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









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
D-Jumpers Volume #1: The Gate to Adventure
Publisher: DVOID Systems
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/27/2011 19:47:33
My first contact with D-Void Systems was through downloading the Legend of Zelda sourcebook / table top RPG, the rights to which have now been been withdrawn and that document is no more. I mention this because it's worth remembering that D-Void Systems see "the big picture" when it comes to game design, well they certainly plan "big". They may be worth watching for future releases - or at least tagging just in case they do something really dangerous. ;)

Some people buy products after being lured by glossy images, others buy for stat blocks. The D-Jumpers series currently has neither, but this shouldn't held against it. This is a system-less affair, and quite rightly so, because the campaign background would be adaptable to any starting-genre of game. By "starting genre" I mean the world (and game) in which the player-characters are native and most familiar with. Basically, if you liked the series Sliders, Star Gate SG-1,Doctor Who or stories with any inter-dimensional themes, you'll love D-Jumpers. Portals and alien worlds galore, varying tech levels, different laws of nature, magic even, political struggles and moral dilemmas.

D-Jumpers Volume 1 The Gate to Adventure is a compilation of individual issues in the range. It reads as whole campaign with different worlds acting as episodes.

A lot of attention is given to what motivates NPCs and how to usher the players into some fairly bizarre situations. What is nice about this first volume is that the mysterious character of "The Gatekeeper" can be played as either a mere linking device, a patron, a symbiotic arrangement with the players or even as a pan-universe megalomaniacal villain. Naturally, for experienced players these options can be genuinely refreshing.

The scope of the campaign is potentially huge. The amount of work a DM /referee /storyteller will bring to the table may vary from system to system, for example there are plenty of encounter settings, but no maps in D-Jumpers, which for figure based gaming can be a shortfall. For old fashioned radio-play style gaming exact layouts will not be an issue.

At 31 pages with illustrations and small text, this is a dense document, which reads like a set of well written scenario articles, logically divided into subsections with the bullet point storyline and goal checklists.

It seems to be early days for DVOID systems, so their promises of extra access to "free gaming content, crowdsourced from the gaming community" and "Lifetime Updates Policy" is hard to gauge at this stage, but there's definitely a sheer force of will and vision behind these products which may propel them forward to write more products. Are you buying a product or investing in a cult? Hey, this is role-playing - nearly all product ranges have a ferverous following!

With The Gate to Adventure you're getting quality writing, lots of ideas-content, but no gloss. It prints well in black and white (once the background image has flattened). If you like system-less campaigns with lots of detail about story line and PC hooks, and like your settings with infinite variety and possibilities then D-Jumpers is definitely for you.

In summary: Well written and just a little "mental".

- Bb -
http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D-Jumpers Volume #1: The Gate to Adventure
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Cellars of Castle Cassoulet
Publisher: Fabled Worlds
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/14/2011 09:08:59
Yummy, yummy, yummy!
Solo gamebook style 75 sections (plus a page of wandering monsters) using the Bean! rules - but also enjoyable without the D2 based system.

Cheap ($2!), silly, witty, love it.

So much for "constructive" reviews, what I really want to shout is:

"ZOMBEANS
and
GOBLEANS! "

:D

Bb
http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cellars of Castle Cassoulet
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Battlemap - The hall of the Well - FREE
Publisher: Lord Zsezse Works
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/07/2011 19:56:23
The quality and beauty of this product sickens me. A man with this much talent must be destroyed!

A damn fine piece of work.
(and it's FREE! - but for how long?)

Bb.
http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlemap - The hall of the Well - FREE
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Weird West Roleplaying Game Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Robertson Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2011 18:20:28
A tiny rulebook. Wonderfully simple and succinct. Uses poly dice.
The setting implies Wild West meets lord knows what (Plate mail is listed?!) - could easily be used for all sorts of pulp settings. I'm suddenly thinking of Space 1889, steampunk, Rifts Cthulhu. With rules this simple, the gates of the imagination are bust wide open for some serious role-playing, or alternatively a string of fast play encounters?

I suspect the author may have something more planned, this feels like a "taster". Well worth the dollar - a shiny silver dollar. The potential is huge. (Ignore this comment if the Robertson Games range is well stocked when you read this)

Nice touch: printable micro-book with instructions. Reminds me of novelty small boxed Steve Jackson games from the late 80s.

Cool cover as well. ;) Go, on. You know you're curious. ;)

Billiam B.
(Purchased copy)
Adventures & Shopping http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weird West Roleplaying Game Basic Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Clash of Kings
Publisher: Goblinoid Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2011 17:16:56
I totally recommend the Clash of Kings. If only for the fact that you might like reading about the possible origins of King Arthur in the suggested-real history of England. Throw in a trapped time traveller (Merlin, of course), some aliens in a cave, the Grail, the odd duel and battle, and you've got something just slightly more sophisticated than A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (and all of those comedy films that followed, ye gods). But it could still be a lot of fun - or incredibly serious, depending upon how you play it. The illustrations in Clash of Kings are from Beardsley's famous art for Le Morte Darthur, -a useful reminder of the influence the legends had on Romantic culture, which, according to the module are essential for the future development of England, Europe and the world. But don't worry, if everything fails ... "Communist North America and United Europe destroy the world in the Holocaust of 2054" (p32) Remember, kids, it was the 80's, with Reagan and Thatcher in charge you knew where you stood when it came to the future, bring on the nukes!

Fire up the Chronoscooters!

5 out 5 whilst at $1.99 - it's a gem, but not priceless, but is certainly fantastic offer whilst at this price. I implore Goblinoid Games to keep the prices low on these modules. :)

Billiam B.
http://bit.ly/rpgblog Adventures & Shopping

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clash of Kings
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Timemaster
Publisher: Goblinoid Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/05/2011 17:08:48
I'm giving this 5 out of 5 to take into account the knock-down price of $4.99.

(Abridged review/thoughts from own blog http://bit.ly/rpgblog)

White Dwarf and Imagine (Uk's version of Dragon magazine) used to fill their pages with articles about time travel in D&D, Judge Dredd, CoC and, naturally, Star Trek. Grandfather paradoxes aplenty, time travel looked fun, but pretty unplayable.

Timemaster, however, does a good job of setting clear guidelines as to how to make Time travel work. You're Time Agents - fix the problems, apprehend the criminals, preserve the order. Time is a very mutable thing. Success and failure would be measured in terms of the "significance" of adventure goals on the rest of history (based on a points system). History had a way of healing itself, the trick was minimising the damage. For example, no matter what you did, the earth would be engulfed in a nuclear apocalypse at some point in late 20th to mid 21st Century, but the superpowers combatants may have actually changed in nationality. Maybe Hitler wins WWII and the Cold War is between just Europe and Russia, but eventually America is dragged into WWIII. The guidelines for this is pretty good. Even dropping a gun in the wrong time-period has a "Significance Rating". Any mistakes or failures are counted up against more general goals, making sure that a historical event actual takes place can outweigh the smaller problems. On top of that the rules include a comprehensive mass combat system with counters, which actually allow you to fight battles in history. Again, losing a battle, when in history it's actually won, may still not disrupt the time-line much. A war may drag on for a few more months with the same overall result. Alternatively there could be catastrophe with the time-line not getting back on track for 500 years. Then you have to think "Well, the whole 16th-21st Century were ruined, as long as Earth still joins the Interstellar Community in the 24th Century, the Time Corp HQ in the 72nd century won't actually get wiped out". Dominoes.

There is an open feel and yet a totality about the rules in Timemaster. It's limitations seem to depend upon your own perceptions of sci-fi and science. For example PCs are enlisted from any point in history, but are discouraged from entering their own time - which closes quite a few interesting doors. Also, the rules for futuristic weapons seem to be limited to Space-fighters, a laser gun and laser rifle. Hmm. There's a lot of time between here and the 72nd century. Creativity is required on behalf of the Referee in terms of small details. The emphasis is often on famous people or royals from history plus an unwanted element - a "Demorean" (multiple armed xenophobic perfectist interdimensional aliens) or just some time-travel-renegade, a mercenary from the "Time-Wars".

From the handful of scenarios I've seen, the basic plot is:

Historically important NPCs
(approaching a) Major Historical Event
(acquire) influence/help/anachronistic weapon *
(from) bad guy(s)...

... the PCs (must) confiscate the item
(and) destroy or arrest the bad guys,
(whilst) preserving life and time-line event order.

*(the Spanish Armada have a Polaris missile in Sea Dogs of England)


The problem is that it can all read like a pantomime comedy in period costume. Did I mention that despite the extra limbs, that bad-guy-evil Demoreans can shape-shift? Masquerading as our leaders!? The Horror!

When I was younger I struggled a lot with the sweeping generalisations about history in Timemaster which seemed at odds with fairly detailed battlefield simulations. I was utterly tied in knots about actually getting down to play Timemaster.

However, since the TV series Doctor Who went utterly crazy, I'm feeling less worried about Churchill punching out aliens and lasers at the Somme. And yes, you could probably do the "spitfires in space" thing but the debriefing back at the Time Corps would be really tough.

Oh, and another thing - the Chronoscooters can only jump in and then jump back to HQ 72ndC. from one time - no "time-hopping". In one of the modules they throw that out of the window on the second page. What's the point of time-travel if one mission doesn't involve several different time periods in rapid succession? Maybe I'd have been better off meddling in the "Time Wars".

In summary, the main rules are an excellent stepping off point into to time travel gaming, but it needs just a little more "tech" (it was lacking in the 80s), and a confident, flexible DM would probably have the most fun playing everything as the "exception to rule".

The art in the main rules is less than inspiring - mainly Victorian wood-cuts - with a little more cut and paste Terry Gilliam would have had a run for his money. But it's still adorable as a complete old-style numbers and bonuses role-playing system.

Overall it's a very comprehensive and complete system, the setting will appeal to both serious players, and Time Bandits fans. ;)

Billiam B (Adventures and Shopping http://bit.ly/rpgblog )

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Ripped From the Headlines: Lord of Tyranny
Publisher: Roleplayers Chronicle
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/24/2011 17:34:52
This product reminds me of the better written scenario articles in Imagine and White Dwarf, back in the days when magazines were still edited to appeal to players of a broad spectrum of games. Despite being systemless, the author addresses how to adapt the scenario to different genres of fantasy games* as well as tips on how to insert it into a current campaign. (*Aaron Huss has already won my fawning respect as a specialist in game genre awareness in his highly informative Gamers’ Guide to Tabletop Role-playing Genres)

This product is well structured, the main characters are outlined, plot elements are clearly defined, a cast of opponents is also described in "The Bestiary". The NPCs are generic enough to be suddenly rustled up for an evening game from any rules appendix (nobles, elite warriors and so forth). Although the trigger events are urban, the scenario can include a dungeon-chase for the climatic encounters. It's recommended that the location is a small province, or small town in a remote location distant from the main action of the referee's campaign. In my own game I would probably put the politics and events in a town on the way to another quest location - remember, that town's aren't just for taverns and shopping. ;) The plot is rich enough to be played out as a "backdrop", whilst there would always be the option of the players getting their hands dirty by influencing local events, just by protecting one of the main protagonists.

Without wishing to spoil a plot twist, if played in a certain way, the scenario presents some ethical dilemmas which may be at odds with codes of conduct or principles with which they align themselves. If this is the case, then some seriously interesting, challenging and engaging role-playing from the players has to occur. That's my interpretation - much of this scenario relies upon your chosen style of play.

Clearly inspired by the Iraq War, Lord of Tyranny is a post modern deconstruction of events in our own world (or media representations of), broken down and efficiently translated into playable fantasy game elements. The "Ripped From The Headlines" series will hopefully bring us a refreshing alternative to the usual tombola mix of plot elements derived from film or novels.

Well written, well presented with inset gaming suggestion text boxes and easy to digest sections, this is a small and perfect springboard for several gaming sessions. It is adaptable to a variety of gaming styles - appealing to storytellers and dungeon crawlers alike. Ideal as part of a larger fantasy campaign, whilst being as "self enclosed" as the referee wishes.

Buy this. It's a bargain.

I defy you not to gain something for your game by just reading it. :)

-Bb 4.11
(Cross-posted at Adventures and Shopping http://bit.ly/rpgblog )

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ripped From the Headlines: Lord of Tyranny
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Publisher: Crystal Star Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/21/2011 19:38:15
Tonight, I am mostly being beaten up by drunk goblins.

Nobody said going into Bloodfyre Mountain would be easy, but man, I'm hitting them, but their armour and general endurance means I'm not making much progress. Not to mention starving in the maze. Surviving the Great Orc in The Fighting Pit would have been nice had I not also been stripped of all of my possessions, but I didn't survive, so crawling naked to the next encounter was a humiliation forewent.

It's tough. I went in alone. It is a "solo" adventure, after all.

I went in three times tonight, each time that healing potion let me down. You really hope for more than a 1 or 2 points from a 1d6 healing potion.

How am I going to get to play The Dark Citadel if I can't get one warrior through the starter quest? How am I going to have the pleasure of buying new weapons and armour, ascend levels and gain new abilities, if I get clobbered by a drunk orc or poisoned by a shaman?

How?
By playing it again. That's how.

I think I'm addicted. It's fun and fairly random and after a short while familiar encounters become really personal.

Because of the way the numbered sections are laid out, when you first look at text in the actual adventures in the Chronicles of Arax range, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you were looking at a solo gamebook or a linear list of encounters (okay I did, but I get a little blinded by the phrase "solo" these days, as I rediscover Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands...). It's neither. The experience of play is closer to an immersive, well written, random dungeon generator - without having to lay out any room tiles. A die is rolled - the result matches a text section- an area is explored or a beast is encountered, sometimes there's special treasure, but with each new exploratory die roll a number is added based of the number of successful encounters prior to that. This means that despite considerable randomness that progress towards the quest's goal or final area (Section "20") is inevitable. Unless, of course, you end up in the Maze of Goraz and the whole bleeding thing is reset to zero, grrr. *grin* I think I had a lot of unlucky rolls tonight, but in a way it feels like playing Doom (I) for the first time - easy to pick up and play so you don't mind restarting when you set off an arrow trap.

The game mechanics are beautifully simple. Opposing die rolls, ability checks, with simple modifiers for weapons and armour. Strengths and weakness are represented by different types of dice. Strength d6, Magic d4, Endurance d6, for example. After playing with the standard "Adventurer" template, I'm now itching to try out other character types, like the Knight of the Steel Fist. Surely, he starts with better armour? What's his "Fighting Skill" like?

The core rules and starter adventure are free, expanded material has a very small charge. In the Chronicles of Arax core rules you will get guaranteed playing time of many hours.

In many ways it reminded me of playing Warhammer Quest on my own (more so than playing a Fighting Fantasy gamebook for instance), or maybe even Talisman (but without the board, which I know is a very odd thing to say).

What's interesting about Chronicles of Arax is that technically you don't even need a table to play on, provided there's a corner you roll dice in and something to lean on to write on the character sheet.

Get yourself or a friend the free Core Rules (which includes a character and Bloodfyre Mountain), along with the character sheet and try it out. There's a very high possibility that you'll want to buy the supplemental material, but to be honest, you'd still be spending a lot less than on many other game systems - even if Crystal Star triples their current number of publications.

Format: clearly written and well presented in a two column format - it has a very professional polish, and I love some of the eroded fonts, which might be a tribute to earlier game systems.

I might have to say a few more things about this range as I work through them. :)

Right, let's get back in there ... Let's hunt some Orc!

Bb
(Reproduced in parts at "Adventures and Shopping" http://bit.ly/rpgblog )

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Arax - Solo Adventure Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Guard Tower
Publisher: Fantasy Cutouts
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/16/2011 13:59:21
The ink line art in this model is truly gorgeous!
Bb. (http://bit.ly/rpgblog)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Guard Tower
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Judge Dredd Miniatures Game
Publisher: Mongoose
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/02/2011 16:38:44
Well illustrated, great photos. A fantastic bargain (free). All we need now is the figures.
Great stuff. Thanks Mongoose! :)
BLAM BLAM, Die Perp!!
Bb http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Judge Dredd Miniatures Game
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Star Station Zero: Basic Set
Publisher: Art Gun
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/22/2011 15:23:53
An ace first product! This set can be assembled in many different ways. The art is stylised photo-metalic along the lines of industrial heavy-tech sci-fi sets. Fab standing doors. One plus to this set is the 3D block wall dividers and obstacles which transform open room sections. A very fine and adaptable set. I'm looking forward to see what Art Gun come up with next. -Bb http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Station Zero: Basic Set
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

INN-Teriors 1: The Raven Claw Inn
Publisher: Scrying Eye Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/20/2011 09:40:26
Good quality computer art, well balanced colours, lots of details. A generic rustic inn suitable for many settings. The set includes a roof as well as well as the two floors plus a small basement (to connect to a large underground map, perhaps ...) The overview maps are an added professional touch.
A quality bargain!
Bb http://bit.ly/rpgblog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INN-Teriors 1: The Raven Claw Inn
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Dungeon Tiles - Rooms & Corridors Set #2
Publisher: Ennead Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/11/2011 18:44:46
These tiles represent a a good starting point for the more "civilised" or below-urban dungeon, with crypt, library, wooden tunnels. These in combination with the river pieces would make it ideal for smuggler intrigue. Nice details. Incredible value for money from Ennead Games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Tiles - Rooms & Corridors Set #2
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Spiceworks
Publisher: Arsenale Shipworks
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/11/2011 18:35:51
Original location. Black and white - very printer friendly. Ideal for on-the-hoof encounter planning! Good value.

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Dungeon Tiles - Generic Inn
Publisher: Red Pub Games
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/11/2011 17:42:15
A printer friendly bargain freebie with doors. Every game needs an inn!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Tiles - Generic Inn
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 76 to 90 (of 115 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates