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Suspense: The Card Game
Publisher: Smart Play Games
by Ben G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/26/2014 12:18:57
I finally got Suspense to the table! What a fun, tight little game! We only had time to play three rounds but let me say with 13 cards, this game is still actually a game, and a good one at that.

There's a hidden victory condition (that face down card) every round. Only the dealer knows what it is. Based on what they play (or if they pass/fold) you have to try and guess what it is. The cards are numbered 1-6, with 6 black numbers and 6 white numbers, plus a 13th non-number, non-color card.

Some victory conditions would require you to have the highest white card in play (on the table) or the lowest black card in your hand. 13 cards, 13 victory conditions.

I can see this game getting better the more you play it, and the more familiar you are with the victory conditions.

Also interesting is that this is specifically made for 3 players, with each round lasting no more than 2 minutes. You could play a lot of this in a short amount of time.

As always with Daniel's games, the design is great, everything is easy to read and the quality of card stock from DriveThruCards is good. Certainly one of those cases of getting your money's worth.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Suspense: The Card Game
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$10 Gift Certificate/Account Deposit
Publisher: OneBookShelf, Inc.
by Ben G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2013 12:19:22
As a publisher, I normally do not review other things here on DTRPG. But I must say, this $10 gift certificate was everything I hoped it was.

I paid $10 for it, and got exactly $10 in gift certificate goodness.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
$10 Gift Certificate/Account Deposit
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100 Truly Random Numbers
Publisher: Lee's Lists
by Ben G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2012 18:32:18
Not only are these numbers random, they are verisimilo... versimilai... they really seem real!

I'm not sure, but Bilbo Baggins' age on the very day he vanished may be in this list. As well as the answer to your advanced calculus homework.

If you're looking for truly, exponentially random numbers, this will do you fine.

My only complaints are:

Eleventy-one: No title page featuring a food item.

Eleventy-two: Lack of instructions for how to use this PDF.

Still, as it's free, it's very deserving of five stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
100 Truly Random Numbers
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G-Core
Publisher: Dilly Green Bean Games
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/28/2012 11:13:30
To start off, the G-core book weighs in at 57 pages. That’s all you’ll need for a complete gaming experience, from character creation through all the rules and in-game examples of how to play. It’s a tight system designed to get you up and gaming as quickly as possible.

I’ll start with the price. At $2.25 you have before you an entire RPG at the cost of an impulse buy. I can sacrifice one cup of coffee today and have months worth of entertainment, and that’s something you can’t beat with a stick.

The mechanics of the game are very simple, using just one d10 to resolve all rolls. With just a touch of math, anyone can play, which makes this ideal for kids or people who don’t have much gaming experience. This makes it a very fast system as well. Character generation happens quickly and the group is free to jump right into the game.

Everything you need to play this is included in the 57 page PDF. Should you want more, there are a ton of freebies available for G-Core online. So you not only get the game for just over two bucks, but hundreds of pages of extras, additional rules, NPCs and any new errata that appears in between editions. If you’re looking for more material, there’s also a bevy of PDFs available at DTRPG for anywhere between $1 and $5.

If you have some older FASERIP materials hanging around, or would like to access any of the online material it can very easily be converted into the G-core system.

Jay is an incredibly accessible person. If you have a question or suggestion, he’s fast to act on it and is more than willing to update G-core when a good suggestion comes his way. He’s also very passionate about his games. He truly loves the hobby and creating, which shows in all of the freebies available for this system.

I had a great time playing G-core. I can highly recommend it as a great game for your group. It’s easy, can be played as a campaign or as a fun one-shot to take a break from an ongoing campaign and is just plain old fun. I can’t stress how good of a deal this is at $2.25. If you’re on the fence, get off it and go get this!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
G-Core
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Cerberus Stock Art - The Next Decade of Fantasy: Volume 1
Publisher: Cerberus Illustration
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/14/2012 10:01:27
I've been a fan of Cerberus Stock Art for a while now. They do good stuff!

As with the other sets, a number of pieces here are easily cover art material - especially for an indie publisher such as myself. The $20 price tag is phenomenal for a product that could give me four or five covers, as well as a good number of interior art pieces.

The quality is the same as other sets from Cerberus - a good bit of work has gone into this and it shows. It may not be everyone's style, but a quick look at the images on this product's page will show you what you're getting into.

I've used these products before and eagerly paid for them, and I'll use them again when new sets arrive.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cerberus Stock Art - The Next Decade of Fantasy: Volume 1
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The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (HD)
Publisher: Zombie Orpheus Entertainment
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/09/2011 08:17:48
Anyone who’s ever spent time around gamers – those folks who love their tabletop games, knows that there are certain archetypes involved. Not only in the characters that are played in the game, but in the characters that tend to show up with loaded dice bags and stacks of books. The player wearing experience goggles, the rules Nazi, the one trying to seduce barmaids and elven princess, the guy who only ever plays a fighter. I’ve met them all – hell I’ve been some of them at certain points in my gaming career.

The folks at Dead Gentlmen Productions, who are responsible for both The Gamers and it’s sequel The Gamers: Dorkness Rising get this. They are obviously people who grew up with fantasy, science fiction and gaming as staples in their lives. They’re also a funny and talented group who managed to create a feature length film about role playing games that’s watchable by anyone. But those in the know about 2am sessions with stacked Mountain Dew cans and Crown Royal dice bags will really enjoy this film.

This is not a big budget film and you should not go into it expecting big budget sets and effects. One of the best aspects of this movie though is that this really does not matter. The Dead Gentlemen managed to wring everything they could out of their available sets and effects and more importantly their script and actors. What they’ve ended up with is a film that’s dead on with timing, a tight script and a feature that had me laughing a lot more than most big budget, full theater releases. That’s saying a lot I think as this movie tackles not just comedy, but fantasy, games in general and the personal lives of the geeks who play them.

The movie focuses on a group of gamers, Cass, Gary and Leo who are working their way through an adventure planned out by their GM Lodge. Lodge is also trying to craft his first module for publication based on this adventure. They’re less than stellar experience leads to complete party death and frustration on everyone’s part. Cass, the rules oriented, ‘failure is not an option’ type player demands another chance to run through the adventure. The players realize that three of them many not be enough and in an effort to bump their party up to five, recruit Cass’ ex-girlfriend Joanna. Because of their reputation as a group, they’re unable to recruit a fifth player.

Joanna is treated as the token newbie girl player whom none of the other gamers take seriously at first. Cass even attempts to get her to play a fighter he generated. Joanna however has other ideas. Having spent the previous day with the Players Handbook, she’s rolled up a fighter on her own. A fighter who’s highest attribute is Intelligence.

To add to the party’s woes, Lodge has made up for their inability to find a fifth player by inserting Sir Osric, a named NPC into the party. Sir Osric is a Palladin – a goody two shoes to balance the party’s tendency to “run around looting, killing and impregnating” the entire gaming world. The movie tackles all sorts of references to gaming as an art and hobby.

There was real potential here for this to come across as awkward, tense and unfunny. Fortunately those involved knew what to expect and rather than stepping in it they gracefully danced around the awkwardness – even embraced it when necessary. They didn’t pull any punches when it comes to gaming and the movie is far better for it. My wife, who is not a hardcore role player, watched this film with a bit of trepidation. She spent a good portion of the movie laughing out loud however and we are still discussing it.

While The Gamers: Dorkness Rising came out last year, I didn’t stumble on it until a chance Netflix recommendation shipped. I watched it for the first time last week and as soon as the film ended I was on Amazon purchasing a copy for myself. I can honestly say it’s one of the better movies I’ve seen in the past year and certainly the best in dealing with the culture, or lack thereof of in the world of gaming.

In addition, the HD version sparkles and shines like only HD can!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (HD)
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The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (SD)
Publisher: Zombie Orpheus Entertainment
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/09/2011 08:17:03
Anyone who’s ever spent time around gamers – those folks who love their tabletop games, knows that there are certain archetypes involved. Not only in the characters that are played in the game, but in the characters that tend to show up with loaded dice bags and stacks of books. The player wearing experience goggles, the rules Nazi, the one trying to seduce barmaids and elven princess, the guy who only ever plays a fighter. I’ve met them all – hell I’ve been some of them at certain points in my gaming career.

The folks at Dead Gentlmen Productions, who are responsible for both The Gamers and it’s sequel The Gamers: Dorkness Rising get this. They are obviously people who grew up with fantasy, science fiction and gaming as staples in their lives. They’re also a funny and talented group who managed to create a feature length film about role playing games that’s watchable by anyone. But those in the know about 2am sessions with stacked Mountain Dew cans and Crown Royal dice bags will really enjoy this film.

This is not a big budget film and you should not go into it expecting big budget sets and effects. One of the best aspects of this movie though is that this really does not matter. The Dead Gentlemen managed to wring everything they could out of their available sets and effects and more importantly their script and actors. What they’ve ended up with is a film that’s dead on with timing, a tight script and a feature that had me laughing a lot more than most big budget, full theater releases. That’s saying a lot I think as this movie tackles not just comedy, but fantasy, games in general and the personal lives of the geeks who play them.

The movie focuses on a group of gamers, Cass, Gary and Leo who are working their way through an adventure planned out by their GM Lodge. Lodge is also trying to craft his first module for publication based on this adventure. They’re less than stellar experience leads to complete party death and frustration on everyone’s part. Cass, the rules oriented, ‘failure is not an option’ type player demands another chance to run through the adventure. The players realize that three of them many not be enough and in an effort to bump their party up to five, recruit Cass’ ex-girlfriend Joanna. Because of their reputation as a group, they’re unable to recruit a fifth player.

Joanna is treated as the token newbie girl player whom none of the other gamers take seriously at first. Cass even attempts to get her to play a fighter he generated. Joanna however has other ideas. Having spent the previous day with the Players Handbook, she’s rolled up a fighter on her own. A fighter who’s highest attribute is Intelligence.

To add to the party’s woes, Lodge has made up for their inability to find a fifth player by inserting Sir Osric, a named NPC into the party. Sir Osric is a Palladin – a goody two shoes to balance the party’s tendency to “run around looting, killing and impregnating” the entire gaming world. The movie tackles all sorts of references to gaming as an art and hobby.

There was real potential here for this to come across as awkward, tense and unfunny. Fortunately those involved knew what to expect and rather than stepping in it they gracefully danced around the awkwardness – even embraced it when necessary. They didn’t pull any punches when it comes to gaming and the movie is far better for it. My wife, who is not a hardcore role player, watched this film with a bit of trepidation. She spent a good portion of the movie laughing out loud however and we are still discussing it.

While The Gamers: Dorkness Rising came out last year, I didn’t stumble on it until a chance Netflix recommendation shipped. I watched it for the first time last week and as soon as the film ended I was on Amazon purchasing a copy for myself. I can honestly say it’s one of the better movies I’ve seen in the past year and certainly the best in dealing with the culture, or lack thereof of in the world of gaming.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (SD)
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Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art set 1
Publisher: Outland Arts
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/08/2011 09:20:03
The first in a series of spot art for use in just about anything fantasy related.

As a very small indie pub guy, I love these sets. They have a ton of art for the cost, all in .tif format and all large enough to be full page or easily manipulated to be used as small filler art. I've already used this in one publication available here on DriveThruRPG and will be including it in future publications.

It's a bit tough to write three wildly different reviews for what are all collections of black ink spot art. I'm quite happy to give all three of these collections a 5 star rating though and feel they deserve good reviews for each individual product. If you're only in the market for a few bits of art, take a look at the previews and select the set that best meets your needs.

The license is very permissive, the art strikes me as 'traditional' fantasy RPG spot art and is great for the cost. Well worth $12.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art set 1
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Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art set 2
Publisher: Outland Arts
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/08/2011 09:17:55
The second in a series of spot art for use in just about anything fantasy related.

As a very small indie pub guy, I love these sets. They have a ton of art for the cost, all in .tif format and all large enough to be full page or easily manipulated to be used as small filler art. I've already used this in one publication available here on DriveThruRPG and will be including it in future publications.

The license is very permissive, the art strikes me as 'traditional' fantasy RPG spot art and is great for the cost. Well worth $12.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art set 2
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Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art set 3
Publisher: Outland Arts
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/08/2011 09:17:34
The third in a series of spot art for use in just about anything fantasy related.

As a very small indie pub guy, I love these sets. They have a ton of art for the cost, all in .tif format and all large enough to be full page or easily manipulated to be used as small filler art. I've already used this in one publication available here on DriveThruRPG.

The license is very permissive, the art strikes me as 'traditional' fantasy RPG spot art and is great for the cost. Well worth $12.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art set 3
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Fantasy Clip Inks:: Ornaments set 1
Publisher: Outland Arts
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2011 10:26:26
Over 60 mostly black and white illustrations, borders, text areas, blood spatters and more to add to your RPG documents. All files are included in a .zip file (which I find far easier to use than a PDF when it comes to images) as .tiff files.

The quality is great, the license is easy to work with and not restrictive at all! As an indie publisher and a gamer, I'll be using these in both publications and for personal use.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Clip Inks:: Ornaments set 1
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StockArt Covers: Leather Bound Book X
Publisher: UKG Publishing
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/04/2011 09:14:33
Another great set of covers - excactly what you'd expect from the description. The fully layered .psd file is a great bonus, as the cover can be easily manipulated directly in Photoshop. If you're a small press publisher (like me) or someone who's looking to dress up their in-game experience, you can't go wrong for $5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
StockArt Covers: Leather Bound Book X
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StockArt Covers: Leather Bound Book IX
Publisher: UKG Publishing
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/24/2011 10:34:48
If you're in need of some stock art-covers, with magic symbology emblazened on them, you've come to the right place!

You won't be disappointed with 7 different color .png files (all with the same design) as well as a page background image.

Also included is the uncolored .psd file for you to use as you see fit.

Great product, visually well designed and well worth the money you'll pay for them.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
StockArt Covers: Leather Bound Book IX
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The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/24/2011 07:49:06
If you were looking for a system that best represented that hard to describe, Tolkienesque feel of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, you've found it.

The One Ring is a brilliantly composed, wonderfully illustrated and rich system in which to immerse yourself as a player or as a GM. The mechanics are as close to elegant as I've seen in a system that I would not consider rules-lite and the wealth of story from which many fantasy fans can draw in the context of Tolkien's world means there will be much to do in this game. If this is your kind of setting, you will truly enjoy The One Ring.

Here is a system that actually emphasizes such things as courage, loyalty and friendship - themes that are very strongly present in Tolkien's works.

It uses an interesting die mechanic - with a 12 sided die being the basis for any skill roll. This die (the "Feat" die) represents an unskilled roll, with a chance at automatic success or failure. Each skill level gives the player an additional six sided die to roll along with their Feat die. The more sixes you roll, the better you succeed.

Characters only have three attributes: Body, Heart and Wits. There are 18 skills (three sets of six) that are divided between these stats. Characters also have Valor and Wisdom which helps the player and GM to understand how that character is regarded by others. There's also Hope points, which can be used to gain extra dice for rolls, or otherwise influence the game.

Every party is called a Fellowship, and the entire party shares a pool of Fellowship points which can be used to replenish individual Hope points. That right there is a very neat mechanic, and goes a long way towards making this game feel like an extension of Tolkien's world.

There is also Corruption. Gain too much corruption, and you're character goes over to the shadow.

Combat is handled quite well and also has that Middle Earth feel to it, with called shots and different combat stances that can be taken, which are quite representative of the characters we all know from the Lord of the Rings. Defensive stances, for instance invoke in me thoughts of Dwarves. The Rearward stance makes me think of Elven archers.

What I really took away from these books are two things. First, that it is an interesting and easily playable system that brings a lot to the gaming table. Second, that it really does bring that Middle Earth feel to the game - it's a quality that's hard to define, but the creators of this game have really nailed it. Even the mechanics, the usually dry and statistical part of any RPG, are grounded firmly in Tolkien's characters.

If you enjoy the world of Middle Earth, you will very much enjoy these books. Well put together, illustrations that evoke that instant recognition of Middle Earth and just damned fun to read and play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
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One Dollar Dungeon: Paladin's Secluded Citadel Map Pack
Publisher: D20 Cartographer
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/15/2011 08:58:33
If you're honestly hesitating over spending a buck for this, or any of the other One Dollar Dungeon map packs, please let me put your doubts to rest. It will be a dollar well spent!

Beautifully constructed, easy to use and with many options for printing, including color, black and white, with or without a grid, you can easily place these maps into your campaign. Your players will love them, you'll enjoy not having to work out the next encounter's map, and you can print them at home with ease using the pre-sliced PDF files. A bit of scotch tape and you're good to go.

Another great option with these maps - they include Virtual Table Top systems files, so you can use these maps online with a variety of products.

When I say this is a beautiful map, I mean it. The colors and design really stand out. While labelled the paladin's Secluded Citadel, you could just as easily use this map as the Desert Manor House, or however you see fit. With four stories worth of rooms, there's plenty to explore.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
One Dollar Dungeon: Paladin's Secluded Citadel Map Pack
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