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Wild Talents: Essential Edition
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2011 04:44:25
I honestly think that this is the best superhero system I have ever come across.

It's brilliance lies partly with the ORE (One-Roll Engine) system itself, which is a fast and simple system based on rolling a number of d10 (up to 10d10) and looking for matches. In most cases, one roll of the dice determines everything from initiative to hit location to damage, and only in certain cases will you have to make more than one roll per turn of combat. Everyone I know has found it easy to learn and easy to use.

The only complicated part of the game mechanics is power creation, but this is also where Wild Talents absolutely shines. There is a very comprehensive list of ready-to-play superpowers to be used both as written, and as base examples to modifiy for individual taste. They are also good examples of how powers fit together - useful when you are building your own.

Powers are build with one or more of three basic power qualities (Attacks, Defends and Useful) which determine what you can do with the power, and to each quality you can add extras and flaws for added effects, limits and perks. Most of it is pretty easy to understand and self-explanatory, but there are certain parts that take a little effort to get the hang of. However, using this system you can create any power you can think of - and I mean that literally! I have yet to come up with something that can't be designed using the system.

This book contains the complete rules you need to play, including a section with modern day NPCs, a small selection of Animals, and a few sample characters - three of which are used in the book's example play.

Wild Talents can be a quite lethal game, though - it is more gritty than four-color, but the book contains several rules options and suggestions for tailoring it to different styles of play.

Because of the total freedom in power creation, there is very litte inherent game balance. In fact, some places in the text actually encourage min-maxing the system for such imbalance and think outside the box when approaching challenges. There's a three-page chapter on different approaches choose and how to get them to work. As such, the game requires a bit more co-operation between GM and players than many other games.

If you think other super hero games are a bit too limited in their choices of powers, and you want an easy to learn, fast paced combat system that can easily be tailored from realistic to four-color, then this is the system for you!


There are also several different setting books published to date (most of them even come with a free pdf of these rules!), most notably a victorian setting, a civil war setting, and two alternate history 20th century settings; all of them well worth checking out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wild Talents: Essential Edition
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Black Devils Brigade in Google Earth
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/13/2011 12:44:36
I would highly recommend this aid to any GM who is planning to run Black Devils Brigade.

The Google Earth file marks out all of the important hills and locations, neatly divided into the Chapters of the adventure so you can quickly mark out what you need, and I've found it a great tool to increase the understanding of the terrain and its layout.

Plus, I've used the file to quickly zoom in on the area the player characters are in, and with a quick tilt I can give them (and more importantly myself) an excellent understanding of the topography of the area.

Coupled with Google's street view it will help in descriptions of the area for those who are not all that familiar with Italy.

It's a very useful tool - easy to install, and it is well put together and easy to use even if you only have a basic understanding of Google Earth.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Devils Brigade in Google Earth
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Pie Shop
Publisher: Corone Design
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2010 09:11:15
Pie Shop is a thing of beauty -- twisted; disturbed; horrible beauty, that won't leave many readers untouched. Buy at your own risk.

The writing is intelligent and funny; especially the fictional interludes in wonderland (which is a very apt metaphor for what this game is: a trip so deep into the rabbit hole that few players would actually manage to roleplay this game seriously), and it describes the concept of serial killers well, without glorifying or glossing over -- except for taking everything with a good portion of dark humor that I'm sure many would find highly inapproperiate.

The rules are pretty bare bones and require a D12, but then again playing is more geared to role-playing and story telling than roll-playing and character advancement. Character creation is the best part of the rules, easily allowing you to create diverse characters with their own idiosyncracies, motives and preferences for killing. There are comprehensive lists that help this process without limiting player imagination.

The rules for combat are easy and fairly streamlined, but combat in Pie Shop is a very dangerous thing. If you get hit, or attempt to protect yourself without striking back, your chances of survival are slim -- or at least in the hands of your assailant. I haven't play tested the rules, but I imagine they make for short, intense fights that do not take up much game time. Modifications for other things than injury is left to the GM.

The entire system is easy, and leaves a lot of choices in the hands of the GM -- even which skill and attribute to use for a normal test. It's all quick and dirty but most of all flexible and 'loose', containing just enough structure for the GM and player to have a semi-solid frame for their stories.

The thing that stands out the most about Pie Shop is the dark twisted humor, and the way the author skillfully (or desperately?) balances on the edge of what can be considered tasteful.

All in all, I think it is quite a good product, and although it doesn't really seem meant for actual play, I can see it working.

I loved it -- but then again I am at least as twisted and deranged as Mr Toad...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pie Shop
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