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Sentai Sequel!
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2014 10:50:40
Rarely do I print out the PDFs I buy on rpgnow. This series is an exception. It contains a lot more options and some nice advice for integrating Fursona. Even if you don't play d20 / Pathfinder, there's some good genre emulation here that could port well into other games. A great follow-up would be a Fursona-style rubber suit kaiju / giant robot builder.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sentai Sequel!
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(G-Core) G-Core PRIME
Publisher: Dilly Green Bean Games
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2014 22:10:17
Some of you may have read my 4 star review posted yesterday. I have removed it because in less than 24 hours Jay Libby has responded to my critique and revised the PDF. I'm told there are more generic spacecraft to come, as well as additional apedices with combat examples and additional origins. Some inquisitive folks vacillating about whether or not to put down $2.50 for this PDF might be asking: what's the difference between G-Core Prime and other FASERIP legacy games? G-Core Prime allows for customization without complexity with the combination of an origin and a hero type, basically an archetypal power source-origin story seed and a career. This has evolved from an application of Jay Libby's Fuzion Bloks system. For FASERIP fans out there, there's an Ultimate Powers Book feel to the Origins in Prime that I like. For more info, see the previous review by Christopher C. If you have no context for what FASERIP was, think rules lite style over substance comic book action. This book is still evolving, and if it reaches 100 purchases, should see print as a robust and versatile game that Jeff Grubb and David E Martin could be proud of.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
(G-Core) G-Core PRIME
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Fantasy Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Core
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2014 15:57:09
Caviat: I got this for $1.50, which prompts 4 stars rather than 3. The best aspect of the PDF is the art: quite detailed and evocative. This is pretty much a nuts and bolts PDF. It tells readers how to navigate situations in the game but gives few if any examples of creatures, spells, vehicles, powers, etc. It retains too much OGL crunch for me to actually run, but some of the setting books look promising. I'll be interesting to see what the developers come up with.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Core Rulebook
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ATLANTIS: the Second Age
Publisher: Khepera Publishing
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/16/2013 20:14:50
Jerry D Grayson's version of Atlantis: the Second Age takes the Morrigan Press version and brings it more in line with recent additions and innovations to the omini system. The art is great, and the addition of randomized life path generation to character creation, as well as a clear cut process for choosing race, culture and profession, stand out strongly. I do have a couple of qualms, keeping in mind though that this is a beta version: one, there's no martial artist profession, even though the setting can encompass antideluvian "Far East"; two, brief descriptions of the cultures need to be given in the area of the book designated for choosing cultures; and finally, and this is just my preference, some of the terminology used is definitely relic of the d20 era. But, this is pretty good for a beta. I too am anticipating the final version.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ATLANTIS: the Second Age
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MYRIAD SONG - Role-Play Adventure of Ten Thousand Worlds
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/02/2013 18:49:49
This is a tested, solid game system with an interesting pulp scifi setting heavily influenced by late '70s and early '80s cinema. It lacks severely in terms of starships, though.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MYRIAD SONG - Role-Play Adventure of Ten Thousand Worlds
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ICONS Team-Up
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2013 11:03:35
This is a work of pragmatic rpg genius. Team Up essentially contains the elements of a full-fledged GM's guide writ shorthand for ICONS. ...worth the year plus delay of its release.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS Team-Up
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Chronicle 00: Book 1
Publisher: Dilly Green Bean Games
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/15/2013 21:53:20
Acclaimed RPG author S John Ross asserts that cliche is the stock and trade of roleplaying games. I call this idea to the reader's attention because Chronicle 00 Book One, the latest endeavor from Jay Libby using the G-Core system, begs the question: does one really need another cyberpunk genre setting? The previous review correctly catalogs what this setting does well: corporate intrigue, sleek battle suits, mecha, cyborgs, etc, and it's certainly Jay's most layered setting yet. But, and it's a big "but" one can find all of this in other settings out there, like Interface Zero, for instance. Why add Book 00 to one's cart?

The answer is that at its core, the G-Core system that drives the setting is derived from the old Marvel Super Heroes (MSH) game system, now available freely to game designers and players in a pared-down form as 4C. The particular version of G-Core used in Chronicle 00 does some interesting things mechanically, having players choose multiple careers to determine expertise, etc, but that's not my point. My point is that because the game is probably about 90 to 95 percent backwards compatible with MSH, the setting can easily be ported into a campaign using it or a growing family of games, including ICONS and Bulletproof Blues.

As mentioned earlier, this is a rich setting with lots of subplots. The art, particularly the mecha art, is what one has come to expect from Jay Libby. One welcome addition to 00 is a good number of text boxes explaining various aspects of the rules.

I am pretty enthusiastic about this line because I've always wanted to play MSH cyberpunk, but this is not a five-star review. Though the game contains the most of the G-Core engine rules, G-Core Grit is mentioned without clearly explaining what it is, so the book does presuppose a knowledge of other G-Core products. The cyborg and the tech character Origins get a pool of points to boost stats, representing custom implants or tech. This makes sense for those familiar with standard G-Core, and there are brief examples in the text, but it could be confusing because non-custom implants and tech have listed prices later in the book with no mention of points.

This book is definitely a move in the right direction for Jay Libby, a one-man prolific powerhouse of direct to PDF indie RPGs. Recently the big companies here on rpgnow and in other venues have been releasing Beta versions of game systems so that a wider pool of players can work out the kinks before the Alpha releases. Jay has been doing this for the better part of twelve years. His oversight was not calling certain releases Beta. Now, he's got G-Core Deluxe, a solid system proven, if by nothing else in the eyes on an ambivalent reader, its sales numbers. Jay is now focusing on setting. Chronicle 00 Book 1 welcome evidence of that.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicle 00: Book 1
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D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2013 12:04:34
I bought this PDF years ago for $5. This new scan is great, and well worth $10 for the D&D enthusiast. There are good retro clones out there, like Dark Dungeons, but this "official" version has options Dark Dungeons doesn't, like wrestling rules. ...the best PDF WotC has to offer.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)
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Arrows of Indra
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2013 22:58:26
I come to this game both as a veteran tabletop rpger and as a practicing Vaishnava, so Arrows of Indra is effectively the closest thing game-wise to Green Ronin's famed Testament for me. The previous two reviews do a great job of summarizing the book. I particularly like the author's approach to the caste system and to "magic" in the game [totally not Vancian]. The yogi class doesn't work for me as written because it's basically the AD&D monk. Yogis in the source texts aren't combatants. I do really like the inclusion of celestial weapons, but though there is a charioteering skill, there are not chariot fighting rules, nor are there rules for the Vimanas, a real missed opportunity. There's really a lot to like here, but I have one major beef: Krishna is never discussed as human in the source texts. He's either identified as the original personality of Godhead or as the completely realized avatar of Vishnu. Rama, on the other hand, is Krishna-Vishnu playing as the perfect human being. Also Hanuman was never king of the vanaras. He was assistant to Sugriva. Thanks to the RPG Pundit for putting this out there. Good Gaming, and Hare Krishna!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arrows of Indra
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A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore
Publisher: BRW Games
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/30/2012 16:37:26
This volume does what is sets out to do: explore ideas to expand AD&D based on hints from Gary Gygax prior to his ill-fated devorce settlement, when his huberous got the best of him and he gave up controlling interest in TSR in favor of the D&D series and film rights.
The best part of this book is the new class options, the first 24 pages. The most interesting of these is the mountebank, a Cudgle the Cleaver meets Han Solo type, and the Jester, basically turning any character into a Kender. These classes expand roleplaying possibilities with concepts like verbal patter, also key to the version of the bard presented here. There are strict spell casting classes too, most notably the mystic, a Taoist type. I'm not crazy about the secondary skills system because I don't like a lot of number crunching, but it is very Gygax. It's very much like the one he wrote for Castles & Crusades, using an experience point purchasing system. The combat system gives various options for adding complexity to combat. My favorite is the percentage chance of causing friendly fire in missile combat, which I don't remember from AD&D. There's also stuff here for dealing with various environments, at least as usefull, probably more so, than the post Gygax Dungeoneer's and Wilderness Survival Guides. I apprieciate the expanded waterborne combat, as a lot of OSR material tends to neglect it. The new monsters are Judeo-Christian extra planer-- choirs of angels and various demons. BRW Games strategically released this the same week as the Commemorative Edition AD&D books. I want the hard cover of A Curious Volume for the mountebank class alone. The best part of the book is that the options are modular. Take or leave what you want.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore
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Amtgard Rules of Play Version 7.7
Publisher: Amtgard Inc.
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2012 16:47:58
I was involved in Amtgard in the early 90s in the Kingdom of the Emerald Hills [North Texas], and I was surprised to see the rules set here. The presentation has come a long way... a live-action fantasy roleplaying organization with over 20 years of lore. Build some swords out of kite spar or ball some old socks into colored cloth, put a tunic over your tee-shirt and jeans and head out to the local park.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amtgard Rules of Play Version 7.7
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Heroes Wear Masks
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2012 16:58:34
I'm giving Heroes Wear Masks 4 Stars. A real Pathfinder enthusiast might give it five. As supers RPGs go, it isn't as well done as ICONS or M&M3, but it does make innovative use of the Pathfinder system. I was actually impressed by how comparatively little of the book is taken up with powers. The power template system takes the mechanics a long way without adding an additional 50-100 pages. This PDF does present some original stuff, not rehashed from d20 modern. The art is stuff we've seen before for the most part, but nicely recolored. Heroes Wear Masks is definately a leap in the right direction for Avalon Gaming Company's Pathfinder products, but I would have liked to have seen more of what distinguishes Pathfinder from 3.5 used, namely archetypes. A martial artist could be an archetype of the Acrobat class, for example. Note: I would have given this 3 stars had I paid full price for it. I got it as part of a promotional offer for $8. That price is pushing the limits of reasonable. $10 would be a non purchase for me. Then again, Pathfinder is not my game of choice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes Wear Masks
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Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #19: Plant Powers
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2012 00:19:13
Purchasing this series every week is like buying a powers book on lay-away. My hope, though, is that if Green Ronin releases a collected version at the end of the series, they give those of us who've been collecting the individual issues a discount.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #19: Plant Powers
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Black Tokyo Legends -Races of the Tatakama
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2012 10:10:49
This PDF offers a lot of options for Asian inspired campaigns. The kitsune presented here is arguably better done than the official version. The most interesting aspect of this PDF is the alternate racial traits for the races presented herein, as well as for the standard races. The new "talents" could add some flavor as well. The Japanese cultural templates are a potentially useful concept. This material is less overtly sexual than the original Black Tokyo, though explicit material is definately here. The selection of alternate traits, in many cases can mute the sex, or relegate it to "off camera" or something from the ancient past.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Tokyo Legends -Races of the Tatakama
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One Planet, One Power
Publisher: Skortched Urf' Studios
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/13/2012 10:00:49
I am slightly disappointed with this PDF. Don't get me wrong. The writing is solid, but the mechanics are more lock-step than I expected. There are some great translations of the Powered Hero basic class talents into racial abilities as advertized, but with the tag line "create your own galaxy" implied to me that it would provide more generic options like a blend of Fursona and Powered Hero Evolution, rather than only the standard fare of Galaxy Command, Psi-Watch and Otherverse America options for using the races written up in the PDF.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
One Planet, One Power
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