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High-Space Battlemaps: Firelight Scout Ship
by Jeremy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2012 16:17:54
It is hard to know what to expect when getting a ship design and map pack. There are several other similar lines already available from this site, two lines that come immediately to mind are Futura Armada and the line by UKG publishing. I really liked those two.

This one does not disappoint. I can see this in use in a gaming session, which is the entire point of the product. My only complaints are:

1) I would like to have it already tell me what sort of Aquisition level this is, so I know at a glance if it is right for my gaming group. This is a really good way to see just how "good" a given vessel is at a glance.

2) It would be fun to see a pre-made crew, maybe with some sort of plot hooks or something so that it can be plopped into a game. Of course, this part is not necessary, especilally considering the price. I figure that it is easier to sell more desings than designs with crwws that may or may not be used by a given group.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High-Space Battlemaps: Firelight Scout Ship
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High Space Core Rules Beta
by Josiah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2012 14:32:21
I love what I see but I think it still needs quite a bit of polish.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
High Space Core Rules Beta
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High-Space Battlemaps: Firelight Scout Ship
by Josiah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2012 11:06:09
This is a great high quality product.

The maps are amazing, with a high level of detail and are completely print ready, cant wait to use them!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High-Space Battlemaps: Firelight Scout Ship
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High Space Core Rules Beta
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2012 00:31:07
It is a Beta. But, I expected more. This is billed as a generic set of manuals, but not so much. There are no shields for ships. There are no phasers. There are no inertial compensators or grav plates. No anti-gravity at all that I can tell.

The unique aspects of the manuals don't mesh well with regular SW. Mainly because no attempt was made in the Space Combat Section or Transonic combat (XS+) to interface with the regular rules.

Many of the rules are poorly written. Leading to almost as much confusion as not having the rules to begin with. There are no rules for Zero-G or Micro-G. There are no rules for operating on different types of planets.

There isn't even a single set of stats for a starship in the "Fleet Manual".

The amount of gear presented is minuscule. There are a dozen ranged weapons that aren't completely explained and 9 melee weapons (one is a knife/shiv!) that are even more poorly explained than the ranged weapons.

There are only three transonic vehicles for examples. There is no method for creating your own.

Computers, which are key to making robots, are poorly explained and lacking in details necessary to understanding how they work in game.

Edges and hindrances are few in number for characters and ships. In the Fleet Manual we are promised more edges and hindrances in upcoming supplements. We are also promised more ship weapons and systems in upcoming supplements.

The joy of using SW in general is getting a single book and having all you need to play a setting. Or at least getting enough crunch to create your own rules and settings.

This missed the mark.

It is a Beta, but it seems rushed to production to the point that it should have not been put out for awhile yet. It needed more alpha testing before it was offered for sale. It really seems to suffer from an identity crisis. Are these products really a generic set or rules for SciFi? They don't seem so because they are too thin on necessities. Or are they just some rules for some upcoming setting and a way to get us to buy more supplements?

I hope I am wrong. And I hope that this Beta test results in some major changes other wise pass this set of rules by. There are other hard sci fi settings just around the corner. At the PEG forums one Publisher is promising an issue date prior to Christmas!

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
High Space Core Rules Beta
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High Space Core Rules Beta
by Kevin H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2012 16:16:40
I think is looks real good. Very professional looking and fun. I was wondering if there was going to be any consideration of when weapon types impact ships. For example, a ship with laser weapons hits and damages near instantly, where as a torpedo might take a turn or two to reach the target. Also, a torpedo can be shot down or tricked with counter measures. If the torpedo is a NUKE, the damage might be significantly higher than lasers. Looking forward to the final release!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rapture: Essentials. Printable Player's Guide
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2012 04:37:40
"Rapture Essentials: The Player's Handbook" makes a pretty daring statements with its title. The core book for "Rapture" seems to give you just about everything you need to run a "Rapture" game from start to finish. "What's left to say?" You might ask. "What could possibly be in this book that is so essential?" I'll let you decide just how essential this book is, but I will walk you through what's involved.

The "Player's Handbook" Is a brief, 36 page suppliment to the "Rapture" roleplaying game. You can bring yourself up to date on that with my previous two reviews of the core book and "Rapture" in play. This suppliment comes direct from Story Weaver games and, as of this writing, is available only in a digital PDF format, like all of the "Rapture" material.

You might consider the "Player's Handbook" to be "Rapture" Lite. This suppliment has gone over the core book with a fine-toothed comb and scraped out all the key things that you need to know for playing "Rapture". The book begins with character creation and gives you the simple, step-by-step run down of how to make your "Rapture" hero. Following this is a summary of the core mechanic and how to build dice pools, how fear and damage works and possibly the most important rule for "Rapture" – what happens when your character dies. The "Player's Handbook" finishes with a recap of what the "Rapture" setting looks like with a focus on politics and technology, rather than the theological realities of the "Rapture" universe.

The whole thing is in black and white, with the exception of the cover. Graphics on the whole are kept to a minimum and that's a very deliberate design choice. Fortunately, none of the artwork in the book suffers from being black and white. This doesn't look like a book made in colour then printed in black and white, this book has been designed to be graphics light and published in grey scale.

Now all of this is, of course, very important to know as a player playing or about to play "Rapture" but chances are you're asking the same questions I am: "Isn't this just as important for the GM? Why is this a "Player's Hanbook" and not just a "Rapture Handbook"? Also, isn't all this in the core book? Shouldn't I just buy that?" And those are both excellent questions and answering them will be key to deciding whether or not this is an Essential book.

Remember how I said earlier that, at the time of writing, the entire "Rapture" catalogue of books are digital only? That means if you want hard copy, you have to print. The core book for "Rapture" is graphics heavy and all the text is on a black backing. I personally wouldn't want to print any of it. The "Player's Handbook" perfectly fills the niche left by the core book. This is suppliment is designed to be printer friendly, concise and easy to flick through. This is the book you take to the table and hand around to the players. I suspect that it was a deliberate choice to skip on a lot of the theological details in this suppliment so the GM can keep the players guessing.

As always, Story Weaver have expertly put together this PDF with all the book marks and indexing features you want to have in a digital product. It's printer friendly and a good accessory. However there's nothing here that isn't in the core book. This is strictly a new presentation of the information for quick and easy access at the table. You can decide for yourself if you think this is an essential part of the "Rapture" experience. Personally, I don't have any of those fancy tablet machines kids are raving about these days, so "Rapture Essentials: The Player's Handbook" is perfect for me.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Rapture: Essentials.  Printable Player's Guide
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High Space Core Rules Beta
by Jeremy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2012 10:08:34
Today I was very happy to find a product on Drive Thru Rpg / RPG Now that took several of my gripes about starships in RPGs and fixed them to work with Savage Worlds. I am so happy because I have been looking for something like this for many, many years. I have a love of spaceships, spaceship combat, and space soldiers. I love military sci fi novels, and FINALLY I can play them with the right tone and system (in this case, I find that Savage Worlds does it best).

I am usually not so much of a fan of a product that I tell everyone about it, but I am freaking happy! As I said, I have wanted to have this at my gaming table for many, many years. I just had to get it. I am VERY glad that I did as the character book is just what I was going to wite myself (or try to, as this is really good). The space combat and starship system are also really good. Instead of feeling like someone slapped them onto the game with duct tape, Story Weaver fit it to the Savage Worlds system rather well. I was just thinking about coming up with something earlier today and the product came out just in time. It was what I was going to do, and much much more and better.

High Space Character Manual

Initial skill points are 12, but you pick a background edge and what is called a Cultural Edge. The Background edge is a profession, like Bounty Hunter, Criminal, or Explorer. The Cultural Edge basically spends the three “lost” skill points for you. This helps give a baseline cultural background, which helps people to account for that when making a character. In some cases it is three different d4 skills. In others it is a d4 skill and a 1 trait bonus. It is a good idea and could be used for any campaign setting. Personally I would make what it is calling a Background Edge a Profession Edge instead, and just require a Profession Edge, as I can see a character use those out of the Savage Worlds book, especially in other setting. I can see why they are called background edges, as they for a character’s background, but that is somewhat confusing as Savage Worlds already uses Background edges, but they are not used in quite the same way. No, again it looks like they should be Professional edges.

There is discussion of the various skills to be used in the setting. Examples are given for specific versions of Boating and Piloting, for example. We also get new skills as Philosophy, Programming, and Psychiatry.

There are new Hindrances such as Retrovirus. There are new edges, with a couple for Hacking being noteworthy. There are rules on robots and cybernetics, and gland drugs. There are rules on what is called Equilibrium. Apparently cryo-sleep can make you go crazy. Who would have thought?

There are a bunch of cool high tech weapons, armor, equipment, and vehicles. Just looking at the book this far is making me want to play the Colonial Marines from ALIENS or maybe a Spartan from HALO.


High Space Fleet Manual

Starship construction is based on the Wild Card characters that will crew it. A Novice is worth 1 point and a Legendary character is worth 5. This total is called Acquisition points. The number of Acquisition Points will then determine how many free Edges and Trait Points that are available to design the vessel.

Then you spend the Trait points on 5 attributes. Maneuver, Computer, FTL, Displacement, and Quality. The Displacement is the mass of the vessel. D4 is a starfighter, d12 is a supercarrier.

Then you pick Design Edge, which is basically a “race” for a starship. I am not sure why it has that name, I would call it Starship Class, myself. A Design Edge gives a basic modification, such as a Warship giving a bonus to Quality but a reduction in Pace (Pace is derived from FTL). It also gives Payloads and Hard Points based on the Displacement rating. A warship has more hard points than payloads, a cargo vessel has only payloads. The payloads are used for equaipment and cargo space while hard points are used for weapons. Ships can have hindrances and edges. Many of the edges also have a cost in payloads or hard points.

Starship combat has maneuvers such as Slingshot which lets you use a nearby planet or asteroid to fling your vessel by at a quicker rate and Align for Impact that gets you an AP bonus for versus damage for a collision. Gunner maneuvers include Improved Firing Solution and Defensive Firing.

Further Musings

The ship can have an AI. This can be a Wild Card in itself. I would have it be a NPC or a PC’s side kick, If it is a primary PC, I would have it have some sort of edge to have an android body (where as the Android is the actual PC) or have an a side kick for the ship, either an engineer that really loves the AI or something, maybe just some other character for the player to use when off the ship. It can get really boring when you are stuck in port while the party goes on without you.

What about a character that wants to have a personal starfighter that is stationed on the ship that the party flies around? I could see a character using the Ace edge for this. That in itself is not a problem, but how does one determine Acquisition points? Do you split it between your personal vessel and the carrier? Going with the Fast, Furious, Fun, I would just make an edge called “Personal Vessel” that allows a character to use his or her own points for both a personal vessel as well as to the main vessel. A character could in that way add double if that character has no desire to have a personal vessel, such as the character that remained on the carrier would do while the rest of the party suited up and took off into their own starfighters.

The books could also do with some examples. Several example ships would be really nice. Those could be used as pre-made ships and also showcase the results of the design system. There could also be a few examples of crews and their vessels.

An excel spreadsheet to track the starship would be great. Knowing me, I will make a goof usrr friendly one easily enough. A Hero Lab user source file would also be great. If not already made, I guess that I will do it as well because I want it as it is. I would post both to my website for sharing

It is good that it is still a Beta at this point and perhaps some of my musings and comments could help to make the final product better overall.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Space Core Rules Beta
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Rapture: The End of Days. Theological Sci-Fi Horror Core Rules
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2012 02:26:25
At the risk of giving away my opinion in the very first line of a review: 'Rapture' is a game that deserves far more attention than it gets. I first played Rapture shortly after it was released and the very idea was enough to get me interested. Theological horror in space with a decidedly Ridley Scott's 'Alien' feel? Yes please.

'Rapture' is, at the time of writing, only available in PDF form and that's what I'm working with for this review. The 'Rapture' core package includes the rulebook, designed to be read on an iPad or similar tablet and also an editable PDF version of the character sheet, a poster with a map of the Rapture galaxy and details on humanity's population across the stars, some example schematics of space ships and a flyer directing us to the Story Weaver Facebook page. The Human Occupied Space poster is a great addition. That's a very useful tool for introducing the game to players and for coming up with story hooks. The example spaceships is cool, too and I just know that there are players out there who like to have everything mapped for them. I'm not one of them but that's beside the point. The character sheet is exactly what it should be and don't get me wrong, I love an editable PDF for character sheets. But I do wonder if it's necessary in a game where characters are expected to die often. For pre-made characters in a convention style game, it's awesome. But for regular games or campaigns, I can't recommend making all your characters this way. And then there's the flyer – it's a flyer. What can I say?

Okay! Now onto the meat. How is the actual 'Rapture' book? Well, it's concise and heavy and clear. The first part of the book explains the rules. The explanation is broken up to changes, beginning with the basics of character sheets and the core mechanic, then adding the additional systems such as fear, damage and madness in following chapters. While it should be an obvious choice to do it this way, it seems this is the first place a lot of RPG books miss the mark. To be fair, Rapture has the advantage of being a very simple and rules light system. But I'd hate to make it sound like the writer hasn't done an excellent job of laying out the book. Everything is also very concise and clear. It doesn't spend a lot of time clarifying and re clarifying rules endlessly. This is a book that makes itself so clear the first time, that it doesn't need to keep explaining itself.

The rest of the book, and probably the majority of the 'Rapture' core book is the setting. 'Rapture' is set in our world, in our galaxy, several hundred years in the future. Everything from technology to society and religion has changed and that's a lot of time to catch up on before you start playing. Fortunately the theme of 'clear and concise' continues right through the setting information. With all this history of the setting to explain, 'Rapture' makes a point of giving you all the details you'll need and then moving on to what's next. It's tight and without room for question. And that's a point I'd like to linger on for a moment. 'Rapture' does not leave room for question in any aspect of its setting, history or cosmology. Nothing is obscure, nothing is open to interpretation. The setting for 'Rapture' is the setting for 'Rapture'. I can't tell you if this is good or bad, it just is and it's something that stands out for the game.

'Rapture's setting details include include descriptions and mechanics of monsters, equipment, space ships and population counts for star systems colonised by humanity. There's also a lot of details about the history, about the political and philosophical factions that have grown in this world's history. All of this culminates in what's happening within these factions in the present of the 'Rapture' universe. After the setting and the monsters and some GM advice has all been dished out, the book finishes with some short story ideas. They're quick and usable, but I always find these kinds of features in an RPG book are more useful for giving you an idea of the kinds of games you can run, as opposed to being actual adventures you can run. 'Rapture' keeps to the status-quo. Their story seeds do the job without being mind blowing – but saying something is successful if not astounding is hardly a criticism.

So all this means that in just 133 pages, the 'Rapture' core book is a rulebook for players, a rule book for GMs and a setting book. That's a lot to cover in a small space and that makes the 'Rapture' book quite a meaty piece of RPG literature. Between you and me, I call this a win. 'Rapture' is honest and treats the reader like they're an intelligent and experienced gamer. This book knows what it wants to do and how it wants to accomplish those goals and, from where I'm sitting, it succeeds on all counts. The writing is tight and clear, the art is excellent and if you can excuse the occasional typo, the 'Rapture' core book could be the beginning of a great RPG experience.

The 'Rapture' book confesses that this is not the place to begin playing RPGs, but perhaps it is. 'Rapture' is a great example of how varied, how creative and how thoughtful an RPG can be. 'Rapture' isn't for kids and it's not a light hearted adventure game but if you're looking for something new, something entirely – almost obsessively – focused on creating thrilling narratives, then you'll be struggling to find something better.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rapture: The End of Days.   Theological Sci-Fi Horror Core Rules
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Hael Soundscapes - Untamed Sounds
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/21/2012 16:32:51
I’m not familiar with the HAEL setting—except for what I learned in the bonus “Welcome to HAEL” track included with this collection—but I’m always interested in new gaming soundscape products.

“Cavern of the Soul” is a subdued, mysterious track, excellent background for scenes of exploration where you want to create a sense of isolation, mystery, and a lurking danger. The track doesn’t loop very well, however; the abrupt beginning is jarring following the decrescendo at the end. “A Chant for the Dry Bones” evokes a tribal ceremony of some kind through the use of percussion and long ambient vocals, and the track loops pretty well. The moans that punctuate “Danger in the Forest” are less effective; they overpower the music and are so inarticulate that they almost become comical. That’s a shame, because “Danger in the Forest” has some really good musical lines, even though it doesn’t loop well at all.

“Journey of the Warlord,” a percussion-only track as far as I can tell, offers a good bed for scoring a battle against primitive or savage humanoids (like gnolls). The first 20 seconds or so have a clearly introductory character, so this track doesn’t loop very well. Also, in the ID3 tags, “warlord” was misspelled as “warlard” (is a “warlard” the chief battlefield chef?). “A Military Engagement” starts out percussion-only as well, but adds other instruments beginning around 45 seconds into the seven and a half minutes of this track. The other instruments fall out near the end, such that “A Military Engagement” loops perfectly. I don’t really get the idea of a large battle from the music, though; the relatively slow tempo and ponderous beat make it more like “preparing for” or “marching toward” a military engagement.

The longest piece in the collection is “Kirene Dreams,” weighing in at over ten minutes in duration. I don’t know who the kirene are, or why their dreams require ten minutes of vaguely Asian-sounding music with an odd “growly” undertone. Still, it’s a flavorful, exotic track that loops pretty well.

The ID3 tags have the album, track, and composer’s names in all the right places—something that publishers of RPG background music sometimes overlook. However, the tracks aren’t numbered. Album cover artwork would have been nice, too, and would help the collection stand out better. The poor looping on several tracks hampers the overall collection, but you can probably put all of these tracks (well, except the “Introduction to HAEL”) to good use in any fantasy world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hael Soundscapes - Untamed Sounds
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Hael: Night of the Long Fangs
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2012 12:26:12
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

I reviewed the Hael Core Book a few weeks back in a previous post. Storyweaver released a couple of adventures around the same time the core book came out and just today uploaded their soundtrack to the Hael universe to RPGNow. It’s awesome that this setting just came out and there is already so much great support material.

Adventures

Night of the Long Fangs and Burning Bridges (16 and 17 pages respectively) are both presented with Storyweaver’s “Game in a Can” label on their covers. They are both unique sandbox style location based adventures that share a common design structure. The framework is actually very reminiscent of modern console and computer RPG’s (in a good way!). You are given a location that is well mapped out and each page in the books presents a different area of interest in that location. Along with flavor text you get information on NPC’s, stat blocks, story hooks and rumors. Each NPC has their own seemingly independent plot hooks that tie into one grand overarching tale. With this structure it’s just a matter of letting the players explore the area and interact with the populace. I like the way these books are presented very much and they do an amazing job of offering interesting stories without railroading you into clunky plot dependencies that break progress if missed. You can’t beat the value either since Night of the Long Fangs is a very reasonable $3.95 and Burning Bridges is free!

As I said above, it’s fantastic that there’s already excellent support material for Hael. I wasn’t familiar with the old D20 incarnation of the setting so I don’t know if these books are new material or revised and re-released stuff but really it’s irrelevant. I hope to see more of the “Game in a Can” releases soon and I’m really liking the music too. It seems like Storyweaver has great priorities as far as support for their products is concerned.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hael: Night of the Long Fangs
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Hael: Burning Bridges
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2012 12:25:49
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

I reviewed the Hael Core Book a few weeks back in a previous post. Storyweaver released a couple of adventures around the same time the core book came out and just today uploaded their soundtrack to the Hael universe to RPGNow. It’s awesome that this setting just came out and there is already so much great support material.

Adventures

Night of the Long Fangs and Burning Bridges (16 and 17 pages respectively) are both presented with Storyweaver’s “Game in a Can” label on their covers. They are both unique sandbox style location based adventures that share a common design structure. The framework is actually very reminiscent of modern console and computer RPG’s (in a good way!). You are given a location that is well mapped out and each page in the books presents a different area of interest in that location. Along with flavor text you get information on NPC’s, stat blocks, story hooks and rumors. Each NPC has their own seemingly independent plot hooks that tie into one grand overarching tale. With this structure it’s just a matter of letting the players explore the area and interact with the populace. I like the way these books are presented very much and they do an amazing job of offering interesting stories without railroading you into clunky plot dependencies that break progress if missed. You can’t beat the value either since Night of the Long Fangs is a very reasonable $3.95 and Burning Bridges is free!

As I said above, it’s fantastic that there’s already excellent support material for Hael. I wasn’t familiar with the old D20 incarnation of the setting so I don’t know if these books are new material or revised and re-released stuff but really it’s irrelevant. I hope to see more of the “Game in a Can” releases soon and I’m really liking the music too. It seems like Storyweaver has great priorities as far as support for their products is concerned.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hael: Burning Bridges
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Hael Soundscapes - Untamed Sounds
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2012 12:22:12
For full review of Hael products and discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's, please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com/

Hael Soundscapes – Untamed Sounds

Untamed Sounds is a collection of music for use during games. There are six tracks of music (plus a 7th bonus introduction track) that are designed to provide background ambiance for a variety of game situations. The songs are titled according to how they are connected to the Hael setting and they provide music for battles and other common game events. The production values are very high and stylistically the music would be appropriate for most any fantasy setting. (While writing this I kept wanting to write “Album”…. getting old….)

It’s fantastic that there’s already excellent support material for Hael. It seems like Storyweaver has great priorities as far as support for their products is concerned.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hael Soundscapes - Untamed Sounds
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the wonderful review Michael. We really appreciate all the support of our fans! We plan to release some additional tracks for Rapture in the near future as well, plus (if all goes well) some sci-fi tracks for the upcoming High-Space game!
Hael Core Rules
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2012 00:35:33
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's, please visit my blog at www.solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Hael is a fantasy setting for Savage Worlds. The core book, published by Storyweaver, is just over 150 pages and is comprised of about 20 chapters of setting information for both player’s and gm’s. The book also has quick play sections that include information from the Savage Worlds core book which makes this release a pretty much all inclusive setting book.

The basic premise of Hael is that the orc’s and gnoll’s joined forces a little over 800 years before the current time. They grew tired of the treaty/oath breaking humans and decided to launch a military campaign to establish dominance and order. Eventually they conquered the humans and halflings and divvied the continent up with the orc’s taking the northern half and the gnoll’s occupying the southern half. The other races fled into the wilds as slavery became prevalent and basically maintained a barbaric lifestyle. As time passed the orc’s (now calling themselves the Daeorcs), and the gnoll’s (now the Yaena) continued to evolve into civilized peoples. Eventually slavery is outlawed and the barbaric races of human’s, halfling’s and Kirene – four armed humanoids – slowly start to get assimilated into the civilized Daeorc and Yaena societies. This brings us to the current year in Hael. Peace has been held for some time but the introduction of two warring alien races has created new tensions. The Daeorc’s have aligned with the mysterious Stranger’s, and the Yaena have entered into an agreement with the technologically advanced Nuclarine. The motivations of each alien species is clouded at this point and this tense confusing climate provides the backdrop for adventures in Hael.

I like this book a lot. The setting is a skewed fantasy world with a dash of science fiction thrown in and parts of it are reminiscent of books like Blackmoor and Carcosa, which is a good thing in my mind. Unlike most other fantasy settings, the Daeorc’s are the baseline as opposed to the human’s. This is enough of a variation to give Hael a fresh feel and make choices and options during character creation different than other games.

In addition to the cool setting, presentation is another bright spot. The book is complete and yet isn’t an unwieldy size. While there is a lot of setting information, it is efficiently presented making the world of Hael very accessible. Furthermore, unlike some releases that seem to think that quality is directly proportionate to the number of new edges you have, this book takes an economical approach that reinforces the setting while maintaining the core Savage Worlds ideology.

This is a great book. I wasn’t really in the market for a new fantasy setting but this is one of those books that inspires creativity and just makes you want to play in it’s sandbox. I was actually turned off by the “humans are the minority” element at first but after reading the book I’m fully on board. I highly recommend giving this a read. I will be discussing the two excellent recently released adventures for Hael in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hael Core Rules
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Destiny's Children: Near Death Experience #1 for Rapture: The End of Days
by Guy V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2011 04:56:36
This is a great horror game with an original premise for campaign setting (post Rapture futuristic space travel). What impressed me most were the included aids for the game; an extras tracking sheet, dozens of extras (fleshed out enough to be playable) and best of all, an actual recording of the SOS call in the story complete with fuzzy overtones which obscure the few needed bits to make sense of it all. Definitely worth the investment, this game was made for iPad and the use of technology at the gaming table.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Destiny's Children: Near Death Experience #1 for Rapture: The End of Days
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Transit to Perdition: Near Death Experience #2 for Rapture: The End of Days
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2011 05:35:52
I can forgive a lot for the imagination that goes into the gruesome denouement of this tale. I personally don't much like the particular technology that underpins the story and seems to justify any sort of magical occurrence in recent SF. Its background seems a little too contrived. But if the players will never know about it and the GM can justify it as a necessary leap of logic to make the science-horror work, maybe it's nothing to worry about.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Transit to Perdition: Near Death Experience #2 for Rapture: The End of Days
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Jim C. Sorry it’s taken a while for me to reply to you; I wanted to have something to show – that is an update to the product based on reviews – before replying. Firstly, can I say; thank you, thank you, and thank you. The first thank you is for the feedback; any feedback in gratefully accepted. We can’t make things better if we don’t have other peoples’ takes on things. Secondly, thank you for not blurting out the secret core of the adventure. Others would probably have not been so considerate. And third, thank you for speaking your mind and giving me something to work with. While 5 star ‘it’s just awesome’ reviews are good for the ego, they are not that good for improving the product. I like reviews that tell me something that I can do to make things better. Your dislike of the underlying technology of the adventure is not surprising given the way Hollywood has abused it in the past. I do agree that they use it as a cure-all in their storylines - I hope you can see that I only use it as a basis for far more complex and scary shenanigans. The recent remake of a classic 50’s sci-fi springs to mind, however, there it was alien produced. As there are no aliens in vanilla Rapture, everything that happens is due to humankind up until the Rapture itself. Thus, in the secret history, it is mankind’s doing. I can’t do much about your feeling that the secret history section is contrived – it’s been accepted as cannon now by the Universe’s author, and is already referenced to in multiple new works that are in production. But having said that, I lead on to one of the new additions to the product that I hope you, Jim, will access and read, as it was specifically written to address your (and anyone else’s) issues with the ‘underlying technology.’ It’s the Technology Sate of Play document, and it outlines where that tech is in real life, up to the present day, as well as where we see it progressing and fitting into the timeline of Rapture: The End of Days. Dislike or no, this tech is fundamental to advances we’ve made in many facets of production and manufacturing in real life, and it is only going to increase. Given that this adventure occurs over 600 years in the future, I think that it’s quite possible that advancements to that point, even with the 200 years of ‘The Great Gap’ in there, is plenty of time for it to mature into what is presented. Well that’s our opinion, anyway. The other addition I made to the product, based on your comments, was to tie the secret history into the adventure officially. Now there is an audio clue and transcript that can be used by the GM (at the appropriate juncture) to tie it in. I hope that the players will want to read the full secret history after the game’s conclusion, so they can fully understand the effort we put in to not only making the Rapture Universe a rich playing field for your games, but an internally constant one as well. Thanks again for your comments, and I hope this update improves your consideration of our products. We aim for Gaming Excellence, and if you speak, we listen. Best Regards, Ray Duell StoryWeaver Games
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