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Brindlewood Bay
by Gabriel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2020 06:30:10

Brindlewood Bay is outstanding. I like it so much that even though I receved a free copy through my Codex subscription, I also bought a copy here just to leave a review. The theme is on point, as it should be for a PBTA game, but there are two pieces that really stand out: the core mystery mechanic and the cozy little place.

With the way the mysery mechanic works, there is no single right answer that the group is trying to find. This opens up all sorts of possibility and really emphasizes the "play to find out what happens concept". As the Keeper (GM) I was just as excited as the players to find out what happens. It's an excellent experience.

The Cozy Little Place tool is a phenomenal way to get players to listen to one another during introductions. It provides am obvious mechanical benefit (essentially gear) for good play culture. Each time I've run it, the players come up with items that are both unexpected and excellent additions.

The game is very strong and I'm planning to bring components of the game into other games I run. My long-running D&D game will definitely make use of the mystery mechanic. Brindlewood Bay is also easy to pick up with only about 35 pages of rules, a great option for folks who are new to RPGs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
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Brindlewood Bay
by Ellen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2020 12:31:42

Truly a delight to run and play, and the author has a series of youtube videos of him running the game if you need some help. Cannot recommend this game enough! Absolutely worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Kevin T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2020 15:24:23

Brindlewood Bay is brilliant in every way. I purchased it when it was the Deal of the Day, as it didn't seem like something I would actually play but might have some really interesting ideas.

I was wrong. I found a group to play it almost immediately, and it was incredible.

The concept is quirky and enticing. I never would have imagined I would want to play a game about elderly women solving mysteries, as I'm not typically drawn to mysteries in general, but the discordant and slow-burning supernatural elements create a sort of alchemy that I can't help but be giddy about. Furthermore, the character sheet makes it incredibly easy to jump in with ideas for fantastic matronly part-time-detectives with evocative but open-ended options and numerous opportunities to continue to define them during play.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I was more excited to run it after the first read-through or to try from the player side with one of the many intriguing ideas that quickly sprang to mind.

The mechanics are light and open-ended in the way that most PbtA games are, but they absolutely drive the themes of this game. I'm in love with the simple night-time mechanic -- where any challenge is ramped up to be more dangerous than the players realize, simply because it's night.

Furthermore, there is so much simple guidance for the GM that it seemed immediately runnable. You as a GM don't need to mastermind an intricate plan or predetermined mystery. You throw stuff at the players, embellish, see what sticks or flops, and even get to join in at the end to try and figure out what the hell is happening. Yes! This is such a great way to do mysteries.

Have I gushed enough yet? Oh yeah, the art! Cecilia Ferri is amazing. The images are few, but heartwarming and filled with emotion and characterization. I wish there was more, but would be incredibly unlikely at this price point. However, if you support The Gauntlet Patreon, it has been coming out with further Brindlewood Bay adventures as part of its latest codexes, which have more of this incredible art and are so much fun to read through.

The game is worth it. More than worth it. Even if you don't foresee playing it immediately, read through it and bask in the brilliant design and quirky references; then stash it in an easily accessible folder for those game nights when you need to pull out something fast and simple. You'll all get hooked.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Will H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2020 19:11:40

Murder She Wrote meets the X-Files/Twin Peaks with a dash of Eldritch horror is exactly as fun you'd think. Great rules that really drive you towards building a unique tone and style of play, with wonderful starting mysteries and a mechanic that builds towards deeper and more disturbing truths than whether the butler did it. I don't think many roleplayers will have taken on the role of a mystery novel loving elderly widow who solves crimes with her book club before Brindlewood, but I fully recommend playing to find out exactly what that's like.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Matthew A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2020 13:57:32

Brindlewood Bay is an absolute treat for those who enjoy light PbtA games with a bit of bite to them, with a chance for the game to grow in complexity.

The game is inspired by cozy murder mysteries, and that alone is a lot of fun. But what really makes the game sing is a sinister Cthulhu-shaped shadow and conspiracy that lurks on the edges, inching closer with every session.

I've ran 12 sessions so far with the same group, and honestly we've gotten to the point that we had to hack the game a little bit to keep going. It's incredibly difficult to stop playing, and everyone has gotten incredibly attached to their characters and Brindlewood Bay.

The game solves a huge problem I've had with running mysteries. There is no one solution, and instead the players are encouraged to theorize. The game comes with a generous amount of mysteries (each one will last 1-3 sessions, depending on your group's style of play). I can imagine that a GM dropping different clues (there are a lot to choose from!) will lead to very different theories and results. It's a lot of fun!

It's also just great to have PCs as elderly women with full and nuanced lives. It's difficult to describe the magic of the game. If you're even just a little bit interested, it's well worth it! The game comes with plenty of advice, but veteran PbtA GMs may be able to pick up and run the game easily.

I also recommend watching shows like 'Murder, She Wrote" to really get into the proper frame of reference to run the game, the moves don't have a lot of the "genre" built into it like some other PbtA games. But because of that, the game offers more flexibility and openness, and moves are easier to trigger and understand in play.

As your elderly sleuths become more sensitive to the strangeness around them, you gain the opportunity to create new occult moves on the fly. This has helped our story go into very interesting directions, and I can see how this will make each campaign truly unique.

To see the game in action, you can check out my playlist of the first season here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjQd10MVA_8c2qRRiTwOUTSTNMvf45eGX

We're in the middle of our second season! I'll definitely be running this game regularly in the future for different groups.

Brindlewood



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Dark 2 (Dec. 2018)
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2019 06:55:42

The new tools for Swords Without Master and Rhapsody of Blood are good, but the reason a lot of people here is Trophy (now Trophy Dark). The thing is, they're right to be. Trophy Dark is the real deal, as far as horror games go. It's a tragedy up front, so players know to play hard with their characters. It's also collaborative between players and GM in a fashion which is really refreshing after rereading some older, more antagonistic horror games. We work together to tell the story of doomed adventurers going to a place that doesn't want them there. Using the skeleton of the spectacular Cthulhu Dark, this game's blood and flesh is very different. I've run the Incursion (adventure) from this issue of Codex and it is amazing. The format keeps things mutable, able to be changed and revisited. Hell, when I run this again and I will run this again, the adventurers from my last game will probably be there somewhere. At least, what's left of them will be.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Dark 2 (Dec. 2018)
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Codex - Emerald (Jan. 2019)
by Barry C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2019 11:34:50

Codex - Emerald has so much good stuff in it, y'all! I had the good fortune to play in a couple sessions of Dark Designs in Verdigris as well as a session of Trophy using the incursion in this issue (Witchwood), both with Jason Cordova of the Gauntlet GMing.

My favorite rule in Dark Designs in Verdigris is about advancement - one of the ways you advance is by making a new home and having an interaction (confrontation, confession, or carousing) with another PC, who gives you a choice of how you advance.

I played Witchwood with one other player which made the treachery of working against each other deeply personal. As with all Trophy incursions, I recommend against reading this if you hope to play it before you run it.

Lastly, while I haven't used the Monsterhearts setup in the issue, I did play in a game where the Harpy was used, and my goodness, that playbook is vicious. Play the harpy if you don't even want to pretend like you can be a good person. Devestating.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Emerald (Jan. 2019)
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Codex - Joy (Sep 2017)
by James V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2019 23:13:17

Storm Riders! is easily one of the most fun I've ever had playing a lighthearted RPG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Joy (Sep 2017)
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Codex - Dark 2 (Dec. 2018)
by Barry C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2019 08:41:09

Among some other really exceptional stuff, Codex - Dark 2 is the home of Jesse Ross's game TROPHY which uses adaptations of mechanics contained in Cthulhu Dark by Graham Walmsley and Blades in the Dark by John Harper. It's a tragic horror game using a dark fantasy setting for telling stories about treasure hunters and opportunists discovering ruins - both those of an ancient civilization, and their own. By the end, someone will turn on one of their comrades and none will leave the woods unchanged, if they leave at all. It's a fantastic game to "play to lose" and I can't wait to see how the game is expanded through future incursions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Dark 2 (Dec. 2018)
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Codex - Asphalt (Sep 2018)
by Richard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2019 13:52:34

Haven't gotten to play Wheels on the Road yet, but Pack of Strays: Wolf Run is a great GM-less/freeform game and worth the $5 for the issue. The production values (as with all issues of Codex) are wonderful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Asphalt (Sep 2018)
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Codex - Chrome 2 (Jul 2018)
by Luiz P. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2019 18:01:36

Great issue of Codex with tons of interesting stuff and great art. I'm really liked the additional rules for 1%er that give the game a good polish and make it one of my favorite systems to play in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Chrome 2 (Jul 2018)
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Codex - Joy (Sep 2017)
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2018 00:25:39

The Gauntlet is a great community and I look forward to many more issues of Codex.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Joy (Sep 2017)
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Codex - Joy (Sep 2017)
by Elliott G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2018 22:26:41

The Gauntlet always puts out quality stuff and this is no different



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Ectoplasm (Nov 2016)
by Logan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2018 11:41:10

Every issue of Codex is a role player's dream! No matter what you play, you are bound to find something to inspire you. The Gauntlet team regularly assembles a group of extremely talented artists, designers and writers. These are beautiful products made by people who pay close attention to every detail!

I might love Dungeon World (Codex usually has at least some content for that game) but find myself reading every issue cover to cover because it's just that good!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Codex - Ectoplasm (Nov 2016)
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