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Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
Publisher: Bedroom Wall Press
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/10/2013 12:29:03
I have to applaud John Berry's Hulks & Horrors. It is the first science fiction RPG that has successfully carried Dungeons & Dragons into space. D&D is a fun amalgamation of every fantasy trope from the 20th century, a blend made possible by the focus on dungeon and wilderness exploration. Hulks & Horrors is the same: A fun amalgamation of every sci-fi trope, focused on exploring deep space and alien ruins. If you're looking for extensive rules for mercantile commerce, or in-depth politicking in the Galactic Empire, or hard science fiction focused on terraforming and xenobiology, H&H is not that game. But nobody I game with wants that. What we want is to be a band of space explorers who course through deep space in search of ancient alien ruins, delve where no man has gone before, face hideous aliens and killer robots, and return with strange super-science. This is THAT game.

Some key things to call out:
1. The tools provided to the GM to generate star systems, alien ruins, and artifacts are amazing. I want to start creating space hulks today.
2. H&H's class system models all of the classic archetypes of sci-fi in a way that makes the classes mechanically different. Mechanical differentiation - e.g. different classes play in different ways - is to me one of the keys of a D&D-style game. In H&H, a Scientist, a Psyker, and a Soldier will viscerally feel different when you play them, with different trade offs and resource management issues.
3. The list of monsters is quite extensive, with lots of familiar favorites and some creepy new entries.
4. It has a complete ship-building system and ship combat rules that let the whole crew get involved.

Awesome!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
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LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Grindhouse Edition
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/04/2011 12:22:39
Unlike prior "retro-clones," LotFP isn't content to imitate what has come before. Instead it returns to the roots of the game and rebuilds it into something that is fresh and striking while still immediately familiar. If you are tired of every fantasy role-playing game feeling like a pale shadow of Tolkien, LotFP brings you a mysterious world of snake-gods and demonic cults, reminiscent of the masters of weird fantasy - Howard, Lovecraft, and Merritt. Factor in the high production value, and this is a must-buy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Grindhouse Edition
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Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
Publisher: 0one Games
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/10/2011 09:40:38
I've used 0one Game's products in my fantasy campaigns for years. They are a Gamemaster's best friend - well-crafted maps for virtually any imaginable fantasy environment. The Ironhill Citadel Virtual Boxed Set is no exception, and the production value is even higher than the normal Oone quality. If you are intent on running urban games in a fantasy setting, this handy virtual boxed set will give you a complete city with maps for every location, as well as some beautiful full-color poster maps you can show your players. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironhill Citadel: Virtual Boxed Set©
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Parsely #4: Space Station
Publisher: Memento Mori Theatricks
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/21/2011 23:51:22
Another in the great line of Parsely text adventure games, Space Station captures the feel of classic CRPGs like System Shock. It's possibly my favorite of the series. Again, highly recommended!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Parsely #4: Space Station
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Parsely #1: Action Castle
Publisher: Memento Mori Theatricks
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/21/2011 23:48:19
Action Castle is a great product. If you remember the old text adventure games like ZORK, it absolutely re-captures the inane but enjoyable logic in a live-action tabletop format. While the game rules recommend playing the game as if the GM *is* a computer, these games would also work exceptionally well for a rules-light introduction to role-playing. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Parsely #1: Action Castle
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Parsely #2: Jungle Adventure
Publisher: Memento Mori Theatricks
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/21/2011 23:42:13
I am literally stunned at the cleverness behind this series of game designs. "Jungle Adventure" captures the flavor of your old favorite text adventures like Zork and Enchanter in a setting reminiscent of LOST meets Indiana Jones. This is the perfect game to introduce someone to roleplaying with!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Parsely #2: Jungle Adventure
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The Gamers’ Guide to Tabletop Role-playing Genres
Publisher: Roleplayers Chronicle
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/20/2010 16:44:03
The Gamer's Guide has two main goals. First, to cogently illustrates all of the main genres and sub-genres that are available for an enterprising tabletop RPG group. Second, to provide links to some of the leading games in each of those genres and sub-genres.

It succeeds in both goals! I was very impressed at the genre breakdown. For instance, in establishing "Space Travel" into a separate genre, the writers were able to show why Rogue Trader and Star Trek were both part of the same genre, even though from another point of view the two games could not be further apart. As I read the book, I found myself seeing new angles and ways to play I'd not thought of, just from how they presented the similarities and differences in different games.

I was equally impressed with the depth of the game suggestions. Not only does it cover the main games in each genre, but it includes really excellent but lesser known games as well, such as Warrior, Rogue & Mage; Thousand Suns; and Barbarians of Lemuria.

This is an excellent product, and well worth the $1.00.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamers’ Guide to Tabletop Role-playing Genres
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Legendary I: Legendary Blades [PFRPG]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Alexander M. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/02/2010 10:03:07
This is a great purchase, worth far more than its minimal price. One of the major disconnects between Pathfinder and its epic and fictional source material is the way magical weapons get upgraded like cars. There has long been a need for weapons capable of growing with the user. The old "Weapons of Legacy" supplement first tried this, as did the Scions rules for 3.5, but both failed for demanding that the weapon wielders take prestige classes or give away hit points or skill points in order for the blade to improve. Legendary Blades offers a better path, and is chock-full of awesome weaponry to boot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary I: Legendary Blades [PFRPG]
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