Quick Find
 Categories
     Sister sites
     Information
    See our Quickstart Guide for information on how to get started.

    Having Problems?
    • FAQ - our Frequently Asked Questions page.
    • Device Help - assistance for viewing your purchases on a tablet device.
    • Contact us if none of these answer your questions.

    Affiliate System - Click here for information about how you can get money by referring people to !

    Our Latest Newsletter
    Product Reviews
    Privacy Policy
    How to Sell on
    Convention Support Program


    RSS Feed New Product RSS Feed
    Back
    Other comments left by this customer:
    You must be logged in to rate this
    Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
    Publisher: GRAmel
    by Winston C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/28/2016 16:05:08

    Adventurers! strips RPG design down to bare essentials to handle all the necessary mechanics - three stats, a skill list, and descriptive phrases. The system uses just 2d6, modified by a few pips to either side and a simple system of advantage vs disadvantage. The result is a system that focuses on the descriptions of the characters and action rather than tactical complexity. It's similar to other rules-lite systems that emphasize character choices rather than the ability to min-max point scores.

    The only real downside is that most opponents can be reduced to a few hit points, a stat bump, and an ability that gives them an advantage. It's up to the GM to differentiate elements through description. Other systems focus on a single element and treat them in more detail, like the tactical game in Savage Worlds or the narrative game in Fate. Adventurers! does only what's needed, but it does it very well indeed. The various settings add specific elements of that setting to the basic rules, and really make the game shine.

    Even though the ad copy claims the main game and each setting are only two pages, you always get at least four pages of material - sometimes more. Because all of the settings use the same extremely lite set of rules, switching between them for different cmapaigns or pulling character concepts from multiple genres is easy and convenient. My only complaint is that the downloads come in a ZIP file full of multiple PDF files, which means I can't download them directly to my tablet as a single, readable file. I can cope with that.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Adventurers! Revised 2Pages Edition
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Psychedemia • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
    Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
    by Winston C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 11/18/2015 14:14:43

    Psychedemia is a marvelous gem of a setting with just a few flaws in the stone that need to be cut away. I really liked running this game, but I had to rewrite the storyline, fix inconsistency within the book, and beef up the psychic powers before anything worked right. Character creation is fine, walking you through the ordinary Phase Trio, but with a twist appropriate to the setting. Instead of being the cream of the crop, the party is set up as the rejects. These are the candidates that everyone else expects to wash out. Everything in the setting is stacked against them, from the faculty to the other students, to the mechanics of the game itself. There is potential here to engage your players in an uphill climb to victory instead of just slugging their way through the campaign. That part of the game really appeals to me.

    Mechanics. The psychic powers in the game are really underpowered, especially compared to other games based around psychics. There are only three abilities: ESP, Psychokinesis, and Telepathy. You are given automatic rankings in the three psychic powers, but there are few reasons to invest in ESP and virtually no reason to invest in Telepathy. The problem is that these powers are essentially passive, serving as perception checks and defensive rolls; players don't get to actually use them for much of anything at all. It frustrated my players and really stripped the feeling of "being psychic" out of the game when they realized that their "psychic powers" were actually weaker and less useful than their regular skills.

    Story and Setting. I really wanted a military academy war story. Instead, I got a peacenik view of war and the military in general. The setup and situation is really incredible. I love the potential of using the astral realm as a means of conflict and see many stories rising from the problems generated by battlefield that is inaccessible to adults. Unfortunately, the story carries a heavy bias against adults in general and the military in specific, to the point where the adult military are portrayed as bloodthirsty warmongers. It's very limiting, requiring you to tell the specific story in the book the way they have it written. The alien "threat" turns out to be a case of misunderstanding, a "spoiler" that's revealed in the first paragraph of the introduction. Conflict arises because the evil humans want to war against the peaceful aliens and must use their innocent children to do it. Maybe I'm old and know too much about politics, but I don't buy it.

    A more serious flaw involves the way the astral realm is treated. The author can't seem to decide if it's a physical realm where you can actually go or the mental construct of a shared consciousness. It's written both ways inconsistently. Ultimately I just picked one paradigm and ran with it.

    The author's single-minded focus on presenting an evil military results in one-dimensional and uninteresting characters on both sides of the story. There is great potential here for complex stories involving the kinds of real problems of self-identity and responsibility that teens face. They could be writ large against a backdrop where rampant hormones blow everything out of proportion and every decision can have catastrophically fatal consequences. The book missed the mark in presentation, but I give it full credit for inspiration. I thought many things about the premise were intriguing, but the book presented no interesting mechanical toys and insisted on developing the setting in a way into which I could not buy.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Psychedemia • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
    Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
    by Winston C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/29/2015 13:39:43

    Just to be clear.... This is supposed to be a prison game. Your characters are hardened convicts surviving in a self-contained and self-sustaining environment that happens to have been ideally placed to survive a 1951 nuclear apocalypse. But great pains have been taken to remove or de-emphasize those story elements that characterize not only stories about prisons, but the way prisons function in real life. To be specific, this setting does its level best to ignore or downplay: gang violence, prison rape, segregation, and racism (p. 2). These are the prime motivators of tension in this kind of setting, instead the text encourages themes exploring claustrophobia (p. 5) along with “institutionalism, culture, and aggression” (p. 23).

    So what's left? The text encourages characters to introduce tension in the form of gender identity and orientation, while in the same text block they state a desire to avoid the issues of sexual assault and homophobia (p. 2). I'm not sure how to do that. Tension in the setting is meant to primarily originate between players, and there is a system introduced for managing a set of secrets that players are to keep from each other. There is further tension between the primary gangs of the prison, though we are reminded that proper development of this tension isn't supposed to be predominantly violent, but it is supposed to be aggressive. Again, I'm not sure how that works. There is also some tension between the guards and the inmates (your players are all inmates) that is meant to thematically reflect two political superpowers.

    Observation 1 - the system for keeping and revealing secrets depends heavily on the players introducing tension within the party. That formula isn't going to work for every gaming group; it certainly won't work in my gaming group. Even without that requirement, the system is mechanically weak and relies more on improvisational storytelling than it does on game theory. Observation 2 – though stating a desire to remove certain tropes of the genre mentioned above (p. 2), the trope of guard corruption has been retained. NPC guards are exclusively described as “routine” (read “apathetic”), “hostile”, or “lazy” (p. 16-17). The warden is described as “tired” with aspects that depict callousness and greed (p. 35).

    Verdict? This is a setting for a very specific group of gamers. I am not one of them; I have a few issues with the setting. The guards and the law enforcement structure are depicted as corrupt, brutal, and ineffective in contrast with a prison society that is trying to keep order. This inversion of both reality and storytelling convention offends me a great deal, but I'm willing to chalk that up to my personal experience as a former law enforcement professional (specifically, a prison guard). If I wanted to explore prison themes in a game at all, the mega-cities of Judge Dredd do an excellent job of developing those kinds of stories while still providing a broad scope of action.

    My main criticism is that there is no tactical game here. This setting is all about interpersonal drama, and I have no interest in exploring the themes of gender identity, aggression without violence, or prison culture; these themes are also explored in artwork that is both suggestive (p. 36) and explicit (p. 20). The mechanical material is under-developed; I can't even lift the mechanics of the setting out and use them in a different prison-themed game. Only gamers with a specific interest in the thematic material and who emphasize storytelling over game play will benefit from this book.



    Rating:
    [1 of 5 Stars!]
    Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Creator Reply:
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Winston.
    Eagle Eyes • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
    Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
    by Winston C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/22/2015 06:24:10

    The concept of Roman Noir is not one that seems immediately natural to me, but this setting makes it quite convincing.

    (+) The book provides a decent overview of Roman life insofar as that information is useful to running a game and creating characters. The adventure builder is very nice for constructing a quick framework suited to impromptu noir tales, which typically take a good deal more effort. The flavored Fate Phase Trio provides excellent direction for the campaign as a whole and what the players want to get out of the game. Layout and readability is the high quality we've come to expect from Evil Hat.

    (-) This book attempts to center stories on the unraveling of conspiracies within the setting. Unfortunately, constructing a conspiracy or using it in a game as an current or impending issue is given no treatment; the conspiracy is simply described as stress track which the characters are attempting to take out in order to end the story - and few details are provided on just how that is accomplished. This book lacks either the focus of a directional campaign or the detail of a complete setting. Campaign advice may be summed up as "emulate this list of tv shows."

    (=) There are a few example adventures built using the generator, but they are only story seeds. Not bad, but I would have liked to seen them fleshed out. The art direction is heavily shaded and lacks detail. I suppose its evocative, but it's not to my taste. Overall, I don't think this book added anything to mechanics of the Fate system as far as using them in a noir or Roman setting, but I think it was more useful for running a Roman Noir campaign than simply reading the Wikipedia entries on the subject.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Eagle Eyes • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
    Click to show product description

    Add to  Order

    Displaying 1 to 4 (of 4 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
    Back
    0 items