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    Dead by Dawn (Starting)
    Publisher: Schwalb Entertainment
    by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 10/13/2017 12:57:21

    Last night, we took a break from my Tamoachan DnD 5E game so that I could run a Halloween game. I chose to run Schwalb Entertainment's Dead By Dawn adventure written by Rob Wieland for Shadow of the Demon Lord.

    The adventure comes in at 6 pages and I spent about 20 minutes reading it the night before, making some notes for about 15 minutes the next day, and then a final pass about 5 mintues before we started playing later the same night.

    The set up is that the Players (all starting characters or 0 level in DnD) are staying at the Goathorne Inn (The two owners pronounce it differenty, by the way) close to a road winding through a foreboding forest.

    My opening scene was set a bit before dinner and gave the Players, an orc, a human ex-marine, a human student of religion and magic, and an inquisitive human healer, time to meet each other and introduce them to Gelda and Ananda, dwarven adventurers who have settled down to run the Inn and their empolyee, Bester, a fair-haired kid.

    Soon, dinner was ready and Ananada asked David, the magician, to go fetch Horvath, a local staying with them, from upstairs. Horvath's door was locked and David called for help, Ananda sent the keys to the room up with Matt, the healer. After they got the door open open, they found Horvath, naked upon his bed and dead for at least 24 hours. Amongst his belongings was a fur pouch with mystical symbols, identifying it as a blood ritual to David. At that moment, Horvath rose and began uttering a curse, but Matt used his dagger to stab the corpse in the head. The pair called up the rest of the group and as they spoke about him rising as a zombie they began to hear moaning and beating upon doors and the shattering of first floor windows.

    The group sprang into action and began beating back zombies in the kitchen and then fortified the rest of the house.

    David learned that the ritual was a protection from an evil tree that grew in the forest and that Horvath was to complete it. He explained that if they could survive until dawn, the tree's power would collapse under the daylight and they would be safe until the next nightfall.

    Dead Until Dawn presents a system for a five part siege, with each part lasting 2 hours. During each part a player can attempt to fortify, rest from fatigue, heal, work the ritual, or run for supplies. If the ritual is worked, it requires blood and the more blood offered the fewer zombies might appear for that part, however it is best to use the caster's own blood, as another's blood adds Banes (my Player's did this for 2 parts before they caught on). Fortifying can also help reduce the number of zombies that appear for that part.

    After actions are declared, there a d20 table for Unusual Events which affects, often negatively, that part. Finally, there is a Threat rating for the zombies for that part, if the ritual succeeds, the number of blood spent allows the players to remove specific undead (comprised of Animated Corpses and Zombies from the SotDL rule book). The number of successful fortification roles for that part also can lower the Threat rating (which defaults to 2). Additionally, if Gelda, Ananda, or Bester help to a Player, they add Boons to the roll.

    It's a well done way to organize the chaos of a zombie siege and my Players and I loved it.

    My group managed to make it until dawn, as David, their magician ran very low on blood, but the Orc, Benth, spent most of the night learning the ritual so he could finish it for the last 2 hour part. Sadly, Bester died (due to a roll on the Unusual Events table that would have required someone to go outside after him).

    When dawn broke, the Orc (who had suffered an insanity) and Ananda (who was already a bit unstable) left the area together. Gelda, however agreed to accompany the other into the forest to take care of the evil tree.

    My one-shot has turned into a (at least) a two-parter.

    I can't recommend Dead Until Dawn enough!

    Great game for a great Halloween Adventure.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Dead by Dawn (Starting)
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    BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
    Publisher: Dreamscape Design
    by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 10/09/2017 17:27:54

    I've taken a keen interest in the OSR again and I've been exploring what separate Holmes' Basic from B/X and BECMI. Thanfully, Michael Thomas of Dreamscape Design allowed me access to a PDF copy of his Blueholme Journeymanne Rules for review purposes.

    For those not in the know, Blueholme Prentice and Journeymanne Rules are based on Dr. Holmes version of the first Basic DnD published by TSR, which only went to 3rd level (as so do the Prentice Rules).

    The Journeymanne Rules go all the way to 20th level.

    Some key aspects of Dr. Holmes and the Journeymanne Rules are that weapons only do a d6 of damage, not all Ability scores modify things in the game, Races and Classes are separate, there are far more spells than in B/X by Moldvay and Cook, and nearly any Race or Creature in the game can be used by a player.

    First let's talk about the look of the book, which is 121 pages. The blue cover is well illustrated and find the imagery inviting. It channels the feel of it's inspiration very well. The interior art is all black and white and I find it's quality to be exceptional and for the pieces to hit the right tone.

    What drew me to read the Blueholme Journeymanne Rules was that it delivered a complete ruleset across 20 full levels. And it fully delivers on it's mission.

    If you are familiar with DnD or most retroclones you know what to expect for Ability scores. However, in Blueholme Strength and Wisdom Ability scores provide no bonus.

    Races are not specifically laid out, because with some advice in Chapter 6 any monster can be used as a Race for your game and it's up to the Dungeon Master to determine what Classes are open. Additionally, the Monster descriptions provide a good overview for the DM to use.

    The Classes are the Big 4 we all know and love. The biggest change I've noticed is that Fighters get a damage bonus starting at level 4, which I approve of as a fitting class feature.

    Combat is as you expect with Descending AC and AC that defaults to 9 unarmored, but a section of siege weapons is included.

    The Creatures section is very extensive and takes up nearly 30 pages.

    The Spell section is much longer than what I've seen in DnD B/X or Labyrinth Lord and also covers nearly 30 pages. I'm very impressed with the amount of Spells presented and they go up to 7th level for Clerics and 9th level for Magic-Users.

    One of the bright spots for me, as a tool for newer DMs, is Part 8's focus on running Campaigns and breaking things down by Setting, Goals, Villain, Sub-Plots, Factions, and Rumors. And further defining the setting by the Underworld, Wilderness, and the Realm.

    What impresses me about Blueholme is that is very much draws inspiration for the very roots of our hobby, but it's treatment highlights how playable those roots still are, while fleshing them out and extending the game itself.

    I really can't recommend Blueholme Journeymanne Rules enough. The Prentice Rules are free if you are intrigued and if you like what you read then please pick up the full rules.

    Michael's work has shown me why 30+ years later Dr. Holmes version of DnD is not merely relevant but very, very playable and of a style we often don't associate with other editions.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
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    Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
    Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 09/17/2016 16:08:32

    I recently received a review copy of the Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide PDF from Cubicle 7 that is compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. I'm a big fan of Middle-earth and ran a long campaign years ago with Decipher's Lord of the Rings RPG and a few one-shots of Cubicle 7's The One Ring RPG. So the setting is near and dear to my heart.

    First, the book is gorgeous and the art and layout evoke the correct feel of J.R.R. Tolkien's opus. One thing I want to call out is the Contents section in the beginning of the book which gives a concise overview of what each section contains, which I think is brilliant aid for player's coming into our hobby for the first time.

    Chapter One gives you information about the significance of 2946 in the Third Age and overview of the Free Folk of the North, the Free Folk of Eriador, the Free Folk of the South and the activities of the Shadow.

    Chapter Two explains how the rules of Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide (AiMe, hereafter) differs from standard DnD 5th Edition game. It contains rules for creating characters, the Cultures of Middle-earth, the classes this book introduces, Middle-earth Backgrounds, Virtues (Feats), the Game Rules, Journeys (more later), Corruption, Audiences (meeting with the movers and shakers of the Third Age), and the Fellowship Phase (more later).

    Chapter Three are the Cultures of Middle-earth, which take the place of 5th Edition's Races. The cultures detailed are Bardings, Beornings, the Dunedin, Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain (further defined by Erebor and the Iron Hills), Elves of Mirkwood (mechanically their advantages are appropriate covered without making them unbalanced), Hobbits of the Shire (further defined by Harfoot and Stoor), Men of Bree, Men of the Lake, Men of Minas Tirith, the Riders of Rohan, and the Woodmen of the Wilderland. I feel that the choice of using Cultures, as opposed to Races, perfectly reflects the spirit of Middle-earth and allows the various humans of the setting to get a proper treatment.

    Chapter Four introduces the Classes unique to AiMe. You should play a Scholar if you want to uncover ancient secrets and use their power, master the art of healing, be admitted into the councils of the Wise, or know much that is hidden. The two specialties of Scholars are Master Healer and Master Scholar. Neither specialty is a spellcaster in traditional DnD terms, but both channel the awe of characters presented in the fiction. Both rely upon ancient and deep lore about the world around. You should play a Slayer if you want to toss wolves and goblins from your path, take revenge upon the Enemy, fight alone, or in the front line of a company of warriors. It's specialties are the Rider and the Foe-Hammer. Slayer's hew closest to the Barbarian, but the Rider's reliance of mounted combat and the Foe-Hammer becoming a living weapon are interesting facets. I think both could be easily adapted as sub-classes for the Barbarian if a DM desired. You should play a Treasure Hunter if you want to sneak into caverns and other dark and dangerous places, spy on the movements and plans of the Enemy, or steal your foe's treasure. One interesting element to the class is that you gain night vision out to 60 feet at 1st level. The specialties are the Agent and the Burglar. The Agent is an ingenious and thoughtful sort, who outsmarts his or her opponents. You should play a Wanderer if you want to explore Middle-earth, to hunt down and destroy the servants of the Shadow, guide a company of adventurers through the wilderness. It's specialties are the Hunter of Beasts and the Hunter of Shadows. I'm going to add that I find the Wanderer encapsulates my expectations of earlier DnD Rangers and would have no qualm using them as an alternative or a replacement in a traditional 5th Edition game. You should play a Warden if you want to defend the Free Peoples against the Shadow, inspire your allies to yet greater deeds or bring hope when all seems lost. It's Expressions are Counselor (whose words hold power), Herald (whose abilities border into the realm of the Bard), and the Bounder (who focus on protecting others). I would seriously consider adding this class to fill a similar role to DnD 4th Edition's Warlord to a stander 5th Edition game. You should play a Warrior if you want to defend the Free Folk with force of arms, wear heavy armour and fight with discipline, command followers or master weapons to their fullest extent. It's Archetypes are Knight and Weaponmaster and both could be used for the 5th Edition Fighter. One final note about Classes, each presents a Shadow weakness.

    Chapter Five covers Virtues which are AiMe's term for Feats. Virtues are specific to a Culture, they are well designed and constructed and could easily add new options for a standard 5th Edition game.

    Chapter Six details the Backgrounds of AiME, and each includes a character's Hope and Despair to really dig deep into the lore of the setting. The Backgrounds are Loyal Servant, Doomed to Die, Driven from Home, Emissary of your People, Fallen Scion, The Harrowed, Hunted by the Shadow, Lure of the Road, The Magician (a performer), Oathsworn, Reluctant Adventurer, Seeker of the Lost, and World Weary.

    Chapter Seven covers Equipment, detailing such things as Dalish Fireworks, Dwarven Toys, and Cultural Heirlooms. Cultural Heirlooms cannot be purchased, only rewarded, and they take the place of 5th Edition's magic items. Heirlooms for each Culture are provided.

    Chapter Eight introduces the rules for Journeys, as travel is greatly emphasized in Middle-earth. Phase One is Embarkation and each Player is given a task as a Guide, Scout, Hunter, or Look-out. Simultaneously the Loremaster determines Peril Rating of the Journey and 10 random types of encounters are detailed. Phase Two is the Journey Events and Task Rolls. The length of the Journey determines the number of challenges the Players will face and the Loremaster is given methods to generate a DC for the Peril Rating. Additionally, 12 events are detailed. Phase Three is the Arrival Phase and rules for modifying the Arrival rule are laid out. 8 arrival results are detailed and an optional rule for Tracking Time are presented. Finally, a (sweet) hexmap of the Wilderlands is included.

    Chapter Nine details the Shadow and the Corruption mechanic is fully presented. Each Classes' Shadow Weakness is detailed, as well. Consequences of Corruption, such as madness and degeneration are detailed.

    Chapter Ten covers Audiences, a rules sub-system for meeting with and seeking aid from the movers and shakers of Middle-earth, those that we have all read about or watched on film. Audiences account for Cultural Attitudes, which set the DC's for the meetings and the reactions of those you are meeting with are based upon the outcome of your skill check.

    Chapter Eleven covers the Fellowship Phase, which adds another rules sub-system for allowing character to recover between seasons and helps flesh out what they were up to when they have gone their separate ways, sometimes for years at a time. It includes options for Rest and Recovery, Undertakings (accomplishments important to individual heroes), Training, Gaining a New Trait (a fundamental change to the character), Heal Corruption, Meet a Patron, Open a Sanctuary, Receive a Title, and Research Lore. While the Fellowship Phase is integral to the stories of Middle-earth, I will add that I would have gladly used these rules while running a 5th Edition game that I concluded this past summer and will look at using them in future games set outside of Middle-earth.

    The book concludes with Pre-Generated characters to get you up and playing in minutes.

    Cubicle 7 has always impressed me with their games and Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide is no exception. They have taken the fabulous work they have done with the One Ring and adapted it to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, with a supplement that both perfectly encapsulates what I want out of Middle-earth while expanding my options for standard 5th Edition. I couldn't ask for any more.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide
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    Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
    Publisher: GRAmel
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/31/2016 14:12:44

    The Adventurers! from GRAmel is pretty exciting concept, an RPG in 2 pages. The layout is pretty neat and you do get a Player's Guide (2 pages) and a GM's Guide (2 pages).

    The Introduction to the Player's Guide welcomes you to the game.

    Action Resolution presents the rules: Roll 2d6 and add one of the three Stats to equal or exceed a 7 (before modifiers). Opposed rolls are 2d6+Stat vs 2d6+Stat, high roll wins. Double 1's are critical failure. Double 6's are critical successes.

    Next we are introduced to the three Stats: Strength, Agility, and Mind. As well as the four derives stats: Attack, Defense, Heroism (let's you add +1 to a roll or reroll the dice), and Endurance (hit points).

    The Character Creation section is three sentences! Quick and painless.

    There are 10 unique Skills that you can have Basic or Advance training in. Each Skill explains what each level of training does for you.

    Combat covers Initiative, Actions, Attacking, how Attacking crits work, how Defending crits work, and what happens when both occur (nothing).

    How Recovery occurs is covered in this section.

    Character Advancement explains what you can do with 2 to 4 XP.

    The Gear section gives you a pretty good list of useful supplies.

    Powers is next, they require a Mind roll to use and there ways to modify them. There are 9 to choose from and they cover a great deal of special effects.

    The final section is Optional Rules, which cover Point Buy Stats, using points to increase the amount of Coins you have, the major Fantasy races, and critical failures in combat.

    The Introduction to the GM's Guide welcomes you to the rules.

    Resolving actions covers what Stat to roll, Teamwork, Long Tasks, and Narrative Combat.

    Heroism and Experience! explains how to hand out Heroism and how much XP to give out at the end of a game.

    Hazards covers spot rules for various dangers and effects an Adventurer will face.

    Personalizing the Game! covers examples of Powers, Minons (and how they work), example Relics, specific Items, and Potions.

    Next is the Bestiary with plenty of examples of traditional fantasy antagonists, a total of 15..

    Special Abilities explain how the creatures powers presented in the Bestiary work.

    And it's followed on a section explaining how to Customize antagonists.

    And that's not all you get. A character sheet and cover are provided and you can print out cards to write up your antagonists on.

    All for $1.36!

    Buy this NOW!!!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
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    Exalted 3rd Edition
    Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/09/2016 17:36:32

    Exalted is a game I've followed and had a keen interest in since it's 1st Edition from White Wolf. It's art direction combined with really showing off what the Storyteller System could do always intrigued me. However, in 1st Edition, I was looking for lighter games and while I enjoyed 2nd Edition, after processing it I knew I would need the books in print AND PDF and that was a deal breaker, at the time.

    I'm please to say that Exalted 3rd Edition from Onyx Path takes everything that I loved about Exalted in the past and cranks it all up a notch. While the art direction has evolved, I find the book beautifully laid out, with some amazing illustrations. And while they have diverge from their earlier aesthetic, I applaud the direction they have chosen and I find it to be a breath of fresh air.

    Creation is still here and the Solars still fill their niche there.

    Much of the system is as I remember it, and I think the PDF is a godsend for helping me keep track of things as I relearned it.

    Exalted 3E boasts "cinematic combat" and I've heard this before and was a bit dubious, at first. But the design team nailed it in such a simple, yet creative way.

    When in combat, there are withering and decisive attacks.

    Withering attacks are the strike/parry/thrust/parry/riposte that we see so often in melee battles on film. They are the ebb and flow of the fight and when a blow lands it affects that attacker and defender's Initiative, in essence it's like going momentum by pushing your foe up a staircase or causing them to fall.

    Decisive attacks are the blows that maim or kill your opponent, the deathstrike. You actually use your initiative as dice to make a decisive attack, which does cause your foe wounds and if it doesn't finish the fight, your initiative is reset and the battle continues.

    I won't lie, the first time I read through it, I was a bit taken aback. I sat there perplexed because I was thinking in terms of traditional initiative in other RPGs. But then I thought of Luke and Vader battling on Cloud City and it all clicked. It really made me want to run this game.

    If you love Exalted there is no reason not to buy this game. If you are interested in Exalted and like Big Damn Heroes and over-the-top cinematic action, there is no reason not to buy this game.

    In fact you should just buy this game. It lives up to it's roots with a familiar and fun d10 dice pool system, but it has been given a face lift by a company and design team that truly loves it.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Exalted 3rd Edition
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    OneDice Supers
    Publisher: Cakebread & Walton
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/06/2016 23:10:21

    Everything needed to play is in this product.

    The system is very straight forward: Roll a single D6 and add the appropriate Ability (Strong, Clever, Quick, Power) and an appropriate Skill (from a good size, but not overlong list) and any Gifts (a robust selection of powers) against a Difficulty set by the Gamekeeper or an opposed roll. That's the system in a nutshell.

    There also Flaws, Embellishments (think perks) and Covers (a template which is, essentially, a profession you spend half of your skill points on).

    I found character creation took less than twenty minutes for a superhero game. And play was smooth and quick.

    One very intriguing facet is what OneDice calls Skins, in this case three, which fill in the details of a setting and have rules that alter the rules to one degree or another.

    I really can't recommend OneDice Supers enough.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    OneDice Supers
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    Mutants & Marvels 2.0
    Publisher: Tom Doolan
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/19/2016 10:53:44

    Mutants and Marvels 2.0 was designed and published by Tom Doolan of Wishful Gaming. The elevator pitch for MnM would to imagine if the FAERIP system that powers the classic Marvel Super Heroes system from TSR was crossbred with much of the D20 System, including Green Ronin's Mutants and Masterminds. However, I feel that Doolan's MnM really hues closer to the spirit of FASERIP and is much cleaner game than Mutants and Masterminds.

    Character creation is point based, with different levels corresponding the the power level of the heroes you want to play.

    Attributes are those from FASERIP: Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. Your attributes default to Typical or +0 and have Ranks ala FASERIP that correspond to modifiers ranging from -4 to +25. A handy chart shows you what each Rank means for every Attribute.

    The Powers section goes into the different types, Power Packages, Power Stunts, and Power Sources and Character Origins.

    Your Power Source and Character Origin determine where you got your powers and give you a bonus of some kind.

    The Power List might appear short at first glance, but the powers have been created to allow you to sort out their special effects and to customize them. I felt all powers were covered in some way and I think it was the right amount of crunch for me (I "grew up" on Champions and use to love elaborate tools to build characters, MnM lets me get started and is easy to teach).

    Skills are broad and improve your Rank in an Attribute.

    Then your Identity, Resources, Reputation, Popularity/Infamy, Contacts, and Karma are covered. They are directly inspired by FASERIP, which I appreciate.

    The mechanics themselves are 2d20 + Rank to roll higher than a Difficulty set by the Game Master or an opposed roll.

    Combat in MnM has these steps:

    1. Check for Surprise.

    2. Roll Initiative 2d10 + Intuition.

    And then Each Round:

    1. Attacks use Agility for Ranged, Fighting for Melee, or Psyche for Psychic and your roll has to exceed your opponents' appropriate Defense, which is Agility, Fighting, and Psyche + 10.

    2. If a character is hit, they make a Damage Save by rolling 2d10 + their Rank in Endurance vs a Difficulty equal to your opponents Rank in their Power or Strength + the amount they succeeded in hitting you. If you succeed you take no damage. If you fail, you take damage to your opponents' Difficulty number. You have six levels of Damage (Bruised, Injured, Stunned, Unconscious, Disabled, and Dying) with each level having "hit points" equal to your Ranks in Strength + Endurance. Damage is removed from your "hit points" and each level imposes a penalty.

    At the beginning every turn that you are at Bruised, Injured, Stunned, or Unconscious) you make a Recovery Roll of 2d10 + Endurance Rank vs 10 + Your total Damage. A success means you gain hit points back equal to the amount you passed the roll by.

    Combat rules cover multiple foes, knockback and slamming, minions and so forth. I feel the rules are straight forward yet robust.

    Overall, I'm impressed with the rules and find it a great mix of FASERIP and more modern rules. For me its a better alternative to Mutants and Masterminds because I like the bell curve of 2d10 and I find Mutants and Masterminds lacks character.

    I recommend this product.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Mutants & Marvels 2.0
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    Fifty Shades of Thay (Race Bundle)
    Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/26/2016 22:08:17

    Josh has presented everyone with a tremdendous value for the price tag. Impressive layout and art, as well as great writing. This is a must have.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Fifty Shades of Thay (Race Bundle)
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    AZ: After Zombies
    Publisher: Apocalyptic Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/23/2016 17:23:36

    I've been following Charles Rice's blog and products for several yeas now and took notice when he formed Apocalyptic Games. I'm a big fan of his work on games like Modern20 and Osric Unearthed. When I saw he was releasing AZ: After Zombies, a survival horror RPG set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse I knew I had to give it a look.

    And I'm glad I did.

    I'm going to begin this review by stating that this game reminds me of the types I bought and grew up on in the late 80's and early 90's, especially works by GDW. There is a vibe that this game has that really hit the nostalgia nail squarely on the head for me. Charles covers not just fighting zombies but having to survive in this terrible new world. He addresses scrounging and finding resources and covers group dynamics and the inevitable drama of having survivors deal with and succumb to the melancholy of losing their world.

    The first step is to choose a Background that gives you skills and sets your Attributes. You may roll to randomly determine this. Backgrounds include Academic, blank slate, politician, or white collar.

    The Attributes are Combat Ability, Health, Insight, Intellect, Leadership, Luck, Quickness, and Strength. They are rated on a scale of 1 to 100 and are the base rating of a Skill and require you to roll equal to or under on a d100. If you do not have the appropriate Skill, you will need to roll equal to or under half your Attribute.

    Your second through fifth steps will adjust your Attributes positively and negatively based upon your choices.

    Step six is to roll a Trait, which grants an advantage, or you can simply choose one from your background. They include Dove, Sex Appeal, Team Player, or Gifted.

    Step seven is to calculate your Derived Attributes, they are Mental Toughness (sanity), Endurance (fatigue), Action Points (number of action in a turn), and Unity (how well your group of survivors get along).

    Step eight gives you the option to pick a Disadvantage, they give you slight bonus at character creation, but create complications in play. They include Allergic Reaction, Dark Past, or Enemy.

    Step nine has you pick your skills, you get a minimum of one of your choosing and one from your Background. One interesting benefit of complimentary Skills is Synergy, essentially you gain +10% to your Skill check if you have Synergy.

    Step ten has you pick your equipment and the Game Master has the option of adjusting its conditions to reflect the After Zombie world.

    AZ is a level based game and has no maximum level. On even levels your gets a Survivor Improvement (which grants either a flat bonus or a die roll to increase an Attribute, the bonus depends on how your prioritized the Attribute in character creation) and a Learning Check (a chance to learn a new skill with modifiers based on what you've done to pick it up). On odd levels you gain a Perk (special abilities that enhance existing skills and abilities).

    Combat in AZ flows as follows:

    1. Determine Surprise (if any).
    2. Roll Initiative (roll a percentile and add the Quickness Attribute).
    3. Each combatant acts from highest to lowest.
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the combat is over.

    One thing that separates AZ from many combat systems are your Action Points, which are determined by dividing your Quickness by 10. During the course of a combat round (6 seconds) each type of action you want to use has a cost from 1 to 3 Action Points. Some 1 point actions: Aiming, Bracing, Reloading, Suppressive Fire. Some 2 point actions: Make a Skill Check, Medium Melee Attack, Quickshot, Reckless Melee Attack, or Take Cover. Some 3 point actions: Block, CPR, Dodge, Headlong Flight, or Heavy Melee Attack.

    When you attack someone you determine where you hit them by the "1s" die. So if I roll a 53 on a d100 and succeed with attacking someone, I hit them in location 3 or the Upper Chest. Locations are: Head, Shoulder, Upper Chest, Middle Chest, Stomach, Groin, Arm, and Leg. If my successful attack roll exceeds my target's Health, they take an injury which is determined by the location I hit and includes Bleeding and Trauma.

    A great deal of information is presented about different types of equipment and what state they are in and maintaining them.

    There is a large section that covers various enemies from zombies to animals to other humans.

    And I enjoyed the Game Mastering section and felt it gave good advice on how to run an AZ game.

    And an adventure is also presented to get you started right away.

    I highly recommend this game and hope you think about checking it out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    AZ: After Zombies
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    human(ish)
    Publisher: Arion Games
    by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/19/2016 16:56:04

    When I found out that Graham Bottley, of Arion Games, had released a RPG where you play monsters, warlocks, and psychics powered by the FASERIP retroclone (the rules engine for TSR's Marvel Super Heroes RPG), I knew I had to check it out.

    And I wasn't disappointed.

    While the game admits to being inspired by the BBC show Being Human and White Wolf/Onyx Path's World of Darkness, I found it to be more inspired by our own folk lore and myth when presenting the creatures you play.

    Human(ish) allows you to play vampires, werewolves, fey, warlocks, ghosts, ghouls, psychics and immortals.

    If your familiar with any FASERIP game, you already know the Abilities: Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. Health and Wealth are also there, but Popularity and has essentially been replaced by Soul. Each type of supernatural has a pool similar to Karma, that may be spent for specific benefits.

    The rules of the game are untouched as well, except for the old Green/Yellow/Red results changing to Bronze/Silver/Gold (which I like).

    Characters are made by adding 2d10 together and determining your initial rank in your Abilities and Wealth. Soul is determined by the type of character you are. One thing I found to be odd was that Character Creation doesn't appear until Chapter Five.

    Each character gets a Background of their choice, which is comprised of four skills (each skill grants a +1 Column Shift).

    The final step of creating a character is choosing your Supernatural Origin, which lets you increase Ability scores, grants you powers and restrictions.

    I found each type of supernatural interesting and intriguing.

    Vampires: Drink the blood of their victims, but if they don't drain them completely they cannot feed on them again, as the blood tastes foul. When someone is drained completely they arise as a vampire 12 hours later. All vampires can control emotions, are physically tougher, can regenerate, have infravision, and can change into a bat (all supernaturals have X number of Ranks to increase their powers). And while sunlight is uncomfortable, it doesn't destroy them and they may work and function during the day. They lose Soul by feeding, but have a Blood rating that they may use to increase Ability scores, go into a rage, appear more human, and turn into mist.

    Werewolves: These lycanthropes are infected with an uncurable disease and are forced to transform into a huge wolf on the three nights of the full moon. However, they may change also change and forth at will, but they have reduced intelligence and an insatiable hunger. They have powers of danger sense, regeneration, superb senses, vicious fangs and claws, and are super fast as runners and fighters. Their only restrictions are that they must change during the full moon and the insatiable hunger that overcomes them whenever they change. Eating prey gives the werewolf a pool which may raise Abilities or allow them to go into a frenzy.

    Fey: Are those that have been abducted and return by faeries. The are frightened of and human contact and may control human emotions, craft illusions, manipulate probability, fly, and control darkness. The restrictions they face are unique and most stem from when they were taken and when they were returned. For instance, someone take in 1929 will be in awe of this strange new world and not really have any material or interpersonal resources when they arrive. Fey have a desire to connect to the world and may steal Soul from others and place them in a Kindred pool, but that action also weighs heavily upon them and costs them Soul. They may use Kindred to increase Abilities, open a doorway between two points or instill agony in any foes that surround them.

    Warlock: These are people who have made an infernal bargain, their soul for power. They may blast their enemies, be served by a demonic creature, control machinery, create force fields, and bestow curses. Their restrictions are they are weary of entering holy ground and have their powers diminished there and must answer to their infernal master. They may sacrifice their Soul stat to gain Mana, which they use to increase Ability scores and instill fear.

    Ghost: Are those who linger after their death. They are ethereal and can phase though objects, maymake themselves visible, fly, teleport, and are telekinetic. Their restriction is that they are a ghost. They lose Soul when they move closer to "moving on", which in essence means they can gain Afterlife by sacrificing Soul. Afterlife may used to increase Abilities, behave like a poltergeist and manifest physically.

    Ghoul: Are the souless dead, whose bodies remain here, where they eat the flesh of the newly dead. Since they are dead they don't need to eat, drink, or breathe and are physically very tough, they regenerate, and have superior senses. Their restrictions come from their existence as souless carrion hunters, making their ability to socialize very difficult. They lose Soul when they eat a dead body, however it provides them with a pool of Flesh points that allows the to increase Ability scores, knit their own flesh and acquire knowledge.

    Psychic: You were born with a sixth sense or may move objects with your mind. Psychics can choose four powers from the following list: astral projection, danger sense, spirit detection, ESP, telekinesis, mentally blast someone, mentally shield themselves from a psychic assault, postcognition, precogntion, or telepathy. Their restrictions are that they are only human. They lose Soul by spending it for Psychic Energy, which is a pool they use to increase Abilities, create a mental beacon or focus their power.

    Immortals: Adults who have stopped aging, are extremely tough and are immune to disease. They face no great restrictions and lose Soul by witnessing or causing a terrible act. However, those atrocities power their need for Revenge which they may use to increase Abilities, stun their enemies with a scream of ages, or get payback against a foe.

    The setting is mostly left up to each GM, but there is some advice on playing yourself.

    Overall, I think this is a fine FASERIP game that uses the strengths of the system, remembers its superpowered roots, but forces you to make hard decisions and face dark questions.

    I recommend this game.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    human(ish)
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    GM Screen Inserts--Necessary Evil
    Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
    by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 09/08/2005 00:00:00

    Very attractive images and extremely usefual charts.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The Powers Chart is a must for a GM cheat sheet!<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The blank page at the end.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    GM Screen Inserts--Necessary Evil
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    D6 Adventure
    Publisher: Nocturnal Media
    by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 09/08/2005 00:00:00

    I have alwasy been a great fan of WEG & the D6 System. This hits on all cylinders and I hope the new WEG is around for a long, long time.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Its presentation and adaptation of the MasterBook rules to the existing simplicity of the D6 System.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Alot of the material is a redux of existing products.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    D6 Adventure
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    Savage Tales #3: On the Rocks
    Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
    by Mark C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/27/2003 00:00:00

    I had essentially already purchased this adventure when I'd bought the Games Unplugged it originially appeared in. I'd like to see more the setting & if you don't have that issue buy it.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Savage Tales #3: On the Rocks
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