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Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter
by Alexander I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2011 06:56:10
I have a corrected copy now. Very good and useful book. Thank you!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter
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Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2011 02:36:42
Nice fast delivery and quality of digital books is very good.

However there seem to be some duplicate items in the download which increased the downloaded package.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
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Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2011 17:24:43
I'd give it 5 stars, but the fact that this is kind of a pain to read on anything other than a full sized screen is a downer. Printing is also a problem as there's no practical option for printing without graphics (And you'll spend more than the cost of the book to print yourself). This is b/c they elected to use some text as white on black, but the black is an image itself. Dropping images means the white on black text is white on white. Likewise, reading on a 13" laptop is a bit cumbersome as well, let alone a netbook or other small form factor machine.

I hope that in the future, we'll see properly layered PDFs or "Suitable for printing" pdfs from FFG. IMO their content is generally superior to some of the other marquee publishers... each page in their supplements practically drips adventure.

As in-print books, FFG's doing a pretty good job (albeit expensive). Too bad they seem to not understand digital media as yet.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos
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Legends & Lairs: Traps & Treachery
by Rick K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2011 02:19:05
This is an excellent book.
Originally I was looking for a book with some interesting "trap" ideas, but this book surprised me with a lot more material than I bargained for.
There is some excellent information on running a thieves guild as well as more material on spells and trinkets related to the trade of thieves. After reading this book I had more adventure ideas for campaigns involving rogue characters, including more diplomatic roles (spy's) it really opened up the thief class as being more than just an underhanded activity.

At a $5 price this is a steal of a deal

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legends & Lairs: Traps & Treachery
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Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
by Zachary C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2011 09:27:21
This is a good scan. The only problem I have encountered is that some of the text and all of the tables are unreadable on the iPad. I have tried both iBooks and GoodReader and they both have this issue.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Core Rulebook
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Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2011 20:35:51
This product is pretty easy to sum up: awesome new baddies to throw at your Deathwatch squad. That is doing it an injustice, but hey, who said Warhammer 40K was fair? Seriously though, this is a great addition to the Deathwatch product line providing what is essentially a “monster manual” of huge and terrifying creatures, heretics, and Chaos forces. I’ve been waiting a while for this. Granted, you can make your own creatures, especially if you know the tabletop game well (I don’t), but this gives you so many stat blocks and descriptions that you can repurpose them infinitely with flavor text to create pretty much anything beast you can imagine.

So what do you really get with this book: Tau, Tyranid, Orks, other crazy aliens, radicals, heretics, Chaos demons, Chaos Marines (probably not as diverse as when Black Crusade is released, which can’t come soon enough), and new mechanics for mass battles and Hordes. All of this is packaged in a crazy well produced PDF with production values and artwork to rival any other product line. I think everyone comes to expect something great when Fantasy Flight Games releases a book. I am not a huge physical book guy, so the PDFs are much appreciated with searching, bookmarks, and other features making navigation easy. However, I have to say the Deathwatch Core Rulebook I got as a gift is pretty amazing just to flip through. I never want Fantasy Flight to give up this line. As long as they keep making them, I’ll keep getting them. Now buy this book and challenge whether your Space Marines really know no fear.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos
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Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
by DAVID F D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2011 06:00:28
My one gripe here is that, despite being a "complete" update, there's no full setting map. I've seen the 3.0 version, which has a 2-page map of the whole continent. This has little clips of it in sections, way back in the geography section, which is ok, but no big picture. As I haven't yet seen the 3.0 version available here (unless its packaged w/ the movie?), I'm still hoping to see a full map file show up.
Art is good, mechanics are internally consistent, LOVE the heroic paths.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2011 14:44:40
Black Sepulchre is the first in a series of adventures for Warhammer 40K Dark Heresy. It is heavily focused on investigation over combat, though there certainly is enough to keep players with an itchy trigger finger engaged. Unlike many pregenerated scenarios, this one is more “sandbox-y” and by that I mean the actual investigation is open ended. The bulk of the time is spent investigating a cursed and haunted cathedral, which has been corrupted by something powerful and evil. As the players put everything together, they learn the startling secrets behind what is really going on and the resolution of the story can lead them to further mysteries. They are purposely left vague so that you can move into your own scenario next or simply tee up the next adventure in the series.

Again, this is a beautiful PDF with amazing art, maps of areas, hand-outs for players, etc. The book even goes out of its way to add details on scaling the scenario for less and more experienced characters, making sure it is challenging for any party you are running it for. The only critique I have is that the PDF isn’t bookmarked. That makes it easier for me to skip back and forth between sections, but it’s a minor complaint.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Black Sepulcher
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Rogue Trader: The Frozen Reaches
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2011 20:12:26
I haven’t actually run this yet, but have read through to prepare for an upcoming Rogue Trader campaign. As you can always expect with FFG’s Warhammer 40K supplements, they are very high quality PDFs and feature great artwork. They also provide a significant amount of background information on Damaris, the primary planet of concern in this scenario. This particular adventure is a nice mix of political maneuvering, strategic large scale battles, and tactical ship combat (if you want it). It isn’t the standard crew of your ship running and gunning through hordes of enemies as much as an extended military campaign. However, a GM could easily add in vignettes of more personal combat to supplement the larger scale battles to keep their players feeling a bit more on edge.

Overall, I think this is a great option for running a Rogue Trader game that really feels like you are a powerful force with lots of resources at your disposal. Because it is the first in a series of scenarios, you can expect to follow up on the events of The Frozen Reaches or use it as a standalone mission in any campaign. It’s worth checking out one way or another. You can also use the NPC Appendix and stat blocks to insert these characters into any number of Warhammer 40K games. Good deal all around.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: The Frozen Reaches
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Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/10/2011 19:20:20
I know I review a lot of these books, but they’re just so good. Again, there is more information on the Warhammer 40K universe, specifically surrounding faith. This is a logical addition to the Dark Heresy line where characters work for an Inquisitor fighting against the heretics bent on undermining the God-Emperor’s rule. Running at almost 150 pages, the first third details faith in the Imperium with a history of the Imperial Creed and the many wars fought to continue its guidance (oppression).

The next several chapters are filled with the plethora of character options you have come to expect. There are new origin worlds, backgrounds, career ranks, etc. in the second chapter. The third gives a good summary of the Sisters of Battle and how you can create one for your Dark Heresy campaign. Then there are the two chapters giving new rules and powers for Faith and powerful religious artifacts and tools to combat Chaos and corruption.

The last chapter focuses on how to integrate the Ecclesiarchy into your campaign and includes NPCs from the Calixis Sector.

Overall, I think you’ve come to expect quality from Warhammer 40K expansions. This delivers as well as any of them. The fact that there are additional options for any character and then full sub-Sister of Battle options is pretty nice. The more zealous players should pick this up and really deliver the word of the God-Emperor right up Chaos’ . . . .

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
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Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronos
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/09/2011 18:57:32
Do I need to tell anyone to buy this? I shouldn't have to. It's amazing. You should know that already. Fantasy Flight decks out their supplements with more options than a Baskin Robbins.

It starts with the obvious ship components, new hulls (Grand Cruisers anyone?), and weapons. If you don't love Nova Cannons that shoot warheads through the Warp before hitting their target, you don't play Rogue Trader. Then they add in a ton of backstory, life on a warship, and the history/status of the current Battlefleet Koronus.

For the GMs, there is plenty of detail on Xenos threats, rules for more detailed space battles (squadrons, damaging fleets, mustering your fleet, deploying forces, etc.) There are a lot of new mechanics here for the folks who want to really dig into space battle. That's me. I love the new options, multiple pregenerated ships to throw against your players or give to them, and of course Xenos scum.

It may be one of the shorter books at around 150 pages, but it also isn't too pricey. If you want more than just the standard ship battles or more options for you and your players to create the most dangerous ships in the fleet, then this is your book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronos
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: The Thousand Thrones
by Blag B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2011 15:17:21
The Thousand Thrones (TTT) is a full fledged campaign module produced for use with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition.

Part I (Organization, Presentation, Functionality of the Resource)
TTT is a hefty volume comprising 259 pages from cover to cover. The initial seven (7) pages provides an overview of the campaign, the general story outline, suggestions for character creation, and advice for running the adventure as a full campaign or stand-alone adventures. After this we have nine scenarios/chapters that unveil the campaign from beginning to end. The final section of the book is given over to Appendices.

The organization of material is quite well done in my opinion and is very similar in layout to other 2nd edition products which I also find easy to interpret. The real organizational feature of note is the section devoted to the Appendices. They are fantastic! There is a compilation of the traits and abilities used for NPC's and situations in the campaign that do not appear in the core rulebooks, and all the pertinent game data is provided for those who do not own the supplements the abilities were pulled from. There is also a single appendix given over to player handouts for the ENTIRE campaign which makes hunting for the said handouts extremely easy.

The interior of the book is black and white, and done quite well (although a full color volume would have been nice). This serves to tone some of the artwork down, which only served to make me wonder how much better the set peices and maps would have been in color. In the print version I can understand the need for this from a cost balance standpoint, but for the pdf it would have been nice to get a splash of color.

The artwork is also quite well done. There are some unique peices commissioned for the campaign, and some retreads of classic Games Workshop artwork peppered throughout many products in multiple editions of Fantasy Battle and Fantasy Roleplay.

The maps are ALL fantastic. Every. single.one is worth its weight in gold and Mr. Andy Law should win a big fat ribbon and a dumptruck full of money for his efforts. He has the rare ability to provide material that can make a simple coaching inn seem like a significant landmark.

Part II (Critique of the Campaign)
The Thousand Thrones is possessed of a multilayered plot that is designed to sweep up the player characters and drag them accross the entire expanse of the Empire and beyond. The classic Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay themes are in attendance as well as some setting territory introduced in 2nd Edition. As always nothing is as it seems and the players are meant to find out the real truth only when it is too late to turn back, lest horrible events come to pass that could pose a dire threat to their realm and beyond. Let me just say before I go further that when I read the plot I was ready to throw down...FINALLY something substantial in a published adventure!

Perhaps my expectations were set too high from my initial readthrough of the campaign story and the unique tightly tuned up nature of the "look" of the product and the brilliant appendices I crowed about above. Whatever the case I was left utterly cold by the delivery style of the series of adventures.

It is never easy to compile a cohesive whole from separate authors, but it CAN be done and HAS been done quite well in recent history where an adventure path is engaging and feels like a singular story even when 4 to 6 authors are involved. Thousand Thrones was one of the final publications made for 2nd edition, and rather than feeling like a capstone it felt (from a content standpoint) like all the attention to detail was put into layout and physically arranging the booklet rather than dedicating the effort required to make a multi-author project come alive for the audience.

What we are left with in The Thousand Thrones are nine separate adventures that vary greatly in quality when taken separately. When compiled as a whole, there are some adventures that stick out like poorly written, or completely unrelated sore thumbs. After weighing all 9 adventures I would only recommend 3 of them to others.

Perhaps the greatest deteriment to the entire affair is the consistent design philosophy of scripted situations and deus ex machina events that force the story onwards regardless of the success or failure of the player characters. The most agregious of these misteps occurs in Chapter 3 where the players are essentially conscripted through game mechancis to become enthralled with the story (after pointing them in a completely different direction). Let me also say that for any published campaign there will be a NEED for some events to simply come to pass, and there are situations that will require the players to (at some level) simply agree to become involved. There would be no other way to write a full campaign for mass consumption. I understand that completely. HOWEVER, in The Thousand Thrones it is repeatedly forced that the players WILL be going along with events even if they are vehemently opposed to them. Rather than writing the adventures to provide a narrow frame-work within which the players can opperate we are given a series of events that happen whether logic or in-game events would agree or not.

For some groups it will be noticed but un-protested, for others it will be a campaign ender, but for the majority of game groups it will require massaging and rewriting and a lot of prep work to set up properly. This is an absolutely fundamental mistep in a published campaign. Especially one made for a game with a rabid and generally experienced fan-base.

AS WRITTEN The Thousand Thrones reaches very high. It promises an intrigue filled story, with a truly epic and sweeping planned series of events...and then in-game execution utterly fails to live up to those standards.

Is it salvagable!? CERTAINLY. Does it have good bones? ABSOLUTELY. There are fan-made resources that reconcile some of the dropped balls in the campaign, and any GM worth their while could break it down and repair it to suit their needs. In fact, I would say that any published campaign requires some adjustment to tune it up to the tastes of a particular group. But we are not talking about tweaks and minro adjustments here. We are talking about meta-plot alterations, entire section re-writes and enough work that I can not in good conscience say that you could pick up this campaign book, read it through and then proceed to run it without giving some serious thought to re-writing or abandonment of entire segments of the printed adventures.

IN SUMMATION:
If you are looking for a fixer-upper, you have got a pretty AMAZING potential campaign in your hands/hard drive. This is a project waiting for your creativity, and will reward you for your efforts at the end of the day. BUT If you are looking for a published campaign to open up and lay on your players you are going to be sorely...sorely...disapointed.

3 out of 5

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: The Thousand Thrones
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Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/02/2011 23:38:36
‘Blood of Martyrs’ is an incredibly dense, yet truly brilliant sourcebook for the Ecclesiarchy. Whilst I read most sourcebooks for setting information, skim the game mechanics and take away the ‘dot points’ for future investigation, I found myself actually reading ‘Blood of Martyrs’ cover to cover. It really shows what a well-detailed universe 40K is, and how much background research Fantasy Flight has put into developing this book. On the flipside though, there is enough practical and historical information that even the most die-hard enthusiast will find something new.

The first chapter gives an overview of the history of the Ecclesiarchy from the rise of the Emperor to the ‘present day’ of the setting. Whilst the later section is primiarily geared towards the Calixis Sector, it covers general information such as the Horus Heresy, Vandire, the Imperials Creeds, Saints, Pilgrims and the Adeptus Sororitas (more on them later). The writing style is certainly not the dry, historical tones, and the sidebars offer interesting anecdotes or side notes to engage the reader.

Chapter 2 offers some new Homeworlds for character creation, and all align very well with the theme of the book – I felt that all were of equal worth with no wasted effort here. Likewise the new Career Ranks allow characters to put a distinct Ecclesiarchal bent on their Career Paths (such as Confessor, Frateris Militia and Redemptionist).

Chapter 3 was where my attention lingered. As an avid wargamer, I’ve been working on my witch Hunters army for a while now, and the Sisters of Battle have always had a special place in my heart. The entire chapter details the Sororitas, defines the Orders and outlines Career Paths to include this Adeptus in your game as playable characters. I felt that overall the Sisters will be a small step-up from your average character in Dark Heresy, but not so much that it will break your game. In fact, in a game centred on the Ecclesiarchy, I would name them a absolute must. By far, this was the standout chapter for me (but then, I’m somewhat biased in this regard). Game mechanics for using Faith in your game in Chapter 4, give way to the mandatory chapter on weapons and armour. Both chapters were interesting and the new rules do actually add a new dimension to your games. The rules on Faith were very straightforward and linked in to the new Homeworlds found in Chapter 2, which makes them immediately usable.

The book closes with a chapter on Ecclesiarchy Campaigns and as I have come to expect, this was brimming with story ideas and practical advice. There are plenty of methods described to showcase different facets of the Ecclesiarchy so that no two games need to be the same. The sense of scope was conveyed here too, and the reader is left a little in awe of an organisation (albeit fictional) that operates on such a grand scale.

Overall, a must-have for the Dark Heresy game, although I can see several uses for it in my Deathwatch game too – especially given the theological divergences of the Adeptus Astartes and the Ecclesiarchy as a whole. The artwork, as usual, is used with a good eye for enhancing the page, and the Career Path portraits are excellent.

Thought for the day:
++It is better to buy this and be illuminated, than blindly run ‘Dark Heresy’ without it++

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs
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Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: The Creatures Guide
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/02/2011 14:01:43
An excellent looking monster manual for WHFB, focusing on some of the setting's most enigmatic or identifiable creatures. The PDF is a beautiful, full-color book which looks great but will be a real ink/toner drain if you decide to print it. The creatures themselves are all well-done, with good descriptions and best yet story seeds which provide ideas of how to integrate them in to your game. My only criticisms of the product are that not all monsters have story seeds (likely an issue of space), nor are all fully illustrated. Otherwise this is an excellent product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay: The Creatures Guide
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Deathwatch: Rites of Battle
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2011 21:27:54
How anyone could be expected to run Deathwatch without this book is completely beyond me. It’s simple – pick this up at the same time as you buy the rulebook and you’ll very soon see why this will become the most-used book at your table-top for players and GM alike. Adhering to Fantasy Flight’s top-notch production values, ‘Rites of Battle’ offers a staggering amount of information in an easily-digestible format, extremely good artwork and a logical layout for ease of access. This is definitely going to be a reference book at your table, so I took great notice of this last criteria especially.

As for the content, it is a good ‘all-round’ sourcebook. Chapter 1 offers rules for including the Imperial Fists and Successor Chapters in your campaign and rules for designing your own Chapter. Why anyone would want to design their own, given the huge array of existing source material in the 40K universe is completely beyond me, so I didn’t see much value in this at all – but your tastes may differ. It also presents some practical advice on integrating Deathwatch with its sister games Drak Heresy and Rogue Trader, with some plot points and caveats for doing so. What was apparent was that the authors had spent some time wrestling with how to create games in which the superhuman defenders of humanity could play nicely with regular folk. I’m still extremely sceptical that such a mix is possible, but there are options presented.

Chapter 2 introduces the idea of Deeds. Chapter and Campaign Deeds represent pivotal turning points in your characters history (or even during play) and allow you to purchase Deeds which come with an in-game benefit. I was glad to see that these primarily add flavour to your character, and the mechanical benefits are quite low-powered. There are also Deeds of Disdain, functioning as a ‘black mark’ on your record and providing you with a story goal to pursue and thus rid yourself of this taint. The absolute high point of this Chapter is the inclusion of Specialities – types of Space Marines that can be purchased with xp (think ‘Prestige Classes’ from D&D). We finally see rules for the Chaplains, the Epistolary (and many more) and the Dreadnaught opened up as a player class. Yes, I initially took a dim view of this, but there is an entire section on the practicalities and drawbacks of playing one. There are some good GM and player tips that allow these behemoths of destruction to be used sensibly.

Chapters 3 & 4 don’t disappoint, covering more wargear (guns and armour) and Vehicles. All the stock standard Space Marine vehicles (like the Rhino, Bikes and Land Raider) are her, but Thunderhawk Gunships are also covered. Chaos Space Marine Vehicles and the Tau are given some exposure (so now you have enemy vehicles to attack in your vehicles, obviously). The Renown section in Chapter 5 clarifies some points in this system, and I mostly skimmed it – this will be something you’ll need once the games is well underway, and I was predominantly looking at what I can cram into my first few gaming sessions. The fact that it came after all the exciting guns, power armour and vehicles felt like a sudden (unwelcome) change of pace.

Rites of Battle wraps up with an excellent (and too short) section on Watch Fortress Erioch, with details about its history, how it basically runs and some more information on the Omega Vault (which is the ultimate lure for me – there is always tantalisingly too little information on this magnificent device). Next to the Vault in terms of interest though was the segment on the current prisoners of the Watch Fortress. All of these could spawn entire campaigns, and there has been a lot of thought put into them.

In all, if you are wanting to seriously run Deathwatch, you need this book. The scope of the content means that everyone should find something of interest, and it represents a high-yield investment for your game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Rites of Battle
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