DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories















Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
The Between
by Jacques v. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2021 06:42:57

Beautifully illustrated, professional layout and stellar writing. What more could you want? The setting and the rules are all extremely clear, and the designers go out of their way to make your first session as easy as possible. But the book also includes advice for how to write your own threats and storylines, either for publication or home use, which makes it even better than I could have expected. Stellar, stellar work. Can't recommend this highly enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Between
by Judd K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2021 23:42:34

Evocative, innovative and fun.

I can't wait to play it more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hearts of Wulin
by Luke W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2021 22:26:11

Hearts of Wulin is amazing. I personally rank it as the best PbtA RPG I have come across, having pipped out Masks for the top spot. It really showcases the power of PbtA design in a simple and elegant fashion.

My main 3 highlights are:

  1. Instead of bonds/strings, each PC has 2 entanglements. These are effectively a bonds that are directed at a PC/NPC but another PC/NPC is in conflict with it i.e. PC1 loves another PC2 but PC3 does not not approve, or PC1 feels guilty about doing something secretly to hurt PC2 and PC3 knows about it. This is essentially the triangles that Masks talks about a lot in the GM section. Having them in PC creation basically generates PC focused story and drama from the get go.

  2. Each PC and NPC has a scale. If you fight someone above or below your scale your lose or win respectively and only roll dice to determine the nature of the loss or victory. Stories as a default are about the PCs identifying the big bad and then needing to find a way to raise their scale so they can have a chance at beating them. This again provides for instant story and drama and can be used by the GM to define the duration of the story by determining what the PCs need to do to raise scale. For a one-off, PCs working together may be enough to raise the scale, but in a campaign it may be training or an item obtained by a quest.

  3. The last is the Inner Conflict move. This is triggered when a PC is confronted by their entanglements. You get XP for rolling it. On a 10+ you keep it together, on a 7-9 you must flee or mark an element (damage), on a 6- the GM makes a move. This is the central move of the whole game and basically initiates the cascading effect of PbtA's "yes but" dice system and gets you to play to find out what happens early and easily. As a GM, you can literally drive the game forward by just having entanglements confront the PCs.

I also like how the PC has 5 elements for attributes and if you mark them (take damage) you can no longer use that element. This includes the element that the PC uses for combat. This also triggers a cycle of the PC needing to seek ways of recovery through certain other moves that helps generate drama and story smoothly.

Its also really good that the rulebook has two variants in it. The first is for courtly wuxia (think Game of Thrones) and the other for supernatural wuxia (Chinese Ghost Story). Each variant gets 1 or 2 new moves that are quite powerful. Courtly wuxia has social duels and supernatural wuxia has confronting the unnatural. Each playbook also has a new archetype option and a new move that adapts the concept to that variant.

For a 230 page journal sized rulebook, its gives the source material impressive coverage.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hearts of Wulin
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Nephews in Peril: New Mysteries for Brindlewood Bay
by Michael K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2021 11:31:43

This is an essential supplement for running a full Brindlewood Bay campaign and is a great supplement for a one-shot or short campaign.

I love Brindlewood Bay. The 80s procedural aspect melds surprisingly well with the sense of increased menace, and the adventures that parody different cozy (or not-so-cozy) TV shows are a blast. However, I am not a sitcom guy, and I really do need at least 1 page of material to work from to run an adventure. Enter Nephews in Peril! Based on the info in the back, a full campaign runs 10-15 sessions, followed by the wrapup session. This batch of reliably excellent adventures fills out that space nicely.

I would definitely pay for another supplement of 3-5 wrapup sessions, just because I'm better at showrunning that writing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nephews in Peril: New Mysteries for Brindlewood Bay
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Brindlewood Bay
by Adrian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2021 04:39:02

I love this game which is based around a unique and highly innovative take on how to run mystery scenarios in TRPGs. This also is the perfect game to introduce your friends to role-playing games, as it runs great as a one shot, is great fun because of the setting and all the TV references, and is particularly well suited to intrigue people who are less excited about the typical sword and sorcery fantasy settings of most TRPGS.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Between
by Stephanie J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2021 12:57:36

I just love this game. My players love this game. I keep running this game overtime, three hours quickly becomes four, and we've almost played to five. I keep getting asked how this game is this good, this early on. Every part of the game contributes to the story. My favorite phrases are "The Day is yours, but the Night is mine." and "You are not allowed to tell me(or your fellow players) anything about your backstory unless you have a move to do so.". It's such a wild approach to have a very freeform player driven Day phase while a very intense gm driven Night phase. As well as having backstory insentivised through mechanical benefits.

Atmospherically I compare this game to a fine glass of wine, mature, sensual, and a required taste. It's intense, gorey, and honestly pretty sexy. Still it's very easy to adjust the game to your comfort level of how intense it gets. All threats have the same structure, and it does take you step by step as a gm how to create everything from scratch. It takes you by the hand for running session one; it practically runs itself while making you look like a genius in front of your players. If you have struggled with gming before, I would reccomend this game as at its core is an excellent resource for understanding how games work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Between
by Gabriel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2021 09:22:17

The Between is great. Every single part of the game adds to the story and deepends the characters. Even if you're powergaming, you have to powergame through the story. Each move, janus mask prompt, and dawn question (xp trigger) lead you deeper into story. Techniques like the Personal Quarters really force the group to listen to how each player introduces their character and builds the collaborative spirit from the very beginning. There is no fluff or wasted space.

The idea that you can only discuss characters' backstories when the game forces it is a really inspired choice and reinforces the cinematic feel that the author describes in the rulebook. We unveil relevant information only when it's relevant. As a player this also prevented me from feeling locked into a specific backstory for my character.

The book itself gives the keeper (GM) everything they need. The game itself is quite structured and the nature of the threats allow you to drop interesting and evocative details constantly. Everything is flexible enough that you can always incorporate something into the scene.

As with Brindlewood Bay the Answer a Question Move is absolutely magical. As a player and a Keeper it feels amazing to watch the group put all the pieces together and develop a story out of the various clues. The Between levels this up by creating more complex Threats where which question you answer can determine how a story goes and gives the players a lot of influence on what kind of story unfolds.

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention. Each threat is so flexible that you can play or run them multiple times and spoliers are essentially impossible. Each clue can come out in different ways and at different times based on how the group approaches each threat and which side charaters they engage with. As someone who GMs a lot, this is an enormous benefit.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by Shane M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2021 18:57:16

I was a big fan of the designer's previous game Brindlewood Bay, and have been anticipating this one. So far I've run two sessions and am really excited for more.

This game does a great job of evoking a spooky Victorian atmosphere - with 50 atmospheric 'unscenes', sets of notable Moments and thematic prompts in each Threat, and playbook moves that are incredibly (sometimes horrifyingly) flavourful. The approach to presenting NPCs is incredibly efficient and lets me as GM create a compelling, diverse cast at the table with minimal preparation. I have started using this approach in my notes for other games I run and it works fantastically well.

As much as I hope I get to play a character in this game at some point, there is so much here for the GM to enjoy. The formalised play cycle (four phases - dawn, day, dusk and night) gives you a unique tool to pace the game dramatically. The way specific playbooks can trigger or unlock particular threats - the Pinkerton coming for the American, etc - is a really fun dynamic to run. The overarching campaign structure - the Mastermind - works like a special playbook, with fascinating questions and choices the GM gets to make as the game continues, and a play-to-find-out emergent narrative that drives toward a big dramatic climax. I really enjoy a lot of pbta games, but often find it hard to bring them to a satisfying conclusion, and I think this and Brindlewood Bay offer a really elegant and exciting solution to that problem.

I definitely recommend this game if the concept and tone appeal to you. Even if they don't, I think there's a lot of really useful mechanics and ideas packed in here that you can use or hack for other games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by Daniel Q. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2021 09:02:24

I'm really exicted about several of the creative mechanics for this game, such as the Janus Mask, the Threat Investigation, the Unscene, and the Mastermind. The posted youtube video of author Jason Cordova running The Between with a great cast is very beneficial, and he explains the mechanics as the players play for the first time.

Can't wait to run it!

Edit: This game comes with a lot of resources to run it.

  • Reference sheets
  • Mood evoking Unscene prompts.
  • Mastermind tracker to work in their clues and schemes.
  • 10 detailed Threats (some based on specific playbooks). Each threat has Questions that must be answered, side characters, locations, clues, moments to add to the atmosphere, rewards, and consequences if the threat is not defeated.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
by Sasha E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2021 10:21:01

Beautiful materials, really innovative mechanics for invoking that "prestige supernatural drama" feel. Really love the system of players being given tools to construct the mystery themselves, as I feel most mystery games just degenerate into "how well can players read the GM's mind?" Usually I'm very against players keeping character details secret out-of-character as it makes it harder to tease them out in play, but the Janus Mask mechanizes it effectively and ensures "dark, tragic backstories" actually get revealed in the course of the game.

The playbooks wear the game's Penny Dreadful inspiration on their sleeves and you'll definitely get a kick out of them if you're a fan of the show. Each are very unique with signature moves that have larger ramifications on the campaign, such as introducing new Threats or just giving the player a B-plot to pursue.

The Mastermind sheet is a very cool way of structuring the campaign, I would have loved to see two or three additional options but what's there gives you a good example to work off of if you do want to make your own.

Haven't had a chance to run it yet, it's got me fired up. I'm interested to see how players who aren't necessarily familiar with Victorian horror approach it, and how well the book's very evocative tone manifests in play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2021 10:09:19

Brindlewood Bay is one of the most exciting tabletop RPG systems that I've encountered in a long time. Once I had read the concept, I had to read the rules; once I had read the rules, I needed to run it. Now that I've run it once, I need to run it again!

It does exactly what it says on the tin: blends tv murder mystery tropes of the 70s-90s and enmeshes it with dark, occult undertones that begin to peek through more and more through play. The ability to pivot from warm and cozy to sinister and creepy is a strength of the system and provides many opportunities for wonderful moments to emerge directly from play.

I love that the system can be run very effectively with little prep, and that players are given a lot of agency to build the story (and the mysteries!) that they want. Running it as a one-shot is very doable, but going through a full mini-campaign with a group of players seems like it would be incredibly gratifying. Can't recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Brindlewood Bay
by Jason Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/05/2020 08:28:16

Brindlewood Bay is such a great game. It's such a great framework to tell cozy mystery stories with this dark uncurrent that is great at the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Tom P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2020 04:15:21

THis is such a great game. It perfectly balances cosy murder mystery with cosmic horror conspiracy. At turns funny, horrific and moving, this is fun as a one-shot, but really deserves a run of several sessions and mysteries so the background horror and conspiracy can build. Highly recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Gabriel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2020 06:30:10

Brindlewood Bay is outstanding. I like it so much that even though I receved a free copy through my Codex subscription, I also bought a copy here just to leave a review. The theme is on point, as it should be for a PBTA game, but there are two pieces that really stand out: the core mystery mechanic and the cozy little place.

With the way the mysery mechanic works, there is no single right answer that the group is trying to find. This opens up all sorts of possibility and really emphasizes the "play to find out what happens concept". As the Keeper (GM) I was just as excited as the players to find out what happens. It's an excellent experience.

The Cozy Little Place tool is a phenomenal way to get players to listen to one another during introductions. It provides am obvious mechanical benefit (essentially gear) for good play culture. Each time I've run it, the players come up with items that are both unexpected and excellent additions.

The game is very strong and I'm planning to bring components of the game into other games I run. My long-running D&D game will definitely make use of the mystery mechanic. Brindlewood Bay is also easy to pick up with only about 35 pages of rules, a great option for folks who are new to RPGs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
by Ellen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2020 12:31:42

Truly a delight to run and play, and the author has a series of youtube videos of him running the game if you need some help. Cannot recommend this game enough! Absolutely worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 27 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates