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:
Destiny's Children: Near Death Experience #1 for Rapture: The End of Days
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2013 19:24:46
StoryWeaver sets a high standard for small press RPG production. Their PDFs are easy to read, the art is great and they just look great. "Destiny's Children" comes in black and white with a colour cover. There's a few full page images in the book but if you cut them out, you could print "Destiny's Children" without chewing through too much ink.

"Destiny's Children" brings the players to the table as a group of marines responding to a distress signal from a research space station hiding in orbit around an uninhabited planet. But not all is as it seems as and as the frightening mystery unfolds, the danger increases and terror ensues.

In addition to the module book, "Near Death Experience 01: Destiny's Children" also comes with two editable PDFs with a table for tracking the PCs and NPCs – there's space for their location, dice, status and extra notes. The module has a pretty big cast so this is a great tool. There's also a high resolution map of the space station designed for use with a tablet computer (such as an iPad) for players to examine and zoom in on. A nice touch for the sci-fi setting but not much good without a tablet. This same map is in both the book and separate so the GM and players can have one on hand.

The last bonus goody to come with "Destiny's Children" is three different versions of the "distress signal" that begins the game – one in English, one in Chinese and one mixed language version. There's also a "distress beacon" sound effect you can use to prempt the audio log. Finally – and best of all – some more ambient music. The music tracks are made specifically for use in different parts of this module but I'm sure you can find some other uses for them. The track "Grim Space" in particular suits any Rapture game.

I have to give StoryWeaver a lot of credit for making a module that is more than just a script. It's a game in a can with everything you need to run a great game... Well, almost.

Okay, let's get to the meat of the matter. What about the actual game? What about the module itself? Well, sadly, that's probably the weakest part of the whole package. I'm reminded of the first pages of the "Rapture" core book where the writers state:
"If you've never played an RPG before, this isn't the place to start." and while I disagreed then, "Destiny's Children" isn't exactly user friendly.

Instead of going scene by scene, the "Destiny's Children" book gives you a "How to Use This Book" page, followed by an outline of the story taking place in the module and on the hidden space station. There's a cast of important NPCs and then the bulk of the book is locations and what can happen there as the players progress. The final pages are taken up by some optional hand-outs that include diary's, official memos and scientific reports. The intent is to create a sandbox setting for the players to discover by their own means and methods. Which sounds great in theory but the book also seems to assume a particular course for the players to take and details are written to unfold in that order. The design of the module is, as such, self-contradicting and I'm sorry to say that the group I ran "Destiny's Children" for almost broke the module.

My key point here is that the module isn't user friendly. It doesn't give you enough to open the book and run right off the page. I didn't print the material out, but I did want to use the optional material in the book. This meant deciding for myself where it was the most useful and made the most sense to put it, then jumping to the back pages to read it out, then jumping back to the location the players were in, then jumping to the cast list for details on antagonists they fought following their discovery, then jumping back to the location the players were in, then jumping to the next location they decided to go to. The process was, in the end, time consuming.

Now in defence of StoryWeaver and "Destiny's Children" I didn't do much preparation before running the module. The material in the book, the story, the horror are all wonderful but this is by no means a "pick-up-and-play" module or even a "skim half an hour before the game" module. This is really a tool box for preparing a game yourself and that's not how a module is supposed to work. I shouldn't have to write a pre-written game in order to run it.

I have no doubt that if I'd take then time to prepare more for running the "Destiny's Children" module, it would have been a lot easier. But in that time, I could have prepare my own game for the evening. My group agreed unanimously that once I stopped trying to play "by-the-book" and improvised with the material, the game got scarier, faster and better.

So to wrap it up, "Destiny's Children" is good. I would play it again, no questions. Everybody at the table enjoyed it and 3/4 of the players had never played "Rapture" before. If you need a game to run for a group new to "Rapture", then this is as good a place as any to begin. I think the plot and location really define how "Rapture" is meant to be. But just be aware that you're going to need to put in some time to get the game ready for play because this is a game-in-a-can with some assembly required.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Destiny's Children: Near Death Experience #1 for Rapture: The End of Days
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Rapture: The End of Days, Sci-Fi Soundscapes Set 1 - Void Souls
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2013 00:36:55
'Soundscapes Set 1' is the kind of supplement you can only produce for a digital age game and is only ever produced by forward thinking game designers. 'Soundscapes Set 1' comes with four audio files, each between five and eight minutes long. The pack also comes with a .PDF that describes the audio files and suggests when you might use them. The .PDF part is really useful and a good quick reference but let's be honest, everybody wants to know how the music is. Gamers have known for years how important music can be but it's so rare to find music that has been specifically written for the game you are playing. Storyweaver has seen the possibilities of modern gaming and used them to meet the desires of the gaming community and that is just all kinds of awesome.

The ambient music files themselves range from low, eerie, repetitive sounds designed to give you the creeps to musical tracks meant to give a feeling of the vast, emptiness of space. And as far as it goes for ambient music, they do a really good job. The second track in particular, 'Atmospheric Depression' has this really tense, foreboding sound like you're alone in some industrial horror, derelict space ship and any moment a monster might leap out at you and all hell will break loose. And that is exactly what a game of Rapture is like so I guess you can call it perfectly suited.

The one track that doesn't work as well is the final track, 'Lab Time'. This one isn't bad, it just seems to have a more narrow usage than the others. 'Soundscapes 1' is a really good intro pack into the Rapture Soundscapes series and the first three tracks feel like they could be used in just about every game for a different kind of scenebut 'Lab Time' doesn't feel like it offers much on the whole. It's similar to 'Atmospheric Depression' but has a more frantic feel. I guess it's something between the tense isolation of 'Atmospheric Depression' and the in your face horror of an action scene but the change from those two moments is so fast, I don't think it needs its own ambience.

But don't let that deter you. 'Soundscapes Set 1: Void Souls' is a fantastic bundle. The audio quality is out standing and I guarantee that your Rapture game will have a place for these files. Three excellent pieces and one pretty good piece is the kind of ratio I usually only expect in a package of cup cakes and I'll be getting far more use out of 'Soundscapes Set 1'.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Rapture: The End of Days, Sci-Fi Soundscapes Set 1 - Void Souls
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

200 Character Goals for Rapture
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2013 00:33:37
Character creation for 'Rapture: The End of Days' is, by necessity, quick. The one part that slows things down a little and requires the most on-the-fly creativity for characters are a set of goals you have to give your character. These goals are divided into Personal, Redemption, Factional and Political. For new players especially, it can be hard to think of these goals. I guess the guys at StoryWeaver noticed this because they came up with an answer: '200 Character Goals'.

Talk about a name that speaks for itself.

The goals in the '200 Character Goals' supplement are divided into fifty personal goals, fifty redemption goals, fifty factional goals with three to five goals per faction and fifty political goals similarly divided between the eighteen political alliances you can have. The book is a black and white .PDF and much like the 'Player's guide', it's designed to not just look good but be printer friendly.

This is a supplement that really speaks for itself and it's so simple but it can so easily become a necessary part of your Rapture gaming. Character creation needs to be quick and if you're struggling to think as quick as you need to in the middle of the game, this book has got you covered. In addition to speeding up character creation, '200 Character Goals' is also a source of insight into the different philosophical and political factions that dominate the 'Rapture' universe. How do these factions motivate people? What do these factions demand of their citizens or employees? '200 Character Goals' has a practical answer to these questions.

I think the best thing I can say about '200 Character Goals' is that it is everything a supplement should be. Even though it's small and it isn't a necessary purchase, it's still been created with the kind of quality you expect from StoryWeaver. It recognises a potential weak point in the Rapture's game play and addresses it efficiently and quietly. Not everybody will need this book but it's great for players new to Rapture and I fully recommend it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
200 Character Goals for Rapture
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Rapture: Essentials. Printable Player's Guide
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/22/2012 04:37:40
"Rapture Essentials: The Player's Handbook" makes a pretty daring statements with its title. The core book for "Rapture" seems to give you just about everything you need to run a "Rapture" game from start to finish. "What's left to say?" You might ask. "What could possibly be in this book that is so essential?" I'll let you decide just how essential this book is, but I will walk you through what's involved.

The "Player's Handbook" Is a brief, 36 page suppliment to the "Rapture" roleplaying game. You can bring yourself up to date on that with my previous two reviews of the core book and "Rapture" in play. This suppliment comes direct from Story Weaver games and, as of this writing, is available only in a digital PDF format, like all of the "Rapture" material.

You might consider the "Player's Handbook" to be "Rapture" Lite. This suppliment has gone over the core book with a fine-toothed comb and scraped out all the key things that you need to know for playing "Rapture". The book begins with character creation and gives you the simple, step-by-step run down of how to make your "Rapture" hero. Following this is a summary of the core mechanic and how to build dice pools, how fear and damage works and possibly the most important rule for "Rapture" – what happens when your character dies. The "Player's Handbook" finishes with a recap of what the "Rapture" setting looks like with a focus on politics and technology, rather than the theological realities of the "Rapture" universe.

The whole thing is in black and white, with the exception of the cover. Graphics on the whole are kept to a minimum and that's a very deliberate design choice. Fortunately, none of the artwork in the book suffers from being black and white. This doesn't look like a book made in colour then printed in black and white, this book has been designed to be graphics light and published in grey scale.

Now all of this is, of course, very important to know as a player playing or about to play "Rapture" but chances are you're asking the same questions I am: "Isn't this just as important for the GM? Why is this a "Player's Hanbook" and not just a "Rapture Handbook"? Also, isn't all this in the core book? Shouldn't I just buy that?" And those are both excellent questions and answering them will be key to deciding whether or not this is an Essential book.

Remember how I said earlier that, at the time of writing, the entire "Rapture" catalogue of books are digital only? That means if you want hard copy, you have to print. The core book for "Rapture" is graphics heavy and all the text is on a black backing. I personally wouldn't want to print any of it. The "Player's Handbook" perfectly fills the niche left by the core book. This is suppliment is designed to be printer friendly, concise and easy to flick through. This is the book you take to the table and hand around to the players. I suspect that it was a deliberate choice to skip on a lot of the theological details in this suppliment so the GM can keep the players guessing.

As always, Story Weaver have expertly put together this PDF with all the book marks and indexing features you want to have in a digital product. It's printer friendly and a good accessory. However there's nothing here that isn't in the core book. This is strictly a new presentation of the information for quick and easy access at the table. You can decide for yourself if you think this is an essential part of the "Rapture" experience. Personally, I don't have any of those fancy tablet machines kids are raving about these days, so "Rapture Essentials: The Player's Handbook" is perfect for me.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Rapture: Essentials.  Printable Player's Guide
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Rapture: The End of Days. Theological Sci-Fi Horror Core Rules
Publisher: StoryWeaver
by Carl P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/04/2012 02:26:25
At the risk of giving away my opinion in the very first line of a review: 'Rapture' is a game that deserves far more attention than it gets. I first played Rapture shortly after it was released and the very idea was enough to get me interested. Theological horror in space with a decidedly Ridley Scott's 'Alien' feel? Yes please.

'Rapture' is, at the time of writing, only available in PDF form and that's what I'm working with for this review. The 'Rapture' core package includes the rulebook, designed to be read on an iPad or similar tablet and also an editable PDF version of the character sheet, a poster with a map of the Rapture galaxy and details on humanity's population across the stars, some example schematics of space ships and a flyer directing us to the Story Weaver Facebook page. The Human Occupied Space poster is a great addition. That's a very useful tool for introducing the game to players and for coming up with story hooks. The example spaceships is cool, too and I just know that there are players out there who like to have everything mapped for them. I'm not one of them but that's beside the point. The character sheet is exactly what it should be and don't get me wrong, I love an editable PDF for character sheets. But I do wonder if it's necessary in a game where characters are expected to die often. For pre-made characters in a convention style game, it's awesome. But for regular games or campaigns, I can't recommend making all your characters this way. And then there's the flyer – it's a flyer. What can I say?

Okay! Now onto the meat. How is the actual 'Rapture' book? Well, it's concise and heavy and clear. The first part of the book explains the rules. The explanation is broken up to changes, beginning with the basics of character sheets and the core mechanic, then adding the additional systems such as fear, damage and madness in following chapters. While it should be an obvious choice to do it this way, it seems this is the first place a lot of RPG books miss the mark. To be fair, Rapture has the advantage of being a very simple and rules light system. But I'd hate to make it sound like the writer hasn't done an excellent job of laying out the book. Everything is also very concise and clear. It doesn't spend a lot of time clarifying and re clarifying rules endlessly. This is a book that makes itself so clear the first time, that it doesn't need to keep explaining itself.

The rest of the book, and probably the majority of the 'Rapture' core book is the setting. 'Rapture' is set in our world, in our galaxy, several hundred years in the future. Everything from technology to society and religion has changed and that's a lot of time to catch up on before you start playing. Fortunately the theme of 'clear and concise' continues right through the setting information. With all this history of the setting to explain, 'Rapture' makes a point of giving you all the details you'll need and then moving on to what's next. It's tight and without room for question. And that's a point I'd like to linger on for a moment. 'Rapture' does not leave room for question in any aspect of its setting, history or cosmology. Nothing is obscure, nothing is open to interpretation. The setting for 'Rapture' is the setting for 'Rapture'. I can't tell you if this is good or bad, it just is and it's something that stands out for the game.

'Rapture's setting details include include descriptions and mechanics of monsters, equipment, space ships and population counts for star systems colonised by humanity. There's also a lot of details about the history, about the political and philosophical factions that have grown in this world's history. All of this culminates in what's happening within these factions in the present of the 'Rapture' universe. After the setting and the monsters and some GM advice has all been dished out, the book finishes with some short story ideas. They're quick and usable, but I always find these kinds of features in an RPG book are more useful for giving you an idea of the kinds of games you can run, as opposed to being actual adventures you can run. 'Rapture' keeps to the status-quo. Their story seeds do the job without being mind blowing – but saying something is successful if not astounding is hardly a criticism.

So all this means that in just 133 pages, the 'Rapture' core book is a rulebook for players, a rule book for GMs and a setting book. That's a lot to cover in a small space and that makes the 'Rapture' book quite a meaty piece of RPG literature. Between you and me, I call this a win. 'Rapture' is honest and treats the reader like they're an intelligent and experienced gamer. This book knows what it wants to do and how it wants to accomplish those goals and, from where I'm sitting, it succeeds on all counts. The writing is tight and clear, the art is excellent and if you can excuse the occasional typo, the 'Rapture' core book could be the beginning of a great RPG experience.

The 'Rapture' book confesses that this is not the place to begin playing RPGs, but perhaps it is. 'Rapture' is a great example of how varied, how creative and how thoughtful an RPG can be. 'Rapture' isn't for kids and it's not a light hearted adventure game but if you're looking for something new, something entirely – almost obsessively – focused on creating thrilling narratives, then you'll be struggling to find something better.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rapture: The End of Days.   Theological Sci-Fi Horror Core Rules
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 1 to 5 (of 5 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates