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Houses of the Blooded
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/17/2014 10:00:27

Well done and well written. If your looking for a game of intrigue, betrayal, and revenge this game fits the bill.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Houses of the Blooded
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Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2014 18:46:25

I was skeptical at first that you could put a game together one 2-Pages. But since I have know Umberto's work from Beasts and Barbarians I had to give him the benefit of the doubt. It is what he claims it to be a full system in a total of 4 pages, best of all it works. It's a great game for road trips or the last minute, lets do something. I look forward to the other expansions or settings he develops to work with this.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
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Beasts and Barbarians: Archetypes of the Dominions and Jalizar
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2013 16:49:56

Great supplement. It works well for new players to the game giving them a customization character a base to start from.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beasts and Barbarians: Archetypes of  the Dominions and  Jalizar
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Jalizar, City of Thieves
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/31/2012 16:03:59

Once again GRAmel has outdone themselves. Jalizar City of Thieves is a great add on to the Beasts and Barbarians line.

The book is broken down in to several sections, with the first being the Book of Lore. This covers the history of Jalizar and how it came to be. It is well written and provides a nice overview of the history of the city and how most of the powers came into play. It also covers current history and customs that help bring the city to life. It briefly covers the various different cultures that can be found in the city and why the migrated here. It also covers the technology and day to day life. Its done in the same style as the Book of Lore from the main setting book.

The next section covers making local residents of the city. Like most books, it has a handful of new Hindrances that fit the feel of the city. There is also a good number of new edges, with a few being very oriented to living in Jalizar. Though a sidebar covers rules on how to handle these edges should a character leave on a permanent base. One of my favorite new edges, is Still Got One, which really helps a character that relies on thrown weapons.

Magic is the next section and expands details for Lotus Masters, Sorcerers, and Englighten. It provides a good detail on how they interact with the city and also a few new trappings for different powers. There is a twist to the sorcery path, called Sewer Sorcery along with a new backlash table.

A section on gear covers some new weapons, armor, and mundane gear. Nothing special but good to see some more localized items.

The Setting Rules is well written and adds a bit of stuff. I particularly like the direction taken on some of the more harsh Hindrances like Blind, Lame, One Arm, etc. It helps provide a bit more incentive on taking these edges. Most of the new rules in this section seem to deal more with thieving tasks, such as shadowing, traps, picking pockets, etc. The author did a good job of integrating the new rules with existing subsystems of Savage Worlds, such as dramatic tasks, etc. So the rules flow smoothly without having to worry about a new mechanic.

The Game Master section then takes up about half of the book. Part is dedicated to the various factions of the city, and suggestions on how to use them to make the city come alive. There is a detailed section the sewers and how to use them to give an urban based campaign a chance to do a bit of dungeon crawling and exploration. There are several tables to help quickly generate NPC encounters, different traps, and help for those that might be stuck.

The final part of the book is an expanded bestiary covering the denizens of the city and the sewers beneath.

Overall the book is well written. Though most of the material is written for Jalizar, most of the rules can easily be ported to other cities. Or various other uses (such as random traps).

Whether it was the intent or not, while reading through the book, Jalizar reminds me a lot of Lankhmar, and if one was to run a Lankhmar game this book would provide a good basis of rules to do it with.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jalizar, City of Thieves
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High Space Core Rules Beta
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/27/2012 10:12:57

Had high hopes, but this fell short of the mark. Added new rules that detract from the FFF! of Savage Worlds. eight to ten pages are rehash of the core Savage World rules. Layout is inconsistent, with rules being introduced in a section, but not detailed until later on, which leads to some confusion. The author attempted to add artificial constraints to somethings, like forcing skill specialization in some skills (piloting), but not others (fighting, shooting). Edges have additional cost requirements, which don't make sense, such as Hacker which gives you a -1 charisma penalty if you take it. The Equilibrium attribute is unnecessary and could have been easily dropped and handled by Spirit rolls if necessary--plus its harsh if you fail the roll (shaken and -2 to all rolls for the encounter).

After getting through the Analects, just didn't have motivation to tackle the Fleet Manual. Fingers crossed it's better.

As for the layout, its full color which is nice, but there is no option for a printer friendly version. The artwork is nice but there is too much.

Only cost me the price of a cup of coffee, so could have been worse. Also, this is the "Beta" version, so here is hoping that the final version is cleaned up and better.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
High Space Core Rules Beta
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Tattered Banners - Bandit Lords and Mercenary Captains
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/20/2012 10:18:00

Tattered Banners allows you to take your game in a different direction. Instead of being just adventures, the party can be part of a mercenary or bandit band or run one. The rules in this supplement are well written and designed to make sure everyone in a group is involved. Sure there can only be one commander of a band of men, but the various support personalities make it possible for everyone to be a mover and shaker in their band—from a barbarian champion to a priest.

Bands are treated as psuedo characters sans attributes and specfic skill (however, this could be easily added, representing the average across the members if necessary) with the suggestion that all the players have some input into the groups activities. Bands grow with experience, albeit a bit slower than characters. The book incudes several new edges and hindrances that each band may have making it more unique. Also, like characaters there is a table for after the Adventure events.

Maintaiance and upkeep for the band is handled with a simple Support Token mechanic, that works surprisingly well. This covers details from being hired to looting. It is an easy and flexible way to keep the band motivated to find new work and/or places to pillage. Rules for recruiting new members to replace those lost in combat are included as well.

One of the highlights for me was the inclusion of the Conquest Points Campaign Chapter. This chapter gives a nice frame work on how to create a military themed campaign. It gives advice on how to structure the game, create a scope for the campaign, and imerse your group into it.

Finishing up the book is a detailed description of a few Bandit/Mercenary groups found in the Dominions. It gives a bit of history, the commander and his supporting personalities, along with the company's composition.

The book is cleanly laid out and booked marked like most of the other products for GRAmel. The artwork is invocative of the setting and well done.

Overall this is an excellent product. Its also flexible enough to be used in almost any fantasy setting—I wish I had this when I was running Hellfrost and the group had a small army travelling with them. Though the rules are desgined for bandits and mercenaries, they could easily be expanded to armies of varioius sizes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tattered Banners - Bandit Lords and Mercenary Captains
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Shadows over Ekul
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2012 18:34:55

Another great piece of work from GRAmel.

From my read through this appears to be a longer adventure that is sure to provide a few sessions of fun and excitement. It is well written and laid out. It ofers a lot of opportunities for role-playing as well as combat.

Like most of their work there few maps, but battle locations are well described. In addition they provide suggestions as to various terrain features to make sure that combat is not boring.

Like with all the adventures so far, it contains a Book of Lore on Ekul wich provides more rich detail to this part of the world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows over Ekul
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Beasts of the Dominions
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2012 18:24:53

Beast of the Dominion is a book everyone should have if they are running a Beast and Barbarians campaign. It is filled with ten new antagonists you can be worked into any campaign to challenge the players. The antagonists could be a single creature, threat, or organization offering a broad selection of challenges.

The book is well written and designed. The book is broken down by adversary listing the notable details up front, like habitat, description (including a brief history), and stat block. Each one this then followed by a fairly detailed Heroic Tale (short adventure) that easily can fill a session or two. The scenarios are well though out and use a lot of different aspects of Savage Words, such as chases, dramatic tasks, battles—with a good dash of combat for good measure. In addition a full set of stats for the NPCs in the scenario are included at the end of the tale, proving a quick reference point for the GM. The book is sprinkled with various sidebars offering suggestions on how to expand the tale, or historical bits of the region/items the PCs may encounter in an area.

One thing I like is that they didn't waste space with unnecessary stat blocks for NPCs, just the necessary changes were listed. For example in one tale there is an encounter with Amazons. The GM is directed the solider stat block and then told which small changes were made to make the character unique. This means the page count is filled with useful details rather than a lot of duplicated information.

The bonus supplement at the end with the Disciples of the Black Temple is a nice addition that offers more options to players and GMs. A whole campaign could be centered around this group and their plans quiet easily.

Like most of the B&B books, this one can easily be used for any fantasy game with little effort on the GM, making it a good resource.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beasts of the Dominions
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Skinner of Syranthia
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2012 16:29:27

This is a great short Sword and Sorcery type adventure, that can easily be run in a session. The adventure, though somewhat linear allows the players freedom to try and solve the mystery at hand and of course save the damsel.

There is a bit of problem solving, and a good chase scene that gives the players more to do than just hack and slash their way to the end. The antagonist is thought out and has decent motivations for what he is doing.

The only drawback, is there are a few places where there is an assumption that the players will do the right thing to move the adventure forward. Some might find this a bit railroady, but a good GM should be able to give the PCs a bit of freedom and keep them still on track.

Like all the B&B stuff I have read, this can easily be ported over to other game systems or fantasy setitngs with little effort, making it quiet versatile.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skinner of Syranthia
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Green World
Publisher: GRAmel
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2012 16:59:08

At first I was a little concerned about picking up this adventure, since it looked a bit cheesy. However, after reading several other adventures for Beast and Barbarians, I decided to give it a go.

After reading through it I was impressed. The story line and adventure as a whole is well written. Also, it plays out like a good story. I also, like the start, gives you a good way to mess with your party. Waking up and not knowing where they are and why. The story line does a good job providing clues to help the PCs figure things out.

The Book of Lore on Demons is a great addition and provides some details on how to intergrate these beasts into your game.

The adventure at parts seem a bit constrained on the direction the group should go. Granted, it makes sense for the most part given the location of the adventure and what's happening behind the scenes. Just as a GM you need to be prepared if your group likes to go off the track a bit.

Over all given the amount of content and the quality, I found it worth the price and a good addition to my collection of Beasts and Barbarians material. Its also usable for any fantasy setting with minor tweaks.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Green World
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Realms of Cthulhu
Publisher: Reality Blurs
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2011 11:07:27

Grabbed this as part of a bundle with Agents of Oblivion, also by Reality Blurs. The book is well laid out. The art and style capture the feel of the setting and the game. The rule set is great. There are several options on the style of play you want, from pulpy to the mind-numbing descent into madness at a quick pace.

Doubt it will get used much at my table straight up, just given my groups preference of genres, but it will be a valuable resource when needing to just add a bit of flavor to other games we are running, and who know what is really lurking in the shadows watching.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Realms of Cthulhu
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Agents of Oblivion
Publisher: Reality Blurs
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2011 11:02:44

What can I say, wow! Being a fan of the spy genre and Savage Worlds, this book was awesome. It does a great job capturing the feel and intricacies of playing a modern espionage game without bogging you down. One great feature of the book, is that it takes the time to give you examples of how to run any type of espionage game you want; be it with a touch of horror, conspiracies everywhere, alien invaders, supernatural, or a straight up modern game.

The new rule content is well thought out and streamlined, and doesn't lend itself to bloating the game or mechanics. The ability to gear up before a mission and get some temporary bonuses through SUDs (Single Use Devices) is nice. Means even your desk jockey might surprise the rest of the team once he gets out in the field. The resource management for gear and perks is done cleanly, and given that the core SW book has price lists for everything you still can have your character track money, so the best of both worlds.

The only down side is that the book is fairly plain. It's scattered with great black and white art that captures the old 'espionage' feel, but I feel that some of the pages just need to be perked up a bit, this may change when it goes to print. Regardless, as a PDF it will save on printing which is a bonus and the content outweighs any this perceived shortcoming.

The rules are flexible enough as well that it can be combined with a few other settings out there, such as Wellstone City or Realms of Cthulhu.

In closing well worth the price and will be come a staple for any modern game I run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Agents of Oblivion
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Ultramodern Firearms d20
Publisher: Chameleon Eclectic
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2011 12:15:13

Guns and more guns. This is a well written supplement of weapons. Though a few years old now, it still has all the relevant information you need for weapons in a modern setting. The details and breath of the product is great. Written for d20 Modern, its a valuable resource for any modern game. Currently using it in my Modern Savage Worlds game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern Firearms d20
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Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2011 12:12:00

Swashbuckling fun!

Well written and laid out this is a great setting for Savage Worlds. This book provides all the details that you need to run a pirate game in the Caribbean, though can be easily used to expand throughout the world. The book contains all the rules, so no other book is required.

The book doesn't contain any information on introducing magic into the game should you decide, but since its Savage Worlds, its not hard to seal the magic rules from any of the other Savage Worlds settings. One of the things I like the most was fighting schools, which allows for defining your swashbuckling character even more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
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Wellstone City
Publisher: Silver Gryphon Games
by Thomas S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2011 12:07:22

Dark and Gritty. If you like noir, this is a perfect setting for Savage Worlds. Well written and detailed, this product gives details on the fictional city of Wellstone. Detailed just enough, but still open enough to allow for future expansion and GM personalization.

Even if you don't play in Wellstone, this booklet gives great new details on specialized ammo and a few new edges that work well in a modern setting. Also, a decently populated list of NPCs help round this product out.

All in all either great if you play in Wellstone, a modern, or future cyperpunk game, this product is worth the price.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wellstone City
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