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Eurotour: Danger & Death on a Euro-Rock Tour
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/16/2018 07:44:14

One of the almost throwaway suggestions for a campaign in the Cyberpunk 2020 is brought to life in this book. The idea is that the party form part of the entourage of a rock band on tour. They might be techies and stage hands, media people handling publicity, security, or even band members. Here, an American musician called Jack Entropy is embarking on a tour of Europe, and within this framework there are six full adventures provided - plus, of course, whatever you can dream up to embellish proceedings further. It's suitable for beginning characters - if they are more experienced, you might want to beef up the opposition. It's recommended that you also read Eurosource so as to be able to set the scene to best effect.

The suggestion for starting the campaign is that the party are also Americans who for some reason find themselves stranded in Liverpool, England, and in need of work. A few ideas are given about how this might happen; you'll need to tailor them to your own party. Depending on their roles, party members will be able to hire on for various jobs on Entropy's tour - a chance to earn money, gain some new and interesting entries on their resumes, and get the necessary paperwork to operate in Europe legally. Highlight the differences between Europe and America. It's a lot more civilised, and your average Night City 'punk will stand out like a sore thumb in many places. This should quite often cause them problems all on its own, even before they start doing something untoward or, perish the thought, illegal.

The adventures provided are varied, involving rescuing Entropy from a spot of bother with British gangs and a kidnapping attempt, protecting a graffiti artist providing some publicity for the tour in an unorthodox manner, dealing with a bomb plot and getting mixed up in a revolution. There's also an overarcing theme which leaves you to decide who is the villain out of six possible candidates, by providing six options whenever the party might pick up a clue that Something Is Going On.

There's loads of detail to bring everything to life: exotic locations, detailed biographies of members of the tour and other key players, heck, even the bit-part players get an evocative sentence or two to provide a thumbnail sketch you can use to good effect. Oh, and snippets from the press.

This campaign sourcebook manages to be something quite different from the usual and yet completely cyberpunk. Certainly worth a try if you're after something novel.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eurotour: Danger & Death on a Euro-Rock Tour
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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/12/2018 08:28:10

No preamble, this just jumps straight in to Life on the Edge with Section 1: Soul & the New Machine - encapsulating the in-your-face attitude that's at the core of the cyberpunk genre. Sidebars fill in details and quotes from celebrities of the cyberpunk world like musician Johnny Silverhand provide flavour as the text explains the core pragmatic survivalist with a touch of idealism approach that the true 'Punk takes to life. An overview of future history, written as if in the year 2020 looking back to the late 1980s shows how the world came to be in the state that it is - and is quite entertaining when read in the real 2018... yes we do have the 'Net, but other aspects - such as incorporating cybertechnologies into our own bodies - haven't happened yet.

It's all style over substance, projecting attitude, living on the edge. Before we know it, we're reading about the 'roles' (Cyberpunk's version of character class) and their special abilities. There are nine roles - Rockerboys, Solos, Netrunners, Corporates, Techies, Cops, Fixers, Medias and Nomads - and each have something to bring to the party, something unique to that role. Each one gets a couple of pages explaining where they fit and what they can do... and these are vivid enough that you can easily envisage a campaign built around any of them.

Next comes Section 2: Getting Cyberpunk. This covers character creation. It's basically a point-buy system, with the numbers of points you have either assigned by the GM based on the style of game they have in mind or randomly by rolling 9d10 and adding them together. There are nine Statistics to spend them on (Intelligence, Reflexes, Cool, Technical Ability, Luck, Attractiveness, Movement Allowance, Empathy and Body). Many things like strength, endurance and so on that normally form core game statistics are calculated from these nine in this system. Then you choose skills, with a vast range of different ones mainly associated with your chosen role (but you can cross-train), and at this point a mechanic for 'Fast and Dirty Expendables' is introduced for those not wishing to spend ages pouring over the options. It's quick enough to be recommended for making NPCs as well.

This is followed by possibly the most interesting part of character creation, Section 3: Tales from the Street. This is where you put some substance into the character with a mechanic called Lifepath that builds some background... it's a flowpath that covers national/ethnic origins, family, friends, enemies, personal habits and key events from your past... all of which may have an influence on your present. You can roll dice, or pick what you fancy from the options, as you please. If I don't have a vivid idea of who the character is, I start out with the dice, then change things as the character begins to come to life. Starting with some notes on personal style (clothes, hairdo and accessories), you find out nationality and language, a fair bit of detail about your family, and about what motivates you before you reach the Lifepath proper. Basically for each year over the age of 16, there's a chance that something happened that year. This is where it is fun to let the dice loose... and the GM will likely have a field day with the trail you have left through time. It's something that can be fun to play with in an idle moment, even if you don't have a game coming up!

Section 4: Working looks at tasks and skills in great detail, starting with a look at how to check if you have succeeded in whatever you are trying to do, applicable die modifiers and so on. The basic mechanic involves adding the appropriate statistic to a single applicable skill and rolling 1d10 against a GM-set target, or against someone else's roll if it is an opposed task. Now you know how to use skills, we move on to look at what skills are available and how to acquire them. You get ten career skills associated with the role you have chosen, and forty points to spend on them. You also get 'pickup skills' to further customise the character. There's a detailed listing of skills and what you can do with them to help you choose (although I still worry about a game that has 'Resist Torture/Drugs' as a skill... it's not one I want to have to use!). For those who like to invent, there are notes on creating new roles and new skills, although there's plenty here. The approach to martial arts is quite interesting, allowing for a lot of variety without getting bogged down in excessive detail.

Now it's time to equip our new character, with Section 5: Getting Fitted for the Future which covers weapons, armour and 'gear' - most everything else. Apart from cyberware which comes later in its own section. Here we find talk of the typical lifestyle (rootless and disposable), find out how much the character earns, and check on encumberance (important when you carry most of what you own), before looking at weapons in great detail. Armour and everything else have much smaller sections.

Then, Section 6: Putting the Cyber into the Punk does just that. It starts off talking about style and image, but soon veers off into cyberpsychosis, a mental illness that can affect someone who replaces or augments so much of his body that he runs the risk of losing touch with his human side. Suitably advised of the risks, we then move on to the cyberwear itself. Some of it is fluff, some has practical application, sometimes even combat use... but there's page upon page of it, plenty of choice for everyone. Some characters start off with some, others choose to get 'cybered-up' later on when funds permit... or when injury requires replacement body parts. In true Cyberpunk style, there are 'fashionware' modifications like hair that changes colour or a watch implanted in your wrist rather than being worn on it, as well as replacement limbs, implanted weapons and neuralware that enhances thought processes, memory, and has other effects depending on just quite what you have installed. A common enhancement is the interface plug, vital for netrunners, but useful if you operate any kind of machinery - or a smart gun - that you want to control by mind rather than physically. The one drawback is that these are all expensive. Various ways for getting the cash are discussed, but all involve selling out in some manner, and may have other consequences.

Now things start hotting up with Section 7: Friday Night Firefight. This is the combat system for the game, and is covered in extensive detail. It opens with the statement that the game mechanics have been designed with an eye to realism rather than to Hollywood-style 'heroes never miss and never run out of bullets' concepts, and then gets down to details. Combat is conducted in rounds representing about three seconds, and each conscious combatant gets to do something each round. Just what you can do and how it is done is covered in almost-scary detail... but once you have the hang of it, it actually flows pretty well. If combat is your thing, it is an excellent and comprehensive system, capable of handling as much detail and realism that you want. If you are less interested, it can be abstracted... or you may find it too dangerous and avoid a brawl whenever possible! There are loads of hints and tips about how to fight to best effect which are well worth reading, even if you don't intend to engage in combat: you often do not get the option!

Possibly just as well, the next section is Section 8: Trauma Team. This covers everything you need to know about medicine and the healing arts... and death. Fortunately in this vision of the near-future, there's a fast-response paramedic corporation (called TraumaTeam) who guarantee to get to you within seven minutes wherever you are... provided you pay the subscription! Assuming medical help is available, the process of getting better from whatever trauma or disease has laid you low is covered. One point is that this is no fantasy game: even with modern/futuristic technology, it takes time to recover from illness or injury. It's not just emergency medicine either, this section covers the medical aspects of getting cyberwear too, as well as notes on 'bodysculpting' - which sounds a bit better than cosmetic surgery. There's also considerable detail on TraumaTeam's operations. They come combat-ready, with security personnel as well as paramedics, so a wounded subscriber can literally be picked up while the fight's still going on (you could even run a campaign based on a TraumaTeam's exploits, or one I did that involved several rival paramedic services engaged in a turf war...).

Next, Section 9: Drugs looks at everything from medical-grade pharmacuticals to combat enhancers and recreational compounds. Many are literally designed to be addictive, so perhaps they are best left alone. On the other hand, if you prefer to design your own, there are rules for that as well.

Then comes perhaps the defining bit, Section 10: Netrunner. A lot of people are scared of this... and it can be quite hard in the middle of a session to cater for the party net-head without leaving the rest of the group sitting around getting bored. Some GMs even refuse to have netrunner characters, but it does add something special to the game if you manage to handle it. There's a lot about the 'geography' and functioning of the Net - and it's interesting reading looking back from present-day familiarity with the World Wide Web and the ease of net-browsing without plugging in bare-brained! Equipment and programs are covered here, along with the nasty things that can happen to the incautious or unlucky who pokes into some corner of the Net where they ought not to be. If you do want to do some serious netrunning, all the game mechanics you'll need are here - including how to build systems to be attacked, and how to create your own programs; but remember, there's a lot that the party netrunner can do whilst remaining (mostly) in the real world, even during a brawl or an intrusion.

Now it's time to look in more detail at the world you'll inhabit, with Section 11: All Things Dark and Cyberpunk. There's a future history timeline from 1990 to 2020. The European Union has become a monolithic trading bloc, space exploration - at least orbital - is flourishing, and corporations are taking the place of nation-states, even to the extent of having wars with each other. Plenty of commentary to put meat on the timeline's bones, to show you how everything developed to the current state. Law and order is discussed, and it's a harsh system of retribution... so best not to be caught! Any semblance of arms control, even in the USA, has gone completely out of the window, and self defence is an acceptable excuse. However, self-driving cars have not been developed although here it's possible to control your vehicle by thought by jacking in to it, although that's quite rare and expensive. People still write letters, or they can send faxes instead - e-mail appears not to have been developed. Newspapers flourish and there are some 186 TV channels. It's all a fascinating look at what the future might have been... but it created a fun world when written, and works well as an alternate path when played today.

Section 12: Running Cyberpunk tries to answer the question of "How do I run this game?" Plenty of ideas about how to set the scene of the gritty urban underbelly in which it always seems to be raining... There are staggering contrasts between the haves and the have-nots, and it's never clear who can be trusted and who is double-crossing you. Play it hard and fast. A bibliography is provided to help GMs immerse themselves in the atmosphere and style of the cyberpunk genre. There are suggestions for how to coax the normally antisocial and individualistic 'punks into teams, so that your group can work together.

Next, Section 13: Never Fade Away is ostensibly fiction to get you in the moon... but it is resourced enough with maps, stats for the main characters and other details that you could convert it into a scenario. This is followed by Section 14: Megacorps 2020, which provides background material on the nature of these vast organisations and how they impact with the day-to-day life of the average 'punk on the street. There are plenty of adventure ideas here, there's money to be made on the fringes as corporations often hire deniable assets to do their dirty work. There are outline sketches of several of the largest and best-known corporations, covering a brief history and listing their assets. I always giggle at one - Microtech - because I worked for a company of the same name when this book first came out. It was a tiny software house rather than a monster builder of hardware, though!

Finally an introduction to the default setting in Section 15: Night City provides you with a ready-made urban environment to run your game. There's a lot of detail here (and a whole supplement dedicated to it if you want...), with locations, personalities, suggested encounters and a collection of 'screamsheets' (print-on-demand newspapers) that provide a wealth of adventure ideas, some of which have been expanded for you. Of course, you might prefer to use your own home town - just use the material here to give it a cyberpunk spin.

This game has given me hours of innocent amusement over the years, from both sides of the GM's screen, as well as having written several convention scenarios. It has worn well, and is still playable today, especially for lovers of gritty underbellies of the future, with an excellent if extremely detailed combat system that pulls no punches. Still well worth the getting if you like this genre!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Riccardo A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2018 09:36:44

I'm a huge advocate of going straight to the point when writing about anything, and that's what i'll be doing in this short review.

This product, although a bit pricey, is definitely worth the investment for every single fan of the Witcher series. Its system works wonders and, after a bit of a steep learning curve, flows very smoothly during gameplay, although the combat rules are a bit more complicated than the rest. The manual itself is full of nice artwork here and there and a good section dedicated to the lore of The Witcher world (which is probably one of the best Dark Fantasy setting of the last 5 to 10 years) for those who haven't played the game or read the books.

It's not perfect, sadly. My score of 4/5 is influenced by 2 important factors that I can't objectly deny: the readability of the book is not the best: first, i found that the layout is somethimes confusing and that important concepts and rules are placed in sidebar that can be easily pass unnoticed; second, there are a lot of contradictions and lack of clarity in the rules. But the situation is improving: R.Talsorian Social Media manager proved to be an exceptional person that listened to us, the fans, since release assuring that thing will be fixed. He and the developers answered directly to every single one of our inquiries about the game, rules and everything we asked, basically.

Soon there will be an updated version of the PDF with errata included and included digital bookmarks (in the original PDF i had to put them in myself). So i can't do anything but suggest to buy this product to fans of the Witcher saga and of TRPGs in general: you'll have in your hands a great product that will definitely improve, real soon. When a full dedicated bestiary is released I'll probably switch to this system as my main one for the time being.

When the updated PDF will be released, i'll probably update both my review and the rating.

Tl,dr:

THE GOOD

  • Ruleset (Interlock)
  • Setting
  • Staying true to the books and the videogames
  • Frontpage artwork and artwork quality in general

THE BAD

  • Redability and Layout
  • Contradictions and lack of clarity in the rules

THE AWESOME

  • Communication with fans from the company itself
  • Friendly and helpful community


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Benoit L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2018 15:27:40

I really enjoyed reading this book! As a Witcher novel (and video game) fan, I'm excited to have this game in my library!

It is not a perfect product, it is still being edited with Errata and corrected, but all in all I'm happy with the overall quality of the book.

Looking forward to getting more books from this company and project!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Marcel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2018 09:49:28

So it's fianally here: the "The Witcher TTRPG. And I should be overjoyed but... my feelings are more mixed than I hoped they would be.

The good

They tought me in Highscool that if you criticize something you should start with the good and that is what I'm going to to do.

  • The game captures the feeling of the witcher games very well, and even has a couple of options to bring the feeling a bit closer to the books.

  • The game is lethal as fornication - characters can die easily in almost any combat and I love it. A lot of time in other roleplaying games - combat becomes trivial rather quick - but not in this game, even a face of with a couple of bandits becomes an adrenaline rush.

  • Even if you're not that much interested in the system itself the book still provides a decent amount of information on the world of "The Witcher" (or rather CDPR's version of it).

  • All of the classes and races seem to be on similiar power levels. Whilst the man at arms class for example is leagues ahead of all the other classes when it comes to combat (even witcher's imo) they don't do that great without the doctor to fix them and the craftsman to fix there weapons. Whilst I have not yet seen all party compositions possible (with a 3 player + gm group that is) the ones that I have seen always worked well and it never felt like one character was outshineing another.

The Bad

Sadly not all is gold what glitters and this game has a decent amount of problems. Which is sad as without them this game would be close to perfect for the style of fantasy and ttrpgs I prefer.

  • Most of the problems this very promissing system has stem from the way the rules are presented. It is sadly a rather crappy lay out and often rules that interact with another are on two diffrent ends of the book. And the wording of the rules them self is often a bit wonky and leaves more room for interpretation than for example the very precicely worded rules of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

  • Another massive problem is that the rules are unfinished for the lack of a better term, there are rules in there contraticting each other, still left overs from playtest or simply rules that are just missing (or maybe not and they are just difficult to find in the messy layout). And for me that is what really brings the score down - whilst R. Talsorian Games Inc. is working on these problems and they are providing daily awnsers on the subreddit it would be noce to see a bit more transparity on the issues with the rules (like a disclaimer in the product discription here on drivethruRPG) as you are more or less buying an unfinished product.

The Ugly

Theese are more minor issues that I have with the Sytem/Product but do not really affect the raiting

  • The design of the Book/PDF is relatively bland and it doesn't really evoke the feeling of a dark fantasy RPG as it looks a bit to modern for my taste.

  • Now to my personal pet peeve with the game - the weight of the wepons in this game is horrible. Just to give an example arcording to this game a arming sword (so the classic knightly one handed sword) weighs 2.5 kilogramms making it as heavy if not heavier than some big two handed swords in our real world. And that would be alright if the rest of the weapons in this game would be in relation to that but the for example a Torrwr which is proably something similiar to agreats word is lighter than that. It just seems rather random.

Conclusion

It's a game with a lot of potential and it already does a lot of things right but be aware that you gonna by a product that is only 90% done!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
by Antreas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2018 05:09:43

Really liked the book would have preferred though if it was bookmarked. Otherwise excellent product definitely would recommend to other TTRPG players and GMs



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Dario T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2018 17:02:39

An amazing product made by Talsorian Games that has all the flavor of the games and the books in various ways, starting with the lore of the Continent, set in 1271-72 (between the events of Witcher 2 and Witcher 3 and at the dawn of the Third Nilfgaardian War against the Northern Realms), continuing with the races and classes, each one interesting and useful in its own way, and ending with the rules of combat, crafting both weapons and armors, alchemical conconctions, and so on. The crafting system is a fine addition to the game, and is both useful and interesting. The magic section is enourmous for just one book and it's interesting to see the signs (Aard, Yrden, Quen, Axii, Igni) be able to be used by a Mage, other than a Witcher.

Is it a dated game system? Probably. Is it fun? I had fun only reading this rulebook, it would be amazing actually playing this TRPG! Deadly sure it is. In fact, after the live session at IGN GMed by Pondsmith himself it is pretty clear that a Witcher could die pretty easily against the wrong monster, it said creature strikes for the head.

I'm obviously biased, I love the universe created by both Andrzej Sapkowski and CD Projekt Red and this product is exactly what I was hoping for. Sure, there are some typos here and there, but nothing that could ruin the experience and that couldn't be corrected.

I recommend this PDF to everyone who is interested in a deadly and well structured TRPG and is a fan of books and/or the games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Andrew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2018 11:03:36

The Witcher setting meets the Cyberpunk role-playing system.

Beautiful art, well-laid out and, a few bugs aside ( like maximum stats for starting characters being easy to find), a really really well done book.

Uses the Stat+Skill+Gear+Dice Roll system. Very nice, fast and makes the luck of the die only one component of success. Will please your dice-unlucky players.

Skills are easy to understand and describe the Witcher world well, the system behind them is simple and effective.

Combat is snappy and deadly - little overly-detailed for my taste, but you can omit a couple things like Recovery actions and Fumbles/Critical Successes if they are slowing you down. Overall, though, solid.

The world is well-described and the denizens drawn from the Witcher very nicely. As others have said, an expanded Bestiary would be nice, but people have always been a Witcher's greatest challenge.

Saying this, a real triumph is how otherwise OP classes like Witcher and Sorcerer are represented and well-rounded. Although potent, each class - Man at Arms, Criminal, Merchant, Witcher, etc shines - and magic has it's drawbacks, oh yes.

The class skill system is also a nice touch - some abilities are much more potent than others, true, but those can be tweaked as your game goes on.

Really a solid, solid title. A foible - I feel the title characters are a little super-powered - in the game and the books, they aren't quite so potent perhaps? Zoltan with a Body of 10, for example. But, again, a minor quibble.

I'd like to give the game an 8.5 to 9.5, but if I have to go out of 5 stars, I'll go with 5. It's closer to 5 than 4 for sure. IF you like Witcher and gritty fantasy game systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Siim K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2018 09:47:00

The 25$ price tag is pretty steep, but what you get for it is pretty impressive. R Talsorian translated practically every mechanic from the video games into the tabletop format and from this you get some very interesting classes such as the merchant and craftsman, which offer a playstyle I havent really seen in other systems. The combat is as visceral and deadly as I was hoping, you can feel like a real badass kicking enemies into hazards and pirouetting your way around the battlefield, but at the same time you never feel like you know how battle is gonna go since everyone just one weak defense roll away from an injury thats gonna change your entire plan. Despite the pros(and this is reason I'm giving this book a poor rating) there are a ridiculous amount of errors. Some rules are confusing and explained poorly, others are based on information thats actually a left over from a previous version that conflicts with existing rules and some things are just flat out missing(How do you miss something as simple as the price and weight for a torch!?). If you plan on getting this book be prepared to spend a couple hours homebrewing content the devs forgot to include and deciphering how their game is actually meant to be played. Even though it was a headache to learn how to play, I believe it can still be the Witcher roleplay experience we were all hyped for years back when this was announced, there's just a ton of clean up needed before it can really shine.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Volker M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2018 10:03:34

Beforehand, let me explain that I am a big witcher fan and think the PC games are among the best games ever. I expected a good game of this RPG. After years of "development", apparently by a single person as the author speaks in the 1st person, it was finally published. The layout is ok, yet I find it not very fitting for a fantasy/ witcher setting as it looks very modern. The content is sadly very much distributed over the whole book, especially the professional skills for witchers (e.g. character creation, perks, lifepath, etc.). This is not very good for playing and you will keep turning pages. The system is not very balanced. First of all the dice become quickly unimportant, due to the combination with stats. In addition it is bascially a less detailed than the game, but still too complicated for a free table top roleplaying game. You have certain pieces that you have to put together for crafting diagrams. But this becomes very generic and gives you little freedom, especially as a GM. While this was ok for a PC game, it does not work for a good story game. All in all, the game just adds certain patterns together, but it lacks "Witcher life". The spirit is missing, the game has no soul. You can just grab the world description "The world of the Witcher" and use any generic rule system, e.g. rolemaster, with some modifications and will have a better game, which more interesting character development. The same "soulless" issues are true for the example story at the end. It is not scary or tense or anything, just stupid. This does not fit the "brutish" tone the game ostensibly wants to set. Don't bother with this "product", which looks and feels like a half-baked fan work.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Tim E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2018 15:09:39

I followed the development of this system and was really looking forward to it. We started playing it last sunday with the charachter creation and were looking to learn the mechanics while doing so. The text is very well written and i like the art. Nothing extraordinary but it brings the world of the witcher to live. But the layout is the big problem child. In most other rpg rulebooks they use the first few pages to convey to you the basic workings of the game, how the skill checks work, what dice are used and so on. But this book starts right off with the character creation and only on side 50 or so is it, where you finally learn, how the game works. Thats a big mistake on the writers parts in my humble opinion. And the there are all of those side notes. Some are just in game monologue and if you make the mistake to think they are just some side information, you are in for a treat, because some of them are crucial to the understanding of all the mechanics in the game. I do not understand why basic and critical information are shifted out of the main text an dumped to the side. I really like the alchemy, magic and gear and crafting system in general. Its in depth and if a player wishes to use it, it brings hours of play and can even lead to plot motivation and so on. Really ties in with the world and the experiences in the games. Then there is the combat system that i like so far, but here again strikes the difficult continuity in this book and how it ist written. It starts with how attacks work, and where you hit and what wounds are caused, with all the detailed effects and the "death state" But wait a minute. Why is there a reliabilty stat for my weapon mentioned? 10 pages later i know better. There is, why i do not knwo, a chapter with in depth combat slapped in. 3 pages where i learn how to block, that i can shoot a bow or use magic. Why, dear authors, why? I would have put it like that: Iniative, walking/running, actions, the different options of attack, special moves, ranged combat, magic, bombs etc., than the passive part of the attacked with the defenses, crit resolve and all of that, and only than do we come to the wounds and how damage is resolved, and end on the nice note of healing and the aftermath. Why all those side notes and step ins? A more consequent writing style with the informations in the right spot and the main text would have been better. The part of the witcher character creation would also do better as a complete chapter with all of the life steps, gear and all in one place for the witcher player and gm. Maybe after a few sessions i can give a more finite verdict, but right now this are the things, that really tickled me.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Patrick M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2018 15:09:08

Unfortunaly a number of ugly warts that makes this product fall short of (my) expectations:

  • A D10+attribute+skill vs Difficulty system where the fixed stats quickly make the D10 meaningless (which is already apparent in the first examples to explain the system in the rulebook, where a D10+26 is rolled against a difficulty of 19 (i.e. missing fit of stat range to standard deviation of randomizer)

  • Too many detailed modifiers (which will be eyeballed anyway in real game)

  • Crits and calld shots don't match

  • Too little choice in character design to allow e.g. a group of Witchers

  • Ugly layout choices (2-3 columns with changing width and overuse of italics; ugly coloured tables, totally unispiring character sheet) - look like straight from the 80s in a bad way

On the plus side is a treatment of the setting which is evicative and good crafting/alchemy rule



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2018 17:35:12

Way back in 1982 or so I was moved by the film BLADE RUNNER (which you could call film noir as much as cyberpunk) and the book Neuromancer by William Gibson. The cyberpunk genre is edgy and gripping and can be summed up as, "high-tech, low morals," where heroism is relative and good people may be forced into bad situations.

R. Talsorian Games' first edition CYBERPUNK game (released in 1988) was set in 2013 (!), but the pumped-up second edition set in 2020 (and also alluding to version 2.0) is spelled CYBERPUNK 2.0.2.0. In this .pdf (version 2.01), a lot of errata are corrected, but some of the artwork is from European artists which differs from the first print release.

The basic game mechanic is to roll as high as you can with what we now call an "exploding" or "cascading" d10 roll. For a given task a Difficulty Level is decided upon. Then you take a basic character Stat, add the Skill level in a skill related to that stat, and add a single d10 to see if the total equals or beats that Difficulty. If you roll a 10 on the d10, add 10 to the Stat and Skill but roll again and add that. If you roll another 10, add it to the total and roll yet again until you have anything but a 10. So there's always one chance in 10 of improved rolls, one chance in 100 of much-improved rolls, etc. This adds an appropriate amount of "critical hit" thrills. But getting a roll of 1 (on the first throw) is a failure, with a check to be made on the Fumble Table to see if there are further ill-effects.

Generate characters according to 9 futuristic character types called Roles. You not only roll stats but spend a number of points on skills appropriate to the Role, and also follow the Lifepath tables which bring out events which happened to a character -- their back-story, in other words.

The rules-mechanics are supported by a richly-detailed social setting. Society is in decay: gleaming corporate enclaves are next to squalid poverty, although the homeless may be quite well-off, their needs taken care of with technical gear, street-food and rent-a-coffins for sleep. There are extensive listings for technical gear of the near-future, but sometimes they guessed at the future wrong (cellphones are still flip-phones, newspapers are constantly updated and printed in a fax style from the newsbox, and the Soviet Union is still a thing!) The Netrunner character can hack in the Virtual Reality Internet of the future, which is represented on a two-dimensional map-grid as opposed to the "lines and nodes" system of the original edition. The hacker's attempts to break-in to steal data are shown as physical movements, but are opposed by security programs called ICE which resemble horrible fiends online. See if you can get in and out with your brain-cells intact.

A sample adventure and "screamsheets" (10 newsfax articles from the future with short adventure outlines) are also included. This is a massive 250+ page rulebook that solidly covers what you will need for the genre.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Spike H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2018 20:12:45

I really like it. Have been GM'ing for many years now and although I need to run with this a LOT more before it settles into a "favourite system" niche then it looks promising.

Calling something a favourite system is EXTREMELY subjective though so here's why I like it. The entire system is based of a simple core mechanic of a skill plus stat plus D10. Everything else that I've read is the sort of thing that you could then add on should you desire. If you want the lean and simple then it can be boiled down to that core. If you want more crunch then you can add the extra combat mechanics like criticals, combat maneouvers and the rest. Things like alchemy, magic and crafting are there if you want them but they don't need to be integral to the game if you don't want them to. It can, if you want, just keep bringing things back to that basic simple mechanic.

Delving into some of those more advandced mechanics though, I like that the combat is fast, brutal and deadly meaning that players will want to think their way round problems rather than wading in while assuming success. Even when fights are inevitable, people need to think tactically as well which I really like. But again, this could be modified or ignored by a GM who wants a slightly different flavour to things.

Just off the top of my head you could easily make the game less deadly by making the "death state" more forgiving, increasing the HP ratio or removing "injured status"

My main frustration is also a selling point. I have read that the writers were determined to have everything in the book so that you could just pick up this one book and run/play a game out of it. This is a good thing, however, it also means that there's a lot of detail that's been left out. I would have liked more monsters, more spells, more character stats, in depth discussions of the countries and their nobilities. In short, I wanted a bit more.

Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that at some point you need to stop writing a book and publsih it ina manageable format. But I wanted a bit more and am looking forward to/hoping for so more supplements to help with this.

I have one significant problem which is that there is a missing character class that one of my players was looking forward to being able to plat. He's a player that likes to play politics and and courtly games. To do that in this game you have to be a bard, or a mage. He wanted to be neither, he wanted to be a professional politician. The kind of sycophant that hangs around with Kings and ambassadors all the time that might be sent out with a party to "facillitate their endeavours". This is missing despite there being several characters in the source material that fulfill this role and we both found that disappointing.

Yes, I understand that anyone can take the diplomacy skills but it's the mage that gets the "Politician" skill tree. So at the moment, I'm having to work on a different class for him. This is why I've rated this four out of five stars because it seems like a fairly obvious to me.

Other than that I like it. It's obviously the result of a small number of people's work. I understand that updates with bookmarks and formatting will be released soon and I look forward to reading, and GM'ing more from this team



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
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The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG
by Rufus D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2018 18:55:22

I've been following the development of this book ever since it was announced, and I was skeptical about it from the beginning. I'm not overly impressed with the previous works of the creators, so there is definitely some bias here, but I try to divorce myself from it as much as possible.

The Looks 2/5

The book is not a nice book. The layout feels puritan, and unadorned, sometimes confusing. It isn't unreadable, or distracting... But really there is not much to say about how this book presents itself. Almost all of the art is taken from the various CD Project games, which results in artwork of varying quality, lacking a strong aesthetic element all together. It just looks cheap. Uninspired text boxes, boring headers, and art taken from other sources... Meh.

The System 3/5

Not having played it yet, these are my first impressions of the system. It looks like it should work. It isn't an inspired system, or anything new, but it was changed enough so the setting fits with it comfortably. A single strike could end the career of an adventurer, or indeed any NPC, and the world of the Witcher lends itself really well to games where the system might not the the most important thing... It is crunchy, but it is mostly a question of understanding the rules and utilizing the right ones in any given moment. Since combat seems like something that ends very quickly, and has lasting consequences, much like in the novels, the tension leading up to the confrontation is where the game will truly shine. Character creation is really nothing new, but it creates flavorful characters with interesting backstories (as much as rolling on tables constitutes creating characters... I digress... It gives a good baseline) that fit into the world. The classes are fairly limited in their uniqueness, but they all sound kinda useful, and allow your character to develop a personality.. You won't be overshined by your own abilities in this game, that's for sure. Overall, it seems like system that does the job... like an old shovel. It might not be pretty, or fancy or new, but it can dig a hole. What else do you want?

Faithfulness 4/5

I'm not gonna talk about the setting, instead I will talk about how the setting is represeted in the book. Pretty good actually. You have descriptions of all major powers and places, something that this setting was missing A LOT. It isn't an encyclopedia of knowledge, but it is better than anything we had before. The monsters are given dual descriptions, both from the point of view of the everyman narrator of the book, Rodolf Kazmer, and from the POV of a Witcher, giving you both flavor and information in an entertaining manner. Rodolf also talks about pretty much everything else in the book, giving you his 2 copper pieces which makes a surprisingly interesting read, and helps the potential players orient themselves within the setting. The game is clearly drawing strongly from the CDProjectRed version of the world, which is apparent in many cases. I don't think this is a problem, because: A, it is a curated and more cohesive version of the setting, B, it is obviously tied to the success of the franchise for most places in the world. The few discrepancies between the world of the novels and the games, I am willing to let go.

Overall, I would recommend this book if:

  • You are interested in playing in the world of the Witcher (with any system), and want to use the setting described in the book.
  • You are interested in playing with kinda crunchy game systems, and like gritty, dark fantasy settings where things can go seriously wrong quickly.
  • You are bored with D&D, and you want to experiment with some new variations on the fantasy genre, and you don't mind spending a few bucks on the book.

Don't buy this book if:

  • You are into rules-light, narrative systems
  • You want to play the heroes journey in a high fantasy game
  • You never played an RPG before. Seriously, this ain't for beginners.
  • You like products with strong aesthetic values. You will never take this book out to admire it's beauty.

PS. Do yourself a favor and read the novels and play the Witcher III. If you enjoy fantasy, you will have a great time with either of those.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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