DriveThruRPG.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (Legend)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/22/2013 06:39:31
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/05/22/tabletop-review-ultimat-
e-roman-legions-guide-legend/

This sourcebook is an historical compendium of information on the famous Roman armies during the height of their military power, roughly 30 BCE to about 290 CE. This version of the book is for Legend, a fantasy role=playing game from Mongoose Publishing based on RuneQuest. I am not familiar with Legend, but I thought I would take a look at this book anyway and see what it had to offer.

The Might of the Legions

While I have studied the Roman Empire in its later periods, I don’t know a lot about the age of military might and expansion that this volume covers. This is perhaps the period Rome is most famous for though, and the book seems to be pretty comprehensive and written from an authoritative and knowledgeable position. It starts off with a bit of flavor, a few pages of story to give the reader a feeling for the period and attitudes of the army. After some historical information, the book drops a list of gear consisting of weapons, armor, and siege weapons. Following that, details about the structure of the legion from ranks to unit organization are laid out with their Latin terms and meanings, along with a listing of known standing legions from the time.

Next up is an interesting and concise tactical guide detailing how the units would be arranged on the battlefield and their basic tactics. This sections has some nice diagrams letting the reader know how things were expected to progress, and what the physical arrangement might typically be when facing armies such as the Germanic tribes. A short section on life in the Roman legions gives the reader insight into what the typical soldier did and how they were seen in society. Along with these tidbits are sections on the structure of the transportation infrastructure, the menagerie of people that made up or followed the army around, political uses of the army, and then information on various emperors during the time period this book covers.



Playing Centurion

The last twenty or so pages of the book get to some stats, characters, and adventure seeds. This is the only portion of the book that is not purely historical information. You get a big list of character professions, some pre-generated characters, and some statted-out NPCs. After that, you have two adventures sketched out in a nice format, with names of pertinent people, the plot, etc. The first one involves investigating a senator for occult behavior,and the second one is a scouting mission where the players may have to make some tough moral choices when they contact barbarian tribes.

This is a well-presented volume and has a lot of concise information about the Roman armies during this period. The material is quite dry and has a textbook feel, but it does deliver the facts. There are full-page illustrations interspersed throughout, and there are some nice visual aids which are nice and colorful to appeal to people like me (I suppose). I think any game master looking to run a game or campaign in Roman times would find this quite useful and especially folks who may not be familiar with this historical period may enjoy the overview given of the troops, emperors, and major battles that occurred. This book does seem to focus on the conflicts with the Germanic tribes and seems to wholly ignore other forces that Rome’s legions faced such as the Sassanids, but this is not a definitive historical tome, it’s a game book. If you’re looking for a quick but thorough reference for your Roman history needs, this seems like a great book to pick up. It’s pretty cheap, and it can help you add authentic flavor to your game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Roman Legions Guide (Legend)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Savage Insider Deluxe Issue #1: Modularity
by Sean P. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2013 19:25:52
SEAN'S PICK OF THE DAY: With so much setting-specific material re-released in stand-alone formats, the folks who do Savage Insider decided to take the rest of the material and compile it into a single, stand-alone Deluxe format. This makes a great jumping-on point for the series of products.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Deluxe Issue #1: Modularity
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mercenary Breed: Hastilion Expanse Compendium I
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2012 00:28:28
Environments of this group of worlds are a bit Flash Gordon-ish and descriptions of its society are oddly simplistic, but nevertheless there's probably a good amount here to build a mid-length space opera campaign. I'd want to put some work into it. A couple of new alien species play important parts in the sector's politics and might be of wider interest.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed: Hastilion Expanse Compendium I
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Faith & Demons: The Rising
by Morten K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2012 02:22:28
I was impressed with this product. It has a good background story, lots of options for creating unique characters and a new and improved way of utilizing knowledge skills.

However, the plot point campaign is too thin. It only contains a few missions, none of which are very interesting. But if you plan on making your own campaign I can only recommend this product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Faith & Demons: The Rising
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2012 12:28:09
Bottom line up front. Incomplete. No real understanding of the religions portrayed.

This book falls into some of the pitfalls that other independent Savage Worlds setting books tend to do. Namely making changes for changes sake. There is a great deal of flexibility already built into the system. The Fantasy Companion and the Horror Companion add more for this genre. The author has added rules for armor (layering, arcane user penalties) that are cumbersome and unnecessary and have been addressed by mechanics in the core rules. Weapons are also treated with new cumbersome rules (basic and martial a la DnD, and up to +5 to hit!) that show a lack of understanding of the basic system. This could all be ignored, except then there wouldn't be much to use.

As a setting this book it is very incomplete. As mentioned by another reviewer. Western Europe is entirely left out of possible nations to use. So is Islam and the Arab conquests. Muslims had conquered Arabia, North Africa, Spain and had even marched on Paris by this time! They aren't in the setting. There is no explanation in the book why this is. As a Sandbox style setting this would be an epic fail.

The Plot Point campaign and Savage Tales exist which is a plus, however there are no Adventure generators and the Savage Tales are pretty sparse on details.

Religion is oversimplified to the point of dangerous. The Author tells us that religion plays a large part of the lives dark age peoples. It did but what we get in the book is grossly simplistic and wrong. The Plot Point campaign is set in Kievan Rus. There is no mention of the Eastern Orthodox Church (key to the formation of Kievan Rus) and its differences with the Roman Catholic Church. Although the Catholic Church is mentioned. The Catholic Church is represented as a inquisition driven organization with no mention of its powerful and altruistic unification of European culture. When specifics of Christian religion are mentioned it becomes a mish-mash of pantheistic theology poorly reminiscent of DnD. Christians are viewed as a bunch of haters whose main mortal sin is not punishing the wicked (which in this setting is everyone other than Christians). Reading between the lines the Christian Religion and its followers run a close second to the Demons as villains. In discussing Demons and the Undead the author cavalierly attributes motivations that are at odds with a functional alliance that stretches credulity from a secular standpoint let alone a theological one. And fails to logically explain why.

This setting book has tremendous potential. If you decide to buy it be ready for a lot of effort to make it work. I would suggest waiting for a re-write or another setting book.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2012 23:35:22
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Like the expanded edition of Mercenary Breed, another of Mystical Throne Entertainment’s mini settings, this new iteration of Judgment Day is a refined and improved version of an already cool product. I reviewed the original release of Judgment Day previously so I won’t bother rehashing what I already wrote. What I will do is talk about what’s new in this expanded edition.

Beyond the additional new content, which I’ll discuss in a minute, the greatest improvement in this expanded release is a seemingly intangible thing – focus. The original book had a lot of great material for incorporating inquisitional organizations into a setting. The information as presented was well done but it lacked a unique sense of character – which is where this expanded edition comes in. Probably the most obvious improvement is the art. Everything from the excellent new cover to the B&W interior art evokes a unique horror element that wasn’t present in the original release. While the Inquisition is still the structural framework for games in Judgment Day, the presentation has taken on a decidedly darker lovecraftian feel which is exactly what this book needed. The original release mentioned the Cthulhu Mythos in passing but there’s something to be said for the stylistic consistency the expanded edition brings to the table. In addition to the art, the presentation has been tweaked to make this book feel less like an off shoot of MTE’s Savage Insider and more like its own product (like what was done with Mercenary Breed).

Content wise there are quite a few updates and changes. Much of the text has been reworked and rewritten and organizational structure is much improved. Also of note is a new section titled “Inquisitor’s Retinue” that lists options for characters being recruited for inquisitional jobs or missions. The section is of particular interest to me because it mentions supernatural recruits, which is an option that was not available in the first release – its inclusion here is very welcome.

The book also has an expanded bestiary that is organized by target type. There are sections on aliens, beasts, demons, dragons, ghosts, vampires and witches. This is an awesome addition since I lamented the fact that monsters, like were-tigers, were mentioned in the first book but not included in the bestiary. That omission has been rectified in spades in this new expanded edition and MTE has done a great job of making sure you’ll have plenty of nasties for your players to hunt (or be eaten by….).

Another area that has been reworked is the adventure generator. While Judgment Day includes a light weight Dresden-esque modern horror setting to use right out of the box, the book truly shines as a toolkit for building your own game setting. Aaron T. Huss, the mastermind behind MTE’s books, has retooled the adventure generator so that you can randomly build an adventure with a deck of cards. It’s important to note that this system is designed to provide a general framework and inspire creativity. It is not realistic to expect the tables to give you a fully fleshed out ready to go game. Just to illustrate – and because it’s fun! – let’s quickly use the tables to come up with a game idea.

Card 1- Genre Element and Era – 2 of Hearts: Post Apocalyptic, Ancient Egypt ….. cool!

Card 2 – Adventure Type and Purpose – Ace of Spades: Eliminate threat at all costs, Unknown Creature Sighting

Card 3 – Choose Your Antagonist – 3 of Clubs: Bargest

Card 4 – Creating Cults – Cults Location and Purpose – Queen of Hearts: Cult in urban area, Purpose is to Summon

Next I rolled dice on the 4 cult tables (Animals, Celestial Bodies, Colors and Misc.) to get some ideas about what kind of cult they are. I end up with Eagle, Planet, Blue, Burning

_____________________________________________

Using the elements above as inspiration I begin writing my adventure:



Famine to Feast…… For the Beast….. For the Beast

The city of Giza is the center of civilization. The untimely death of the Pharaoh has left the city at the mercy of several cults vying for power and control. In the midst of this political upheaval a vile inky black cloud darkens the sky. At first the populace is able to hold their fear at bay. Eventually, as weeks pass and the darkness persists, chaos erupts. Thousands are killed in the panic that follows. It becomes increasingly difficult to survive outside the city walls and news of the outside world is soon completely cut off. Those who remain within the city rally behind the leaders of one cult or another as each group explains away the darkness as punishment for trespasses committed by an opposing sect. Some of the more sinister groups start to call upon dark forces best left unnamed in a desperate attempt to wrest control of Giza from the opposition. One such cult, The Cerulean Flame, has started performing putrid rituals involving human sacrifice. They have summoned the Shadow of Anubis to seek out and feast upon their enemies. Unfortunately, the Shadow isn’t as particular about who its meals are as the Brothers of the Flame had hoped, and many of their own members have been slain and eaten. With each day that passes the carnage is greater and greater. To make matters worse, the Shadow of Anubis grows stronger with each feeding. It’s only a matter of time before the food runs out in Giza and the beast hunts abroad.

The pc’s are part of a group of hunters overseen by the Magi of Ra – a reclusive sect of seers who live in the deep desert. The magi are wise beyond years and have tasked themselves with seeking out and destroying evil in the world. Recently, the Magi have received news that a massive volcanic eruption has clouded much of the desert in the north in blackness for several weeks. There has been word that the city of Giza has fallen into chaos and that a cult within the city has summoned the Shadow of Anubis. The Magi know that the Shadow is insatiable and must be stopped at all costs. The pc’s are sent into the blackness of the north with instructions to kill the foul beast. They are warned that The Shadow of Anubis isn’t the only danger in the city. The cults within Giza are not to be trifled with. The Cerulean Flame literally has eyes everywhere. They have ensorceled desert eagles, identified by their stained blue crests, that watch over the city and report back to them. etc. etc. etc….

_________________________________________

At this point one could flesh out a couple more cults and important npc’s and work on maps and descriptions of important locales. Again, the tables won’t give you a complete setting or adventure, but they are fantastic sources of inspiration!

This is a great expansion on the previous book. MTE has done a fantastic job of refining their output and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Judgment Day in the future. Everything about this release is improved (there’s a map in the included adventure!). That’s impressive considering that the original book was already a fine addition to the Savage Worlds product line. It’s also worth mentioning that if you already purchased the first release of Judgment Day you can contact MTE and get a discount code for the expanded edition. As I said in my previous review, it’s a fun read and there’s plenty here whether you want to use it in its entirety or just borrow bits and pieces.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day (Expanded Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Faith & Demons: The Rising
by Frank F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2012 13:17:56
I really like this book except for one big glaring omission. Where is Western Europe? Whatever happened to Charlemagne? It's like there's this huge, gaping hole where there should be France, the Duchy of Lorraine, Acquitaine, Spain.
Unless I have missed something (which I may very well have) then this work is incomplete. What is there is excellent but incomplete.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Savage Insider Issue 4
by Lynnette L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2012 06:00:50
This issue was actually the first I picked up, and it made me immediately fall in love with the Savage lands. The articles are well written and kept your interest as you read, and they gave extremely good examples of characters and artifacts, as well as interesting ideas for making a stale game become exciting again.

Not only is the magazine well-written and easy to follow, but the graphics it contains are very well drawn out, and make the objects and people being described seem to pop out. This magazine left me with several new ideas for the game I am currently running. I will defiantly be checking out the earlier editions, as well as waiting eagerly to see what they roll out with next. Keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiration, guys!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Issue 4
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Savage Insider Issue 4
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2012 23:07:28
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Another great issue of Savage Insider! This is my favorite cover by far. This issue includes an adventure for the upcoming Tunse'Al setting by Obatron Productions, as well as interviews, reviews, and other useful Savage Worlds gaming information. You can't beat the price either.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed (Expanded Edition)
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2012 22:59:26
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Aaron T. Huss is a prolific fellow. In the past year he has launched Savage Insider, released Mercenary Breed, Judgement Day, and the Faith and Demons Quick Start, and has another setting called Ancient World in the pipeline. Somehow, during the flurry of releases, he has managed to go back and do a revised and expanded edition of Mercenary Breed – and this new version is awesome!

I reviewed the original release of Mercenary Breed awhile back and the core elements and intent of the setting are the same. You play a merc in the employ of a corporation who is sent out to settle the interests of your employer in a galaxy of your game groups design. While the setup is the same, what’s different is the presentation.

This book has been redone from front to back. In addition to the fantastic looking new cover (blows the old one out of the sky), the entire layout has been revamped. The new layout is much cleaner and word count per page has been reduced to facilitate a simpler more readable look. Comparing the two versions on my tablet I was very happy to see such a significant improvement. The new expanded version has foregone including all of the Savage Insider tie ins which results in the book feeling more like its own product as well as freeing up some real estate on the page.

As far as differences content wise, the additions seem like they were added from my mental wish list from the first edition. Equipment, maps, and ready to go npc’s? Check! The tables for generating planets, aliens, and adventures have also been retooled to embrace the use of playing cards. I liked this idea in Savage Space and I like it here!

So what’s missing? That depends on your perspective. Mercenary Breed is a mini setting that is purposefully designed to facilitate cooperative world building between GM’s and players. What that means is that this book isn’t designed to be a fully fleshed out game world. The book takes a toolkit approach which means that work is required. Aaron has included a couple of home worlds, corporations, and alien races to make it easy to get a game going quickly, but the real pay off comes when your group starts building a universe together and then playing in that cooperative playground.

Mystical Throne Entertainment will be releasing further material for Mercenary Breed in upcoming issues of Savage Insider so there’s a lot of room for growth with the setting. One area in particular that I hope will be expanded upon is space ships. Right now there are essentially no stats or rules for ships in the game. This makes perfect sense for a merc setting where all of the action is usually planet side. Rules for ships and space combat, however, would be an excellent area to focus on in an upcoming expansion.

This book is fantastic. The first premium issue of Savage Insider already has expansion material for the setting and I’m excited to see what comes out in the coming months. If you have any interest in a Savage Worlds space setting at all, you can’t go wrong adding Mercenary Breed to your collection.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed (Expanded Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Faith & Demons: The Rising - Quick Start Guide
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/25/2012 19:29:30
Usually when you find a Quick Start Guide, its to introduce you to a new system. In the case of Faith & Demons, it's to introduce you to a new setting for the Savage Worlds Rules.

So, what kind of setting is Faith & Demons? Well, it's our world, around the years 1000 AD (the authors don't use C.E. dating, and I applaud them for it). The Dark ages might be owing to an end, but creatures from the dark have made it into our world. It's a world of magic (many types of magic). It's a world in trouble, and it's up to your players to help stem the tide of the undead and other evil that walks the world.

It's historical in it's foundation, but obviously strays far and wide in this setting, which is fine. It's a fantasy setting will roots players can relate to.

The quick start includes a short introduction to the setting, a short adventure and 6 pregens. The one small complaint I have is that the pregens are caster heavy - 4 of the 6 characters are casters. Maybe it's my roots in D&D, but I feel that the numbers should be reversed. Well, that and the only part of Savage Worlds I have difficulty grokking is the casting. Go figure ;)

Still, not bad for free and looks like an interesting setting for Savage Worlds.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Faith & Demons: The Rising - Quick Start Guide
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Faith & Demons: The Rising - Quick Start Guide
by Ghost W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2012 11:14:00
I'm not familiar with the savage worlds setting, but this was very well written, and had a few interesting characters in it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2012 23:42:36
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at

http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Like Mercenary Breed, Judgment Day is a mini setting for Savage Worlds. The book presents a variety of additional rules inspired by the Catholic Inquisition. It uses the basic structure of the Inquisition in much the same way that core Savage Worlds handles spells. Specifically, the underlying organizational structure is fairly universal and it becomes a matter of using the appropriate trappings to produce the desired game. The idea here is that there is a central governing body which has appointed a Grand Inquisitor, who in turns oversees the foot soldiers of the movement (the pc’s) in rooting out whatever evil the governing body finds most repulsive and or dangerous.

This basic setup covers a wide range of possible game types. For example, the GM may run a traditional Inquisition type game where the pc’s are representatives of the church who are tasked with finding and destroying witches, vampires, ghosts, etc. Alternately, one might run a game in the far future where the pc’s are tasked with finding and destroying hostile aliens in a setting that resembles a Warhammer 40k type game. There is a lot of common DNA here with games like Solomon Kane and Rippers as well. While I was reading through the book it occurred to me that it would even be fairly easy to use the rules to create a BPRD like organization from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe and superimpose that worlds trappings over the framework presented in Judgment Day. The only real restriction imposed in the book is that the pc’s cannot be what they are hunting (so no witch pc’s hunting witches). This is an easy to circumvent restriction though and one that I find interesting given that the Dhampir race presented in the Savage Insider Premium Issue 1 specifically discusses half vampires that hunt Vampires. The implications of that inspire me and I can see running a fairly interesting game where the church is unknowingly using monsters to hunt monsters or several other variations.

In addition to the rules for integrating an Inquisitorial organization into most any game or genre, there is also a setting provided by the writer Aaron T. Huss. The setting is pretty light and is placed in a modern time line covering events in and around the Great Lakes in the U.S.. While reading through the campaign provided I was immediately picturing Jim Butcher’s Dresden books- especially given that the characters are based in Chicago much like Butcher’s electronically challenged wizard protagonist.

Overall Judgment Day is a well put together book. The bestiary section was a little disappointing given that the book specifically mentions monsters like werewolves and were-tigers early on and then doesn’t include stats for them in the book. They can be found in other Savage Worlds products but including them would have made the book feel complete. Also, as I have mentioned in previous reviews of MTE products, I wish there were maps. Having said that, these mini settings are very favorably priced and satisfy their intended goal. Furthermore, MTE has plans for additional support through future releases of Savage Insider, and has already made good on that promise with the wealth of material offered for Mercenary Breed in Savage Insider Premium Issue 1. This is a fun product and even if you aren’t going to use it exactly as presented, there is plenty to read for inspiration.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Judgment Day
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mercenary Breed
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2012 03:34:49
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at

http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com

Mercenary Breed is a “Mini Setting” as coined by Mystical Throne Entertainment, and is presented as an offshoot of their Savage Insider Magazine. This book is an introduction to the setting and further supplements will be released in the future in the premium version of Savage Insider. The setting is provided as a framework, and the introduction makes it clear that the game world should evolve with play and also with the input of the players. It is more or less assumed that the pc’s will be mercenaries in the employ of one of a variety of corporations and the core of the setting is built on that idea. Key to the advancement of the pc’s is “Renown”. Renown works almost like an experience system in that as the pc’s complete merc missions they may be awarded an amount of renown proportionate to the difficulty of the mission. Equipment within the setting is assigned a renown number and is essentially off limits for requisitioning to the pc’s until they are of sufficient level. It’s an interesting mechanic. As presented within the scope of the roles available it works, but I don’t know that I’d use the mechanic if I was using the setting as a sandbox for space adventures.

The book has several chapters that are set up like a toolbox for building your game world. The central theme of corporate control is ever present but the universe itself it wide open for world building and the book contains myriad tables for randomly generating everything from home worlds to alien species. There are also a few pre generated species and worlds ready to go if the gm is so inclined to use them. It’s worth noting that while the alien generation table is well done, I “tested” it by trying to reverse engineer some popular aliens from film and literature and under that scrutiny it is hardly comprehensive. Other tables in the book cover building corporations and also bestiary creation. There is also a mission generation table for constructing an adventure by rolling up story elements.

The final section of the book is a collection of savage tales that a gm may use as adventures within the setting. While they are fairly well done I lament the fact that there are no maps included with any of them. I can appreciate leaving them vague to allow customization but it’s nice to have a complete adventure ready to go for an unplanned last minute game.

Overall Mercenary Breed is an interesting take on the Space genre. It is well worth the $5 price tag and given the excellent job MTE has done with the Savage Insider Magazine I think the setting shows a lot of promise.

In a future article I will discuss the first premium issue of Savage Insider (which was just released) that includes the first supplementary material for Mercenary Breed. Stay tuned!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mercenary Breed
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Savage Insider Premium Issue #1
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2012 03:20:57
For more discussion about Savage Worlds and other RPG's please visit my blog at

http://solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com/

Mystical Throne Entertainment has been hard at work with their Savage Insider line of products. In addition to the free electronic issues that come out quarterly, they have released two settings books under the name and now this premium issue of the magazine. The settings books, Mercenary Breed and Judgment Day, were both released as “mini settings” with the intention of releasing additional supplemental material in the premium issues of the magazine. The first premium issue of Savage Insider makes good on that promise, offering a good amount of additional material for Mercenary Breed. Additionally, the book introduces a new race and an archetype that aren’t tied to the setting.

The new material for Mercenary Breed includes details on a region of space called the Hastilion Expanse. The Expanse is home to nine planets, 8 of which are outlined in the text. The ninth planet, Helioside, is available from the MTE webite as a download. In addition to the planetary information, there are additional character options and equipment lists. The equipment stats include the Renown Number for player requisition (see my previous review of Mercenary Breed for an explanation of that mechanic). Following the outline of the Hastilion Expanse is a campaign broken up into several sections. The encounter entries are classified based on whether they will be Role Playing, Investigation, Exploration, or Combat encounters. I liked this style of organization though it makes the outcome of each encounter sound like a forgone conclusion. I do not, however, think that it is the intention of the writer to railroad the players into a pre determined outcome. If I spill some role playing into an encounter labeled combat I hardly think my campaign will unravel. Overall the campaign is fairly well done though there are no maps included except for a hex map of the planets. I suspect this omission is to allow greater GM customization but I think leaving them out lowers the utility factor of the book.

The premium issue of Savage Insider also includes MTE’s version of the Dhampir as a playable race. Aside from the variation in spelling from the version presented in the Savage Worlds Horror Companion, MTE fleshes the race out a bit further by including more racial bonuses that are balanced with additional weaknesses. There are suggestions for including the race in various game genres as well as a couple of fleshed out Wild Card NPC’s. There is a one sheet Savage Tale at the end of this section that incorporates one of the NPC’s, but like the other MTE adventures released thus far there are no maps.

The issue is bookended with the introduction of a character archetype called the Heirophant. This “Auspicious Archetype” is outlined in much the same way as the Dhampir race with advice for incorporating the class into different genres. A Wild Card Heirophant NPC is presented as well as information on a sample cult and stats for mook cultitsts. Another Savage Tale is included and again there aren’t any maps. The exclusion of maps in this case isn’t as problematic as this tale isn’t quite as location based as the Dhampir adventure.

This maiden issue of Savage Insider is packed with setting information and is worth the $5 investment. I like the inclusion of the Savage Tale one sheets though I hope that MTE starts including some maps in future releases. The appeal of these issues would be significantly greater to me if there were fully fleshed out one sheets ready to be plucked out for last minute games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Insider Premium Issue #1
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 16 to 30 (of 45 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates