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The Fate Codex - Volume 1, Issue 2
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/23/2016 10:12:40

This publication is an awesome way to explore the flexibility of the FATE system, and find sources of inspiration for any sort of game you want to run. The quick start adventure in particular was appealing, not only for use as is, but as a model for how you can prep an entire campaign with a minimum of work and a maximum of flexibility to allow for improv at the table top. The alternate rules section also gets into how you can swap the "notice" skill for a "survival" skill, which is perfect for gritty settings - but this section also offers some insight into how the game design developers see skills in FATE. This is fascinating for anyone interested in design, or the workings behind a great RPG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Fate Codex - Volume 1, Issue 2
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Mystos: The Role Playing Game
Publisher: Blackstone Entertainment, Inc
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2015 10:04:40

Mystos is a neat indie game with a unique twist in how it handles die rolling with a rock-paper-scissors approach. This PDF was had a good layout and nice art too. I will be pitching it to my gaming group soon!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mystos: The Role Playing Game
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Basic Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition
Publisher: The Basic Fantasy Project
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/12/2014 16:55:15

This product is very much in keeping with old school D&D, and provides everything you need to run a game in that setting without having to collect a bunch of different supplements and so on. All in all, I consider it historically accurate, while at the same time being streamlined enough to be playable. A solid traditional game, complete with monster manual!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Basic Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition
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Atomic Mutants from Out of Space
Publisher: Migwin Crow
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/12/2014 16:52:59

This game is a cool, narrative focused indie sort of game. Fans of FATE, Burning Wheel, The Pool and others will recognize the bottom up approach. Looking forward to other titles by this author.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Atomic Mutants from Out of Space
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Creator Reply:
Thanks Oliver, great review. Glad you liked it. I\'ve put it all together now with the full rule set so look out for that plus a Sci-Fi version coming soon.
Iron Age FRP_Basic rules
Publisher: Levaba Publishing
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2014 16:13:36

Sigh,

I hate to put a bad review out there, but I feel a message needs to be sent out to game developers about some certain quality standards. That being said, this was a give-away item - I did not pay anything for it. And it was worth every penny.

For starters, the author could have used some editing. There were grammatical issues throughout the document. Also, it is not really a basic rules set - it is like a companion guide for someone who already has the rules. You cannot play the game based off of this. And lastly, a large portion of the document is devoted to the author pontificating about the rules themselves and why he thought this was the best game around. All in all, not too professional or polished.

Oddly, the cover looks good - it was illustrated by someone fairly well known in the comic book industry. Was this a commissioned piece or a stock image?



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Age FRP_Basic rules
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Creator Reply:
First of all I want to thank you for your review. I\'ve received many e-mails (all of them positive), but I do appreciate constructive critique so I\'ll take a couple of minutes to address the issues you mentioned. Editing - I am well aware of that, but as I am a single developer I cannot afford it for now. I\'ll take care of this as soon as it becomes a possibility. (that\'s why there\'s no print version yet, I can update digital files easily) Even the best authors cannot efficiently edit their own text. (exceptions do exist however). \"You cannot play the game based off of this\" - That is true. As it is clearly stated in the description, it is a supplement with a goal to help new and old players to get into the game. I did not loose sleep over choosing a name as it is free to download. (Besides, you can even avoid downloading it as the full document is available as a preview) About my rant in the introduction (it\'s actually pretty short) - well, those are my personal feelings so feel free to skip them. I know I often do when reading a book, but I stand behind my every word. Not too polished - it is meant as help, and nothing more. It is not a product; it is a supplement to help players get into the new system. I created it in this way to make it easy to print (low print/ ink cost) and easy to read on all platforms. (it is free and easy to use the -core book has 300+ pages, and this booklet makes it easier to use. ) Besides its primary function, this booklet is here to tell you what you will find within pages of the Core book, and allow you to decide if you like the system. I wouldn\'t want you to throw away money on something you did not like. The cover - The cover art was commissioned and is original, as are all illustrations in the original book. This booklet is just an easy to print/low-cost help. I avoided putting any artwork into it to keep the page count to the minimum. My thoughts - Issues like yours should be addressed, so I am glad you wrote it here for all to see. I would also urge those that have positive reviews also to post them here (for all to see) rather than to an e-mail, as it would greatly help further development. And while I do not want to force you to do it, for I do enjoy those private e-mails as they motivate me to keep writing; potential buyers should hear pros and cons of the product to keep informed. - I\'m always open to suggestions and constructive critique.
Play Dirty
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2013 22:15:08

What was John Wick thinking?

Look, I watched a couple youtube videos that Mr. Wick put out - the first recommended to me in a John Four newsletter. And based on the video picked this PDF up.

I am intrigued by some of the concepts presented here, but am a little turned off by what I perceived to be a lack of humility about role-playing in general (in one video Wick wears a shirt that says: "I don't have an anger problem, I have an IDIOT problem!" - yeah, that guy...). I think that being a GM is partially about embracing the role of mentor such that role-playing continues to be a healthy part of our culture for decades to come - a tradition passed generation to generation, not unlike comic books. Mentoring requires patience and kindness, in my opinion.

I think that Mr. Wick has a bucket-load of intelligence, but comes up a bit short on the wisdom end of the spectrum (D&D taught me there is a good reason why these are two distinct stats, neither one dependent on the other). I got a sense that he was very passionate about gaming, but really didn't like/respect his fellow gamers that much. The one dude he described in a positive way was so completely humble, down-to-earth and selfless, that I have to wonder if he had allowed himself to be completely dominated by the situation/GM.

At any rate, once you get past the self-absorbed tone, you get some poignant anecdotes about Wick's gaming group that provide some solid amusement. That being said, I still contend that the number one reason gaming groups break up is because people get mad and frustrated with each other - I would never encourage a GM to fan the flames of discord unless he is trying to not have a gaming group.

In Wick's defense, I also think that allowing for a real sense of danger in your game is a great tool for immersion and getting the players to care about what is going on (Like in Game of Thrones, for example). I think that where I differ with Wick is that I believe in collaborating with the player more, rather than imposing myself on the game, or wounding the player for my own gratification. I don't think I could defend an act of cruelty as glibly as he does.

Bottom line - I say get the book! Join the discussion!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty
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Numenera
Publisher: Monte Cook Games
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2013 21:47:12

My name is Oliver Oviedo - and I approve of this product!

I picked this title up based on a stellar review about it that came to me from Gnome Stew - so I feel a bit weird about just echoing the praise. But in all honestly, this little book is a work of genius.

With the new trend in RPG's to deconstruct the old ways of doing things in ways that highlight what is awesome about role playing, Numenera IS the fresh take on the fresh take (sorry Fate and BW, you have been trumped!). I have played campaigns in both Burning Wheel and Fate, and I have to say that in many ways Numenera succeeds where the other two have issues. By that I mean that Monte Cook shows us that you can still get to the essence of what the mechanics do without belaboring or over-complicating things. I believe that players enjoy a good heart-pounding encounter with dangers that they believe are real, that they want to have a scrap with a baddy that puts them within an inch of their lives and still win. This is nearly impossible to do with Fate and BW, where narrative spin and resource leveraging can assure success in just about anything the players set their mind to. And in BW especially, the combat rules are so effing complicated and such an enormous departure from the regular rules, that using them is in many ways prohibitive - if not impossible. Fate does a better job of handling this, but my players told me they felt that they were really not in very much danger at any point - a factor that detracts from excitement and immersion.

Numenera, on the other hand, has a wonderful balance of resource use and player effectiveness. It has this perfectly simple, yet elegant way of combining the concepts of hit points, attribute ratings, and skill-roll buffs into one neat package (attribute POOLS!). It offers a multiple-choice method of character creation that ties in back story and inter-character history (Nod to Fate here), and orients the reward system (experience points) away from monster slaying and toward discovery and exploration. All in all, I am happy to see a game that doesn't shrink from the crunch, but instead streamlines it, and that allows for narrative creativity - not because of heavy handed belief systems (nod to BW) but because of the elegant simplicity of rules that literally make anything possible.

I think this is the perfect system to introduce new players to, and will inspire future games for a long time to come. And that is saying nothing about the amazing, visionary and singular setting. I sincerely hope Monty Cook is considering translating his amazing system to other genres. To this end, if you are looking for a collaborator Monty, I would gleefully offer you my services! I am already tinkering with a goofy little spin-off (in the back of my lab notebook) that you might find amusing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Numenera
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Mazes & Perils RPG
Publisher: Wild Games Productions
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2012 10:06:51

This game was not written well.

I had expected to have a retro-nostalgic experience of delving into an early version of D&D updated to make it relevant to the modern reader. The writing is extremely amateurish, making me wonder if the author had completed grade school, or if English were his second language.

As for the concepts and mechanics, it is too married to all of the "bad stuff" we have moved beyond. Instead of a nostalgic experience, it felt like a stifling, frustrating penning-in of creativity and free thinking.

For example, this system still imposes rules setting level limits for certain races depending on what class they take. Fighters are referred to as "Fighting Men". Elves can still do everything, and are pretty much better than everyone else. This game does little to add to or improve the existing body of work. It gets hung up on stupid gaming cliches in the most unoriginal, derivative way possible. It not only re-invents the wheel, but re-invents the bad, dysfunctional model that we all know doesn't work.

Did I mention the writing is eye-splittingly aweful?



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Perils RPG
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your review. This book has been corrected and a new layout and error free is on the way. To answer your statements, this book is not a clone, its a RPG inspired by Holmes Edition. Fighters are referred to as Fighting Men, to keep in spirit with the Holmes style. Apparently you are not an old school gamer, as all the old school books had level limits. If you want unlimited levels and your fighting men called warriors or fighters, then please look into what most of us avoid, called Fourth Edition.
The Gentle Ladies Tea and Monstrosity Destroying and Quilting Circle Auxiliary
Publisher: Machine Age Productions
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2012 09:54:25

I really loved this product.

I game with several lady-gamers, all in their thirties or forties. These are smart gals, wives and mothers most of them, and they DO show up at the gaming table with knitting projects and their latest baking experiment! I have yet to work up the nerve to show them this, lest I be struck with a rolling pin, but part of me thinks they would get a huge kick out of it.

This product is witty, flavorful, whimsical and elegant in its simplicity. The mechanics are uncomplicated enough to be on par with many board games, and the writing evokes the feel of the game beautifully.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gentle Ladies Tea and Monstrosity Destroying and Quilting Circle Auxiliary
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Dungeon Cartography Cards Sample Set
Publisher: UnderCity Games
by Oliver O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2012 09:49:08

This card set was promising on one level in that it seemed graphically pleasant and well put-together. On another level, I was let down by the limited number of cards. As a stand alone, it is not really that helpful for trying to whip together a zero-prep dungeon crawl. I understand this is a free product, and as such it was worth every penny. I also understand that it is a "sample" of what you might get if you bought the full set. And yet, I still wish they had made this package a bit more substantial.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Cartography Cards Sample Set
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Creator Reply:
You asked for more samples and they have been provided. Thank you for your feedback.
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