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100 Spaceship Traits
by Lars G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 13:26:49
It's a bit ..
It's dirt cheap, and there are bound to be a few ideas here for you.

But it Is kinda rote; nothing really surprising or new or .. But, it Is cheap.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
100 Spaceship Traits
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100 Deathtraps
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2013 16:42:37
I have enjoyed products in the Second Rat Games line before, most notably the excellent Background Noise. However, 100 Deathtraps is a bit of a disappointment.

The product features a d100 chart, and 100 individual traps or situations which could lead to a character's demise. There are no real mechanics to speak of, and some of the deathtraps are not "traps" in the sense one would perhaps initially consider (For example, leaving someone in the middle of the desert to die is one of the presented scenarios).

Ultimately, there's nothing here that couldn't be harvested from a bit of time on a site such as TV Tropes. This would be a good free or 50 cent supplement to get a Game Master's mind going, but is of regrettably only marginal utility at the current $1.99 price.

I can wholeheartedly recommend checking out some of the company's other titles, but this one probably rates a pass, unless a GM is just really stumped for precarious player situations.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
100 Deathtraps
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Background Noise
by 2 G. 1 M. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/24/2012 21:22:05
I have always loved random tables in my RPGs. I enjoy random games and random happenstance. Some of my favorite products are the random dungeon and character decks from Gamers Rule. I recommend you check them out if you also like random generators, but I’m mostly writing about a book I was recently directed to: Background Noise.

It is available as both a PDF and iPhone app, and although I have an iPad, I haven’t tried the app yet, although I imagine it’s awesome! The book itself is a series of random tables that determine a fairly detailed back story for a character. There are 40 tables in this thing, each cross referenced to one another. Some are used for every character, but many lead to other tables depending on result. If you’re born a slave, for instance, there’s a Slavery Event Table (Table X), but not everyone would roll on that one. All 40 tables are based on percentile, although some have as few as 6 entries. The ranges are not uniform though, so while you can use a d6 in the aforementioned table (Table B Family Wealth), you’d be much more likely to be born wealthy in that case.
I will give you an example of a character background generated using the tables, so you have an idea of what this book can give you. The author considers the work “…a springboard for your imagination,” and I think the following example illustrates that very well!

So, my unnamed character starts off rolling on the tables, and I come up with the following list of things:

Family Satus: Middle Class
Family Wealth: Want for Nothing
From a sub-arctic cliffside city
The Father was a candle-maker
The character was basically raised in a Convent
Born in his home
Firstborn of two children (has a sister)
Parents are respected and feared in the community for unknown reasons
The Mother was a Cleric
While cleaning out a back room of the church, as a lowly acolyte, the character discovered a previously unknown text that sheds light on some previously confusing passages. The find is heralded as the harbinger of great things to come for the character
The father thinks the child belongs to someone else. His thoughts may or may not be correct.
Character used to be infamous for some early mistake. He is forced to change his coat of arms (if any) and change his appearance to avoid recognition and ridicule
Character is a hobbyist actor
He’s a Liar

It took about 7 minutes to roll up that background, including typing it all onto the list. That’s pretty quick considering. Not everything will make sense when you roll, but that’s the nature of random tables. I really enjoy looking at some of the events, many of which can easily provide a nice character hook for GMs to use. Products like Background Noise are a springboard for creativity, something that can offer that little bit of needed inspiration for a player or GM. I plan on using this to create some Fantasy NPCs, and I would not be surprised if my players want to use it, too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Background Noise
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100 Deathtraps
by Keith (. T. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/02/2011 16:23:56
If you love putting your players in deathtraps (and what GM doesn't?) but dislike the tedium of actually creating inescapable doom, then 100 Deathtraps by Second Rat Games may be the product for you. All the traps are system and genre neutral containing no magic or super powered components and no MSG. The traps leave enough time for a character to possibly figure their way out to fight another day but all are designed to kill the character and not simply maim them. You can use the traps as an idea book or randomly decide between 100 forms of mental anguish to heap upon your players as their favorite character faces near-certain death.

Now that's what I call a good time.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
100 Deathtraps
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100 Deathtraps
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/21/2011 23:22:47
This fun booklet gives you 100 ideas for death traps, most appropriate for superhero games but also potentially applicable to espionage or other modern genres. Author Erik Dewey provides a random-selection table (d%) if you want to go that route. Don’t expect lots of crunch; there are no statistics here. Personally, I appreciate the systemless nature of the product, because I can adapt these ideas for use in ICONS (the best match for the booklet’s tone), Mutants & Masterminds, or even Star Wars Saga Edition (stretching things a bit). If you prefer plug-and-play supplements, you’ll need to find a supplement statted for your favorite system instead of this one. Even though I like the system neutrality, I would have preferred a bit more crunch, not game system crunch but physics crunch—how much time various countdowns require, temperatures involved in some of the traps, and so on.

I enjoyed reading through this booklet, and plan to keep it near to hand when planning superhero adventures. However, the production values are only moderate. The artwork fits the context perfectly, but isn’t especially attractive. The layout is very bland, which is probably a good thing if you’re planning to print the booklet. There are also a noticeable number of grammatical errors (for example, misspelling “dry cleaner” as one word) and inconsistencies (“deathtrap” in the DTRPG/RPGN product description but “death trap” in the actual product). I’d add another star if the product were spiffier or better proofread.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Zombie Apocalypse Scavenge Tables
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/20/2010 21:36:07
I like this product, I must say. However, I have several gripes with it.

It's too random. Now, granted, it is scavenging tables, but it's just way too random. I get a feeling that more than 1/50 books you find will be a Bible (best selling book ever, anyone?), or that not as many as 1/100 outfits you find will be a silk kimono. I mean, in some places, yes. In a representative sample? No.

I recognize that the strength of this sort of thing is randomness, but there needs to be some moderation. You are not more likely to find illegal drugs than syringes, even accounting for variety. Syringes have common legal use, and are practically ubiquitous. Wheelchairs (electric or traditional) are more common (each, not combined) according to this table. I mean, I know it's gameplay, but it just bugs me.

While it's great for inspiration, I might be tempted to forgo rolling and just choose a result at random. It's got a nice list of stuff, and it's a lot of stuff, but the percentiles could be reworked. Some things could be split off into sub-tables, like illegal drugs (since, to be honest, six-hundredths of scavenged medical supplies will probably not be drugs, given that there is a lot of effort to conceal them in addition to their scarcity).

So, as much as I like this, and find it interesting (if a little disturbing, since the random tables include grenade launchers and assault rifles [and similar mil-spec stuff] without accounting for situation). If I were to use it, though, I'd probably have to vet the rolls a fair deal, since only so much can be explained away by anarchy.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Zombie Apocalypse Scavenge Tables
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100 Spaceship Traits
by Tim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2010 06:43:34
Spaceships in RPGs can be characters themselves.

The choices of words to describe that space ship are evocative and you know how to roleplay its use, either as a character itself or a prop to be used in a lot of systems. But when it comes my turn...

And I wish I were able to describe things like that. All my descriptions tend to be traditional.

So if you are ever for lack of ideas, "100 Spaceship Traits" is a great way to add color and flavor to your spaceships.

All one hundred are listed on a single page. Roll three times and work the chosen words (or phrases) into your ship's Advantages/Gifts/Edges, Disadvantages/Faults, description, back history, or even game mechanics (Stealth Mode: list rating here).

All one-hundred words and phrases are then described on the following pages. Most are purely space-opera (Boudoir, Cranky Spin Drive) so if you want more hard-SF you'll have to look elsewhere.

If you play Fudge or FATE especially, these words and phrases are instantly tag-able (sure you can have a finned rocket in Spirit of the Century that has Unreliable FTL on your way to Mongo).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
100 Spaceship Traits
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100 Spaceship Traits
by Berin K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/07/2010 20:02:09
The best spaceships in fiction, television, and movies are practically characters unto themselves, as well as interesting locations. The spaceships in most RPGs are, well, boring collections of statistics and deck plans. 100 Spaceship Traits is a cool little PDF if you want to change that. It's systemless and settingless, so it's useful if you run any sort of game where the player characters are on spaceship. All ships have their quirks and their histories, and this is a way to give any ship instant character. It's suggested that eqach ship gets 3, or alternately 1d3, traits. Roll a percentile, and pick from the list. Each result has a detailed description on what it means, so you're not left to enterpret things entirely on your own.

There are benefits, drawbacks, and just plain color here. A ship might be fuel efficient, giving it modifiers to its range before it has to make port. It may have a faulty FTL drive that breaks down at inopportune moments, or drops the characters in the wrong location. It may just have interesting features, like brand new furniture, an extensive library, or a ginchy science lab. Each trait suggests a story, something about the previous owner or something the ship's been through. When you mix three traits and try to work out how the ship got those things, you're on your way to creating an adventure hook.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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People, Places, and Things: You are Here
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2008 00:14:00
I dont usually write reviews but I was pleasantly surprised by this product.

The plot ideas are good and the maps are well done. They picked useful locations but locations that are not often covered by other map products.

The ideas seem pretty creative and I'll have no problems using this 'as is' in future (modern setting) games.

That's what I was looking for and that's what I got.

I'll buy the next one if they do another.

The maps could be a little better keyed, but they work well enough.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
People, Places, and Things: You are Here
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People, Places, and Things 2: Living in a Fantasy World
by Terry D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2008 13:23:47
Starting out the first thing that I noticed about this product was how it had an adventure hook for every map and information about who owns/runs the building. It gives nice pre-made NPCs for and DM who doesn’t want to fall in a rut when describing the man behind the counter or the person handing out the drinks at the local tap room.

Second you can see the detail that was put into these maps and the care on setting up a functional setting for miniature play with plenty of room to actually play in.

On the negative side though the way the maps where broken up for the printer wastes tons of paper sometimes only actually using only an eighth of the paper. I understand the limitations of putting maps out on pdfs but a little more thought could have been put in to the layout to use the most of the paper printed with little dead space of a printed page.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
People, Places, and Things 2: Living in a Fantasy World
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People, Places, and Things: You are Here
by john s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2008 12:56:08
great product. The maps aren't very detailed but enough to make interesting combat and cover some modern things not found elsewhere. The descriptions are good enough to spark the imagination.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
People, Places, and Things: You are Here
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Background Noise
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/28/2008 11:40:37
Despite what many people think about different RPG games, RPGs are by their very nature all about roleplaying not roll-playing. By extension, this involves a character or characters of some sort, each with their own histories, backgrounds, personalities, motivations, and general character quirks. Background Noise, a new product from Second Rat Games, helps one with exactly those mentioned aspects of creating a character. It allows one, through a multitude of tables, to generate a fully detailed, fleshed out and most importantly flavorful character. Background Noise contains more tables than most people would need, and certainly quite a few that many wouldn't even think of. While some players of RPG games might not want this kind of rigid structure, it's a marvellous source of inspiration for extending character concepts that players have envisaged.

This 34 page pdf product comes as a single pdf file. The product contains both a table of contents, and an extensive list of bookmarks, allowing you to easily navigate through the pdf. The bookmarks are doubly useful as they actually link to specific tables, which makes it easier to find what you want. Layout and editing is good, with the addition of some wonderful stock art from the talented people at Cerberus Games. The majority of the pdf contains over 40 different tables to use when creating a character, and good advice is provided on both using the tables, and what each table is for. As is almost natural for most products on the market these days, there are one or two minor writing/editing blips, but nothing that's needs specifically pointing out. Presentation is overall very good, with an easy to use product, good and liberal use of art, and good writing in the tables.

This product is all about breathing life into your character, fleshing out his or her personality or background, and generally making them more flavorful as an individual and a person (or creature, as there's no reason this can't be used for something like that, albeit it might require some modification here and there). The large variety of tables include details such as family status, birthplace, childhood events, personality, hobbies, good or bad events in a character's life, pets a character may have had, love events of the past or present, curses, crimes, disfigurements, etc. There is literally something for most areas or aspects of a character's life that you can think of. And most of the writing detailing, for example, a childhood event, shows some imagination and is generally a good fit for a typical individual. The product should be useable for any genre, although it feels like it's more geared towards fantasy, rather than modern or space.

I found this a useful, and often thought-provoking pdf. It does exactly what it says on the cover, and does so well. The product doesn't help to create concepts per se, but it does help to flesh out a character once you've decided on a specific concept, and it's possible that the process of working through the tables of this product will inspire a specific interesting concept. You could argue against the utility of the product, as other useful resources exist to determine a character's background, but having all the right information in a single place is a good utility. I think the areas covered by the product are covered well, although here and there a little more imagination, or perhaps an additional table or two would've enhanced the product. Overall, extremely useful, well presented, shows good imagination, and decent value.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Background Noise
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People, Places, and Things: You are Here
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2007 01:51:25
A so-so product. You do get 29 maps, but some are rather small, being hardly more than a single room. The biggest shortcoming was the designer's choice to make the 'floors' garish candy colors, which will be a ink-killer if printed and distracting if used on a virtual table-top. Far better to go with B&W like the superb Oones line. Or at least left the floors uncolored. As it is, some maps are such a pastel explosion they are hard to use.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
People, Places, and Things: You are Here
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People, Places, and Things 2: Living in a Fantasy World
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/06/2007 09:56:00
People, Places and Things 2: Living in a Fantasy World is a 54 page pdf product for any fantasy campaign system. This product in the second product in the People, Place and Things series, and features details and maps for a number of locations that one would find in a fantasy world, often in and around a town or village. The product includes complete descriptions of a 11 new places, along with large scale 1" battlemaps and general overview maps of said locations.

The product comes as a zip file containing a main pdf file with overview maps and descriptions, and 11 individual pdf files containing the 1" scale battlemaps for each of the locations in the product. The main pdf contains a full set of useful bookmarks. The product layout and editing is good, and there is a scattering of art throughout the product, mostly NPC faces done by Larry Elmore, but there are some other pieces of art in there as well. As this product is generic, there are no mechanical details or statistics for any of the NPCs mentioned, and those wishing to use a particular system would have to create their own (although a web-enhancement with suggestions would probably not have been a bad idea for more popular systems). Overall, a very well presented product, with decent layout, editing and writing.

This product is about locations - it provides a detailed description of each of these locations, as well as two different maps. The first map is a general overview map of the area using a smaller scale, while the second map is a large scale 5 feet = 1 inch map useful for combat or miniature gaming. Both types of maps are located on separate pages, making it easy to print them if desired. Examples of the locations provided in this product include The Mill, The Blacksmith/Farrier, a Pottery, A Charcoal Burner's Encampment and an Arcane School. The descriptions of each of these locations include details regarding physical location, layout and description, NPCs typically found there and details about them, as well as numerous plot hooks for using the location in your campaign.

This product provides not only complete descriptions of a number of locations, but also fantastically beautiful maps and some really intriguing plot hooks. There's a lot of meat and utility to this product that most DMs will be able to use. The maps are excellent, and show even the fine details such as food on a dinner plate, or a book on a table. They're practically laid out as well, with the location making sense, and providing some of the items and furniture one would expect from such a location. The location descriptions are detailed and vivid, providing not only a clear picture and sense of purpose of the location, but also some intricate and wonderfully detailed plot hooks. These are some very good plot hooks in there, offering plenty of opportunity for using the locations in your fantasy game.

This is a great product that offers good value for money. For the price of this pdf you get two sets of beautifully rendered maps, including battlemaps, detailed locations with interesting NPCs, and a whole slew of plot hooks to wet your appetite and encourage using these locations. The locations are in a sense 'non-standard' to your fantasy world, often the more forgotten locations or those overlooked. So if you're looking for something slightly different to your typical inn or tavern, then this product provides something a little less ordinary, and concentrates on the 'little people' in the fantasy game, giving even them a chance to provide adventurers with good challenges. Worth a look at this product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
People, Places, and Things 2: Living in a Fantasy World
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People, Places, and Things 2: Living in a Fantasy World
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/29/2007 09:59:27
The focus of three dimensional combat as brought on a slew of dungeons and dragons cartographers over the last few years. Some of them are good enough to publish and sell their maps in PDF form. Some think they are good enough.

But after seeing 2 or 3 dozens of inns, castles and haunts, they the artwork and styles can begin to run into each other. Whereas some have a distinct cartoon fill some have a very realistic painting feel and the majority fall into the middle of the bunch. People, Places and Things 2: Living World, by Second Rat Games, would probably fall into the upper portion.

However, instead of just provide a bunch of finely detailed battlemaps, they go one step further and add a biff 54 page PDF that adds a lot more richness to the battlemaps you read included.

Living World is a collection of 12 PDFs. 11 of them are sets of battlemaps on multiple pages. The theme of the battlemaps all center around fantasy locations parties would find in a habited place. The artwork is really rich in color and the items such as beds and swords are detailed quite incredibly. They are certainly a caliber above other PDF battlemaps.

The Last PDF contains descriptions of the artwork and gives a backstory to each of the 11 locations. Each location entry has the owner’s name, a description, how it operates, and the people who visit it. They also have a couple of neat features you would not expect. One is an impromptu weapons section that describes various things in the shop that can be used for battle. The other section is Adventure Hooks, which is very meaty and lengthy considering the product.

For the DM
My favorite part of the entries were the impromptu sections. They are quite simple but very well thought out. I like the idea of using a bonesaw and bandages in the vets place.

The Iron Word
The artwork alone is worth purchasing this product. But shear amount of information you get with it makes this a must buy. You get character descriptions, a boatload of maps, adventure hooks and campaign starting plot lines. It is a heck of a lot of product for such a small amount of money.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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