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Unmerciful Frontier: The CCA Sourcebook
Publisher: Gypsy Knights Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2019 10:55:48

Planetary Generation (Why I bought this, I have not heard of Clement Sector other than in Passing) It seems to be an interesting mix of influences from (likely) Classic Traveller book 6 Scouts, Grand Survey's Details of Atmospheres, and a serious focus on The Luminosity of Parent Stars, but looser than something like GURPS Space 4th Edition, or Traveller:Interstellar Wars...but with a prevalence for Clement Sector Specific Details, most lesser worlds of a system will be (If inhabited) captive govt, research stations, military bases, with the occassional High Law prison or independant world.

I think I can say if you like the idea of bold exploration by Scouts / Colonists / Corpporations going into a mostly unihabited Area of space to break rocks, mine moons, sets up colonies, i.e. you have embraced the Clement Sector's Setup / Paradigms, this is the book for you. If you are seeking a more open ended kind of Science Fiction Basic Principles, roll it out and see what you get, GURPS Space 4th is the more detailed, not so setting specific.

I can see a lot of work went into this product. Again, if you are a fan of Celement Sector, this is a great resource, very detailed. If you came here for system Generation, and you have not been a Traveller fan since the old days, and do not have access to the system generation stuff from older systems, this does an okay job, given the setting parameters.

I much respect the amount of work that went into this product. 4 Stars.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unmerciful Frontier: The CCA Sourcebook
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City, Town, & Village Record Sheets
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2018 00:21:24

This is a very simple, no frill record Sheet, as advertised. For towns, Name, region notes, towns focus, (industry, etc.) Space to list Locations. There is so little content here, I did not know how to rate it really. one page sheets like you would get from any other woorldbuilder notes project. I was confused as to the village sheets, There is one area for a picture, and then three blocks for Village notes. So you'd end up with one pictured village, and two small hamlets not pictured?

Definitely Generic, didn't follow any specific rules set format that i recognized. Okay, so 4 stars for clean layout and doing what it says it will do.. provide a sheet of paper with areas for notes for towns and villages. Worth the asking price if you are not the OCD type of DM that will design this type of record sheet themself. If you are, there are other more comprehensive worldbuilding sheets and books out there. note that this product is sheet only, no tables, charts or other information, literally a square for a picture to be drawn, and blank lines with labels for Name: Undustry:: and so forth.

The sample pic tells it like it is. That is what you get here, one basic sheet for a town, one for a village, villages necessarily being smaller and less involved.

If you are a beginning DM just starting out, you could find it useful to organize with a standard for your DM's binder. Someone with years of experiene will already likely have system specific note-taking systems in place.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City, Town, & Village Record Sheets
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Combat Overhaul Extended
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2018 11:28:05

Seems like a few simple but good options for 5E combat. One caveat is that if you intitute parrying as optionally free, then everyone will use it, and then it is a longer combat, where D&D as written is assuming you are looking for that one opening, the rolling to hit is not to hit, but to get past their parry and meaneuvers to actually strike.

I liked the Arcane Dueling rules in here, I have used a system like it since 2d edition. The text was clean, and well laid out with one exception, you start to talk about firefights, and then empty space and then rules for oaired initiative, firefights and squads. It was a little confusing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Combat Overhaul Extended
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5e Encounter Sheet
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2018 08:21:03

I have been a DM for over 40 years, and this is one of the best tools out there. I was so damn tired of filling out stat blocks for 3.5 Encounters. Hand-writing everything. Downloaded this and Tonight i needed a bandit encounter. click Monster Manual rollbar on the sheet, Click Bandit, Bandit Captain. Done. This sheet is goddamn amazing, and it is in the old school style sheet! Heckya!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5e Encounter Sheet
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Creator Reply:
This is what I like to hear! Thanks James!
Blow by Blow: DM's Guide to Combat Narrative
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2018 03:28:56

This is a really great product, that helps to avoid the "Orc#6 swings at the fighter....hit for 6. orc 7 misses" phenomenon.
DMs, get this little gem right now! Descriptions of how the narrative should go and flow, describing weapon hits, some suggested house rules. I have been a DM for 40 years, and oh yes, this is as good as it gets!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blow by Blow: DM's Guide to Combat Narrative
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Outbreak: Deep Space
Publisher: Hunters Entertainment
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2017 18:28:37

I have to give this 2 stars. I have been running games 40 years. literally all genres. At first I didn't understand it. A solid two weeks of reading it, plus questions to the team at the publisher's site, who were very helpful, multiple times, cleared up a lot of it for me.

Then once I understood it, It became a case of other systems do the exact same thing, easier. There are some nice bright spots in the rules but almost all of it is a system that simulates survival in space, but does so in a way that delves unneccessarily into minutiae, and uses mechanics that do not reflect reality or simplicity.

Literally, you get what they say... A toolkit for skills, abilities, and disadvantages, no setting. So it is an open world, create what you want, on a blank canvas. Okay great, but the details of the tools given to do that are just so complex, so full of jargon and abbbreviation, so densely written, without enough page references, it COULD be run, but unless you scrap half the book, running it as written is going to be very unnecessarily difficult.

There are spots in the rules for credits. From flat broke to 10,000 as a rich person. No cost charts. When queried, the response from the authors was, costs will vary across different campaigns. decide what things cost yourself.

If you want to design gear, you design it yourself, except for a few small page s of examples usimng their "Kit" system.

If you want planets, design it yourself, there are no rules for planets. I defaulted to using Traveller, to design planets for the campaign I planned to run.

If you want spaceships, there are no design rules for spaceships, other than a ship has locations, like Medbay, or Engine room, which usually is used as a force multiplier for a skill check or as resource points for gear. There are no rules for ship to ship combat. There are no rules for interstellar Travel. It is all design it yourself.

There are no rules for costs or costs of ships, or gear. "All of it will vary by campaign, so we left it up to the referee."

The art is amazingly wonderful.

If you have the time and desire, you could take a few weeks, and design things...using the Kit system to add "Descriptors" to an item, like... Gun, Rifle, Flashlight, Supressor, Auto-Fire, Scope. Each one of those things evokes like a Tag from a game like Fate, to give you a skill bonus.. if you have the relevant Skill to use that item's Tag.

This would be best used to run a game like Aliens or Pitch black or some similar shoot em up in space, but be prepared to create 90% of what you will use for your game.

The Mechanics are extremely difficult to grasp, and badly explained. Again, Jargon everywhere. Things like Encounter Check are abbreviated E%. Descriptor level, which is a measure of Tags, which add multipliers are DLv.

The character sheet is super complex. It has places where skills are calculated you have a box for the toal, but those formulas are not on the sheet, they are inside the book in the text descriptions of each skill.

The book text is hampered in grasping concepts for skills because of abbreviations, making it a foreign language check every few sentences.

The system does not flow, it is like jugglimng baslls of air to figure out how to generate a character with no foundation or grounding.

In actual play, you do not drink from a canteen, and mark it off, you have a system that has 5 points of water to be depleted. you might get one drink, you might get up to 5 drinks, it depends on making a roll of "5" on a d6 for the first drink. For the second drink, that's 2d6, on a 5 or more it is depleted. thrid drink 3d6. So literally you are tracking Individual drinks of water by dice roll, not knowing if you are emptying the canteen or not until you make the roll.

That kind of "micro-management by guessing" minutiae pervades the whole system. The attempt was to "Not have to worry about marking stuff off on a sheet minutiae, replaced by this die roll system to "add tension as befits horror, you do not know when you will run out of ammo, or food or water, or bandages."

What it added was Tension Headache over a few weeks of digging through to figure all of this out.

Forgive me, but if I have three bandages, and I use one, I got two left. that is pretty much kindergarten mathematics of resource management, done by 5 year old hands, not needing a calculator or dice.

People have run this at conventions, by scrapping a lot of the mechanics, and it was reported to be great. it was also reported to be worst Sci fi RPG ever made.

It has it's bright points, but for me, it was unworkable, needlessly complex, and a bear to understand.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Outbreak: Deep Space
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World Builder's Guidebook (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/26/2017 23:24:07

This is a very nice, very clean complete scan of the 2e AD&D WBG, By Rich Baker. I have physically owned this about 3 times, it is my go to for designing campaigns for any system, except modern, or wild west. THere are some areas in the text that need erratta'd calculating kingdom sizes, but it is overall, one of the best products in gaming ever made for the campaign designing homebrew referee.

You can use this book to start top down, bottom up, or somewhere in the middle, with chapters that focus on each stqage of continent, region, province and city.

I started using this to design my own Birthright world. And these days use it with Pathfinder's Complete Campaign.

This is not a ready made campaign, this is a book of charts, tableas and ideas to completely do it yourself. If you like Drawing campaign worlds and making maps and detailing a setting, especially a fantasy setting, this is the book you need. It also works for doing worlds for games like Traveller, but you'd need to convery over the icosahedral world displays, or just use this system. It does not have charts for generating or detailing races, it assumes you are using AD&D races and monsters.

But this is my go to bible ffor world generation. I often loaned this to other GMS as the printed book, and didn't get it back.

Thanks for putting this up here, all my physical copies the covers have long ago worn off, lost the maps, never returned from bowwed out, etc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World Builder's Guidebook (2e)
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The Gamemaster's Star Log
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 23:25:55

I'm a fan of the fantasy themed product, and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this. This is the book of forms with no tables whatsoever useful for organizing your campaign or novel either electronically or printed out and then put into a binder. What I like about it is that it's very clean. There's lots of space to put data in, there is a an orbital system diagram similar to what Traveller is giving you ..very basic for the old scout style orbit numbers. There is a form specifically for a moon or for a planet so if you want have a terrestrial planet you can have it, or as a moon for a gas giant. Again there are no tables or data other than forms to be filled out. Mostly for the large scale of the game...worlds, moons. No specific maps of cities or continents but they have a sheet of hex paper with larger hexes. If you're the type of person who likes to organize your stuff into a big binder this is perfect and as an extra bonus in my mind they did not put page numbers on it...for the blank forms.
The Web version has page numbers.. also with a nice theme starry background. So you don't have the problem some other products of this nature have where the page numbers are in there...organize the blank forms version how you want. If you want nice color pages...those have numbers. My printer is running now. Thanks a lot to the designers!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamemaster's Star Log
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Referee's Aid 8: Traders & Raiders
Publisher: Mongoose
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 13:06:54

A nice overview of raiding and piracy in Traveller. No hard numbers here, just some good ideas for scenarios and methods to generate scenarios. Lots of text here. I liked it, and it gave me some decent scenario / plot ideas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Referee's Aid 8: Traders & Raiders
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A2 Isometric Paper
Publisher: PuppetRegime Games
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 13:04:11

Nice clean lines. perfect for drawing an isometric dungeon al la the old 2e books dungeoneer's survival guide.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A2 Isometric Paper
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Dominion Quickstart For Mindjammer Traveller
Publisher: Modiphius
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:57:40

I wish this had come out for Traveller before the First version which is it's own stand alone system using Fate.

I really would like the Traveller version more.

You can easily see why this system earns awards. Great clean print, great ideas. DEfinitely a good intro to the full projuct. If you are seeking super high tech Post information age sci fi in a semi star trek universe, this is your product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dominion Quickstart For Mindjammer Traveller
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Universal Planetary Profile Sheet for Traveller
Publisher: Mongoose
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:54:43

It is inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. This is essentially a sheet for UWP with a rollbar to print out the detail lines from Traveller products for the UWP String. Nothing fancy. You have to calculate the potential trade codes out yourself. I printed out a sheet of this for a planet and players were non plusssed, because this just tabulates what you get from the book reading of the UWP code.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Universal Planetary Profile Sheet for Traveller
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Expanded Space Encounters 2E
Publisher: Mongoose
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:48:13

Good clear easy to read tables here. Lots of good ideas for combats, etc. for the busy referee who is stuck for something happening in space.

Especially the jump in and out of the system diagram, that helped to make it clear what is going on. Lots of good encounters ideas. I can't wait to expand on this. LIKED IT A LOT.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Expanded Space Encounters 2E
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D66 Compendium 2
Publisher: Mongoose
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:44:50

Solid product. I bundled this and Compendium into a binder to take with me to Traveller sessions as Referee. Great stuff for ideas.

This also works as a brainstroming setup for writing. looking at the names, events and places, then with it all in your mind get a flavor.

Easy enough when printed out to change up some details by crossing out and writing in new ones. can't wait to make up some of my own tables. This product and compendium would be well served by including a few table blanks numbered 11 to 66.

10 bucks well spent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D66 Compendium 2
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d66 Compendium
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by James J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2017 12:43:56

Solid product. I bundled this and Compendium 2 into a binder to take with me to Traveller sessions as Referee. Great stuff for ideas.

This also works as a brainstroming setup for writing. looking at the names, events and places, then with it all in your mind get a flavor.

Easy enough when printed out to change up some details by crossing out and writing in new ones. can't wait to make up some of my own tables. This product and compendium 2 would be well served by including a few table blanks numbered 11 to 66.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d66 Compendium
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review. I really appreciate it.
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