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Vampire Sourcebook - DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS & other OSR games
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2018 10:41:47

When I think 80's horror, I think of bloodsuckers. Many of my favorite vampire movies are from the 80's: The Lost Boys, Fright Night, Near Dark.... and let's not forget The Monster Squad (though it's not just vamps). That's why this book interests me so much.

The book starts by talking about the saturation of vampires in 80's entertainment and then gives stats classic vampires. After this section was are presented with a great collection of vamps presented in a monster of the week format. With A Stranger Comes to Town we're given a Salem's Lot inspired adventure idea. Technically Salem's Lot came out in 79 and isn't from the 80's, but it's close enough. This is followed by Ancient One. This vamp is very Dracula-like. Bump In The Night is an homage to the classic, Fright Night. The Lost Children section might be my favorite. If you couldn't guess, it's the homage to The Lost Boys. These are the weakest vamps in the book and there's a great chart about what happens when they die because "when a vampire bites it, it's never a pretty sight." Nosferatu - The Devourer of Beasts is a new pet eating beast. The Sangiest - The Blood Spirit is a rare breed of vampire that needs to bath in blood. Finally, The Thrall Keeper is just a creepy addition to any game. This vampire doesn't create vampiric brood but rather has a group of bonded mortals in it's service.

If you like vampires this book seems like it would be an invaluable addition to any Dark Places & Demogorgons collection. Even if you don't play that game, this is a great OSR vampire book. You can definitely take stuff form this to use in B/X or Labyrinth Lord.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire Sourcebook - DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS & other OSR games
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/30/2018 12:56:49

Venger has a new advice pdf with his Adventure Writing Like a Boss II. The pdf isn't so much a sequel as a logical progression to the first. You can read my review of that pdf here. The second pdf in the series focuses publishing adventures.

The book is laid out in typical Kort'thalis Publishing style. There's a vein, textured background version and a vein-free printer friendly version. The artwork is evocative, sexy, and sinewy. The writing itself is direct and entertaining. The text has many subheadings, which Venger uses to discuss various aspects of adventure writing. While many topics are discussed some I found particularly useful in regards to publishing were the ones that talked about artwork, leaving openings for gm's, and reviews. Seriously these are topics that all new publishers need to think about. Of course the adventure writing advice itself is phenomenal too. Venger's good at what he does.

If you're thinking about taking a stab at publishing and (like me) you're still relatively new, then you should definitely pick this one up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss II
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The Zombie Hack (EXTRA BLOODY MCDEVITT COVER)
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/30/2018 11:53:15

The Zombie Hack is another adaptation of The Black Hack by Bloat Games.

The pdf is 38 pages counting covers, legal text, dedications/acknowledgements, and such.

The rules are a stripped version of OD&D. There are a few new rules (such as Usage Die) and some familiar thing from modern games (Advantage/Disadvantage). Players do all of the rolling. Armor is damage reduction. This also has the Bloat Games Hack variants, such as multiple advantage and disadvantage. These are the classes: Fixer, Leader, Scavenger, Slayer, Survivalist, and Tracker.

The enemies section of the book is full of the obvious... zombies!!! We're presented with rules for infection and 7 different types of zombies which do a great job emulating zombies from a variety of movies (such as Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, and Return of the Living Dead). There's also a bonus pwyw zombie that you can grab here

The book ends with a short piece of in-universe fiction.

If you want a nice, simple set of rules to play a zombie game, The Zombie Hack is the game for you. It's simple, concise, and seems like a lot of blood fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Zombie Hack (EXTRA BLOODY MCDEVITT COVER)
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WHITE BOX ZOMBIES Dark Elf Zombies - by request
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2018 10:02:30

A neat little edition to S&W White Box. Even if you don't have White Box zombies, this gives you dark elf stats for White Box, which is nifty.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WHITE BOX ZOMBIES Dark Elf Zombies - by request
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The Vigilante Hack
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2018 10:00:23

On it's surface, The Vigilante Hack by Bloat Games seems like just another supers game. The cover is rather plain (which a thing with The Black Hack and it's alternate versions) and features a Captain America-esque woman. However, this is not a supers game. Seriously, if you turn the book over the first sentence you'll see is "THE VIGILANTE HACK IS NOT A SUPERHERO GAME."

This isn't the Spider-Man rpg. This is the Kick-Ass rpg.

The pdf is 37 pages counting covers, legal text, dedications/acknowledgements, and such. Like The Black Hack, the rules are a stripped down and stream-lined version of original D&D with a few new rules (such as Usage Die) and some familiar thing from modern games (Advantage/Disadvantage). Other than (optionally) villain damage, the players do all the dice rolling in this game. Armor doesn't make a character hard to hit, it reduces damage. While I don't really want to use the original Black Hack to game because that's now how I want to D&D, these rule modifications make for excellent non-powered vigilante play. There are a few different ways to play the game. For example, damage can be determined by class or by weapon. Also, there is a nice house rule about advantage and disadvantage.

You might be wondering about characters in this game. As mentioned they're regular folks that have no powers. They can choose from several classes though. Here are those classes (with comic book examples).

Archer - Green Arrow Dark Avenger - Batman Martial Artist - Elektra Mercenary - Deathstroke Protégé - Nightwing True Vigilante - Kick-Ass

The book then gives a page of goons, mooks, and thugs with relevant stats. Because of the simplicity of the system these are super light. After this we get some named villains. These are presented with HD, backstories, weapons of choice, and other useful info. A few have other abilities and one or two are something more (or less than human). These villains feel like Batman villains and that works just fine.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Vigilante Hack
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A CITY FULL OF SINNERS - Game Master's Guide for The Vigilante Hack
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2018 09:59:19

A City Full of Sinners is the game master's guide for The Vigilante Hack. It's roughly the same size as the core book. While you don't need it to run a game using the hack, it's a damn fine book that's really useful.

The book starts with a discussion of city building and dice drops. This is followed by a brief description of Dreamsend, the worst neighborhood in the corrupt Apollo City. The book then presents a drop table and several pages of tables. These let you decide what buildings are in the neighborhood, then give you unique aspects of the buildings, denizens, and activities. There's also a handy little worksheet to go along with it. This is followed by an instant street gang drop table and a useful random villain generator.

The book has things for the players too. There are some nice kits that make vigilante work a lot easier. There are also rules for utility belts and additional equipment. The most important thing on this list is boomerang, because now I can alter the Archer class and make a heroic Captain Boomerang (that has trick boomerangs instead of arrows). There are also some gadget rules, which makes sense because many non-powered vigilante aren't much without their toys. These equipment rules are all optional. This is followed by vehicle rules, including things you can use to pimp your ride. The Vigilante Hack is a dark game and there's discussion of drugs, as well as some super drugs (primarily named after comic book heroes). This includes simple addiction rules. Since vigilantes are street level there's a page discussing contacts, which is a wonderful addition.

Finally there's a one page adventure for 1st level characters which is followed by a 3rd level Martial Artist that can bail the party out if they get in over their heads.

If you play The Vigilante Hack, you definitely need to pick this up. Actually if you play any gritty modern games, I think this is a useful book to have.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A CITY FULL OF SINNERS - Game Master's Guide for The Vigilante Hack
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The Vigilante Hack - SANCTUARY ASYLUM
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2018 09:57:56

Sanctuary Asylum is a supplement for The Vigilante Hack.

The bulk of the book discusses the titular asylum. There's a description of the asylum which has a slight continuity error with A City Full of Sinners. The description says the asylum is near the city of Dreamsend, but according to A City Full of Sinners, Dreamsend is a neighborhood in Apollo City. This isn't a big deal and the books were written by different folks. The asylum was built in the 50's and is independent of all government support or aid. It is divided into five wards and each is unofficially ruled by a "Baron." Each of these barons gets a one page write-up (and have HD listed, like the villains of the core book). Interestingly enough, there isn't an actual floor plan for the asylum. However, there is a nice random table to help you generate it. This is followed by a quick asylum patient generator which is super useful. Drugs are often used in the treatment of mental health and this book includes some new ones. However, unlike the somewhat beneficial drugs of A City Full of Sinners, these "Psychochaotic Drugs" are meant to "induce sanity" and are full of nasty effects and have no benefits. The description of the asylum ends with two short adventures.

In addition to the asylum content, the book includes more material. There's a new class, the cat burglar, which is basically Catwoman. There are also 10 pregenerated characters with artwork (which is color in the pdf and black and white in the OBS print on demand version). While these are cool, especially the new class, they seem really out of place in a book about an asylum. It feels like they're just there for padding and because they didn't have another book to go in.

I know this review is a bit more negative than my previous reviews for The Vigilante Hack, but I still loved this book and really recommend it if you're running the game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Vigilante Hack - SANCTUARY ASYLUM
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Battle Star: Trek Wars
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2018 14:34:55

Battle Star : Trek Wars is the newest and (potentially) last Alpha Blue release. This book is 76 pages of wonderful sci-fi sleaze. There is a standard version and printer-friendly version of the book plus you get a nice map of Ta'andor Galaxy. The artwork is the space opera meets sleaze that I've come to expect and appreciate about Alpha Blue.

The book starts with short story and then leads into some new rules and updates to Alpha Blue. GM's are no longer Space Dungeon Masters. No, now they are officially Bold Dungeon Space Master's. It's cheeky and I like being a BDSM. Want to try a new method of character creation? We've got that too with the new 7 Words and Phrases alternate method. We also get some alternate combat rules for folks that don't want to role damage. This is also useful stuff and a nice set of alternate rules for the elegant system of a more civilized age.

This is followed by 28 pages of random tables. They are a blast and super useful. What kind of tables you ask? Well, we get reasons to keep combats short but entertaining, adventure ideas, adventure rewards, unusual npcs, and fat Alpha Blue loot. There are several more charts, but these are the ones I find the most useful. Oh and the orgasmic surprise chart is fun. The pre-adventure section ends with a discussion of Alpha Blue's strange crypto-currency, MeowMeowBeenz.

What follows are four short scenarios. I won't go into much detail because I don't want to spoil things. I Wear My Heart On My Sleaze is a memorable adventure that forces the pc's to get laid at a party or die. Emergency Escape Sequence Delta Cream finds the pc's caught up in a mystery and confrontation with the Federation. Outer Rim Jobs of Ta'andor sees the player encounter an eclectic groups of scum and villainy while on a job that will turn their fortunes around. Panty Raid on Palyrus 5 is what it sounds like given the context of Alpha Blue: players raid university planets for space panties.

Battle Star: Trek Wars is a fun book. If you're a fan of Alpha Blue, definitely pick this one up. While I know the game will live on, I'm a bit sad at the thought this might be the last Alpha Blue book. That being said, if it is Venger is definitely going out on a high note.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
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JEStockArt - History - Western Midnight Cowboy with Glow Eyes - GWB
Publisher: Jeshields
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2018 17:44:14

This is a fantastic piece. The gunslinger gives off a thoroughly creepy vibe that makes it perfect for weird west releases.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
JEStockArt - History - Western Midnight Cowboy with Glow Eyes - GWB
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Exotic Races: Goblumphs
Publisher: Octopus Apocalypse
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/23/2018 13:29:06

This pdf presents a new race, that should not exist. It's entirely unnecessary. However, it's very well constructed and I have a soft spot for weird things. Seriously, I love flumphs and I've been a goblin fan boy since I started playing 2nd edition and Magic: The Gathering. Yeah, I'm a goblin hipster. I liked them before Paizo made them cool in Pathfinder.

Statwise Goblumphs gets bonuses to Dex and Wis and a penalty to strength. They are humanoids and have the goblin subtype, but they are also considered aberrations. They honestly get some pretty cool features (that I don't want to spoil, because you should buy the pdf).

Do you need this pdf? No. Should you buy it? Well if you like oddball stuff like me and are a flumph aficionado, then abso-fricken-lutely.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exotic Races: Goblumphs
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Simple Settings: Savage Lands
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/23/2018 08:22:32

Simple Settings: Savage Lands is the first in a new series of supplements from Fat Goblin Games. The purpose of this series is to expand the possibilities of 5e and explore new settings, without complicating the rules.

The pdf is 58 pages (counting covers and OGL) and is gorgeous. I love the borders and page layout. The artwork is fitting. Some is modern, but there's a lot of classic public domain artwork and in the context of this book it's appropriate and looks phenomenal.

To keep with the simplistic approach of the title, most of the book discusses how to using existing Player's Handbook content in the setting.  This doesn't mean there isn't new content. There's quite a bit actually.

Three new races emerge from the primordial stew: nature loving apefolk (with orange fur, strong back, and long limb subraces), slow adapting and nomadic Neanderthals, and ancient noble saurian (with big teeth, big stomper, and tough skin subraces). 

After discussing how the classic classes fit (or don't in the case of monks and wizards) in the setting, we're presented with new archetypes. The Bard College of Primal Rhythm is combat oriented. Clerics can take the Oracular Domain to draw from nature and see signs for divination. Since the monk isn't appropriate, the fighter gains The Fist is a primal brawler and force of nature. Finally Warlock's of the savage lands sometimes make deals with personifications of primal nature. Thus we are given the Volcano Warlock Patron.

The Arcana and History skills aren't appropriate in this setting. They are replaced with the Intelligence based Lore skill. In addition, there's a background for being raised by wolves, apes, and other animals. It's known as the Abandoned.

Since industry and such doesn't exist, there's a large section of new equipment, including vehicles and pre-historic trinkets. There are new magic items, such as daggers created from meteor shards and healing fruit (which are more potent than healing potions, but take longer to be consumed).

One of the most important sections (in my opinion) discusses actually using this in your game (with pros and cons). Are the savage lands a new continent that's not been settled? Or is it a hollow earth style scenario? Perhaps there's a primal plane of existence. After discussing the where, the pdf goes into the what. This section is a primer to the cultural aspects of this setting (including a side bar for the gods of the savage lands).

There are a few new optional rules. Detailed foraging and hunting rules (with DC's are presented).

Finally there's a bestiary section. A lot of space is given to discuss how to use traditional Monster Manual (SRD) monsters in the setting. However, there are a few new beasts and foes presented. My favourite is the powerful chaotic fey, known as the Mountain Queen. She used elementals, monsters, and other creatures to impose her will. In addition there are new dinos, such as the headbutting pachycephalosarus, the fearsome looking therizinosaurus, and the undead skeletal pterodactyl. Finally, killer plants are a staple of lost world stories, we're presented with the vine abductor. This malevolent plant can pull an Invasion of the Body Snatchers and sprout clones.

I'm glad I picked up this pdf. While I don't know that I would run a full pre-historic game, this would be an excellent resource to do a Hollow World style game. I think this is 6.95 well spent. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Simple Settings: Savage Lands
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The Skyship of Smazah
Publisher: Josh Beckelhimer
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2018 14:23:18

This one is a lot of fun. A spaceship the size of a small village has crashed in a small unassuming kingdom. For reasons to be determined by the DM (a few of which are presented in the adventure) the pc's explore the wreckage. Here they encounter aliens, robots, and fantastic new items. 

Mr. Beckelhimer also gives us a new race and class for Swords & Wizardry Light. Player's can be a little monstrous and play goblins. We're also presented with the shaman, which is an alternate take on the cleric. They turn vermin and beasts instead of undead and are more limited in their armor choices, but free to use any weapon. I definitely both of these and will include them in my games. 

This might be my favourite one page adventure Josh has done. It's basically a fun little sci-fi sandbox that includes some great additions to the game.  



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Skyship of Smazah
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La Bas Chartreuse
Publisher: Kort'thalis Publishing
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2018 15:21:09

La Bas Chartreuse is the latest release by Venger Satanis. Unlike previous releases, this Lovecraftian supplement doesn't present a new game or complete adventure. Instead, we're presented with a thoroughly dark and interesting jungle locale. Glynn Seal did an amazing job with the layout and the artwork is creepy and fitting. As always Venger's prose is thought provoking and creepy. One of the hallmarks of Kort'thalis Publishing releases, useful and entertaining random charts, are also featured prominently. La Bas Charteuse definitely fits in perfectly with the original release of The Outer Presence. That cannibal holocaust meets Cthulhu adventure and rules-lite game is the perfect match up for this creepy set piece. However, it could also be easily used as a local for a world spanning Blood Dark Thirst game or Crimson Dragon Slayer jungle adventure. Actually, given the jungle setting, it's the perfect way to add some eldritch horror to more established and main stream games. Seriously, some retired adventurer could mention the La Bas Chartreuse to a party of Sword Coast adventurers in Waterdeep getting ready to depart to Chult to brave the Tomb of Annihilation. 

At two dollars, this pdf is a steal. Snag it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
La Bas Chartreuse
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WHITE BOX ZOMBIES - A source book for SWORDS & WIZARDRY and all OSR games
Publisher: Bloat Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2018 15:21:51

White Box Zombies by Bloat Games is everything you need if you want to include a little thing like the zombie apocalypse into your White Box game (perhaps as the result of Death Frost Doom).  At 48 pages this is a pretty meaty pdf.

The book begins with zombie infection rules. These are pretty deadly but it's essentially get bit/clawed by a zombie with it, make a save or die and become a zombie. This is pretty intense, but no one said zombie apocalypses were for the weak.

We are then presented with a the Classic White Box Zombie and a brief discussion of why it's different than one of the new infection causing zombies. After this we get into the Infected Dead. Stats are given as well as a suggested pack size. These are the infected (with a brief description or what they remind me of):

Living Dead Zombie (classic Romero shamblers) Groaners (tougher classic Romero shamblers) Walkers (weaker Romero shamblers, similar to Walking Dead zombies) Runners (Dawn of the Dead remake) Rage Zombies (28 Days Later) Fleshless Zombies (the Tarman from Return of the Living Dead series) Screamers (7 Days to Die, they have a scream that can paralyze players with fear and attrack other zombies) Bone Zombies (Dry Bones from Mario, skeletons from Castlevania) Mutated Bone Zombies (what happens when multiple Bone Zombies combine) Boss Zombie (Dawn of the Dead remake, but stronger and more cunning) Legend Zombies (unique intelligent infected) Melting Zombies (advanced decayed zombies that have acidic goo) Zombie Children (Cooties)

After the special zombies we're treated to a page with demihuman and monster infected zombie rules. This is followed by a collection of demihumans and monsters. We get (living) stats for the monsters, as well as two infection zombie variants (from the group mentioned above). The demihumans/monsters presented are bugbear, centaur, dwarf elf, cloud giant, firbolg, fire giant, frost giant, hill giant, stone giant, storm giant, gnoll, gnome, goblin, hobgoblin, kobold, lizardman, ogre, orc, and troll.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WHITE BOX ZOMBIES - A source book for SWORDS & WIZARDRY and all OSR games
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White Box Gothic [Swords & Wizardry]
Publisher: Gallant Knight Games
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2018 15:20:49

White Box Gothic by Barrel Rider Games is everything you need to bring Hammer Horror into your White Box game.

The book starts with an introduction to horror and then gives us several new classes.  These classes are:

Monster Hunter - Like Captain Kronos or Van Richten, these fighting men (and women) are trained to track down and destroy the creatures of the night. Each Monster Hunter picks a specialty. Metaphysician - This is a man of supernatural science. The learn forsaken lore, get some spells, and can turn undead. Spiritualists - These individuals have a connection to the dead. They can interact with the spectral and turn incorporeal undead. Wanderer - These nomadic folks are survivors that use luck, trinkets picked up, and eventually a bit of magic to stay alive. Dhampir - This class is for the children of vampires and mortals. Want to play Blade? Now you can. Reanimated - Ever wanted to play Frankenstein's Monster? If so, this racial class lets you do just that.

The second chapter is short, but to the point. It has rules common in horror games, mainly corruption, dread, and curses. The third chapter includes a small selection of spells. Some of these are perfect tools for those fighting against the darkness. Others make the servants of darkness even more powerful. There are also several new magic items suited for horror games. My favourite is bottled courage, which basically gets your drunk, but makes you immune to fear. Many of these items can be used by all classes, which makes them quite useful.

The final chapter includes 15 new monsters. Most of these are classic monsters and opponents, like cultists and werebats. We're also presented with the vampire lord and bride stats, for those of you that what Dracula. Another particularly nasty monster is the plaything, which is like Chucky from the Child's Play films.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box Gothic [Swords & Wizardry]
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