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d6 Magazine Issue 6
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2014 12:30:02
Obviously a labor of love, and a very well done at that.
Nifty art scattered throughout, but the cover, with its tatters and wrinkles and fantastic action scene is the best.
The adventures within are fun and evocative of both the system and the various settings.

A fun read and a good download.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d6 Magazine Issue 6
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Azamar the RPG
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2014 18:44:21
Excellent D6 fantasy game!

Wicked North Games continues to deliver excellent D6 gaming products with their releases. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Azamar the RPG
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Westward Premium Edition
by Terry P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2013 01:46:43
This was a surprise. Its a nicely done world. Lots of gear and lots of creatures. You will be pleased with it. If they had a big publisher, this would be a $40 book. Get it, you wont be disappointed.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Westward Premium Edition
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Westward Premium Edition
by Tun K. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2013 02:47:29
This was a surprise and a delight for ten bucks - a cinematic steampunk RPG with a solid system that's pretty much the same as the one I started gaming with back in Ghostbusters 1st Edition. They even have a Wild Die mechanic that goes a step beyond the old Ghost Die/Wild Die mechanic from the old West End Games D6 games.

The Kickstarter really helped to get a great bunch of artists onto the book - the art varies from painterly loveliness to gritty but competent black-and-white sketches, and I love that every monster and almost every piece of technology gets a separate illustration. The monsters are seriously, seriously creative - bladeheaded birds and land predators, shield-headed horses, electric tortoises and terrifying acid-spitting burrowers.

The 357-page book comes with some basic GM advice and a host of adventure seeds as well as one full-length scenario. It's got a hyperlinked index and bookmarks like you would expect, although the bookmarks aren't grouped by header and there are some odd omissions - why does every piece of tech get a bookmark, while there are no bookmarks for the wildlife at all?

Overall, a very impressive - and complete - effort for Wicked North Games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Westward Premium Edition
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2013 12:09:49
In a swirling epic mix of science fiction, western and steampunk, travel to a far-flung planet and explore! That sounds exciting enough, but there's an interesting twist even to that: characters are not those original explorers but their descendants almost 350 years later. Those first homesteaders in the stars somehow found a hostile and barren world to settle on, and since then folks have been struggling to survive.

Opening with the standard 'What is Role-Playing?' piece, next comes a fascinating dissection of how to tell a cinematic story - start with a premise, and follow that with several scenes each of which has a setting and events.. think about it next time you watch a movie or TV show. With a few other bits like a glossary of terms, we're off to Chapter 1: Gameplay. Here the rules are explained, basically a variant of the OpenD6 mechanic that was itself derived from the core system used by West End Games for games like the first Star Wars RPG. Don't worry, however, if you are not well-versed in rulesets past and present, as the system used for this game is explained clearly and in detail. It will not matter if you have never played a D6 game before, it is easy to pick up particularly when as well explained as it is here!

Chapter 2: Characters looks at character creation. There are 2 routes here: there are some excellent templates provided from which you can pick one and personalise it, or else you can create one from scratch. The first things to decide on are the trade or occupation (i.e. character class) and 'race' - which here relates to whether the character is a city dweller (differentiated into those who live in Capital City and those who live in other settlements), a settler (who travels between settlements, trading and exploring) or less welcome types: scavengers, ferals and misanthropes.

Once decided, the character is built with attributes and skills. Even if not going as far as using one of the templates, you can speed the process by picking 'packages' which are based on the sort of character you intend to play and bundle up likely skills you'll need. Chapter 3: Attributes and Skills then covers in detail both attributes and skills, also showing you how to use them to best effect in play. This is followed by Chapter 4: Character Features... these are additional abilities which both add flavour and mechanical advantage to the character. For example, a character with the Imperturbability feature is very calm no matter what, and this aids not only him but those around him to cope with difficult circumstances, giving a mechanical advantage when willpower is needed.

Chapter 5: The Known World sets the scene in which adventures will take place. Westward is a remarkable planet - it's about the size of Jupiter yet surface gravity is about the same as on Earth, while a 'day' is 60 hours long! The year is 500 days long. (Some proofreading would help here, several paragraphs are hopelessly muddled and whilst what I've written here is what is intended, they don't say it!) This is followed by some historical information and details on what the world is like now. And of course, these are dangerous times and only looking to get worse. Good for adventure, if rather hard on those trying to live here!

There's a beautifully illustrated gazetteer, complete with rumours and all manner of information to help you feel at home. Then we learn of the different groups of people that will be encountered, which is worth reading before you create a character as it might give you some idea of where you want to fit in to the world. Some notable individuals are also detailed - you may meet them in your travels. This section continues with a look at creatures. Many are domestic animals, brought from Earth and familiar, but there also is native wildlife to contend with - some make good eating, but many are quite deadly. With lots of illustrations and ecological notes, this section makes good reading - and should your adventures take you roaming outside of settlements, vital information for your survival.

Next Chapter 6: Technology covers all the gear and equipment that you will need to live and survive and go about your business. And weapons. A nice feature is the write-ups of certain items, describing not just what they do but a bit about how they were invented. Being a steampunk game, many of these are inventive and amusing, as are the 'enclaves' - biomechanical augmentations that in another time and place might be called cyberware. There is also a range of automatons that might come in handy, too; and some spectacular vehicles. For mecha fans, there are several steamechs - you can buy them readymade or create custom ones from an array of components.

This is followed by Chapter 7: Adventure Design. Ideas will probably be spawning by now, after reading earlier chapters, and here is plenty of good advice on how to turn them into adventures suited to the unique environment and underlying cinematic style of this game. (Oddly enough I am preparing to teach a Digital Media class, and a lot of this will prove useful as the theme set for the students is steampunk...) To provide examples, there are several adventure outlines showing how the recommended approach is put into action as well as a complete adventure, The Incident at Fort Southridge, to get you started.

Throughout, the whole book is beautifully presented and copiously illustrated. At points, a proofreader would have been helpful to tidy up sentences that go nowhere or make no sense at all, but overall it is well written and thought provoking, creating the feel of a real world in which adventure is to be had in a genuinely cinematic style. Thoroughly enjoyable and original, this is well worth a look.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Azamar the RPG
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/21/2012 16:09:02
Azamar is a fantasy RPG that gives a few interesting twists to the traditional fantasy tropes. A good portion of the setting is typical fantasy fare – the history, for example, features a long history of war and a tyrannical leader of the dark forces bent on world domination. The details of the setting diverge from the norm, however – full-blooded humans are rare rather than dominant (so rare that a limit of 1 per adventuring party is recommended by the rules). Some of the character races bear likenesses to familiar fantasy folk – the dwarflike Immyr and gnomish Enfri are two examples – while others are a bit more unique to the setting, such as the impish Shrave. Each of these races is presented with the typical attitudes that they may have towards members of the other races.

The world of Azamar is interconnected with many others through a metaphysical barrier called the Fabric. Magic users can manipulate this barrier to create magical effects, and can even travel through mentally, spiritually, and physically into another realm called the Blur.

The system uses a modified version of West End's versatile d6 system – players who want their characters to attempt an action roll a number of d6s equal to the appropriate attribute or skill number, and try to beat an assigned target number. One die in every roll is designated as a wild die that “explodes” on a 6 (that is, it's added to the total and rolled again as a bonus) and indicates a fumble on a 1 if the target number isn't reached

Character generation is a point-buy system – dice are assigned to attributes and skills, and a pool of points is spent on Character Features. An optional table allows players to roll a random background for their character. Magic users can choose a faction to align with – Asceromancers, Elementals, Zamaranth, Tatuaxe, Weavers, and The Order – and each bestows special abilities to the spellcaster.

As with many RPGs, Azamar contains a “brownie point” system – rewards for creativity, roleplaying, defeating enemies, etc. In this case, it's been named Cinema Points, and any that are earned can be used to improve die rolls, activate Character Features, or improve character aspects during downtime. One of my favorite elements of this game is in the Cinema Point mechanics – a series of multipliers are given that are to be applied to any CPs that the GM gives out for defeating opponents, which results in better rewards for outwitting, capturing, and even converting opponents over killing them. It's a great little touch that encourages roleplaying over brute force.

The book is rounded out with a ton of Azamar lore – strange deities, calendar and cultural holidays, locations, a bestiary of some very unusual and alien creatures, an extensive section on GMCs, a brief sample adventure (Road to Azamar), and 22 character sheets (several for the different races, and one blank sheet).

My only criticism of the product would be the organization, which seems a bit haphazard at times. The equipment and combat sections, for example, come near the end of the book after the bestiary, instead of closer to the front where the character creation and general rules are.

Azamar a unique fantasy RPG that's packed with potential for many adventures, and would be a great RPG for beginning players or young people.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Azamar the RPG
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Azamar the RPG
by Kyle W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/20/2012 16:53:21
Azamar is an awesome fantasy setting. It's just plain grand on all levels-it takes a tried and true genre, spruces it up with new and innovative stuff, then combines it with a tried and true system, mixing it up enough to keep things interesting but still sticking to the important core tenets.

Basically, this is a fantasy game done well; nothing's terribly obtuse, everything's quick, there's detail, good art, typesetting, and more!

Azamar is an interesting game because of the conventions of the fantasy genre it observes and those it doesn't, and it has a very complex and well thought out world, and while it may be one of many in a popular genre it manages to have a distinct feel of its own. It's a little bit grim but doesn't revel in it like some games would, so it falls in an interesting space in terms of feel and the setting combines traditional conventions with some notable tweaks (though these are not always that far off from conventions).

Quick Summary:
Content: 5/5 (Covers the setting and players well, there's a lot of good stuff here, and it's rather original and deep)
Art/Typesetting: 5/5 (No complaints and very uniform, nothing to complain about)
Writing: 4,5/5 (Not always the clearest or smoothest, but well-done nonetheless)
Awesome Factor: 4.5/5 (It's a fantasy setting; it may be a bit creative, but there's still a lot of those)
Interest: 4/5 (Fun, but loses some points just due to the massive amount of similar stuff)
Maturity: 12+ (No real complaints, touches on racism and war [not losing points for it])
Value: 5/5 ($5 is truly a steal for a fully featured game like this, especially given its production values)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d6 Magazine Issue 1
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2011 22:23:54
(review originally posted at tenkarstavern.com)

d6 Magazine is a free magazine devoted to the Open d6 gaming system. The system that finds it origins in the original Star Wars RPG is now an open system, much like D&D 3.5e. Free magazine for a free RPG. Amazing how things work.

Inside you get a very insightful interview with one the core writers for the old WEG company, I love my gaming history articles, and this is a good one.

The article on the Wild Die is a good one, especially as I don't remember using a wild die in the few sessions I ran of Star Wars - must have been first edition.

Oh, can't forget the sample campaign for a d6 sci-fi campaign.

The price is right and it's well written and presented.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
d6 Magazine Issue 1
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d6 Magazine Issue 2
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2011 22:15:25
(review originally posted at tenkarstavern.com) It seems like yesterday that the first issue of d6 Magazine hit the virtual news stand. Actually, it was less then 2 weeks ago. That's a damn nice pace.

What do you get for your FREE d6 Magazine dollars?

32 pages of d6 goodness:

An excerpt from the upcoming d6 RPG: The Black Desert covering robots and androids. Pretty useful if you are planning on running a sic-fi campaign, or even used for making golems in a fantasy setting.

Graiv's Magical Curiosities - "A shop of useless magic items". Pretty much everything here is adaptable to an OSR game or pretty much any RPG, as the majority are stateless and systemless.

Cinnamon and the Maco - Floor plans and sats for a sic-fi spacecraft.

Broken Wand - an adventure using the Cinema6 rules. At about 16 pages long, it's fairly sizable, although that does include a page and a half summary of the changes Cinema6 does to the cored6 rules.

Really nice magazine. The fact that its free makes it priceless.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
d6 Magazine Issue 2
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d6 Magazine Issue 2
by Evan E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2011 13:57:54
This is a fairly slick PDF magazine with good production quality, although the layout is occasionally rough. The spelling and grammar are fine, and the illustrations nice and colorful.

The content, however, is where this publication shines. While there are only four articles they are very meaty, with specifics and details on their chosen topics. They cover quirky and interesting fantasy items, a personal spacecraft with a full color map and stats for the owner, a classic fantasy adventure, and an excerpt from an upcoming game detailing different types of robots.

The key thing is that most of these are creatively written bits of information, all of them worth considering dropping into your game, no matter the setting. The ideas are good enough to translate into different settings and systems: this is a solid resource for any GM or a player looking for interesting ideas to present to their GM (use the spaceship as your own or propose one of the "useless magic items" as something you created or are looking for).

The length of articles fit the magazine format, which limits two of the articles. The adventure is well written, but is typical for adventures published in magazines: it assumes you will fill in everything between the details of the stats and the broad overview of plot. For experienced GMs, this is not an issue, but like most adventures out of magazines, it would be a poor choice for an inexperienced gamer to run a game with. The robot article is an excerpt from an upcoming work, and there is decent coverage of explaining how robots work in the setting, presenting the three major types of robots. This is followed by only two fairly generic examples, which may be reasonable for a gaming manual, but in a magazine format, most people are either looking for exceptionally quirky and interesting examples to work into their game, or a fair number of different examples with basic stats to use to flesh out a game with background characters.

Overall, this is a well written, well edited magazine, especially given that this is the second issue. I look forward to seeing what comes out of Wicked North Games in the future, and hope that future issues maintain this high quality of content.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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