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Battlescenes: Werewolves of the Gestapo (ICONS)
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/21/2012 10:45:26
An action-packed battle scene (single combat scenario) for ICONS/Vigilance Force that pits the heroes against a nasty pack of Nazi werewolves. Includes stats for a standard werewolf trooper, silver warwolf, and a Nazi psychic agent that can be run as is, dropped into any other adventure, or act as recurring villains in your campaign. Whichever choice you make, this supplement is well worth the admission price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battlescenes: Werewolves of the Gestapo (ICONS)
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Vigilance Force: Heroes of WWII (M&M3e)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/13/2012 21:49:50
Vigilance Force is a resource for Golden Age / World War II superheroic roleplaying providing groundwork for, and the core of, the US superteam. It is a great resource for a WW2 campaign or to flesh out the background of a modern superheroic game.

Amazing Stories of World War II: Vigilance Force is a 19-page PDF (16-pages after you remove the cover and OGL pages) for the Mutants & Masterminds (3rd Edition) RPG written by Charles Rice, Mike Lafferty and Leon Chang and published by RPGObjects. This is part of RPGObjects’ Amazing Stories of World War II line.

Vigilance Force has mostly a traditional two columns layout and is fairly easily readable. The art consist of a beautiful full color cover with color interior pieces illustrating five of the characters and a marvelous full page piece showing all of the Vigilance Force.

Vigilance Force is the American Superteam that operated during the Second World War (in the Amazing Stories universe). It starts with an introduction, which details the formation of the Vigilance Force as well as giving some light world background, and then moves onto the eight members of the team who range from PL 10 to 12, making most of them suitable for use as starting characters.

The characters are an interesting mix, some super-science characters, some mutants, a pulp crime fighter. All are interesting characters but the background information provided on each is highly variable with the exception of poor Captain Miracle, the team’s gadgeteer, who is lacking any information beyond his statblock.

An adventure seed, “the atrocity incident,” which was also the trigger event which created two of the heroes (Hornet and Marauder) and a group of monsters, stats for which are provided.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vigilance Force: Heroes of WWII (M&M3e)
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Pearl Harbor December: Villains of WWII (M&M3e)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2012 20:34:52
Pearl Harbor December is a resource for Golden Age / World War II superheroic roleplaying giving the GM access to the Imperial Japanese Superteam with which to bedevil allied heroes.

Amazing Stories of World War II: Pearl Harbor December is a 12-page PDF (9-pages after you remove the cover and OGL pages) for the Mutants & Masterminds (3rd Edition) RPG written by Charles Rice, Mike Lafferty and Leon Chang and published by RPGObjects. This is issue 3 of RPGObjects’ Amazing Stories of World War II line.

Pearl Harbor December has mostly a traditional two columns layout and is fairly easily readable. The art is full color cover with a few color interior pieces illustrating five of the seven characters detailed.

Pearl Harbor December is the Imperial Japanese Superteam that operated during the Second World War (in the Amazing Stories universe). It is given a brief introduction and then moves onto the six members of the group who range from PL 10 to 13 and one group of beings (“Savage Men”) that share a set of powers.

The characters are an interesting mix, a few mutants, one power suit wearer and several mystical characters. They all seem interesting but we are only given a minimal description beyond their statblocks, two paragraphs at most.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Pearl Harbor December: Villains of WWII (M&M3e)
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Books of the Wastes (Mutant Future)
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2012 12:57:20
A nifty little collection of book artifacts for Mutant Future, plus a brief system for reading and gaining character benefits from them. These could also be used with most any post-apoc RPG like Deadlands: Hell on Earth and Gamma World. Background images make the text a little bit difficult to read.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Books of the Wastes (Mutant Future)
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Clash of History: Witch Trials
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2012 06:48:31
Interesting overview with some ideas you can use in your games.
Good for a starting point, but not enough to really give the full scope of times. Granted this is for a game and not a history class.
Obviously best for Earth-like settings.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Clash of History: Witch Trials
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Devilish Duos: Smoke and Mirrors
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/08/2012 20:17:45
I love well worked up characters for supers games. I love supernatural characters. And I love products that have appeal across games. While this is an Icons product, I see there are M&M versions out as well. That beign said the value here is in the character write-ups and those can be used anywhere.
Smoke and Mirrors are two such characters. Though I have to think it was just a quirk of chance that made them as they are and but a change in the same fates could have made them...well not good, but certainly not villains, though Smoke could have been had she been allowed to live her life. And that is the key here. Not that these are well stated out or the art is good (true on both counts) or even that there nice little paper minis to use (there is and they are a nice touch) but that they are characters I would want to get to know to use.
Actually I want to use them in a horror game. There they would shine.
The Mutants and Masterminds version includes Hero Builder files, which is also a nice touch.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Smoke and Mirrors
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Devilish Duos: Smoke and Mirrors ICONS Edition
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/08/2012 20:15:26
I love well worked up characters for supers games. I love supernatural characters. And I love products that have appeal across games. While this is an Icons product, I see there are M&M versions out as well. That beign said the value here is in the character write-ups and those can be used anywhere.
Smoke and Mirrors are two such characters. Though I have to think it was just a quirk of chance that made them as they are and but a change in the same fates could have made them...well not good, but certainly not villains, though Smoke could have been had she been allowed to live her life. And that is the key here. Not that these are well stated out or the art is good (true on both counts) or even that there nice little paper minis to use (there is and they are a nice touch) but that they are characters I would want to get to know to use.
Actually I want to use them in a horror game. There they would shine.
I got the Icons version, but I would gladly pick up the M&M version too.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Smoke and Mirrors ICONS Edition
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Due Vigilance- The Oktobermen
by Jared R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2012 20:32:13
This is a great product. A team of (varying degrees) evil mercenaries with magical powers, the group is pretty useful anywhere you run a supers game that does, indeed, have magical powers as any part of the game. I have two magical characters in my campaign, I as I read the entries, I could pretty easily start coming up with scenarios where at least one of them would run afoul of this group.

What I like even more is that they work as a team, but using any of the characters individually isn't a bad option either. They are a bit on the Vertigo side of squickiness scale, but the degree to which you push the issue is obviously up to you.

For even more fun, there is a chart that tracks the relationships between the characters, so that you get a better feel for how to run them as a team and how they would react to one another as well as the PCs. That's a nice addition to the mix.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Due Vigilance- The Oktobermen
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Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
by Jared R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2012 20:26:41
If you are interested in this product because of previous offerings from Vigilance Press, such as the Oktobermen, and you want some interesting villains to throw in your campaign, this isn't what you are looking for. But you still want this.

Why? Okay, if you never, ever have any kind of romantic interactions in your campaign, maybe you don't want this. But if you do, there is a lot of really nice information in the product. There is some pretty sound general advice about romance in supers campaigns, new advantages and features for Mutants and Masterminds that have to do with romantic interaction, and there is even a subsystem for determining romantic progress, as well as details on what happens when heroes get a broken heart.

Now, I've heard people say, across various game systems, that you don't need rules to roleplay. I agree, but having good rules that aren't overly intrusive and reinforce roleplaying certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to nudging someone that might not take time to woo an NPC to do so.

The actual NPCs are fun as well, but not really villains, and barely heroes. They are a nice addition to the campaign if you have a game where you explore superhuman celebrities that are not strictly the crusading type, and they have a few nice, subtle applications of the rules detailed in the supplement applied to them.

The unsung hero of the piece is the poor guy that gets the least details on him. Just the bit about Serval's rogues gallery makes me want to see him get his own write up, and I have a feeling that his rogues gallery, further fleshed out, would make Flash's rouges look like the League of Assassins by comparison.

The art is very nice, definitely on par with the upper tiers of RPG publishing, and the layout and look of the stat blocks is very sharp. I can't recommend this if you really don't have any romantic notions of any sort in your campaigns, but if you do, or you want to explore adding it, or you just want to see how mechanics that reinforce roleplaying interpersonal relationships could look like in Mutants and Masterminds, I don't think you could do better than this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
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Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
by Joseph C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2012 13:22:52
Lovely art, thoughtful genre and rules coverage, and an offering of interesting characters make this a should-buy for anyone who enjoys adding the element of romance to their M&M role-playing experience. The writing is both clear and eloquent throughout, and the art made me wish that wallpapers had been included. The new rules and advantages flow naturally from both the letter and the spirit of M&M's mechanics. Indeed, this product was easily worth the introductory discounted price of $2.99 by page 7 and worth paying full price by page 11 - and you're just then getting to the character section. The characters themselves aren't so much villains as walking complications. Plot hooks are included, but the characters are complex enough that they easily suggest all kinds of story ideas beyond those already provided. It's an excellent supplement all the way around.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2012 07:27:00
The second product in the Devilish Duos product line comes out taking a swing at Valentine's Day with 18 pages of romance-themed content. The product greets the reader with a stellar cover by Denise Jones and colored by James Dawsey. If you saw this on a bookshelf at your FLGS you'd know what it was about even without reading the title. As customary the artwork is reprinted on the second page without the titles and branding.

The credits page has an "Obligatory Introduction About Romance, Sex, and Squid-Men…" which had me laughing, and readies the reader for what's to come; all with tongue planted in cheek. Going into the meat of the book things start out with a discussion about romance and comics; a history lesson, and a reminder that though it may get overlooked romance is a part of even superhero comics. Segueing from history into a lite discussion of the way that super powers dovetail into romance introduces the reader to the four "C"s of superpowers and romance.

The rules section takes up a massive seven pages. Starting with a discussion on Advantages, both those in the core rule set, as well as some new ones, it moves on to talk about Features and Skills, before getting into a rules system. The system is fairly low impact, calling for rolls only at major milestones (first impressions, dates, and eventually break ups) while also encouraging role-play not only to help set the stage and tone of the romance but also as a means for the GM to provide bonuses or penalties based on that same role-playing. Extensive examples are provided and are both entertainingly engaging, and very well written to showcase the rules, as well as the various ways that powers, Advantages, and skills interact within the system they have created.

Lastly, but not least, are the Devilish Duo themselves; Amp and Rail are a pair of super powered characters who used to be an item, but have recently taken a trip to Splitsville. While not villains as such they are both deep in the throes of post-breakup recovery. Three adventure/plot hooks are provided, and show how each character can be used, either as a foil for PC-NPC romance, or as a potential thorn in the side of the other NPC. A third character is given a brief write-up as well, as part of one of the hooks. The characters are interesting, with believable backgrounds, and Amp in particular has a very interesting and original power-set.

Closing Thoughts:
With two complete characters (plus a 3rd with stats but limited background), 7 pages of optional rules, and a page of discussion, Strange Attractors is jam packed with content. Everything within is written to a high standard, and the rules and discussion present a well put together way to add some mechanical crunch to the soft and squishy side of love. I've never once wanted rulesy crunch in my RPed romances, but the rules presented here all service the story while still giving "roll-players" something to chew on.

There's nothing to be found in these 18 pages that doesn't work on one level or another. I can't even find a nit to pick.

Rating: 100% - Vigilance Press really knocked it out the park with this one. At the current sale price of $3 this product is a steal when compared to Green Ronin's own Threat Report and Power Profiles lines.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Smoke and Mirrors ICONS Edition
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2012 23:21:21
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: The first in a new set of ICONS products (Mutants & Masterminds version also available) by Vigilance Press, Smoke & Mirrors features a pair of supernatural villains for your ICONS game. Written by Jack Norris and featuring art by Jack Dawsey, and only 99 cents in PDF format, Smoke & Mirrors is only ten pages, (closer to six when you remove covers and OGL
information), but that's still more than enough to detail a pair of characters. Smoke and Mirrors are lesbian lovers and vicious murderers, and each have unique twists: Smoke is a ghost who can touch things in the real world, while Mirrors is perpetually invisible, and can only be seen in mirrors. Smoke is a spirit of vengeance who has a hard time keeping her rage focused entirely on those who deserve it, while Mirrors is a psychotic killer who murders on behalf of The Unseen Gods.

WHAT WORKS: Each villain has some unique twists, and have backstories open enough that they could be used in a variety of settings. A few general plot seeds are included, in case you just really have no idea how to use them. Also, the PDF includes printable stand-ups of Smoke and Mirrors, if that's your preference.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: One plot seed includes a sidebar for using the Oktobermen from Due Vigilance #1, a Mutants & Masterminds only supplement that, last time I checked, isn't planned for an ICONS release. Smoke's powers indicate that she can become "hard to see", but I'm not sure how that's reflected mechanically, unless it's meant to be part of the Blinding stunt off of her Mental Attack power.

COncLUSION: Strong art by James Dawsey combined with interesting writing by Jack Norris and an "impulse purchase" price point make this a winner, unless you only like to use ICONS for "animated series" type games, then these two are going to be a tad too dark for that sort of thing. Impressive product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Smoke and Mirrors ICONS Edition
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WatchGuard ICONS- Teen Force Five
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2012 23:19:21
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Teen Force 5 is a PDF release by Vigilance Press and Xion Studios for the WatchGuard universe, featuring five heroes (Teen Force 5) and five villains (Dark Faction). Each character is given an extensive bio (Marvel Handbook style, almost to a "T"), stat block, character portrait and printable standee. The PDF is 26 pages (including cover, OGL information, standees and so on), and costs $10.99, which admittedly, makes it stand out like a sore thumb among the rest of the Vigilance catalogue. Teen Force 5 is Bluechip (who reminds me a bit of Triatholon from Avengers, except his enhanced Traits are boosted and not always "on"),
Jupiter (the female "brick" of the team"), Soundwave (a DJ with sonic/auditory powers), Tempest (a moody weather controller) and Vignette (a Goth mind controller). Dark Faction consists of Braindamage (a Telekinetic with ADHD), Bulldog (the team's brick), HardKnox (son of a luchador, with Osmium Steel Knuckles bearing "Hard" and "Knox" on them), Vespa (scientist turned thief in
powered armor) and Zero (who can "halt molecular motion", making him REALLY hard to hit if he's aware of the attack).

WHAT WORKS: Zero is one of the better power concepts I've seen in a while. HardKnox having his name printed backwards on his Knuckles threw me at first, until I realized this way they would leave a "Hard Knox" impression on anything he hit. Standees are always great. The artist on Jupiter does a nice job of drawing her as an attractive woman with muscles, and not just a regular comic book female who happens to be super strong.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The only background information for the setting is buried in the backstories of the characters, leaving references to things like Summit City and the MHx-trait chromosome pretty meaningless for someone picking this book up (and it is the only Watchguard release for ICONS thus far). Bluechip's bio is (mostly) written in past tense, for no reason that is ever explained. Superhero mind controllers are always really awkward to pull off. The price point versus the content just does not hold up well to other Vigilance releases.

CONCLUSION: At a lower price point, I would have a higher opinion of this product. None of the characters really stand out as anything I haven't seen before, but they also aren't noticeable rip-offs or homages of existing characters, either. Not usable as a starting point for the WatchGuard universe, but certainly mineable for your own games (I'd especially swipe Zero...fun challenge right there).

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
WatchGuard ICONS- Teen Force Five
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Wargames: The Globalist (ICONS)
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2012 23:16:08
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Ah, the Wargames series. GI Joe meets superheroes. The Globalist is a Cobra Commander looking chap who is head of an organization called UNITY, which basically seeks to become a big enough of a terrorist threat that the rest of the world joins forces against it, breaking down the barriers between nations and forging a one world government. Kinda like
what Ozymandius wanted to do in Watchmen, except The Globalist is putting himself in the line of fire. The PDF is only $1 and includes The Globalist's backstory (with a fantastic twist), his stat block and stats for his Peacekeepers.

WHAT WORKS: The Globalist has a CRAZY secret in his backstory that is almost impossible to just guess, and makes him and his Peacekeepers MUCH more dangerous than you would think. He's also a villain of a radically different philosophy than General Venom, providing a "balanced outlook" to the crazies of the Wargames universe.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Oh, the backstory twist may be TOO much for some people. Not in an offensive way, just an oddball way. I, personally, think it's great. Yes, I'm reaching for "complaints" here.

CONCLUSION: I love the Wargames series by Vigilance Press, and this entry continues to impress me with a unique villain who pays homage (in appearance) to another classic Cobra Commander look (mirror face instead of hood), but with a unique backstory and approach all his own.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wargames: The Globalist (ICONS)
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Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest (Mutant Future)
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2011 19:23:36
Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest, is a sandbox style campaign setting for Mutant Future. Mutant Future is the OSR movements re-imaging of Gamma World and other Old School post apocalypse games using the OGL as it's core. There is a link to a free download of Mutant Future on the Free RPG List on the left. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy. Don't worry. I'll wait.

OK, now that you have your rules, we can discuss the setting and what a setting it is. Think Post Apocalypse with classic western overtones, then dial it up.

The combination works better then I would have expected, but then the Firefly TV series showed that sci-fi with strong western overtones can work very well. I give Vigilance Press major props for finding a strong setting concept for Mutant Future that isn't an obvious one, until you read it. It's that good.

Salt Lake, Vegas, Phoenix and other well known locations make the transition to Mutant Future with enough highlights that you'll recognize them, but so much changed that they are totally new.

We are given location write ups, the major factions (and their relation to the different locals), but even more importantly an abundance of adventure hooks. You could easily run a campaign for years using the Nuclear Sunset setting and the adventure hooks supplied. That's a true compliment for a product that is 20 1/2 pages long.

My one complaint is that it is not printer friendly. The nuclear watermark and background art on the text pages will kill your ink. It's not a huge complaint, as I don't plan on printing out a copy (I love my tablets for PDF reading), but I know some of you do like to print your own so I felt this should be pointed out.

Nuclear Sunset is an excellent value at 99 cents. If it's half as much fun to run as it is to read, it's one of the bigger RPG values available.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest (Mutant Future)
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