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Andromeda • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2022 10:42:40

Epic start in a galaxy far away - a Mephisto review

Andromeda

The galactic civilization of the Milky Way has perished, and the remnants of humanity boarded hundreds of space arks on their way to bridge the millions of light-years between galaxies to start anew in Andromeda. However, when the space arks reach their destination after 500 years of flight, it becomes apparent that Andromeda is inhabited by many alien civilizations which do not welcome the newcomers. And even aboard the planet-sized ships, there is tension, intrigue, and conflict between four factions.

The Fate World of Adventure Andromeda offers a space opera setting with alien threats and internal tensions. On the space ark, there are four power groups: the ruling elite, the technicians and scientists, a mixture of church, educational institution and media, and the working population. The names of these groups and many other terms are derived from the artificial language Esperanto, to use a foreign and yet somewhat familiar language. Starting with this basic setting, however, some aspects remain to be defined by the gaming group - for example, whether the inhabitants of the space ark were in cold sleep, developed a centuries-old culture on board a generation ship, or were hatched as a new generation only arriving at their destination. It also matters whether the space ark is among the first ones to reach Andromeda, in the middle of the exodus or one of the stragglers.

Andromeda - like most representatives of the Fate Worlds of Adventure - uses its own approaches regarding several mechanisms. For example, this game consistently utilizes the Fate deck and its additional symbols and aspect phrases instead of the classical Fate dice. The aspect phrase on the cards describes the action as an Execution Aspect which can be used accordingly. The sun and moon symbols count as agenda points to advance the major goals of the characters and power groups. On the scale of this game, antagonists are defined as entire species right away and can be generated randomly or built from options.

More importantly, however, is the background of the space ark, its factions, and the characters associated with the factions. The central element is each character's agenda - a major goal to achieve, for which a complex rule system is presented. However, the game statistics of the characters are based on only four skills, which are rather basic attributes. In addition, there are extras such as allies and special abilities.

With agendas, the goal is to advance them, which is accomplished through successful tests and the collection of symbols on the Fate deck cards. How many symbols have to be collected depends on the size of the agenda - and lifetime agendas are the smallest size level here...

In general, Andromeda takes place on a level typical for space opera: the actions of a few individuals have effects on entire planets and civilizations.

Andromeda presents an exciting basic setting which requires some fine-tuning by the individual group, but encourages the game master to improvise heavily using tables and suggestions based on the characters' actions.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Andromeda • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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SLIP • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2022 13:45:29
When worlds collide - a Mephisto review

Slip

What if the feeling that something was wrong with the world was not paranoia but accurate? What if our known world was not the only one, and if other worlds were trying to invade ours? What if these phenomena were dangerous and a threat to humanity? And what if some people recognized this truth and had special powers from this insight?

The Fate World of Adventure Slip presents a game world in which worlds literally collide - and these other worlds of the so-called Slip try to invade Earth. This Convergence repeatedly leads to phenomena where worlds overlap, reality changes, and beings from other worlds infest our reality. But fortunately, some people have developed talents to oppose this threat and have organized themselves into a group called Vigilance. However, the mysterious Commission also opposes the Convergence - but with its own goals.

Character creation in Slip gives players the option to choose a talent, which brings advantages and disadvantages. For example, a Ripper can break the barriers between worlds where it is thin, but his very presence also weakens that barrier, leading to rifts that cause problems. Unlike other Fate worlds, the background for the game master is presented in a separate chapter with more background and a few rules. This chapter also clearly describes the truth about the Convergence or the real goals of the Commission.

After that, a bizarre world is briefly presented as an example. Additonally, The Sea from Beyond offers a complete scenario.

Slip proposes an exciting setting that provides many opportunities for horror and confronts the player characters with an escalating struggle for reality. The short elaboration on the groups, Vigilance and Commission, as well as some characters offers good starting points. From my point of view, Slip delivers an exciting scenario, which can also carry a more extended campaign if the gamemaster can come up with enough ideas for the threatening worlds of Slip.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
SLIP • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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The Secrets of Cats • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Raemond C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2022 09:28:50

I ran this for my two young daughters (8 and 10) and we had an awesome time. Highly recommeneded.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of Cats • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2022 13:25:56
Red Planet

The inspiration for the Fate World of Adventure Red Planet is Soviet pulp science fiction. In this science fiction setting, communist idealists have developed the philosophy of progressive materialism and traveled to Mars to found the Union of Materialist Republics there. Arriving at Mars, however, they first had to overthrow the Martian dictatorship and convince the Martians to join the Union. Over the following centuries, the Union has expanded over large parts of the solar system - from Venus, overgrown with jungles, to icy Pluto. But the Union still has many enemies: the corporate-dominated capitalist USA, the corrupt USSR, and the two-dimensional aliens of the Geometrists.

Characters first choose a class, each giving them a bonus to skills. In addition to scientists, soldiers, bureaucrats, etc., there are also preserved brains, cyborgs and uplifted animals. The skill system features a few minor changes, where Pilot replaces Drive, and Renown is introduced. Pilot is necessary for flying within the atmosphere and in space, while Renown reflects the fame and reputation that can help get respect and help. Since Red Planet wants to convey a utopian idealism, one rules mechanic revolves around how to convert people to the Union (instead of taking them out by force). The book introduces a few vehicles and technologies, as well as typical enemies. As usual, there is a sample adventure in which the player characters must foil a plot of the Geometrists threatening Earth and Mars. A few ready-to-play characters allow you to jump right in.

Red Planet offers a classic pulp science fiction setting, where the planets of the solar system are not only habitable but have their own species. The setting deliberately goes the route of capturing pulp flair with dinosaurs, dirigibles, four-armed gorillas, etc., and foregoes any illusion of realistic science fiction. The idea of combining the pulp genre with the utopian "progressive materialism" is fitting. The book also quite clearly distances itself from real-world communism and its historical atrocities (and also from capitalism), presenting a fictional utopian philosohpy (after all, in this setting, both the USA and USSR are the antagonists of the Union). The author clearly states that Red Planet is about a fictional role-playing world rather than a hidden attempt at political propaganda in any direction.

The book thus offers an interesting pulp setting with a space opera touch and a unique perspective.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2022 12:21:29

Calm prison life after the apocalypse - a Mephisto review

Behind the Walls

The starting point of Fate World of Adventure Behind the Walls sounds interesting: the year is 1959, and eight years ago, there was a nuclear war. The player characters have spent this entire time in prison. The setting revolves around the Collins Park Correctional Facility, where the characters are incarcerated and separated from the rest of the world. Therefore, character creation also begins with what crime (whether committed or not) the character was imprisoned for. In addition, there are the usual aspects and skills, but all skills are expanded that the player specifies how the character usually uses that skill. In addition, one skill is replaced (Lore by Knowledge), and with Invent a new skill is added. As for stunts, the setting distinguishes between personal, cooperative, and secret stunts, which have a simple format that describes what advantage a character gets and where it comes from. Cooperative stunts give a bonus to the player character and their partner, while secret stunts combine a strength with a weakness - and they are usually kept secret. Secrets play yet another role in the setting, as each character has a secret that also provides them with advantages. The book offers two approaches to how these secrets can be presented in terms of mechanics and discusses how they can be used to drive the story.

Finally, a ready-to-play story involves the confrontation between the two major gangs in the prison that the characters are drawn into.

Behind the Walls is based on a one-shot adventure, and it shows in the finished book. Even though the setting has potential, the limitation to the prison means that the post-nuclear war world does not play a particularly visible or essential role for the setting. Even the aspect of prison life remains vague. This impression is especially noticeable in the adventure hook, which focuses on prison conflict, missing a lot of the action and/or drama to be expected. In this regard, the ideas to adjust the scenario do not help much. The rules concepts regarding secrets provide an interesting rules variation. Still, in the end, this book fails to provide a consistent setting that lives up to expectations and can carry an ongoing campaign.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Arecibo • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2022 12:31:21
Kids vs strange forces - a Mephisto review

Arecibo

Something strange is happening in Puerto Rico: there is an island-wide power outage. The US military begins a naval blockade. And some children develop strange powers...

The initial situation of Fate World of Adventure Arecibo sounds exciting. Players take on the role of children who have been altered by strange forces and thus develop special abilities. Three new skills represent these powers, but they are also the central factor in the setting because they are apparently bound to alien entities seeking to achieve their goals through the children. And it's no coincidence that the title of the game refers to the radio telescope in Arecibo.

Arecibo offers an interesting setting – starting from the insights into Puerto Rico and the scenario of playing as children to large conspiracies of cosmic powers that also attract the US military to the island. An introductory adventure delivers the player characters directly into the story. Unfortunately, however, much remains very vague. After the introduction, the further course of the plot arc lies in the hands of the individual gaming group. For me, in this case, this feels less like freedom for the game master and more like being left alone. Arecibo offers exciting ideas and promises some potential, but in my view, the book leaves too many questions for the reader to start playing easily.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Arecibo • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Knights of Invasion • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2022 12:29:33
Knights vs aliens - a Mephisto review

Knights of Invasion

Two kingdoms share a volcanic island. The kingdom of Regen in the north has wood resources and good maritime trade relations; Stroming in the south has built up a small industry with its ore deposits. But relations between the two kingdoms are strained - partly because a political marriage has not come about. A tournament on the occasion of a birthday is supposed to calm down the tensions again (or secure one party's advantage). If that still sounds too straightforward for a Fate World of Adventure: At this point, the aliens come into play, whose invasion must be repelled...

Knights of Invasion follows the approach of many Fate worlds to combine two unusual components. Here it is knights and aliens. However, the book clearly defines itself as a one-shot (possibly even to be played at a convention). It offers several alternatives for the game master - why the atmosphere between the kingdoms is so bad, who the aliens are, and what they want. After the background and rules section, there are three scenario variants, each with a different premise and progression. Regarding mechanics, there are the usual minor adjustments to character creation, extras in the form of equipment or mounts, medieval siege equipment, and rules for jousting. The aliens can be created with a modular system using limitations, stunts and technology.

As a one-shot entry into Fate, Knights of Invasion is a fitting approach: it starts with the seemingly conventional medieval setting followed by a genre switch. The ideas and three scenarios offer plenty of starting points for fine-tuning. From my view, the setting lacks a clear sense of how the player characters are supposed to succeed in fighting back an advanced enemy realistically - but perhaps that is just not important for such a one-shot, which is better played cinematically. Knights of Invasion thus offers a fast-paced and potentially action-packed genre mix fitting to test Fate but is definitely not meant to support a long campaign.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Knights of Invasion • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of the Basilisk
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2022 11:42:42

Dangerous ideas - a Mephisto review

The Rise of the Basilisk

Once again, the player characters in Fate of Cthulhu have to travel back in time and save the world. This time the Basilisk threatens humankind, but it is not the well-known mythical creature: The Basilisk is an infectious idea or a way of thinking that endangers humanity. Anyone who comes into contact with this idea is in danger of becoming infected with it and spreading it further. At first, the new way of looking at things seems to be quite positive. It allows surprising insights because "Godthink", as the approach is called, pushes humanity forward in many aspects before it triggers the inevitable catastrophe.

The Rise of the Basilisk does not confront the player characters with a classic Great Old One but uses an opponent that fits very well to the dark powers in the Cthulhu universe. Here, the author takes the approach of combining the idea of a mysterious threat with modern technology and does not shy away from linking it to real-world activities around Google and more. Players are thus confronted with an out-of-control technological development that must be stopped. And this enemy knows how to use every trick in the book.

Even though this campaign for once does not revolve around a Great Old One or other classic Cthulhu aspects, the idea of the threat and the combination with current technical trends, which are then projected into the future, is excitingly envisioned. If you are looking for a technological apocalypse in which a networked world and the merging of man and machine are the main threat, you will find the right campaign here. From my point of view, the unusual approach that deviates from the "usual suspects" is the strength of this book.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of the Basilisk
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Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of The Quiet
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2022 11:41:11

Not the usual Great Old Ones - a Mephisto review

The Rise of the Quiet

After the Fate of Cthulhu series already allowed the player characters to stop various Great Old Ones and their rise with time travel to save the world, The Rise of the Quiet confronts them with a subtle but no less terrifying threat. It starts seemingly harmless. Some people have blackouts and behave a bit strangely afterward. Although it is not clear at first whether this is a psychological phenomenon or a disease, many of these people suddenly show unusually altruistic behavior. Therefore, some cults consider this effect to be an improvement of humanity. This condition, called Quiet, also seems to be contagious. However, the future from which the player characters start shows the darker side of this development and how it spells the end of humanity.

The Rise of the Quiet takes a distinctly different path than the other books in the series. It does without a supernatural explanation of the phenomena - although the more "realistic" cause of the catastrophe is also quite unusual. More cannot be said about the background to avoid giving away some surprises, but The Rise of the Quiet is, in my view, a fascinating threat that is suitable if players do not necessarily want to combine time travel with the Great Old Ones, but are looking for a more technically realistic scenario (at least on the surface). From my point of view, The Rise of the Quiet is a very successful title of the series, even if - or perhaps because - the usual Cthulhu themes are abandoned here.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of The Quiet
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The Three Rocketeers • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2022 11:38:48

All for one, and one for all? - a Mephisto review

Three Rocketeers

The title of this Fate world already reveals what this scenario is about: the reference to the Rocketeers and the Three Musketeers point precisely to the two elements combined here. This setting represents a world in which the stories about the Three Musketeers are transferred to a science fiction setting. The player characters belong to the Rocketeers, who protect the throne of Gallia as an elite unit in the service of their queen. Gallia here is a star-spanning empire reminiscent of France, and of course, there is also a counterpart for England, the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. As you might expect, the Church plays a significant role here as well.

If the player characters do not want to immediately play the interpretations of the four protagonists of the novel by Dumas, they can start with the simple character creation. The peculiarity of this Fate system is that it drops all skills, and thus aspects play a much greater role. The aspects - if they fit - automatically give bonuses to the rolls, just as skills would otherwise do. Six aspects describe the characters, providing a picture of what kind of Rocketeers they are, what their problems are, their approach to sword fighting, and their families. In addition, there are free aspects. Also, the stunts are redefined as they are not coupled with skills and are more focused on the four approaches. In addition, the setting is described in general. Besides the stellar kingdoms and their intrigues, there is also a look at the technology, focusing on rocket packs and energy blades. Rules-wise, a system can be used to define conspiracies as the primary opponents of the player characters. Finally, a pre-written adventure puts the player characters on the trail of an intrigue against their queen.

Three Rocketeers uses the idea of combining a familiar setting with a different genre. The idea of moving the adventures of the three musketeers into the future is presented quite coherently. The corresponding rules, which simplify the game and thus make it faster and more dynamic, also fit the setting. However, despite these good ideas and modifications, I do not think this game world will captivate players for long.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Three Rocketeers • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate of Cthulhu
by William H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2022 15:54:41

Just an excellent game. Love the theme, love the system. I introduced FATE to some friends using this book and they all had a blast.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by David M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2021 16:57:54

If you're a person who cares about human liberation, and are worried that this book will contain a lot of black-book anti-communist propaganda BS, you are right to be worried. It does contain a lot of that. The author at least purports to take as a given that the "black book of communism" is a reliable source of data, despite the ease with which its factual claims are dispelled with even a moment's consideration, and despite the utter lack of support for its intentional claims.

If anyone reading this thinks I'm full of shit, please actually take a gander at the black book itself, and then review any of the many, many refutations of its wantonly ludicrous claims by genuine historians such as Jean-Jacques Becker, J. Arch Getty, Alexander Dallin, Amir Weiner, Ronald Grigor Suny, Jens Mecklenburg, Wolfgang Wippermann, Michael David-Fox, Peter Kenez, Michael Ellman, Hiroaki Kuromiya, or Mark Tauger. Even slightly-more-shamefaced virulent anti-communist propagandists (Courtois' main contributors) Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin, and Nicolas Werth were very critical of the level of obvious nonsense in the final edit.

All that said, I can imagine that even if an author or publisher were to understand this, it might be easier to take the "enlightened centrist" route that this book does...being dedicated to "the victims of capitalism and communism" (I mean FFS, come on). Even now, right here, are reviews so wrapped up in anti-communist propaganda that they are upset that communism is treated as anything other than inherently evil. If this was an attempt to go "out on a limb" then perhaps slapping in some anti-communist BS was the easiest way to make this product a little more palatable to folks who will not take the time to seriously consider the garbage they have had shovelled into their heads when going to school in capitalist states during or soon after the Cold War.

So overall, why four stars? Well, if you can stomach knowing that garbage is there, and manage to avoid being upset by it, it's a fun setting. There are some nice ideas in here for how to run a pseudo-utopian science fiction game, and what adventures in such a world might look like. The simple additions are great. Starships are straightforward but very usable. The stunts are well-designed. The "conversion" rules are neat. The precon character's are fun. And very important to me, the art is excellent. Honestly, I feel it's worth the price of admission just for the art! Plus, it triggers the "snowflake" fascists, so that's kind of nice. So I reccomend it, but with all the caveat I've just spent about two hundred words giving. Be ready to hold your nose at some bits and be pleased by other bits.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Good Neighbors • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2021 11:02:48
Trouble with the new neighbors - a Mephisto review

Good neighbors The eponymous good neighbors of this Fate World of Adventure are fairy creatures that coexist with humans in the small town of Still Hollow. However, the town also has new neighbors, namely the Industry, a large corporate group that wants to expand its operations here. Some welcome Industry's arrival as a new source to bring life back to the town, but others – including the player characters – are critical of its appearance and oppose it.

The peculiarity in this game is that the players take on two characters each: a human and a fairy. However, these characters are not mixed. Instead, each story consists of alternating two phases in which either the human characters or the fairy creatures are played together. Even though both sides are working on the same goals, they operate independently at first. Thus, character creation also uses its unique approach, as aspects are assigned values instead of the usual skills, and even potential stunts are always tied to these aspects. The respective aspects also differ between humans and fairy creatures in the selection.

Another rules approach is the so-called reaction tree, which can be used to derive the ever-increasing counteractions of the Industry, escalating from harmless PR work to targeted assassination of player characters. For each of these possible reactions in the pyramid-like tree, game masters will find hints and starting points for linking them in the game world. Accordingly, the book also provides locations, characters, and other starting points for depicting Still Hollow. Here the book deliberately avoids a prefabricated adventure, but these starting points and the reaction tree gives the game master the perfect tools to design his individual campaign and find out whether the player characters succeed in stopping the Industry.

Good neighbors offers an exciting setting and, above all, a compelling game mechanism by playing two characters. Moreover, the simple yet elegant rules of combining aspects and game values and tying them to stunts lend themselves well to a narrative campaign. With the game material, it's easy to put together such a campaign on your own with relative ease, so Good neighbors is actually less suited as a one-shot and more inviting to involve players in a campaign. If you find the theme of fairy creatures and humans against a dangerous corporation exciting, you should definitely check out Good neighbors.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Good Neighbors • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yog-Sothoth
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2021 11:00:36
Every cloud has a silver lining? - a Mephisto review

The Rise of Yog-Sothoth

The fight against the Great Old Ones in Fate of Cthulhu goes into another round – this time, it's about Yog-Sothoth. The visible effect of this apocalypse is that a psychic gray cloud forms over the victims' heads, taking away all hope. Once again, the player characters must travel back in the timeline to fight the problem at its root...

The Rise of Yog-Sothoth directly describes itself as the “silly” scenario of the series, which already starts with the symptom of this apocalypse. It then culminates in the background with a bizarre interaction of Yog-Sothoth, the characters' time travels, and unexpected side effects. And so, the player characters are thrown into a particularly bizarre mission that plays with some time travel/parallel world tropes, making it much more chaotic than the other adventures.

The Rise of Yog-Sothoth is the most unusual scenario in the series so far, which does not take itself or its themes entirely seriously. With the suitable gaming group, this can provide a bit of a change from the other hard world-saving daily grind. Still, player that prefer their Cthulhu apocalypse served up serious and gritty rather than chaotic and pulpy are probably better off skipping this rise of a Great Old One.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yog-Sothoth
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Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yig
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2021 10:58:31
The lesser evil? - a Mephisto review

The Rise of Yig

Commonly, the snake-like Yig appears to be one of the more harmless Great Old Ones, but with The Rise of Yig, he presents himself as a new challenge for Fate of Cthulhu players. On the surface, player characters must travel back in time to stop cults, secure relics, and develop an antidote to Yig's poison – but the story offers an exciting complication that makes the mission much more “interesting.”

At first glance, the fight against Yig and the serpent folk offers players a straightforward scenario. Still, it contains a complicating aspect that challenges players to make the right decisions – and shows that the fight against Yig is also thrilling. This adventure provides further good game material for the battle against the Great Old Ones for Fate of Cthulhu players.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yig
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