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Science Sleuths #1
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/29/2013 10:22:40

If you are a comic-book (or graphic novel) fan this is a cracking good yarn in traditional style to enjoy...

Even more so if you are also a gamer in the pulp style as while the story itself presents plenty of character and plot ideas, there is a Scientist talent tree for those who'd like to incorporate these concepts into a pulp-style game using the D20 Modern ruleset.

Presentation is not wonderful - the panels are well-drawn, but look like they have been photocopied before even reaching a scanner, and then te resulting images dumped more-or-less accurately (several are a bit squint) into a document to make the PDF - everything is a bit grey and indistinct and I've had to display it at 130% to have a chance of reading the text. It's not hard to produce quality camera-ready art and when your product IS the art, the comic-strip itself it is worth making the effort.

Both the story and the actual art is good... it's what has been done with it that disappoints a bit.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Science Sleuths #1
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your feedback, Megan; it's the only way we know what's needed to make our books better. The art problems you point to have actually caused us to put a hold on a couple other ongoing comics projects--we saw it, but we thought we had licked it as best we could with the stories in "Science Sleuths.". The "photocopied" look you mention is a result of us trying to get a uniform appearance to pages scanned from different magazines with varying levels of age damage. We hope, though, that like you others will be able to look past our imperfect presentation to see the greatness in these fun, classic comics. Meanwhile, we'll work harder at improving our processes.
ROLF!: Revenge of the Nigerian Prince
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/20/2013 10:05:06

What if one of those spam e-mail messages purporting to come from some corrupt bank official trying to sneak a vast fortune out of some exotic locale and offering to split it with you was actually genuine?

Here's a tale of a Nigerian who is a prince, is wealthy... and has decided to devote his time and resources to dealing with those scammers that have given his fellow countrymen such a bad name online. As I hit the delete key yet again, it's a tempting thought...

Accompanied by two trusty bodyguards the Nigerian Prince visits three scammers in their own homes. The results are up to you but they are likely to be messy!

A fun romp...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF!: Revenge of the Nigerian Prince
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ROLF: The Mummy's Tune
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/13/2013 12:02:02

This is rather a fun little scenario that plays better than it tells: suffice to say it involves an outrageous pop-star who loves to shock her audiences, a song from Ancient Egypt that supposedly carries a pretty heavy curse, a bunch of zombies and a few other oddments... even a mummy might show up. Maybe the legends of the curse were right!

So will Lady Goo-Goo, never mind the audience, survive her Pyramid-backed performance of the ancient Song of Ho-Baq? Will a handful of cultists and their tame mummies stop her before the entire audience is turned to zombies?

Run one of the four scenes herein, and you'll find out... if the mummies, zombies or Egyptian curses don't get you first.

A merry romp across the music business...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Mummy's Tune
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Expansion for Level-based Character Progression
by Thomas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2013 21:41:49

This is basically a DM Mercy Point system; "Are you behaving the way I want you to?" I can see this resulting in a group breaking up, pretty fast.



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[1 of 5 Stars!]
Expansion for Level-based Character Progression
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Creator Reply:
Possibly. But these very rules have been in use in my d20 System campaigns for roughly a decade now without the group breaking up.
ROLF: Turkey Shoot
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/23/2012 08:24:16

A merry jape to occupy an evening - perhaps even when too full of Thanksgiving turkey to want to do much - this adventure involves a revenge plot by a frustrated film fan targeted against a director who has produced one too many turkeys of a film, pitting fan, director and the magnificent Sally Sleuff, his bodyguard, against one another in a three-way brawl.

Simple? Yes, but presented with a certain atmospheric charm that takes a mere combat scene - which in effect is all that it is - and makes of it something perhaps thrilling, perhaps dramatic, perhaps even cinematic... or maybe it will turn into a comedy. The chemistry between the players is given free reign to make of it what they will.

For that matter, you could take this simple plot and insert it into the superhero (or maybe pulp) game of your choice, dress it up a bit and make a full adventure of it, should that take your fancy... (it does mine!)

As an added bonus, there are some extra traits and combat manoeuvres that you can make use of in any game played with the ROLF ruleset - and more than this, there is a fine collection of original Adolphe Barreaux comic strips from the 1930s depicting Sally the Sleuth! Mine them for further adventures, or just sit back and enjoy them as turkey torpor takes hold and even rolling dice is too much effort.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: Turkey Shoot
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ROLF: Bill Clinton and the Secret City of Women
by Timothy K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2012 20:55:23

This made me laugh out loud in a place I was embarrassed to do so. Such a clever scenario and a great introduction to the game. I love Steve's work, and this is a great product. I think it would be easily adaptable to any game system. Support Rolf! and Steve's cats.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: Bill Clinton and the Secret City of Women
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind words! This goes to show "always trust your editor, especially when she's the co-creator of the game system." I originally had a completely different third Battle Scenario for "Bill Clinton and the Secret City of Women." It apparently play-tested okay, but L.L Hundal didn't really like it, so she came up with the ending that's in the product, as well as giving us the return appearance of The Most Interesting Man In The World. I will be putting that cut scenario (along with the Pre-generated Character that got dumped up on the NUELOW Games blog in early November. Thanks for commenting, for playing, and for helping feed my cats! :) --Steve Miller, NUELOW Games
Modern Basics: Feats of Seduction and Subterfuge
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/20/2012 18:11:49

It’s a truism that d20-based games are built around combat. It is possible to work against this slant and create characters that are focused on peaceful interaction, largely by focusing on skills and feats that lean away from combat potential, but there are comparatively few of those. NUELOW Games’s new book, Modern Basics: Feats of Seduction and Subterfuge, expands that roster ever so slightly.

The book’s presentation is notably minimalist, at least in terms of technical bells and whistles. Copy-and-paste is enabled, but there aren’t any hyperlinks or bookmarks…though for a PDF that’s only five pages long, this isn’t really an issue. The book takes an understated tone with illustrations as well. A few shots of the couple from the cover are all that’s to be found on the interior; this lends the book a nice sense of style in a “just what you see” way.

In terms of evaluating the book, I think it’s important to remember that this is geared primarily towards d20 Modern. The designer does not that these can be used with pretty much any d20 game, and he’s not wrong in that assertion; what’s here will work with pretty much any incarnation of d20, though I’ll say right now that some systems will necessitate some minor adapting. What’s more important to take away from the book’s focus on d20 Modern is the relative scale of what it offers (in terms of power) and the nature of its effects, something I’ll touch on more below.

Feats of Seduction and Subterfuge offers one new skill and eight new feats. Insightfully, the author gives a brief introduction wherein he mentions that the new skill (Seduction) should be a class skill for bards, Charismatic Heroes, and other Charisma-focused classes, and that the feats should be on the bonus feat lists for such classes. I have to give the author props here; mentioning who gets them as class skills is an oversight that most people make when introducing new skills into the game. The issue of bonus feats is somewhat less germane, but still appreciated.

Unfortunately, the Seduction skill itself was nothing to write home about. For me, the major downside was that it didn’t adequately describe what it does, and how it makes itself different from broader skills that have the same theme (such as Bluff). The skill says that it’s used to “sway NPCs into performing actions of your choosing,” but it doesn’t give examples of the degree to which you sway them the way Diplomacy does. Worse, the skill has no mention of the time required to make a seduction attempt, and oddly splits itself between the two sexes (e.g. Seduction (females) is different from Seduction (males)), something I found unnecessary. I also didn’t like the static DC, since I think that skill checks to influence creatures should be opposed checks.

The new feats were more passable in what they offered. If you have the Wardrobe Malfunction feats, for example, you’ve mastered the art of the nip slip (or other sexy reveal) – you can briefly expose yourself, feigning embarrassment at your “accidental” reveal; doing so lets you make a skill check to not only amuse those who see it and are fooled, but it also creates a distraction for your allies. It’s unfortunate that feats like this were the vast minority of the book.

To expound upon that, of the eight feats in the book, six of them were skill boosters, offering a +2 bonus to two (sometimes three) related skills; some also have an additional effect, such as how the No Sense feat grants not only a +2 bonus to Bluff and Intimidate, but also a +4 bonus to saves against feat. This brings us back to what I was saying before about the power scale of these feats being relative depending on the kind of game you’re running. For a d20 Modern game, these are comparable to a lot of the feats available in the Core Rulebook, as these stand alongside a host of other “+2 to two skills” feats, and even a bit above them. For a Pathfinder game, however, these will often be seen as somewhat underpowered compared to the other feats available.

Ultimately, I couldn’t bring myself to judge this book too harshly, since as a d20 Modern-based book it stands fairly well on its own; only the Seduction skill needs any major work, but it’s easily overlooked (though for feats that use it, I’d throw it out in favor of Bluff instead). The feats themselves range from about par to being quite innovative; I only wish there were less of the former and more of the latter. Still, Feats of Seduction and Subterfuge isn’t a bad book if you want to increase your Modern Basics.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Basics: Feats of Seduction and Subterfuge
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Expansion for Level-based Character Progression
by andrew f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2012 22:41:41

Systems that incentivize good roleplaying (and good behavior) for rowdy RPGers are always welcome. And it is true that the slow pace of level achievement in 4th edition gets aggravating, as both a GM and a player. I'm looking forward to trying this system in my campaigns.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Expansion for Level-based Character Progression
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Dyvil: First Edition (Jeff Grubb's 30-Minute Roleplaying Game)
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/16/2012 11:24:12

A naughty little RPG for playing the minions of evil. The war for heaven is over, the good guys won, and you are one of the few remaining infernals roaming the earth, trying to tempt humans into committing sins, finding recruits, and generally trying to survive.

The d6-based system is quick and simple, and there is very little setting or background, leaving it open for all sorts of storytelling. A true beer-and-pretzels RPG, the sort of thing you'd expect to come from 30 minutes of hard RPG-creating labor.

But is it really an RPG, or a thinly-disguised commentary on modern RPGs, organized religion, current foreign policy? You'll have to decide that for yourself.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dyvil: First Edition (Jeff Grubb's 30-Minute Roleplaying Game)
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ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2012 13:37:16

ROLF seems fairly good for the price (£0.95).

While most RPGs I've played make no bias on gender with attributes, this game does (surprisingly). The 3 attributes are Brawn, Body & Brains. Brawn & Body are the same for male & female, but Brains are 2D4 for males, and 2D6 for females! The character generation on page 2 states that females are more intelligent (gender cliche?); if so, then another gender cliche states that females are the 'weaker sex', and therefore (for balance), as all games should have SOME balance, the Brawn attribute for females should be for example, 1D20 + 1D8, instead of 2D20.

Practically most/all the artwork is from various D&D books (Elmore). The game is not to be taken seriously; it it rather tongue in cheek. It's good for short term, but not for long term (campaigns).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
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Horror for the Holidays
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/26/2011 08:22:36

(From my blog The Contemporary Quixotist) Then, at the very bottom of your stocking, down among the nasty little bits of candy cane and lint from Christmases past have accumulated, you find this terrible little creature - Horror for the Holidays, a compact collection of festive horror stories, compiled by Nuelow Games. It features Locke, Lovecraft, Machen, and Poe, along with stories from HM Croker, Bret Harte, Hume Nesbit, and Edgar Wallace. It's great for curling up with by the fire while enjoying a cup of eggnog and listening to something horrible and blasphemous scratching at your windowpane.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Horror for the Holidays
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ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
by Andy P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2011 23:07:55

Let's see: Cost: 1.5$ Complexity: Simple and effective Learning curve: Fast Average game time: 10 mins for the battle including bragging to the loser, showing off to your friends and laughing heartily. So you could play that at lunch break in your job. Originality: Do you know many games where you can strategically bleed on the winner as you die or that you can castrate the enemy? Fun: Very!

The only minor flaw I found in this game is that it could use a bit more replability. But with updates coming every so often, and with the "expansions" and all costing less than a trip to the cinema I say it's well worth it. And speaking of the cinema? If the movie sucks you can always ROFL! Charlee Sin.

So... what are you waiting for?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters
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ROLF: The Associated Shades of Hades
by Herbert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2011 00:41:39

Steve,you did it again pal.Very engaging and fast play makes this a system I use to get the guys off the regular game and have a BBQ-Bash Fest!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Associated Shades of Hades
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ROLF: The Death of Osama bin Laden
by Jason E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2011 23:05:51

I downloaded this thinking it was module for either a realistic or possibly less realistic yet action oriented adventure for an assault on the Bin Laden compound. Even if I never planned to run it with Bin Laden as the centerpiece of the adventure I thought it could be an excellent retrofit for any insurgent leader, drug lord, or crime boss ranging from an estate in Mexico City to a dacha on the Black Sea. It was none of these.

It's a comedy adventure. Bin Laden, the compound, etc, were simply designed with how many chuckles one could work in and not a cross genre usage. And gags weren't really all that funny; they felt obvious and easy like taking the newsbite about computers filled with porn and making Bin Laden into a perv. Too easy. If he had been made into a subtle parody of Skeletor or the Postmaster General that would have been cute.

Of course I don't own ROLF! And if this what ROLF does, an action parody game and not an action game, it doesn't interest me. As a GM far more likely to run realistic to cinematic military ops games this supplement contained nothing I could use. As preview item for ROLF it neither entertained me nor interested me in its parent system.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
ROLF: The Death of Osama bin Laden
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