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Root: The Pellenicky Glade Quickstart
by Andrew T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2020 20:04:02

This was a fun adventure to jumpstart our Root campaign that's given us a number of different contacts and story threads to continue through more stories.

Pellenicky Glade provides a compelling story with a lot of NPC, interweaving motivations, backgrounds, and suggestions for interactions. The plot is open-ended and really provides the ingredients for collaborative story-telling.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Root: The Pellenicky Glade Quickstart
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Bluebeard's Bride
by Shanna E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2020 12:33:36

Absolutely breathtaking. A completely singular game. I've played a lot of different RPGs, but this one is my absolute favorite. As a steadfast fan of horror, fairy tales, and the depth of human darkness (well, not a fan, but certainly fascinated), I think this game has it all. It's beautifully illustrated, wonderfully written, and I can't suggest it highly enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bluebeard's Bride
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Pasión de las Pasiones: Quickstart
by Alan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2020 13:51:17

Came across this by chance and thought I'd give it a go. First of all, neither myself or my players had any idea about the examples that were given (stories like Yo Soy Betty, La Fea, Marimar, and Jane the Virgin) - not heard of them let alone seen any of them. So we decided to go with a format that we were familiar with - the big glossy US soaps of the 80s and 90s like Dallas and Dynasty. The quickstart enables you to get right into the action quickly, pickingyour story up well into the series. There's enough choice with the ready made characters to have a well rounded couple of sessions. Playability was good and lent itself to a fast-paced game with even the non-participating players able to contribute via the audience mechanic. The one drawback we found was with the available moves which seemed a bit limited. For example, during play one character ended up in a car chase which we could not see fitted with any of the moves. Our solution wss to come up with a couple of custom moves of our own on the fly as and when they arose. Overall everyone enjoyed the game. We played a few sessions with a couple of episodes. Managed to end on a gripping cliffhanger with a few hooks bubbling for the next season. Will wait for the core rulebook to come out before continuing with our next time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pasión de las Pasiones: Quickstart
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Pasión de las Pasiones: Quickstart
by Nicolas S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2020 19:56:08

If you want a game that will have you and everyone at the table hooting and hollering in delight, waiting for melodramatic hijinks to begin, then this is the game for you. This game takes the best parts of telenovela tropes and allows the players to mold them into a fun and satisfying storytelling experience. The interplay between the active players in a scene and those who are "the audience" is wonderful and gives everyone who isn't in the spotlight a chance to affect and interact with the fiction. It's really hard to have a dull or slow moment in the game and leaves everyone at the table wanting more.

I can't heap enough praise for how well this game emulates the genre within the Powered by the Apocalypse engine and I can't wait for it's full release.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bluebeard's Bride: Tarot Companion
by Johnathan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2020 19:01:31

The guide is very brief. It does not discuss or even fully display the entire deck. The Major Arcana is briefly explained (one or two sentences per card) and Thoth cards not clearly identified. The Minor Arcana is not detailed at all, multiple cards fanned across the page with 1 or 2 sentences for the entire suit.

Do not recommend.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Bluebeard's Bride: Tarot Companion
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Urban Shadows: Los Cazados
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 13:36:50

Werewolves Powered by the Apocalypse - a Mephisto review

Los Cazados

An evil, supernatural force tried to break through to earth a long time ago in Central America – but it was beaten back by brave warriors. In revenge, however, a curse struck the warriors, changing them into a mixture of wolf and human. With the European conquerors, new evil spirits came to reassemble this dark power, which is only called La Madre, and the werewolves became "Los Cazados" - the hunted...

Los Cazados is based on the Apocalypse World rules and loosely ties in with Urban Shadows. On just five pages, Los Cazados offers a sketch of a setting and a few rules to play this game independently. The three statistics are arranged in a way that a high value is not necessarily good. The statistic Furia, for example, makes it easier to unleash the inner wolf to stop opponents – but it makes it difficult to live together with family and allies. However, many tests are not based on the statistics but get bonuses/penalties based on the circumstances, which are checked by simple questions. In addition to their fighting skills, Los Cazados also have rituals that help them.

Los Cazados looks like the extremely condensed version of Werewolf with Mexican backgrounds. The setting is, at best, loosely associated with Urban Shadows. Even though many elements are familiar, the game setting is described very vaguely. A roleplaying game could hardly be more compressed, but it requires some previous knowledge about Apocalypse World to understand the concepts fully. The concepts Los Cazados convey are exciting and can – if the group finds its own truth – provide a fast start to play werewolf setting.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows: Los Cazados
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Bluebeard's Bride: Book of Mirrors
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 13:34:16

Modern settings for a dark fairy tale - a Mephisto review

# Book of Mirrors Actually, I hadn't expected that a unique roleplaying game like Bluebeard's Bride would get many sourcebooks, but the Book of Mirrors proves that this assessment was wrong for the third time. The Book of Mirrors is a book for changing the scenery of the game and offers five new scenarios. Instead of letting players play different personality aspects of Bluebeard's Bride and guide her through his castle of horror, the Book of Mirrors leaves the background setting of the original fairy tale. Only the first scenario, based on Bluebeard's son, continues the original story. The other settings are about a teacher in an almost empty 19th-century boarding school during the winter holidays, a mentally ill patient in a 1910 sanatorium, a showgirl within a circus troupe of freaks in the 1950s and a correctional officer in the 1980s.

As before, the players guide the protagonist, playing aspects of her personality. They work their way through specified rooms confronting her with strange situations and horror – often related to the image and role of women. In the end, the players have to decide whether to trust or oppose Bluebeard – sometimes presented in the form of the school principal, sometimes in that of the circus owner – which leads to different, defined endings.

The Book of Mirrors presents some exciting setting ideas, although the mechanism of the game and the personality aspects are not changed, with a few exceptions. Especially the inspiration for themes, images, and horror is a bit thin, and the illustrations that have so impressively shaped the core book are also rare. From my point of view, this book, therefore, looses potential, even if the setting ideas themselves are, in my opinion, much more accessible and concise than the original fairy tale setting.

(Björn Lippold



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bluebeard's Bride: Book of Mirrors
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Rapscallion: Ashcan Edition
by Brandon W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2019 08:43:38

This is my favorite game I've come across this year! I hope that enough people play and enjoy the ashcan to get a full version!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rapscallion: Ashcan Edition
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Bluebeard's Bride
by Queenie C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2019 01:22:17

I found out about this game from the run Sarah Richardson did for the people at Oneshot RPG and I excitedly wait for the PDFs to go up for sale for months afterwards. Ran this with a few friends, had great fun. It's hard to find enough time to keep an ongoing campaign going week after week, so a oneshot campaign was perfect. It was my first time DMing as well, and all the materials were easy to use and follow. You're encouraged to make up rooms and other game elements on the fly as you run the game which can leave you feeling a bit panicked if you can't think of anything at the moment, but I enjoyed improvising alongside the players. Building a story together felt organic and engaging. I'm excited to run it again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bluebeard's Bride
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Passing: Ashcan Edition
by Rich F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2019 10:24:34

Like substantially all games from Magpie's developers, Passing offers a really deep and moving experience for under-represented and marginalized people. But even if you strip those elements out, you have a unique and highly-engaging premise with rules and setting that thoroughly engage players regardless of their background and makes it easy for GMs to build interesting and captivating stories with their players.

If you are preparing to run Passing, you will definitely want to be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the options players have with each playbook. Each playbook offers so much depth, that the MC will have an easy time finding things to build into the story but maybe suffer from a little bit of option paralysis on where to tke the story next. Together the players will also build their Cell, the group of aliens working together in a world that hates and fears them, from its goals to its organization.

Thematically, there is so much depth, especially for a game that is technically still in development. For my group, the game plays like an inversion of the horror genre. While the player characters, shape-shifting aliens, are the horrors that everyone is afraid of - and keep in mind: all too aware of - it is the irrational fear of the world at large that creates the real horror for the player characters. The game can be played as anything from a straight-up espionage thriller to an in-depth character study with themes of identity and erasure. But the game really sings because it is built around being all of it all at once.

Magpie continues to produce games that not only push the envelope as far as what is possible in roleplaying games, but to also expand the hobby to people who would have found themselves on the outside looking in just years ago.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Passing: Ashcan Edition
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Velvet Glove: Notebook Edition
by Rich F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2019 09:54:46

While this game was a hard sell to my regular group, it has become a fovorite to the majority of the group. Given the number of really deep sessions I've run, I often forget that this game is still in development. Given how solid it is already, I'm really excited to see what comes next. To be clear, the players are not playing as bad asses with cool powers or cutting edge gear, they are playing as marginalized teenage girls who get in over their heads for the sake of taking freedom for themselves in a world that would have them subjugated - by their parents, by the adults in their lives, by men.

So far, I've run the game successfully for my regular game group, my adult and a couple other friends, and for a group at GenCon who were all friends who had signed up together. While I think having a group of players who all know each other and have history together can certainly help when delivering the intense misogyny and exploitation that is inherently built into this game, it could very easily be played as Warriors or The Outsiders with a cast of young women.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Velvet Glove: Notebook Edition
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Bluebeard's Bride
by Steffie d. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2019 04:46:33

This is such an amazing game! It's strange and disturbing in all the right ways. The game is committed to exploring one of the most brutal European fairytales from the viewpoint of its female protagonist, and really delivers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bluebeard's Bride
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Masks: A New Generation
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2019 08:01:44

I have long been chacing the superhero RPG and Masks has become my favorite. Instead of focusing on extensive rules to emulate endless powers, Masks shifts the spotlight to the drama behind the characters. While it does ask you to buy into playing teens, the mechanics of the game support the over-the-top drama tropes.

For my complete thoughts, check out our podcast review: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-13-masks-overview-with-steven-pope



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
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Urban Shadows
by Alejandro V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 20:09:41

While other games in the genre feel more like "dark superhero games", Urban Shadows brings the political tension of Powered by the Apocalypse to supernatural fantasy.

Urban Shadows really makes use of its base engine to hone in on the tension of horror and the political landscape. The system is easy to learn, and has a gritty feel in its combat and consequences. Lastly, the PBTA mechanics help you create a living city with interesting characters and lore behind each of the different supernatural factions.

By far the BEST feature has to be the "Corruption" mechanic, which summed up simply is a double edged sword that gives the players access to very powerful moves all while nudging them down the spiral into becoming irredeemable monsters. This really captures the inner drama that many other games seek to emulate but mostly often overshadow with action and power fantasies.

The newly added Debt system is hit or miss. While its integral to the games leveling system, the amount of use it gets really depends how antagonistic your players are with each other. A competitive group will constantly badger each other for favors, while a group who actually enjoys working together might find their characters are progressing slowly by comparison.

Overall however, the games mechanics are too good to be overlooked, and I strongly recommend anyone looking for a narrative modern system to pick this up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Urban Shadows
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Epyllion: A Dragon Epic
by Jamie O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2019 07:54:59

A wholesome game focused on collaborative worldbuilding and storytelling. I can't wait to be a Dragon Master for a charity stream on June 8th for the Red Knight Inn on Twitch. Ok, enough self-promotion, let's talk about the game.

Things to love:

A worldbuilder's dream

The world of Dragonia is rich enough in lore that a more casual group could get together and jump into a game with what's provided in the playbooks, but the true joy for me is that there is so much left open for the players and DM to create together. This isn't like in D&D or Pathfinder where if the campaign setting you want isn't published, then you have to create something entirely new; Epyllion provides the foundation for a world and gives you the keys to create something as fantastical or mundane as you and the players might want it to be. There's so much to work with both in terms of what is provided and what is left open that no two games of Epyllion will look the same except by design.

Things that could be better:

So how does this work?

As I've mentioned, this game is mostly about worldbuilding and storytelling. The mechanics play second fiddle to the narrative and that's well and good, but I wish there was a real straightforward summary somewhere that explained how the mechanics work. Instead, it's spread across the books (as is common among Powered by the Apocalypse books, so Epyllion is not uniquely guilty of this). You have to read through the books a couple times to get a sense of how it works, and even then I feel less confident about how it all works than I did when I read through the Player's Handbook for D&D 5e.

Epyllion is worth every penny and while I rarely get to play ttrpgs anymore, I'm glad people recommended this to me and I'm glad I get to use it to raise money for charity (St. Jude Children's).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Epyllion: A Dragon Epic
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