DriveThruRPG.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsLog in or create an account and you can choose to get email notices whenever your favorite publishers or topics get new items!









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Seeker the Role Playing Game
Publisher: Vajra Enterprises
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/25/2014 22:52:53
I will be writing a more detailed opinion than this one. I just bought this an hour or so ago and I cannot put it down. This company has really thought out its material. I found the book Hoodoo Blues, and though I was impressed I wanted a few more 'classes' to make it more human. These Seekers fit the bill perfectly.

First off, the illustrations were sparce and not the best, as another reviewer said just before me. The cover art is included as a seperate download. Which is fine for me. I was impressed with that one. That is really the only thing I have bad to say about this book. If you are looking for content, though, this is a wonderfully deep read.

Every part of the book has a quick summary. So if you are looking for something you dont have to just read everything to fill in one detail in the middle of a game. The system is flexible and universal. The premesis is fun and interesting. This is for a RPG with a deeper meaning... like a Kung Fu or Touched by an Angel kind of story. I will try and write a more detailed and organized break down of my reactions soon.

Both this product and Hoodoo Blues (think old World of Darkness in the deep south) only cost about five dollars. This is a very reasonable investment for the background and thorough mechanics which are laid out to enhance the gaming experience and roleplaying. There is a free version of thier Tibet game on RPGNow which is very interesting as well. This company makes something special... products which make you think and feel so genuine.

Ill add more details soon.

Peace.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Seeker the Role Playing Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

FCBD Super-Special 2014 (ICONS)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2014 21:06:20
I cannot believe this book hasnt been reviewed yet. Well, if Im going to be the first, let me tell you know. Just pick up this awesome free book. No? Want a reason to do so. Not sure you want to junk up your computer with free junk. Well, let me give you more reassurance.

This book is very well done. The art and layout are superb. The story if fun and light. It takes six superhero characters from different worlds for a nearly 30 page crossover issue. An interdimensional tyrant (who reminds me of Apopcalypse) snatches them up for his own Mortal Kombat style arena games. Just imagine that simple story done well by one of the Big Guys... DC or Marvel. Epic, if you ask me.

Now Im going to break it down even further. This story is well delivered and well written, a collaboration of several very talented writers who are highlighted in articles at the end. This product is free... a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. It is available in three systems, I am assuming the three worlds from which these characters are taken. These systems include the ICONS system (my personal favorite), M&M 3rd edition (a nice system), and Supers (which I know nothing about). This means that if you want to, you can aquire multiple systems and use it as cliffnotes on converting one system into another. Game mechanics are highlighted in red making them easy to compare with each other. Seven characters are detailed at the end. Two of them I had stats for, but the others I assume are converts from M&M and Supers. So that means I got four really good character stat layouts.

I feel like I will be insulting my dear reader's intelligence to continue. This book is a gem and it is for free. There are comparable products on this site which charge you a dollar for one character's stat layout... one character, two pictures, a bit of character history, thats about it. All of that for one dollar. Comparrable modules under the ICONS system usually seem to average about five dollars each. They do not even guilt trip you with that "Pay What Your Heart Tells You To" options. They dont ask for any money, just maybe read the articles at the end to learn more about the writers and try to enjoy the free superhero action responsibly. Why even think about it anymore? Pick up this wonderful freebie and start a crossover of your own in your gaming group.

Happy belated Free Comic Book Day.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FCBD Super-Special 2014 (ICONS)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

FCBD Super-Special 2014 (MnM3e)
Publisher: Xion Studios
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2014 21:06:12
I cannot believe this book hasnt been reviewed yet. Well, if Im going to be the first, let me tell you know. Just pick up this awesome free book. No? Want a reason to do so. Not sure you want to junk up your computer with free junk. Well, let me give you more reassurance.

This book is very well done. The art and layout are superb. The story if fun and light. It takes six superhero characters from different worlds for a nearly 30 page crossover issue. An interdimensional tyrant (who reminds me of Apopcalypse) snatches them up for his own Mortal Kombat style arena games. Just imagine that simple story done well by one of the Big Guys... DC or Marvel. Epic, if you ask me.

Now Im going to break it down even further. This story is well delivered and well written, a collaboration of several very talented writers who are highlighted in articles at the end. This product is free... a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. It is available in three systems, I am assuming the three worlds from which these characters are taken. These systems include the ICONS system (my personal favorite), M&M 3rd edition (a nice system), and Supers (which I know nothing about). This means that if you want to, you can aquire multiple systems and use it as cliffnotes on converting one system into another. Game mechanics are highlighted in red making them easy to compare with each other. Seven characters are detailed at the end. Two of them I had stats for, but the others I assume are converts from M&M and Supers. So that means I got four really good character stat layouts.

I feel like I will be insulting my dear reader's intelligence to continue. This book is a gem and it is for free. There are comparable products on this site which charge you a dollar for one character's stat layout... one character, two pictures, a bit of character history, thats about it. All of that for one dollar. Comparrable modules under the ICONS system usually seem to average about five dollars each. They do not even guilt trip you with that "Pay What Your Heart Tells You To" options. They dont ask for any money, just maybe read the articles at the end to learn more about the writers and try to enjoy the free superhero action responsibly. Why even think about it anymore? Pick up this wonderful freebie and start a crossover of your own in your gaming group.

Happy belated Free Comic Book Day.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FCBD Super-Special 2014 (MnM3e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Iron Bay Megatropolis
Publisher: Louis E Danhoff - AHC
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/07/2014 14:09:09
I have been dying for some new ICONS material. So I had to snatch up this newest addition. I rated this as a 3/5, but to me this is a good rating. It means you are getting what you paid for... though it didnt really blow up my skirt or anything.

Im going to start with what I like about this product. The setting is interesting. If you want an original superhero setting which doesnt feel like the West Coast or some kind of Metropolis/Gothum City/New York mixture then this product will work well for you. It gives a detailed lay out of the city including story hooks, set pieces, institutions, a very nice map, etc. It has a lot of homage characters like a Lois Lane-type, a Black Widow-type, a couple of Captain America-types, even a Nick Fury-type without an eyepatch. The last one even comes with a tricked out 'spy hunter' style car. They pack a lot into these 80 pages or so.

Now Ill talk about what I didnt like about this product. The art work was kind of graining or scribbly. This isnt bad, I got the general idea of what the character looked like and such, but a little more artistic 'shabang' and a bit of editing would go a long way towards another point on the scale.

Another complaint of mine is that the setting felt so 'classical'. Most ICONS products have a slick Silver Age style. My own personal style is more Bronze or functional. Like in the various comic book movies, the costumes are usually more functional and darker colored. Usually with a matching trench coat. Some of the villians felt like they would fit into my campaign. Iron Bay uses costume styles of the Golden Age. Costumes are colorful and garish with split color schemes. This is a minor gripe, at most.

I would have to say the ICONS mechanics felt... splattered together. This book was first released in MM3rd... so much can be lost in translation, I guess. ICONS is about elegance. Why have fifty points on a character sheet to track down when maybe less then a dozen would work? Minimalism is the key word with determination and stunts used for wiggle room. ICONS is dynamic... more about the rp process then using an extensive list of lists to keep track of everything. Im not sure the writer understands this and just used a table or two to convert retooled D&D into a FATE/FASERIP hybrid. For example, every Specialty doesnt need to be Expert level. The Abilities are designed as skill conglomerations. For example... one doesnt need a Listen skill to listen... they just roll Awareness. So if half the characters has over a dozen Expert level Specialties, then the Abilities arent doing what they are supposed to. Also odd notes were included on some characters which could have easily been reflected as Qualities or Challenges.

Take heart. This is the first converted supplement for this product line. It is my hope they work out a bit more on general delivery and illustrations as well as nailing down the ICONS system a bit more. I have faith and will buy more of thier ICONS products. Even if they dont improve, they give enough to cover what they promise. So either way I feel AHC is a safe bet.

My last note is more for RPGNow. This product is not listed under Rule System ICONS. I scan this site weekly for the newest ICONS releases. I would hate for someone else out there who is jonesing for new ICONS products who didnt happen to click on this product might miss it. Some customers who are looking for exactly this product arent able find it unless you can straighten this out. That would be a loss for everyone involved.

Thanks for reading this rather long review. I hope AHC comes out with more ICONS products which are well tagged and make them money. ICONS is a wonderfully simple and functional system. I hope they release more material for it. I promise to voraciously buy anything they put out. Peace.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Bay Megatropolis
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 4 (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 15:37:54
I gave a negative review of this series. I have come to regret this choice the more I reviewed this product. I now feel I should update my conclusions and try to be a more informative reviewer for my readers and not vent my financial venom into the RPGNow community.

I will list my negative conclusions, all of which one might have immediately upon purchasing the product and after an initial review. My reactions were this. Too expensive. I write it out into two paticular paragraphs which I will now repost.


"I have to say I was highly disappointed by this product. I have been really craving new Icons products, and this does fit that bill... but is highly expensive for what you end up getting. Each of these products are about 50 to 70 pages and they charge top dollar for everything you get. Each installment covers about ten archetypes... tells some general things about it... comic world examples... aspects... and 1 character example. For this they charge 8 to 10 dollars each. That means for the complete set of 40 archetypes and characters covered over lets say 240 pages you are going to play $34."

"Now compared to some text heavy systems like D&D and Hero, this really isnt a lot. If you compare this to the Icons Villianomicon, my golden standard on this line which is sold for just $10 dollars and covers 51 characters, you see why this is so painful in comparison. Not to mention that all of the Field Guides (and Villianomicon as well, unfortunately) do not use any of the new and wonderfully utilitarian rules used introduced in Great Powers."


Now this may have felt right when I wrote it then... unbudgeted money is hard to come by sometimes. ICONS is a wonderful rules light RPG and many of its products seem to have a lower price tag. This means that... for me... everything in the ICONS series that I have an interest in, I own. Try saying that with one of the big boy systems. Can't do it. All those huge volumes of books with dense blocks of game statistics to chew through right in the middle of combat or an intense roleplaying scene. Not ICONS... which fits the storyteller's hands like silk gloves... minimalistic and smoothe and airey even.This is why this product kind of dinged me kind of hard.

Now I have read of the books, and the more I do the more I have come to enjoy this product. At the time, I just wanted ICONS stuff. Give me scenarios, characters, vehicles, base aspects. I wanted all of that... like a sugar addict in a brightly lit mall candy store. This book is a little light on this aspect, and yet so much more.

As it lists in its description, the author, a bonafide doctor of the subject of superheroes, lists different archetypes all comic book characters fall into. He offers a traditional explanation and suggests where to draw inspiration for aspects and even important tips on the archetype mentioned. Each one has a prim example rolled up so you see what an Animal Hero would look like up against a Woman Warrior. Also the author sneaks in his own world around the book. He offers a glossary of terms and some new powers, etc. So I would consider this work more of a guide to an outlined superhero rpg setting. The academics are fun considering how candy coated ICONS can get sometimes. Someone new to this system could purchase these books and then attach an interesting scenaro or two... and have a very functinal world outlined with very broad strokes painting a very unique, yet faithful setting. This aspect of these books took me a bit to discover.

So changing my conclusions before. This book has a lot to offer and is unique in the ICONS series. I highly recommend it and continue to find reading it pleasurable and useful. The cost was kind of steep for me but with all things considered I am glad I aquired it and believe you will too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 4 (ICONS)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 15:37:16
I gave a negative review of this series. I have come to regret this choice the more I reviewed this product. I now feel I should update my conclusions and try to be a more informative reviewer for my readers and not vent my financial venom into the RPGNow community.

I will list my negative conclusions, all of which one might have immediately upon purchasing the product and after an initial review. My reactions were this. Too expensive. I write it out into two paticular paragraphs which I will now repost.


"I have to say I was highly disappointed by this product. I have been really craving new Icons products, and this does fit that bill... but is highly expensive for what you end up getting. Each of these products are about 50 to 70 pages and they charge top dollar for everything you get. Each installment covers about ten archetypes... tells some general things about it... comic world examples... aspects... and 1 character example. For this they charge 8 to 10 dollars each. That means for the complete set of 40 archetypes and characters covered over lets say 240 pages you are going to play $34."

"Now compared to some text heavy systems like D&D and Hero, this really isnt a lot. If you compare this to the Icons Villianomicon, my golden standard on this line which is sold for just $10 dollars and covers 51 characters, you see why this is so painful in comparison. Not to mention that all of the Field Guides (and Villianomicon as well, unfortunately) do not use any of the new and wonderfully utilitarian rules used introduced in Great Powers."


Now this may have felt right when I wrote it then... unbudgeted money is hard to come by sometimes. ICONS is a wonderful rules light RPG and many of its products seem to have a lower price tag. This means that... for me... everything in the ICONS series that I have an interest in, I own. Try saying that with one of the big boy systems. Can't do it. All those huge volumes of books with dense blocks of game statistics to chew through right in the middle of combat or an intense roleplaying scene. Not ICONS... which fits the storyteller's hands like silk gloves... minimalistic and smoothe and airey even.This is why this product kind of dinged me kind of hard.

Now I have read of the books, and the more I do the more I have come to enjoy this product. At the time, I just wanted ICONS stuff. Give me scenarios, characters, vehicles, base aspects. I wanted all of that... like a sugar addict in a brightly lit mall candy store. This book is a little light on this aspect, and yet so much more.

As it lists in its description, the author, a bonafide doctor of the subject of superheroes, lists different archetypes all comic book characters fall into. He offers a traditional explanation and suggests where to draw inspiration for aspects and even important tips on the archetype mentioned. Each one has a prim example rolled up so you see what an Animal Hero would look like up against a Woman Warrior. Also the author sneaks in his own world around the book. He offers a glossary of terms and some new powers, etc. So I would consider this work more of a guide to an outlined superhero rpg setting. The academics are fun considering how candy coated ICONS can get sometimes. Someone new to this system could purchase these books and then attach an interesting scenaro or two... and have a very functinal world outlined with very broad strokes painting a very unique, yet faithful setting. This aspect of these books took me a bit to discover.

So changing my conclusions before. This book has a lot to offer and is unique in the ICONS series. I highly recommend it and continue to find reading it pleasurable and useful. The cost was kind of steep for me but with all things considered I am glad I aquired it and believe you will too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 3 (ICONS)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 2 (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2013 15:36:42
I gave a negative review of this series. I have come to regret this choice the more I reviewed this product. I now feel I should update my conclusions and try to be a more informative reviewer for my readers and not vent my financial venom into the RPGNow community.

I will list my negative conclusions, all of which one might have immediately upon purchasing the product and after an initial review. My reactions were this. Too expensive. I write it out into two paticular paragraphs which I will now repost.


"I have to say I was highly disappointed by this product. I have been really craving new Icons products, and this does fit that bill... but is highly expensive for what you end up getting. Each of these products are about 50 to 70 pages and they charge top dollar for everything you get. Each installment covers about ten archetypes... tells some general things about it... comic world examples... aspects... and 1 character example. For this they charge 8 to 10 dollars each. That means for the complete set of 40 archetypes and characters covered over lets say 240 pages you are going to play $34."

"Now compared to some text heavy systems like D&D and Hero, this really isnt a lot. If you compare this to the Icons Villianomicon, my golden standard on this line which is sold for just $10 dollars and covers 51 characters, you see why this is so painful in comparison. Not to mention that all of the Field Guides (and Villianomicon as well, unfortunately) do not use any of the new and wonderfully utilitarian rules used introduced in Great Powers."


Now this may have felt right when I wrote it then... unbudgeted money is hard to come by sometimes. ICONS is a wonderful rules light RPG and many of its products seem to have a lower price tag. This means that... for me... everything in the ICONS series that I have an interest in, I own. Try saying that with one of the big boy systems. Can't do it. All those huge volumes of books with dense blocks of game statistics to chew through right in the middle of combat or an intense roleplaying scene. Not ICONS... which fits the storyteller's hands like silk gloves... minimalistic and smoothe and airey even.This is why this product kind of dinged me kind of hard.

Now I have read of the books, and the more I do the more I have come to enjoy this product. At the time, I just wanted ICONS stuff. Give me scenarios, characters, vehicles, base aspects. I wanted all of that... like a sugar addict in a brightly lit mall candy store. This book is a little light on this aspect, and yet so much more.

As it lists in its description, the author, a bonafide doctor of the subject of superheroes, lists different archetypes all comic book characters fall into. He offers a traditional explanation and suggests where to draw inspiration for aspects and even important tips on the archetype mentioned. Each one has a prim example rolled up so you see what an Animal Hero would look like up against a Woman Warrior. Also the author sneaks in his own world around the book. He offers a glossary of terms and some new powers, etc. So I would consider this work more of a guide to an outlined superhero rpg setting. The academics are fun considering how candy coated ICONS can get sometimes. Someone new to this system could purchase these books and then attach an interesting scenaro or two... and have a very functinal world outlined with very broad strokes painting a very unique, yet faithful setting. This aspect of these books took me a bit to discover.

So changing my conclusions before. This book has a lot to offer and is unique in the ICONS series. I highly recommend it and continue to find reading it pleasurable and useful. The cost was kind of steep for me but with all things considered I am glad I aquired it and believe you will too.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 2 (ICONS)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Zenith Comics Presents: Supervillains (ICONS)
Publisher: HAZARD Studio
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2013 12:49:54
This was a very solid product for the ICONS Superhero RPG. I know, I've been collecting them like mad recently, but this was a rare find which I felt I had to comment on. I could not have been more pleased with the product, especially for the price. The e-file consists of a description and history, a good illustration or two, as well as the needed ICONS statistic block for ten very interesting and varried characters. (Oh, eleven. I forgot they included a certain DC Bug ripoff.) They even include standees and proportional character squares as well as square markers for shadows and ice especially for two of their characters. These characters were easily the equal of most of the ICONS own published characters with the one exception that the illustrations were not quite as slick, though they were still very Silver Age in their vibrant color scheme. The illustrations provided were very fine for the product, though. This wasn't a bad detraction for me just a notable difference between the lines.

Spoilers ahead. I'm going to hint upon a few of the characters I thought were interesting. They have an adorably huge gargoyle... you can see a Frankenstien episode welling up in his eyes. They have a creepy charater similar to Cloak from Cloak and Dagger. They include the best stats I have yet seen for an ICONS werewolf. Oh and my favorite. They have this hulking badguy with mechanics where he gets a 'high' and physically heals by inflicting damage on people. Just imagine for a moment how fun such a badguy would be to play. What kind of fun things would a superpowered, tweaked off bully have to say while hes tossing around heroes with a Strength of 9? "Fore." I hate his illustration, ugly tights, so I'd have to give him a different description but keep the bloody skull symbol on his chest... probably painted on by his own hand Joker style. See now why you have to have this product for the mere price of a dollar.

I looked over the Hazard Studio line, it seems they are supporting several superheroe rpg systems, including their own called SUPERS! as well as V&V and BASH! I hope they release more ICONS material. I would buy anything else they published along these same lines and price range. Keep up the wonderful work, Zenith Comics and Hazard Studio.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Zenith Comics Presents: Supervillains (ICONS)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 3 [ICONS]
Publisher: Victory RPG
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2013 10:53:38
I am really liking this first volume of the series, the Enemies of the State. Im going to write this reaction backwards, though, telling you its 'not so good' points to wade to my conclusion. Unfortunately there are a lot of good and bad points to this product which should be concidered, but I found it well worth its purchase price.

As you can see from the cover, the art isnt spectacular. The normal artwork for ICONS is this 'Jonny Phantom/Almost Power Puff Girls' theme of simple ovals stacked and drabed with candy colored tights and with a few capes or skulls or whatever thrown on. This is very far from that mark. These are what look like fashion posed sketches of someone with some talent. Like that stoner in the back of class who just doodled all day long in the back of the class, you know the guy. Some of the pictures were kind of dispoportional... like wrists so thin, they would have to beak just opening a door. Its mildly disturbing... as if you had walked into a world populated by impressionist screamers or something. They do thier job and show you how this one villian wears his clothing and might look posed in the middle of executing some diabolical plan. My other main complaint, and to me it isnt a biggie, is the layout. It might have been the look they were going for... the 'seventies/eighties comic book' letterhead over each entry. If so, bravo on the nostalgia, but the whole production felt kind of amaturish as far as the presentation and artwork. Now this is mostly based on comparison with the normal ICONS products, which always feels silver age slick to me. This feels like a golden age product by fawcet comics or some other defunct company from that time. Finally, this product was first made as a M&M sourcebook, terminologies still get batted around, unfound by the substitute program they used or whatever. You have to figure out on your own what a 'WILL save' is... which I use as a Willpower ability check with a 0 set difficulty. This can be distracting.

Now I saved the best for last. What do I like about it. First off, it is inexpensive. This is the first selling point I want to make, for a nice price you get some good material. There is very little commitment... read one and if you like it, get the others. Try the water, get out if its too cold in here for you. Secondly, I like that it doesnt have the normal 'slick silver age' theme. This feels like golden age or thug level material. I am so tired of silver age, I have my own world set up with a more golden age theme... a 'what if the comics code never happened' alternative to modern comic books set up completely on magic rather than 'wacky radiation'. If you like to walk off the silver age path, I think this gives you an interesting set of archetypes to build from. Also I found the thought and themes involved were interesting and different from most products of this type. I like the real world grounding with the states, rather than having everyone come from Metropolis or Gothum City or something. I even liked how most of the characters were dressed in what amounts to real world clothing and didnt all sport 'domino masks' of some sort.

So my conclusion is this. I was torn what rating to leave this target before finally settling on a three. I liked the writing and what it is doing. I might not have liked how I felt while looking at the pics and letterhead and such, but that is really only secondary to what I really wanted. Though I liked the price of these products, I hope in the future Victory RPG will put in a few more characters per book. There are fifty states to be covered and Id hate to count the costs later and find the whole set costed me over a dollar a state. I dont even care if they ever fix or whatever the pictures and layout... just throw in a 'just 5 cents' square in the corner or something to make it look like an old comic book cover to me would just be choice and distinquish it nicely from normal ICONS books. It would make me happier if they could weed out more of the 'M&M'isms, but I understand my main system, ICONS, is only a second run audience for them. Its just a small gipe, and usually with a bit of thought I can figure out what to do around it.

I look forward to more Victory RPG products in this line. This is only the first volume. Maybe the others will hone in a bit more and I could give them a four. I see a lot of potential and value here.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 3 [ICONS]
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 2 [ICONS]
Publisher: Victory RPG
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2013 10:53:19
I am really liking this first volume of the series, the Enemies of the State. Im going to write this reaction backwards, though, telling you its 'not so good' points to wade to my conclusion. Unfortunately there are a lot of good and bad points to this product which should be concidered, but I found it well worth its purchase price.

As you can see from the cover, the art isnt spectacular. The normal artwork for ICONS is this 'Jonny Phantom/Almost Power Puff Girls' theme of simple ovals stacked and drabed with candy colored tights and with a few capes or skulls or whatever thrown on. This is very far from that mark. These are what look like fashion posed sketches of someone with some talent. Like that stoner in the back of class who just doodled all day long in the back of the class, you know the guy. Some of the pictures were kind of dispoportional... like wrists so thin, they would have to beak just opening a door. Its mildly disturbing... as if you had walked into a world populated by impressionist screamers or something. They do thier job and show you how this one villian wears his clothing and might look posed in the middle of executing some diabolical plan. My other main complaint, and to me it isnt a biggie, is the layout. It might have been the look they were going for... the 'seventies/eighties comic book' letterhead over each entry. If so, bravo on the nostalgia, but the whole production felt kind of amaturish as far as the presentation and artwork. Now this is mostly based on comparison with the normal ICONS products, which always feels silver age slick to me. This feels like a golden age product by fawcet comics or some other defunct company from that time. Finally, this product was first made as a M&M sourcebook, terminologies still get batted around, unfound by the substitute program they used or whatever. You have to figure out on your own what a 'WILL save' is... which I use as a Willpower ability check with a 0 set difficulty. This can be distracting.

Now I saved the best for last. What do I like about it. First off, it is inexpensive. This is the first selling point I want to make, for a nice price you get some good material. There is very little commitment... read one and if you like it, get the others. Try the water, get out if its too cold in here for you. Secondly, I like that it doesnt have the normal 'slick silver age' theme. This feels like golden age or thug level material. I am so tired of silver age, I have my own world set up with a more golden age theme... a 'what if the comics code never happened' alternative to modern comic books set up completely on magic rather than 'wacky radiation'. If you like to walk off the silver age path, I think this gives you an interesting set of archetypes to build from. Also I found the thought and themes involved were interesting and different from most products of this type. I like the real world grounding with the states, rather than having everyone come from Metropolis or Gothum City or something. I even liked how most of the characters were dressed in what amounts to real world clothing and didnt all sport 'domino masks' of some sort.

So my conclusion is this. I was torn what rating to leave this target before finally settling on a three. I liked the writing and what it is doing. I might not have liked how I felt while looking at the pics and letterhead and such, but that is really only secondary to what I really wanted. Though I liked the price of these products, I hope in the future Victory RPG will put in a few more characters per book. There are fifty states to be covered and Id hate to count the costs later and find the whole set costed me over a dollar a state. I dont even care if they ever fix or whatever the pictures and layout... just throw in a 'just 5 cents' square in the corner or something to make it look like an old comic book cover to me would just be choice and distinquish it nicely from normal ICONS books. It would make me happier if they could weed out more of the 'M&M'isms, but I understand my main system, ICONS, is only a second run audience for them. Its just a small gipe, and usually with a bit of thought I can figure out what to do around it.

I look forward to more Victory RPG products in this line. This is only the first volume. Maybe the others will hone in a bit more and I could give them a four. I see a lot of potential and value here.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of the State vol 1 Issue 2 [ICONS]
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
I read your review word for word and I agree with you. My father and I were working the best we could to get the product out there. But production has slowed to a near halt since now VRPG is run by just me now. Once I can figure what my dad wanted me to produce I'll try to get products up again. EoS is the one series of product we both enjoyed to make and I'll try as best I can. Some future products may be a little "Amateur" but over time they'll get better. I enjoy having reviews made about the products and I'll try to work off them. Maybe I'll throw in that 15 cents sign on a few of the old timey looking ones. So I thank you for the review. VRPG was a Father/Son business and now it's just the son. But like I said I'll try to get back working on products and will work to the best of my ability on both my imagination for EoS and with the customer's reviews for them. Stephen Vaughan Victory RPG
Enemies of the State vol 1 [ICONS]
Publisher: Victory RPG
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2013 10:53:09
I am really liking this first volume of the series, the Enemies of the State. Im going to write this reaction backwards, though, telling you its 'not so good' points to wade to my conclusion. Unfortunately there are a lot of good and bad points to this product which should be concidered, but I found it well worth its purchase price.

As you can see from the cover, the art isnt spectacular. The normal artwork for ICONS is this 'Jonny Phantom/Almost Power Puff Girls' theme of simple ovals stacked and drabed with candy colored tights and with a few capes or skulls or whatever thrown on. This is very far from that mark. These are what look like fashion posed sketches of someone with some talent. Like that stoner in the back of class who just doodled all day long in the back of the class, you know the guy. Some of the pictures were kind of dispoportional... like wrists so thin, they would have to beak just opening a door. Its mildly disturbing... as if you had walked into a world populated by impressionist screamers or something. They do thier job and show you how this one villian wears his clothing and might look posed in the middle of executing some diabolical plan. My other main complaint, and to me it isnt a biggie, is the layout. It might have been the look they were going for... the 'seventies/eighties comic book' letterhead over each entry. If so, bravo on the nostalgia, but the whole production felt kind of amaturish as far as the presentation and artwork. Now this is mostly based on comparison with the normal ICONS products, which always feels silver age slick to me. This feels like a golden age product by fawcet comics or some other defunct company from that time. Finally, this product was first made as a M&M sourcebook, terminologies still get batted around, unfound by the substitute program they used or whatever. You have to figure out on your own what a 'WILL save' is... which I use as a Willpower ability check with a 0 set difficulty. This can be distracting.

Now I saved the best for last. What do I like about it. First off, it is inexpensive. This is the first selling point I want to make, for a nice price you get some good material. There is very little commitment... read one and if you like it, get the others. Try the water, get out if its too cold in here for you. Secondly, I like that it doesnt have the normal 'slick silver age' theme. This feels like golden age or thug level material. I am so tired of silver age, I have my own world set up with a more golden age theme... a 'what if the comics code never happened' alternative to modern comic books set up completely on magic rather than 'wacky radiation'. If you like to walk off the silver age path, I think this gives you an interesting set of archetypes to build from. Also I found the thought and themes involved were interesting and different from most products of this type. I like the real world grounding with the states, rather than having everyone come from Metropolis or Gothum City or something. I even liked how most of the characters were dressed in what amounts to real world clothing and didnt all sport 'domino masks' of some sort.

So my conclusion is this. I was torn what rating to leave this target before finally settling on a three. I liked the writing and what it is doing. I might not have liked how I felt while looking at the pics and letterhead and such, but that is really only secondary to what I really wanted. Though I liked the price of these products, I hope in the future Victory RPG will put in a few more characters per book. There are fifty states to be covered and Id hate to count the costs later and find the whole set costed me over a dollar a state. I dont even care if they ever fix or whatever the pictures and layout... just throw in a 'just 5 cents' square in the corner or something to make it look like an old comic book cover to me would just be choice and distinquish it nicely from normal ICONS books. It would make me happier if they could weed out more of the 'M&M'isms, but I understand my main system, ICONS, is only a second run audience for them. Its just a small gipe, and usually with a bit of thought I can figure out what to do around it.

I look forward to more Victory RPG products in this line. This is only the first volume. Maybe the others will hone in a bit more and I could give them a four. I see a lot of potential and value here.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Enemies of the State vol 1 [ICONS]
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Fate Accelerated Edition
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2013 19:39:01
I really like this new Fate Accelerated system. It came out of the blue. I knew about the Fate Core system, but this was a wonderful surprise for me. I was especially intrigued when I found out the new Dresden Universe supplements will be in Fate Accelerated.

Now I bet the first thing you are thinking is the first thing I thought. Which was this, "Accelerated Edition? Sounds like they just strip down their Core stuff and resell it to us again." This is a very streamlined edition, and in a way this is true. It is a lot more than this. It is a readjustment of scale and detail. Ill explain.

Have you ever seen a really cool cartoon? What if you just have an odd itch to play something really off the wall like scenes from one of those Heavy Metal magazines? Now most of the time, every RPG has to cover everything. Lists upon lists of stuff which you might need one day. Always organized in progress levels or 'aquirement ease gradiants' or whatever. This chucks all of that. All those boring lists of skills which you have to have at least one dot in just to be well rounded... unnecessary. Whatever they cover, no matter what... it isnt enough. And if its enough at one time... it will be just in the way most of the rest of the time. What if you could just blur through all of that the way a good episode of old television would... just wink at you with a 'trust me' attitude and before you know it you have arrived at the next plot point where you needed to go anyway before the next commercial break.

For this smooth and universal ease of use, I present to you Fate Accelerated. It uses Aspects as its main engine. Instead of using lot so different mechanics spelling out all kinds of ways of doing things, they just use one thing... Aspects. Aspects are short descriptions of your character or a place or a thing or whatever. Throw them a Fate point... a kind of gaming currency like 'Will power' for OWoD or Karma in FASERIP or Shadowrun. So without getting into detail... I would just be shortchanging the authors who really cover this in very few pages.. I will sum up everything like this. Short descriptions do all the work.. magic... my awesome gun... my knack or reading minds... a girl at every port... whatever. Just roll and see where it goes. The system uses four tracks of die rolls to resolve any situation... and looking it over I cant imagine another action a PC would take without falling into one of those tracks. Oh, and no skills... the best part. Why have to redraw what every character can do every time. If it makes sense he can do it... fine. Why spend points for someone to say they can 'drive a car'? They use approaches which further define the character and yet give them strong points... and at least one weak point all revolving around a simple word like 'Guardian' or 'Thief'.

This might sound jumbled, but think about how freeing it can be. What if without preparation you had to run a 'Flash Gordon' style game. Do you want a system that burries tables and descriptions on over three hundred pages of e-book which measures everything in mind numbing detail? Or do you want something that only acts as a loose framework for you to use for your story and your imagination and just let the details handle themselves along the way? The first is the main Fate system... specificly I was mentioning the Starblazers book. The second is Fate Accelerated Edition.

I dont think it will be for everybody. Some people feel such vagueness is degredation of detail and focus. I personally like to fill in the cracks with story flow and feel this is the more important part of the game. I cant give it a five because, well, it didnt make me breakfast. I cant just give those about, but I thought it was an impressive and flexible product. That they let you chose your price is a wonderful good faith gesture on the part of the company. I didnt pay as much as it was worth to me, I have to confess after reading it.

PS An interesting thought. Not every part of every game is equally interesting. What if you could use something like Fate Accelerated to handle whatever you wanted to 'smooth over' and used more crunchy parts of Fate Core or another Fate product like Dresden or Spirit of the Century or Diaspora or whatever other product you lay hands on but think is just too complex. I always hated the Skill pyramid so that would go in all of my games. What if you used martial arts or even car chase mechanics out of Core to spice up a fast and furious Accelerated Edition Tarantino 70s era revenge RPG on the fly? Now I think you see what Fate Accelerated has to offer.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Accelerated Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

ICONS: Great Power
Publisher: Ad Infinitum Adventures
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/14/2013 08:52:16
I love this newest addition to my library. I had been reluctant to commit to the Icons system after reading the book. It seemed nebulous on too many details. Once I wrapped my head around it, though. It proved to be a system very ideally suited to me. It is in essence a simplified rendition of Marvel Superheroes tier system with the Aspect mechanic of the Fate system. Oh, and using an easier to acquire d6-d6 mechanic which was always my favorite equivalent to the FUDGE dice.

I still had problems with the system. The powers were too limited. Heck, they werent even listed alphabetically which really stunk. I didnt yet fully trust the range and movement systems. This book is like a patch filling in all the holes in the system. It makes Icons purr like a kitten. A lot of ideas I had been totting around from other systems, like a list of inter-related power listings from Alpha Chronicles, have been made redundant by this one book. Imagine how wonderful it is to just not have to concider and peruse three or more other books to get the feel you want from your setting or magic.

In one book is everything you need to really customize your character. If you are a FASERIP fan, this is like the 'Ultimate Powers' book. It adds a few twists to the system, twists which I at first resisted, like not having some powers be twice as expensive as others. Once you get the feel of the system, though, you start to understand. Instead of just rolling stupid powers on some list... you are developing and interweaving your abilities... almost effortlessly. The book showing you how even just with its listings which suggest possibilities and, as stated before, alphabeticaly listed for ease of use with symbols to help organize the seven different power catagories. It even has a Servent power... and listings under Summon. This is always wonderful for smoothe mechanics for making up characters on the spot.

If you are even the vaguest bit interested in the Icons system and if you have some knowledge of the basic system, this book is a wonderful read which really opens up the possibilities of this system. Of course, being a sourcebook, it doesnt cover all the basic rules like panel and page meaning and such. It assumes one has those rules in place. This book mostly just streamlines the power and stunt systems. It is much simpler than most crunchy type games, like the Hero system or even D&D. It still gives you a lot of variance, though, and a lot of options. To me, this system is an ideal hybrid of the story driven Aspects (called Qualities) with the very simple and direct 10 level mechanics. I could give no higher endorsement to a game.

I hope they keep making these kind of products, but could they vary the art a bit. Maybe in the next issues they make a remake of the Icons basic book without its power and stunt system... and just try a different tone or two from the Silver Age illustrations. They are exciting and evocative, but kind of childish sometimes. Id like it if they made a 'gritty' edition of thier next book or urban fantasy toned edition. Maybe even the same book with different tones so the rulebook can be matched with the tone of the game. Hopefullly at a reduced price, because its a reprint, of course.

I look forward to a future with even more Icons material.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ICONS: Great Power
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Instant NPC Personality Generator
Publisher: DRAKAT Games
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/31/2013 19:40:09
This was everything I could have wanted it to be... especially for the price.

This document is based on the Myers Briggs system of personality classification. It goes a lot further, though, in its stated purpose of instantly giving you a way to play any NPC. In only a dozen pages... no frivolous prose on the theory of "RPG characters" no pictures except the cover. Hey, in the middle of a game, would you want all that stuff in the way of you and a good personality to pop on an NPC.

Let's talk about how they did it. They use a very basic spread of different personality combinations based on a very trusted psychological tool used pervasively. I took it in a medical careers prep college course. It is all organized with simple descriptive phrases, a simple intelligence modifier, and a negative trait associated with each. It even easily adjusts for nonhuman races using Vulcans specificly as an example. This template can be shaped to reflect the races of any fantasy or science fiction. I have never seen a more useful, inexpensive, and slender tool to place in any game master's tool belt.

Lets talk RPG craft. Even experienced game masters will notice they start developing only a handful of 'archetypes' on their own. Unless you are a bit schizo, you always have your own voice in your head. Change it up as much as you can, you will notice over your own gaming career... your name isn't legion. We all have to accept our limitations. This one product will make you a personality Plastic Man. For those serious about the art of RPGs, that is a wonderful thing.

Give this product a chance. It doesn't even cost a full dollar. If you use it in one game and flesh out eight NPCs with it then you have got your money's worth at about 10 cents per NPC.

Happy gaming.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Instant NPC Personality Generator
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Novarium
Publisher: Chubby Funster
by andrew b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2012 08:59:50
This is an incredible product. Image the best made core and world rulebook made by the industry giants... you know the two of them. Now, imagine its been simplified down to a flexible system.... and it is FREEEEEE. Beautiful artwork, wonderful mechanics, lots of background covered. I have to say, I downloaded both of Chubby Funster's free books... and was thoroughly impressed. For free products, these are very high quality and have lots of wonderfully evocative multicolor art from multiple artists. If this is any indication of the quality of Chubby Funster's work, I cant wait to see the other 5 products he has to offer that might actually cost a few dollars.

Just so you know, if this sounds too friendly, Ive never met or heard of Chubby Funster before today. I came across his free products, downloaded them, and became an instant fan. Please, give these products a chance, you will be glad that you did. I was in the middle of a MMORPG, when I got sucked up on this from my laptop. My character literally stood in the corner while I read this stuff... like some insolent child. Not since I downloaded C.J. whatshisnames Witchcraft have I been so entranced by a product.. and that was gritty black and white.

This review covers both of his free works, which I just downloaded and perused, Cascade Failure and Novarium. Ones an alternative to a good medival setting with a nice, simplistic system. The other is kind of a d20 post apocalyptic space opera... I know, just sounds intriguing. Check out both of them, did you notice they are both FREEEEE, and then give Chuggy Funster's products a try. I know thats where Im going after posting these two reviews up.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Novarium
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 26 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates