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[PFRPG] Dragon Templates - Volume 3 - P to Z
Publisher: Ennead Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2014 11:37:04
Dragon Templates (and Variants), Volume 3 - P to Z, has 11 templates ranging from a -1 to +2 Challenge Rating (CR), with one with a variable CR bonus that could go to +4! As the pattern established by the previous two volumes, the templates are unpolished but useable, just. Some interesting ideas here, the stone imbued xenolith, the amusing yodeling and the astrologically tied zodiac templates. But the quantum template will just drive everyone (including the GM) crazy, the temporal template gives out limited uses of 8th and 9th level time spells and splitter looks like a mathematical headache though it is a neat idea. There are some useful pieces here and some dross to be sorted through.

If you use a lot of dragons in your campaign, or if you just want the ones that show up to be unique and interesting, these products will provide inspiration and a starting point for various unusual dragons but they are only a starting point, you will need to work out the finer details and balance them yourself.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Dragon Templates - Volume 3 - P to Z
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[PFRPG] Dragon Templates - Volume 1 - A to H
Publisher: Ennead Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/23/2014 11:36:19
Dragon Templates (and Variants), Volume 1 - A to H, has 23 templates ranging from a -1 to +3 Challenge Rating (CR). The templates are light on detail, providing an introductory paragraph or two, a brief note on the physical changes that the template causes, and lastly the mechanics which sometime come with drawbacks. While some of the ideas are interesting and solid, they are not well developed and the CR adjustments do not seem to always align with the powers granted. The hybrid (half dragon/half something else) variant is especially sketchy but the albino, broken and glass templates have a considerable amount of potential.

If you use a lot of dragons in your campaign, or if you just want the ones that show up to be unique and interesting, these products will provide inspiration and a starting point for various unusual dragons but they are only a starting point, you will need to work out the finer details and balance them yourself.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Dragon Templates - Volume 1 - A to H
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Shadowrun: Sprawl Wilds
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/15/2014 22:06:43
Shadowrun: Sprawl Wilds contains four short adventures for SR4A or SR5, converted from tournament adventure:

Manhunt, finds the runners in a barrens defending a farm and investigating a series of odd attack.
Carbon Copy, pits them against the latest version of a serial killer.
Ashes, which finds the runners in the Ork Underground in the middle of an arson spree.
Humanitarian Aid, finds the runners hunting for stolen medicine in a small town.

While a mixed bag, Manhunt seems exceptionally strong providing a good mix of roleplaying and problem solving, with some combat as well. Carbon Copy requires investigation skill and can provide the runners with a set of valuable contacts, if they succeed. Ashes but the character in a position to make a difference, a big difference, in the future of the Ork Underground, GMs should be very careful with this adventure, it is likely to have serious long term impact on a campaign. Humanitarian Aid is a solid horror scenario and is the lead in to the Romero and Juliet adventure. Pretty close to something here for every campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sprawl Wilds
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Shadowrun: Splintered State
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/15/2014 22:05:42
Shadowrun: Splintered State is an introductory adventure for SR5, designed as the launching point for a campaign. While I admire that ambition, the scenario drops the characters into the deep end of a very dangerous political game, and it would be very easy for the entire team to get wiped out in some of the early encounters especially if the NPCs are played as competently as they are implied to be. It also seems to assume that the players will have a strong grasp on the setting as they are thrown between no less than four rival factions for what they possess. My fear is that it is aiming for too complex and too political of a story to serve as an easy introduction for new players, now for players experienced with the setting but not the new rules, it may be an ideal starting point, but I think it fails as a solid entry for new players and GMs.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Splintered State
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Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/14/2014 21:46:25
The Neo-Anarchist’s Guide to North America, is what it says, a guide to the non-Native American nations of North America (in 2050). Just read the opening section that defines the Neo-Anarchist philosophy, the first four paragraphs really tell you everything you need to know (the rest is just wacky economics). It is an interesting look at the early ideas for the United Canadian American States, the Confederated American States, the California Free State and Quebec, some of which have evolved considerably in the last twenty years. It is obviously an early effort but it remains a useful reference for certain sections of North America and an interesting look back to an early era.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America
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Shadowrun: Rigger 3 Revised
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/14/2014 21:45:38
Rigger 3 Revised, is the Shadowrun 3rd big book of vehicles and rigger rules covering everything that drive or flies in detail. While designed for the 3rd edition of the Shadowrun rules much of the general discussion and information is still usable in later versions. The discussion of what vehicles will be like in the Shadowrun future and the expenses (licences, insurance) is an interesting read. There are discussions on the role of riggers, security riggers (who operate building security systems), vehicle design and customization rules and a combined list of 3rd edition vehicles

The general information and ideas are still excellent reference and full of useful data and ideas, unfortunately it is almost totally incompatible with the current edition (or even the 4th edition) of the rules. Still, if your campaign makes wide use of vehicles and drones it may just be worthwhile.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Rigger 3 Revised
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Instant Teams For That Violent Dystopian Age Pro-Sports League
Publisher: Fishwife Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/14/2014 21:43:50
Instant Teams For That Violent Dystopian Age Pro-Sports League, that title is almost longer than the product! It is a list of fifty (American) cities and fifty team names and a table for generating team colors. I would have liked the city list to have been weighted but population so you were more likely to see teams from New York or LA than Waco or Detroit. But other than that complaint, it does what it sets out to do.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Instant Teams For That Violent Dystopian Age Pro-Sports League
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Shadowrun: 10 Mercs
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/01/2014 11:52:36
10 Mercs looks at ten of the midrange mercenary companies in the Sixth World some famous, some infamous and some new but all interesting and most which can easily spawn plot hooks for characters. It is also very entertaining reading and even the opening fiction is a good read. If you use, or want to use, mercenaries in your Shadowrun campaign this will be a useful resource.

Shadowrun: 10 Mercs, is a good-sized (52-page) product detailing selected mercenaries groups in the Shadowrun setting along with a very brief discussion on the place of mercenaries in the Sixth World. Each mercenary group gets at least one named member fully described and statted out along with at least one standard member of that group with information (and stats) on equipment and vehicles as used by certain of the groups. While all of the information is still fairly current for 5th edition, the extensive statistics would be considerable work to convert, but if done only as needed should be manageable.

Some groups that have been mentioned before, such as the Free Marine Corps, get fully detailed and Picador (who is a frequent commentator ins other files) gets revealed. Some of the groups are obviously designed as opposition (Task Force Magus), others at potential allies (77th Independent Rangers, Bravo Company) but most could go either way depending on the situation and even the potential allies could end up opposed to the Shadowrunner goals. While there are no separate adventure seeds there is enough interesting information on each of the groups to be easily spun into scenarios.

While sizable units of mercenaries may not have a place in every Shadowrun campaign, if you are thinking of including such in yours, you will find this a useful resource and interesting read.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: 10 Mercs
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Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/26/2013 22:00:57
Sim Dreams & Nightmares is a brief guide to the use and abuse of sim sense technology in the Shadowrun setting. Sim Sense and BTL (Better Than Life) chips, and the addiction caused by them, are a major part of the Shadowrun setting so, good to see them get some more detail. However, this product does not provide nearly enough mechanical information, rather just enough for an overview, which may be enough for most games but it creates more questions than it answers.

Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares, is a short piece on sim sense and related technologies (Better Than Life -BTL- chips, moodchips, personasofts) and their place in the Sixth World of Shadowrun. While made for the 4th edition, the background information remains applicable to the setting and the limited additional rules should be easily convertible to 5th.

The discussions of sim sense and its uses (“opiate of the masses”) are interesting. But the really interesting chips are moodchips (choose your emotion) and personasofts (act like someone else with skills to match) and they are not given enough information to properly integrate them into a game as their mechanical effects and limits are not even discussed and they have so much potential as plot hooks and in game devices.

Additional mechanics for addiction as well as new sim and addiction related edges and flaws complete the product along with a complete list of addictive substances (including skillwires now) in Shadowrun along with prices for various sorts of sim programs.

The subject really deserves more space and clearer rules though it does do a good job of providing an insetting look at sim sense, it is lacking the mechanics to back them up properly.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Sim Dreams & Nightmares
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Shadowrun: Coyotes
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/22/2013 15:56:09
Coyotes provides information about people smugglers in the Shadowrun setting. I admit, this is the first time I have seen the term ‘coyote’ used for people smugglers in a non-derogatory matter, the ‘coyotes’ I read about in the modern world are pretty universally unpleasant people, while here it is just used as a generic term and I think they would have been well served to have found another term to use. That aside, it is a useful resource if there is a lot of traveling in your campaign, not all borders are easy to move across after all.

Shadowrun: Coyotes, is a resource on people smugglers in the Sixth World, how and why they operate, advice on when to use them, pre-generated coyotes, examples checkpoints and a scenario make up this product.

It begins with three pages of fiction, showing a cross-border run from the point of view of the driver, and then moves into a little over six pages discussing how the transporters work and the dangers of their trade (and a pricing guide for GMs). Next there is about eight pages of border security (ranging from very easy to very hard) covering the sorts of guards and the magical, physical and matrix tools they will have at hand. Six operators are provided as examples, ranging from street guides to waterborne smugglers, for the GM.

Lastly, there is a short adventure “Piping Hot” that gives characters a chance to act as transporters themselves. It is a good early adventure for a team and, which a little stage-managed, looks like it could be quite fun to play.

Overall, a good addition to the resources for Shadowrun covering a niche that has often been overlooked.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Coyotes
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Transcendent 10 - Feats of Synergy - Company of Dwarves
Publisher: Lost Spheres Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/21/2013 12:32:39
Transcendent 10 - Feats of Synergy - Company of Dwarves from Lost Spheres Publishing provides ten new feats for dwarves, each with a short discussion about how it can be used which is interesting to see the designer's thoughts on such matters. It includes some supporting for crafting, including one feat that allows skilled dwarven craftsmen to make magic armor and weapons, and some solid group oriented feats and even a feat for dwarven bards! There is much to like here if you are using dwarves and good ideas to emphasize classical dwarven ideals.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Transcendent 10 - Feats of Synergy - Company of Dwarves
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#1 With a Bullet Point: 13 Dwarven Questing Feats
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/21/2013 12:32:09
#1 With a Bullet Point: 13 Dwarven Questing Feats from Rogue Genius Games is built around expanding the core ideas of dwarven identity, such as they organize and contract quests, implemented through the Questing Proconsul feat which provides minor bonuses for those organized into a proper questing company. Many of the other feats build off of dwarven racial abilities such as Battle Name, which recalls a great achievement of the character against enemies of the dwarven people, and Tomb Smasher, which lets you break into stone area more easily. All I all a lovely pool of additional feats for dwarves.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#1 With a Bullet Point: 13 Dwarven Questing Feats
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
Publisher: 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/21/2013 12:31:34
Player's Options: Dwarves from 4 Winds Publishing. It starts with presents two variant dwarf-kin: Half-dwarf (and half human), children of that rare crossbreeding with talents from both side, and Stone Dwarfs, who are even more closely tied to the element of earth than most dwarves, both useful for various sorts of stories. Fourteen new dwarven feats, including Dwarven Baritone (for the singing dwarves) and Exile, who fights with fury against those that drove them from their mountain home, this provides more options for customizing dwarves as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). The product wraps up with new dwarven equipment including two new weapons and one type of armor, along with the dwarven made qualities for both armor and weapons, some dwarven food and drink, a musical instrument and a false beard (unfortunately called a merkin). This provides some useful additional choices for dwarven characters and some amusing items to use as treasures in abandoned dwarven ruins.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
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Shadowrun: Gun H(e)aven 3
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/16/2013 16:04:17
Gun H(e)aven 3 provides (surprise surprise) more guns for Shadowrun, statted out for both 4th and 5th editions which is useful and also -at times- perplexing. The weapons are primarily small arms, with one each assault cannon, light machine gun and flame-thrower, many of which are the sorts of weapon that would be found in households, not usually the sort of heat runners would pack but that they might be shot by or be forced to use in bad circumstances. All of this is useful in the right circumstances. But what perplexes me about the product is that while it is the same weapon from edition to edition, the availability, cost and legality (!) of many of the guns changes from edition to edition which are part of the same continuity, some explanation would be welcome.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Gun H(e)aven 3
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Shadowrun: Montreal 2074
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/16/2013 16:03:19
Montreal 2074 as the Republic of Quebec opens for business, Montreal sees a renaissance as corporate money pours in revitalizing the city and providing Shadowrunners with opportunities. This resource gives some background as to what has happened in Quebec as a whole since the matrix crash 2.0 and what specifically has been going down in Montreal. It gives a good overview of the city, sketches of the major players in the shadowy underworld and ends with nine contacts appropriate to Montreal (while written for the previous edition, the mechanic of the contacts are the only things that would need to be converted for a 5th edition game). While there are a variety of implied adventures in the text, some adventure seeds would have been a nice addition. Overall, a needed resource if you want to run the shadows up Quebec-way even though it could have provided some deeper information beyond the overview for plot hooks and really getting a feel for the shadows of Montreal.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Montreal 2074
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