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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/24/2017 20:10:02

There's too much to say about how excellent this is -- but it can all be culminated in a simple "This is the BEST version of Mage." -- any other discussion is just trying to convince you to be "into" the game -- but if you already know you are, then this is the best version to own. If you don't know if you're into Mage -- the fact that you're thinking about it, shows you should be, and thus you should have the best version, and this is it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
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MASHED: A Korean War MASH RPG
Publisher: Brabblemark Press
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/20/2017 21:23:15

I gave this RPG 5 stars, but let me qualify it for claritie's sake if you are a potential buyer.

If you go into the book wanting to play what it is offering, you will be pleasantly surprised how well they were able to do what they wanted to with this system, etc. They offer excellent support for it, and it has all things I would need to play it (the setting/game as designed) for certain, and I could very likely "make it work" for any number of other, similar settings (field hospital in WWII? sure. American Civil War? With some research. In modern day Iraq? Yeah likely but again -- research). If you go in expecting it to be what it says it is, you will find it is the best version of that self.

If you're from either a limited background of "what an RPG is" or you want to do something with this that it wasn't made for, I don't recommend it. It's a 3 Star as an add-on to your more hacky-slashy, or "war game" becuase that's not the point of this. And I don't think it should be.

This is an excellent game, made an excellent way, with excellent research, and excellent ethos-pathos-logos for how the lore and the mechanics all blend into an excellent "experience".

And it's just what the doctor prescribed. ;)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
MASHED: A Korean War MASH RPG
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April Augmented
Publisher: Dreamscarred Press
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2016 07:52:20

There's a lot of great things in this book --- but keep in mind, it's pretty clearly an April Fool's Day release.

That said, there are some truly fun things going on, and without having a chance to properly playtest them, they actually still look very playable and usable...

The Daring Hero prestige class by Forrest Heck, in particular, got my attention. Its a classic trope of the kinds of genres you might play an RPG for, and as such, I'd see either playing or letting a player play as one at my table. If you ever wondered "how did they survive that" -- this prestige class offers mechanical reasons for it (like Plot Armor!).

The Gelatinous Cube monster class, by Jeffrey Swank, is a great addition too. Its a kind of parody of his Monster Class line for Dreamscarred, but also works as a great introduction. What I REALLY want is to find a GM willing to let me have one as a "pet" either as an animal companion-type character or a cohort. I've got an old derro character obsessed with oozes and the like and this would be a joy to have along as his companion (or if needed, to make the derro the cube's companion.

Well done everyone, there's much more than this, but the these two things really jumped out at me!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
April Augmented
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A Time to Harvest - Month 1
Publisher: Chaosium
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2016 07:36:48

I haven't had to chance to "play" this adventure, but I've looked it over and in and of itself, its an "ok" adventure, but what it represents is much more interesting...

As the first of a 6 part/month Living Campaign, its ambitious of Chaosium to try to support this kind of gameplay and for that reason I grabbed a copy alone. The fact its free makes it very much "worth what you paid" to even "a great value."

The design and layout isn't amazing, but its passable. There's little interior art, but again "free book" and art is expensive.

The design of the adventure is a tad more pulpy to me than the standards of horror, but this may be solely because of the creatures choosen as the advisary, as much as anything.

Look -- it's at the minimum, a free adventure for CoC. At its best, you're looking at the first attempt at a live campaign, and THAT deserves your support!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Time to Harvest - Month 1
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✧ REALMSPACE ✧ Traveler's Guide - Chapter 1 (OLD VERSION)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2016 07:26:58

Johnny Tek is letting poor layout and design really negatively affect his overall decent product.

First up Johnny, as someone that bought your first book in this now series, you need to up-your-cover-game. It wasn't clear in your first book that you meant to do it as just "The Primer" to Realmspace, which it seems you did as Chapter 1 is all about "The First Planet, Anadia."

But then your interior layout again is crap. It looks like you're using a landscape style I guess, and just very simple design. You have nice artwork, that again, I assume is your own, but its really lost on just almost difficult to read layout.

At a bare-minimum, you should download the Adventure Template, http://www.dmsguild.com/product/170830/DMs-Guild-Creator-Resource--Adventure-Template and use its two column design.

Also, your cover should... A) Announce this is Chapter 1. The cover images are used more than the titles almost to help distinguish your book from others. So when you do have 10 of these, I don't need to read the titles but can clearly see "Realmspace Traveller's Guide -- Chapter I" vs "Chapter X" etc. B) Should really have that nice DMsGuild & Logo on it some place. C) Use a better font/layout/design. In the PDF, if I tried to print this out, you have a portrait layout with a Landscape page design, so I will have 2 inch columns of white on the page. (and yes, people print out PDFs for reference at table etc).

PS - you might want to consider talking to Travis Jay Proser on Facebook, he has the "rules" your "setting" needs to make this a GREAT set of product.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
✧ REALMSPACE ✧    Traveler's Guide - Chapter 1 (OLD VERSION)
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✧ REALMSPACE ✧ Traveler's Guide - ToC and Introduction (OLD VERSION)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2016 08:37:10

I had wondered how long it would take for someone to release a "technically it's Forgotten Realms, but sorta not really" product, and I see that it was "a few days."

I loved Spelljammer back-in-the-day, and was sad it never got full support during either the 3rd or 4th editions era (though at least the Beyond the Moons website offered official unofficial 3rd ed rules: http://www.spelljammer.org/) and then there was a Polyhedron magazine article for Shadow of the Spider Moon that was pretty good (http://www.andycollins.net/Projects/Spelljammer/Spelljammer.htm).

Now, original Realmspace book for Spelljammer this is not (available online though: http://www.dndclassics.com/product/17259/SJR2-Realmspace-2e?it=1&filters=0_0_44701) Not that that was "the best" Spelljammer book or anything, but the production quality was pretty solid at least on that book and compared to this. If I understand the DMsGuild's rules though, you might be able to even pull some materials from that old text and use it freely in a new book like this one.

And while Spelljammer.org did have a section on Realmspace (http://www.spelljammer.org/worlds/Realmspace/) they didn't "update" the timeline which is something THIS book does do.

I'd need to compare the specifics of the text to all the various texts of Realmspace (in the original book and others, etc.) but it seems like the author, Johnny Tek, has good ideas but not the greatest execution.

I paid a $1 for the book, and in support of his ideas, I'm fine with that. His ideas and even the simple sketches and illustrations (I'm guessing they are his own) are clean and neat, though they lack much impact. His layout and graphic design leave much to be desired, as the actual text is badly spaced and spread out and even the use of the page layout seems to be something like landscape, two column, with LOTS of white space (no background, etc.). At a guess, he used Word to do the set up or at least it feels like it.

The text was also 100% fluff. It seems pretty good fluff, for that matter, but I'd love to see at least an attempt at rules for Spelljamming, even just handwave level "how to handle it" in 5th edition.

I really hope this is just "first attempt" by Johnny Tek, and I hope you'll consider doing follow up work. If you can, get a simple background/template/layout from either DMsGuild or popover to RPGNow.com/DriveThurRPG and pick up some kind of ready made cover, interiors, and maybe some stock art and then consider adding some mechancis for things-related-to-spelljamming.

Nice appetizer, but I want a meal.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
✧ REALMSPACE ✧    Traveler's Guide - ToC and Introduction (OLD VERSION)
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Good Samaritans #1
Publisher: Little Red Goblin Games
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2015 20:45:35

Solid artwork, interesting storyline. Was going to give 4 stars, but the pricepoint pushed me to 5 stars. I'll be curious to see how it all develops!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Good Samaritans #1
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Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver
Publisher: Ryan Macklin
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/10/2015 12:18:06

This book is no joke, and it's well worth the $5 price tag if you're a fan of a certain grimdark world and a series of nonsensical movies and TV show about an undying, ponytail'd, katana-wielding underwear model and his friends that he just "can't even" by the end. At least till the movie.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver
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