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Ken Writes About Stuff: Vol 1
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/24/2014 05:01:34
I had previously written to say that DTRPG has a long delay when it comes to publishing articles from KWAS, but that turns out not to be true: It just has a delay until you're allowed to purchase it. As a subscriber, I get it "early." It's just that I don't seem to have access to a good notification mechanism that tells me when a new issue has arrived (and what its name is, meaning I have to know the title in advance and search for it in my considerable library. Fortunately, DTRPG has excellent search mechanisms).

The content of KWAS is top-notch, as one would expect from a RPG luminary like Kenneth Hite. I will note that it leans heavily towards Gumshoe products, which I enjoy, but might not be useful for all readers. However, this is not exclusively so, and often you can ignore the mechanical information and just enjoy the rich, Hiteian fluff.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ken Writes About Stuff: Vol 1
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Invasion
Publisher: Jenna Katerin Moran
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/02/2012 04:21:45
I'd give 9 out of 10 if I could, but alas, we don't have that level of detail, so 4 out of 5 it is.

Jenna Moran's style is a natural fit for a children's book, and so Invasion works very, very well. Even so, the expected mind-bending perspectives that Jenna's fans so dearly love remain present, so I certainly enjoyed it. In particular, the art style helped the story immensely, the one building off of the other, to the point where I had to stop and appreciate the art to really grasp the full intent of the story, which represents an additional layer of mind candy.

Said differently, page one let me think it was a child's book. Page 2 made me quirk an eyebrow. Page 3 made me do a double take and flip back to page 2 to check the shift in art style.

So why four out of five? Format. Invasion is not a book that you'll want a PDF of. It just isn't. It's a book that you'll want on your shelf or sitting on your table so that your friends can pick it up and page through it and do the same double take you did when you first read it. For $4, it's certainly worth your money, but frankly, I think it would be better to pick it up from Amazon.com so you can amaze your friends and frighten your enemies with it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Invasion
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Ghouls
Publisher: White Wolf
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/16/2011 13:26:49
There are too many WoD books, and I've found that my large collection has winnowed down to just a few books that I use again and again. Ghouls is one of them. The book offers rules for creating your own ghouls, discussions of "plant" ghouls (Mandragora), what it's like to be a ghoul, and my personal favorite addition: Ghoul families. This is worth the price of admission alone, as it gives you everything you need to create hereditary servants, unique lineages, and creepy little girls who belong to creepy little families.

Books on ghouls are usually the best of the vampire line, and this book is no exception. You'll thank yourself for buying it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghouls
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Blood & Tears
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/22/2010 20:45:37
I'd probably rate this 9 out of 10 if that were an option, as it isn't a flawless product, but it's still very innovative and eye-opening. The system streamlines a great deal, while remaining completely compatible with the table-top version, and directly addresses some of the complaints our extensive LARP group have about other LARP systems. In particular, I enjoyed the cut-down character sheets, and the simplicity of the Style economy (It's easier and less character-breaking to hand someone a couple of tokens than it is to roll dice or play rock-scissors-paper). In some ways, the game over simplifies, and in others, John Wick doesn't take into account just how different the mechanics behind his two versions of the game really are (for example, you're allowed to bring your Blessings with you, but Blessings have decidedly table-top mechanics, such as letting you see a character sheet's secrets, when the LARP game requires that every sheet be public. Thus, I had to personally rewrite all the devotions), but all in all, for a mere $5, if you're a fan of Houses of the Blooded, I think you really owe it to yourself to pick up this product. It's Houses of the Blooded the way it was meant to be played: In corsets, in gloves, with a rapier slung at your waist.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood & Tears
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Monte Cook's World of Darkness
Publisher: White Wolf
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/21/2010 09:28:55
An interesting take on the WoD that, in may ways, returns to the Superheroes-by-night gonzo fun of the oWoD without the mechanical problems... for the most part. Some characters seem more powerful than others and Mages, in particular, take the cake. Still, you could do worse if you want to mix and mingle a love of D20 with a nostalgia for oWoD mayhem all wrapped in an unapologetically awesome bundle.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Monte Cook's World of Darkness
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Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Figures 3
Publisher: Shaman's Stock Art
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2010 23:01:34
Shaman seldom disappoints, and this is no exception. In addition to the svelte creature on the cover doing her best to sell this set to you, you get a pair of colorful halflings, an elven druid and an old sage. Each work is well done but also sufficiently generic to fit into any fantasy product. If you're looking for stock art for a fantasy work, this one is excellent.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shaman's Stockart Fantasy Figures 3
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Sufficiently Advanced
Publisher: Valent Games
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2010 22:53:41
I've never had a chance to properly run this game, not for want of interest but for want of time. The system looks solid enough, though the technology could have been more cleanly organized and certain attributes are underutilized (biotechnology doesn't seem to be good for very much but sporting events). Even so, I found it to be inspiring reading, an RPG the like of which I have never seen before and likely never will again. This game has influenced all my sci-fi gaming since, especially the surprisingly delightful cultures found within. For $1.00, how can you say no?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced
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Scion: Demigod
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/15/2010 12:08:25
Actually made a bad game worse by layering more flaws atop the shoddy foundations of the first game. It expands the setting (turning it into something slightly more than "a setting you could have made up on your own by browsing wikipedia's mythology page") and shows a bit of that good ol' White Wolf magic, but ultimately, fails completely as a game.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Scion: Demigod
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Scion: Hero
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/15/2010 12:02:58
A game with much promise and no follow through. A terrible system tacked onto a shakily supported premise. Only the art saves it from being a complete waste of your money.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Scion: Hero
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Houses of the Blooded
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/15/2010 12:01:24
Not perfect, but well supported, innovative and evocative. John Wick's finest work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Houses of the Blooded
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Weapons of the Gods
Publisher: Eos Press
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2010 13:15:11
One of the great, undiscovered RPGs and a true cult classic, Weapons of the Gods emulates wuxia action in a manner I have never seen in another game. It's based on a popular set of comics from Hong Kong, but it can easily emulate any wuxia-style setting. While the layout is clumsy and the concepts very different from other RPGs, and thus difficult to grasp, the art is fantastic and the game play makes it worth it. If you love high-kicking kung fu action and indie games, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weapons of the Gods
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Enemy Gods by John Wick
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/01/2009 09:11:26
Enemy Gods was the first book I picked up from Wicked Dead, and it's still one of my favorite. Enemy Gods offers an innovative take on GMing and roleplaying. Players take on both the roles of Champion ("players") and Gods ("GMs,"), which results in two levels of play, the first being a standard fantasy adventure with heroics and excitement, and a second level of godly kibitzing, where players gossip about what their characters are up to, and squabbling over minor slights, tossing out miracles to hamper the champions of their rivals while trying not to be such a jerk that players start to skimp on your purview.

The Good: Enemy Gods plays like a party game. In the role of Gods, players often toss out enough complications that as a GM, I had only to lightly direct things here and there. Mostly, I had a chance to sit back and enjoy, which is quite a change from my normal pace.

The Bad: Because every stat has an associated God, Enemy Gods lacks flexibility: I can't really imagine playing with more or less than the requisite 6, unless I wanted to sit down and rewrite the stats.

The Verdict: The game seems better suited to (somewhat wonky) one shot games than to long term play, but it can handle both. It's a very lite game, but it provides more than enough ideas to keep me inspired. If you're looking for a quick game that requires little in the way of prep and leaps straight to the action in something less reminiscent of the Big Action Movie that most RPGs resemble and more like a delightful pick-up game that you might toss together on a rainy weekend, this is the game for you.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Enemy Gods by John Wick
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TobyArt 1: War Priests
Publisher: Postmortem Studios
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2009 07:00:00
Most clip art products aren't even worth the time to look at, much less the money to buy, and at 15 dollars, War Priests seems like an expensive purchase. However, the art within is spectacular, nothing that would look out of place in any professionally published product. The art has character and poise, and grabs the reader instantly. At 10 pieces of art, each picture itself costs only 1.50, making it a steal compared to the average Postmortem clip art product. If you're an independent publisher, or just a guy like me who likes to spruce up the products he puts online, this item is definitely worth your consideration. I look forward to seeing more of Toby's fine work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TobyArt 1: War Priests
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