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Android: Monitor
by Jukka V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2020 16:09:33

Book is quite mediocre at the writing level, but unfortunately that's not it's largest weakness. Books plot is fairly weak, and unbelievable. Also, end is very anticlimatic. I didn't quite get what this book tries to be, but classic tragedy comes to mind. Unfortunately the book fails as tragedy. I have now read all Android universe book, and this definitely is the weakest. It's whole mood is very diffent from other books is series. Other Android Universe books open the world for reader, but this book just seems to close it. Maybe the biggest fault in Android: Monitor is that is feels out of place when compared to other Android books.

Who might enjoy this: People who want to read one take on how media works in Android Universe.

My recommendation: Ignore this book, unless you have read everything else from Android Universe, or you are really interested about media.

Good:

  • Everything technology related. (Cameras everywhere)
  • Megacorp omnipotency is present, although only in form of NBN

Bad:

  • Plot is unbelievable and disorganized (and partially hard to follow, I got a feeling that the writing was rushed, or maybe book was cut to shorter than writer intented.)
  • Technology is added fairly superficially, and not utilized in proper manner (see Exodus from same series to see better example how it should be done.)
  • Characters are unrelatable and it's hard for reader to actually care about them
  • Megacorp omnipotency is too blatant. There are no shades of grey in it, like in other android universe books.


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Android: Monitor
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Legend of the Five Rings: First Scroll - Fiction from the Core Set
by james s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/14/2020 18:53:33

i love everything FFG touches when it comes to L5R... the gameplay, art style, organization of material. Homerun. Been playing this system in campaign for 2 years now since the beginner box, and more does not come out fast enough!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: First Scroll - Fiction from the Core Set
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Tannhauser: Revised Rules
by Len T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2017 05:54:51

This second edition of the rules makes the game worth playing. As said previously, if you have the game then get these rules. This edition is clearer, more complete and fixes a lot of things that were unclear or left out in the set that came in the box. I really started to enjoy the game after getting these rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tannhauser: Revised Rules
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Arkham Horror: Hour of the Huntress
by Paul H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2017 23:29:13

I enjoyed this ebook, though it was rather too short for my taste. A lot of time was devoted to character development and backstory but the the book ended; my assumption is that there will be further adventures in future short stories but I was left a little deflated at the end as much was left unexplained and unresolved.

I felt that some of the characters were a little stereotyped; from gentile Parisian to gun toting, follower slaying machine, tom boy mechanic, other worldly academic, nice-but-dim, skeptical cop.

All if that said though, it was thouroughly enjoyable to read and I read it from virtual cover to cover in a couple of sessions over a couple of days, and was genuinely disappointed when there were no more pages to turn. More please, now the characters are established so all the more room for plot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arkham Horror: Hour of the Huntress
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Android: Free Fall
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/27/2016 10:51:43

This is an excellent example of semi-military sci-fi set in the Android universe. I really enjoyed this book as my first entry into the ficiton of the setting. This book tackles the investigative possibilities of the near future sci-fi with careful thought. It also explores many of the core areas of investigation that the Android universe puts forth, including both bioroids and clones as possible people, or not.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Android: Free Fall
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Android: Free Fall
by Brander R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2015 12:30:51

Just finished the book. I'm not at all familiar with the game so I my review is focused on the actual book.

Overall I liked it. Good detective in the near future, and a solid grasp on the technology elements. Sometimes the pacing was a little clunky, but forgivable. Worth a read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned (Book 1 of the Lord of Nightmares Trilogy)
by stephane r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2015 16:19:58

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!]
Arkham Horror: Dance of the Damned (Book 1 of the Lord of Nightmares Trilogy)
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Android: Free Fall
by Mike K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2015 19:52:33

I read this from the point of a GM trying to find out about the Android universe. I felt the story was engaging and enjoyed reading it.

It goes into some of the factions and how they relate to each other. It covers legal jurisdiction as the protagonist is a police force detective. It covers different types of equipment. It has a space elevator in parts of the story and goes into some detail on it. It did a little on hacking, but more about who would do it than a first person perspective. There is no magic. :)

The fact that there is no magic, really makes me want to see an Android RPG. I am really hoping that since this has been added to DriveThruRPG that a bunch of source books are coming. I like ShadowRun, but would like to see this genre without magic also.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Android: Free Fall
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Tannhauser: Revised Rules
by Johannes C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/12/2014 14:43:35

I will make it simple.

If you have the game, buy this PDF.

Tannhäuser is a fun and zany game. After half a dozen rounds though, you notice that it could be a little bit more complex, a little bit less simplistic. Some tactics are no-brainers, and rushing in is way too strong of a tactic.

These revised rules fix all of that. They make the game much, much better.

Things that were preciously broken, are fixed. The game becomes more dynamic, and multiple game modes bring a lot of replayability.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tannhauser: Revised Rules
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Midnight Chronicles Package
by John F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2012 15:45:55

This setting is a great alternative to the usual fare. It is a dark world, cut off from all gods save one evil world-dominating power that has the peoples of Eredane living in fear. Izrador's church of shadow is the ruling power and uses orc minions to terrorize the populace into submission. Elves and dwarves are hunted while humans are enslaved. The "veil of shadow" has game impacts on magic and the oppressive society makes arms contraband.

Likes: Oppressive setting, lending to constant harassment for the players from the ruling powers. Numerous adventures rise out of "rebel" activity. New mechanics for magic that allow any player to practice some magic. Interesting new monsters and great adaptations of existing ones, especially undead and dragons. Somewhat interesting new base classes.

Dislikes: Class options are fairly limited, though they are expanded with heroic paths and a vast array of prcs. Players might tire of the restrictive setting. There's some ideas that seem a bit too familiar to other fantasy literature (Izrador to Sauron, the night kings to the nazgul, the veil and the fell remind me of the Sword of Truth).

The Movie: I really saw this as a bonus since it was only an additional $5. The movie is reasonably well produced with mediocre actors and a fairly engaging story. The ending is a bit anti-climactic but it does give you a feel for the oppressive nature of the setting and certainly measures up to other genre movies, not that that's saying much :)

Overall: A quality stand alone campaign setting, or perhaps more valuable for those who are just looking for interesting ideas to incorporate into a custom setting; Midnight includes a rich history and well laid out setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight Chronicles Package
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L5R Encyclopedia:The comprehensive L5R CCG compendium
by David R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2011 15:14:11

The bad rating is not a judgement on the book itself but rather on the PDF.

It is a scan of the book, which unfortunately means there is a significant downgrade of the quality of the text and pictures.

It is serviceable, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone other than die-hard L5R fans.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
L5R Encyclopedia:The comprehensive L5R CCG compendium
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Midnight Chronicles
by Jason T. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/22/2009 20:20:52

Writer/director/producer Christian Petersen’s Midnight Chronicles is an indie film based on the fantasy role playing game Midnight from Fantasy Flight Games. Evil rules in Midnight’s world of Aryth after Izrador, the dark god defeated the free races in a war 100 years prior. Men are now enslaved while Elves and Dwarves have disappeared into the forests and mountains. Hope resides in only the few brave enough to pursue it. As Mag Kiln travels to Blackweir to investigate the disappearance of a fellow priest, others also descend on the small town where a complex web of good versus evil develops that has implications on the future of the dark forces that rule the land.

For as relatively small a production as it is, Midnight Chronicles is incredibly ambitious. And while it surprisingly rises to the level of visual prowess demanded by its subject matter, it falls woefully short in the story department. Like a lot of recent indie flicks, Midnight Chronicles is another impressive-but-flawed realization of a lot of hard work, money, and time and it’s also one hell of a mixed bag of movie pros and cons. Unfortunately the cons are so fundamentally important to the art of storytelling that they are impossible to overlook.

I’ll start with the things Midnight Chronicles does well.

The photography is beautiful and stark, utilizing various filters to washout primary colors and enhance the dark oppressive settings in which this story takes place. Filmed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Midnight Chronicles’ locations and sets are on par with movies that boast much larger budgets. This is apparent immediately during the film’s large scale opening shot of slaves being marched through a vast valley overlooked by a kingdom nestled in the hills.

Midnight Chronicle’s sound production is also very well done. This movie takes place in multiple and various settings, including large scale outdoor and underground locations. It features crowds, fights, the occasional flock of birds, creatures, magic spells, you name it. Yet the sound mix remains polished and consistent throughout.

The cast is wholly comprised of theatre, television commercial, and indie film talent based in the Twin Cities. Midnight Chronicles has more characters than the average indie movie which usually predicts a huge drop off in performance between the leads and the supporting characters. However, by casting capable actors rather than friends and family, Petersen by and large avoids the aforementioned indie flick malady. While no one here threatens Brando’s spot on the all-time list, more importantly there are no sore thumbs in this group.

From a production perspective – the sets, the costumes, the effects, the acting, i.e. the tools used to help tell the story – this movie is top notch. However, a movie’s entire reason for being is born well before the actors are cast, the sets are lighted, and the cameras role. Storytelling matters most and it’s here that Midnight Chronicles falls short.

Midnight Chronicles’ script appears to have been a structural mess from square one. I consider myself a fairly astute movie watcher and I spent over half the time wondering what the hell was going on. This is because the very basic essentials of plot, specifically movie plot are never clearly defined and in some cases they’re missing all together. For example, the three act structure is a forgotten concept. This makes it difficult to discern who the protagonists and antagonists are as there is no clear main tension established early on. The main tension defines when the first act ends and thrusts us into the bulk of the film armed with knowing who to root for, who to root against, and what they all want. It’s a simple concept the by-product of which results in a compelling story.

Midnight Chronicles also suffers from a considerable lack of originality. Conceptually, it’s extremely similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth mythos. There are Orcs, and Elves, and references to Dwarfs. Even the proper names spoken throughout the film sound like they were cribbed from a Lord of the Rings improv group. I understand that the source material for the movie is a strain of RPG that owes much of its existence to D&D and by extension the Tolkien books, but this is a level of similarity that’s off-putting and distracting.

It comes down to the fact that I’m on the outside looking in and that usually doesn’t bode well for one’s reaction to a film. It’s certainly possible that Petersen is a bit too familiar with the source material for the film’s own good. And maybe fans of the game will dive right into Midnight Chronicles and feel at home. However, I’m neither familiar with the game, nor am I a gamer in general so perhaps too many of those source elements are lost on folks like me. The bad news for Midnight Chronicles is that there are more of us on the outside than there are on the inside.

Christian Petersen’s film is an admirable effort. Compared to the vast majority of true independent films, this movie is made with a superior level of effort and skill and the aesthetic results bear that out. However, it must not be overlooked that in an age when digital cameras and high-end digital editing suites are commonplace, the production quality of a film is no longer enough to ignore its flaws. As a matter fact, with this technology being both cheap and readily available to the masses it has put an emphasis on the most basic and timeless components of movie making – a creative angle on a well-crafted story. If Midnight Chronicles had succeeded in these areas as well as it has in all other areas I’d be trying to sell you on the second coming of Peter Jackson. Instead, I’m writing about a movie that didn’t quite fulfill its potential.

2.5 out of 5



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight Chronicles
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Midnight Chronicles Package
by Robin U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2009 06:02:31

Firstly, I have to say that the film has very impressive production values for the budget. Not only is this a remarkably pretty film, and you can tell it's a labour of love, and since this is one of the best settings for D&D to ever come out, and definitely one that deserves updating to 4e, I'm going to feel really bad for bringing up the following:

The file format is the 'apple-only' .mov type. I had never heard of such a thing, but it meant I had to use VLC to play it. Not a roadblock to watching it, but unhelpful- doubly so since it meant I had a lot trouble streaming it to the Xbox to watch it on the TV.

This film is terrible and feels like it has nothing to do with Midnight. Sorry, but it's just a waste of time - and it's not just a poor film, but a poor Midnight film. The whole story misses what I felt were the most interesting elements of the RPG setting in favour of, ultimately, a bad monster movie. It has a painfully disjointed pace that makes the whole film drag, and beyond a few scenes which are interesting, I found myself not caring one bit what happened next. You get the impression that there's a larger story going on, but it's infuriating that your not told any of it and have to assume the reasoning behind most of the plot. The main flaw in the film, though, is the characters. While the acting is OK, the characters obediently shuffle through the obvious plot to its conclusion, making decisions almost entirely for plot purposes. Also, some characters and character abilities get conveniently forgotten to make things more dramatic.

And finally I won't spoil anything, but if every sprawling dungeon, library and bottomless-chasm-with-rickety-rope-bridge was really under that town, the whole place should have collapsed inward years ago.

On the plus side, I get an original 4e Midnight adventure and the original game in PDF, which was definitely appreciated. I haven't looked through the adventure properly, except to gasp in horror at the vardatch weapon stats, but anything new for a Midnight RPG is awesome.

tl;dr: The frustrating afternoon I spent allowing the file to be watched on the TV was wasted by the film itself. Avoid.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight Chronicles Package
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Midnight Chronicles
by Bo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2009 15:24:25

The world of Midnight is different from your 'normal' fantasy setting in one major way... the 'bad guys' control the world; 100 years ago (in their timeline) they won, good people are pretty much criminals now. Dark, gritty and all about survival it is a wonderful change of pace from the standard fare of the 'cookie cutter' Tolken-ish worlds.

For those of you that already enjoy the world of Midnight, the movie portrays it perfectly - ironically making it perfect for the television series that the movie was made from. There are no large battles (stealth is the only way 'good' can hope to survive) and very little magic (a blessing for TV people worried about special effects budgets). The movie is very story and character driven and while there are very few 'flashy' effects the quality of the production is on par with anything a major Hollywood studio would put out.

Highly Recommended



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight Chronicles
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Midnight Chronicles Package
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2009 20:25:45

For $14.95 this is one hell of a good package. First and foremost, you get a feature-length movie with great production values. Second, you get the core rulebook for the Midnight campaign setting, which at 400+ pages would have been a huge value at the price by itself. You also get the movie scripts and a free adventure module set in the town in which the movie is based. Wonderfully good value.

The movie: The film is really a long pilot for what I hope will become a tv series; the SyFy channel would go great with this. If youare not familiar with midnight you get a brief rundown in the film; thousands of years ago the god of evil was cast out of heaven onto the world of Aryth, but in so doing a Veil was raised that prevented the gods from interfering with the world in any way...but also cut off the dark god Izrador and everyone else on Aryth from leaving the world in any way, including through death. Three times Izrador rose up against the people of Aryth, and the third time he won the battle. It has been 100 years of a world in Shadow.

Though the plot is really about the rise of two diametrically opposed heroes -- one for good and one for evil -- most of the movies focus goes to the evil legate Mag Kiln. And it's great that it does, but it's one of the few movies that really shows things from the bad guy's perspective. Charles Hubbell is excellent as the dark priest destined for great power. His companion Kruce is an interesting and likeable character,despite being on Team Evil. Chuzara the young legate that goes to Blackweir with Mag Kiln is OK as a character, but she makes up for it in good looks. ;)

Anyone familiar with the campaign setting with enjoy all of the references to the gaming world. Being that the movie is made by the company that created the game system maybe that's obvious but worth pointing out. I just wish we had the chance to see more of the orcs and some of the Fell in action. There isn't a lot of combat or flashy magic in use, possibly because of budget constraints, but what we do see looks good.

Midnight 2nd Edition Core Rules: Midnight has become my favorite campaign setting over the years, to the point I've made the definite SRD for it (http://darknessfalls.leaderdesslok.com). Having this massive volume in PDF at a more-than-reasonable price is fantastic. Only down side is that at over 400 pages it really should have bookmarks.

The scripts are, well, scripts. I don't usually pay much attention to such things, but if you like that sort of thing it's all there for you.

The adventure: From a marketing standpoint, it was a pretty good idea to release the adventure in D&D 4E format. This allows curious gamers who enjoy 4E an opportunity to see what playing in the Midnight world is like. From a Midnight gamer's standpoint, it's a horrible slap in the face. FFG published one campaign adventure for Midnight, Crown of Shadows, but it was made for the 1st edition of the game (3.0 rules). They never released another adventure until now, and while it's great to have another one, it's ridiculous to me that they provide a 4e module for a game written for 3.5, even going so far as to include the 3.5 campaign core rules which are useless in playing the adventure! If this is a sign that FFG is planning on re-releasing Midnight for 4E I am disappointed, as I am not a fan of the system. I would much rather see them move into Pathfinder.

However, overall the Midnight Package is still a phenomenally good value. Excellent movie and great game!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight Chronicles Package
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