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
 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:
Ashen Stars
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/01/2012 08:43:18
The first thing I'm going to say about this game is that it's GUMSHOE. I really, really like GUMSHOE. It's a wonderful system that really supports the style of games I like to run and play. So, as soon as I saw there was a new GUMSHOE game out, and that it was space opera, I was as giddy as a school girl and had very high expectations for this game.

After reading the game, I'm very please with it. But it didn't meet all my expectations.

The positive aspects of this game are many. It's GUMSHOE, so I know I already like the system. However, a few additional character traits have been added that I think will make for a few more interesting twists during game play. I like the addition of Drives in this game. I see them as adding an extra dimension and direction to the characters, one that I've not seen in the previous GUMSHOE games I've played. The Reputation score is also very intriguing and I'm excited to get my hands in there and tinker with that system and see how it works.

The only real negative aspect I saw in the game was the space combat. In theory, I like the process of setting a goal to achieve through combat and having all your exchanges add points towards achieving that goal. But, in this case, it felt like that system was just another step back from the action. It seemed like another layer of insulation between the characters and the players. Personally, I feel it is going to require a bit of tweaking and testing before I'm happy with how that runs in the game. And, I don't feel space battles really fit with the flavor of the rest of the game.

Even so, this is a wonderful book and if you're a fan of GUMSHOE, you really need to pick this one up. The sections on running the game have been the most helpful of any GUMSHOE game I've read. The setting is extremely interesting and has just enough detail to get my imagination going and enough blank spaces for me to insert my own creations. Wonderful job!

Check out the podcast @ http://podcast.sharkbonegames.com

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

CLASSifieds: Pyromancer
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/14/2012 17:11:38
Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a huge fan of d20. But I must say this is a great class!

The first thing that jumps out at me is the wonderful character art at the beginning, and the stylish and attractive background. It's very well done and really makes the document fun even before I get to reading it. And once I started reading it, it only got better. This class is presented in a way that gives enough information to start my imagination churning, but doesn't go so far as to provide too much information to squash the awesome ideas it spawns in my brain. While some parts are pretty technical, I find that's just an element of the game it's made for.

One of the things that has me most excited about the Pyromancer, is the end goal. I'm a big fan of classes that present a big change when you reach level 20. Instead of being just "better", the character actually undergoes a change and becomes something more than he was before. I really think this class would be a lot of fun to play.

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Instant NPC Personality Generator
Publisher: DRAKAT Games
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/11/2012 10:03:16
I really enjoy tools that make my life easier as a GM, and I think this is a great tool. It's apparently based on a real life science, psychometrics, something that I know nothing about. But, it dumbs it down enough that I get a general idea of what it is and how it's used to classify different personality types. One of the things that I'm really excited to experiment with from this generator, is the Communication Style. I think it's a great tidbit to help add depth to your NPCs and to make them each a little more unique. This document is short and easy to read.

The text was easy to read, but there were a few errors which jumped out at me. It also has enough complication to it that, if you want to jump in and use ALL of the options to generate NPCs, that I would have a tough time getting it all to work. But, this looks like a great product with some basic information to start with and has some more complicated parts to slowly add in once you've got them more committed to memory.

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Oops yes, looks like the proofing could have been a bit better! All put right now. Actually it was put right a while ago but I've only just worked out how to reply to reviews!
2012 Fantasy Female Calendar & Print Set
Publisher: Stainless Steel Dragon
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/27/2011 09:36:12
The calendar is nothing fancy. It's a calendar. It has the holidays listed on it in a nice light blue to separate them from normal days of the week.

The pictures, on the other hand, make this a good product. The models are not super-models, but real women that I'd expect to find walking down the street (albeit, with a bit more clothing on). The costumes are fun and attractive and the poses are good. February is my favorite. :D

For people who like these sort of calendars (as I do), this is a good product.

It seems this product is geared primarily towards people who want to print the calendar and mount it on their walls. It would be nice for a more digital-friendly version, such as desktop backgrounds with the picture and calendar combined into one. I, personally, would find that version more useful.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2012 Fantasy Female Calendar & Print Set
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
In regards to the models. Yes they are real woman, (Attractive woman.) They are paid models, but not Super Models. They are as seen in the samples. If that is what typical real girls look like in anybody’s neighborhood. – I want to move there. (Enough Said.) In regards to calendar format. The format for this calendar was chosen to provide users with nice prints from a typical bubble jet printer, as well as a large informational calendar. Placing calendar and print on the same 8.5 x11 or 11 x 8.5 would have provided a much smaller picture and calendar and was deemed by our focus group to be less desirable. After all, this is Calendar & “Print Set.” For those who wish to display both Calendar and Print at the same time as a background on their desktop. It takes less than 1 minute to copy both pages and place them on 17 x 11 bitmap using windows MS paint. This allows the user to start with a large full size photo of each subject. Starting big has the advantage of allowing the user to adjust the size down to fit their computer screen. In most cases shrinking the image by up to 50%. (I reduced my copy to 58% of original size, yet it still fills my 23” wide screen monitor nicely. Thus for those looking for a more digital friendly version this critic speaks about in this review, it is quick matter for the user to create a custom one using MS Paint. Generally I personally use my calendar as a pdf icon on my desktop, opening it as needed, and placing notes where desired. I save the pictures and either print them out for my game room and/or use them as a screen saver without the calendar portion attached. How people use this calendar and print is up to them, but with the format we chose, we have given our customers the best options to maximize the quality of prints and usability of the Calendar, and the flexibility needed to display this calendar many ways. (Essentially the best of all worlds.)
Smallville: The Watchtower Report
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/27/2011 18:55:06
I am a big fan of the Smallville Roleplaying Game. So, I've been waiting (somewhat) patiently for a couple months for this book to drop. It is well worth the wait.

The book is separated into chapters that deal with different parts of the game and characters and how to change those parts to suit a different feel that you may be wanting, or to add in some additional options to how those current mechanics work. I found some of the options more useful than others, but that's not to say other people will be interested in the same options I am. I'm going to go through each chapter and briefly discuss what it does and what I really liked about it, as well as didn't like.


EXPANDING ANTAGONISTS: I found that this chapter has some wonderful discussion on what a villain is, what their purpose in the story is and it also discussed some Villainous Archetypes that you can use to give more focus to your villains. The chapter then talks about how to have a villain played at the table as a Lead.

What I Liked: The Archetypes for the villains are really great. There are just enough options that you can cover quite a few villain types while not having so many that you feel overwhelmed. The discussion is such that, while they do have something of a mechanical implementation to the Archetypes, you don't have to use them this way. Simply writing the Archetype down in your notes and keeping that in mind will help you give extra direction to your villain's actions and goals.

What I Didn't Like: The discussion on using a villain at the table as a Lead was good, but it had me scratching my head a little. I saw this potential in the game from the start and thought it was pretty well spelled out. There was some great tips for people who are playing villainous Leads at the table. This is not a bad part of the book, but it was rehashing ground I thought was pretty well understood in the first place.


EXPANDING PATHWAYS: This chapter is absolute gold if you're like me and want to hack this game to run a different story. It starts out discussing how to bring a new Lead into a story that's already running. Then, it gets into the nuts and bolts of the Pathways system and how to change it up. The last part of the chapter has rules on creating quick Features and finished up with a list of Distinctions all noted with which book they're in along with a page number.

What I Liked: The discussion on hacking up Pathways is gold. It actually goes deep into how it works, talking about total die steps given and when to give die steps. I found it much easier to understand how to hack it up once I had a greater understanding of how it worked. The example given is top notch and really showcases the flexibility that Pathways can give you.

What I Didn't Like: Again, there's not much to dislike about this chapter. The only thing I'd say is that the discussion for bringing in new Leads seemed a bit long for me. That may be because I've never really had to bring in a new Lead.


EXPANDING PLAY: This section has a lot of great advice for Watchtower, discussing what Watchtower's role in gameplay is and gives some tips on how to properly push Leads to act. It touches on Watchtower's toolbox and then goes into Sideline episodes.

What I Liked: The discussion on how to properly push Leads, when to keep pushing and when to stop pushing, is wonderful. Often times I find myself presenting a situation and hoping that the Leads pick up on it. This doesn't always happen. Pushing that situation at them until it causes bickering between the Leads and finally leads to a Challenge is the right way to go about this, and this is presented in a quick and easy to read way in the book.

What I Didn't Like: I've never really liked the idea of a Sideline episode. I'm not one of those players or GM s who enjoys taking a break from the groups characters to take a look at other characters in the world. Granted, Sidelines aren't presented as something that must be done, and they do go through a good list of when they think a Sideline episode would be good. The rules for how to run a Sideline confuse me a bit, as well. There is no discussion that I saw on how long a Sideline episode should take.


EXPANDING DRIVES: The Drives section deals with the Values and Relationships that all Leads have in Smallville. In this section, they show how to use different Values and also how to change up the Value system to give your games a unique feel. They also provide a quick list of Values that they think would work as substitutes. For Relationships, they discuss having a Relationship with an Organization and also with a Title or Office. They also present a way for re-targeting your Relationships.

What I Liked: All the variations for the Values and Relationships are well thought out and presented. They all have their place in different types of games using the Smallville RPG. There's nothing that really stands out as superb in this section, because everything is written with the same high quality.

What I Didn't Like: Everything I saw in this section is wonderful.


EXANDING ASSETS: Assets are one of my favorite parts of the game. They are so simple, yet so powerful in giving your characters interesting and unique ways of interacting with the game world. So, naturally I was looking forward to this part of the book the most. And it delivers. It starts out with Distinctions and gives to new Benefits and two new Drawbacks: Grant, Use & Exacerbate, Shift. Then you get some new Distinctions, including specific fighting styles. Next, it looks at Abilities and some different ways to use them, including starting with more than a single Special Effect. Gear also gets the same treatment.

What I Liked: Everything in this section is superb, but I especially like the Integrated Gear option. This is a great way to build machines that are made up of several items of Gear and really add a different feel to how the gear is used. They give an example Combat Suit. Yes, it's power armor! And it looks great and makes me want to run a futuristic military game.

What I Didn't Like: This is another chapter that was all win for me.


EXPANDING RESOURCES: Resources in Smallville have always intrigued me, but I've never seen them used to great effect in the game. This section provides some great ways to use them differently, including Sacrificing them, changing their Specialties and Re-targeting them.

What I Liked: The Sacrifice mechanic is very interesting and I'm glad to see it. The fact that you can get rid of an Extra or Location that isn't quite doing it's job for you anymore is awesome.

What I Didn't Like: I would have liked some more discussion on how to make Extras and Locations more applicable in gameplay. They're always such an interesting part of character creation, but I've never seen them used to good effect during a game.


The last section of the book is EXPANDING THE STORY SO FAR, which adds and updates characters from the show for the game. As I'm not a fan of the show, this section held no interest for me. I skimmed through it anyway, and there are some interesting tidbits and plot ideas in the episode summaries that I may go back and yank for my own games.

There are also CASEFILES between every section of the book, detailing people and places of interest from the show. I also started reading these with little interest, but again I found great plot hooks and ideas that I can reskin and pull into my own games.


If you like the Smallville RPG and want to get more out of your game, I cannot recommend this book enough.

http://podcast.sharkbonegames.com

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Smallville: The Watchtower Report
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

#30 Fleshgrafts (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/12/2011 10:49:09
Short and sweet, this document jumps right into the material after an interesting bit of fiction. The idea of Fleshgrafts is very cool and allows for a different type of enemies. The enemies created using Fleshgrafts are not monsters, but definitely monstrous, which may give the players pause when dealing with them. There are also some great possibilities for PCs with Fleshgrafts.

My only complaint is with the last NPC included. Most of the flavor text for the NPC says it's a girl, the portrait looks like a girl, but a couple times in the fiction it's referenced as a male and in the stats it's listed as a male. Just a minor quibble, and it in no way affects the usability of the NPC.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Fleshgrafts (PFRPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mutant City Blues: Hard Helix
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/15/2011 08:59:54
This is a wonderful collection of adventures for Mutant City Blues! The adventures that are provided are interesting and well presented. This book also serves as an example of how you can effectively create your own adventures for MCB. This is well worth the buy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutant City Blues: Hard Helix
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

A Penny For My Thoughts
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/15/2011 08:58:00
I wasn't thrilled with this game. This game is basically an exercise in group storytelling and has very little of what I would consider a game. It does a good job of what it does and is very well put together.

There is no conflict in the game. There is no suspenseful action or possibility of failure. It consists of creating a scenario and asking the other players what happened. They each create a scene to tack onto what you've said, and you decide which you like best and the game moves on. If you like that sort of thing, you'll love this.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
A Penny For My Thoughts
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

BattleTech: Experimental Technical Readout: Steiner
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/15/2011 08:53:37
This Technical Readout contains stats for several mechs and vehicles that are being tested using new technologies. The information is presented in character as a report to a leader regarding the research. It's a fun read with some interesting observations on each battle machine. This is a good solid product. It loses a star as the book notes that these machines are of limited usefulness. They are rare and shouldn't be used much in games, if at all. They will serve as objectives and the occasional smash and grab scenario, but other than that they're just fun to read and look at.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Experimental Technical Readout: Steiner
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Bulldogs!
Publisher: Galileo Games
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/05/2011 16:45:35
I'll preface this by saying I love space opera. I love stories like Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War books. I've wanted to play a game, for so long, of a spaceship crew, going from place to place, looking for work and dealing with the problems they invariably get themselves into. I think I've found that game. Bulldogs! appears to be, in every way that matters, the game I have been looking for. Halleluiah. I cannot WAIT to play this game with my group!

To start, this version of the game runs on FATE. According to the book, there have been some changes made from core FATE, but as I'm not an expert on the system, I don't know where they are. But I will say that the system, as presented, seems to support fast paced action. There is a bit more crunch when dealing with things like combat, so I expect that the game will slow down a bit during combat. This is generally the case in most systems.

The presentation of the setting for Bulldogs! is a quick read and fun to go through. There is an interesting mix of scifi races and racial tension already built into the game. This should make for some wonderfully tense scenes, as the group of characters consists of individuals from every race. The characters in the game are all down on their luck spacers, who've joined a freight company and are running ships through the galaxy that really shouldn't be running at all.

The book also has a wonderful section for the GM, giving advice on how to set up adventures, create conflict and all the other general bad-assery that should be in a GM's toolbox. The book is organized and well laid out. It's a very fun read.

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Cosmic Patrol: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/24/2011 00:03:58
I'll start off by saying that Science Fiction is my favorite genre. While that's true, I've never cared for the classic SciFi style, until I read this game. Cosmic Patrol presents it's setting in an exciting way that's at the same time a quick read and very informative.

The rules for Cosmic Patrol are incredibly light, focusing on narration and quick resolution for Contests and Tests. Play focuses on a round-robin narration style, with each player narrating their character's actions for a turn before beginning a new turn. The players each have a pool of Plot Points that they can use to affect the narrative during each turn. These points are extremely powerful as they can be used for almost anything.

The game functions without a GM, opting instead for a position called a Lead Narrator that rotates between scenes. The game session is guided overall by a Mission Brief that presents the challenges and enemies that the Cosmic Patrolmen will encounter and this provides the starting point and directions for each scene that occurs in the game.

At first, I was worried about this game. I was afraid that it would work, but the simplicity of the system has an elegance to it that I'm really starting to enjoy the more I think about it. The freedom allowed in the narrative seems to be without horizon.

One thing I didn't like was the introduction information at the very beginning. The book defines a roleplaying game. It defines dice. It even defines imagination. If this is a book to introduce someone to the hobby of roleplaying, that's fine, but the detail was a little much, to my way of thinking.

I'm very excited to give this game a shot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cosmic Patrol: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Call of the Moon Half-Elven Art Pack
Publisher: Sphere Productions
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/22/2011 08:43:04
The images in this art pack are very good quality. I love the assortment of poses, as well. The character model is very attractive and a good deal of the poses are very sexy. There is one pose that I consider powerful and a couple that are more flirty than sexy. I'm glad that variety was added. Each pose has a high quality PNG with a blank background and another JPG with the background shown in the sample. These are great images.

The only think I'd consider a Con is the scarcity of extra personality in the poses. It would have been great to see a more powerful pose, as well as a meek or frightened pose. All in all, this is a great art set.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of the Moon Half-Elven Art Pack
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Smallville High School Yearbook
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/22/2011 08:35:48
If you enjoy the Smallville RPG, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book as well. High School Yearbook is all about how to run stories of drama set during that very difficult time in a teen's life. The book has detailed discussions on motivations and challenges that any young adult faces as they are on that quest to discover who they are and what they want out of life.

The art in the book are screenshots of the show, as could be expected. The layout is very easy to follow and the book uses two different types of sidebar to give additional information on how the book text could be used.

My favorite part of the book is the new rule, Cliques. How many times, on TV, do we see a group of kids, the Clique, go and confront a lone character? The Clique rules allow you to have a group of like minded individuals acting like a Feature in the game. It won't be very hard to use Cliques in your game, as this book is loaded with examples and sample Cliques, along with the people and places that go along with them.

The discussions and rules presented in High School Yearbook are useful for any game, not just a story of High School Drama. If you like the Smallville RPG, this book will add to your story options.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Smallville High School Yearbook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Amaranthine: Romance, Vendetta, Forever
Publisher: Machine Age Productions
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/20/2011 08:28:37
Amaranthine – A Review

This is another great game from Machine Age Productions. Despite coming to this game with the expectation of it being rather rules light and being wrong, this game has a lot to offer and a lot to bring to the table.

PROS: The setting is absolutely amazing. The idea of walking around as a closet immortal, only to realize what you are when you run into another immortal, is great fun. The way the Amaranthine remember their past lives makes this game very interesting and very collaborative. I like that. The game also uses a Relationship Wheel mechanic to help track how your Amaranthine feels about the people who are important to him/her. The Relationship wheel is full of narrative interest and is a wonderful tool to know instantly, at a glance, what your character feels about another. The cues it gives you make it so easy to glance at the wheel and run with roleplaying and have the interactions between characters be vibrant and ever-changing. The writing in this book is also top-notch. I especially like the in-character little descriptors for the Maneuvers as they bring a lot of color to the world of the Amaranthine and really make it pop. Amaranthine is also released under the Creative Commons license, so that makes it super easy to share it with your friends and get them excited to play it. And they will get excited. The mechanics provide a tiered complexity so you can choose how much you want them in your game. The mechanics support a narrative style game with minimal dice rolls.

CONS: The book is a bit large, weighing in at 212 pages. Most of the pages are pure text and, while the text is very well written, it can get tiring to read and read, and read. Especially since the mechanics are a bit complex. It took me two reads to wrap my head around them, but once I did, I saw the elegance of the system. I also thought that several of the images were unfinished and really took me out of being immersed in the book. Most of the images look very finished and descriptive, but several were in a loose, watercolor painting style that didn't draw me in.

All in all, I think this is a wonderful game and give it 4-stars! I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a go with your game group. The game really appears to focuses on inter-character drama and makes it exciting to see what else happened in your character's past. This is a high quality game that you don't want to miss.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Amaranthine: Romance, Vendetta, Forever
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

BattleTech: Endgame
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/16/2011 09:51:25
This is the first Battletech novel that I have ever read. I found it to be an entertaining read. The book follows the characters across a span of time during the end of a civil war. Each chapter is headed up by a location and a date to let the reader know where the characters were at a glance. While the story was entertaining, I found the descriptions of the 'Mech combat to be lacking punch and rather "blow-by-blow" than exciting. The characters didn't change much during the story and their moves became predictable by the middle. Still, even with that, the events are very broad and tell a fun story.

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

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 16 to 30 (of 77 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  [Next >>] 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates