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QADD: Quick and Dirty Dungeons
Publisher: Rarr! I'm A Monster Publishing
by Lora A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2013 23:42:55
One of my first thoughts concerning QADD was that it wouldn't be good to introduce new players to RPGs with. However, I can now see that it would be excellent for such a thing provided it's a game run by an experienced DM who doesn't mind making up things on the fly.

After a couple of runs through the solitaire adventures “Duck Soup” and “The Mad King's Challenge”, I decided to see just how “quick” QADD could be. After the usual pack of middle-aged ne'er-do-wells showed up I told them I was going to teach them a new system in five minutes and we were going to test-run it. I quickly handed out index cards and told them what to write down. I explained the abilities and how the dice pertained to them and taught them about combat. While I was doing this I came up with my story line about rats gnawing at the sewer supports under the street. Everything else just sort of flowed.

So, after a five-minute crash course on QADD, five minutes for character creation (and only slightly longer for spell selection), and a momentary pause to get the munchies on the table, we were off on a delve that took about 15-20 minutes with only short pauses to clarify/invent some rules. The adventure was a success not only in that everyone had a blast, but also that QADD did exactly what it said it would do. It delivered a quick and dirty dungeon.

There are many good points about this system, not the least of which is the ease with which it can be learned and memorized. One page, front and back, and no charts to keep track of. Quick character creation, quick combat resolution, and even my flimsy rat-fighting plot found a comfortable pace with the open-ended flavor. The equipment list is far from complete, but one quick glance and you can figure out where any typical pseudo-medieval weapon should fit. The list of races is minimal; elf, dwarf, and hobbit, as well as human (naturally). Again, the modifiers for the races are done so simply that any new races can easily be added to the list quite easily.

The only drawback I can see is that it will take an experienced DM to fill in the gaps left by this very rules-light system. The examples given for combat are for one-on-one encounters with only one variation, an example of rolling for mass combat. No example is given for a party ganging up on one target. This is problematic since combat is based on a “high roll wins” situation, when both sides roll simultaneously and the difference is the damage that goes to the loser (reduced for armor, etc). RAW, this means that a party of four attacks a single monster at one attack each while the monster gets four attacks. An experienced DM might rule that the monster attacks only one target, and any other “attack rolls” that the monster wins are simply misses on the party's part.

In summary, if you're an experienced DM you should grab this game. Easy to learn, easy to teach, it can introduce newbies and satisfy the itch of veteran gamers who just want a quick delve with emphasis on action. This is a product that lives up to its name; Quick and Dirty Dungeons!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
QADD: Quick and Dirty Dungeons
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Quest - The Storytelling Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Lora A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2011 20:56:03
This is an excellent entry-level product that is easy to learn and teach. Based around the common d6, you won't have to go buy a plethora of gaming dice just to play, and you won't need an entire evening to explain the rules. (It took me less than one commercial break to explain it to my husband.) As a starter game, you won't get the fancier aspects of role-playing games. There are no "prestige classes" or specialists, just a Knight, a Wizard, or an Adventurer (similiar to the Rogue class found in many RPGs). There is very little mechanically to customize your character, so one wizard will look like the next at this stage. However, remember that this is only a beginner kit. But if you just want a quick game on the spur of a moment, or else want something not overly complicated to introduce children (and hesitant adults) to cooperative story-telling or RPGs, you'll find all you need in this game.

Experienced DMs will have no problem taking this rules-light game and adding their own flavor and complexity, and some may even appreciate a game that doesn't test their ability to flip through tomes of rules, cross-reference charts, or memorize lengthy tables. Needless to say, gamers who favor a more complex system may find this to be very light. There is a promise, however, of an Advanced and Expert edition coming down the pipe, so stay tuned!

(PS: The cover art did not download for me, either. Maybe something in the settings?)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quest - The Storytelling Game
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Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Lora A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2011 13:50:11
This is a great way to scratch that dungeon-delving itch! The combat is quick, and as the action takes place in your mind's eye, it can easily become more than "I hit, the monster defends". I narrated my own adventue in the "Bloodfyre Mountain" quest just this morning and had a blast while eating breakfast! Now you too can defeat an evil sorceror while wolfing down scrambled eggs!

At first I thought it was going to be another "Choose Your Path" linear adventure, but the randomization of your next paragraph keeps you from memorizing the layout. "Huh. Last time I went to #4 and met a powerful dragon, so this time I'll take #12." The escalation mechanic per encounter ensures that yes, you will eventually meet the main villain or end of the quest without railroading you along carefully planned forks in the road.

If I would ask one thing of the Core Rules it would be a monster list of some sort, maybe just enough to cover the lower levels. Combine this with any of the dungeon generators out there and the quests will never end!

One final nit-pick, but only because my inner-English teacher is nagging me, was a couple of spelling and editting errors. They are truly minor, and you would need to be completely without a brain to not figure it out (use of "passed" instead of "past" in one entry, and "Endurance Reflex" where logic says they meant to write "Reflex").

Easy to pick up, hard to put down. Well done, Crystal Star!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
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Friar's Almanac - 005
Publisher: Dark Spire
by Lora A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2010 14:09:38
While this whole title got off to a rough start, its current incarnation is a pleasure to read, especially the articles on economics. My players are of the sort that demands this type of realism at times, and it's nice to have such things already set out. "How much wine can I grow on 6 1/2 acres?" "How much income do I get from my peasants?" "What do you mean these guys don't trade in gold?!?"

If you were one of the nay-sayers who judged the whole title based on its first issue, give it another look. It's starting to get its footing, and I believe there is more goodness to come down the line.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Friar's Almanac - 005
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The Magpie Codex: Quick Play Rules
Publisher: Equinox Games
by Lora A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2009 21:24:11
Magpie Codex is an excellent game for gamers who don't have the time to invest in 3-volume rulesets. While there are some minor flaws in this printing of the game, they are easily houseruled over or made up. Race, class, monster, and magic item creation are reduced to a simple set of self-balancing equations to ensure that your new creation is at an appropriate level. I plugged the formulae into FileMaker and can now crank out a character in a minute or two, a new monster in less than five minutes, and a campaign in, well, a lot less time than many other systems out there would allow. Before FileMaker, however, the creation process wasn't very long, either. Five minutes tops for a PC.

It's a great system for a veteran DM to teach to total newbies. I recommend both the Quick Play Rules to whet your appetite (and for the Rat Lord adventure), and then get one of the bundles. You won't regret it!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Magpie Codex: Quick Play Rules
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