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Don't Walk in Winter Wood
by Buck K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2012 07:13:23
Complexity is the enemy of good role playing games. There. I said it.

I know that some people fetishise “realism”, but nothing brings the fourth wall crashing down on a good role-playing session like your GM flicking through the rulebook looking for the “ballistics-of-a .38-calibre-handgun-in-a-slight-crossbreeze-on-a-tuesday” table.

Don't Walk in Winter Wood is a horror/campfire story mashup set in the colonial US that makes a virtue of simplicity. A great and wondrous virtue.

DWIWW that does away with character stats completely. The GM gives characters a “Cold Token” every time something nasty happens. If the character needs to do something (e.g. listen out for a sound, fire a shot, etc), they need to roll over this number of cold tokens on D6. If the character collects 6 cold tokens, they meet a nasty end (grisly death or insanity, in the grand tradition of good horror).

The game's simplicity makes it ideal for introducing new people to RPGs without weighing them down with rules and stats and extraneous guff.

I bought the book and hosted two old friends (experienced players both), and our wives. Now - these are three smart, creative women; but as we're all in our early 30's and...well...your mad GM-ing skills didn't make you a hit with the ladies back in the day.

I was apprehensive. It could have been a total disaster.

I shouldn't have worried. We had a session that made me remember why I love role-playing.

Everyone totally bought into it. There was a wonderful frisson ever time a cold token was handed over. As the games wore on, players were taking them with shaking hands, identifying wonderfully with the fear and alarm of their characters. A character met a horrifying and abrupt end. There was genuine shock in the room. The others fled from the old house in the woods in terror, never knowing what happened to the little girl lost.

My wife was the first one asking when we'd get to play again.

Buy it now. Right now.

Seriously. Stop reading and click “Add to Cart”.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Don't Walk in Winter Wood
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Don't Walk in Winter Wood
by john b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2012 14:05:33
This is a good gateway game for non-roleplayers or a nice game to play when the game master didn't have time to prepare material for the week's game. It is meant to harken back to telling stories around a fire, and I think it does a good job of that. All you need is a d6 and a few babbles to keep track of your "Chill" points (how scared or potentially, dead your character is), so expense and table real-estate needed is minimal.

A semi-intelligent monkey could figure out the mechanics, and that is their charm. Simulationists will find it way too simplistic, and the lack of a true progression (i.e. a good experience mechanic) means it is going to be relegated to one-shot games for the most part.

I think it has a place around the table for people who role-play regularly. For instance, if you want the characters in your current game to come across a diary written by someone hundreds of years ago, this game system would be a great, organic way to play out an incident or two in that diary (instead of handing out a big block of narrative copy and saying "here's what you find in the diary"). Want to do a flashback to something that happened in one character's childhood? This system might be for you. An hour, maybe two is all that is needed. The characters consist of a concept (innocent child, cold-hearted woodsman or whatever) and Motive (the reason to "Walk in WInter Wood" i.e. why would your character do something scary and potentially dangerous.) That's it. For $5, it was worth the price of admission for me.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Don't Walk in Winter Wood
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2009 07:01:50
Obviously very strongly influenced by, if not centred on, a movie current at the time, but that's OK, "The Village" is a fruitful starting point and this game uses its lessons well. The game has only a single, very simple but viciously effective dice mechanic, ideal for the story that it tells - really a neat example of design.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Don't Walk in Winter Wood
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Roanoke
by Gerry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2007 17:41:35
Taking Wushu, and adding in interesting rules for Horror-themed gaming, makes this a worthwhile addition to anyone's rpg collection.

The setting info, while sparse, is more than enough to get a game going. And the seeds for what happens to Roanoke are great fodder for games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Roanoke
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Roanoke
by Jonathan W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2006 00:00:00
Ran Roanoke last night (the same day I bought it) with about a half-hour of prep. Went super-smoothly and was a blast overall. This is a great concept with great execution and that certainly comes out both in the product itself and in play.


LIKED: The different types of antagonists are presented in a very helpful way, with a fully stated "boss," an occasional "mini-boss," suggestions for "minions" (these aren't quite the terms the game uses), and then interesting hooks for introducing that brand of antagonist into play. Even though I didn't use any of the suggestions directly, they were great starting points to work from. Extremely helpful.

DISLIKED: I'm uncertain about how well the Doom mechanics are incorperated into the rest of the system. Also, the GM and Players are placed rather oppositionally when it comes to Doom, which seems against the cooperative spirit of Wushu. We tweaked this pretty easily to work better for us in play, but that's the only thing that didn't work as well, I thought. Also, the example characters have this "Fatal Flaw" thing, but I couldn't find any explanation of that in the rules.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Roanoke
by Gregory B S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2006 00:00:00
First, I have not played this scenario as yet. I had hoped to run it as a Halloween game, but my schedule did not permit.

Second, I will not be using the included game system material, so my review will not include it.

This product captures the mood of the movie "The Village", but can have actual supernatural components. Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" with all of its grey-mood is also appropriate. In some ways, the senario and setting seem dependent on you already being familiar with these movies. It is not so much a slasher film or gorefest as it is a horror/mystery suspense story with something of a fatalistic outlook (but then it has to be,right?). The writing seems clear and well managed. The adventure establishes the setting nicely and provides minimal background for play. The bibliography is a great resource for added depth (and you may need this if you wish to extend the usefulness of the seeting). This does require somework on the GM's part as specific NPCs (other than master villains) are not presented (although templates are provided if you are using the game mechanics within the product).

Here's what's inside: 1 color cover (White Wolf style); 1 credits page; 2 page table of contents; 1 forward page; 1 introduction page; 5 pages of setting and premise; 15 pages on character creation and running the mechanics (I won't use these except as a guide);15 pages of plot; 1 bibliography page; 1 about the author page; and 2 pages of ads. 44 pages all together, which gives me about 20 pages that are really useful (setting, premise, and plot).

There are not fancy borders here, just black text. Also there is no artwork of any kind beyond the cover.

I like this product and have but one complaint. Every setting book should have one requirement,... A MAP! Since, this is not a fictional setting, one should have been located and inserted (or a URL given for where to find one). Of course you can find one online yourself, but I believe that a generalized map of the area, hand-drawn and styled to fit the mood, would have rounded out this product.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Roanoke
by Philip R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2006 00:00:00
The instant I stumbled across this product I knew I was going to buy it. Without reading more than the description I selected the "Print + PDF" option and paid my cash. As a fan of historical settings and horror, I'm glad that I did!




LIKED: Evocative. Captured my imagination. Made me curse that I never had enough sense to take advantage of the Roanoke mystery.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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