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Touched: A Darkening Alley
by Timothy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2019 21:02:22

This supplement is basically a way of merging Call of Cthulhu with The Sprawl. It does a reasonable job of providing mechanics for doing that, with Moves for CoC style magic, Eldritch Trauma (san checks), and some other things of that sort. Its pretty sparse on details of the setting. The flavor text is almost all backstory with little focus put on how you'd actually play the game. There's like 4 short paragraphs in the whole "running the game" section. Which really don't say much besides "everyone's gonna be interested in the weird stuff". Little to nothing about the flavor and mission implications of these setting and mechanic changes.

The mechanics seem serviceable and the writing is the expected high quality that previous Sprawl books have had. But the substance just didn't feel "there" for me in this one. I was more inspired by most of the short settings in November Metric than I was by anything in this book.

If you already have lots of ideas for your Event Horizon/Cloverfield/Delta Green-cyborg edition game and want some workable mechanics to support it, this would be a worthwhile pick up. If you are hoping to be inspired by a unique twist on cyberpunk settings the way November Metric did, but with horror/urban fantasy, this probably falls short. At least, it did for me.

Hopefully the 2nd one in the series (Touched Prime) has more focus on flavor and gameplay implications rather than a pile of mechanics that assume you already know how to play a Delta Green/Call of Cthulhu game effectively.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Touched: A Darkening Alley
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The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
by Spenser W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/08/2018 13:57:38

The book is beautiful. Just the presentation, the art, the everything is stunning.

The RPG inside these gorgeous pages is also something special. An easy to play system, perfect for one shots, or small campaigns. I recommend this to anyone who wants an interesting take on a cyberpunk RPG system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
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The Sprawl: Mission Files
by Jim M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2018 09:44:31

Waited for the PoD version, but it was worth it. A really useful set of missions that build in complexity and ideas. As someone new to this game, it's really helped me in appreciating the game mechanics and how the author constructs and runs things as a GM, each section gives thoughts and ideas on how to incorporate into your own campaigns, as well as possibilities in hacking it to build on other themes. The Code Dump section is great in figuring out what type of playbooks work best and one's that don't or if circumstances or tweaks can accommodate it. I was a bit surprised that it did not build on the locations and details in November Metric, but maybe these have been developed in parallel, to be fair the locations are mainly generic and with a bit of thought they could be aligned with November Metric settings. Overall, it's a great addition to The Sprawl cannon, the author strikes a good balance between setting out the details and pathways through the mission, whilst still leaving a lot of openness for improvisation, I think it'll take me a good few games before I'd try something as plate spinningly mad as The Amarylis Protocol, although SPOILER ALERT .... It looks like this could be a set-up for a soon to come supplement??



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl: Mission Files
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The Sprawl: Mission Files
by Vi K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2018 07:43:02

Not affiliated to the author and puchased my copy from here. Veteran GM from 80s, 6 months of Sprawl behind me. I was a bit sceptical because imo pbta -systems in general don't support pre-made adventures too well. Since The Sprawl is quite a bit mission oriented decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. This book gives you 10 adventures that are just enough "open" to accommodations and hacks that you can so easily fit them into your campaign with your favourite NPC's and corporations. Even the corporations themselves are generic here "CORP 1" and "CORP 2" are what your group has already created. It also strays away form the "hey lets make a few cool new custom moves!" approach by actually focusing on what has happened before the start of the mission and what does each side in the mission want to accomplish and how PC's fit into it all. Yes ofc it has a few custom moves as well but what I really liked was how it enables you to tie the NPC's from adventures into YOUR Sprawl. How to evolve them into threat clocks if needed etc. Actions have consequences and you really can play to find out what happens in each mission. Also each mission gives an ouline and tells straight up what playbooks it is best suited for. Something I really like since I will know in advance who from my group can make next session and want to tailor stuff to their playbooks as much as possible. Also missions include tips for hacking them, some dabble a bit into more creative storytelling methods (like starting in the middle of action) and the variety of plots and players is huge. You have crazed cyber mercs on the run, neo-religious groups etc. All bathed in chrome and dirt and neon. The only thing that I could offer as criticism is the legwork clocks each mission provides. I was hoping there would be a bit more variety but they all seem to just advance the mission clock after 18-21 or so. I guess this is the intent by design originally but I have hacked my Sprawl adventures to have a bit more variety in the legwork clocks as well. Very minor thing nevertheless. At this price (1 dollar/mission?), if you run The Sprawl its a no brainer: Buy it. If you play it: gift it to your MC. You will use these adventures and it will give you the cyberpunk dreams you need to get the creative juices flowing way beyond the 10 adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
by Jack M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2017 16:16:00

The clocks are silly. The betrayal roll more silly. And the black background pages are just dumb.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
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The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
by Kristy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/08/2017 05:26:04

I've read a lot of Powered by the Apocalypse books, and I admit I'm not a huge Cyberpunk aficionado. I picked up a copy of this to read to prepare for a game a friend of mine is running for our podcast, Perilous Pretenders. I have played a game of Shadowrun Anarchy, which is supposed to be Shadowrun "Lite", but I still found the mechanics to be quite clunky after being spoiled by the intuitive and story focused mechanics of PBTA games. I thought I was going to be put "off" the cyberpunk genre after that, not that it was the GM's fault, not at all. I just really wasn't sure how to roleplay my character and the clunky mechanics didn't help me feel confident trying more technological and sci-fi roleplaying. I felt a little unsure of how to roleplay in the cybepunk genre and didn't want to invest in a super hard to learn system if I wasn't sure I'd enjoy the subject matter. Yes, I've watched the Matrix (hated the sequels), and I've read a couple of Philip K. Dick books. Shadowrun is like that mixed with D&D races, and kind of felt a bit off to me. The Sprawl is straight up, 90's cyberpunk without the magical elements; felt more like Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly (which is a good thing). This books feels kind of like Cyberpunk: For Dummies and breaks it down trope by trope for me, which I found incredibly helpful actually.

There is enough "crunch" here that I feel this might be a good gateway PBTA game for fans of games like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk 2020, but this game would also be a good introduction to the cyberpunk genre as its themes and key elements are explained in great detail in the MC (Master of Cermonies) section.

I really like the different faction clocks that keep track of the pacing and tension of the action in the story. There are clocks for the "mega-corps", legwork, health, etc...so you know where you stand and can plan just how desperate your actions will need to be to get out of the situation in one piece (or how heavily in-debt repairing your cybeware will be if you survive at all). Cyberware is a big part of this game; Everyone who plays must have at least one piece of cyberware and explain why they have it and who they owe (or how unreliable it is being from the black-market). I really like that its required, I feel it creates lots of interesting hooks for the MC and connects the characters more to the technological sprawl of the city.

One issue I can see is if you wanted to play an A.I. character (like in Blade Runner, a key film by Ridley Scott in the genre). For me, Blade Runner is my main reference point, never having read William Gibson's cyberpunk novels (which are the prime inspiration for this game, which named after his Sprawl trilogy). There is a brief paragraph, a bit vague, on leaving all of that up to the MC, so if you want to have different moves or mechanics as an A.I. in an all human campaign, you'd have to work with your MC and/or make your own mechanics. Which doesn't bother me, especially since this is a story-telling, role playing heavy system, but just something to keep in mind.

The artwork is a bit hit or miss for me, I'm afraid. The cover art is beautiful, stunning neons and gives that claustrophobic and impersonal feeling this genre is all about. The illustrations inside, however, appear simply to be stock photos that have were posterized and had the contrast turned up to 11. This tends to be a theme in a lot of indie games, probably because of budget restrictions, but still. I'd rather have less art and one or two well designed pieces to really pull me visually into this world.

Overall, I'm highly impressed and actually excited to play this (unlike Shadowrun). I'd probably give this a 4.5 instead of a 5 for the reasons issues I discussed, but they really are such minor details I'm okay with keeping the rating at a 5. Hell, i think I could even run this out of the gate, even though I'm newer to the genre; the MC advice is that thorough and well presented. Pick this up, especially if you like rules light systems and are looking for something a bit different for your gaming table than typical fantasy tropes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl: November Metric
by Kirk T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2017 14:47:58

Great supplement to a great game! Highly recommend this setting for your Sprawl game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl: November Metric
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The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
by Skip O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2017 18:38:24

I really, really wanted to like The Sprawl. I love the PbtA ruleset and I love cyberpunk. Ultimately, two things killed this RPG for me. First off, both myself and my players hated how for every single mission, the players have to roll and decide if the employer will double-cross them or not. I’d rather just decide that as the GM. It ended up creating some awkward and unwieldy situations. Still, that could be taken out or tweaked.

The biggest thing I hated about The Sprawl, and the reason I quit running the campaign, was because of the clocks in the game. The mission clock was a bit awkward, but the biggest problem I had were the corporate clocks. They felt ham-fisted and forced. I figured if I was going to run an RPG I would have to tweak in order to feel right, I’d rather just run an RPG that works right from the start. That’s what I pay money for, after all – to buy an RPG and not have to create my own.

I do appreciate the effort to make a cyberpunk PbtA ruleset, but I didn’t end up liking The Sprawl.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
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The Downtown Dataheist
by Sayler V. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2017 10:19:53

I must echo what Diogo F. said: this is a brilliant setup to teach an MC how to run missions in The Sprawl. I'm hacking it right now(and the author gives tips for hacking it, too) for a fantasy adventure akin to Shadowrun(but set in Eberron!) that I'm running at my local convention for Memorial Day weekend! Thank you Hamish!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Downtown Dataheist
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The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2017 12:41:27

Design-wise, fantastic. The playbook and MC sheets are great looking without being overly cluttered, which is nice. A lot of games will have custom sheets that are entirely too-busy with their graphic design work, making it difficult to keep focus on any one thing. It's an accomplishment to create something that both looks good, and is easy to navigate.

I'm fascinated by the systems at play, and a sucker for anything PbtA, as well as the neo-noir cyberpunk themes at work. The systems are solid, clear enough to make easy use of and vague enough to be easily manipulated as dictated by the fiction. Getting in, reading, learning, and playing was a quick process for me and my group of 4 players. It should be noted that of these four, only one has played a game PbtA before, but the rest were quick to pick things up, proving once again that these fundamental systems are really hard to beat.

I like the inclusion of a Noon version, which causes less eye strain than the Midnight version, as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
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The Sprawl // NOON
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2017 13:40:32

Not my first PBTA game, but an interesting a fun take on the Apoc World formula.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // NOON
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The Downtown Dataheist
by Diogo F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2017 21:17:48

Really great and hellpfull in how run an adventure in sprawl



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Downtown Dataheist
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The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
by Fraser S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2017 20:25:27

In terms of genre emulation, which is what PbtA is great at imo, this game nails it. The mission based structure should appeal to everyone famililar with Dungeon World and the game text does everything you need it to in terms of setting up tone and creating the ever present megacorps present. I'm a huge fan of cyberpunk and had great fun playing this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
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The Sprawl // NOON
by Charles V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2016 12:35:48

This game is fantastic. Your characters will be immersed in a sprawl which provides missions, gives them enough room to try to prepare, and then relentlessly goes after them with consequences and countdown clocks.

It's Powered By The Apocalypse, but with a strong push towards running missions in a cyberpunk dystopia. So you get a unique framing device, and rules to make things work. The players are pretty much either doing Legwork to prepare for a mission, or are in the Action portion where the mission plays out. Countdown clocks for the Legwork phase impact the mission, as they represent noise the PCs make as they gear up, talk to player-generated contacts, and try to work through vague or contradictory job information. The Action clock shows the players how close their are to hosing the mission. Threats get their own clocks, as do the corporations which crouch above all this, giving the PCs jobs, hunting them, owning them. It's very easy to build in new threats from prior missions and have them haunt the PCs.

It's also a system which doesn't require a ton of preparation, even though things are a bit more structured than Apocalypse World. The playbooks are wonderful nods to various important characters in the genre (via both moves and even thanks to the list of names each one comes with). The cyberwear is useful and a great addition to the *World Engine. The game uses harm clocks and a harm move reminiscient of AW more than Dungeon World, which I think is appropriate - hit point inflation doesn't really fit the genre very well, I'd argue. And some cyberwear definitely can help take the sting out of getting hurt.

I wrote a review a while ago here and stand by that thoroughly. Basically if you want an awesome cyberpunk game, you have found one that I've gotten a lot of mileage out of. I tend not to run a mission in a single session, as the Legwork my players do becomes an adventure unto itself, but I've gotten through almost 5 missions across about 13 sessions so far. The world has been built up over time as things become interesting to people, and we're getting to the point where there are a number of hunting corporations and threats jostling for position against the players. I'm excited to find out what happens.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // NOON
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The Sprawl // NOON
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2016 03:28:10

Worth every dollar. A high quality, well developed, fun to play rpg. Good job. Would definitely buy supplements.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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