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1948: Spy Radios and Cipher Devices
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00

A decent little PDF. While I don't have the core 1948 materials, this would be useful in just about any pulp campaign, and leans closer to historical realism than other 1948 releases I've purchased like Ray Guns and Top-Secret Serums. The Dick Tracy wrist radio and the video transceiver are a little more four-color "Mad Science" oriented, but even so the technology for visual transmission wasn't that far ahead in the mid 40's.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Concise encryption/decryption system.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: There's an embarrassing printing error on page 7, where the rules for Range and Reception are printed twice.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
1948: Spy Radios and Cipher Devices
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1948: Top Secret Serums
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00

Very nice. While it is, as others have commented, essentially a modern version of Fantasy potions dressed up in Mad Science flavor text, it's still a very useful way to itroduce such effects into a low- or no-magic modern setting, or even a future one (quick yet short-lived genetic "boost" infusions are a refershing change from standard sci-combat drug tropes that turn the user into a blood-crazed berserker). This can come in handy in any pulp or steampunk campaign, as well as any comic-book superhero setting. Golden-Age supers always got their powers though serums or rays or such.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Visual presentation keeps the flavor of a WWII secret intelligence briefing, even down to the "destroy this document if necessary" fine print at the bottom of the page.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The two pieces of clip art didn't really capture the pulp flavor. While I'm sure thay were meant to represent Nazi Ubermenschen and Soviet beastmen under the effect of the serums, they looked more like 21st century World of Darkness characters.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
1948: Top Secret Serums
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1948:Clandestine Weapons
by Michael D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2006 00:00:00

Another nice little PDF from Bloodstone Press. Useful in any pulp or espionage game, and grounded in some degree of historical realism as well. I distinctly recall seeing the Peskett multi-purpose bludgeon/dagger/garotte combo and the deadly Bulgarian poison-tipped umbrella featured on a History Channel special on real-life James Bond-style spy equipment. So, kudos for the authenticity. While most do less damage than a normal knife or pistol, they are still intriguing as nasty surprises for PCS who may think they've confiscated all of a foe's conventional weapons.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Visual presentation enhances the feel of being a top-secret WWII Intelligence briefing, even down to the "Destroy this document if necessary" warning in fine printy at the bottom of each page.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
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1948: The Vimana
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/17/2006 00:00:00

1948: The Vimana is a short product detailing a new type of vehicle for Modern d20, from Bloodstone Press. The zipped file is 0.22 megabytes in size, containing a single PDF file that is marginally larger. The PDF has a non-hyperlinked table of contents and bookmarks. The book is fourteen pages long, with a page for the cover, a page for the credits and legal information, a page for the table of contents, a page of ads, and a page for the OGL.

Despite its length, this book has a fairly large amount of artwork. All of the pieces are black-and-white, including the cover, and a number of pictures are placed throughout. Additionally, each page has a green border, making it seem as though these are pages in a file folder (which is enhanced by the sidebars appearing as notes held on with paperclips). A printer-friendly version would have been helpful, despite this product?s brevity.

While this work is nominally presented as part of Bloodstone Press?s 1948 campaign setting, this work is largely presented in a setting-neutral manner. Vimanas can easily be placed into any campaign, even fantasy ones, with little adaptation. Several words in the book are hyperlinked to allow easy access to further information. While some of these are game terms that link to the Hypertext d20 SRD, others lead to websites with further information about subjects of this book, such as Nagaland (a part of India).

The book begins by explaining just what a vimana is. A vimana is a type of flying craft, constructed around India thousands of years ago. Using the mystic knowledge sacred geometry (of which science and magic are just small parts), ancient peoples built these vehicles, which could fly incredibly fast, use powerful weapons, and even travel to other worlds. A quick paragraph is given on how to construct a vimana (requiring a large number of high Craft checks, and numerous materials). Following this are a few paragraphs on where a vimana can be found.

A few paragraphs are then given on flying a vimana, and their weapon systems, before stats for the vimanas themselves are given. Four basic types of vimanas are given, each of which are quite large, with associated tables giving their standard Modern d20 statistics. The product closes out by discussing three types of death rays that can be found on vimanas. Each is given at least a paragraph of coverage, along with Modern d20 weapon statistics.

Altogether, 1948: The Vimana presents a very cool new vehicle type for your Modern d20 game. The mystic element of Indian lore is preserved while still giving us useful stats and information. Any game, pulp or otherwise, that introduces vimanas will get a unique thrill from these mystic vehicles. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This book excellently balanced the mystique of these new vehicles while still statting them fully. Also, the manner in which the product presented itself as being an in-character file (such as the notes at the bottom of every page about this being top secret) was quite colorful.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Despite the good material here, a few errors crept in. The M-21 death ray, for example, says it inflicts 10d6 damage, while its entry on the weapons table says it inflicts 8d6. Also, despite this product being short, a printer-friendly version would have been helpful.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
1948: The Vimana
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Random Encounters: Rabid Monkey Troop
by Paul R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2006 00:00:00

I'd like to able to fill this box in without having to put anything in this comment box, alas I cannot- I apologise but I've not got a lot of free time and yet I want to rate the products.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Random Encounters: Rabid Monkey Troop
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Random Encounters: The Hunt
by Paul R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2006 00:00:00

I'd like to able to fill this box in without having to put anything in this comment box, alas I cannot- I apologise but I've not got a lot of free time and yet I want to rate the products.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Random Encounters: Roadblock
by Paul R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2006 00:00:00

I'd like to able to fill this box in without having to put anything in this comment box, alas I cannot- I apologise but I've not got a lot of free time and yet I want to rate the products.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
Random Encounters: Roadblock
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1948:Top Secret Explosives
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

This products goes into many different types of explosives and just as many types of detonators. Its reasonably well written, but I think it doesn't quite fit the setting its meant for. There is no occult or alternative type products described, but what is there is very interesting.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
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1948: Top Secret Serums
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

This product is a neat idea and its reasonably balanced, yet interesting as well. Its very easy to adapt to any modern system campaign, and it can add an interesting dynamic to otherwise normal "thugs". Plus, it can be a cool reward for characters, or something to make for those chemists in the group.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
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1948: Basic Training Manual
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

I bought this as part of the Complete Training Manual bundle, and I must admit that this product AND the bundle are a mixed bag. On one hand, you get all the stats and information you need to portray most kinds of characters from the genre. On the other hand, you get almost no setting descriptions or flavor. This product and the bundle come with NO background information or campaign information. Their "Hell on Earth" product helps a little in this regard, but not much.

All in all this is a decent value, but the authors need to get some campaign flavor stuff release or some modules. Something to portray some flavor.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
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1948: Elite Training Manual
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

I bought this as part of the Complete Training Manual bundle, and I must admit that this product AND the bundle are a mixed bag. On one hand, you get all the stats and information you need to portray most kinds of characters from the genre. On the other hand, you get almost no setting descriptions or flavor. This product and the bundle come with NO background information or campaign information. Their "Hell on Earth" product helps a little in this regard, but not much.

All in all this is a decent value, but the authors need to get some campaign flavor stuff release or some modules. Something to portray some flavor.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
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1948: FX Training Manual
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

I bought this as part of the Complete Training Manual bundle, and I must admit that this product AND the bundle are a mixed bag. On one hand, you get all the stats and information you need to portray most kinds of characters from the genre. On the other hand, you get almost no setting descriptions or flavor. This product and the bundle come with NO background information or campaign information. Their "Hell on Earth" product helps a little in this regard, but not much.

All in all this is a decent value, but the authors need to get some campaign flavor stuff release or some modules. Something to portray some flavor.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
1948: FX Training Manual
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1948: Specialized Training Manual
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

I bought this as part of the Complete Training Manual bundle, and I must admit that this product AND the bundle are a mixed bag. On one hand, you get all the stats and information you need to portray most kinds of characters from the genre. On the other hand, you get almost no setting descriptions or flavor. This product and the bundle come with NO background information or campaign information. Their "Hell on Earth" product helps a little in this regard, but not much.

All in all this is a decent value, but the authors need to get some campaign flavor stuff release or some modules. Something to portray some flavor.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
1948: Specialized Training Manual
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1948:Clandestine Weapons
by Jose L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2006 00:00:00

This product details any interesting weapons that secret agent type characters can use. They are very interesting and reasonably balanced, especially when used in the setting they're designed for. They're easy to adapt to and modern system campaign, and they can definitely surprise players who've gotten complacent.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
1948:Clandestine Weapons
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Bane Ledger
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/23/2006 00:00:00

The Bane Ledger volume I is a monster collection from Bloodstone Press. The monsters in this book are themed, containing creatures from pre-colonial Australia, America, and Polynesia.

The zipped file and the PDF itself are roughly 850 kb. The PDF has both bookmarks and a hyperlinked table of contents. The book has a color cover, and roughly two-thirds of the listed monsters have pictures, though these are universally in black and white. The entire book is forty-two pages long, including the cover and OGL. No printer-friendly version is given, though this is largely a non-issue due to the relative lack of color and illustrations.

The Introduction mentions that most of the monsters included here are from an earlier release, the Primal Codex, and have since been reprinted here for 3.5 updates. It also notes that the document uses web hyperlinks not only for related products, but also to link key terms (such as shaken) to their entry in the Hypertext SRD. A brief list also confirms which monsters come from which cultures.

Following this is a list of monsters by Challenge Rating. This nicely breaks down the variety of creatures. The product has a fairly diverse range of CRs covered, up into the mid-twenties if you count the dragons at higher age categories (and a single creature in the low 30?s). The product has, counting sub-types of various monsters, thirty creatures altogether.

The individual entries are written well, though the lack of pictures for some creatures (such as the mannegishi) can make visualizing them difficult. However, in reading them over more than once, a number of mechanical errors become noticeable. Outsiders don?t have Native or Extraplanar subtypes. Some abilities lack Ex, Su, or Sp tags. A lawful evil creature is said to have access to the Chaos domain, etc. None of these are major errors, but they add up, and altogether they tend to sour one?s opinion of the product in question.

Sidebars dot the product, describing two new feats and a new disease. Likewise, three new animals (the piranha, electric eel, and kangaroo) are given after the main monster entries. The product closes with a single page ad for the Bane Ledger volume II, and then a page for the OGL.

Altogether, the Bane Ledger is a good source for monsters with an ?old-world? feel. However, the execution leaves something to be desired. The rules errors and monsters without illustrations (which are very important for creatures) make this book feel like it didn?t live up to its potential. Regardless, GM?s looking for monsters with a folklore feel to them will be served well by the Bane Ledger. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This product had an excellent selection of creatures from pre-colonial cultures. The sidebars with the new disease and new feats were quite well done also.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Rules errors popped up a number of times throughout the book. Also, many of the creatures lacked pictures, which are important for displaying what the monster looks like.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bane Ledger
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