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101 Magical Armor and Shield Properties (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/25/2012 15:06:38
101 Magic Armor and Shield Properties, as it says on the tin, a hundred and one new ways to enhance your weapons and armor. It starts with a lovely set of tables by power level in case you wish to randomly assign them. The powers range from minor (such as pleasant dreams, allowing you to rest well) to the amazingly powerful (exemplified by cheating death, which does just that but with style) so every campaign level should be able to find something of use here. There are a variety of class and race-themed enhancement that are interesting and should find favor with players who like improving a particular play style. A useful resource for any campaign in need of a new variety of armor and shield powers.

Disclaimer: 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!]
101 Magical Armor and Shield Properties (PFRPG)
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Grimtooth's Traps
Publisher: Flying Buffalo
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/22/2012 10:10:59
Grimtooth’s Traps is a sourcebook of traps absurd and marvelous and a delightful look back at a different era of adventure gaming, when dungeon crawling was nearly a competitive sport between players and GMs. Enjoy the deviousness of old school trap design in this wonderful update of a classic.

Grimtooth’s Traps provides traps wondrous, deadly and bizarre mostly designed for a classic dungeon-type setting. The book was originally published in 1981, so for some (like me) reading it is tinged with nostalgia for old school gaming and the wacky, early days of dungeon adventuring.

The traps are organized by type: room, corridor, door, items and artefacts, and lastly, things. Each is given a deadliness rating (marked in skulls) showing how lethal it is as presented and most have a lovely illustration by Steven S Crompton, who revised and expanded on his original artwork, and there are a hundred traps in all (the hundred and first trap is special).

Many of the traps are classic screw the characters setups using trickery (and sometimes powerful magic and illusions) to disguise the nature of the actual trap. It was built for an age when dungeons were a contest between players and GM cleverness, played out through the character against dungeon stage, and realism (and roleplaying) was a secondary consideration at best. A different era of RPGs but one that lead to great inventiveness in such things as trap design and counters to them. Of course, many of the traps in this book involve extremely powerful magic (or advanced technology) and would be hard to explain in a low magic campaign world, but even then, they are inspirational and fun to 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:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grimtooth's Traps
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Kingdoms of Legend: Knights of France
Publisher: Interaction Point Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/31/2012 11:25:10
IPG continues their hard work on building a coherent world for their Kingdom of Legends setting with Knights of France providing a good resource for knights and for an alternate history/fantastic vision of medieval France. If your campaign has a place for both, this will be an extremely useful source book, however if it only uses one of the other, the material will be of more limited value.

Kingdoms of Legend: Knights of France is a 36-page PDF (33-pages if you remove the covers and OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Jason Rice and published by Interaction Point Games as part of their Kingdoms of Legend line.

Knights of France is about the knights, and other people, of the France of the Kingdoms of Legend setting (an alternate 14th C with a Pathfinder overlay). It has rules for tournaments, four different ways that knightly character can display their skills including jousting. Six new cavalier orders (for the APG Cavalier class) are presented including the semi-secret Order of the Newt, dedicated to protecting the families of witches. A new skill use for knowledge (nobility) is included and that is the ability to recognize, and create, heraldic symbols.

A friar archetype is provided for the Monk class, leading to an odd blend of western and eastern mysticism. A pair of new weapons, jousting lance and hand gonne, are detailed. Additional information on horses and dogs and rules for various breeds wrap up the rule portion of the book.

The last part of the book is a discussion of noble ranks followed by a region by region overview of France in the Kingdom of Legends setting, including various adventure seeds scattered throughout the descriptions.

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!]
Kingdoms of Legend: Knights of France
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Fehr's Ethnology: Ith'n Ya'roo [PFRPG]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:32:06
Fehr’s Ethnology: Ith’n Ya’roo, a new playable species. The Ith’n Ya’roo are a yeti-like humanoids that embrace and extol the primitive, using bone and hide in their arctic home. Beyond the race itself, there is support for them in the form of feats, traits, new spells and rules for using bone weapons and armor. Ith’n Ya’roo are interesting but not the sort of being that is likely to be widespread but if you want a different kind of encounter for the arctic wastes, this may be just what you are looking for.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Ith'n Ya'roo [PFRPG]
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The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less: Things That Make You Go Boom
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:26:32
Loot 4 Less: Things that Make you go Boom which is a compilation of several earlier Loot 4 Less products (Arms and Armors, Rings and Rods,check the individual products for more detailed reviews) which are all about lower powered -and lower level- magic items which fulfil a useful niche in the magic item/adventurers ecosystem. And many of them are just fun as well. For anyone who likes minor magic items, and discussions on how to make them, this product is a good investment.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less: Things That Make You Go Boom
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The Genius Guide to Another 110 Spell Variants
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:25:06
The Genius Guide to: Another 110 Spell Variants is just that, taking existing spells and giving them a twist to create a new spell. This is very useful for rapid generation of ancient tomes of magic and signature spells for NPCs. Though it should be noted that many of the base spells are from Ultimate Magic and a smaller number from the Advanced Player’s Guide and without access to those spells this product will not be as useful.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Genius Guide to Another 110 Spell Variants
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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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