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Fellowship 2nd Edition - A Tabletop Adventure Game
by Meg Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2020 10:10:09

I really, really want to like Fellowship. I love the pitch a whole lot: it's a high fantasy game for any kind of fantasy! Players have ultimate control over the world! The GM also has a character so they can get the serotonin hit of filling out a character sheet too! But I've played Fellowship a lot now. I've been in three games with false starts (one of them I GM'd) and one game that got past the first session that got to the end of gaining Fellowship with a community, and most of the time I enjoyed with those games, I wasn't engaging with its systems at all.

First of all: this is a game that, in all the times I've played it, is a resource management dungeon-crawling game, first and foremost. It has better capabilities for roleplaying and worldbuilding than a game like Dungeons & Dragons, but it still leaves a lot to be desired on that front. My main group is extremely into inter-character melodrama, and if there are any lulls in the action we will spend hours talking to each other in-character. Not a lot of systems explicitly support this, but Fellowship explicitly discourages this with its "rest" systems; taking any time to do scenes not directly related to dungeon-crawling makes the next encounters more difficult for really no reason. I wouldn't mind this so much if I was playing a very crunchy numbers game, but when I want to tell a character-driven story, Fellowship is more or less incapable of delivering an experience I want.

Another thing related to the game's inflexibility: the playbooks and worldbuilding associated with them. Fellowship's main selling point is that you get to decide what your fantasy culture looks like, with a lot of flexibility. In play, however, I found this flexibility was a lot less open than I would have liked. If you're playing the Elf, you're more or less locked into playing a holier-than-thou character who can commune with nature. If you have a different idea for an elf, you're going to be fighting the system a lot to put together the moves for your vision. Once, I tried to use the Orc playbook to make a character whose people were known for their ingenuity, even when that, in the past, meant giving up their humanity and bonding with parasitic fungus; after taking just my two starting moves, however, I ran out of playbook moves that fit my vision.

This is already getting long and I haven't touched on my frustrations with the moment-to-moment gameplay, or the frustrations the GMs of my groups have run into. Let me touch on the former (where it doesn't relate to the latter) briefly: advantage was not adequately explained in the original edition, and putting it entirely in an appendix for the revised edition is less than ideal; I already mentioned before that decompressing after long action sequences is basically impossible. The latter is a huge problem that bleeds over into the moment-to-moment gameplay, and most of it boils down to two things.

First, giving the GM a playbook makes them rather precious over their Overlord and General characters and fosters a hostile relationship between the players and the GM. In my experience, since the GM knows their villains are finite, they scramble to find reasons why the PCs can't kill them right now, and often resort to underhanded tactics. All the GMs I've played with have said they felt incentivized to give threats secret stats that negated certain attacks, creating an atmosphere where players were too nervous about wasting any moves in case they activated the GM's trap cards. Second, though the second edition is a marginal improvement, there's a notable dearth of information on how to be a good Overlord. The newer GMs struggled to find a footing or guidance in the GM's sections at all, and more veteran GMs were frustrated by lack of guidance for creating tailor-made threats/setpieces for whatever unique world the players created.

If you're really desperate to play a PBTA version of D&D, I recommend Fellowship over Dungeon World as it's slightly more flexible. But, honestly, I'd give both a pass. It's a shame and I miss playing high-fantasy adventure games at my table, but Fellowship doesn't scratch the itch for me at all.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fellowship 2nd Edition - A Tabletop Adventure Game
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The Clock Mage - A Dungeon World Playbook
by Umberto M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2020 16:55:52

The biggest problem with this playbook is the "Death Move: Borrowed Time" move: It has the major flaw of focusing the whole fiction on that single character and a huge amount of play time. Also allowing you to do whatever you want without consequences has the huge defect of ending any problem in the game world, in addition to leaving the most unthinkable legacy to the characters that remain (just be imaginative in what you do). This brings you a bitter taste in the game and the disappointment of the players. I was forced to look at it and make it more interesting and beautiful...



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Clock Mage - A Dungeon World Playbook
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Dungeons With Dragons - A Lasers & Feelings hack
by Mark E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2019 10:05:51

I played a session of Dungeons with Dragons with the "We be goblins" adventure today, and it was so much fun!

I had a couple of plyers who had never played a TTRPG before and they loved how easy it was to pick up and join in



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeons With Dragons - A Lasers & Feelings hack
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Fellowship 2nd Edition - A Tabletop Adventure Game
by Wouter E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2019 15:29:42

A great game all around. Dragged down in some places by poor choices in book layout. Most of all. I would say the game has an issue with a total lack of an extended play example to show how some of the more esoteric moves are supposed to be handled.

Most of all. This is signified by the move Paying a price. It's a very important move. Used constantly troughout the book. But because it only has a short and rather unclear description of what it does. I have found myself using it completely the wrong way for several session. Normally. I would look for a play example as a guideline for how the game is supposed to go. But that was lacking here. What makes this all the more exasperating is that there are several much simpler moves that do have attached play examples.

If these issues were in some way adressed. I would happily bump up my rating to a 5/5



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fellowship 2nd Edition - A Tabletop Adventure Game
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Breakfast Cult
by Greg B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2019 21:00:28

Breakfast Cult is an amazing game for playing in an anime inspired school setting. Using supernatural adventures as a framework, the setting information gives you freedom to frame your stories in a variety of ways, letting you slant things to be more comedic or more horrifying. With many prebuilt player characters, you can either jump right into play or have a fully built world ready to go. Being in Fate Accelerated prevents the game from being too much like Calvinball and allows you to keep things in check. One of my favorite games, I recommend to anyone to give Breakfast Cult a chance.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Breakfast Cult
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Fellowship 2nd Edition - A Tabletop Adventure Game
by Julian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2019 10:41:27

This game is pretty awesome for people like me, who want a straightforward but also very clever made fantasy-PbtA-game without having to stick to the DnD-isms of Dungeon World.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fellowship 2nd Edition - A Tabletop Adventure Game
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The Witch - A Dungeon World Playbook
by Lily G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2018 18:55:09

A fun, flavorful playbook which provides some classic witchy moves and ideas to play around with. The mechanics here are interesting without being complex or confusing, and everything comes together really well into a great alternative to the core classes for someone who wants to play a magic user. Potions are just fun to make! The cover art is very cute, too. I'd say this is a must-have for Dungeon World players looking to expand their playbook options, and is easily better than any other Witch-themed playbook I've encountered.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Witch - A Dungeon World Playbook
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The Star Mage - A Dungeon World Playbook
by Lily G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2018 18:52:00

This might be my favorite Dungeon World playbook, period. It's so fresh and interesting, with powers that are usable in both combat and social situations, and just the right amount of flavor. I've been trying to find cool playbooks for a game I want to GM, but reading this made me want to play a Star Mage immediately in someone else's game. A very cool thing about the Star Mage is that this works in just about any setting imaginable, since you're really just an odd Thing from Somewhere, and your abilities are just as useful in a fantasy setting as they would be in a modern, superhero, or sci-fi one. It's wonderful.

The artwork for the cover page is really evocative too, which is a nice plus.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Star Mage - A Dungeon World Playbook
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The Dashing Hero - A Dungeon World Playbook
by Lily G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2018 18:45:32

Incredibly flavorful class, and a very stylish alternative to a fighter or thief, especially for players who like their characters to be more (in)famous and boastful. This one slots perfectly into just about any traditional fantasy setting, and feels flexible enough to work beyond that too. I'd call this a must-have for Dungeon World players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dashing Hero - A Dungeon World Playbook
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Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2018 18:27:32

A really creative and evocative setting with new classes that all feel super super interesting. They've got just enough detail to be used very flexibly, which is always a worry with Dungeon World content. This hits the right balance between solid flavoring and being open-ended. The classes are great outside of the included setting too (though one or two need some flavor changes to not be related to the setting-based god but that's easy to do). Highly recommended for anyone who's into Dungeon World and looking to freshen and expand their experience.

There aren't a lot of tabletop sourcebooks I've read that actually surprise and delight me with character mechanics, but this was one of the rare ones that really delivered. Very worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
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Dungeon World Alternative Playbooks
by Richard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2018 00:57:01

These are excellent additions to my DW game! Just like it says, it steps away from some of the D&D baggage and gives, in my opinion, much better options than the stock wizard, cleric and paladin classes. No more spell lists. It gives many new and useful moves with thematic ways to limit, or extract a cost from, them.

The Mage is great because he wields great power with thematic and possibly catastrophic costs and limitations.

The Priest draws aid directly from her deity, the GM says how.

The Templar is a riot! With moves like "It's Not Them You Should Be Afraid Of" and "Who Told You To Stop" this class is part knight and part inquisitor! Heretics beware!

The Artificer, while not really a good fit for every campaign, should not be dismissed. I'm looking forward to playing one as a Battle Alchemist of sorts. Also, it allows for the introduction of a gnome into your story!

@ Matthew K. You'll probably never see this, but the tags are explained on the page with "The Arttificer's Gadgets" at the top.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon World Alternative Playbooks
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The Guest Star - A Dungeon World Playbook for Extra Players on Game Night
by Thomas V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2018 19:12:21

I used this playbook to bring a new guy in media res for a game I'm running to introduce people to tabletop. It went so well that this is now my favorite class I've ever seen in any tabletop game ever.

It's mechanically clever and has tons of tension baked in with how many moves revolve around the guest star's death. It's also constantly hilarious just from how the moves work and the way a player will use a completely disposable character.

One of the strongest ways to introduce someone to a gaming group or tabletop games as a whole that I've seen yet. Absolutely stellar. Best dollar I've ever spent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Guest Star - A Dungeon World Playbook for Extra Players on Game Night
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Breakfast Cult
by Sean T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2017 12:38:26

Breakfast Cult is far and away my favorite RPG setting. It takes the solid base of FAE and just lavishes it with such incredible anime everything. Dangan Ronpa and Persona especially, but there's Haruhi and Death Note and all sorts in there. The setting of Occultar Academy is so beautifully realized and incredibly rich without stifling players abilities to add to the world. With 20 sample characters (that can double as player characters) and even more encounters that are all so incredibly characterized I could only ask for more of them.

I'd go on, but I think I'd rather say how in one session of Breakfast Cult, one of my players started rapping, and another told me it was the most genuinely scared they'd been playing an RPG. It's great, I can't recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Breakfast Cult
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Breakfast Cult
by William P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2017 19:12:36

Do you enjoy video game franchises like Persona, or Danganronpa? To generic it up a bit, how about teenagers getting into trouble? Occult mysteries? Weird science? Techno magic-with-a-k? Good! Now put all those things into a blender and pouring out the deliciousness that is the Breakfast Cult RPG. Running on the Fate Accelerated engine, BC lets you tell the stories of teenagers with bizarre and poorly understood powers and then watch as they get in way over their heads. FAE is a very flexible system, and works well with Breakfast Cult as you can have characters ranging from occult wunderkind to semi-retired magical girls to Death Note simulacrums. The more inventive and weird you can make your characters, the better, and Fate Accelerated can back you up. The art is also wonderful, a manga-esque style that really helps with the Lovecraft/John Hughes love child tone that I feel is the game's sweet spot.

Even trimmed down from FATE's original form, Accelerated is a bit of a stumbling block for me as I always trip up on the bit where you need short, punchy phrases that work as a character's Aspects. Examples really, really help and some developers I think forget that we are all not as blessed as they when it comes to a descriptive and double-edged phrase for a character. Paul has come to the rescue of those me who struggle with such things with no less than twenty example characters who can do double duty as allies and antagonists or pregen PCs. Best of all, all twenty of them are great with example Aspects to inspire or reskin at your leisure but are just great examples of the type of characters to be found at home in the setting. I'd play them all. (Particularly hoops bamming enthusiast Addison Waite.)

If any of the things the game references appeals to you at all, I urge you to pick the book up. Even if you don't play it, it's a great read and worth your time and money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chet Reads Breakfast Cult
by Anna J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2016 12:29:02

This is actually both 1. really hilariously narrated and 2. extremely useful for learning the rules. FIVE STARS!!!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chet Reads Breakfast Cult
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