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The Veil: Cascade Post-Cyberpunk Roleplaying
by Iv R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2020 12:19:14

Cascade is natural fit for The Veil, at least it was for my group. We all were having ideas about extending life and if the character's reality was "real" and all of these ideas are well supported in cascade. Totally recomended



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Veil: Cascade Post-Cyberpunk Roleplaying
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Retropunk: Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
by Marcus G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2020 14:42:07

I am always on the lookout for a well designed Cyberpunk game, however this particular document is a complete swing and a miss for me.

The layout and organization look unfinished. I can see that "chaotic" is the art design approach, but unfortunately this also seems to be the buzz word for all of the design for this book.

I can't comment on the mechanics because, if I'm being honest, I'm not able to figure out where the heck they are.

I gave this two stars (instead of 1) because the art was at least interesting. It has a messy, haphazzard appeal which might be interesting if the user manual aspect of this book weren't so shockingly bad.

If someone actually manages to slog through this mess and have a sense of what the mechanic is like, I hope they post up a review. I will certainly not be putting any more effort into figuring out how to navigate this disaster.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Retropunk: Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
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Retropunk: Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
by Ira G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2020 19:50:47

Super slick Cyberpunk system. Finished reading it, haven't played it yet but I'm excited to bring this to my table. It seems very lightweight and flexible and the setting material is just enough to get you going without bogging down the game in metaplot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
by Gabriel R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2020 21:04:25

If you're looking for a game that is not only exciting and hauntingly beautiful, but also gives life to the deep social and global trends, Hack the World is for you.

You could simply settle for 'a fun night' with friends, but why settle for fun? Why not powerfully bring to life ideas that seem dead? This is what entertainment in general does: it always depicts a reality. It will reflect how the author thinks the world works. Through the artpiece, the author nudges your intuitions so that they are aligned with a worldview. It so happens that some worldviews are more aligned with the reality uncovered by the sciences and the humanities. The reality of corporatism, inequality and its amplification of social problems, and climate change is effectively dramatized in this work of art (and that makes me incredibly grateful and hopeful).

Hack the World needs absurd class divides for the missions to make sense. It also attempted to make natural disasters part of the forces of the fiction, but these forces were mechanically added as levers that the GM pulls or choices that the players make, rather than a necessary part of the whole machinery. Still, it's not a feature like DnD5e's Background and Alignment or whatever, which a GM could fully ignore and the game wouldn't suffer. For example, in HtP, natural disasters are always an option when figuring out what the next mission is.

This mission part, of course, is due to the game being Forged in the Dark. I will start playing Hack the Planet this week with friends, and it will be strange to have to think so much about numbers and categories and a Crew character sheet. I say this because I'm coming from a couple of months of having played Apocalypse World, one of the simplest games in terms of mechanics that I know of. In that game, I simply had to answer the questions that the Moves prompted. In this game, I have to keep track of the effectiveness of a move and the size of the effect every single roll. My hope is that I will develop an intuiton about this, but so far it seems like BitD is generally less intuitive of a system than AW. I put most of the blame on Blades in the Dark, but I also recognize Hack the Planet's author decided to use this system. Yes, I'm aware I could simply play The Veil, but it has no climate change and right now I like the idea of creating missions on the fly. Those become the source of antagonism to create dramatic situations, rather than the threats that are slowly established after a couple of sessions in AW. So those are mechanics.

What about the book? I love the art. It makes me want to live in that wretched world. It's impressive, in the sense that it creates powerful impressions for us players to carry onward as we play the game. The text is straightforward (not as pithy as AW, but I'm probably just betwitched by Vincent Baker's style).

I'm still figuring out how to play it online, since the game is so recent and the character sheets are still not on Roll20. It's also a bummer that the game probably won't be presented in any conventions this year, due to COVID-19 and The Orange Man's Incompetence™©®. I wish the best to the creators and the future of the game, because it's a bit of fresh air for us all.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
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The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
by Ivan R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2020 16:04:21

MCing this game has been mind bending in all the good ways. My group and I like the theme but the playbooks all have this way to change the archetipes and expectations in subtle but significant ways. I love it

On the bad side: There are some style erros, in some moves when taking +1 forward after answering questions it won't say "on affirmative" (like in the emproium move) and sometimes it will; sometimes a thing is named something and then it will be referenced a little differently after. "Humanity" is both a playbook asset and a kind of harm, so you need to familiarize with the playbooks to sort it off. And I'm sure there's a title missing named "The Ultimate Question"

Even with those things, which did took me out of the text a few times. The game experience itself is amazing. I fully recomend this game



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
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The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
by Nathan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2020 23:52:57

Most of my friends come from D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun 5 backgrounds - they're use to very crunchy systems. We completed Session 0 last week and just finished our first session. Their feedback (1) the character options are amazing, (2) I've never felt like I've had so much agency in a game, (3) I'm not ready to stop playing- I need to find out more.

The Veil is just simply amazing. The rules empower you to tell some amazing cyberpunk stories with really interesting protagonist characters (no more generic 'hacker', 'driver', 'face'....).

Seriously, buy your copy right now!! I wish I discovered this game sooner.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
by Scott D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2020 05:05:59

I picked up Hack the Planet the day of release because I was very excited someone had tackled cyberpunk in the forged in the dark system. I wasn't very impressed. There is almost no detail on the city in which the game takes place. Whereas both Blades in the Dark and Scum and Villainy (the other two major games that use this system) have detailed maps of the game world, with art of what each ward/planet looks like and sections on who to find there and adventure hooks for each location, Hack the Planet has none of that, just one unlabeled city map where you can't tell what anything this. This lack of detail and world building, along with the climate stuff I'm not interested in cooled my enthusiasm. The art also lacks a unified aesthetic and honestly looks kind of cheap, like amatheur photoshop work. Something like the art in Blades in the Dark (minimalist and greyscale) that is less amibitious would have suited Hack the Planet better. I think it's absolutely still workable if you just want forged in the dark cyberpunk, but it's not a gem like Blades or Scum and Villainy.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
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Hack the Planet: Cyberpunk Forged in the Dark
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2019 18:01:19

Another fantastic cyberpunk game by Mr. Simons. The Forged in the Dark engine is perfect for this sort of thing, streamlined enough to keep the action quick, crunchy enough to make characters interesting and resolution punchy. The climate fiction angle is new, and makes for a very interesting and cool setting. I especially like the way Mr. Simons has integrated cyberware into the system to work seamlessly with the Forged rules. Highly recommend!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Operators RPG
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2018 08:17:59

Great beer and pretzels game that works great for one-shots and plays like a cinematic action spy movie. I especially like the pregame picture collage as an innovative way for the Director (GM) to come up with scenarios. The book is chock full of inspiration and tips to run an action spy thriller. Highly narrative. There is potential for campaign play that i have not yet explored. Only minor quib i have are the Skills. While pretty much self explanatory they don't get a section by itself that briefly explain what they could be used for but i get the idea of what they are used for with all the info scattered in the book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Operators RPG
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Operators RPG
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2018 08:15:06

OK -- good and bad.

  1. I love the game. The mechanics are simple, the tone and visuals set the mood for the game, the character creation system is quick & allows for unique characters.

The mechanics in particular are great -- just roll 4 Fate dice. You have to get more +'s than your rating in the action (1-3, 3 is a poor skill). Extra plusses give success with style, - on the roll give consequences. Cards support narrative storytelling by the players. It isn't a FATE rules system, it just uses FATE dice.

  1. The poor -- this really pisses me off. I spent $15 to get a complete game...but it is not a complete game. In order to use the rules, I'll have to purchase the cards separately. That is VERY not cool


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Veil: Cascade Quickstart
by Anna J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2018 05:40:02

An interesting take on cyberpunk genre, although not the kind I was looking for: I get the impression that systems here support only a very particular style of play, while I was searching for something with a wider scope. I still think it is an interesting idea though: testing an emotion every time you want to achieve something instead of standard stats, so I'd like to try it out one day out of sheer curiosity.

I also find the language a bit awkward, unnatural - I'm not a native though, so I might be wrong.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Veil: Cascade Quickstart
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The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
by Joao S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2017 07:05:06

The Veil is a Powered By The Apocalypse (PbTA) role playing game where the emphasis is put on the emotions the playing characters are experiencing when acting to respond to the fiction. Characteristic of the PbTA games, in the Veil there are no preset adventure modules or pre-planned encounters and we play to find out based on the tools available for the Master of Cerimonies (PbTA for GM) and the players. Gameplay works more like a conversation rather than with turn-based rounds and the game engine kicks in when an action required by the player triggers moves either general to all player types or specific to a given character playbook. The MC never rolls dice and gets to intervene in very specific terms when the fiction demands it or when players roll a partial success or a fail.

What most impressed me about this game is the myriad of possibilities that the character playbooks deliver in terms of the existential and societal questions you can enquire. More than a set of cyberpunk heists to retrieve data from evil megacorps, this game has the tools to allow players to define what makes us human and aware by giving a purpose and an agenda to each of the character types. The use of emotion states (mad, peaceful, sad, joyful, scared, powerful) instead of ability stats (hot, cool, hard, weird, sharp) is a fundamental departure from the original Apocalypse World. This allows the players to better establish the intentions and positioning of their characters in the fiction with the aid of an emotion wheel covering 72 (!) possible emotions. The MC side of things is also well covered with detailed tools and game aids to pursue the questions the fiction demands.

The writing is clear and a great effort is made to explain the ideas behind the setting. A very good addition to the MC section is the suggestion of how the MC should interact with each of the character playbooks to fully engage the player and include the input of that playbook in the fiction.

On the slightly downside, I would like to have seen a more concise and schematic procedure list for the 1st session like other PbTA games (e.g. Apocalypse World, MASHED, Night Witches). Instead, there very few details in this chapter for the MC side of things and the description of the playbooks is included in here. Given that most likely only the MC is going to read this before the 1st session, more pointers to how to setup and carry out a successful 1st session should be in here and the playbook description elsewhere. Contrary to most opinions I've seen elsewhere, I find the art in the book sightly off putting. Although the visual artist has a good grip on colour technique and succeeds in setting the dark urban mood, the drawing of the human figure is not up to overall good standard of the book, with the characters portrayed in stiff poses and with clear errors of perspective and proportionality in human figure drawing.

The take home message: this is a great game for a mature audience interested in switching between fast-paced action and interpersonal and introspective existential questioning in a future probable where cybernetics and AI can deeply change how we perceive the world.

Movie night: Blade Runner, Ghost in the Machine, The Matrix, Mr Robot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
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The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
by felix C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2017 20:35:04

We had our first session yesterday and I am now ready to give my two cents about this book. When I first saw that The Veil was on Kickstarter, much good feelings got into me. The Cyberpunk genre was always calling out for me, but the only option I had in my bookshelf was Shadowrun 5, a game for which I don't have all the MIT certificates required to run a few games. A new era was finally about to start.

  1. The Setting: I must say that at first, it was a little confusing because I really tought that a setting was more or so already included in the book. It must have been discussed while the campaign was running, but to be fair, I didn't really followed all the multiples threads on KS and on G+ to get the devellopements. There is a little exemple within the MC section to explain what a game based on Neuromancer's setting would like, but that's pretty much it. After the shock, I came to understand that The Veil is actually a toolbox in which me and my player could forge (or... cyberforge I guess) the exact type of cyberpunk world we wanted to explore. My players got a little confused by this aspect, but quickly got into it. It was easy to just pick elements from Blade Runner/Soldier, Ghost in the Shell, Brinks and, believe it or not, some elements from the Super Mario Bros. movie and just create a world in which everybody was comfortable to play.

  2. The playbooks: Here's what I think is the best part of this game. All playbooks from the core book (and the coming Cascade book) are openly design and/or based on classic character/thrope from the extended cyberpunk genre. When you start reading one, you immediatly get what's the jazz around it and begin having ideas about what you could do. The job the authors did creating thoses that my players really got a hard time choosing what they would play (personnaly, The Empath and the Catabolist would have been my dilemma). It brought a lot of excitement around the table and that's always a plus in my book. Where I must use one of my Hold is about how they appear in the book. Well, they do not. A chapter of the book covers in details the elements/moves of each playbooks but the only reference you can get to validate how those manifest in the book is a really small picture on which it is hard to properly read the info. Knowing that Urban Shadows kinda did the same thing and that the playbooks were are online in a separeted PDF, I did some probing and managed to get them easily.

  3. The editing Ok. I lied. I did followed a little bit the updates regarding the developpments. Samjoko Publishing had a little confusion with their printer, but to be fair, even if a few things sometime appear a little weird in the book such as having reference to pages in the book looking like an hyperlink on a web page (underlined and blue), but the rest of the job is well done. It breath, it is easy to read and even if there is to glossary at the end, the index in the begining does a great job helping people to get where is what. The book is not much flooded by illustrations, but I saw this as a choice going toward quality instead of quantity, which is always better in my opinion. To fill the blank, a clever use of citations was done which helps setting an overall tone around the cyberpunk genre.

  4. Understandability This is were my review will aquired the " messy " tag. When it comes to explain the specific concept of the playbooks, moves and such, everythhing is close to flawlessly done. There is always an exemple to put you in context and get what's the jist of the said move/playbook option. Hell, you even sometime get two examples which is always welcome! The only thing my player didn't really got and for which we had to houserule was about the Interface in the cybernetics part of the playbooks. We came to a conclusion in which it was the way you access the Veil and the Digiscape, but we may be wrong. Now, where it lacks a few good things when it come to understand how to play this (in my opinion), is when it comes to the generals. At some points, the authors seems to take for granted that the reader will have red the original Apokalypse Book. As an exemple, the Executive playbook has an option in which the board for which he or she works is also a threat of the Cult type, which does not appear in the book (but probably does in the basic Apocalypse book). Also, creating threats can be sometime a little hard and a few good exemples of threats could be welcomed for Apocalypse noobs as we are. Altough, it is far from being a deal breaker. Just take for granted that you may have to interpret a few details in order to run your game.

In conclusion, The Veil is a good book and I recommand it. It brings very good ressources to play the game the way you want. Those who have been fans of Urban Shadows should definitively have a look to The Veil since a lot of good points from it were used to write this RPG. I personnaly look foward to read Cascade since I know the authors will manage to bring to a ever better level (and who knows, perhaps get their 5 stars!). Thanks for this game and now, if you could please excuse me, I have some Giri to keep track and some threat to create for next week.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Veil: Cyberpunk Roleplaying Powered by the Apocalypse
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2017 14:29:59

Great game! Takes the PBTA engine and presents an open toolbox for creating cyberpunk stories. I love that the playbooks are broad archetypes that evoke familiar cyberpunk tropes. Enough ties to fiction to provide touchstones for characters and story, but lots of freedom to, as the author says, create your own cyberpunk. The Veil uses an intriguing twist on the PBTA archetype, using emotional states for stats driving the moves. The game feels much more personal than other RPGs in the genre, much more about the characters stories in a cyberpunk world. The author has been on a number of podcasts talking about the Veil, and I recommend checking them out, his POV is fascinating, and he is eloquent in explaining the nuances of his game. I highly recommend this game for fans of cyberpunk of all flavors, as the game will support nearly every variation.

As an aside, the author has been stellar in supporting this game. On the google+ community for the Veil, he is very active, responding to questions quickly and positively. Great all around!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Worlds in Peril
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2016 16:11:51

I've been looking for a good superhero RPG based on the Apocalypse World engine. Luckily, there have been quite a few in the past couple of years, with this and Masks releasing. I've only gotten a chance to try this game out very recently, but I have to say that I'm sad that I missed the opportunity to play this sooner.

I'm going to skip the discussion of the Apocalypse World Engine proper. You can read any review of Dungeon World or Apocalypse World itself to get that. What I will say is that the moves for Worlds in Peril are pretty tight. Push is an awesome way to further develop your powers in play, as commonly occurs in superhero stories. And you can see from the way the moves are structured that the writer was taking a direct page from Apocalypse World itself... Takedown and Seize Control are not just reminiscent of Go Aggro and Seize by Force, I'd argue that they are more concisely written than the first edition versions of those moves. The only move I have complaints with is Aid or Interfere, but I'll get to that later.

The biggest spot this game shines is in how powers are handled. The Power Profile is one of the best ways that any supers game has handled superpowers, period. It's far more flexible than Masks, and much more narrative and less restrictive than games like ICONS and Mutants and Masterminds. That powers continue to expand during play thanks to the Push move is awesome. The four categories of Simple, Difficult, Borderline and Possible go a long way to defining what is and isn't easy through your character's abilities. Impossible defines hard limits to your power. This is great, because it emphasizes what makes the Engine so wonderful; description is often more important than numbers are.

Drives and Origins are a neat replacement for the playbooks that other PbtA games have, and they work out really nicely. Drives replace character advancement mechanics from other games by making so that your characters motives, and how they push to fulfill those motives, give them the means to increase in power elsewhere. Advancement seems a bit slow in this game (as you need to be moving towards resolution of your drive moves to gain Achievements; nothing for failure, using a highlighted move, or any of the other sort of things that might gain you experience in other such games), but since powers develop naturally through the Push move anyways, it's not so debilitating... your character still matures, just not as broadly.

Conditions are also a great way to detail injury in a superhero game, and I'm glad that Worlds in Peril used them. They're much more flexible than the tag-based damage system from Masks, and such flexibility is necessary when dealing with truly bizarre supers concepts; an undead hero probably won't be as hampered by a broken arm as Spider-Man would, for example... so it would make sense that one character's minor condition might be another's moderate or critical condition. This was my favorite part of Venture City, and it works just as great here.

Now the bad part: Bonds.

Bonds in other games tend to portray something about your character in relation to other characters. Apocalypse World's Hx represents how much your character knows another character; bonds in Dungeon World represent debts or motives your character wishes to resolve in regards to another character; strings in Monsterhearts represents emotional leverage your character has on another character, and so on. All such things represent something about YOUR character, in relation to another one.

Bonds in Worlds in Peril represent another character's feelings about your character, and this inversion of the relationship complicates the game needlessly for multiple reasons. The obvious being that players at my table often were confused about the values on their sheet; it was very counterintuitive that they had to reference someone else's character sheet in order to find out whether they liked that character or not. They would often find themselves almost acting out of character and aiding someone they apparently detested, and not realizing it until the other player pointed it out. Furthermore, Aid and Interfere's effectiveness is entirely based on whether the character likes you, not whether you like the character. One superhero can easily help a character he detests, as long as that character is in love with them. In the opposite, you'll have a hard time assisting someone you love if they can't stand you. All in all, this very much detracted from play. I ended up having to houserule out the Bond mechanics and steal Hero Points from M&M and Hx rules from AW to fill the gap.

One last problem I had was not with the game itself, but one of the documents: the epub version of the book has a CSS glitch that makes it unreadable on my mobile device. The CC version of the epub works fine, it only seems to be problematic on the final version.

Overall, Worlds in Peril is an amazing supers game with some excellent game mechanics and a rich structure for superhero play. The one mechanic I found not to work does not reduce this in the least, as it would be a shame to skip past the amazing Power Profile mechanic, or the Drives and Origins. Hopefully there will be a second edition, or a major revision to the game to address this. That said, don't be afraid to give this game a chance.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Worlds in Peril
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