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Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2012 05:21:18
Dark Heresy has probably been around long enough for the gaming community to recognize the setting, and the rules are a pretty straightforward percentile affair, with customizable archetypes being used for character generation. The art looks quite impressive, and it's got a very large page count for it's background. I do feel that there isn't enough support for a GM to run it without supplements, however, and actually feel that some of the editing (in terms of what to include) could have been organized better. Moreover, later 40K games have formatted themselves better, and are a lot more streamlined in the presentation of their rules. The file itself is enormous, which can lead to some technical issues in downloading. Although the basic premise is eminently workable, it currently ranks as the weakest of the 40KRP game line because of these reasons - and certainly deserves an updated edition, in my view.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook
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RuneQuest 6th Edition
Publisher: Design Mechanism
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2012 07:37:18
If anybody knows about the seminal history of RuneQuest, and realize the work and passion that has gone into the making of this version of it, it's an instant download. Best fantasy system ever designed in my view, and that isn't (just) fanboy hyperbole. If you are interested in realistic simulation, anthropological verisimilitude and anything to do with classic myth creation, then this game has a lot to offer. The cover is nice too, and the interior layout is very clean and readable, and all the bells and whistles in search engines and the like. Plenty of support to, as you can utilize all the old RQ, RQ2, Legend and to a degree BRP supplements with it with no difficulty whatsoever.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RuneQuest 6th Edition
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Clockwork and Chivalry 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
Publisher: Cakebread & Walton
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 07:37:13
If you were a fan of the first two editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, then you'll love this. The OpenQuest based rules are well modeled to the genre, and this really is a meaty, well laid out book. There is a rich vein of British black humor, some thoughtful magic systems (Alchemy, Witchcraft and Clockwork inventions), and the society of the setting is well illustrated through a multitude of Career choices, and political factions. The history of the English Civil war is also well researched, although I must stress this is very much a fantasy setting, rather than a pure historical game. With some good adventures in the back to get going, and a set of Campaign supplements that are on a par with Warhammer's Enemy Within campaign, there is a lot of fun to be had in this game. I only wish they could have called it something a bit more dramatic sounding.....like Warhammer, f'rinstance....

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clockwork and Chivalry 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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Unseen Masters
Publisher: Chaosium
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 07:27:11
Meaty interlocking trio of scenarios set in modern New York. The major selling point is the high level of psychiatric research that went into it, particularly the award winning middle scenario. Without giving the plot away, it's well worth buying for that one alone.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unseen Masters
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Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 07:23:11
For just $1 you can buy into a near enough complete version (you'll probably want the Monsters book too) of one of the most flexible, intuitive and dynamic systems on the market. 'Nuff Said.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
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Call of Cthulhu
Publisher: Chaosium
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:33:43
Call of Cthulhu is a brilliant and influential RPG, as almost any gamer ought to know, and it remains as playable and adaptable to different eras as ever. The interior layout is nice and mysteriously atmospheric, and the writing style appealing if you like academia and conciseness over flowery prose (which I do). The original short story is also included, which is worth noting - and some of the artwork is excellent.

There are some glaring editorial issues, however - one of the pages (a full page piece of art) is missing, the title fonts are askew towards then end of the book and the character sheets are the missing lines need to be functional. All of these aspects are correct in the extra pdf copy provided from the original book (and don't really affect the game or the writing in any way), but this copy is a bit faded and disjointed as those pdfs usually are. Could do with an editorial update, in short.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu
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Publisher Reply:
This PDF for CALL OF CTHULHU was re-processed for better appearance and functionality. Thanks -- Chaosium.
Shadowrun: 4th Ed. 20th Anniversary Core Rulebook
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:20:14
Shadowrun takes the biscuit for being the stupidest concept ever for a RPG setting (Cyberpunk with ELVES! to paraphrase a well known sci-fi author). Yet, the quality of production, art, and it's sheer playability have kept this game and IP going strong for decades - even when the cyberpunk fad itself has faded. It deserves it's classic status, and this is a really gorgeous book, with clear dice pool rules and lots of setting material. Highly recommended for even casual or skeptical fans.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: 4th Ed. 20th Anniversary Core Rulebook
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Champions: The Super Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Hero Games
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:15:07
An iconic RPG setting, with a really authoritative and detailed write up of the history of the genre. Beautifully laid out too, in full color, to emulate it's source material. It's not a complete game, however, as you will need to Basic Hero rules (130 pages!) at least to play. The rules themselves scale very well in the supers genre (better than most other 'generic rules'), but are pretty arcane in their implementation of three-letter acronyms and the like.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Champions: The Super Roleplaying Game
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Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (Eleventh Doctor Edition)
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:10:04
A much cleaner layout than the previous edition and great to see the write-ups for the 11th Doctor characters. The new character sheet layout is excellent too. For an intro game, or just for fans of the show (which I am), it's near enough perfect.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (Eleventh Doctor Edition)
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2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:07:50
The appearance could have been improved with more art, etc, and there are some glaring editorial errors throughout (equations being mistyped, etc). Yet, all this said, this is an indispensable Traveller book and setting for any gamer who wants to get into a hard science, near future setting. The 'French Empire' conceit seems a little counterintuitive to me, but it's well grounded out in the future timeline explanations and the science of the game is generally pretty solid. Personally, I think the RPG world needs a strong 2300AD setting to ground out BladeRunner/Firefly type stories - and its great to see this game line return, regardless of anything else. I would hope they revisit the editing of the game before too long, however. Incidentally, my new Mac has the cover in white borders rather than black - what's up with that?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2300AD Core Rulebook Revised
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Vikings of Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 04:00:19
Near enough a little masterpiece - excellent with the Legend rules - and a very complete genre/setting book for an iconic historical adventuring culture. As with all the Legend supplements, concisely written and neatly presented.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vikings of Legend
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Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 03:57:28
Sexy magic. Of the type that makes classic sword and sorcery tales edgy. Very provocative as an overlay on existing magic systems (provided in the core Legend rules), but primarily used by GMs to provide NPCs rather than providing viable player options. Nevertheless, a nicely presented concise little supplement.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic
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Supplement 9: Campaign Guide
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 03:53:54
Lots of charts and tables in this book - and while it is useful for it's stated purpose, it really works best in conjunction with other Supplements rather than as a standalone product. A solid tool - but not an indispensable one.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Supplement 9: Campaign Guide
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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 03:51:01
There seems to be a tradition, from previous iterations of Marvel superhero RPGs, towards using funky, modern systems. The original TSR version had it's FEATS system and Universal Table; the mid-90s saw a card based SAGA system being used, and now we have a Indie style Cortex Plus system to digest.

All these systems have the dubious distinction of confusing the hell out of me, but I can't deny they are innovative. What we get here is a pretty complete, full color package with A+ production standards that you'd expect from a major license. Lots of familiar Heroes and Villains are outlined in the rules, and I've no doubt more will be added. There are rules towards designing your own heroes (thankfully) but it doesn't seem to be a major drive in the game unlike other RPGs (like Champions, primarily). It'll no doubt be successful - with The Avengers movie just round the corner - and should compete well against DC Heroes for the forceable future. But then, looking at the sales already, you probably knew that already!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2011 00:23:43
Where's the Red Rose? It seems odd to me that a 20th Anniversary edition would miss out on such an iconic image of the original game. Moreover, I'm not convinced that this really does capture the feel of the original game as much as allow for a further development of the "Revised" edition that came out in 1998. It's more like an "Ultimate Edition" than the expressed intention of recapturing the intent of the original game.

This, in itself is not a bad thing and it certainly tidies up certain rules (whilst curiously keeping some other dysfunctional rules systems in tact eg the clunky combat system) while providing an overview of the complex world envisioned through 10+ years of game development. I was unimpressed by a lack of more explicit credit to Mark Rein-Hagenhowever, and I personally tire of having to read through 500+ pages of content - especially when a whole bulk of it is just catalogues of vampiric powers.

The artwork is a mixture of old and new, good and bad, black and white and colour (I was amused by the choice of Lief Jones to do the splats - don't the developers ever listen to fans!?). The writing is very accessible, and the layout extends to 'splatting' out the Sects as well as the Clans, which does make the various political relationships easy to follow. It is clear that, as an all inclusive book, the game remains as immersive and atmospheric as ever. It just wasn't quite enough to persuade me to buy into a hardcopy, this time. Maybe a new edition of Mage might do more for me...

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
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