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One Knight Games, Vol 1, Issue 3
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2014 12:24:57
A neat idea, and one that will have you on the edge of your seats for an evening: a game of racing motorcycles. Rules and character generation are simple by design, as you ought to be able to get this game up, running and completed within a single session with minimal preparation - indeed, it can almost be played without a referee (if the players don't squabble too much!).

The aim is that every player will be one of the racers, but there are other people around so those who want to take this concept and make more of it might take on such roles as support staff, race officials and so on. Played as written, however, there are a series of programmed events that will happen at certain points during the proceedings which make it a whole lot more exciting that just motorbikes racing around a track (and that can be exciting enough...).

The action takes place in two parts. There is a race, in which one player-character WILL be killed. That may sound tough, but it's at the heart of the adventure as a whole, because the second part involves another race several years later when the dead racer's child has grown up and comes to participate in their first race (played, of course, by the player of the dead cyclist).

Specific rules associated with bike racing are included, but the main rules are in a separate document: the core One Knight ruleset (it's included with your download) which is consistent across all One Knight Games.

This is a nice way to fill out a single gaming session, but future One Knight Games based on the cycle racing theme are planned, so even if using this model of gaming you will have the option of returning to the track. There is also the potential to take it all a bit further. The game is cyberpunk in style so if you are playing anything of that genre, cycle racing at the Cylon track might be a popular spectator sport and you could use this ruleset to moderate races. If characters in your 'main' game want to get involved in racing, well, you might choose to use the plotline as well, and either adapting your regular ruleset or using this one for specific race-related matters as you see fit.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
One Knight Games, Vol 1, Issue 3
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How to Create a Great Campaign
by Alexis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2014 09:30:05
This "book" is extremely short: it contains 13 pages of actual content. It contains valid, but very basic advice. It should be the introductory chapter of a book on how to make great campaigns, not the whole book. Maybe worth $1, certainly not worth $6.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
How to Create a Great Campaign
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Avalon Clip Art, Animals
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2014 09:26:43
This set contains 25 low resolution color drawings of animals. While the drawings are nicely done and may have been scanned at 300dpi they are not adequate for prints much larger than an inch or two across. Some of the colors are whimsical such as a blue wolf and a green tiger. There is even a fantasy looking serpent thrown in. There is one duplicate image of a bear/badger.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Clip Art, Animals
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Heroes Weekly, Vol 3, Issue #24, The Academy of Crime
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/20/2014 11:13:32
The concept of a high school for budding superheroes is a common theme... but here is a place for all the would-be supervillains to get their start!

There's an outline of the Academy, buried in a bunker deep below an ordinary and quite innocent high school, with notes on some of the teachers and students. The students are graced with full write-ups and stat blocks, the teachers merely get an outline of their (decidedly crazy) personalities and teaching style. The supervillain community, not usually noted for its generosity, has funded the Academy generously.

Several adventure seeds are also provided. Two are aimed at regular superheroes, one in particular at those attending a high school for young 'heroes; whilst two more are intended for supervillain-focused games. One of these involves students at the Academy, the other puts the party as supervillains invited to an open day.

It's a neat idea, and one which could develop into an interesting part of your campaign.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes Weekly, Vol 3, Issue #24, The Academy of Crime
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Avalon Models, Skeletons
by Eric E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2014 20:20:57
A nice set. good artwork, and not too many fiddly edges to cut around. I like the bases but the 28mm size has 11 models on a sheet and only 6 bases. A sheet of just bases would be a nice addition.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Models, Skeletons
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Dungeon Tiles and Walls
by Kristin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2013 13:52:46
I like this set very much. The pieces are very versatile and fairly straightforward in their construction. My favorite pieces were the 3-dimensional doors that could open and close and the staircases. The gamers in my group loved the visual they provided. Everything stores very compactly (the 3-D items store flat), though the wide variety of items sometimes makes the one item you want hard to find. Also, the initial creation of the pieces can be tedious. It took me a good long weekend to cut out, fold, and assemble one copy of the whole set. I think it's worth it, but don't do it unless you're ready to do a lot of cutting, folding, and gluing!

Overall, a fantastic product for expanding the world of the game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Tiles and Walls
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Astral Empires, Starship Design Components Book
by Jim W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2013 02:55:08
Exactly what the product says. The configurations of ships you can build with the beauty is staggering, and well worth the price of the product. Excellent buy!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astral Empires, Starship Design Components Book
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Slayer
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2013 21:41:04
I truly like this game. I liked it so much that it has prompted me to write my first review ever here at Drivethrurpg after being a member for several years. Additionally, it makes me what to RUN it, as opposed to play, which is something I have rarely done.

This game is grim and gritty in the fashion of the classic pulp swords and sorcery tales of yesteryear.

Combat is deadly and magic is ritualistic and dangerous. It is devoid of the Tolkien influenced standards and is a human-centric such as the tales of R.E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and Lieber.

It is also rules lite which I definitely prefer.

My criticisms are few and minor.

I think the work suffers from sub-par cover art. Not to deride the artist, but I the cover art would have been better as an interior piece.

The ritual Lady's Mercy seems a tad underpowered as it seems no better than the heal skill. Maybe increasing the return to 2 or 3.

Finally, maybe a fate point mechanic. As, the heroes in the tales of the authors mentioned above seemed to recover faster, and make it through against the odds.


So, a big thanks to Mr. Davis and Mr. Butler for a great game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slayer
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Slayers of the Great Serpent
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2013 11:36:10
A journey begins with but a single step... but here the first stage in what promises to become an epic journey-based adventure, one where much of the adventure is the journey, sweeps the characters from attending a jovial festival across the breadth of the land and indeed towards the edges of explored territory.

Beginning with a campaign overview and then delving deep into background, the product starts with a collection of monsters, items and other game mechanics - including the theme 'Hero of Song' which is rather interesting - before looking at an overview of the lands which will be travelled. There's a lot for the DM to take aboard, but it is well worth it to aid in the development of a rich background through which the party will travel. Throughout, there are suggestions for running the adventure from motivations to participate through to nightmares the characters may suffer.

With the overarching theme being one of travel, the actual adventure itself is presented in a wonderfully flexible way. Once the characters have accepted their task, you are presented with a range of encounters and events to run as appropriate whilst the party travels through the areas which have already been described. The party has freedom to choose their own route and most events can occur as and when you decide during their travels. Random encounters and notes on survival are also provided. It is important to highlight how the journey begins in lands familiar to the characters, but how every step takes them further into unknown territory.

The flexibility of this approach allows the DM to tailor the adventure to his players' tastes. Events where role-playing or investigation might be appropriate are presented in such a way that challenges can be met through die-rolling or by playing out the encounter as preferred. There are also specific quest targets set which may be attempted or ignored... some are incidental, some will advance the core plot. Everything is well laid out with all the game mechanical information you need to hand, and plenty of flavour text on which to base your descriptions. At the beginning, in particular, there is quite a lot of 'read aloud' text to get essential information over. You may need to break this up or otherwise vary the presentation to avoid players being overwhelmed by 'info-dump' especially if they are not the sort to enjoy listening to lengthy discourses.

As the adventure gets into its stride, however, there are plenty of opportunities for the characters to engage in combat and in the struggle to survive often hostile environments. Again, game mechanical information, appropriate maps and notes on the opposition's combat tactics are put at your fingertips. To add variety, there's a story-telling challenge and even a pub game called Seven Tiles for which sufficient information is provided for you to recreate it if wished, as opposed to disposing of a game with a couple of skill rolls which other groups might prefer. There is even a dungeon-crawl (just the one) which provides an action-packed session... and this episode ends with a good fight!

An appendix provide full-page versions of all encounter maps ready for you to use as appropriate.

Overall, the adventure is excellent with a wide mix of activities to suit all types of group with inherent flexibility to enable you to delve deeper into those encounters that most interest your players and a tight plotline that yet manages to work in a 'sandbox' style giving players the feeling that they are very much in control of their own destiny.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slayers of the Great Serpent
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Kitbag #5, Close Assault Weapons
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/11/2013 09:57:37
Close assault weapons are used in situations where you need to get close up and personal with the opposition. Ranges are short and combat can be fierce. Whilst the classical close assault involves fighting your way through a building or within an urban environment, many of the same principles can be applied to a running battle through a starship or space station.... with the added delights of micro-gravity and vacuum to contend with in many cases, a common trick being to turn off the artificial gravity when someone's trying to board your ship, and careless use of projectile weapons in a pressurised environment tends to lead to a loss of atmosphere.

These and other perils of space combat are discussed with appropriate rule mechanics to cover such as recoil in microgravity environments and some of the techniques used by experienced space fighters to maintain control of themselves and their weapons.

After a brief word on terminology regarding firearm types, a series of 'actual' (well, invented) weapons are presented. This is mostly flavour text (and some rather nice illustrations) to allow gunbunny characters to enthuse over their favourite weapons with as much detail as a contemporary gun enthusiast can with the real thing, or at least a gun magazine, in his hands. It's nice to be able to put some detail to the somewhat generic stats presented in the core rulebooks, and everything is described in 'realistic' terms - you might almost be reading a real gun catalogue.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kitbag #5, Close Assault Weapons
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Fantasy House, Free Version
by Maria M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2013 15:00:38
Beware: this schematics lacks a few tabs that you're supposed to think to cut out yourself or add when you glue the print-out to cardboard. It's the only way to fix the roof on the walls and the door frame on the front wall, unless you use a foam core as a basis. The instructions mention this, but it's not clear why these tabs weren't just marked on the schematics like the other ones.

Also, the schematics mention the "ornate beam tab", but this piece is just not here. I guess it's a left-in reference from a bigger paper model which this house is originally a part of.

This is supposed to be an entry model. The way it is, it's rather confusing, and a poor display of publisher's superior quality.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy House, Free Version
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Avalon Counter Sets, Monsters Set #1
by Roger D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2013 11:32:09
certainly an unusual set of creatures and you can't beat the price. Art can be a tad stilted

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Counter Sets, Monsters Set #1
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Apparition Class Starship, Multirole Deep Intruder
by Shane B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2013 10:42:53
I'm addicted to starship supplements, especially those with deck plans. I am running a sci fi tabletop RPG and started out looking for some neat ship designs to fit into my campaign. Very soon I had far more than I needed, but I kept acquiring them with the idea that I'd end up using the best of what I had in the game. I point this out to explain that I have perused, purchased and poured over many, many, many supplements much like the Apparition Class from Avalon Game Company.

This one my friends is one of the best. The book is full of useful information, cool maps, some in-game commentary on development and use of the ships of this class and so on. The ship very much feels like you could park one on a football field, walk in and fly away in it. (I think we all wish we could do this...)

So Bravo to Avalon, and to Noah J. Ternullo, the author. Noah has created something that is best in class in a crowded field. The only products I've seen that are as good are the Future Armada Series by Ryan Wolfe. (His company was formerly Ki Ryn Studios and is now I believe "0 hr." Any of his products are well worth your time if you're in the market for neat ships. It is my sincerest hope that this team puts out many more excellent ship supplements.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Apparition Class Starship, Multirole Deep Intruder
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Diaspora Phoenix, Traveller Fiction
by Keith C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2013 03:50:26
Overall I liked this book, and I would buy the sequels (when written).
There aren't many Traveller novels out there, and now that Traveller 5
is out, I find I really want to read more Traveller fiction. There are
quite a few battle scenes, and sometimes you get the sense that
someone just had a bad, bad dice roll.

The interplay between the characters feels better written in the
beginning half of the book. In the first half I felt like the
characters had to make tough choices and were forced to fight.

In the second half, more new characters are introduced, and I started
to loose focus on them all. The story seemed to wander about too. In
the second half, the characters seemed more to choose to fight and I
wasn't really convinced about how intelligent those decisions were.

Also, I really would have liked to see a sector map, like in Paul
Brunette's The Death of Wisdom novel.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Diaspora Phoenix, Traveller Fiction
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Avalon Design Elements, Sci-Fi Set 1
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2013 02:47:47
The Sci-Fi elements PDF is 6 pages long, with 3 pages being the actual product.
Pages 3, 4 & 5, contain the graphic elements; page 5 (which looks like metal deck plating), could be used for a small battle map, especially if a few pages are printed off.

Pages 3 & 4, look like pieces of metal framing.
Page 1 (the front cover), gives you an idea of how to use the product.

It's not bad, but it's not fantastic; but there could also have been some more included.

It looks like the kind of thing a person with decent graphic software and experience could do themselves.

At £0.64 pence you get what you pay for.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Avalon Design Elements, Sci-Fi Set 1
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