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Shadowrun: Bottled Demon
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/09/2013 16:04:45
Bottled Demon, the real deal from 1990 (complete with ads!), scanned to PDF for your reading and gaming pleasure. Not an adventure I ever played back when it was new, but one that I always wanted to. A dangerous and mysterious magical artefact, legendary elven killers, a hard driving Lone Star cop and dragons, it hits so many of the key points of the Shadowrun setting in one adventure. That being said, it is also an adventure written in 1980 and it really tries to force the action down certain channels but it should be a fun ride in the hands of a good GM. Though, as with all of the scanned early adventures, it suffers from not having a conversion to the current edition of Shadowrun, especially with the 2050 setting book available that would be some good cross marketing.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Bottled Demon
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Shadowrun: Euro War Antiques
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/03/2013 21:50:51
Euro War Antiques provides a mixture of setting information and new old equipment for the Shadowrun setting. Both parts are fairly focused in their application but could be invaluable for the right campaign, but not for all campaigns.

Euro War Antiques is a source book for Shadowrun. It is divided into two parts:

• History of the Euro Wars, an overview of the conflicts that shattered Europe and allowed the corporations to gain a stranglehold on the continent. While I am not entirely convinced by this future history, it is interesting, though some maps would have made it easier to follow.
• Equipment used by the various forces, most of these are military vehicles and weapons, with a few man portable weapons, but mostly heavy metal. If you have need for a variety of older tanks or aircraft, this will have you covered and it is interesting to see the write-ups for current (i.e. 2013) vehicles such as the M1 Abrams, HMMWV and the Leopard.

Both sections have in-world commentary by various source which provide some amusing insights and additional information. While exceptionally useful if you need some background on the Euro Wars or some antique heavy weapons, it may not prove very useful outside those confines. Just know why you are buying it and you will not be disappointed.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Euro War Antiques
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The War Dancer
Publisher: Drop Dead Studios
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2013 19:39:41
The War Dancer is a combat focused class that specializes in mobility and manipulating circumstances on the battlefield. It has potential for those who like unusual combat and maneuver-based combatants but should be watched for potential abuse.

The War Dancer is an intriguing class, emphasizing mobility and battlefield control. They have a good selection of skills, two good saves and a set of additional abilities accessed through their dances, of which there are a wide variety. They are also a semi-spell casting class similar to rangers gaining up to 4th level spells starting at 4th level with spells continuing their focus on mobility and cooperative action.

War Dancers do not use armor (with the exception of the archetype) but gain other ways to defend themselves. The dances are their main trick but can only be used for a limited amount of time each day, the dances become more powerful as the War Dancer progresses and, at higher level, they can combine two dances.

Two archetypes, which show how the War Dancer can be adapted for various culture, two new spells and four feats round out the product. Overall, an interesting and flexible class but it maybe a bit front loaded in abilities possibly making it tempting for power-gamers.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The War Dancer
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Hostile Takeover
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/24/2013 10:13:57
Cyberpunks, interested in how the other half lives (and works)? Hostile Takeover is a resource to allow you to play characters working for the megacorporations who rule the world in the near, dark future. Both as a guide for corporate-based games and as a resource for building and playing the corporations, Hostile Takeover is a useful and amusing resource.

Hostile Takeover is a Savage Worlds/Interface Zero source book on working for the mega-corporation from GunMetal Games. It is divided into two parts:

• The New Employee Orientation Handbook, which is the players’ section with options for characters (including new edges and flaws) and the new rules that affect them, such as the sweet expense account rules and a short catalog of toys to be purchased with such.
• The Policy and Procedure Manual, which is the game master’s section including advice on running a corporate game, mood, and a discussion of how to build interesting corporations using trapping along with seven example corporations.

Both sections have in-world commentary by former and current employees of the mysterious company which provide some amusing insights.

While a campaign framework is provided in Hostile Takeover it is only that, a framework, considerable work will be needed to expand it into a playable campaign. That being said, there are some useful tools here. There is a good amount of advice and general tools that could be applied to any cyberpunk/megacorporate setting but possibly not enough to justify buying it if you do not play Interface Zero/Savage Worlds.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hostile Takeover
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Ley Lines
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/18/2013 13:03:40
If you have considered adding ley lines, or similar magical phenomenon, to your Pathfinder world this product should be a useful resource. Not perfect by any means, but a good starting point for thinking about such magics in a world.

Ley Lines is a Pathfinder source book from Scorched Urf’ studios detailing ley lines, that is the lines of magical force that can exist in a game world (and some say exist on Earth). It details various types of ley lines, divided by color, how they affect magic (and more) and what sort of patterns (“world lace”) they can form to enhance world building along with a meta-explanation for why multiple worlds have ley lines.

To further integrate ley lines into the existing rules there is: a goddess with a new clerical domain and nested sub-domains. A prestige class, Geomancer, whose skill list has not made the transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder. A magic weapon trait and new material (ley ash). With quite a few feats, some of which do not require ley lines including my favorite, Arcane Dancer, however I deeply fear that the Elemental Dominance chain of metamagic feats are overpowered and very abusable. Lastly there are traits linked to ley lines. This product provides a wealth of ley line related resources of various levels of usability.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ley Lines
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Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/04/2013 15:09:43
This adventure is dark, weird, bizarre and quite wonderful, very old school and wacky. If you do not mind letting something a little outre loose in your campaign world, then give Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess a try, I do not think you will be disappointed.

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess is a short module for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess weird fantasy RPG but compatible with most OSR style games (or similar games, I ran it with Pathfinder).

The basic plot is straight forward, recover and rescue a group of displaced halflings for a reward of course (this is old school, people are not expected to do thing because they are nice). They must be tracked into the Dark Wood, which comes with a fantastic set of random encounters, to find out where the halflings have gone.

Where they have gone is a literal land of milk and honey with gingerbread houses and everyone is happy or else. Perfect poodles, animated teddy bears and impish cupids enforce mandatory happiness on the surviving halflings. To free them, an ivory tower must be stormed, a fairy queen defeated and, possibly, dark deals must be made.

While the structure of the adventure seems humorous, it is a very dark humor and the stakes can be very high. One of the best modules I have ever read and that it also plays well, just makes it perfect.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess
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Shadowrun: The Twilight Horizon
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/24/2013 20:04:38
Twilight Horizon provides information about the new Triple AAA megacorporation in the Shadowrun setting, Horizon, additionally Las Vegas is updated for the Sixth World of Shadowrun and there are many, many plot hooks and adventure ideas. If you want to incorporate Horizon as a major player in your Shadowrun campaign (or to have your ‘runners visit Vegas) this product will prove a worthwhile resource.

Twilight Horizon begins with a short piece of fiction and then moves into the meat of the book, starting with an overview of Horizon Corporation, the youngest of the “Big Eight” megacorps that dominate the Shadowrun setting. For a book focused on Horizon, the description of the corporation is very short, only seven pages (though various points are expanded upon later in the book) but gives a basic overview of the way Horizon works especially the intra-corporation ‘consensus’ that guides how the corporation acts.

Vegas gets a few more pages (21) and provides a good lay of the land for action taking place there. It’s a crazy town. The bulk of the product is fifteen semi-linked adventure frame works, primarily aimed at experienced runners, that chronicle Horizon’s continuing evolution among the megacorps including one that takes places at the Sixth World’s evolution of the Burning Man festival! A wide variety of NPCs are provided for the various adventures and other Horizon-based adventures. Lastly, some updated rules for simsense and persona fix chips, both businesses that Horizon is deeply invested in.

Overall, a useful game master’s resource for the evolving world of Shadowrun if Horizon or Las Vegas is likely to be involved in your campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Twilight Horizon
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Anachronistic Adventurers: The Daredevil
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/12/2013 20:27:13
Anachronistic Adventurers: The Daredevil is part of Super Genius Games’ Anachronistic Adventurers (3rd in the series) framed around the idea of people from modern(ish) worlds carried away into a fantasy world. The Daredevil represents the most adventurous of the adventurers, people who rely on raw cussedness and luck to get the job done and survive. While framed around the modern person in a fantasy world, it works as a pure adventuring class as well. It is full of good, solid ideas for those who like these sorts of characters.

The Daredevil gains an ability called dauntless surge which allows them to gain situational bonuses, they also gain talents and bonus feats to reinforce their adventurous theme. They get to choose an archetype (and can use others drawn from the other Anachronistic Adventurers products), the one included here are: Escapist, Secret Agent, Masked Adventurer, and Occultist (with rules for ritual magic). A few new feats and rules on progress levels (for cross-world adventurers) round out the product and giving the class a wide range of options.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anachronistic Adventurers: The Daredevil
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The Corithian Construct Catalog
Publisher: Interjection Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/12/2013 20:23:37
The Corithian Construct Catalog is (unsurprisingly) a selection of constructs, seven of them with three variants for a total of ten beings. There are no illustrations in this product just text, which is fine as many of the construct ideas are very good and you get a good impress even from just the basic text descriptions and power sets. If constructs have a major place in your campaign, this catalog is full of inspiration.

There is a good variety of CR represented among the constructs ranging from 2 to 13 with designs for maintenance and repair, a librarian, and a variety of combat and guardian models. My favorite is the terribly named “blingling” which looks like a dragon hatchling made from gems and precious metals. My only complaint is that even the low level constructs are mostly immune to magic, though each is given some sort of magic vulnerability as well which is good but I am of the opinion that such levels of resistance should be rare.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Corithian Construct Catalog
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Publisher Reply:
This product is one from the conceptual age of D&D 3.5, where constructs were caster-hating, critical-hit ignoring sacks of HP who were also huge terrors on the battlefield if they really didn't have anything other than those two properties going for them. As such, yes, the designs will seem a little archaic and unfriendly when compared to the constructs one sees out there in currently supported systems because they all add on top of those two lovely, completely evil little concepts. Still, your opinion here suggests that I need to get to work on some constructs for the new archaetype. I've got a doozy on the drawing board right now.
Shadowrun: Used Car Lot
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/21/2013 16:01:52
Used Car Lot, vehicles for the discerning (or desperate) shadowrunner and others including a fair number of ‘classic’ vehicles from earlier editions of Shadowrun (such as the Ford AmeriCar and the Yamaha Rapier motorcycle) along with rules for older and obsolete vehicles. It is all ground vehicles that require a driver, no new drones here, and it is useful for scene setting and nostalgia (for those who have played earlier editions of the game) but hardly a must have supplement unless your campaign is all about the cars.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Used Car Lot
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Shadowrun: Safehouses
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/21/2013 15:59:54
Safehouses is about the care and use of that most useful of place, a safe house to hide from your enemies (or occasionally your allies) in. After some in-character advice, which nicely gives a feel for the problems and possibilities of hiding in the Shadowrun world. Then, there are rules, these build off of the lifestyle rules in the Runner’s Companion for constructing hideouts and safe houses. Lastly a set a set of example safe houses wraps up the product. If you are playing the sort of long term campaign this could prove to be a useful resource and it is an amusing read.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Safehouses
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Shadowrun: Gun Heaven
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/21/2013 15:55:59
Gun Haven is a collection of those toys that Shadowrunners love so much, guns, guns of all sizes from hold out pistols to assault cannon. It is only one weapon per page with a half page illustration and half page of statistics and discussion (as is traditional in Shadowrun products, framed as online chatter which imply a few adventure ideas). It contains statistics for actual weapons (such as the M-16 and Ingram Mac10) as well as classics from earlier editions of Shadowrun (such as the Predator heavy pistol), so new rules are introduced for ‘vintage’ and other outdated weapons, as well as a few that are on the cutting edge of weapon development in the Shadowrun future. A fun product but not a required one.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Gun Heaven
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Vintage Art Collection: Pirates & Sea
Publisher: Unza RPG
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/14/2013 21:09:12
The Vintage Art collections are exactly what it says on the tin, collections of vintage pieces of art that have fallen into the public domain and as such, may be freely used by people for whatever reason, such as illustration game books or providing reference for an adventure. Now, while you could possibly find many the pieces here if you wished to spend the time, Unza RPG has done it for you and for a reasonable price you get quite a bit of art to use.

Vintage Art Collection: Pirates & Sea has 109 images ranging from ships to sea monsters to sailors and pirates, lots of pirates. While a few of the ships are of the pre-cannon age mostly it shows a view of the 16th-18th century with flintlocks and cannon. Very good if you are looking to illustrate a historically based pirate setting, a bit more limited for others eras.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copies of these products for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vintage Art Collection: Pirates & Sea
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Vintage Art Collection: Buildings II
Publisher: Unza RPG
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/14/2013 21:08:11
The Vintage Art collections are exactly what it says on the tin, collections of vintage pieces of art that have fallen into the public domain and as such, may be freely used by people for whatever reason, such as illustration game books or providing reference for an adventure. Now, while you could possibly find many the pieces here if you wished to spend the time, Unza RPG has done it for you and for a reasonable price you get quite a bit of art to use.

Vintage Art Collection: Buildings II contains 124 images interior and exterior and occasionally just design elements with a few photos and a few cutaway designs, predominantly of European buildings with a few pieces from the ancient world. Castles, churches, and houses all make appearances here. If you find such images useful, you will certainly find much to use in this collection.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copies of these products for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vintage Art Collection: Buildings II
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Vintage Art Collection: Animals
Publisher: Unza RPG
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/14/2013 21:07:18
The Vintage Art collections are exactly what it says on the tin, collections of vintage pieces of art that have fallen into the public domain and as such, may be freely used by people for whatever reason, such as illustration game books or providing reference for an adventure. Now, while you could possibly find many the pieces here if you wished to spend the time, Unza RPG has done it for you and for a reasonable price you get quite a bit of art to use.

Vintage Art Collection: Animals a collection of 267 images mostly taken from illustration for fairy tales, myths and legends which makes for some wonderful art and for some rather odd art (like a giraffe playing a pipe organ). There are animals in clothes and doing domestic chores, rocs, and other bizarre things but if you need illustrations of natural animals you will probably find something here of use.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copies of these products for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vintage Art Collection: Animals
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