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KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding
by Danilo K.
Publisher: Kobold Press
Date Added: 08/26/2015 20:14:55
KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding is a very good and useful book. It contains essays written by the top professionals of the tabletop gaming industry, and it does deliver on it's promise, which is to help you make your own world. But I think that the book could benefit from a bit deeper insight on many of the topics, although some (religion, for example) are already excellently covered. Also the first essay makes it look like a detailed history for your world is unnecessary, but the later essays seem to contradict this. All in all, a good book, and I recommend it to all who are currently in the process of worldbuilding, or soon will be....

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Brigade: The Affair of the Orb Adventure
by Konrad Z.
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
Date Added: 08/25/2015 02:04:15
Dragon Brigade: The Affair of the Orb Adventure A great variant of Cortex Plus Action Roleplaying. 8 Pages of rules, 4 pages of setting background, 16 pages dedicated to a rich character build system, and then a 40 page adventure. About the only thing missing here are character advancement rules, but these are easy enough to extract from one of the other Cortex Plus action rulesets. And at $5.00 you are not going to find a cheaper introduction to the Cortex Plus system, which is a lot of fun and makes for fast engaging games.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design
by Txabier A.
Publisher: Kobold Press
Date Added: 08/24/2015 23:02:07
Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design A great product, full of many interesting ideas and specialized knowledge offered by many of the industry's top talents, whose proven track record alone makes it a worthwhile read. Everything that will help any aspiring professionals to better present their ideas is there. Whether it is pitching them, building more coherent and cohesive systems or come up with a print-worthy and publication ready products all on their own, should they decide to do so, you will most certainly find it here. Do mind, though: this goes beyond "simple" adventure design in a snap. While you most certainly can use it as a great source for (greatly) improving your regular gaming, all of the information contained herein is aimed at helping you plan, produce and streamline your material, from vague idea all the way up to finished product. I, for one, am using many of its finer points as "pointers" that help me focus my novel-writing, and most of its "hardcore" design rotes as unavoidable landmarks in th...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Days of Fire
by manuel h.
Publisher: White Wolf
Date Added: 08/24/2015 14:52:10
Days of Fire First of all, a clarification. I was expecting a novel about demon, but this is not the case. Instead, this book is rather the Demon version of the Book Nod. So, after this little surprise, it was still a good book and worth reading. The first and largest part consists of the actual "days of fire" text, written in verses, describing the whole story from the creation of the world until the time of judgement. The text is often very cryptic, I didn't understand all of it. One needs a lot of background knowledge about the whole world of darkness, not only Demon: the Fallen, but also the other game lines. So you learn also something about vampires, werewolves etc. Still, most of the times I could get an idea, what the text was about. Just to make it clear, this book is not for newbies, but interesting for people who know already a lot about world of darkness. The second part repeats some selected verses from the first part and shows images matching to the verses. The style of these dece...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology
by manuel h.
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
Date Added: 08/24/2015 14:27:06
The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology I am not too familiar with Mage Awakening. I read the core book (1st edition) and bought this anthology to get a better feeling for the setting. While some stories were a bit confusing, all in all this book gives decent impressions of Mage Awakening. Some comments on specific stories: The Hanged Woman is about a character trying to cope with a murder. It was a bit weird, not the type of stories I usually read. Open Carry and The Intruder were good for starting, they give an idea, what mages are capable of and how they do it. Crimson Lips - this one a liked very much, for an interesting antagonist. Obedience is written from the perspective of the Seers, which are typically antagonists. It is always good to have such a story, where perspectives are changed. The Storyteller - I simply agree with the other reviews, great story! The Unmurdered Man was rather complicated, many changes of view and I guess, it would help to know more about the setting for this story. The Wheel ...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Wolf & Buffalo
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Date Added: 08/24/2015 06:35:44
Shadowrun: Wolf & Buffalo Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/08/24/tabletop-review-shadowr-
un-wolf-buffalo/ Every runner has an origin story; we just rarely ever hear them. Established characters in the Sixth World canon are generally introduced to us after having been veterans of the shadows for many years. It’s rare a character is seen being exposed to the underbelly of the Oligarchy (or Coporatocracy if you want to be blunt) that controls the planet in the 2070s. Even when you and your chummers make their own PCs for Shadowrun, you rarely act out the origins of a character as you might the embrace of your Vampire: The Masquerade PC. Instead, you just whip up the character and the backstory is either told through sessions via flashbacks, story hooks or general PC conversation. That’s what makes Wolf & Buffalo an interesting piece, as you see a character getting exposed to the harsh reality of life in the shadows with no warning whatsoever and how they react to the insanity of it all. It...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Into the Storm
by Devon B.
Publisher: Privateer Press
Date Added: 08/21/2015 16:45:52
Into the Storm Into the Storm is an invigorating read about some of the dirtier corners of Cygnar within Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms setting. It invites several laughs, and makes you want to root for the main characters. Madigan is written very well, showing how a stubborn man would do what it takes to get things done.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small)
by Dirk L.
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Date Added: 08/14/2015 16:37:28
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small) This is what a Shadowrun novel should be like. Shaken tells a story in the life of PI/vigilante/runner Jimmy Kinkaid, a near-burnout street mage with an attitude, the mentor to match, and the hots for his ally spirit. This alone all but guarantees I like this book. But it's narrated interestingly, the protagonist is appropriately biased, the book does give him is share of sucker-punches - and I really like the narrative flow, even if it may seem a little slow to some. It's not Michael Bay, it's Fargo. It's a voyage through the decrepit, broken world of Jimmy Kinkaid and damn, it's a nice ride. The best part about this novel - and I'm saying this on top of excellent immersion, well-written characters, and similar world-building - is the fact it is very Noir, very hard-boiled, without neglecting typical tropes and elements of cyberpunk in general and Shadowrun in particular. Jimmy Kincaid is the archetypical Noir protagonist - an anti-hero, a broken, damaged man, struggling as best...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Orc Warfare
by Stephane G.
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Date Added: 08/12/2015 16:59:26
Orc Warfare I liked it. It can give a GM a new outlook on the Orc method of warfare. The GM can pretend to be an orcish commander or warlord and plan out their tactics and strategies in accordance to that. A good read, and the flavour text is also entertaining.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Poison Tree
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
Date Added: 07/27/2015 23:34:49
W20 The Poison Tree As the product blurb states, this is part of the W20 Kickstarter and it is great to see new products still arriving so long after the initial rulebook release. I read a lot of gaming fiction, and White Wolf has novels that sit across the quality spectrum. This novel is certainly one of the better ones that I have read and it shows that the author not only has a good grasp of the core concepts and game material, but a great love for the setting. The main story is about a besieged Sept ruled by a Shadow Lord Elder. Even though the Sept is part of a greater area, the Elder has autocratically locked down the city, whilst playing political games with both the Garou Nation and the human world. His former Glory is enough to cement his position, but the city is falling steadily to the Wyrm. His daughter Ingrid is the main character and the daily war against the Fomori (and worse) falls to her. The setting is well-imagined and I'd love to see Onyx Path follow the same 'enhanced fic...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small)
by robert l.
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Date Added: 07/23/2015 16:05:03
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small) all I can say is about this book is..."it's about time". Shadowrun has been going down hill, especially with the launch failure of their collaborative effort with cliffhanger's over shadowrun chronicles as well as the whole, shall we say the less than popular CDF concept. It nice to see that their is some quality left in this game and this book is one of them. An old school "dic" with a modern twist..nice. Overall, its a novel that won't disappoint.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small)
by Roman K.
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Date Added: 07/21/2015 12:49:18
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small) Wow. Just... just wow. I'll explain - any experienced Shadowrun fan will tell you that, by and large, most Shadowrun fiction of old isn't that great. There are some truly fantastic books, but most are actually quite middling at best, with a focus on quantity. This was common in many tabletop RPG houses back in the late 80s and 90s - more books, rather than less books with a higher quality. This is not one of those books. To start with, Catalyst have collected and published a truly very high quality set of novels for the new Shadowrun line - fantastic stuff, guys! Keep at it! Better late than never. I'm thoroughly enjoying the past year, even if it's not actually the right year. Anyways, this is the veritable cherry on top - hardboiled detective fiction (in an urban near-future fantasy world), *far* more Marlowe than Dresden or even Nigel Findley's (RIP) Dirk Montgomery. And it works, with deep character development, a very well crafted Mary Sue motif that spins around it...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small)
by Joseph J T.
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Date Added: 07/20/2015 20:05:58
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small) Shaken: No Job Too Small is my favorite of the recent batch of Shadowrun fiction. The story of Jimmy Kincaid resonates with both my love of Shadowrun and my love of noir fiction. The character is genre savvy enough that he views his life through a black and white filter on his cybereyes. Little details like that really draw me into a story. It's a very personal story too, and I love learning more about Kincaid. It doesn't skimp on the rest of the world though, and I love the climax too. My favorite thing about Zimmerman's style is that the way he writes, I can see it in game terms too. There were some spots where I was like "Kincaid totally just spent Edge."If you're gonna start with any of the recent Shadowrun novels, start with this one. You won't be disappointed. Mr. Zimmerman is a fine predecessor to the legends of Shadowrun fiction like Nigel Findley. 5/5 would read again....

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Date Added: 07/12/2015 18:50:00
Shadowrun: Shaken (No Job Too Small) Originally reviewed at: I try to never mention an author by name when I review something, just in case a piece is negative or critical, lest the creator think it’s a personal or mean-spirited attack on them – especially if I end up pooh-poohing several of their pieces in a row. I do need to mention, though, that I really like Russell Zimmerman’s work. Enough that he’s won awards from us here at Diehard GameFAN for his work on pieces like Elven Blood and the Shadowrun Returns Anthology (along with all the other contributors in that collection). I’ve even contributed money to his crowdfunding efforts for his own FATE based game, Strays. Of course, I’m sure he’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve probably taken a steaming slagpile on some of his stuff as well, but it’s all part of being a critic. I simply bring this up because what you’re about to read is a very positive review, and it’s worth including a preamble that I enjoy Zimmerman’s writing and my support of his Kickstarter, ju...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned (Book 1 of the Lord of Nightmares Trilogy)
by stephane r.
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Date Added: 07/12/2015 16:19:58
Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned (Book 1 of the Lord of Nightmares Trilogy) I liked this story. This is pure lovecraftian spirit, with a lot of desperate characters that die in a horribly wrong way. But there are also 2 heroes that face the difficulties and finally overcome. They learn on their way, they do not understand everything but keep their sanity and make the story interesting to follow.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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