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Fear the Evenfall - A Vaesen Mystery
by Todd G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2021 10:34:37

Ran this recently, it is an incredibly intricate and detailed adventure which considering its price makes the whole thing truly stunning.

The layout itself deserves special mention in that helps break down its complicated plot into smaller bitesize pieces. With this running was challenging instead of impossible. I wouldve liked a clearer guide attached to the NPC profiles on who knows what - I find myself having to wing some important plot details that slightly derailed the adventure during the middle portion.

It also bears mentioning this is not a short scenario nor suitable for a convention environment - it took my group 3 4 hour sessions to complete and we were by no means taking our time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fear the Evenfall - A Vaesen Mystery
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review Todd. You are right, in hindsight it would have helped a lot to have a who-knows-what section, and it is definitely not for novice GMs and is quite a long scenario.
Twilight 2000: Cold War Goes Hot vol 1.1
by Craig S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2021 18:13:25

I very good set of articles, new equipment, shotguns, NPCs, careers and a whole table of british arms. All in all great first issue, it is well written and easy enough to digest. If I have one nit picky little complaint, it was the content delineation and seperation. This is just my preference but if it is a digital only product(page count does not matter I assume) maybe start a new pape as you transition to a new topic make it easy.

Great job looking forward more content!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Twilight 2000: Cold War Goes Hot vol 1.1
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Twilight 2000: Cold War Goes Hot vol 1.1
by Ewan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2021 12:48:20

An interesting series of very useful articles for the new edition of Twilight 2000. What I especially liked was the article on creating British characters and it includes both rank structure and small arms. Hopefully other NATO nations will be covered in later editions. Another intereting article was on what rifle a German PC would carry, I had assumed a G3 but the article has me thinking otherwise and gives me a number of options. Overall it's good value for money and the author is very knowlegable on the topics covered. Looking forward to the next edition already.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Sheep War Journal 01
by Aaron F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2021 21:46:17

An excellent first issue! Escpecially useful because it is obvious care was taken to either make the material equaly usable in either a Sweden or Poland campaign or to offer options for both locations. Whichever default setting you decide to set your game in, the material is equally usable. Looking forward to the next issue!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Sheep War Journal 01
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Black Sheep War Journal 01
by Andrew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2021 14:20:43

A really nice read with some great background information. Really liked the SF group, they may pop up in my campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
by Damien L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2021 06:47:48

In summary:

  • Simple rules with loads of random fun stuff that lead to loads of unexpected surprises.

I can't recall why I added this to an order (for other books) that I placed directly with Free League Publishing way back when? but I am so glad I did. Admittedly when it arrived I had a quick flip though and my immediate thoughts were "What the?" and alas it went straight to the RPG "bookshelves of holding" mostly unread.

I did try again but like others have mentioned found some of the text is a tad hard to read and make sense of. To be fair, only the font used on the first paragraph of page 3 and the titles of the powers on page 35 I actually found hard to read. The remaining text (fonts) are easy to read, you just have to get used to colour changes and paragraph placement but all in all it's not that bad. The Index on the inside back cover is a godsend and makes finding world details, creatures, and rules so easy to look up. I also admit I found some of the background campaign information hard to make sense of but I think that's the idea - you and your players make whatever sense of it as best fits your table. My final concern was how will I interpret the Miseries as they are rolled I guess the players can help me? Maybe ask each player, “What does that Psalm mean to you?” and then use the best or combo of the best? So again it went back to the shelves unplayed. Our group also prefers to stick with familiar systems so picking up something new, easy as it may be, was not on the table for us.

But reading praise after praise for the game on the internet led me to pick it up a third time and this time gave it a proper chance. So I read it cover to cover and now my thoughts were “Sounds fun” and told our group I have a one-shot to try next time we’re a player short (normally we would cancel). That chance to play came two nights ago when our DM was away.

Here are the highlights from that first session:

  • Read and understood the rules in maybe 10 minutes.
  • Read the adventure and prepared for it in under 30 minutes.
  • I generated 3 characters from each class using the online scvmbirther as the session would only be 3 hours and I was confident both the Gutworm and Fletcher would end in a TPK.
  • Loved that many parts of the adventure are determined at random.
  • Had the PCs start at the top of the stairs of the Accursed Den, recalling the offer of freedom if they found the kings son with 2 random Scrying(s) to “aid” their cause.
  • PCs summoned a “tired crystal demon” causing the herb-master to loose his use of powers for the day.
  • PCs talking their way past the crooked guards rather than starting a fight. I think their low HP made them think more carefully about their actions.
  • The two random encounters (Mongrels and A terrible silence) and discovering how hard it is to roll a 12 to hit when your stats are 0 or less.
  • How often weapons would break, but were saved by an omen when they really needed that weapon not to break.
  • My surprise that no one tried to prize out the gems in the Gem room.
  • Not my surprise that a PC was thrown into the Rotblack Slugde, but my surprise that they alone (everyone else saved and held onto something – another surprise) would swim over to Fletcher in the Slaughterhouse, got bit by the Gutworm along the way but somehow survived, and then started a conversation with Fletcher.
  • My surprise they decided to take down Lesdy in exchange for the kings son. When the world’s about to end but you’re determined to witness that end first hand I guess you’ll do anything if you think it means you’ll live another day.
  • My surprise that only 2 PCs (of 5) died, one at the hands of the hosts (Lesdy’s fanatics) and the second who died two hours after they rescued the son and were heading back for their reward (from internal bleeding).
  • The whole randomness and overall weirdness made this a memorable adventure that concluded within 3 hours, noting none of us had played before (and only two of us had read the rules).

Everyone had a blast and a lot of the fun moments aren't or can't be conveyed in the text above so thanks to Pelle and Johan!

I am uncertain about using this for a campaign. I would like to, but given the high chance of PC death will it start to get stale once newly generated PCs start being repetitive? That said I was brought up playing AD&D where really only spell casters got new powers so not sure if this will matter long term. I also recently stumbled upon Vast Grimm (same rules but in space) and that one I do want to try for a longer term campaign. I have some crazy notion of using the adventures from the Alien RPG – I dunno but that verse sounds crazy fun. Maybe get PCs to roll 4d6 take lowest for stats and give them max HP at the start? They should find hitting things easier and survive a little longer. Not sure …

I should also mention that there is so much more content in the book that we never touched in our one shot: The world, the miseries, many of the random tables such as treasures and corpse plundering, levelling up (getter better/worse), various creatures. For a small book (less than 100 pages) it sure packs a lot of content. I highly recommend giving this a shot, even if like me it takes a few reads, it’s definitely worth it in my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
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ALIEN RPG Core Rulebook
by Jason I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2021 09:51:06

completely knocked out the park this deep dive into the world of Alien. every beat is perfect.

incorporates the films, novels, comics, and miscillenia of years of Fandom.

truly epic in scope this reasonably priced, wholly satisfying work gives you base rules, understanding of the new cinematic role-playing method, an initial adventure a comprehensive history of the universe including new factions and aspects and introduces the meta-narrative that will span all future releases.

this book is damned-near perfect.

i have high hopes for Mr. Gaska and the working joes at Free League. may their work be rewarded and their toil never end.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ALIEN RPG Core Rulebook
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ALIEN RPG Colonial Marines Operations Manual
by Jason I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2021 09:29:38

What a fabulous expansion for an already groundbreaking game!

Take note, other creators, this is how first rate games are created, and how they're kept interesting

The Colonial Marines Operations Manual gives you everything you need to play in the feel and worlds of Aliens and as a Colonial Space Marine.

This lore rich book of simple augments to existing rules expands upon the Alien RPG corebook with the ease of a well-written sequel. It gives you gear choices from the film, comics, Kenner action figure line, and new creations. It explains The origin of the Corps and similar organizations in other factions. It provides you with a simple process for character creation and gives you everything you need to fly.

It perfectly expands the meta-narrative of the game which has consistently been broadened and expanded through the core book, two adventure supplements, and now this indispensable tome.

Provided are all the materials you need to play except the base rules. Including new characters and situations as well as suggestions for expanding your world.

A meta arc of interconnected, fully conceived and well-fleshed out scenarios are ready to go.

this book is worth every penny . I cannot wait to see where Gaska and co take us next. Having been on board since the core book launched, I hope this ride never ends.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ALIEN RPG Colonial Marines Operations Manual
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Tales from the Loop RPG: Map
by Jason I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2021 09:05:34

A perfectly acceptable duology of maps.

It would have been nice to have some explanatory information included or to have maps included in a printer-friendly format.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tales from the Loop RPG: Map
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Mörk Borg English
by Federico C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2021 08:21:03

The game has a lot of style and flavour, it's easy to pick-up and great for one-shots and extremely short campaigns. This is also its downside: the game is not geared for character survivability and it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the high stakes of failing rolls that are quite prone to failure due to the flimsiness of the characters themselves. So, if you're in for a quick dip into doom metal gaming where failing a roll could mean bloody death, that's great! If you're looking for more depth and long campaigns with strong character growth I would advise against it: rules are barebone and characters die quite quickly.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
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Twilight: 2000 - Baltic Travel Map
by Ewan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2021 04:05:36

I purchased this yesterday for use in my Twilight 2000 campaign but is also very useful for other modern military campaigns in the Baltic area such as Modern War. The detail is excellent and easy to read and I'm looking to further releases from the author.

The only negative thing is the lack of a gazetteer of major cities but this is a very minor thing as I can create one myself.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Twilight: 2000 - Baltic Travel Map
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Summer in December
by Brian R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2021 22:59:34

The players and I greatly enjoyed this scenario. It's much less combat-focused than other scenarios and the players found it refreshing to negotiate with a vaesen as opposed to go in guns blazing. Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Summer in December
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Symbaroum Starter Set - Treasure Hunts in Davokar
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2021 13:00:54

Out in the woods - a Mephisto review

Symbaroum Starter Set - Treasure Hunts in Davokar

Starter sets for role-playing games are almost standard nowadays. Still, for Symbaroum, the appearance of this starter set is relatively late since the rulebook was published several years ago and has already been expanded with a large-scale campaign in the meantime. Nevertheless, Treasure Hunts in Davokar offers an excellent introduction to the world of Symbaroum.

The set consists of two books and pre-made characters. The first book introduces the rules and the setting in a compact form. The central element in Symbaroum is the forest Davokar. Where the dark and mysterious forest stands today, there used to be a highly advanced empire that perished. Only a few barbarian tribes live on the edge of the forest. However, the forest itself is a kind of forbidden zone, where the elves do not want anyone to enter and where dangerous monsters dwell. However, when the dark rulers of Alberetor were defeated just over 20 years ago, the land was so devastated that the humans moved north and founded a new kingdom of Ambria on the edge of the forest. The kingdom conquered the plain south of the forest and defeated some of the barbarian tribes. However, it soon became clear that the forest held ancient ruins, treasures, valuable secrets, and resources. Thus, the Davokar became the destination of adventurers searching for riches and valuable secrets.

However, the forest is a dangerous place. On the one hand, the elves do not tolerate any intruders there; on the other hand, a menacing darkness lurks here, trying to corrupt everything. Some terrible creatures that have fallen to the darkness are an additional threat. At the edge of the forest, however, there is the small town of Thistle Hold, founded by a former treasure hunter, which serves as a base for adventurers who venture into the forest.

Symbaroum's rules system is a typical d20 derivative. Characters are defined by eight attributes, from which derived stats are calculated. In the starter set, character creation is kept simple in that eight predefined values must be distributed among these game values. More important than the game values themselves are the modifiers calculated from them, which are obtained by subtracting them by the average value of 10. Values higher than 10 mean positive modifiers, values lower than 10 mean negative modifiers. Several professions are available for the characters, covering the usual suspects and providing some variants. Thus, in the starter set there are warriors in the form of Knights, hunters in the variant of the Witch Hunter, mystics as the Theurg and Wizard and rogues in the form of the Treasure Hunter. What differentiates the characters are their abilities, which can be acquired at up to three ranks. They either confer bonuses or, for example, also enable ritual magic or similar abilities. The starter set thus offers an exemplary cross-section but does without the third level of abilities. Of course, there are also different races from the humans to the goblins to the ogres. Magic is also presented only in parts. The idea with magic in Symbaroum is that it causes corruption and thus (like other things) can ruin the character.

Of course, the combat rules are briefly described, which work with the usual elements, and the rulebook introduces some other basic rules.

A unique feature of Symbaroum is that the dice system is completely player-centric, meaning that only the player characters roll dice in the game. This means that, on the one hand, they actively use their abilities rolling dice against their opponent's defenses when attacking. On the other hand, they must actively defend themselves against their opponents' fixed attacks with a dice roll. Equipment, artifacts, and the pre-made characters connected by a few common backgrounds round out the book.

Even though the basics of the setting are already explained in the first volume, the second volume focuses on playing adventures. Basically, it is the game master volume of this small set because the role of the game master is also explained. The book introduces the village of Thistle Hold in more detail and provides a brief overview, but unlike the basic rulebook, it does not introduce several other locations. An essential part of the book describes expeditions into the forest. Here, rules for orientation and events are provided, tables for treasure are presented, and of course, there are some selected enemies and monsters to confront players. Somewhat surprisingly, all of these monsters have basically the same stats, only distributed differently in each case. The distinction then comes from the derived stats and additional abilities. Two adventures provide straightforward game material. In the first adventure, the player characters find an old graveyard that promises treasure but offers danger. In the second adventure, the characters discover an old abandoned tower. This setting confronts them with several other parties at once. Thus, they may find allies or even opponents.

The rule system is a coherent variant of the d20 system, here with the peculiarity that only the players roll dice and all NPCs use passive stats. This puts the action entirely in the hands of the player characters. The setting of Symbaroum is exciting, and the basic idea of providing a huge exploration area with the forest is a similar approach to Forbidden Lands, except that the setting here seems to be a bit more compact and distinctly defined. What I liked most about the starter set is that the included chapters are relatively complete. Here, for example, many places are not introduced only very briefly, but the book focuses on a few aspects but takes over virtually the entire chapter from the basic rulebook. Therefore, the reader gets a good impression of the depth of the individual contents. From my point of view Treasure Hunts in Davokar chooses an excellent approach to get a taste of the system and actually run several adventures. For me, this starter set has incited interest for more, especially since there is a comprehensive campaign for Symbaroum that is supposed to encompass several volumes.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Symbaroum Starter Set - Treasure Hunts in Davokar
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Glenbrook - A Mystery Landscape
by Phillip P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2021 07:46:31

What can I possibly say about the rich world of Glenbrook that hasn't already been said? in just a few succinct pages Mike has unfolded such a fascinating mystery landscape with so much to be explored and NPC's to meet. It's a wonderful foundation for any Tales from the loop campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glenbrook - A Mystery Landscape
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Glenbrook - A Mystery Landscape
by Chris W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2021 03:33:12

An amazing setting to begin your own adventure with friends around the table. Setting you up with everything you need for the world, and with a number of up coming adventures set in the world you cant really go wrong... unless the Loop decides to get in your way!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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