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Shadowrun: Street Legends
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/05/2012 14:59:37
Street Legends is a collection of characters and fiction for the world of Shadowrun, useful for getting a feel for how the official Shadowrun world fits together with its power players. While some of these characters may be able to be used in high powered game, very few are suitable for inclusion in anything less high flying. Adventure hooks are implied in the character write up but some explicit adventure seed and scenario ideas would have made this book more useful.

Shadowrun: Street Legends is a sourcebook of some of the major players of the Shadowrun world ranging from hackers to dragons, fixers to deposed princes and corporate raiders interspaced with a fair amount of insetting fiction. Each of the just over 30 characters gets a full history and discussion, with questions about their accuracy embedded, and a complete character write-ups. While it is an impressive collection of intriguing characters, it is difficult to see how they would be easily integrated into anything but a campaign with power players.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Street Legends
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Star Hero
Publisher: Hero Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/30/2012 12:34:34
Star Hero is a comprehensive sourcebook on the science fiction genre for the Hero System (6th edition) weighing in at almost 400-pages, it looks at science fiction from a variety of angles and provides a wide range of tools for Game Masters and players alike. Most of the book is system neutral and useful for anyone planning a science fiction game though its high price is a barrier for non-Hero System gamers.

Star Hero is filled with information on science fiction, all nicely bookmarked and with a comprehensive index. It covers multiple subgenres from cyberpunk to space opera, hard science fiction to planetary romances, time travel, alternate history and psionics all get treatments in the rules. Additional, notes on mixing genres such as including mysteries or humor or mixing SF with the superheroic of Champions are included.

Templates for aliens and profession are provided to aid in character building as are modification notes needed for some of the rules. An extensive set of random tables for the generation of star and planetary systems, alien worlds and more for the aspiring universe builder. Our own solar system in examined in detail (even given its own chapter).

Aliens and Technology get looked at in detail with solid advice for using both in a campaign (as well as some game statistics to get things started). A discussion of spaceships and the effects of various sorts of travel both faster and slower than light. Useful genre advice for game masters, environmental effects, a collection of NPCs and a wide variety of recommended media. Also included are the authors’ top five science fiction books, short stories and movies, which gives some nice insight into their preferences in the genre.

For anyone planning to use the Hero System for a science fiction game, this would seem to be an excellent reference. And even for the non-Hero Games player it is very useful reference. For a point-based game, it is surprisingly (to me) filled with random tables to spur inspiration. Though I think my favorite is the random ray gun table which generates what the guns’ rays look like and their color.

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:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Hero
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Villains and Vigilantes:Attack on the Poseidon Line
Publisher: Fantasy Games Unlimited
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2012 16:02:13
Attack on the Poseidon Line involved the heroes on a cruise ship which is threatened by pirates but a much deeper plot is being played out. It is a functional enough scenario but as structured it involves a lot of civilian deaths and not a lot of discussion on how the heroes can mitigate that, which strikes me as a serious flaw in a superheroic scenario. It does have excellent maps of a cruise ship, submarine and supervillain base which could be useful for a variety of games.

As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works. Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

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!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Attack on the Poseidon Line
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Villains and Vigilantes:Great Bridge
Publisher: Fantasy Games Unlimited
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2012 16:01:38
Great Bridge is a collection of Japanese supervillain from the files of Department 88. Primarily is it a source of anime/magna inspired supervillain and as such, it succeeds in it design goals. However, that is all it does, none of the characters are particularly innovative in mechanical design or background, which there are a few clever lines scattered the descriptions it does not do much to distinguish itself from any other such sourcebook.

As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works. Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

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!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Great Bridge
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Villains and Vigilantes:Signs of the Zodiac
Publisher: Fantasy Games Unlimited
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/27/2012 16:01:12
Signs of the Zodiac presents the Zodiac Syndicate, a group of diverse supervillain who have banded together for their mutual benefit, not world domination, but profit. Each of the Zodiac members is fully written out and has an android assistant as 12 members are a bit unwieldy, they often function as 3-person teams built around the elements tied to the various Zodiac symbols, each team’s basic dynamics and tactics are covered. Two full scenarios, along with additional superpowered characters, are included along with several scenario ideas.

As V&V is a fairly direct system, conversion to another superhero system should not be that difficult for any of these works. Each of the V&V books comes with a set of full color counters of the characters and bystanders (and sometime more) that can be printed out for game use.

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!]
Villains and Vigilantes:Signs of the Zodiac
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #34: The Hand of Sin
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 18:28:00
Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described. Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Hand of Sin (#34) an enforcer of the insidious Doctor Sin, apparently devoted to that villain and his goals. An expert martial artist with an unique secret. While only a PL of 9, the Hand of Sin is a skilled combatant and an especially good challenge for street level heroes.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #34: The Hand of Sin
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #30: Huntmaster
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 18:26:51
Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described. Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Huntmaster (#30) is an extra-dimension hunter, occasionally of bounties, but always of challenges. Equipped with powerful armor (PL13) and acting from his transdimensional base, he and his warhounds fear no prey and range wherever he wishes in search of new challenges. A useful character for a variety of scenarios and challenges.

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

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #30: Huntmaster
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #31: Power Corps
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 18:26:08
Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described. Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Power Corps (#31) is not just a villain, but a team of villains in nearly identical suits of powered armor. While each member has their own skills, it is the coordination between them that makes the Power Corps such a difficult group to deal with. Useful both as operatives of another villain or acting for their own profit, the Power Corps fill an important niche in the supervillain ecology.

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

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #31: Power Corps
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #29: Death Magnetic
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 18:25:02
Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described. Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Death Magnetic (#29) is a split personality, when her superpowers are active, she is powerful (PL11), able to manipulate magnetic fields and completely given over to her own desires (totally unlike her none powered self). She is an interesting character and a potentially challenging moral question.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #29: Death Magnetic
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #33: Foxfire
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 18:23:03
Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described. Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Foxfire (#33) is a trickster spirit (specifically a kitsune, a fox spirit) who, like all of her kind, loves to cause mischief and has the power (PL11) to do so. While malicious, Foxfire is more about cause confusion and embarrassment than physical harm and as such can be used in a variety of lighthearted situations which can suddenly turn dark if need be. Also, she can pose as an excellent challenge for mystically oriented heroes.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #33: Foxfire
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Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #28: Sleepwalker
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 18:22:07
Each of the threat reports come with a nice piece of color art of the character embedded in the PDF and a separate Hero Lab file. Each includes a prop cover letter from AEGIS, possibly useful for setting a scene, that gives a basic idea about what is publically known about the character described. Each character is given a few plot hooks to help work them into a campaign.

Sleepwalker (#28) is an unusual character, just a normal librarian by day, but when she sleeps, she changes into a superpowered being -usually a different one each night- that act upon her deeper impulses which usually causes trouble. Because of the characters flexibility, multiple superpowered forms, and usual background there are a quite a few stories that can be told with Sleepwalker - though a sample dreamform or two would have been helpful.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #28: Sleepwalker
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Markets and Merchandise, Pathfinder Version
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2012 15:14:46
Markets and Merchandise (Pathfinder Edition) is a collection of useful information on market, what you can buy at them, and wide varieties of things to buy. The Pathfinder conversion (this was originally written for a different system) is rough on a few mechanical things in the weapons, armor and alchemical sections sections. Even with those flaws it covers a considerable amount of useful territory such as currencies, a wealth of interesting trade items, prices for services from the profane to the sacred. I hope Avalon Games revises the mechanical sections noted above so that I can wholeheartedly recommend this product.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Markets and Merchandise, Pathfinder Version
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Evocative City Sites: Eiffelmacher Estates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2012 15:13:59
Evocative City Sites: Eiffelmacher Estates is a ruined estate, fully mapped out and printable as battle maps, used as a base of operations for a band of smugglers and worse (the Spotty Bottle Gang, two of whose leaders are detailed) that use their knowledge of the estate and its haunts (seven of which are provided) to protect themselves and their base of operations. Several scenario hooks are provided and the estate map can be used for a variety of purposes. Overall, quite a useful package.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Evocative City Sites: Eiffelmacher Estates (PFRPG)
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#30 Ioun Stones (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2012 15:13:27
#30 Ioun Stones contains what it says on the tin, 30 new ioun stones ranging from the minor but useful to the quite powerful indeed, including a legacy ioun stone that can grow in power as its owner does. If you like ioun stones, you will like this product, if not . . . not.

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

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Ioun Stones  (PFRPG)
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Extremely Creepy Comic Creatures #2
Publisher: Stark City Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/08/2012 21:08:08
Extremely Creepy Comic Creatures is a series of classic movie-themed monsters for use with Mutants & Mastermind. Each issue includes an introduction to the monster, provided by the Coffin Creep, the creatures background and various ways to include them in adventures, a full set of statistics, a printable creepy backdrop and creature and victim standees.

Number 2: The Savage Sewer Beast! is the classic giant alligator in the sewer, waiting to eat, well, anyone given the chance. Useful for a variety of crazy scenarios, I mean, sewer gator! How can you not think of fun ways to use that?

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!]
Extremely Creepy Comic Creatures #2
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