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Only War: Core Rulebook
by Seamus C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2013 13:43:30
It's interesting to think that this started off as merely a splatbook for Dark Heresy, and funny to see just how much this whole great idea ran away from them. Short version: good book, good game, worth the money.

Being more-or-less the same system as DH it is easy for a 40kRPG veteran to get into, but there are some interesting changes to pay attention to. Righteous Fury has been streamlined a bit, for instance. Probably the most interesting change is 'leveling up'. In previous 40kRPGs what class you were determined what skills and talents you could learn and how much they cost, in addition to the XP cost of improving attributes. In Only War there is something called the 'Aptitude' system. For instance, one might have an Aptitude in both Ballistic Skill and in, say, Offense (I'm almost certainly paraphrasing). That's two aptitudes that run along the same track, so talents and skills along the lines of Two Weapon Wielding (Ballistic) will be at their cheapest (the 100 XP track). A single aptitude gives you slightly less of a discount (the 250 track) and having none of a talent, skill, or attribute's associated Aptitudes means you'd be paying full price (the 500 xp track). A character gains Aptitudes depending upon what specialty/class they choose, with additional ones sometimes being granted by your regiment. While this certainly makes a given character specialty lean towards taking certain things it does not actually restrain them from going for the most expensive options; there are no character paths to progress by, merely a small block of 'recommended' advances. While going outside of your Aptitudes is expensive, actual prohibited advances are few to none.

The regimental set-up is very interesting, especially the regimental creation rules which allow the entire party to build the regiment that they come from using a point buy system. This also simplifies the character creation process, as your regiment plays a large part in determining your basic kit, a few starting talents or skills, and maybe an aptitude. Replacing a dead character is much easier, as you are handed a bunch of equipment and goodies at character creation and do not have to worry about being TOO far behind the older, surviving characters.

The Logistics set-up is interesting, in-character for the universe, and potentially hilarious (were supposed to be issued a tank, were instead issued several crates of booze, for instance).

The Comrade system allows for PC created and controlled NPCs to fill out the squad (and for the GM to kill mercilessly whenever the players make a mistake).

The vehicles are a great addition, ESPECIALLY the new tables for Critical Damage as done to vehicles. The Crit tables in the FF 40kRPGs were always a blast, and now we have an entirely new set.

I will say, however, that there was a severe oversight in the vehicle section: no aircraft. The explanation given is that they are more the purview of the Imperial Navy and will thus not be in Only War. But there is an entire type of regiment designed to be jumping out of aircraft, a specialty that is built to handle vehicles and would need just one more option to choose to be able to fly them, and there are pictures of Valkyries. All. Throughout. The Book. Teasing you. And Valkyries had to be flown during the Free RPG Day last year! They clearly are being used, so where are the stats guys? They've used a decent in-universe excuse, and I understand the need to hold things back for future books since this IS a business, but this seems a little too forward for me to just nod in an understanding fashion. So, even though I'm probably nitpicking, I'll wave a yellow card and dock a star for Overly Blatant Milking of the Customers.

That's . . . pretty much the only thing about this book that bothered me. I love what they've done with the Imperial Guard, I'm looking forward to the upcoming splatbooks giving us more pre-built regiments, Rough Rider options, and mixed regiment creation, and would highly recommend that any fan of 40k or gritty military sci-fi get this game and try it out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Only War: Core Rulebook
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Only War: Core Rulebook
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2013 19:38:24
Only War is the latest RPG out for the Warhammer 40k rpgs released by Fantasy Flight Games. After tackling the Inquisition, Rogue Traders, Space Marines and Chaos, the series finally pays attention to the true backbone of the Imperium's endless war: the men and women of the Imperial Guard.

In many ways I was looking forward to this book the most. While there's some kind of glamour associated with the Space Marines, the true heart of many stories set in war come from the front lines. The Imperial Guard are the ones who see the fight first, and suffer incredible losses in their days at war. They are the ones who stand to lose the most, and are most vulnerable to the enemy but they don't back down despite the horrors of war, because that is what they do.

Most of all, this is the game that allows you to really tell more well-rounded, human stories rather than the laser focus of just plain hating on the Xenos, the Mutant, the Daemon and the Heretic. (I know I'm oversimplifying things here, but bear with me.)

In any case, those familiar with the rules for Dark Heresy will find that Only War uses the same system, with some intresting new mechanics. One of my favorites is the Regiment creation system, where a group (or the GM) can plan out what kind of Regiment they want to play if they don't want to use any of the ones provided. That said, there's a lot of interesting Regiments to choose from, starting with the Cadian Shock Troops to other iconic Regiments like the Catachan, the Mordians and the Tallarn.

Players can take on the roles of more than just Guardsmen as they get to choose specialties such as Heavy Gunner, Medic, Operator, Sergeant and Weapons Specialist. Furthermore they have Support Specialists as further options including the infamous Commissar, Ministorum Priest, Ogryn, Ratling, Sanctioned Psykers, Storm Troopers and Tech-Priest Engineers. The sheer variance provided is a very nice touch as it helps dispel the impression that everyone essentially plays a grunt with a helmet and a lasgun.

Another interesting mechanic is the generation of Comrades. These are special NPCs that fight alongside the player characters. Mechanically they're sort of like familiars, as each player has direct control over their Comrades by the use of Orders. This doesn't mean that Comrades are expendable by any stretch as certain abilities rely on having a Comrade, and it is to a player's best interest to keep their Comrades alive as long as possible.

Vehicles also a large part in an Imperial Guard game, and vehicle rules account for movement and combat, including some interesting systems critical hit charts that go a long way to simulate the harrowing nature of taking a critical hit while inside a vehicle. Repair rules are also present, giving more opportunities to simulate the "less than ideal" world of living with vehicles that have been patched together by field repairs.

As with all the books in the Warhammer 40k line, the artwork is solid and the layout is readable. I'm glad that the fonts they chose for this are readable while retaining the whole Warhammer 40k vibe. Also of note is the fact that the PDF has been cross-linked, making rules look ups as painless as possible.

Overall, I feel that Only War is a product that shows just how used to the system the team is already at this point. Furthermore, they have a very strong vision as to what the game should be about and aren't afraid to push that agenda via the rules. There's a lot of fluff discussing the nature of the war and how it grinds humanity down, but it never comes off as too depressing as to be utterly unplayable. There are real opportunities to live (and die) as heroes in the war. It's admittedly not the easiest thing to do in the context of RPGs, but in this case Only War deserves a Medal.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Enemy Within
by Douglas N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2013 00:01:40
Missing some of the material found on the cards in the larger box, but otherwise a great product. Great story,

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Enemy Within
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Night's Dark Masters
by Sebastian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2013 20:35:42
The best WFRP supplement imo. I love it for it's dark fantasy atmosphere.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Night's Dark Masters
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Deathwatch: Rites of Battle
by Marc S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2013 15:36:12
As a player, I love this book. I find it kinda difficult to tell when a book is meant for the player as oppose to the GM but Rites of Battle is easily one of the best player-centric books for Deathwatch. The expanded chapters, the new equipment, the advanced specialties, new psychic powers all cater to being a better Space Marine. Obviously, if you're a GM, you'll want this so you know what your players are doing. The quality is great and I have no complaints there.

The biggest gripe I have with this, which is why I rated 4/5, is that the bookmarking is TERRIBLE. It's just a giant list with no collapsible categories and and a lot of section names in all caps. It's not fun to scroll through and it's a huge peeve of mine having it like that. I hope this can be resolved somehow by DTRPG or FFG.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Rites of Battle
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
by Sebastian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2013 16:52:05
Probably the best fantasy RPG out there. If you looking for something different from D&D get it! But remember; this is grim world where death is always near.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
by Brendan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2012 18:02:45
Impossible at this early stage to rate a game at 5 stars. I played 1st edition back in the day and loved it so I'm really anticipating something special, RPG-wise. I read the designer notes at the back and felt the reasoning for the the amendments were sound. The main attraction of the game is its low fantasy vibe. Yes the setting is fantastical but it's less Masters of the Universe and more Lord of the Rings. A completely immersive experience in a convincingly realised setting.
A note of caution on the quality of the PDF version that I bought. Sometimes it is difficult to read the text as it is blurred. Also, when the character sheet has bits of text missing. For example, the words 'name', 'age' and 'race' are almost completely missing!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer
by Jamie D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2012 17:51:39
I think this is a great book. It covers some very in depth rules on navigating the warp and astral telepathy. Which no doubt most GM's will be happy with. It has some extra careers for most explorers and new powers and ship to ship skills for astropaths and navigators. Some of the powers seem a little under-powered compared to what is already out there. However, they certainly have good roleplay aspects to them. A few xenos psykers are covered (with powers, equipment etc) and enemies of psykers. Although there isn't a huge amount of new explorator equipment there is an excellent section on familiars including creating your own.

In short this book is a must for GM's & psyker players (or wannabe psyker players.)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Book of Grudges
by Florian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2012 08:32:29
The PDF is of high quality and there are no mold-lines like in some other 3rd Edition pdf-books. The Information in this set are mostly Background stuff concerning Karak Azgaraz from 3rd Edition. Also some information on Warhammer Dwarfs and the rules for the runesmith and engineer. Although you still need the full box for the use of all tokens and careers which are not in the pdf.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Book of Grudges
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Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
by Etienne S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2012 16:45:13
If you are buying this to read on your tablet, it may run quite slow.

I have a very fast Quad Core tablet and this document is very slow to load. It takes minutes for some pages to load up and for some of the pages to zoom in and out.

However, the majority of the information pages load up in acceptable times. If you need to jump from one page to another that is futher away, then it may take a while to load.

Wish there was an option for a lower quality on so that it can be used comfortably on tablets. There is no reason to be able to zoom into the document so that a few words takes up the whole screen. I tried to downscale the pages but wasn't allowed because the the document is secured against page extraction.

It still works absolutely fine on a PC but is a bit of a chore on the tablet.

If I had a chance to do it again, I would have bought the paper version instead, even though it is big and heavy.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
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Grimm: Core Rulebook
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/08/2012 12:28:10
WHAT WORKS: I love the archetypes. The world is very, very expansive and has a lot of room to play around in. Great production values (love the picture of the Wolf Man being kicked in the nards). Plenty of options without getting overly complicated. I always like a magic system that has a little risk to it.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: Imagination may be a tad overpowered, as may the Dreamer archetype in general. Despite often being promoted as being a suitable RPG for kids, the default Grimm Lands may be too dark for that. Grimm was originally a setting for the d20 system, and you can still see a few d20isms floating around in it.

CONCLUSION: I was a big fan of Fantasy Flight Games when they were producing stuff like this, Dawnforge and Midnight. The Grimm RPG line only ever had the one book released for it, but it is really complete with enough material in the book to run a full campaign and enough examples for you to expand the game if you need to (such as with Keepsakes and the like). The biggest flaw that the game has is that it doesn’t make a compelling case to not use Imagination as your Iconic Trait or pick The Dreamer over the other archetypes, from a min-max standpoint. Grimm seems like it could be amazing fun for groups willing to play kids…especially since the kids definitely have the ability to kick butt as they grow.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/12/tommys-take-o-
n-grimm-rpg.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grimm: Core Rulebook
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Book of Grudges
by Nathan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2012 00:51:21
I purchased the Book of Grudges expecting to find the careers inside the rulebook...but was sadly disappointed to find them missing. It's disappointing when the rulebooks don't contain the rules and you have to reference cards & bits to find relevant information.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Book of Grudges
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Dark Heresy: The Lathe Worlds
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/07/2012 19:22:45
In many ways, ‘The Lathe Worlds’ is an essential book for all of the 40K-based RPGs, not just Dark Heresy. The Adeptus Mechanicus are well-deserving of their own book, given that there are a number of cultural, perceptual and even theological differences between those adherents of the Machine Cult and the rest of the Imperium of Man.

The developers for this product have done an excellent job in creating a resource which will see a lot of use at any table, with a clarity of writing, and clean layout which to which I have become accustomed when dealing with materials from FFG. Divided into four sections, the book covers in detail:

The history of the Adeptus Mechanicus, their hierarchy and how they are viewed by the general populace of the Imperium. It provides some interesting social norms about the role of machines and their appointed guardians and how this plays out in day-to-day life; which is invaluable for the GM, but also provides inspiration for players. It concludes with a section on tech-heresy, which firmly roots this book into the Inquisitorial ideology and provides a wealth of ideas for adventure design.
The second chapter is, by necessity, the rules-heavy section. IT deals with alternate career paths, skills and talents and the armoury (providing a host of new toys for your campaign). Overall, the quality of the Career Paths is high, and wargear section doesn’t contribute to an ‘arms race’ mentality which is rife in the 40K tabletop game, so this is a nice divergence for the tabletop RPG to take.
The penultimate chapter deals with the establishment of the Lathe Worlds, the power groups and planets. The planets in particular are given a lot of attention, and fleshed out quite well. The challenge in approaching a subject like mapping an entire system of planets is to balance the amount of detail. FFG handles this very well, providing enough information to spark the imagination and give a unique feel for each locale, but not so much that the reader becomes bored with the level of detail.
Lastly is ‘The Light of Reason’ an adventure which utilises the information and ideology of the book very well. It shows, in practical terms, how tech-heresy and the Doctrines of the Mechanicus are interpreted and what occurs when these teachings are blatantly ignored. Obviously, to get the best out of this adventure (and the book as a whole) you’ll need a Tech Priest in your party, but I can see this book of use to those who have yet to succumb to the lure of the Omnissiah too.

Overall, it is a fine work, capped off by a module which is thoughtfully written and offers a great experience at the table. I would have liked to see an Index included in this book, especially given the new content, but the information is generally well-laid-out, so FFG can be excused for this. The artwork continues to impress, with enough smatterings of established artists to aesthetically link the book back to the wargaming supplements. Whilst Mechanicus characters appear in a few Black Library books (such as the Shira Calpurnia novels) and audio dramas (most notably ‘Red and Black’), they do require a book like this to give them more defined substance. Given that Games Workshop is releasing Chaos equivalents of the Tech Marine for the new Codex, there is scope for this book to be used to develop adversaries as well.

I can see this becoming part of my ‘essentials’ for Dark Heresy and it is proof that sometimes the inner workings of the Imperium are far more strange and compelling than that which lurks on its edges.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Lathe Worlds
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Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2012 20:11:39
In some ways, this is the strongest game in the W40KRP series - as it captures the exploration motif well enough for players to forget what an oppressive universe they are travelling in. The system is developed somewhat on from Dark Heresy in the character generation, while the shift in emphasis allows the inclusion of different alien adversaries and space ship rules. The presentation is as strong as usual, and notably this file seems to cope better with iPad tablets and the like. The setting has aspects most reminiscent of Dune, bred in with Moorecock, but the game play is generally more action orientated. The limited number of character types available still makes the stories seem a little restrictive to me though.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook
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Fireborn: Player's Handbook
by Asen G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2012 15:14:29
Very good game, which didn't get the attention it deserves.
WARNING, I'm assuming you have and use the errata file. Don't know why FFG aren't offering it as a free download, but it's relatively easy to find on the Net. If you're not using it, the rules are a mess.
That said, I like the mechanics. It's giving a very authentic feeling, and is one of the first games to solve both the issues of using mental actions in combat, and the issue of a character attempting multiple actions at once. Add to it playing in both modern-day London, and in the Mythic time, and you get a very entertaining game!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fireborn: Player's Handbook
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