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Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest (Mutant Future)
by Mamading C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2019 15:08:46

The previous review is pretty much on point and I don't have any serious quibbles with it. For my part, I enjoyed my read of it but would recommend printing out at A4/Letter size as it can be hard going on the eyes otherwise.

The sandbox content was good and I'd be happy to running it with the post-apocalyptic ruleset of my choice (considering OmegaLite20, Atomic Highway and The Rad-Hack). On that note, this is a mechanics-lite supplement with less than a handful of Mutant Future specific monsters being mentioned such as Ant Horrors. I don't remember any mention of spidergoats! So easy to port to the game of your choice.

The core of the book is a gazeeteer of the post-apocalyptic Southwest covering settlements, cities and ruins. The coverage of settlements and cities is pretty robust with writeups of the locations, relevant adventure hooks and faction relations. The take on Carlsbad Caverns (Big Room) was particularly inspiring, you could run a whole campaign around spelunking in the over 119 caves in the locality, because you know there is going to be lots of weird stuff to be encountered! In contrast, I felt Las Vegas (Vega) was a bit of a let down, mundane and no adventure hooks. Really? I would throw this take on Vegas out and possibly go with something has has more of a Six-String Samurai feel.

Ruins get a less detailed writeup but guidance is given on hoards, random encounters and hazards for each one. Enough for the GM to get their teeth into.

Some coverage of major topography for the region is provided before the main faction writeups. Six factions are detailed, four of which are mentioned in the faction relations section of the location writeups. Out of those four, The Cartel doesn't feature in any of the location writeups and adventure hooks. Given the natural fit with Vega as acknowledged in the faction relations section, that seems like a missed opportunity. As the BBEGs of the setting, the coverage of the 88th was adequate but would have benefited from more details. The same goes for their hometown of Springtown.

The remaining two factions I have mixed feelings about. They both feel tacked on as they aren't mentioned anywhere else in the book. One of them feels almost entirely useless except for providing PCs with access to a very specific mode of transportation. If that doesn't figure in your game, they are entirely useless. The second is more promising as it potentially ties to the Groom Lake/Area 51 ruins and the underdeveloped alien thread in the book.

I have written up pretty extensive notes based on my reading and put together a GM binder for running a sandbox campaign in the setting, sourcing the relevant material to support that campaign. So all in all, this supplement does what it intends to do, provide a foundation for a post-apocalyptic Southwest sandbox. Beyond my critiques above, pretty much the only other thing I could ask for would be a few major NPCs to represent the factions and locations. Other than that, I'm good!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest (Mutant Future)
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades Collection Two
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/03/2018 13:43:38

A friend suggested I post some reviews of some under-appreciated, under-rated and otherwise overlooked material for GM's Day this year, so let's look at Rogues, Rivals & Renegades Collection Two.

Mutants and Masterminds supplements must live in a strange little ecosystem. M&M is probably the premier "carefully build a superhero's capabilities" game, having surpassed Champions relatively handily given the (often literal) weight of the HERO system. However, lacking the pacing system of Marvel Heroic or the emotional impact mechanics of Smallville or Masks, M&M must rely on setting and character material to get the melodrama of superheroic adventure across, and this is often quite idiosyncratic to the particular setting. In this respect, the DC and Marvel universes, created as they have been over decades of corporate restructuring, interal conflicts, mergers, and lawsuits, form more of a stumbling block to exceptional storytelling rather than a toolbox. M&M supplements at their best try to create something unique enough to have the feeling of the classic superhero story, but can't be too unique - we have to be able to pull the villain out of the villain supplement and put them in our own world, and maybe that's a world where heroes are hated and feared, or maybe it's a world where they're all Vine stars. You can't quite know what each individual group is doing because M&M is a system that encourages people to come to it with individualized ideas that can't be handled in more specialized systems.

RR&Rv2 is, primarily, a character collection, but what sets it apart is that it tries to communicate the world around the characters in a way that's both sufficient to understand where the characters are coming from and how to change it to fit your own world. For example, a character named "Blackwing" was empowered by a group which would wipe out her debts in exchange for her evil service. Great - tells us what kind of character she is, it fits with her personality, and when the time comes to situate her in a personalized campaign world, there are several different options for who might have given her this power, from a crime syndicate to a secret government program or an evil superscience organization. The GM is given the tools needed to use the characters well.

This even extends to the mechanics. More than one character have statistics which are outside the "norm" for M&M characters, but these are noted and explained. A character is extremely weird? Yeah, he's a joke character to lighten the mood or for a game that aims for more of a light tone. A character is extremely difficult to damage? Remember to use her for her own goals, of having fun and excitement, instead of as a serious and direct threat. Importantly, the characters also illustrate good ways to use the mechanics of M&M to get across particular capabilities, which is useful both for GMs and players.

In addition to the characters, there are several organizations listed, both helpful and unhelpful. I especially appreciate the characters that have their own agendas, which might not be directly evil, but which they pursue regardless of the consequences, likely to bring them into conflict with superheroes and authorities in an interesting way.

R&RCV2 is one of the best Mutants & Masterminds supplements out there; it gives enough of a world to have character, and to base characters on, but also gives you the tools you need to adapt it to your own campaign world. If there is anything I'd suggest to improve it, I would say to make the character sheets more usable at the table. Right now, they're bold-colored and sometimes difficult to read when printed out. Further, feats and powers are simply listed when they could be printed with reference material to remind you what they do and where they are in the book.

Overall, it's one of the best M&M collections out there and highly recommended from me!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades Collection Two
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OSRIC Unearthed
by Thibaut C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2017 04:19:18

Very good material for his actual price (less than 5$) The OSRIC Unearthed classes are awesome, coherent and fit perfectly with OSRIC. Better than the original attempt of the original book. Not overpowered at all, it's very usefull. 50% of the OSRIC Unearthed come for playing in oriental game, but the Yamabushi is the classical Monk, the Ninja can be a Sicarian or Nightblade. The Pugilist is a good idea for occidental hand to hand brawler. The book present martial arts (with or without weapons) in simple but effective way. It's a must-have addition for OSRIC, if you want to retrieve some of the good points of Arcana Unearthed, but without all the power problems issued by the past.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OSRIC Unearthed
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Tianxia: Spirits, Beasts & Spells
by Andrzej S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2016 11:30:36

Tianxia: Spirits, Beasts & Spells is a very good supplement to main rulebook. The biggest advantage of Tianxia: Spirits, Beasts & Spells is the presentation style of magic and description of the supernatural world. Magic, supernatural creatures and mythic places only complement existing information - are not intended to replace them. That's important to me - I can't imagine a setting about martial artist where mages and exorcists are more powerful.

Anyone interested in reading polish language review (or digging to it via Google translate) can read full text here: http://3k10.pl/2016/09/23/tianxia-spirits-beasts-spells/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Spirits, Beasts & Spells
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Nuclear Sunset: Pacific Northwest (Mutant Future)
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2016 21:27:52

This book provides a ready to use campaign set in this region of the world. It is written for the OSR game Mutant Future, and goes into detail the various factions as well as communities and ruins. They are all quite detailed and contain adventure hooks to be used.

There are even quite a few new mutant and robotic creatures to be used at the end of the book, although the descriptions do not include the mutations as I am used to reading. That’s just a minor point, and this is the kind of material I would write!

I really hope they will continue to publish material just like this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nuclear Sunset: Pacific Northwest (Mutant Future)
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Tianxia: Spirits, Beasts & Spells
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2016 11:51:01

Excellent addition to the Tianxia line, introducing Chinese gods and monsters as well as sorcerers, exorcists, geomancer, diviner and alchemist into the world. The layout and the art (of Mrs Jones ;) is again top notch, so if you want to add that magical touch to your wuxia game, for a more Journey to the West, Chinese Ghost Story, or even Legend of Korra (translated here as a 4-element master sorceress), it's a no-brainer, get it ;)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tianxia: Spirits, Beasts & Spells
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Amazing Stories of WWII: The BETA Men
by James T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2016 15:36:47

This book is a great resource for GMs wishing to run adventures in the Golden Age, or even later. Aside from the pre-generated characters (a mixture of obvious homages and interesting original elements) there is also a unique mechanic to cover invasions that start as small incursions to full invasion status. Further, three invading groups are given-aliens; alternate future half-alien Nazis; and Microverse soldiers.

There are also little nods to the somewhat conflicting of Golden Age stories-the quippy, optimistic stories of superheroes along with grittier war tales, so threats range from over-the-top giant amoeba and cunning, subtle alien infiltration. Easily modified to operate in any other era, The BETA Men make a useful resource for GMs wanting a government agency dealing with the paranormal that heroes can either work with, recieve aid from, or even oppose.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amazing Stories of WWII: The BETA Men
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: Companies
by Jae C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2016 10:45:23

Last in the current series of Rogues, Rivals and Renegades - RR&R Companies lists three that aren't actually big bad megacorporations run by actual villains - instead they fill that moral/immoral middle ground of organisations that result in corporate interference in the lives of the heroes. There are times we all need organisations the players can interact with that aren't either outright villainous Lexcorp rip-offs or hero worshipping support organisations, This supplement fulfils that need with three very different organisations.

Vulcan Energy is a company that cuts corners and is willing to make dangerous decisions if its liable to increase profit, Saito Solutions is a company at the cutting edge of rescue equipment who are also responsible for equipping the hero Safeguard so don't want to admit that their technology had been misappropriated to create a villain and Little Sister is a hacker community / NGO that may be useful to the heroes one day and publicly exposing their ID or revealing all their secrets to the public the next.

As a GM you can't help find a use for at least one of these organisations in your campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: Companies
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: White Room
by Jae C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2016 12:20:50

A psychic agency named after a psychic construction in Astral space where its operatives meet, led by Mr Ullyses who may or may not resemble his astral projection and Ms D who may be the only person who's met him face to physical face and knows who he really is.

How you use this psychic agency is up to you but it's presented as neither an enemy or a friend to the players and with an agenda all of its own.

Nice write-up, good ideas and sufficiently vague to make it easy to fit it into almost any campaign... Now if I could only stop hearing Cream playing in my head!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: White Room
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades Collection One
by Elias D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2016 16:59:19

I have been waiting for this collection ever since the series was announced at the Vigilance Press website.

This beautifully illustrated book provides an interesting collection of villains and morally ambiguous supers to inject into your Mutants and Masterminds game. The stories and stats are laid out in an easy to follow manner and the flavor text (in the form of official reports from law-enforcement agencies, and character quotes) help set-up the mood of each entry. There are a handful of minor errors interspersed throughout the text of some of the entries, but they are a negligible flaw in an otherwise perfect product.

Before the printed collection was announced I purchased a few of the weekly character PDF releases, mostly ones that caught my eye thematically. But even the ones I did not purchase individually have proven to be very compelling and well thought out. Even if you are not planning to run an M&M campaign, most of the entries are still interesting reads in the vein of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and DC Comics’ Who’s Who series.

I am really satisfied with this purchase, and can’t wait for the next collection(s) to come out!!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades Collection One
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Elements of Ruin: The Challengers
by Olivier M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/29/2016 12:52:30

I was reading this again and just did a double take when I noticed it said it was a FREE release. Really? I never had to pay for this?! But they're such high quality characters! Vigilance Press really has a knack with creating interesting heroes and villains that remind you of common archetypes but always add a little something new, both in personality or design and in the mechanics (with interesting use of Effects to represent some uncommon powers).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Elements of Ruin: The Challengers
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OSRIC Unearthed
by Michael F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2016 15:39:40

I believe this product should be pulled from publication! Because it is terrible? No! But because it is incomplete! It was never finished! Nor was it ever edited! Any one who tells you it was is a liar! Just one of inumerable examples: pg 33, under Two Handed Swords. A generally confusing description of special bonuses becomes altogether incomprehensible when it devolves into "The only difference is that bonuses of a magical two-handed sword to do improve its armor class as they do with a shield."

True, the artwork is less than flattering, but that is forgivable.

Much of the material is useful, but it is incomplete. The sandwiching of the old UA & OA & a tease of Arthurian mythos into one abbreviated volume does this work no favors. It just creates an incoherent mess.

Expand the UA section with spell lists & descriptions, magic items, & other equipment. Optional Player Character racial templates are always a nice plus as well.

Seperate the OA based material from this, & continue streamlining it, developing it, & developing it &... developing it. The two works deserve to be their own individual supplements! Period!

The same holds true for the idea sketch for the Arthurian style campaign. It is a good direction, but the reader is completely slighted by the brevity of it's treatment. This deserves a supplement all it's own. Period!

All in all, there is good stuff here, & good beginnings of great things, but please send this back to the author, demand that it be edited properly, & most of all, demand that it be finished!

Until it is finished i would not recommend this supplement to any one! Period!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
OSRIC Unearthed
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Old-School Psionics
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/11/2015 12:36:44

Designed to be a new psionics system for OSRIC this book introduces the Mentalist class. Powers are divided out among disciplines going to 7th level. Powers are treated mostly like spells, but that works well for adding into OSRIC. Also some psionic monsters are detailed including my favorite (and worth the price of the book) the Doppleganger as a proper psionic monster. 22 pages including cover and OGL. Very nicely done.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Psionics
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: Covenant
by Jae C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2015 11:43:10

Mentor to magi, disdainful towards mundanes, enemy to magic slayers - Covenant walks the line between dark magic and white, has links to the Library (see Vigilance Press' Black Chapter) and is immortal. If you have magic users in your campaign then she has all the elements to be a major character in anyone's game...

A must buy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: Covenant
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Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: Black Heron
by Elias D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2015 09:11:48

Amid all the world-conquering overlords, alien menaces, mystic threats, and professional enforcers that dominate comics and RPGs, we often overlook the poor schmuck who tries to make it big but perpetually fails to live up to his lofty aspirations and megalomania. It only makes sense that in a world where super-powered costumed heroes and villains exist, that not all of them are going to be cool and successful. It stands to reason that somebody like the Black Heron to exist. This entry blends the right amount of comedy and real-life misfortune to create a comical foil for heroes that can still pose a threat. One of the more enjoyable entries so far.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogues, Rivals & Renegades: Black Heron
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