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The Freeport Trilogy Five Year Anniversary Edition
by David L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2014 20:49:56
There is a lot of good setting and background information here, but the adventure series ignores this to go with the cliché "mad cultists running amok". The back story of the serpent people is incredibly interesting, but they are used as generic antagonists. The npc who goes missing and starts the whole thing off has an interesting (Lovecraft stolen) back story that is entirely ignored. The pirate setting is mostly ignored. This is not to say the adventure is written badly it is just an exceedingly generic adventure set in an interesting city.

The adventure also does not make the best use of its page count. At times it seems like the writer is blatantly including extraneous information to pad out the length and fit a certain page count. There is a very minor npc that only has a couple of lines and is killed off screen, but a half page sidebar is used to detail his entire life story. At another point an entire new class (cultist) is created and assigned to some low level unnamed npcs. Tellingly the class is never used again even though most of the villains in the adventure are cultists. At another point 13 pages are used to give way more information about the various NPCs at a party then would ever be needed even if one were LARPing the party. All of this means that this 120+ page adventure has less real actual content then a lot of 64 page adventures.

Again this is not a bad adventure, instead it is a mediocre adventure with an undeserved reputation and a padded page count.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Freeport Trilogy Five Year Anniversary Edition
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DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. I
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/04/2014 01:25:19
This is a great collection of DC characters statted out using the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition rules. More than just stats, each entry includes encyclopedic-style "biographical" information, with attention given to different people bearing the same name (like the three different Blue Beetles). Practically the only downside to this product is that it was somewhat out-of-date by the time it was published, and therefore it does not reflect the New 52 continuity.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. I
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A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Quickstart PDF
by Ryan N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2014 18:52:06
Great system for playing a fantasy medieval setting with no magic. Places as much focus on diplomacy as warfare, and treats characters as part of an order/family which gives great party ties. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Quickstart PDF
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Out of Strife, Prosperity
by Christopher B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2014 15:09:35
This is a fantastic expansion on wealth holdings for the Chronicle system. It does a lot to give each domain its own flavor, whether its adding farms to outlying domains or spies to a central settlement.

The additional holdings are divided up into Lifestyle, Personage, Estate, and Settlement holdings. Personage holdings include examples such as Assassins and Stewards; Estate holdings include agriculture and quarries; Settlement holdings include Trading Inns and Brothels. Many of the holdings can be expanded: a good example would be expanding the Apiary holding with Candleworks or Mead Distillery.

I only have one minor complaint about the pdf, and that is the lack of bookmarks for easy game reference.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Out of Strife, Prosperity
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Mutants & Masterminds Deluxe Hero's Handbook
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2014 12:36:56
An improvement on 2nd edition. This edition moves further away from its d20 roots changing the tradition dnd attributes and feats. I enjoyed the first edition but found the second edition a disappointment this version looks like a welcome return to form

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Deluxe Hero's Handbook
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A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide: A Game of Thrones Edition
by Albert R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2014 16:42:31
Overall this is a great primer for anyone new to the setting of A Song of Ice and Fire with lots of surface details on all the major locations in the series as well as many minor ones. Included are sections depicting life in Westeros in the various regions as well as a comprehensive history for each along with brief rundowns of known major and minor noble houses. Along with the fluff are statistics for the major characters.

As for what this guide is lacking, the complete lack of statistics for any of the houses or even a listing of their forces is sorely missing and enough for me to shave a star off of what would overwise have easily been a five star product. Overall I'd still reccommend this product even to non role players who are fans of the novels or the show.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide: A Game of Thrones Edition
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Fate Freeport Companion
by Paul M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2014 07:37:20
Definitely a must for fantasy gamers of Fate. Freeport has always been one of my favorite settings for D20, and now that I've been playing Fate, it was an easy decision to pick it up. And it didn't disappoint. It is of the same quality of writing and illustration that I found in my earlier Freeport books. And I found that it works as the best guide I've found to converting D20 stuff to Fate. It's kind of like a mix of Fate Core and Fate Accelerated, with it's use of the all-familiar STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA instead of a core list of skills. The magic system has been invaluable too for my starting fantasy campaign for Fate. So if you want to play in one of the best settings for fantasy gaming in any setting, get it. Or if you want a good way to convert all that D20 material you have to the Fate system, get it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Freeport Companion
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AGE Bestiary: Alien Horrors
by Austin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2014 05:53:33
AGE Bestiary: Alien Horrors is an excellent addition to the AGE system.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AGE Bestiary: Alien Horrors
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Supernatural Handbook
by Billy L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2013 14:47:46
This book was a surprise for me. It complements all of the usual contents of Mutants & Masterminds books with the excellent layout and art, but the content is spectacular. It is the best horror supplement I have read since Chill, or Deadlands Classic Book o' the Dead. The sections on running a super-hero/supernatural game are an excellent resource.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supernatural Handbook
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DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
by Billy L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2013 14:44:43
The title says it all. This is Mutants & Masterminds with a DC dress and it is a necessity for DC fans and M&M players.

This book gives a broad description of the DC game world and the important characters. This was my first introduction to Mutants & Masterminds and sold me on the system in general. It is my favorite M&M supplement before the Supernatural Handbook.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
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Wild Cards SCARE Sheet 13: Stuntman
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/01/2013 12:05:40
Being invulnerable is kind of handy if you want to be a stuntman, but poor Stuntman wants the limelight for himself rather than being someone's unacclaimed stunt double. The backstory is good, although it would be improved with some consistency in tense, telling of how a kid desperate to impress his athlete father found that sporting and academic success eluded him, whilst even winning American Hero didn't bring enough rewards to please his old man.

This leads to an over-eagerness to achieve at any costs which is, for the time being at least, curbed by recruitment into SCARE... but perhaps he's playing the long game?

Be that as it may, a colour illustration and full stat sheet are provided, as usual, to enable you to use Stuntman as an ally, player-character or, well, however you want. Whilst athletic and with a high pain threshold, his sole 'super' ability is that of regeneration, which kicks in at the broken bone level of damage.

Quite a neat character, well-devised.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wild Cards SCARE Sheet 13: Stuntman
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Fate Freeport Companion
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/10/2013 10:24:03
Freeport has been a jewel of a place for fantasy adventurers to visit since its first appearance as the backdrop for the adventure Death in Freeport back in 2000, a very early third party D20 adventure (and, yes, I still have my copy). Since then the place has grown and developed culminating in The Pirates Guide to Freeport (2007) written as a systemless guide to the city supplemented by a range of system-specific 'Companions' for different rulesets... and here's the FATE one, providing all the game mechanical information you need to make the most of this wonderful setting in your FATE games.

It opens with Chapter 1: Character Creation. This explains more than just building appropriate characters, it helps you and your group decide just what sort of game you wish to play in Freeport, and then create a party appropriate to your concept. It blends information from the FATE Core rules (which you'll need to make the most of this book) with setting-specific details to facilitate customising characters to players' vision and the overarching concept intended for your game.

Next Chapter 2: Magic and Spellcasting takes a look at these important fantasy elements, showing how they can be modelled using the FATE ruleset. The use of magic in Freeport includes risks of corruption and madness, brought on by using magic for evil (or even merely selfish) ends and dabbling in dark secrets and Things That Should Not Be, so take care what you do.

Chapter 3: Wealth and Gear covers the character's money and possessions. In FATE a lot gets abstracted, each character is assumed to have most of the basic stuff necessary for whatever he does, and only specific items like weapons, armour and magic items. However if a skill you wish to perform requires specific tools or equipment, make sure that you have them with you!

Then Chapter 4: Creatures of Freeport and Chapter 5: Denizens of Freeport cover the beasties and sentient inhabitants of the city respectively, applying the appropriate FATE mechanics to provide them with the necessary stat blocks to use them in play. A lot of the Denizens chapter is filled with 'generic' characters, the people the party will encounter on the streets as they move around - from beggars and thugs to merchants and nobles - but there is also a goodly number of 'notable' characters: named NPCs whom they may meet and who certainly wield some influence in town.

The remainder of the book is devoted to an adventure, Fury in Freeport, designed to introduce some newly minted characters to this fascinating and treacherous city. It is replete with mysteries to investigate, deadly brawls, undead and evil villains and provides a good jumping-off point for a whole Freeport campaign as by the end of it the characters should have a good feel for the city and its past, and know quite a few people there. Neatly, it is suggested that the characters are newly arrived in town, so the players can learn about the city even as their characters do, avoiding the awkwardness that results when the characters ought to know stuff that their players do not.

If you play FATE and want to visit Freeport, or like Freeport and wish to try out the FATE ruleset, this is well worth reading as it brings the two together extremely well.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Freeport Companion
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AGE Bestiary: Giants
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2013 00:54:10
AGE Bestiary: Giants is the latest pdf release for the AGE system from Green Ronin. It is a short pdf at only 6 pages of content, but it only costs $1.99.

The first section of the pdf offers some very brief background material and game master advice. The background material really feels too brief to be useful, but the game master advice is a little better even though it is still pretty brief. For the most part, I feel like this section could have been much better if it were tied to a specific setting rather than trying to be generic.

The second section presents three monsters. The three monsters are the lesser giant, greater giant, and cyclops. The generic giants are relatively simple brute monsters with high Constitution and Strength scores, good armor, and high damage attacks. The most interesting part of their stats are two powers, Big and Stand Still So I Can Smash You, that together differentiate the giants from other monsters. Big tweaks the costs of some stunts to help a giant feel big and lumbering, and Stand Still So I Can Smash You makes it harder for giants to hit targets smaller than themselves. The cyclops is similar to the lesser giant with a few slightly different stats and a Divine Favor stunt that can provide it with a lasting boon.

The third section offers two templates for modifying existing monsters. The first can be used on the giants presented in the previous section to give them elemental powers similar to those possessed by fire, frost, stone, and storm giants in Dungeons & Dragons. Since fire and frost giants are my favorite giant varieties from D&D, I was pretty happy to see this section. The template has 3 levels (elite, heroic, and epic) with each adding more powers. I particularly like the spell stunts added in the higher levels. The other template can be used to make giant-sized version of non-giant monsters. For example, it could be used to create a giant’s hunting dogs. It also come in 3 levels with each offering the same Big power possessed by the giants.

The final section of the pdf offers a couple of extras for giant-themed games. The first is a half-giant character background. The half-giant looks like it would make a terrifying warrior since it offers multiple boosts to Strength and Constitution as well as allowing two-handed weapons to be used in a single hand. The second extra is a set of abilities for giant-slaying weapons.

If you’re a fan of the AGE system, then I think AGE Bestiary: Giants is a great use of a couple of dollars. I’m not sure how well giants fit in the Dragon Age setting, but the book should let you cover all of the common D&D giant types if you want to run D&D-inspired fantasy with the AGE system.

(this review was originally published at http://glimmsworkshop.com/2013/08/27/age-bestiary-giants/)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AGE Bestiary: Giants
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Dragon Age Faces of Thedas: Varric
by Devin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2013 00:27:12
If you're buying the Dragon Age RPG stats for Varric, you expect to get details on both the character and maybe some suggestions on how to use him in your Dragon Age game. Faces of Thedas: Varric delivers on both.

Even if you've played through Dragon Age II (as I have), you may still find some of the extra information given in this supplement useful as well as entertaining. Mary Kirby's interview gives some solid advice on how to capture Varric's personality and goals while portraying him in-game. The suggestions on how to include Varric in your own games are helpful; it's true that I could probably have come to some of the same conclusions myself after some brainstorming and research on the Dragon Age wiki, but the whole point of buying a product like this is so that I don't have to.

The details on using Contacts, signature items for characters (like Bianca), and applying Set 2's masterwork rules to locations (such as the Hanged Man) are icing on the cake; simple but useful rules that I think will improve my own games.

Chances are, if you're considering purchasing this supplement, you're doing it for the same reasons I am (to see how Varric and Bianca look in the AGE system, likely with an eye toward having him show up in your game). You'll get that (two versions of Varric, in fact, at level 1 and level 5) as well as a few other goodies. If your players have been wanting their characters to swagger around in stylish leather dusters, here's your chance to hand them out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age Faces of Thedas: Varric
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Mutants & Masterminds Gadget Guide: Nanotech
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/12/2013 08:24:51
Nanotech is fun... and a bit scary. It's certainly worth exploring in regard to your Mutants & Masterminds characters either as a way for them to gain powers or as the way in which their powers operate.

It's all about manipulation at a molecular level. Aspects that have clear applications include monofilament and smart materials capable of adapting to their surroundings - perhaps you do not wish to waste time finding a telephone box (if you can, these days) when it is time to spring into action, so you could use smart material that can transform from a business suit to your superhero costume at time of need!

If you want to make stuff using nanotechnology, this probably falls under Inventing, especially if it is not a prevalent and common technology in your campaign world.

There's a whole bunch of ideas here, things that inventive characters can tinker with and any character could use if he could but find someone to make it for him. A particularly helpful application is nanobot 'surgeons' that float around in your bloodstream and repair any injury. If you want to weaponise Nanotech, go for monofilament swords or whips, or concoct an exotic nano-toxin.

The possibilities are endless...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutants & Masterminds Gadget Guide: Nanotech
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