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Fantasy Adventures For Kids
Publisher: JEN Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/28/2012 13:10:33
This a great little introductory game, with plenty of replayability.  The chibi art and cut out figures is cool idea, very suitable for younger players.  My only problem is that the game is peppered with modern gaming terms where "powers" are "activated" and I'm not entirely convinced that always  having a final "boss" monster makes the game more accessible to console gamers.   However, it could be argued that this language makes it an ideal intro to modern games (CCGs and DnD4 etc)  What works for me is encouragement for the dungeon master to be creative with puzzle rooms.  
If I was to play it with newbies of any age I would simplify and drop some of the character powers, and perhaps make the boss monsters a little weaker, but other than that it looks like a real blast.
Well presented, great value for money. Fun all around. :)
-Billiam B
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Adventures For Kids
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Party of 1: Alosar Emanli and the Creatures from the Fallen Star (solo adventure)
Publisher: Kobold Press
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/26/2012 16:54:32
(The following review is jointly written for Roleplayers Chronicle and Adventures & Shopping)

Alosar' ticks many boxes for what should make a really good solo adventure but I found myself very reluctant to replay the adventure to see where else the situations led. Technically it has a high replayability factor, in practice I found it a bit of a drag. The solo games I grew up with were the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, Sorcery! GrailQuest and Lone Wolf, which all used RPG styled systems. Most of the CYOA books which I saw at the time didn't have dice systems, and had objectives like "Find all 25 different endings" which seemed less of a victory somehow. Alosar is third in a series of separately published texts which (I believe) started as an article-mini-game in Kobold Quarterly. That article partly inferred or revisited the solo adventure from 1983 "Red Box" D&D. The solo game in the red box may have seemed very innovative to CYOA players, but to Fighting Fantasy readers it was lacking in description, story and the epic-ness found in a proper "quest". It was a dungeon with a few rooms, a few monsters, a handful of acquisitions. As an introduction to the D&D xp slow-climb of low level play it was perfect. D&D and Pathfinder are balanced towards group play, so perhaps introductory solos are in fact rigged so that group-play will always appear to be more exciting. I mention all this because when I buy or am leant a solitaire adventure I like to know its exact context in relation to other products. In typing this I have yet to fully explore the Pathfinder Beginner Box and perhaps there's a solo game in there too, much like in the D&D Basic game of my youth. In some ways solo texts are brave move for publishers whose meat and potatoes is often scenarios, new monsters, power lists and new classes.

Although not implicitly stated, Alosar is almost certainly a game for new players who wish to learn the core rules. The inclusion of the character sheets is for group campaign play, and not as a record sheet for the text itself (which I at first assumed it was). Alosar, as with the two titles prior to this is absolutely perfect for a Dungeon Master to give to a new player before a game, as a taster and familiariser with both a character and basic rules. In fact, I'm pretty sure that their aren't many Pathfinder Druid solos out there. I feel I have to say this in case you're a Pathfinder player wanting a new challenge on a rainy afternoon when friends are away - unless of course you enjoy the nostalgia of being led through the rules with someone else's character (which many of us do). I don't mind introductory solos, it's just that I feel that the solo medium needs championing for experienced play. Just for a moment I thought Open Design were going to challenge this concept. No, it's definitely a low level introductory solo. But hey, at least we know that the Party of One products can be played by anyone from newbie players to the jaded long-beards.

The reason why I mention gamebooks, is that for myself, the more exciting games were the ones where the reader was able to relate to the character as a detailed persona, like in the Lone Wolf. By contrast, in Fighting Fantasy and Tunnels & Trolls solos, the protagonist is an invisible persona where the reader fills in the gaps and stats. In the latter, descriptions of the hero's weapons are absent because the character might be of any class and armed accordingly. Naturally with games where different types of characters have a different skillset, it's very important to tailor the limited number of choices to that character. Party of One BB3 totally succeeds in placing the reader firmly in the shoes of forest-alert trainee-druid Alosar, whose sickle and select spells smack down the foes which have entered into his locale. Alosar is not yet a wandering adventurer, stumbling into random unknown caves (no doubt that will be his future). He is defending his territory, the living woods, from (literal) alien invaders. Therefore, the writing style flows very well - the reader is both "you" and "Alonsar", and is kept immersed in the situation in hand. I like this a lot. Unfortunately, the notion that (before getting involved in real danger) Alonsar the Druid has to perform a set of tasks or trials for his teacher feels a little hackneyed. In a larger text this would be appropriate, but we only have a handful of sections (65) with which to complete the game. Which brings me to a minor problem I have with the ending ...

"You have completed this adventure. If you would like to try for a different outcome, return to 1 and begin again."

There is a reason for this, because although the adventure is fairly linear, there are a couple of "minor reveals" which mean that as a reader you are rewarded with a somehow richer experience of the adventure. I'm just a fan of survival really, and that statement smacks of the CYOA books where the meta-game of beating the book by seeking out all of the routes is actually a goal. If this text is an introductory text to campaign play then a "one-time through" experience is all that should be allowed unless the character is a time travelling quantum physics specialist. This might be up to the DM of the campaign to decide. Again, I have to stress that I believe this product is ideal for a DM to give to a learning player before a game, and that it is not ideal as a one-off game for a player without a group.

I would like to see more of the Party of One texts produced and then bundled together as a reduced pack for group players to collectively build a party with a back story prior to their noble alliance as a party of adventurers (starting at 2nd or 3rd level – which is perfect!).

I printed the text out. When mentioning this to the editor of RC, the response was "Why the heck are you printing that?" I guess his foresight was better than mine...

Open Design produce some lush easy-on-the-eye products - Kobold Quarterly excels in this way. The Party of One products wouldn't look out of place in a glossy full colour rulebook or a coffee table magazine for that matter. There's a marbled background image and the choices of fonts are aesthetically balanced, the text is well ordered, in easy to read double columns. Easy to read, that is - if it was a magazine...

Experience has taught me that paper copies are the best way to play solos with dice and a pencil, either at a table or in bed. If I want a solo-fantasy RPG experience on a PC I'd probably play an actual PC game. There are practical reasons for printing some PDFs out. One is that when combat occurs in a solo, a separate sheet of paper is useful for scribbling HPs on, equipment found etc -if you don't have a character sheet. I mistook the two sheets at the back of the text as being working character sheets, but they are not up to the task and are intended for the character's life beyond the game text. So I printed the PDF and my partner's inkjet really struggled. The marbled background does the document no favours when in comes to low budget printing - it certainly gets worse when any of the colours are running low. An alternative printer-friendly copy of the text, or information about how to turn off the background would have been very handy in this case.

Viewing the PDF on a tablet is a fair compromise and my old school ways are slowly accepting that an iPads are less invasive at the gaming table than a laptop or tower. Playing the text on an iPad had it's own problems as the two column text made navigating through the different numbered sections even more chaotic - zoom in, out - flip forward and back a few pages - scan up, down ... what was the passage number again?

A message to all publishers: If you're selling a solo game PDF or ebook with numbered sections - please include hotlinks.

It's bad enough that some publishers don't connect a Table of Contents to the actual contents in purchasable documents. We are living in what could be a glorious new age for interactive texts. Hyperlinking is what the web and simplest of PDFs do best.

In summary, the PDF is beautiful to look at - but unprintable and unreadable on paper, but it is also lacking in the basics in terms of on screen navigation.

On the positive side, if you're collecting the Party of One publications then this product is a genuine must have. If you're DM teaching players, or a player wishing to learn some basics, this will be nice investment. If you play a lot of solo games you may find Alosar' disappointing.

It's refreshing to play a druid and some of the encounters are quite original, but overall I see this text as a pre-game tool and not standing up well on it's own as a gaming experience in it's own right.

Overall: 3-4 stars out of 5

-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog
bit.ly/RPChron

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Party of 1: Alosar Emanli and the Creatures from the Fallen Star (solo adventure)
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Age of Cthulhu 6: A Dream of Japan
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2012 18:38:28
I'm a sucker for good line-art and Brad "BKM" McDevitt adorns this adventure with some exquisite point-of-view pictures (think D&D Tomb of Horrors player pull-out).
I'd say Dream of Japan comes pretty close to being a perfect CoC mystery. My only issue is that, like with nearly all CoC adventures, it needs a fairly resourceful Keeper to usher the investigators along the right path. However, in this adventure there is a fail-safe - the investigators have been manipulated, possibly since birth (!) by unseen forces, so the Keeper now has a licence for contrivance. ;)
This adventure is a perfect opportunity to plunge the players into a superstitions world, that's just alien enough (the Orient) to make the investigators paranoid about every lucky penny they find. This adventure looks like it has the makings to be a classic - and perhaps even a whole campaign. It has some really nice twists, great art (the maps are good too).
Designed for Chaosium/BRP Call of Cthulhu (5) but could be easily adapted or sourced for other games set in the '20's.

-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Cthulhu 6: A Dream of Japan
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Battlemap - The Sussurus Tomb
Publisher: Lord Zsezse Works
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2012 18:27:56
In Zseze's World The Sussurus Tomb Battlemap the quality of the computer art is arrestingly beautiful. Make sure you print onto something glossy which does these tiles justice! The sections in the PDFs have wide margins which is always a good thing if you don't want to fiddle too much with print settings. Extra poster size jpgs will be ideal for use in computer programs, tablets, and for your own modifications.
Slick professional, eye-bleedingly good!
-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemap - The Sussurus Tomb
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Trailblazers!
Publisher: Slloyd14
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2012 18:25:57
Stuart Lloyd is changing the way we play Tunnels & Trolls solos and he is changing the way I look at T&T as a whole.

Rather than moping back to Edition 5 of T&T (which would be my primary instinct when writing a solo game) Mr Lloyd takes 7.5 with all it's suggested talents, he embraces the opportunities for customised skill checks (SRs), adapts to the new types/classes and tackles in-book spell-use head-on. Text sections provide options to perform "stunts" which make even the most mundane encounter memorable to play. The situations in Trailblazers! are refreshingly original. The plot can switch from the lowly to the epic - from scrambling about about to saving the day - of this stuff heroes are born.

There's a sprinkling of humour and chagrin, very much in the style of older T&T solitaire games, so T&T old school regulars will like this. The replayability factor is very high. (Do not be discouraged by the charming public domain art! This is high class content! High-production values of the mind!) - I should also add that his solos are easy on the ink cartridge and his PDF prices are kept extremely low. As well as a one off, you can also play Trailblazers! as the third in the series of T&T solos Stuart Lloyd has written.

-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trailblazers!
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Cthulhu by Gaslight
Publisher: Chaosium
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/05/2012 14:14:30
I'm really happy to see that Chaosium have fixed this PDF so that it is now truly sublime, gorgeous and without display errors (I originally gave a harsh review which I now humbly and gratefully retract). Since it is mainly grey scaled it will also be more printer-friendly than other ebooks/PDFs.
The gaming content more than lives up to the title (although I recommend that long time Call of Cthulhu fans read the other reviews here regarding exact comparisons to the previous Cthulhu by Gaslight edition).
I particularly like the literary tie-ins with books of the period (including a Martian invasion!) The handouts and maps are perfect as well as the good looking character sheets.
Also Chaosium have now added an uber-useful map of London - which I believe is a "pull-out" in the printed version.
Great job. Very yummy.
Be careful in those dangerous foggy streets...

Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu by Gaslight
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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/24/2012 20:44:32
I am really grateful for seeing the 2300AD source book, as it reminds me of a campaign setting which I used to think was excellent, whilst being visualised through the prism of the today's Traveller rules.

For Mongoose to fuse original (old-school) far-future Traveller with it's broad Foundation style brush strokes, with this, Earth's hands-on tentative steps into space, employing chunky, clunky gadgets and tank armour, seems, at first glance, almost heretical! Hats off to Mongoose for bravery.

One thing that Mongoose 2300AD does do well, is that it provides planet maps. Ace! The colony planets feel like solid, real places.

The addition of DNA modifications as a norm seems a little unnecessary, but this is tied up with the bio-tech Pentapods' contact with humanity, which just about works.

Where are the gun pictures? Surely the look and feel of the equipment is really important to distinguish this source book from the main Traveller setting? The descriptions are there, but show us some eye candy! ;) Otherwise the presentation is very good.

As a sourcebook for today's gamer, the potential for the 2300AD setting is HUGE, the supposedly gritty feel on the broad backdrop of newly settled worlds will make for a great campaign - and many styles of game are possible from espionage to battlefield war. Its whopping 312 pages are packed with background information and game material.

Even in the bundle this still feels a little pricey, one would hope that PDFs would be considerably cheaper than their printed-and-bound versions - or at least it would be good to have a deal which combines both.

General note: 2300AD is implicit in its need of the Traveller Core Rulebook. The introduction also suggests that Supplement 5: Vehicles and 6: High Guard "would also be useful".

In summary, 2300AD it's a bumper book with plenty of details about many of the colonies and enclaves in the 2300AD near-star sphere. How this fits with Mongoose's Traveller will be up to individual players to interpret. The good news is that if Mongoose Publishing don't produce more 2300AD products that there's the so many older GDW T2300/2300AD products out which can be "mined" for ideas.

-Billiam B.
http://bit.ly/rpgblog2300AD

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2012 16:45:16
Shadows of a Dying World is loyal to its source material. Excerpts from the novels are used as part of the monster descriptions. I especially like the fact that some of the monsters can be used as characters (using the Racial Ability Scores Modifiers - a hallmark of 3.5e). I'd love to play an 8ft tall four armed green-skinned Thark.

D&D plate-mail doesn't really have a place here, in fact actual clothing is fairly rare in ERB's Martian books. So Appendix III in Shadows' provides us with Class Defence Bonuses - which give players just enough of a level-linked boost to AC so that even when they're standing still characters may still survive the slings, arrows and radium guns of outrageous Barsoom. Loin-clothed barbarian-types are welcome here.

With Feats descriptions and Random Encounter Tables, this product comes over as a succinct, settings based, Monster Manual with extras. It's all generic enough to make the Mars milieu your own. Skirmisher Publishing have also included a document built from select tables and text in the SRD to assist with creature building and modifying what's already provided in the text.

Because this is an OGL product, in theory all you would need is the d20 Source Reference Document and this product to play campaigns on Mars (but if I remember right, the SRD doesn't include character generation so you'll probably enjoy this more if you actually own the rules for Pathfinder, core DnD3/3.5 rule books or d20 fantasy-equivalent).

The many interior illustrations are in a variety of styles, black and white -printer friendly.

For many DMs who are fans of this genre, who use a d20 system, this document will be perfect starting point for encounters with monsters based on adventures from one of the grand-daddies of fantasy.

I'm really grateful that I've had a chance to see this product. It's certainly worth the $6. It is definitely worthwhile considering if d20/PF/DnD/3-3.5 is your preferred system and you're dying to try out some truly classic, but brutal, sci-fantasy. :)

-Billiam B
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
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Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/22/2012 20:08:41
Shadows of a Dying World is loyal to its source material. Excerpts from the novels are used as part of the monster descriptions. I especially like the fact that some of the monsters can be used as characters (using the Racial Ability Scores Modifiers - a hallmark of 3.5e). I'd love to play an 8ft tall four armed green-skinned Thark.

D&D plate-mail doesn't really have a place here, in fact actual clothing is fairly rare in ERB's Martian books. So Appendix III in Shadows' provides us with Class Defence Bonuses - which give players just enough of a level-linked boost to AC so that even when they're standing still characters may still survive the slings, arrows and radium guns of outrageous Barsoom. Loin-clothed barbarian-types are welcome here.

With Feats descriptions and Random Encounter Tables, this product comes over as a succinct, settings based, Monster Manual with extras. It's all generic enough to make the Mars milieux your own. Skirmisher Publishing have also included a document built from select tables and text in the SRD to assist with creature building and modifying what's already provided in the text.

Because this is an OGL product, in theory all you would need is the d20 Source Reference Document and this product to play campaigns on Mars (but if I remember right, the SRD doesn't include character generation so you'll probably enjoy this more if you actually own the rules for Pathfinder, core DnD3/3.5 rule books or d20 fantasy-equivalent).

The many interior illustrations are in a variety of styles, black and white and printer friendly.

For many DMs who are fans of this genre, who use a d20 system, this document will be perfect starting point for encounters with monsters based on adventures from one of the grand-daddies of fantasy.

I'm really grateful that I've had a chance to see this product. It's certainly worth the $6. It is definitely worthwhile considering if d20/PF/DnD/3-3.5 is your preferred system and you're dying to try out some truly classic, but brutal, sci-fantasy. :)

-Billiam B
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)
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Khazan City Chaos
Publisher: Slloyd14
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/18/2012 09:50:54
Khazan! Possibly the most famous city in the T&T universe! Chewing up and spitting out players in countless adventures.

This may appear to be a small solo, but you will find that if you're playing this thoroughly enough that you will pass through a good many of it's 56 sections. A lot of the scenes provide the reader with the opportunity to test different abilities with Saving Rolls. This gives this solo a high "replay" factor, so believe me when I say that you are getting more than your value for money.

That's what this solo is all about: -money. Lucky fortune -and a fight- at the beginning will provide your low level character with more cash than they will see in a entirety of adventures. It's a pity there's no option to walk away at that point (not to mention that if you're a freshly generated character the introduction will provide you with a sack of cash). Now, I've played too many shoot-em-ups to know that free health and weapons usually means something big is around the corner... So let us a assume that a fool and their money is about to be easily parted. But you, the player, are no fool because this solo will probably cost you less than a dollar.

The author explains in the preface that he his developing his own standardised solo rules for Tunnels & Trolls – in this case the 7.5 edition. It's perfectly possible to play a warrior without spells talents and maybe even a character from 5/5.5 or earlier editions, but you'd be missing a treat, because Khazan City Chaos is extremely comprehensive in the instructions as to how to employ Talents and Spells from the 7.5 lists. T&T 7.5 in many ways encourages improvisation and special moves in combat -but this requires a creative and judicial GM to be on hand, which is not possible in solo texts. Less confident players also like to be led by the text in the section as to what they are able to do (despite some T&T solos claiming that the broadest interpretation of the text should allows player to do whatever their characters feel like). Mr Lloyd's genius here, in addition to all of the spell guidelines, is the implementation of “stunts” in combat – these are special saving rolls based on attributes or talents, which allow for dramatic and memorable moves. Many of the stunts are totally optional, which may come as a relief for fast-play players – just give 'em the MR and let 'em get on with it! ;)

The extra options reminded me a little of gamebooks, like Lone Wolf, where the character has options to use skills to effect the outcome of an encounter – they was always something strangely satisfying in this (when compared, to say, standard Fighting Fantasy). The stunts add a lot of flavour to combat. These along the many tests in the adventure result in a sense of ingenuity and achievement of behalf of your character – even when some of the trials in the urban world may seem without the thrill and zap of combat (although combat is only ever a section away).

Stuart Lloyd's narrative style is impeccably balanced between the do-or-die thrill of the quest, peppered with light hearted commentary about the characters and their environs, which fits perfectly with the traditional style of T&T solos. He appears to be planning a whole series. So be warned! By purchasing this you may find yourself collecting all of his titles as soon they hit the press!

This solo will entertain new players and be refreshing for the veterans too. GMs of all editions of T&T may like to take a look at this solo since talent guidelines, the stunt descriptions and many options to use attribute (or talent) SRs makes for inspirational game-planning.

-Billiam Babble
http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Khazan City Chaos
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Sell-Swords of Mars
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/10/2012 11:47:13
This adventure is truly epic in scale.
It's a war, with heroes, troops, vehicles (airships and alien tripods!), some political ramifications, glory and salvation.
There's a useful flowchart in the back of the adventure, where the variety outcomes of the battles and decisions will still lead to the final showdown. I'm guessing that there's plenty of hours of play here. Definitely for veteran players who'd like to branch out into mass combat - so make sure you own the extra rules needed to play (read the product description carefully).
Summary: Exotic 40K with a decent plot. ;)
-Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sell-Swords of Mars
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Blood Legacy of Mars
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/10/2012 11:44:11
In Blood Legacy of Mars the background reads like a Roman/Borgias/Hamlet paranoid love, daggers and intrigue story. This is a very plot dense adventure. The "relationship diagram" towards the back of the adventure is truly a masterpiece of interconnected PC motivation and all that intrigue and double-crossing stuff (which makes my brain hurt - but in a good way) The main NPCs are fully fleshed out. The line-art in this adventure is absolutely superb.

Definitely an adventure for the readers, talkers and thinkers, spiced up with sexual intrigue and disputes resolved in drunken viscous brawls. Tell the players to keep notes on everyone they meet! Suggested additional rules are the main MARS rulebook for the descriptions of Minor NPCs. Also, if you're enjoying the setting and need equipment resources etc, it's probably near-compulsory to buy the MARS rulebook as well.

Summary: Compelling!

Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Legacy of Mars
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Sky-Tyrant of Mars
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/10/2012 11:33:22
This is my favourite out of Adamant's latest releases. Sky-Tyrant requires only the Savage Worlds main rules to play (in my case that's the Explorer's Edition) - so it's a good purchase if you're "just curious" about the MARS Savage world setting, and are not ready to commit to buying the main rules book.
Its scenes rush forward into each other with the excitement of Star Wars or Indiana Jones. Pre-generated characters also help greatly in implementing the setting, which is just about generic enough to not require the core settings book. This adventure jumps from straight-forward encounter survival to being part of politics (but still with action). Sky-Tyrant is for the more "cinematic" action favouring players. The accessibility of the scenario means that it is also perfect for conversion to other systems (or maybe different settings). Summary: Fast-action pure-pulp sci-fantasy, awesome!
Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sky-Tyrant of Mars
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Temple of the Fool God
Publisher: Slloyd14
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/07/2012 21:10:08
Generally I have mixed feelings about the idea that Tunnels & Trolls games should often be light and humorous, but Stuart Lloyd provides a feasible background for such japes. By taking on the patron god of fools (who's name in short form takes up most of a paragraph) you are forced to put part of your sensibilities aside. Chaos truly reigns. Like with many T&T solos, some sections are sub-games in their own right, where the player can choose to raise the stakes for higher gains - random treasure tables also provide a bet like dice rolling flutter. Sections can be revisited and considerable ground can be covered and replayed - giving Temple of the Fool God a lasting game life. The Monty Python-esque humour might be a little much for some, but for others it's a jolly evening in. 'Fool God is written for the T&T 7.5 edition, which is good, because dedicated solos for that edition are still thin on the ground, compared to mighty back catalogue of published and amateur adventures written for 5/5.5. Fool God is a packed read with 190 sections. All of the sections are properly hotlinked which means you get straight the right section when using an on-screen reader or a touch-tablet. It is ideal for both new players and veterans (for 1st level characters - with equipment provided in the text).
Challenging nonsense. ;)
Billiam B.
bit/ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Temple of the Fool God
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Planets of Peril: The Sword & Planet Role Playing Game
Publisher: Keith Vaughn
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/07/2012 19:32:16
I'm tempted to blame John Carter of Mars for this, but browsing through this game, one can tell that this has been a few years in the making, by someone of lot better read than I am. Keith Vaugn's Planets of Peril appears to be a complete game in a refreshing campaign setting way brute force, mental will, alien technologies, survivalism, explorer skills and even sexuality, pave the way to riches and power. Edgar Rice Burroughs's Martian and Venus series are listed in the comprehensive list of books of inspiration, along with many authors who were smashing up and mashing genre long before "post-modernity" became the catch-all for the confused.

If you like "sci-fantasy" then Planets of Peril may just be your thing. You've got to love any game which has a section called "Book 4 - Zardoon: Moon of Mysteries" followed by map entitled "The Island-Continent of Hoshovareka (The Refuge of Mankind)." I'm especially fond of all-the-rules-you-need sets, in the cynical age of collector-range marketing.

The oil art has a charm of it's own. In fact the whole publication feels very much like a much older game, perhaps from the 1970s. The premise and setting does remind me a little of Empire of the Petal Throne, i.e. a breed of mankind displaced on an alien world, but the similarities end with the basic idea. Planets of Peril owes a lot more to pulp fantasy, fringed with exotic social-political events and themes. If you're looking for something different, if you're fond of older games and pulp sci-fantasy then it's definitely worth a look.

Billiam B.
bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Planets of Peril: The Sword & Planet Role Playing Game
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