of the skills.

A solid adventure with an interesting antagonist with a back story that serves to illustrate just the kind of world this is. The Buzz isn't a cackling supervillain, and this isn't a comic book. It's a super powered tragedy more than anything...and that ain't bad. I can send Swarm at my PCs in Marvel SAGA all day long, AMP needs to do something different to be worth my time, and it does.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Attack of the Buzz (Adventure for AMP: Year One)
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Evolution of Apex (Adventure for AMP: Year One)
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/11/2015 00:23:43

Nothing shady about a mysterious organization recruiting AMPs in the name of SCIENCE~! and research, right? And when a patient goes missing, the PCs get the call...what could go wrong?

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • A little less universal utility than Attack of the Buzz. While far from rigid, the entry points are just a little less open - and thus a little less likely to fit any and all characters - than the first adventure.

  • A pair of intriguing setting developments: An AMP whose powers mutate over time, and a human genetic experiment on par with an AMP.

  • No new mechanical crunchy bits like augments.

  • The adventure is actually very wide open. Little points that can be expanded upon by the GM to fit the mood they want, and the PCs' decisions have a huge impact on the ending and the repercussions that follow.

  • The bad guys have the potential to be truly scary, and far reaching, depending on how the PCs handle them.

  • Again, original art is commissioned for the adventure, and it sets the tone nicely.

While this one is going to be a touch harder to fit into every campaign than Attack of the Buzz, I like it a bit more, as it allows the GM a little more flexibility than a lot of written adventures, something I truly appreciate, complete with advice on how to carry these threads out of the adventure and back into your regular campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Evolution of Apex (Adventure for AMP: Year One)
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The White Knight (Adventure for AMP: Year One)
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/11/2015 00:23:03

An AMP horror adventure! The White Knight takes place the night of Halloween, 2015 (culminating on November 1st - All Souls Day), and leaves the PCs in the midst of an ongoing battle between two warring AMPs.

  • This adventure is very much a horror adventure. While all of the AMP adventures have a slightly more unsettling tone to them than the typical supers adventure, this one falls deep in a dark place.

  • New Augments are presented for the Mediumship power, which makes sense as it shows off two NPCs with Mediumship who have developed in VERY different ways, both in personality and concept, as well as in actual manifestation of powers.

  • The bad guy in this adventure has completely lost the script, a good example of someone who starts down the road to Hell with good intentions and becomes an absolutely horrible monster in the end.

  • White Knight is a great example of a big, important (for the adventure) NPC, who does not overshadow the PCs because of smart design by the author.

  • This one, unfortunately, lacks the effective art of the other two, which is doubly disappointing because it arguably needs the tone set more.

  • Ran many supers adventures with a full blown zombie horde? I haven't, and I've been running supers games for decades. And it gets WORSE from there.

Easily one of the most unique supers adventures I have seen, and probably the one I would tell you to pick up if you only bought one, in part because of the uniqueness of it, and in part because of the fantastic side by side example of how to build two completely different characters with the same primary power.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The White Knight (Adventure for AMP: Year One)
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Age of Arthur
Publisher: Wordplay Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/11/2015 00:21:24

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • Production values are a mixed bag. The aesthetics of the interior, and the full page art pieces, look great. Unfortunately, the cover text seemed somewhat digitized and out of focus, either a layout issue or a printing issue.

  • Mass Combat rules are great. Mass Combat rules that heavily resemble my favorite set of Mass Combat rules, but with a few twists unique to the system, are even better.

  • As I said above, I am more comfortable with the Le Morte D'Arthur, so it did take me a bit to get into the more historical Arthur. This does a nice job of setting it apart from the other major Arthurian game on the market (Pendragon).

  • I love how the various magical subsystems are built on the same solid base, but have the unique flourishes to set them apart. Definitely not crunchy, even "Fate crunchy", but Faith feels different than Druid Magic which feels different than Shapeshifting.

  • The cultural and geographic sections of the book aim for breadth over depth, covering a lot of ground in multiple, single-paragraph or so entries. I'm not usually upset with this approach, and I find it even more acceptable in a game with a historical basis, since I can research Britain in the 400s easier than I can, say, the Forgotten Realms in the 1200s.

  • Lots of wonderful, professional touches such as a fully functional index and table of contents, as well as a glossary and a pronunciation guide, the latter of which I REALLY wish more companies would use, especially if they are using lots of fantasy names or, in this case, historical dialects.

A great product marred by small production flaws that bring down the overall package, but counters that with a great Arthurian take that feels a little grittier than your normal Fate game. Personally, I like the shoutout to the dragon in Loch Ness.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/04/tommys-take-on-age-of-arthur.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Arthur
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The Beast That Waits - Swords and Wizardry Edition
Publisher: Three Sages Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/31/2015 07:13:23

SIX POINT SUMMARY

  • I love random tables. Random encounter tables, weather tables, name tables, gossip tables? Awesome.

  • A very interesting structure, with conditions on "clearing" each section of the map, with the PCs often being better off finding the root source of the trouble in each area, rather than hunting down the different minions.

  • Some great layers are present in the area. Sure, you can "just" deal with the ghost on the road...or you can find out why she's there...and STILL not know everything (relevant to the game) that there is to know about her.

  • This is very much a sandbox, and one that the author tried to pepper with enough material and hooks to help your players bite on.

  • If you don't know anything about the world of Alia-Wor, it's not a big deal. I could easily see how one could fit this into the Forgotten Realms, for instance, and if my 5e group hadn't already hit level 9, I probably would. There's always the next campaign...

  • The art is good, but perhaps a bit cartoonish. Your mileage may vary on how well it fits the tone of the area and adventure.

A very good product that reminds me of the output from Small Niche Games, which I am a huge fan of. It would take very little effort to turn this into a multisession campaign (or at least mini campaign), with the sandbox feel and the various plot layers that can be peeled away for sessions.

I won't sit here and pretend to know what is, or is not, good "old school"...but I know what I like, and I liked this..a bit more than I expected, even. Worth getting if you want a low level sandbox campaign with a slightly horror feel...and don't worry, most of you can convert it to your favorite D&D version (maybe even your favorite system) pretty easily.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2015/03/tommys-take-on-beast-that-waits.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Beast That Waits - Swords and Wizardry Edition
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