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    Agents of S.W.I.N.G.
    by Marc C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2021 00:30:47

    Wow! This book is packed with detail that helped me understand FATE better. Plenty of examples and narrative guidance as well. The layout and graphics may not be the best you've ever seen, but the 340+ pages here are extremely generous with more than everything you'd need to play.

    The broader genre information and history (Ch. 11--The Years) is generically useful as well. It could benefit any spy or cold war game you want to run.

    Pre-gens galore, many of them resembling personalities you already know. I love the illustration for Number 8 on page 248!

    There are gobs of stunts to pick from too, from "Army of One" to "Minions" to "Prototype Vehicle" and "Sceptic's Ear"...oh and Strange Stunts, like "Astral Travel" and "Psychokinesis"..."Super Speed"..."Super Strength"...basically this game is ALSO A SUPERS GAME if you want it to be, you read that right. It's fun to read about the stunts and imagine various plots and scenarios.

    Run anything from French Connection to When Eight Bells Toll to Austin Powers. Give Gene Hackman a cape if you want, or cause Patrick McGoohan to turn into TV's own Incredible Hulk. Helpful GM information abounds as well. Big thanks to the publisher.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Agents of S.W.I.N.G.
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    Agents of S.W.I.N.G.
    by Judd G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2021 20:58:47

    A pitch perfect rendition of the genre mixed with a light and tight FATE backbone. This game has much to recommend it: 60's styling, genre background info, and sample characters that are most of the signature characters of the genre with the serial numbers filed off. Groups looking to run a "League of Extraordinarily Groovy Gentlemen" style game, a homage to an old favorite, or just set out on that show you wished they'd made will be very hard-pressed to find a game better suited.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    RPG Design from Start to Finish - Video Course
    by luke G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2021 19:15:52

    Five videos in so far, will update after finishing. New to ttrpg design, I've dabbled for a few years as hobbyist listening to any and all free podcasts/videos on design. This though is by far the best resource I've seen, information is consice and will completely change how you percieve why you are designing games.



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    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    RPG Design from Start to Finish - Video Course
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    Grimdark: Deadly, Nasty Rules for the World's Most Ubiquitous RPG
    by Tom W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2021 04:01:32

    This is the best hardcore hack of 5e there ever was. Everything my players tried to front on was in it. When I presented it, they felt the horror of their hubris, the weight of their folly - they quaked in anticipation of their fates. It's not just the difficulty. The stuff that you always wished for in a grim dark 5e hack is in it. The overhauls are near perfection. There is no other option over Grimdark for grim-dark 5e.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Grimdark: Deadly, Nasty Rules for the World's Most Ubiquitous RPG
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    Giallo: Orpheum Lofts
    by Ludmila d. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2021 12:11:54

    Very charismatic setting, well written, with many interesting characters. I like the tables with the various possibilities of events for the story, which can be decided by rolling the dice. I recommend!!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Giallo: Orpheum Lofts
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    Machinations of the Space Princess
    by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2020 16:31:12

    While I wasn’t expecting a one-to-one port of LotFP to sci-fi, with lazer swords and plasma crossbows and psion-elves, I was at least expecting MotSP to keep what I saw as the coolest innovations and themes of Lamentations. This included the character-sheet based encumbrance system, the strong focus on human characters, the weird and disturbing magic, and a general theme of survival horror that is the hallmark of LotFP adventures.

    That is (mostly) not at all what Desborough and Phoenix created. I was expecting Saturn 3 and ALIEN and Pitch Black and the ’72 Soviet Solaris. Not really my bag beyond one-shots and the like.

    But that’s not what we get. What we get is something more like Buck Godot: Zap-gun for Hire meets Barbarella meets Flash Gordon meets The Sword’s Warp Riders.

    And that is totally my thing.

    Now, this is not some giant stops-bullets book like Lancer. This is a “mere” 240 pages in a 6” x 8” paperback format. This is a construction-set of an RPG, very much like Star Siege or GURPS. However, unlike those two games, Machinations doesn’t really give two flips for balance. MotSP doesn’t pretend to know what your games are going to be about. Your game could be about blaster-slinging space cowboys, a team of highly skilled mercs taking on the most challenging jobs in a galaxy dominated by heartless megacorps, swashbuckling radium-cavaliers living and dying for honor and love, tomb-raiders cracking open the trapped vaults of the Elder Races, or super-powered psions staying one step ahead of the Psi-Pstasi. MotSP isn’t here to tell you how to play your game.

    And so Machinations doesn’t lose much sleep in crafting a fully “balanced” experience. It’s very Old School in this respect. Sure, there are some nods towards niche protection, echoes from B/X D&D in what your character is good at and how quickly they go up levels and stuff like that. But there’s nothing stopping you from cobbling together a Frankenstein’s monster of abilities and powers.

    Take, for instance, race creation. There are dozens (maybe over a hundred) options for racial characteristics you can use to build your character’s race. The list of race traits you can pick is 20 pages long and might be the longest single section in the book. They’re organized by theme, but you don’t need to stick with the theme; there’s nothing to stop you from taking the blob-creature’s ability to rip off chunks of itself and send them scurrying about as miniature versions of you, and combining that with the ammonia-based life’s slow metabolism ability and the reptile’s scales.

    If you love lots of character options, this is your game. Want to craft a team of bizarre creatures who band together to bring peace to a fractious galaxy? Want the flexibility to build a tentacle monster with poor understanding of personal boundaries or a Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirl who carves said tentacle monsters up into calamari? Want the challenge of crafting the ultimate mechanical bad-ass by pushing the rules to their limit and then hurling your creations into the deadliest dungeon the GM can devise to see who emerges victorious?

    Machinations can do that.

    And it doesn’t stop at race-building. While there’s relatively little customization in the four classes (Killer, Specialist, Scholar, and Psion), everything else oozes with customization options. For instance, each weapon category, from Small, One-handed Close Combat Weapons to Rifles/Shotguns is further divided in what amounts to a Small, Medium, and Large category. On top of that, you can pile on the added modifications, from concealable to larger magazines to a selector for different damage types to “vicious” levels of damage. In short, there’s no list of races with pseudo-clever names like Ignians and Reptiliods, or guns like ARES Predator Mk II or AK-97. What we get instead is a fun tool kit you can use to build your own universe.

    Want to build the ZF1 from Fifth Element with the net launcher, poisoned arrows, rocket, flame-thrower, and “all new ice-cube system?” Yeah, Machinations can do that, too.

    As you’d expect from something built on the LotFP chassis, the mechanics are a mish-mash of stuff. We’ve got D&D 3.x’s d20-roll-higher for attacks, LotFP’s d6-roll-under for skills (of which there are many more in this game) 5e’s a-save-for-ever-stat and your choice of roll over or under for saves. Your poor dice won’t know which way to go!

    And on top of that we’ve got psionics (complete with a randomly chosen “witch’s mark” that can either be a (usually pretty weird) boon or bane), a wide array of cybernetics (which can cause psychosis if you take too many), and vehicles ranging from one-person bikes up to space battleships.

    What surprises is the stuff left out. Most especially, encumbrance. Not even mentioned. Ditto for logistics; ammo is managed by saving throws (you need to reload when your weapon fails its save) and most tech doesn’t appear to need recharging of any kind. The cigarette-pack standard-energy-clips of Star Frontiers are nowhere to be found here. Because it’s Desborough, we do get some rules for dealing with exposure to vacuum or radiation (that doesn’t include a mutations table), but the guidelines for generating planets are all about what sort of adventures you can have on them, rather than orbital radius or axial tilt.

    The result is a rules-lite, cinematic game that you could go beer-and-pretzels with but has enough heft to it for long-term campaign style play. Don’t play it if your group isn’t united in their goals; munchkins can craft real curb-stompers from the race options while your story-gamers will devise original and shocking personalities that are mechanically incoherent.

    But do play if you’re looking for something flexible and not very demanding. You can pick up all the mechanics in an afternoon and you can craft your first adventure over a lazy weekend (be sure to give yourself time to create gear and aliens and maybe a ship or two). If you and your players love sharing world-building responsibilities, you’re going to love all the options available to you. And if you instead want to keep firm control over the setting and factions, it’s easy enough to build a cheat-sheet for the players and some pre-made races and go to town.

    In short, it’s as flexible as B/X and possibly even more rules-lite. Character creation isn’t as quick but offers greatly expanded variety. If you’re looking for a science-fantasy rules set to craft your own fun on, check this game out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Machinations of the Space Princess
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    05: Black Daggers
    by Brandon C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2020 22:43:41

    This proved to be a perfectly paced and managable one-shot rpg. I adapted it for my group's John Carter of Mars sessions and found the central moral delemma far more satisfying than many of the other planetary romance scenarios we'd tried before. I plan on adapting more of these Gorean scenarios for my group's adventures on Barsoom in the near future.



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    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    05: Black Daggers
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    Cloak of Steel
    by Robert B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2019 13:35:18

    I'm a sucker for mecha in fantasy settings.. and this book does an excellent job of making a D20 game of it.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Nice art work, the various kingdoms are well thought out and interlock in history. Also loved the vehicle design system.. very simple and keeping the flavor of the setting.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: needed an index.. really really needs an index<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

    I had forgotten I had this, but found the printed copy I made. :D This game plays well and has a lot of background. It actually does have an index the version on line now. :D Postmortem should do a little editing and maybe upgrate the rules to more of a 5e-ish thing (lots of modifiers in this game but not that hard to keep track of).



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Cloak of Steel
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    Creator Reply:
    Just checked my proofs and there IS an index, at the end of the book no less :) Unless you mean a hotlinking index, which appears to have somehow vanished from the uploaded version. Something I'll amend as soon as I'm able (Have just moved house) Cheers for the feedback!
    Feast of Crows
    by Itai R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2019 10:37:14

    It's actually just fine. Not all games need a massive combat system, but those who do, could do much worse.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Feast of Crows
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    100 Conspirators
    by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2019 23:52:18

    These are all drawn from existing/historical/fabled groups. They aren't whimsical, comic book stylings, but details on actual groups which many paranoid people are actually suspicious and afraid of. The document features one page per group of conspirators with: some history, motivations, possible connections to named conspiracies (correlated by number in which they appear and are described another publication by the same author) and three adventure hooks for a GM looking to run with any of them. The amount of information is just enough to give you a sense of how it could play and clearly points you in the direction for your own research if you wish to flesh it out (into both the group and possible plots). In the 100 groups described, the author included all of my faves: Bohemian Grove, OTO, Rosicrucians, Majestic 12, Bilderberg Group. But he also threw in a bunch that I hadn't even considered like: WHO, atheists and, the one I am now going to build a campaign around, NASA. After reading this, suddenly it's easier (for me) to imagine the massive secret agendas virtually any group might have.



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    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    100 Conspirators
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    Neverwhere
    by G.H. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2019 18:52:06

    I like the idea of using descriptors, but still have to playtest this!.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Neverwhere
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    Neverwhere
    by Nathan T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2019 18:48:03

    Great first attempt at making Gaiman's Neverwhere, playable. Would have prefered maps and detailed chronologies of sites and locations throughout London.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Pinup Dungeon 1 - Dark Elf, Grick, Mimic, Goblin, Mephit
    by Giorgio G. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2018 07:30:49

    Five digital "japan style" paper minis for about 5 $?

    With a black back silhouette. So without any rear art.

    Imho it is a product too expensive for what it offers, incomplete ( almost all paper minis today have front and back art ) and with no description about lack of back art.

    Drawings are good.



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    [2 of 5 Stars!]
    Pinup Dungeon 1 - Dark Elf, Grick, Mimic, Goblin, Mephit
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    Tunnels & Trolls: Specialists
    by Leo E T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2018 23:10:59

    Well I think it's great. Certainly got me thinking about possibilities beyond what's provided in the Elaborations section of the DT&T rules book. A little tinkering to bring it in to line with current DT&T mechanics -- but not much -- and you're set. Speaking of which, I love the idea of the Tinker detailed in this PDF. Kudos for that one. Nicely done.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Tunnels & Trolls: Specialists
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    Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
    by ian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2018 02:45:01

    if you want to make even more things in your life about skin color



    Rating:
    [1 of 5 Stars!]
    Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
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    Creator Reply:
    I think you missed the overall message, which was against that.
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