RPGNow.com
Close
Close
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Ultima Forsan - Setting Book
Publisher: GGstudio
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/05/2015 07:49:03

The Skinny


Ultima Forsan is set during an alternate Renaissance suffering the aftermath of the Black Plague. All manners of undead creatures have practically decimated the world with small pockets of civilizations hiding behind walls. All economical resources have been diverted to warfare, to invent more efficient ways to combat the army of the dead. Think of it as Resident Evil meets Warhammer or –if such an amazing thing existed – Leonardo Da Vinci: Zombie Hunter. It uses Savage Worlds as it’s engine. No other book besides the Deluxe Core Rules are required to play.


The first two chapters talk about the world in it’s current geopolitical state, how things came to be how they are today, the nature of the plague and the various kingdoms that populate Europe, the Middle-East and Northern Africa. This is a rich setting well thought of. What I like about it is that you don’t have to be a historian, an anthropologist or geographer to play or run this. You now have kingdoms like the Sultanate of Granada, the Caliphate of Sicily and the Teutonic Federate Principalities. Each of those kingdoms are described and each has it’s own flavor, motivations, government and attitude. The New Kingdoms map is also gorgeous.


Next up are the character creation and gear chapters. You get to choose between two races: the Untainted and Tainted. The Tainted carry atrament in their blood but do not suffer it’s fatal fate. They are still contagious however. Atrament is the black ichor that spreads the plague and turns the living into the not so-living-anymore. They are more resistant to diseases and, if they are bitten or otherwise infected by the dead, they will not fall ill from the ordeal. They are still fated to turn upon their first death however. Also, most parts of the world don’t tolerate or trust them. And yes, their ghastly appearance gives it away.


There is a plethora of new edges and hindrances. The professional edges are especially interesting allowing the players to have characters like the deadcatcher, gravedigger, knight, plague doctor, monk or the red odalisque featured on the cover with the red robe and two scimitars.


The gear section has new weapons and gear to amputate and treat infected wounds as well as augmented armor and prosthesis (see amputation).


Following this great introduction comes the Setting Rules chapter. You have rules to scale the lethality of the setting from downright gruesome and extremely deadly (the default setting) down to two less lethal settings. Let’s put it this way, the default lethality setting (Triumph of Death) is so tough the GM is advised to hand out two extra Experience Points per session.


All manners of preventing infection, fighting the Dead, the behavior of the Horde during combat, dealing with amputations and last hours before you turn are covered here. They don’t change the core rules too much, just a few tweaks here and there and the addition of necessary rules.


Then, the new (and only) arcane backgrounds are explained. This setting uses the No Power Points setting rule. You can play an alchemist, inventor or witch. They each have different mechanics, power list and feel to them.


At this point, from page 114, it’s information for the GM. Relics and Marvels, the Secrets (behind-the-scenes look). A short four episodes long campaign called The Secret of Marco Polo. An adventure generator and the surprisingly well detailed bestiary. It even has optional rules for using Tarot Cards as the action deck.


Finally you get a map of Lucca, a fortified city and a character sheet.


The Good


This is a very rich setting that fills a hole in the Savage Worlds catalog, that of the gritty kind. Through clever setting rules, gear and character options it manages to make a lethal setting appealing and deep.


The introduction of augmented armor is very interesting. There is a wide selection of character options guaranteed to satisfy players as well as many different opponents or adventure types a GM can throw at the players.


The artwork is absolutely fantastic, offering a mix of stunning modern style pieces and artwork you’ll swear were taken from medieval books and drawn by monks.


The Bad


It’s been pointed out by others that the translation from Italian to English is sub par. I’m a non-native English speaker so those awkward sentence structures aren’t as apparent to me. However, the book is hard to read at times. Let’s face it, a rule book isn’t like a captivating novel so the text has to flow better than in this book.The text would breathe better with shorter sentences for instance.


The Alchemist arcane background seem over complicated to me. Two rolls to determine preparation and effects are one too many in my opinion. I can’t help but think it should have been designed like the Lotusmaster arcane background from Beasts & Barbarians. Both written by Italians and Umberto Pignatelli (author and designer of Beasts & Barbarians) is even in the thank you section. Did he fail to give a sound advice or did the Ultima Forsan authors decided not to listen? All joking aside, one roll to determine effects during preparation and mishaps on a roll of 1 on the arcane skill die, or critical failure would accomplish the same thing with less time, die rolls and things to keep track of.
Most of the interesting art pieces are full pages between chapters or sections. I’d like quarter page art of the new gear and bestiary creatures. What does the Last Hope look like? How creepy-looking is a Possessed compared to a Carrion?


Conclusion


If you want to play during a zombie apocalypse in a fantasy setting and want more than just shambling mindless zombies and a more polished and interesting metaplot Ultima Forsan is for you.
This is a macabre setting where life is cheap, where survival, instead of gold coins is an incomparable reward. It’s truly unique and comes from the minds of very creative folks who understand the Savage Worlds system and don’t try to throw the kitchen sink at you. A lot of the setting rules, edges, hindrances, gear and creatures can easily be used in other settings or mined for your own setting as well. They are that well designed, with flair.
I, for one, feel like I’ve been given a quality product and look forward to more offerings from GGStudio. I feel this product deserves a 3.5 star but since I can’t award half a star I’ll go with 4 stars because my gripes about the book were minor.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultima Forsan - Setting Book
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Winter Eternal
Publisher: Just Insert Imagination
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/08/2015 04:53:23

How refreshing it is to have an interesting fantasy setting written for Savage Worlds! It does not try to convert mechanics from another rules system. Morne took the advice in the Savage Worlds Deluxe of less is more and I wish more licensee took that approach. Most of the content in this book is dedicated to describing and immersing you in this setting. It does not try to reinvent the wheel as far as rules are concerned relying on Savage World Core and the Fantasy Companion instead. The few rules found inside add a few edges and hindrances as well as three new playable races (Goblins, a dog-like race called Grayns and the Mekellions, a reptilian folk race) meant to add it's flavor to your character. There is also a section with equipment typical to Ehlerrac (the world of Winter Eternal).


The rest is all about the history of Ehlerrac, setting rules to help the GM adjudicate how hard life is on a cold planet, a gazetteer that describes the Eight Cities where you can find civilization and each city has a very distinctive feel. You then have the various organizations, a chock full of NPCs, Ehlerrac's religion and cosmology, cultural events and adventure seeds in the form of some underlying meta-plot elements. Finally, the bestiary will keep your players on their toes with new and unique creatures typical to Ehlerrac.


The layout is gorgeous, it's easy to read and at 122 pages it isn't too hard to digest.


That said, the book isn't perfect. Artwork is good for the most part but lacks a bit of direction. The magic section is a bit unclear as to what is available in this setting so you have to dig a bit to figure it out. Also, to get the best out Winter Eternal you need the Fantasy Companion although it isn't absolutely necessary.


Overall, Winter Eternal offers a fresh take on Fantasy RPGs. When you start to imagine how a fantasy world whose sun crashed into and plunged it into darkness would affect it, it opens up a lot of possibilities as far as adventure ideas are concerned. This cataclysmic event has left it's mark and Morne has created a vivid and inspiring world while leaving enough for you to insert your own material.


Morne has also listened to his readers by making changes to his book, making all new art pieces while still fulfilling the promise to his Indiegogo patrons. The book could have used some Savage Tales to help define what kind of adventures a party of heroes might take on but again, at the time of this review, there are three free one-sheet adventures complete with maps and pre-generated characters available for free on here or on his website. Morne cares about his readers and I expect another strong release from him in the near future.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Winter Eternal
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ultima Forsan - A Taste of Macabre
Publisher: GGstudio
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2015 21:03:31

Being a preview I was expecting a few pages, not 31 pages!


Inside you'll find an introduction on what the setting is about, setting rules, pre-generated characters an intro adventure a bestiary and a character sheet.


Ultima Forsan is a setting that takes place during the end of the Dark Ages and dawning of the Renaissance. The Great Plague has decimated most of the world's population and the remnants have pooled resources to combat the Plague and the undead. That's where you, the heroes come in. The character archetypes selection is very interesting with hunters, weird science (Leonardo anybody?), alchemists and armor clad warriors just to name a few.


Some might say the zombie-fying of any setting has been overdone in Savage Worlds but this feels fresh and exciting.


The artwork is amazing (some look like illustrations found in books of the period and tarot cards) and the layout is clear while thematic.


This game gives me nostalgia and reminds me of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay I used to play back in the early '90s. I feel inspired already and can't wait for the full book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultima Forsan - A Taste of Macabre
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Nemezis - Web of Intrigue
Publisher: GRAmel
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2014 23:04:31

For several reasons I will not explain here I've almost completely converted to the digital format for my rpg needs. I can't thank you enough for the layout of this pdf. Most monitors are widescreen nowadays and having a pdf that is in the landscape format makes a lot of sense. Every page fits perfectly on my screen. The layout is clean and easy on the eye.


The pricing is great. I see some adventures on here with a similar number of pages priced four times higher. And don't be fooled by how short it is. Some parts have a sandbox approach and could provide hours of play. There's even room to include sub-plots during travel using the adventure generator.


The story itself is dark and investigation oriented with some deadly combat. It definitely gives you an idea of what a Nemezis is about.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nemezis - Web of Intrigue
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Campus Blocks
Publisher: DramaScape
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2014 05:14:43

I'm about to start ETU: Degrees of Horror on Fantasy Grounds so I had to snatch this map. It's large, the buildings can be any building you want. You can zoom in enough to acomodate the use of tokens without nasty pixelation. Or you could break it down into smaller sections. This map is sure to see a lot of use in the coming months.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Campus Blocks
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Skull Cove
Publisher: DramaScape
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2014 16:08:10

This will be a great addition to the 50 Fathoms PPC I'm about to run. Interesting NPC's and Savage Tales. A lot of artwork and the 360 viewer is a sweet touch as always. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it lacks a VTT version of the map (could be made available as a freebie perhaps?) and I wish the 360 viewer was also packaged as a player handout. I run most of my games online and being able to share that portion of the product with the players would really add to the experience. Thanks for a great product!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skull Cove
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Basic Terrains 4: Desert Tiles
Publisher: Scrying Eye Games
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2014 09:51:14

Great quality graphics. Good versatility with the overlays. Can be used in a fantasy, modern, western or sci-fi setting. Having planned to use this for a VTT, I was hoping there'd be a grid-less version, especially for the overlays but no. Oh well, still good.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Basic Terrains 4: Desert Tiles
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Grains of Death
Publisher: GRAmel
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/07/2013 04:17:36

Yet another great product from Gramel. This short adventure set in Jalizar reminds me of Fritz Leiber series on the Gray Mouser and Fafhrd as opposed to most other releases in the Beasts and Barbarians series that have a Conan feel. Good urban dungeon crawl that should challenge both beginner and veteran gamers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grains of Death
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Jalizar, City of Thieves
Publisher: GRAmel
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2013 00:52:05

This sourcebook is much more than what it appears to be. It's also a rogue companion. It's full of edges, gear and options for thieves. With this, you can basically create a whole party of rogues and each character would be different. It also contains much more information about the history and layout of Jalizar than I expected. The pages are full of possible story arcs and plot hooks a GM could use to build a whole campaign. You also have several tools, such as Setting Rules, a bestiary and tables to help you make memorable locations, at your disposal. Not to forget new magic and trap rules. At first glance, traps seem to be a bit more complex and less fast, fun & furious than the rules created by Wiggy, but some might prefer the added depth. Overall it's a great resource for both GM's and players and I highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jalizar, City of Thieves
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Sky-Tyrant of Mars
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2012 04:22:09

What a great adventure. It's got intrigue, battles, chariot races, airship battles and thrilling action sequence. The interior art is a bit lacking compared to the quality of the cover but certainly conveys the writer's ideas real well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sky-Tyrant of Mars
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Savage Suzerain for Fantasy Grounds
Publisher: SmiteWorks
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2012 04:17:42

Beautiful skin extension but came with a few bugs. I believe it's been fixed. If not, contact Doswelk on the fantasy grounds II forums and he'll send you a file pack to fix it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Suzerain for Fantasy Grounds
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

War of the Dead: Food For Thought
Publisher: Daring Entertainment
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/03/2012 04:14:19

I ran this one sheet at a con a couple years ago. The players really didn't expect the "twist", when they find out what goes on in this town. It's very difficult to surprise gamers these days. So for $0 you get to surprise your players. It's worth it, grab it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
War of the Dead: Food For Thought
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Skinner of Syranthia
Publisher: GRAmel
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/07/2012 19:21:14

This is a clean and no-fuss easy to run adventure for Beasts & Barbarians by Gramel. All the ingredients for a fun and memorable gaming experience are there. Investigation, chase, combat and roleplay with NPC's. There's enough material to last you one or two gaming sessions.
The chase uses the mechanics from the Savage Worlds Deluxe edition and features a different event for each of the five rounds. The villain's background story and motivation are reminescent of a cultist in the Chthulu mythos. The monsters the PC's will face are fresh and will mystify, intrigue and challenge them. The finale will leave the party of adventurers cheering and feel good about themselves. They will even get their hands on a relic that will prove useful during the adventure while not giving them a possible unbalancing advantage in follow up adventures.


If you feel I'm being too vague, see for yourself. It's only a few dollars and you won't regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Skinner of Syranthia
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Beasts & Barbarians Golden Edition
Publisher: GRAmel
by Eric L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2012 02:04:02

I'm glad I'm updated my Player's Guide copy to the Golden Edition. The Book of Lore (Gazetteer) offers enough information about the different locales and provide enough hooks to craft your own adventures. The Gear section offers new weapons and armors that adds flavor to characters. The new Edges offers fun options to characters.


I haven't tried it yet but the Adventure Generator is a new take on a tool we've seen before. It requires a bit more work from the GM but instead of producing random results it gives the GM the tools to come up with his own story. It stimulates your creativity. The Setting Rules are few but enough to give this Sword & Sorcery feel. The Bestiary is filled with new monsters and archetypes of the Dread Sea Dominions' inhabitants. This 210 pages document also contains a great adventure that I can't wait to run for my players. The Map reminds me of old school rpgs maps, as if hand drawn.


The layout is beautiful, the black and white artwork will blow your mind and everything is laid out to be easily read and found.


Overall, I find it highly inspirational and evocative of the genre. Material like the Edges, Hindrances, Gear, Carousing Rules and Bestiary can also be used with other settings like fantasy.


Every product I download (because Gramel offers great free support products) or buy from Gramel is of great quality. You can tell these guys love what they do and care what we (buyers) think about the work they put out. There are already several adventures and tales out for purchase or to download for free. I can only expect more great products to come!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beasts & Barbarians Golden Edition
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 14 (of 14 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG