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Affiliation Guide: Nā ‘Aumākua (for AMP: Year Two)
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Karl L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2018 09:43:03

Nā ‘Aumākua is definitely one of the more interesting factions AMP has to offer. You can play it as utopian faction of AMP/SAP cooperation, or a corrupt cabal of crazy vigilantes. This supplement really sets them up nicely for play. In addition to the pure faction information, it has some new powers and a nice scenario which fits the faction very well.

I miss a bit more tips and advice for the GM, and the product leans heavily on AMP: Year Two to make sense.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Affiliation Guide: Nā ‘Aumākua (for AMP: Year Two)
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AMP: Year Two
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Karl L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/27/2018 00:44:48

AMP has the feel of a 90s RPG, and continues to be supported with awesome supplements since its initial release. This supplement brigs the stories timeline one year further. Together with a section about how the AMP revolution have affected individual states in the US and some countries around the world, this is the biggest chunk of the book.

The themes of year seems to be paranoia and responsibility. The dust has settled from the AMPs initial emergence, and the government and other group is now responding, often hostile. The game has a political slant, but it is surprisingly open-minded and balanced. There are a few “odd moments” where the writing could have been better, but mostly it was amazingly creative and full of ideas.

There are four new factions, fitting the year’s theme. You can play government agencies that fight AMPs, or AMP groups that has taken a deeper responsibility, either by cooperating with humanity or pushing back.

There are several new powers, the most important being gadgeteer, which can be used by humans. It is now possible to play a human character, and still hold your own to the AMPs.

If you purely want mechanics, this book might disappoint you. If you appreciate the setting, this is a highly enjoyable read, and will give you a ton of ideas on how to continue your own game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AMP: Year Two
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Darranis - An Adventure Pack for Earthdawn: The Age of Legend
Publisher: Vagrant Workshop
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/22/2018 02:05:10

Age of Legend is a great way to get into Earthdawn if you find "regular" Earthdawn's setting and rules too daunting. Darranis is a city supplement. It contains a description of the city, its primary locations and NPCs, as well as three scenarios that uses the city.

It is an excellent starting point for an Earthdawn campaign, really rooting a game in this great setting. The scenarios aren't epic, but on the more mundane side, offering a lot of interactions with everyday life. My only complaint is that it contains little art that is directly usable in the scenarios. It has four great pregen characters as a nice bonus.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Darranis - An Adventure Pack for Earthdawn: The Age of Legend
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The Unnearthed
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2018 03:23:04

Another great story about Oshala by Michael Miller. This short story covers a lot of ground about Oshala, and could work well as an introductory story about her. Many of her dominant character traits comes out well, and many of the themes of her stories are present here as well. Yet again in the search for arcane secrets, Oshala is forced into dealings with both mundane and unnatural horrors. There is truely no better friend, or worse enemy, than her. It comes through very strongly in this story how caring Oshala can be, but also reckless and cruel.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Unnearthed
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Pursuit: Wayfarings of Sabit: Five
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/11/2017 09:41:04

A tense story, with a fitting name. With a relentless drive, it raises the stakes at every opportunity before reaching a climactic and satisfying ending. Allthough this is the sixth Sabit story, it works well alone. It moves effortlessly between characters, making all of them, both heroes and villians, stand out as full characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pursuit: Wayfarings of Sabit: Five
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Tumult: Wayfarings of Sabit: Four
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2017 00:38:26

Michael's stories are usually fairly stand alone, but with this you'll probably want to read Broken Justice first. Michael ventures into ghost story territory, and does so surprisingly well. Less about action, this story takes the reader into the past of the main characters and explores their personality and secrets.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tumult: Wayfarings of Sabit: Four
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Isle of the Wicked: Wayfarings of Sabit: Two
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2017 04:16:48

Another masterful story about Sabit from Michael S. Miller. As usual, the setting is a Bronze Age land of dark magic, and it is conveyed simply yet effectively. Making the world feel real, and emergning the read in it, is always one of the strength in the Sabit stories. This time Sabit and her companion are stranded on an island, and get drawn into an age old conflicts. The story is much more suspenseful that previous entries; the changing perspectives keeps the reader guessing about what is really going on, and how things will end.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Isle of the Wicked: Wayfarings of Sabit: Two
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Blossom of Ruin: Wayfarings of Sabit: One
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2017 00:49:46

A Sword and Sorcery story set in a world of sand and violence. A exceptionally well written short, it follows Sabit, a spear fighter, and how the vile evil that tries to destroy her has unsuspected connections to her past. Standing up to evil, as sometimes the easiest part.

While the characters in this story live simple lives of life, death and vengeance, this story has plenty of depth, especially about right and wrong when you live by the sword.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blossom of Ruin: Wayfarings of Sabit: One
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The Mercy We Make
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2017 12:20:51

For a short story, this one is as rich and engaging as a story twice its length. Paced perfectly, it lets the reader tag along on a journey of exploration, obligation and retribution. A proper short story, it is self contained, while it also offers glimpses of a larger world. Having read nothing by the author of setting before, is no impediment for enjoying this excellent story.

While the story is full of dangers and treacheries, it is told in a clear and paced tone. It isn't exaggerated, but gives the straight-forward descriptions, placing the reader squarely in the shoes of the protagonist.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mercy We Make
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Blood & Bronze: rules
Publisher: Cyclopean Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2017 15:47:20

The fantasy genre takes its inspiration from western, and mostly European folklore. While some claim inspiration from other sources, the established fantasy baseline is hard to shake. Blood & Bronze is a wonderful change, and sets the game firmly in the ancient Mesopotamian mythology.

Blood & Bronze does not contain more words than it absolutely has to. At 66 pages it has just enough to make the setting and rules come across.

The rules themselves are simple. A character has six abilities. They have a score between 4 and 12, and a derived rating between 1 and 4. The character's abilities are used either in saving throws, trying to roll under the score with a d20; or as in a skill roll, rolling a number of d6s equal to the rating, 5s and 6s counting as successes. It doesn't take much to learn, and easy to use.

The new old There is a neat merging of new and old, similar to other Swedish games I've read. On the surface it seems fairly traditional, nearly OSR. But all characters also have skills, some of which have applications similar to story games like the moves in Apocalypse World. Use force lets you attack, unless your target submits to you; Advice may let you help others on their skill roll, if they follow your advice. It strikes a nice balance between the action-oriented system and story-oriented system.

Adding more flavor to the game are the six character classes a player can pick from: Mercenary, Rogue, Mystic, Desert Farer, Courtesan and Seer. They too are a combination between the traditional classes and archetypes found in modern games. The classes gives a character's health and equipment, but also talents. Each class gives a number of unique skills that let their character influence the game in ways fitting to their class.

The wrong side of the river The chapters detailing the setting are part descriptive and part show-don't-tell. You get the basic outline of the setting: the ancient Mesopotamian civilization, a few generations after the Great Flood. Most of the setting beyond that is contained in a few pages of random scenario generation. One scenario is a dungeon crawl in a bandit fortress, the other has random encounters for wilderness travel. Applicable and informative.

The game covers a lot of ground, and not a single word is wasted. That is also the game's biggest flaw: I wish there was more. It has these large black and white drawings of Mesopotamian life that really helps make the setting spring to life. While you can easily find resources about it online or at the library, the game gives such an intriguing glimpse into a completely different gaming world, one feels cheated when there isn't more. The mythology the game is based on is in particularly lackluster. I suppose that's what future supplements are for.

First posted on RPGGeek



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood & Bronze: rules
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The House of Hex
Publisher: Incarnadine Press
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2017 13:55:20

A great sword-and-sorcery story that will surprise to the end. Paced perfectly, it's neither mindless action nor tedious. It captures the genre, and effectivly conveys both the story and the location it takes place in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The House of Hex
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Dies Illa
Publisher: Enigma Machinations
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2017 06:27:40

There might be some that like this kind of games. A GM-less hack and dice fest. In a way, it does exactly what the description says, more than I ever thought possible. On the plus side, it looks good and has a nice and consistent atmosphere to it, though I think it is overpriced.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dies Illa
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Warne Detective Agency
Publisher: CJEJ Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2017 11:50:22

This supplement offers good value for its price. It has some highly usable NPCs, an organization you can throw into your game, and some story seeds based on the content. There is also some very simple, but otherwise perfectly fine character art.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warne Detective Agency
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Do Not Let Us Die In The Dark Night Of This Cold Winter
Publisher: cone of negative energy
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2016 02:14:04

A few decades ago it seemed like every game had some mini-game type mechanics to handle situations outside the regular scope of the game. Lately more games have their scope so narrow that their mechanics are close to those mini-games of the past. Take that to its natural conclusion, and you get Don't Let Us Die. A supplement that can be used with any game, and adds mechanics for the PCs to help a desperate village survive a harsh winter. While it delivers on its premise without dazzling, it's in its auxillary content it excels.

The first two chapters sets up the situation. Winter is hard, a village is in need, and the PCs are the solution. The supplement lays out the ground work for how this situation could arise. It gives attention to both the mechanical and roleplaying side; showing how to immerse the players into what is basically a dry numbers game.

In the second chapter, it falters somewhat. It begins by stating that there is only one unbreakable rules, then follows by describing two. One of which is that all players must now all the rules perfectly. It might be a simple game, but still; pretty harsh for an unbreakable rule.

Live and let die To survive winter, the players and village must survive a set number of rounds. Each round is divided into steps. Here food, fuel and medicine is found and consumed, and people starve, freeze and cough to death. Pretty harsh. The rules demand you track certain aspects of the village, but nothing too complicated. A round might be a week or a month; a "person" might be a household. It is all very flexible. Frankly, even though the supplement assumes a gritty, medieval fantasy setting, you could easily use this for a mining colony on an asteroid, low on energy, air and water.

The mini-game itself is streamlined and simple, but I do miss some more talk about how roleplaying could fit into it. That is what sets this apart from a dry board game. For instance, I could see myself having this run in the background of a campaign, having rolls being made at the end of each session.

The beauty of winter The next three chapters contain as assortment of tools for the mini-game. This is where the real gold is! The game sheets made for tracking the village's situation and resources are superb. There are also several tables of random events that could easily spark an entire session of play. Some of the creativity here is worth the supplement alone, which makes it even odder that roleplaying gets so little emphasis earlier in the supplement.

Finally there are map tools and tiles, suitable for constructing your own village. Again, beautiful work. Overall, the quality of the art and design of the supplement is amongst the best this year. Not because of any costly art work, but rather thematic and purposeful illustrations. Its black and white illustrations of crosses, leafless trees and wooden hovels, really enhances the feel of the entire product.

In many ways, this product sells itself short. It might not seem that interesting given the limited application of its mechanics. There is more than meets the eye. The tables, maps and illustrations are very useable for those that want some tools and inspirations for their depressing, little village. And when winter finally does come, you have the mechanics waiting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Do Not Let Us Die In The Dark Night Of This Cold Winter
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Affiliation Guide: Hounds (for AMP: Year Two)
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2016 02:40:47

In Eloy Lasantas' socially conscious AMP setting, Hounds are all kinds of bad. No only are they hunters of the emergent AMP super-humans, with no qualms against using torture and illegal surveillance; all Hounds are also dominated by super-technology to act against their will. Publishing the Hounds affiliation guide I can imagine was the last thing the designers wanted to do; the choice was the backers of the AMP: Year two Kickstarter. There are simply so many obstacles to playing a good Hound campaign, as odds are you'll be playing a character that is either dominated to act against their own best interest, or a total psychopath. Nevertheless, the writers go eagerly to business, detailing the various aspects of the Hound operation. Who they are, how they operate, their short and long term plans, are all covered. Across the AMP line I have found the writing to vary significantly, but overall, this supplement is well written. The supplement also strikes a nice balance between showing how the affiliation is basically state-founded death squad, and the agony of those trapped within. There is also a affiliation-specific power, allowing a character to enhance the use of their Hound technology. Finally, there is a manhunt scenario. It is very Hound specific, and is almost unusable outside them. In this section I feel the writing slips a bit, as the scenario is bogged down in very specific instructions as to how scenes can play out. It could have been written and presented much cleaner. The most interesting part of it, the possibility of Hound technology in the hands of a journalist, is barely mentioned at the end, while other parts are detailed far beyond the necessary. This supplement has a very limited scope, which limits its use. I also feel there is a big opportunity lost with it. Like many Super games, there are good guys and bad guys; in AMP the bad guys are at best misguided in their wish to keep people safe from AMPs, with raging "racists" on the side of worse. Hounds are even beyond that, so playing one isn't really about the social issues AMP is built around. Instead there is a psychological horror of guilt and paranoia; the fact you are made to do horrible things against your will. An exploration of a Hound campaign as psychological horror would have been a great inclusion, and is what truly separates Hounds from other affiliations.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Affiliation Guide: Hounds (for AMP: Year Two)
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