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Eclipse Phase: Interference
Publisher: Posthuman Studios LLC
by John F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2013 00:58:05
I'm a very solid fan of Eclipse Phase and have enjoyed all the storytelling in these books immensely. This is the first time I've purchased one of the stories separately - I'll pick up the Transhuman book shortly. Still, at .99 I couldn't resist a good story before I hit the sack.

This is the kind of storytelling that takes Eclipse Phase from simply innovative sci-fi to sci-fi HORROR. Here we find the psychological twist and paradigm-shattering ideas that stem from things like consciousness-transfer as software and the immortality of 'sleevable' minds and bodies.

In fact, 'Interference' is exactly what Eclipse Phase is all about. If you're curious about what a character can do in the world of this game, and what potentially can happen, this story is a fine first read.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eclipse Phase: Interference
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Eclipse Phase: Gatecrashing Hack Pack
Publisher: Posthuman Studios LLC
by john f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/24/2012 00:23:58
Absolutely of the same caliber and quality as the original core book: the production values and the depth of creativity are the same. The book fits perfectly into the atmosphere established by the core book and expands very naturally from a solar system inhabited by a refugee human race, highly modified by technology and its experiences, to the very highly risky exploration of the universe beyond using a science fiction concept ('stargates') that, while one might say is a tad threadbare, sees fresh new life in the hands of masters.

'Gatecrashing' allows the GM to create explosive new stories for her or his players, and the artwork available for use is of the best quality. Posthuman Studios' open license and 'hack packs' truly make the product available to the player to make her or his own.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eclipse Phase: Gatecrashing Hack Pack
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Eclipse Phase
Publisher: Posthuman Studios LLC
by john f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/24/2012 00:15:33
Simply put, an epic science-fiction roleplaying game written with a deep sense of human mind and culture and a sense of what technology does FOR and TO the human race. This is such a fresh and original take on the concept of 'post-apocalypse' that it truly deserves to be set apart from games that fit that description. Indeed, 'Eclipse Phase' is merely leaning on the 'post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror' handle because there's no descriptor for something this innovative, at least for now. Let me try:

'Post-human Survival/Technological Paradigm (sci-fi)'.

Do I really propse such a genre moniker? Well, no, it's rather unweildy. What I attempt to do is make my reader understand that just like the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first album, 'this one makes you wider'. Learning the world of this game introduces you to so many issues, existing and potential, in such a graceful and accessible way, that I believe the authors have succeeded in making the RPG (and here I mean the hobby) a true venue for social discourse and the contemplation of social and technological theories.

I'm sure the writers themselves could explain this better; they all have PhD's or will shortly. This core book could sit next to discussions of technology and society by people like Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and even works, for example, of Noam Chomsky. There is even a tongue-in-cheek reference to Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States', which pleases me to no end.

Have no fear, for while the world created in this book is fully developed, and a highly evolved animal, the gaming mechanics have been kept reasonably simple. The GM and her or his players will be free to explore Transhuman Society post-apocalypse without getting weighted down with too many charts and die rolls. (The game runs on d100 percentiles.)

I'm also impressed that the authors open-sourced the game and encourage players to modify their work to taste.

'Eclipse Phase' is one of the most masterful, powerful classics in gaming, and even succeeds in being a literary touchstone. In the right hands, it will generate contemplation and conversation that will expand minds.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eclipse Phase
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Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by john f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:58:53
There are many preceeding five-star reviews for this product, all well-earned by an excellent company that is providing important research and background material to GM's who want to create real atmosphere for their players. I bought this entire series (Castles and Communities both) and am quite happy with it. Definitely read my fellow gamers' reviews to get more dirt on the details. I'll just say briefly:

This particular supplement is one of the finest I've seen; kudos for the excellent treatment of different kinds of structures, their placement and purpose as well as historic and cultural connotations connected with these structures. Furthermore, everything is presented so that the GM can digest it and implement it in her or his game without reading for hours. These folks are quite good at distilling what they're bringing to you without watering it down.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Builder Volume 1: Strongholds
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City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by john f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:53:30
An excellent series, and a very interesting treatment. For the vast part, it's reasonably complete; however, I would like to have seen greater detail given to the hierarchies and organizational character of each type of criminal organization presented. For example, specific ranks, punishments, some traditions.

There could have been more discussion of comparison of such organizations with Rome's Collegia, although I do give credit to the writers for the fact that they did mention the Collegia as an example of an underworld 'guild'.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places
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City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by john f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2012 23:46:23
This is indeed an excellent product, from an excellent series. In fact these are the only folks in the industry who presently have anything like it on the market; I found this while looking for a copy of Chaosium's classic 'Cities' (of which I owned a copy over 20 years ago).

I highly recommend this product; however I have one and only one grief: one tradesman well-known 'back in the day' was the Tanner. A Tannery was important for treating leather once it was removed from an animal carcass. The issue with tanneries was that the chemical process, even back then, created an abhorrent stench, so these establishments were typically located at the edge of town, away from better-to-do residential areas and hopefully upwind. I was rather surprised at this omission.

Otherwise, do collect this series; it's highly useful at this price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places
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Publisher Reply:
John, I am very glad that you have enjoyed "City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places" and found it to be useful! My co-author Jim Clunie and I put a lot of work into this publication, with feedback and guidance from Gary Gygax, and it always makes me glad when someone discovers and appreciates it and the City Builder series overall. You are, in any event, correct that a Tannery is a key sort of tradesman place. We realized this as well and, when we compiled all 11 volumes of the City Builder series in a single book titled "City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities" we added a Tannery and a number of other places that did not appear in the original separate volumes ( http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/63703/City-Builder%3A-A-Guide-to-Designing-Communities?affiliate_id=79547 ). Contact us with your email address and, as someone who has enjoyed the series and is inclined to say positive things about it, we would be glad to send you a complimentary review copy. It also bears mentioning that d-Infinity magazine supports the City Builder series and has bonus content tying in with it in each edition ( http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=3908_8241&affiliate_id=79547 ), as follows: "Volume #0: The Shape of Things to Come" -- a free download -- includes a writeup on Quarries; "Volume #1: The Adventure Begins" includes an entry on Smugglers' Tunnels; "Volume #2: Lost Treasure" includes a writeup on the Byzantine Bank, a specific example of the Pawnshop described in "City Builder Volume 6: Mercantile places"; "Volume #3: Children of the Night" includes a writeup on the Guild of Beggars, Guides, Locksmiths, and Exterminators, a specific example of the Thieves’, Assassins’, and Beggars’ Guilds described in "City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places"; "Volume #4: Dark Future" includes a writeup on the Four Winds Bar, a specific example of the Tavern described in "City Builder Volume 7: Service Places". Beyond that, specific examples of all the more than 70 general sorts of place described throughout the City Builder series overall will appear in Skirmisher Publishing LLC's "Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting," with which we are currently in development! -- Michael Varhola
City Builder Generator Pack
Publisher: Chaotic Shiny Productions
by john f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/21/2012 02:26:11
Having GM'd sci-fi and near-future games for almost thirty years, I have finally decided to get into running medieval fantasy games. While I would still recommend picking up some references for medieval communities and history, this ingenious PC program is INDISPENSIBLE for doing several very important things:

This is the natural starter-point for developing a fantasy city, which you would then flesh out with all the references and cartography. This program even does some of the gridwork, for example with generating a market area. You can't beat it.

The very first feature you see is the city generator, which develops for you the character of the city you aim to build; what I mean here is what you say to the players. It provides you with what is called in literary criticism 'local color', and with the many (!) other tools provided (including a fascinating and highly entertaining tavern generator), you build the city up from there.

It's a superb tool whether you're just creating a bare-bones mental image of a city community for your players to flesh out in their minds, or as I suggest (and do), are building a full-fledged homebrew supplement but need a starting point to give you the creative juice-flow to begin such a daunting project.

EASILY WORTH THE PRICE.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder Generator Pack
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