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BattleTech: Technical Readout: Irregulars
by steve m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2021 16:14:15

This was absolutely fantastic. The content is fascinating and long-awaited. I know it's deliberately set much later-on, but I think most of the material could fit in just about anywhere, for example; the Mech Landing Craft, Prime Mover and Wheeled Scout.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Technical Readout: Irregulars
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BattleTech Record Sheets: Clan Invasion
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2021 13:22:07

Nice art, tons of record sheets, but inexplicably missing some mechs like the Kit Fox A. They added a one-off variant like the Bounty Hunter, but not a config that's used by hundreds of clan warriors? Also has next generation Falcon mechs like the Cougar, but is missing next-gen Wolf mechs like the Linebacker and Pouncer despite the fact that these mechs were introduced EARLIER. Why does Catalyst keep releasing incomplete products?



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech Record Sheets: Clan Invasion
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Shadowrun: Mercurial
by Michael d. V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2021 10:48:06

This is an absolute classic shadowrun adventure. It oozes atmosphere and the scenes that are provided are actually quite good and are really on point (from a thematic perspective). At the same time this adventure can be easily reskinned or lifted into another ruleset. There's very little that ties this to the shadowrun universe (there's a dragon but you can change her into a firespitting drone if needed or leave this out entirely). If you're looking for a Cyberpunk RED/2020/2077 adventure this really is a treasure trove.

If you're going to play this "as is" watch out for the plot. There's a huge (back)plot that is very difficult to share with your table. Without this plot it's almost impossible to set up the emotional pay-off that makes a good adventure brilliant. There's about a 99% chance that your table won't get it. If you're a new DM/GM you'll be disappointed in yourself. As a DM/GM you have access to the plot and will wonder why it didn't come together during play. Spoiler-alert: it's not your fault so don't blame yourself. Mercurial relies on a 2+ page piece of written exposition at the start of the book that is hidden and will most likely remain hidden even if your table pokes around for it. To bring the plot forward you need to totally reskin the adventure, provide a plot hand-out, or do the exposition at the table - none of these solutions are ideal. The best solution I have found is to spin out the background story/plot in a seperate one-shot with disposable characters and run it as a session zero or as a pallete cleanser. This won't work at every table and requires a lot of work even for a seasoned DM/GM. Yet with all it's imperfections this is an absolutely brilliant adventure that is absolutly worth to be ran in 2021 (modified) at your table! Also - at it's current price this is an absolute bargain so there's very littly that should stop your from picking this up.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mercurial
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BattleTech Record Sheets: Clan Invasion
by Timothy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2021 05:10:46

This pdf contains 478 Battlemech record sheets for the Clan Invasion Era. FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-EIGHT. That's a stunning variety of Battlemech goodness in one very affordable location, and particularly useful to the newer Battletech enthusiast who does not know how to navigate, much less own, the cascade of older books that this material is otherwise be spread across.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech Record Sheets: Clan Invasion
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MechWarrior: Destiny
by Alban L. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2021 02:11:42

As a fan of Shadowrun Anarchy, I hoped to see the same work on MechWarrior. However enven if I have the simple system, the pre generated characters, the synopsis and a good mech catalog I'm still wondering why the authors chose to bring so much specific rules. I can understand it needed some DNA from the previous games but the mix is not well done. So I think the game is still playable, especially if you're a Battletech fan, but i won't play it as the mixture narrative+simulationnism is not very well made. In order to finish with a positive thing I really appreciated all the characters in the book. And it's really easy to read.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
MechWarrior: Destiny
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Shadowrun: Hard Targets (Deep Shadows Sourcebook)
by William J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2021 01:36:10

This is actually one of my favorite Shadowrun sourcebooks.

So this is a Deep Shadow book, which is a book that covers a run type on some strategies and gear, and a location. This book covers wetwork and Havana, Cuba. And it's real fun.

In SR, Havana is the capital of the Caribbean League. A loose federation of Caribbean pirates and neo communism. I am all about SR lore and this was a wonderful read and a great update to the Caribbean League.

On top of which, this also has a lot of fun weapons for murdering. Some things, like depleted uranium rounds is obviously not how it works in the real world, but my suspention of disbelief can be stretched pretty far when rule of cool is being applied.

Anyway, this is a wonderful book. 10/10. Would highly recommend if you like making things dead and Cubans.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Hard Targets (Deep Shadows Sourcebook)
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Shadowrun: Hell on Water
by William J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2021 01:20:33

This book is pretty fun. It does a great job at capturing the Sixth World and it was just a straight up fun read.

What makes this book so fun to read is our nameless narrator. Whom kind of reminds me of Marcus from Borderlands. A very strange use of metaphors which really helps flavor the book. It also uses a very interesting jumping around narrative style to make it like you're piecing together the story as you read. Something akin to a Catch-22 or Pulp Fiction, where the story isn't told in a linear fashion. I honestly liked it, but it might not be for everyone.

The story itself follows a team of runners as they make it through the gauntlet known as the south bridge to Lagos Island. They have to deal with tribal disputes, the undead, magical organizations, and organ leggers while attempting to deliver 3 mysterious packages. That basically captures everything that makes Shadowrun such a great setting. It's not about one thing, but instead about many moving parts that make the world feel real. And the narrative does a great job at making all these conflicting goals come together.

With that said. there are things that could have made it better. A character dies pretty anticlimacticly. I realize not everyone needs a heroic death, but it feels out of place. The narrator also looses his voice towards the end, as if maybe the writer was getting tired of writing this book and just wanted to get this book over with.

Anyway, it's still a pretty fun read and does a good job at capturing the feel of Shadowrun.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Hell on Water
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BattleTech: Recognition Guide: ilClan Vol. 10
by nick t. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2021 18:18:40

I would give this 5 stars because it is a great product except for the glaring issue with one of the recordsheets missing the ammo which in theory should be an easy fix.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Recognition Guide: ilClan Vol. 10
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BattleTech: Hour of the Wolf
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2021 22:59:43

The clan invasion storyline started in the 90s and finally comes to a close, or does it? Two factions with the most elite of warriors bred for war. Their leaders Khan Alaric Ward of Clan Wolf and chingis Khan Malvina Hazen of Clan Jade Falcon will blaze over Terra to crush Exarch Devlin Stone's Republic of the Sphere, defenders of terra. But in the end, only one Clan can take Terra and the mantle of IlClan and reforge the Star League.

Blaine Lee Pardoe takes war across earth, with the many 32nd century machines of war. The on going battles keep pulling you inward and slowly ramp themselves upward becoming a catalyst that will see country sides in ash.

We are into a new era of Battletech. Whether you are a grizzled veteran of the 3rd Succession Wars or fresh into the fiction Hour of the Wolf is a perfect starting point into a new chapter of the interstellar game of war.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Hour of the Wolf
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BattleTech: House Arano: The Aurigan Coalition
by Randall C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2020 09:14:46

I really love this book. I got the POD and it's worth every penny. The printout is very clean and the colors are vibrant. Much of the art work comes from the video game and the print out did a great job capturing it. It's not perfect, but it is a lovely work. The book itself follows the format laid out by the 1980's House Books, but graphically it stands head and shoulders above them. It also includes a campaign that follows the actions of a mech company in service of House Arano with a company roster and scenarios. It also has a few mechs/spacecraft with sheets for them. I would LOVE to see the old House books get this treatment with the old fluff and lore left in, but with updated graphics, added scenarios, mechsheets, and RATs. However this book DOES have RATs for the inner sphere houses! The RATs cover mechs, vehicles, and aerospace assets for circa 3025 and it seems to match up with RATs I've seen in other products. That alone adds a LOT of value to this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: House Arano: The Aurigan Coalition
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BattleTech: Era Digest: Dark Age
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 18:28:36

Loved this little PDF. Many pages of lore and information about the primary movers and shakers of the Dark Age.

The scenario section is fun and the full color maps really help top off what is a great product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Era Digest: Dark Age
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BattleTech: Operational Turning Points: Hanseatic Crusade
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 18:15:21

The Goliath Scorpions, our beloved Escorpion Imperio, have been busy while the Inner Sphere reels from the blackout. In this product the Scorpions have taken the next steps in their development, the final steps of which consist of the conquest of the Hanseatic League.

Everything about this product, from the lore sections, to the highly detailed TO&E of units involved with this conflict, to the layout itself marks this product as high-quality and fully deserving of 5 out of 5 stars in review.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Operational Turning Points: Hanseatic Crusade
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Shadowrun: Krime Katalog
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2020 23:39:27

This book hurts so much to read. It could have been great. The potential is obvious.

The only conclusion I can come to is that it was written by someone who has never read Shadowrun 5th edition, but instead only heard about it from a friend describing it to them over the phone. Almost every single weapon will need a houserule to be usable, if only to define whether they are holdouts or heavy pistols, or sniper rifles or automatics, etc. Almost every single weapon with an accessory uses names of accessories that are almost, but not quite, the same as accessories that actually exist.

The PDF has no table of contents or index, and is informally split into 3 categories: weapons, weapon accessories, and vehicles. The problem there is that there are weapons in the accessories section, and there's a drone in the weapons section.

There are numerous other egregious errors that should have been caught by an editor.

Overall, this book is to other sourcebooks as Krime weapons are to other weapons: Low quality, cheaply made, and guaranteed to disappoint you.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Krime Katalog
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Shadowrun: Slip Streams (Plot Sourcebook)
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/30/2020 19:10:15

Shadowrun: Slip Streams is very much a book for Games Masters, lots of information, lots of adventure seeds, all expanding on the effects that magic is having on the world. If the magic side of Shadowrun story is your jam, this is the book for you. Otherwise, it is an interesting read and there are no lack of adventure ideas that it throws off. For players, the in game information is a fun read and the new character option is intriguing but not for all campaigns, talk with your GM first.

Shadowrun: Slip Streams, is a Plot Sourcebook for Shadowrun, Sixth World Edition, expanding on the magical situation across the world but with a focus on events affecting North America.

As is expected, it begins with a brief introduction and a glossary of terms related to astral space, this is very handy and important to what follows. Then the requisite fiction section before the meat of the product begins.

The first section, Frayed Fabric, take a look at the weird events happening across the world, weird in this case meaning magical, ranging from echoes of other times and places to full on gateways between Earth and various metaplanes (other places, usually very magical in nature). This is all in world information but there are a handful of sidebars explaining how certain things function in terms of game mechanics. I highly approve of this, there is little more annoying that having things described that change the way a game world works and then not providing any mechanics for it, even if I think a few of the mechanics could have been more clearly expressed, it is still the right way to do things. However, there lots of interesting things in this section to drop in as background to a game or to use as plot hooks.

Next is Soldiers of III Corps, which ties into one of the big mysteries alluded to in the Cutting Black book, the disappearance of III Corps of the UCAS Army. Now, let me begin by saying that this plot line simply does not work for me, if a third of a nation’s army disappeared (and it is explicitly noted as a third), over 100,000 people in this case, plus a small town of 40 or so thousand people, vanished, it would be noticed. No official look-down on the news or denial is going to conceal that, yet here, it happens. But back to the book, the area from which the disappearance happened has been locked down, tight, by the UCAS government and a mysterious research facility is being built there and rapidly expanded, surely this will end well. The soldiers of III Corps are beginning to return but they are . . . different. Not just mentally messed up, though there is that too, but bleeding purple blood different. Most seemed to have been trapped in a place called Dis, which will figure more as we go on, and bad things happened to them. But the returnees are showing up all over the world and there is a race to get them both by the UCAS Government and other interested parties, things are getting messy, but good work for Shadowrunners. This section concludes with a page of statistics for the guards at the site of the disappearance and nasty people they are too.

Bad Mojo how some of the various power players are trying to leverage the weird things happening to their advantage ranging from various corporations (natch) to a variety of magical groups. Again, good for background material and adventure ideas.

Who you gonna call? Details some of the magical organizations, starting with seven pages on the Black Lodge which somehow fail to actually provide anything useful (for me anyway), but the Black Lodge is one of my least liked Shadowrun trope groups, so this is not surprising. It tries to make the claim that they are not really evil, they just do evil things because . . . mumble mumble. The Aleph Society gets some new information about their quest to bring magic to the masses (but to themselves first). The current status of the Astral Space Preservation Society (hint: they are not doing well) who are one of the few actual white hats in the Shadowrun setting, so nice to see some more info on them. And twelve more organizations including the Voodoo based collective Cracking the Bones and the Catholic Church’s magical investigations, the Order of St. Sylvester. Good information here and many potential enemies and employers.

Hiring Board is, well, exactly what you would expect from that heading, various job opportunities for people. A good idea, not so strong execution. Many of them are only one paragraph long and some get a sidebar giving additional game details but several are extrapolated from pieces in earlier chapters (and thus did not really need to be made explicit here) or give a hiring brief for a massive campaign which the GM will have to make up for bit and pieces in this book. I think an entirely out of game, “look here are ways to work these ideas into your campaign with some mechanics to support it” would have been far more helpful.

Cast of Shadows is a mix of generic and specific NPCs, a few spirits and a new creature. Some of the characters are tied to adventures in the Hiring Board section (but neither directly references the other, a few see p xx links would have been helpful here, people). Again, such things are always vaguely useful for a GM but a few of the specific character would have been better presented as clear examples of this sort of role played by an NPCs who has been influenced / empowered by the magic of a metaplane that wants X to happen.

Lastly, there is new Game Information for various things covered in the book, including new rituals, effects of mana flows, and rules for playing returned soldiers (purple blood and all). Interesting stuff though the GM should be careful and not use it all at once. Sadly, no index, which is especially annoying for a product with multiple sidebars which may need to be referenced.

Overall, a useful resource and good read for a Shadowrun GM. Though again, I lament the (over)emphasis on magic at the expense of everything else. What I liked about Shadowrun is the mix of cyberpunk and fantasy tropes and multiple ways to build to the same effect but the recent direction seems to be all about the magic with technology a poor second.

See more of my reviews and other writings at: https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Slip Streams (Plot Sourcebook)
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MechWarrior: Destiny
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2020 19:26:29

I've played Mechwarrior since 1st ed and really enjoy this entry. The rules are simple and allow a great deal of flexibility in character creation. You can create any type of character from green to elite with little difficulty, and it wouldn't take much effort to fold in merits and materials from prior editions (aka, if you want to give a character a Land Grant, etc.). Vehicle conversion is simple and rules are provided for both narrative and traditional play (aka, you can play it with one GM and a group of players like any traditional RPG). Rules are definitely light, but it's not hard to add crunch. I use the rules from MW2 for money/equipment purchasing and conversion of additional gear. Note that the game definitely assumes that you have prior knowledge of the Battletech universe with minimal background material, and detail on pieces of weaponry/gear, but that is far from a bar to entry with the sheer amount of material available out there. Rules are provided for both the 3025 and Clan eras, with easy conversions for earlier or later periods. This is a great entry into the Battletech universe and I hope it gets the support it deserves.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
MechWarrior: Destiny
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