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    Monsters!Monsters! 2nd Edition
    Publisher: Trollgodfather Press
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/28/2020 09:48:42

    There was a time when there was only one RPG that you could buy. Arguably, many of us started playing various "monsters" -- goblins, dwarfs, orcs, half-orcs, a 3/4 orc (Don't ask!), thieves, and evil magicians were normal in my gaming groups.

    Then came the second RPG -- i.e. Tunnels & Trolls. A new concept (among several) in RPG was introduced - There were no automatic monsters. Every species (or "race," if you prefer) was a "Kindred" and with the same access to legal protection as humans -- provided they lived and interacted with humans.

    Yet the dungeons, tunnels, mine shafts, etc., were the haven of so many truly anti-social types of all kindreds. And it wasn't long before the creator of that second RPG wondered what life looked like to those creatures who hid in the dark and hoarded loot the player characters wanted. Gold, jewels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other valuable hoarded objects meant that mostly-human groups would invade these creatures' homes and steal their stuff. Sometimes they killed you, your family, and your little dog too!

    So he gave us rules to portray these monsters, giving some of them the chance to defend themselves. Again, a simple, fast rule system -- Khenn was putting his vocational skills as a librarian to work with heavy (pun?) research.

    It was GREAT in its first printing, with that great Liz Danforth cover! It was printed again, when Flying Buffalo (FBI) took it back from Metagaming, and we learned how to THINK like monsters, TALK like monsters, EAT like monsters, and occasionally leading a revenge party out of the caves and down on the human villages!

    And now - It's even BETTER! An experienced rolegamer will build a character he or she will love, in less than 4 minutes. A new gamer might take a few minutes longer. The adventures and action are from the viewpoint of dragons, huffalumps, demons, and IRS agents (You can build ANY type of character in these rules!) for the first time again! Indeed, Khenn starts out with "How to Think Like a Monster -- and Why Would You?"

    It's better - faster - with paper/cardboard/3d printer miniatures, methods to create any new monsters you might dream (a nightmare, I'm sure) up, a Monster Rating Modifiers chart which just happens to list most of the "official" monsters - including empty ratings for a "No Monster" monster, a great adventure that includes a temple to Gristlegrim (I've been looking for one of those for a long time!), and a fully-stocked city! You'll adventure in this setting for a long time...until you get that urge to create your OWN adventure, your OWN city, your OWN world -- and you can control it all! The power! Such POWER!!! BWAHAHA HAHAHA!!

    See? You're thinking like a monster already!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Monsters!Monsters! 2nd Edition
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    Vaults of K'Horror gm/solo adv
    Publisher: Flying Buffalo
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 11/29/2018 05:53:59

    Vaults of K'horror - real scares for real gamers.

    Who has dared the Vaults yet? Did you play (or run) the GM scenario or the solo first? Did you enter alone (You fool!!) or entice an entire party of superheroes? And did you realize you really felt tangible fear as you realized time was running out, minute by minute?I haven't had chills like this since my first Call of Cthulhu game the day after it was released. Never thought a heroic sword & sorcery setting could be as chilling as - as Robert E Howard was able to make the genre.We're so used to charging in with our huge Combat Adds, our powerful magics, our super weapons and armors. We're so used to detaching our characters from ourselves: fight, die, roll another - that we've forgotten that one terrifying monster we can not hold back.And we find our characters breaking and running against our will. Time, ever-killing time is the great enemy, and everything in this scenario (which should never play quite the same way twice) has time on its side as the final weapon against you personally.This isn't a killer dungeon. This is a freakin' nightmare of a dead country. This is something you run from. And yes, if you survive this (RUN AWAY!) you will be able to challenge (not beat) the Deluxe Agent of Death challenge. But you'll never be the same.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Vaults of K'Horror gm/solo adv
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    Interesting Items of Questionable Quality: Volume Two
    Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/11/2018 22:02:14

    Today, Dungeons & Dragons takes itself as seriously as a Scrabble competition. ‘Twas not always so, especially in the first D&D world of Dave Arneson's. His Blackmoor campaign was a deathly dangerous world where funny things happened that could kill you.

    B. A. Simon (if that's his name) would have fit right in Dave's campaign or even Gygax & Kuntz’s later Greyhawk. There are fish, helmets, and even a corset which can provide wonderful magic assistance in times of danger - or terrible curses at the most inopportune times. Usually both. And they'll generate laughs for everyone but the player's character - even the player, if they're there to have fun.

    It's kind of a shame this is hidden behind the DM Guild site, because it would be good for gaming groups to deal with the unexpected. Everyone knows the hit dice and potential danger of a bugbear, but who would suspect a poncho? The attributes of items are easily transferred to other rulesets.

    Used minimally, as salt is to soup, the items in the booklet - and your items that you’ll be inspired to create - will similarly spice your campaign.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Interesting Items of Questionable Quality: Volume Two
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    Risus Companion
    Publisher: Big Dice Games
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 01/27/2017 07:03:09

    There is so much useful material which I've used with Risus and with other games and even with various day-to-day existence - that I don't know where to begin. There's even enough "How to survive and prosper through taking life with tongue-in-cheek" that will fit most philosophies. Heck, I'm Mormon and Risus-think works for me! That's not even counting the sheer awesomeness of Stick Figure Therapy. Since this is a gaming review, I assure you that Risus and its Companion can significantly improve your RPGaming experience, though the banana pumpkin bread alone is worth the purchase price.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Risus Companion
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    Uresia: Grave of Heaven (2nd Edition All-Systems Library)
    Publisher: Dyskami Publishing Company
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/23/2016 15:37:50

    See that column tab, just to the right of this one? Click there and read the superlative review I wrote and then come back here. Because I had forgotten how much fun it is to generate 1,000 + background quirks, powers, talents, disabilities, abilities, and/or friends/enemies with a three-pronged table that is off the wall!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Uresia: Grave of Heaven (2nd Edition All-Systems Library)
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    Dungeon Encounters
    Publisher: Limitless Adventures
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/13/2016 18:10:31

    "Diabolical" is how I would describe it, and so would your players. Yet they would have so much fun facing (and, hopefully, overcoming) the challenges from Dungeon Encounters, the first of (again, hopefully) many such GM catalysts.

    Frankly, I have fun just reading it, and imagining many of my characters (living and otherwise) meeting one of these "people" or props. GMs will appreciate that there are entire story suggestions included, as well as ways in which to make things - different - for players who have read this and think they know what to expect.

    Don't go looking for pretty pictures or ugly ones either. The layout and graphics (including a repeated background figurine) are pleasing and make the reading easier on these old eyes. The colors are really helpful for your eyes and I'm sure someone out there will remark how they mellow a person.

    If you don't get a year's worth of gaming out of this little volume, you're either not trying or you are Boris Alphonzo Felton.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Dungeon Encounters
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    T5 Traveller5 Core Rules 3-Book Set
    Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/19/2016 22:40:11

    Rats! Accidentally deleted my original review, which went back to a week or three after publication. Let's just say that T5 does Traveller proud and it's once again what it was best: a toolbox filled with tools to create MY favorite sf rolegame.

    I still bet Marc wishes he had the support group he had in 1977. It's hard to believe almost all of this came from one mind.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    T5 Traveller5 Core Rules 3-Book Set
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    BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
    Publisher: Dreamscape Design
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/11/2016 11:51:38

    Updated, upgraded, and this is still the "basic" version - can hardly wait for the completerish rules. If we can still call them "rules," after the excellent introductory essay "THERE ARE NO RULES."

    inspiration to count as a new game, and actually much easier for a non-gamer to understand. It deserves six stars out of five. Like all retro clones, it can't really be D&D without beholders - which is why I don't buy printed versions of retclones. (I add a copy of the Greyhawk beholder description and illo to my own printed copies of retclones - and to my copie of Tunnels & Trollsas well as Runequet. I recommend you do the same.

    *jeep!

    -Grandpa Chet



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules
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    Creator Reply:
    Thank you for the kind review! FYI the \"Journeymanne Rules\" - which cover levels 1-20 for the basic four classes, plus additional spells, monsters, magic items, and the like - are pretty much ready for art, so keep an eye out for a crowdfunder within the year. Pity about the old beholder, but then Holmes never mentions it in his works so it doesn\'t really qualify for BLUEHOLME™. Carrion crawlers and displacement beasts are more of an issue, as they are not only in the Holmes rules but Chris Holmes (Dr J. Eric Holmes\'s son) drew some great illustrations of them in the original Holmes Basic manuscript. Thus they will show up, in the grand OGL tradition, under pseudonyms. ;-)
    The House of Wish and Wonder
    Publisher: Khaghbboommm
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/01/2016 19:50:16

    Caveat: Mark is a friend and I am a fan of his gamesmastering and his solos. Do remember that reviewers always hurt the ones they love.

    Not that I intend to be meaner to Mark than usual, unless it would be funny. You might want to know that when Mark tells you this is set in the same castle (and practically nation unto itself) as his masterful "Poisoned Chalice" solo mystery, it means you will enjoy this much more if you have played (and survived) Poisoned Chalice first. Since this adventure is a GM run adventure, it's even more fun to see your players squirm as did you. It also provides you with more background than you'll find here, making the experience better than a deathtrap run.

    The plot is fairly skimpy, really an excuse to delve into the old timey dungeon of a sadistic noble or wizard (or GM) who just wants to see PCs scream. Successfully foil his (your) viciousness, and they should pick up a few bucks and points, as well as the fun of the game itself.

    A unique feature is the introduction of a jinx type of character "class," remembering that "classes" in Tunnels and Trolls are considerably more complex than most games'. It's fairly simple to use this new class type to complicate player characters' lives. Have fun!



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    The House of Wish and Wonder
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    Agent of Death T&T solo
    Publisher: Flying Buffalo
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 06/24/2016 15:58:02

    If you have not yet played this solo, then run - do not walk - to click ADD TO CART right now. This is one of the more REplayable adventures that I've yet had, though I doubt you'll be replaying with the same character. It really is that deadly - and a good deal of the character deaths are actually caused by your choices, though there are a couple of BOOM-You're-Dead occurances. For the most part, the clues are there and staying the noble and straight path (i.e. - Keep your eye on your ultimate goal) and you stand a much better chance. Luck certainly can play a factor.

    One way or another, you're going to enjoy this. I enjoyed it so much, I paid for the hard copy of this solo AND for the PDF....despite the fact that I was one of the blindtesters!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Agent of Death T&T solo
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    Shadow & Blade: A Guide to Assassins in Tunnels & Trolls
    Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 06/24/2016 15:52:16
    I hope I remembered to pay for this, because it's worth it. One should never, never, NEVER permit players to play an assassin (unless you truly want your campaign to self-destruct) but there are assassins (even if they don't call themselves that) in most rolegaming worlds - and a gamesmaster needs to be ready to portray such NPCs.

    With this little volume, you are prepared to endanger your PCs with a 3-dimensional assassin who is not a cliche, who has depth and reason and might even be of use to your PCs. And if one is running a TnT campaign in a modern world - well, James Bond is definitely an assassin character. (See Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes for TnT in a modern world.)

    There's a marvelous and short solo adventure included, in which you can really let yourself go. After all, in a solo, you're the Player and the GM....and the GM can play assassins very wickedly.

    I would drop one half of a star and rate this 4.5, ONLY because I firmly believe that players should not be allowed to ever play such characters. (GMs can and should. Even in solos. TnT players can easily have multiple personalities.)



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Shadow & Blade: A Guide to Assassins in Tunnels & Trolls
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    Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition (Savage Worlds)
    Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 06/02/2016 14:08:27

    I didn't review this book back when I purchased it when it first appeared - both the D20 version and this SW version?? Shame on me! I know I did contact the author-designer, because this is (I need large fonts for this.)

    MUCH BETTER THAN THE D20 VERSION!!

    It's not that the first version wasn't well done, it's that the D20 system didn't lend itself to a rollicking, knock-down drag 'em out the door type of session that the pulp genre needs. Great example in fiction: Archie Goodwin gets fed up with an obnoxious visitor to Wolfe's office, and literally knocks him down and drags him out the door by his heels. That could take up to a half hour with D20; with SW it's over almost before it starts - leaving other PCs and players wondering "Wha' happened??"

    The supporting material for Thrilling Tales is just as exciting as that scene, and the "rules" (Be prepared for a set of rules which tell you that the adventure is MUCH more important than looking up rules.) can keep your players hanging on by their fingernails. It adapts well to every pulp genre I tried (even westerns, but especially Cousins of Cthulhu) and deserves wider use.

    For a time, Adamant was able to include chapters of ollllld serial cliffhangers, to really get your players in the mood. Most of the old classics are available in the public domain -- I recommend you put them to use. And steal from them most boldly!

    At less than $10, it's a ridiculously cheap bargain.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Thrilling Tales 2nd Edition (Savage Worlds)
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    Castle of the Mad Archmage Adventure Book
    Publisher: BRW Games
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 11/27/2015 23:48:29

    Been a long time since I ran this, and I had to go back and skim through it again. You'd be surprised how much you can forget after a year or so -- especially when one has a castle & dungeon THIS large.

    It's safe to say that you get a LOT of replay value! It's also safe to say that you'll get a good strong feeling of everything which worked in 1975 - without much of the ambiguity of Those Original Rules. In short, there is both meaning and madness in this setting, and each player will be rewarded for playing in character AND using player strategy. GMs will be rewarded if they study the background and extrapolate further developments - and plant many rumors.

    PCs should learn of the rumors, especially, of the creator of this place. This can give them the advantage of guessing (it'll be no more than an educated guess) the meanings and motivations of the designer: the Mad Archmage. PCs should realize that madmen have reasons for what they do - even if the reasons make no sense to sane characters.

    For instance, in a nod to That First Dungeon, the dungeon (and maybe the castle?) is still under construction. Signs of the construction crew's work - and maybe the crew themselves - may well hinder the players' characters.

    Read the background, take plenty of light sources, and find places to sleep every night (or day) and your PCs may well finally meet that Mad Archmage. And if he makes any sense at all, I would like to hear about it.

    This is a good solid adventure or series of adventures, which would easily get 5 stars. One star is deducted for not having the maps included withing the book. I have no problem with purchasing the maps separately (though I have, at other times, run games without using maps...let the PCs deal with the confusion and get lost) but it does annoy some young GMs. But they didn't live in 1975, when the gaming worlds in which we played were more dangerous and, frequently, unknown to even the gamesmaster.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Castle of the Mad Archmage Adventure Book
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    Creator Reply:
    In regards to the maps, they were originally included in the back of the book, but in playtesting, it was found that having to flip back and forth between the maps and the text just didn\'t work, on a practical level.
    Darkshade Chronicles: A Day in Baru-Kesh
    Publisher: Darkshade Publishing
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/23/2015 17:07:10

    Way back in May 2015 ("Before you were born! Remember, kids?) I posted a really short review of Jerry Teleha's Darkshade Chronicles: a Day in Baru-Kesh. Here's what that little review looked like:

    "One of the more entertaining solo adventures I've played, which then turns around and (in the second part of the book) presents the same adventure as a gamesmaster module! You AND your players will be able to enjoy this new city, and you'll find and create portions and adventures that Jerry hadn't imagined!

    "You'll love the illustrations too, and they're handy for the GM who runs this for his gamers!

    "One of the best bargains to be found on Amazon!"

    That was then. This is now. How does DC:DB-K look now that Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls has come out?

    Better than ever, and isn't that cool?

    COOL that it's completely compatible with Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls (Hereafter and forever referred to as "dTnT.") and at least 95% compatible with even the oldest edition of Tunnels and Trolls. (Forever and hereafter referred to as "TnT.")

    COOL is that the solo offers opportunity to practice any skill, trait, etc that you might think of. Most likely that you'll fail if you think the world revolves around your character ("I immediately jump forward and lop off the head of Odin with my penknife.") but you can certainly attempt anything - and there's almost always a reaction or consequence programmed right into the adventure.

    COOL is that the solo also allows and encourages (and this is a HUGE strength) you to make gamesmaster calls and choices as well as character choices.

    and VERY COOL is that it works even better as a regular GM sourcebook/city for your players. I've run this nicely, and I can tell you that once you have Other People running characters, your options and scope is multiplied by a factor of (some algebraic symbol which references the combination of all players' imagination and paranoia) - the adventure will run several sessions, becoming a campaign city if you but let it.

    This is a ridiculously low price and a deceptively small page count for what is weeks and weeks of game play.

    (Originally from http://grandparpg.blogspot.com/)



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Darkshade Chronicles: A Day in Baru-Kesh
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    Spiritual Warfare the RPG 4th Edition
    Publisher: Golgotha Games
    by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/26/2014 23:43:48

    Considerably stronger, better than the previous editions. Folks involved in its creation are still rather anti-Catholic and anti-Latter-day Saints, but their design still works, and it's not hard to adapt.

    The one thing that it seems everyone else hates and I love is the magic system, which requires scripture quoting. Ideally, the GM could and should require the quotes be contextual and give a much greater success rate (perhaps critical successes) if quoted from memory alone.

    It's a system and background that begs for tweaks. The creators might disagree with me, but I'd recommend buying this and tinkering madly with it. Especially the western campaign setting!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Spiritual Warfare the RPG 4th Edition
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