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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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Monster Coliseum
Publisher: Design Mechanism
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2010 04:40:17
A good spin on the usual monster manual affair, by theming all creatrures as potential combatants in a Roman style Coliseum. Actually services as a skirmish style game concept on it's own on this basis, should you tire of more elaborate storytelling.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Coliseum
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Glorantha - The Second Age Core Rulebook
Publisher: Design Mechanism
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2010 04:37:43
Celebrated, but nevertheless quite accessible background setting, that captures a mythical tone immediately through their approach to cultures and beliefs. Not quite as daunting as one may expect for a setting this old, and I actually found it an enjoyable read.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glorantha - The Second Age Core Rulebook
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Vampire: The Masquerade - 2nd Edition
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2010 00:48:23
In my view, this still represents White Wolf at their absolute sharpest. The rules fit more tightly than the other Old World of Darkness titles that followed, and the premise is more direct and 'high concept'. It's interior art is incredibly atmospheric (more so than the later versions) and the writing is passionate and evocative. A milestone game book for me.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade - 2nd Edition
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Empires
Publisher: Design Mechanism
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2010 01:29:29
The content is pretty good, in a kind of sim-civilisation, metagame way. It does give an avenue for building strong campaigns. Curiously, the pdf didn't include the cover though.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Empires
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2010 02:14:03
My favourite thing about this game remains it's peerless careers section. The way it captures a profile of a vibrant medieval society is pretty unique in gaming and really brings it's game world to life for me. The system itself is much more polished that the previous edition, and the colourful magic system a welcome addition.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Core Rulebook
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Paranoia XP
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2010 01:59:43
Simply brilliant, timeless material. Paranoia was a classic of it's kind back in it's day, and this is an exemplary way to celebrate it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Paranoia XP
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