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The Way Home
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2021 02:48:28

The Way Home is an inspiring little game that honours its main inspiration Over The Garden Wall truthfully. It also gives you an interesting spin on PbtA: The stats are weaknesses, therefore who have to roll low to avoid negative results. Another great example of how versatile the PbtA-system is!

The rules are very streamlined. Most GM moves are already predetermined by the misses of each player move. There are also no playbooks. This works for the setting but is also a small shortcoming for everyone who isn't familiar with the TV series or the Americana background. Sure, you get your special move (determined by your nature = your greatest weakness), but I’m not complaining about mechanics. The strength of PbtA playbooks is for me the inspirational value.

What’s also missing is more details on the possibilities of the Wilderness or more hooks. There are examples, and they are great – but it’s just one page, and I would like to have more. Especially for people outside of the USA who are not fully familiar with Americana folklore, more material would have been an asset.

Nevertheless, it’s a great game. You can do nothing wrong with buying it and having a look!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Way Home
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Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Kai M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/26/2021 14:39:42

A truly impressive tabletop role-playing game that manages to combine excellent air combat rules with mechanics that really support character- and narrative-driven storytelling. Overall, it does a great job of explaining the rules in a way that makes them fairly intuitive to play with even though they're significantly more complex than most other Powered by the Apocalypse games. Overall, quite well made; and the setting and premise of the system are very compelling, too. I also want to note that its handling of queer, poc, &c. characters and themes is quite possibly the best I've ever seen any TTRPG do.

And the physical book is not only beautiful, it's also a convenient size and shape to hold in your hand, which I've found to be quite the blessing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
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Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Roderick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2021 05:08:14

I'm really impressed by this game.

The core concept is great - the beauty of a Ghibli movie, emotional messiness of Skins and nail-biting, thrilling early air combat - and while there are a few points where I trip over rule phrasing somewhat (particularly exotic weapons) it's 99% beautifully well executed.

In fact, if you are a crunch-minded person who's not got that much time, it's the perfect game for you because it requires almost no game prep; although a little campaign prep is a good idea to make things more satisfying, individual missions and enemies can be created on the fly with minimum fuss.

The playbooks for PC's are designed to gradually get closer to each other, through emotional (and optional physical) intimacy, whilst simultaneously causing great heartache and drama at every turn and wrecking up every town the players go to. being a total hot mess is compulsory, and leaning into the drama really ups the fun.

The core of air combat - carefully manage your altitude and speed, lose track of the foe through tunnel vision, hope that your plane doesn't fall apart from maneuvering too hard - are incredibly true to the era being emulated, as is the stress generated from flying in those conditions. The fact that the game revolves around building and relieving stress is just perfectly illustrative of the life of young people under those circumstances, and the fact it's about gradually forming a super-bond of friendship whilst living like a total trainwreck is just so very true to one's late teens/early 20's. Not enough games care about characters emotions, bonds, and mental health.

This game really does.

the book is gorgeous, the emotional heart of the game shines through, and the free online tools are incredibly handy.

Oh, and did I mention that the planes are awesome? because they are Super Goddamn Cool.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by CHRISTIAN M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2021 13:59:58

Flying Circus is a game that combines in depth aerial combat in a fantastic world, brought to life with beautiful artwork. It's a world of adventure, where the great industrial cities are now poisoned and ruined, leaving a world of small towns and villages linked together by daring pilots.

Flying Circus captures the daring and transgressive nature of aviation pioneers. Whether you want to deliver mail while dodging giant eagles and dragons, or battle against aces high above fae haunted forests, Flying Circus can do it all.

Plus you can be a fish person.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Jeffrey S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/08/2021 09:32:53

a wonderful setting, that I find does characher led stories easily and is fun and original and easy to tune to your groups taste. Erika has made a crunchy PbtA game, and I can not praise it highly enough



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Charles F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2021 20:51:18

This is such an awesome game; loads of fun and lots of potential to play with fun ideas. I've had a blast with it already; looking forward to pick up a hardback for myself, and a couple others for the local library.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Brian J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2021 00:12:38

Flying Circus is a breath of fresh air in RPGs. Not just to mention the excellent air combat system, which gives a good sense of tension and feels nice to run, gives good vibes of turning and burning. But the well-thought out pacing and session loop, and especially top marks for a creative and compelling world to back drop the Party's adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus Plane Pack #1 - Flights of Fancy
by Roy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2021 16:16:32

As a huge Battletech nerd, I love mini expansions of new toys to play with. Not only are the new planes cool and unique, but you buy it so we can hopefuly let the autor know that we want more like this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus Plane Pack #1 - Flights of Fancy
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Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Roy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2021 18:36:35

The setting is the first thing that drew me in. A light fantasy post apocalypse world where you fly biplanes! Count me in!

At first, the gameplay may seem a little crunchy and overwhelming but once you get to playing, it has an amazing flow.

Overall, I totally recommend this great game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
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Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2021 16:38:33

Flying Circus is a heavily customized Powered by the Apocalypse game about being a dashing flying ace and also being a queer as hell kid in a fantastic interwar Europe inspired by the soft apocalypse aesthetic of Studio Ghibli films. It's clearly a labor of love, with design, writing, and art almost entirely done by Erika Chappell (other artists did a handful of the pictures), and is physically a gorgeous book. I backed it on Kickstarter ages ago, and I'm quite happy with the final product. The game is fantastical, creative, and hits its themes square on. So how about we take our shirts off and play some volleyball, Iceman?

There's a lot to love about this game. The art is great, the writing has a wonderful level of snark. One of my favorites is an aside that pilots, like babies, lack object permanence, so feel free to have threats disappear and reappear as needed. The setting is eminently playable, a hostile wilderness surrounding isolated towns in the wreckage of a Great War which smashed all the nations of the world with poison gas and autonomous superweapons. Magic is real, and fae ask for cruel bargains while dragons patrol the skies. The old is dead and discredited, and the young are picking up the pieces. Flying Circuses are mercenary bands who shoot trouble and carry out jobs of relative morality. The arc of the game is divided between flying missions and on the ground drama, blowing off stress with wild parties and brawls until they burn through the good will of the locals and have to move on.

That said, this is also a solo project, and there is a little turbulence. To have an aside for a moment, my typology of RPG player motivations breaks down to Explorers, Masters, and Dramatists. Explorers want to experience a cool story, with plot twists, interesting characters, and fantastic vistas. Masters want to choose cleverly, picking the right options and tactics to crush their enemies and earn victory. And Dramatists want to experience emotional states which are risky or inaccessible in mundane life. Any pbtA game is heavy on Explore and Drama, and Flying Circus has enough new mechanics to make it at least medium on Mastery.

The twin beating hearts of the game are clearly Dogfight and Indulging in Vice. There is a whole detailed subsystem of altitude, speed, ordinance, maneuverability, and damage, but it mostly boils down to Dogfight and some ancillary moves around Dogfight. Tactical aerial combat is very hard to do well, and admittedly it might play better than it reads. I don't expect the game to break out a full X-Wing tactical dogfight subsystem, and while it seems like both maneuverability fighters and energy fighters are possible in the system, I was hoping for a little bit more depth along the lines of John Boyd's Aerial Attack Study . As with all narrative games, it comes down to the creativity and skill of the GM, which can be hard if combat is supposed to be a regular thing. The best escape from this trap are missions with a focus other than downing the other side.

Indulge Vice is one of those ideas which I have mixed feelings about. It's a core part of Blades in the Dark, where it's a d6 used to replenish a Stress track. Go over, and you overindulge with a consequence. In play with BitD, I tend to abstract out downtime more than I should, so Vice doesn't get centered properly. In Flying Circus, you get up to 5 chances to Indulge Vice, and each chance gives a flat 1d20 roll, where results above 10 remove stress, and 3 or more results below 10 results in a consequence. Removing stress gives you XP, which can be spent on advances. Since there's more involved mechanics on Vice, it's harder to skip (good), but it's also less reliable than BitD's Stress, and it's tied to advancement (bad). And from a historical note, the life expectancy of World War I pilots was measured in days. Your PCs are much more durable, in fact they won't die without explicit permission. While one of the ptbA Agendas here is to show that glory and tragedy are two sides of the same coin, mechanical support for that theme is on the lighter side.

One of the strengths of ptbA is the system's laser focus on the Conversation At The Table (caps intended). The 2d6+k system, and the outcomes for each move, structure how the game works and gets the system out of the way. Flying Circus uses 2d10+k, and there are a lot more Hold X Forwards and special cases than is typical in the genre. The system is definitely more; I'm not sure that it's better.

I had a ton of fun reading Flying Circus, and I'm definitely more likely to play it than Night Witches. If you're willing to buy into the premise, it's looks like a solid game. But there are spots where I look a little askance. And I recognize it's not entirely fair criticism, I Have Opinions About Game Mechanics and air power. My favorite pilots are the jet-propelled renegades of The Right Stuff and When Thunder Rolled, not the barnstormers of WW1. I wish I could say Flying Circus is perfect, but very good will have to suffice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Horrors of the Heights
by Charles F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/06/2020 11:03:54

It's a solid little addition to an already excellent system; including not just some great new crunch and some fun planes, but several excellent story hooks and plot ideas. Also, rules for skiing, and as someone who loved skiing in my youth I'll always mark out a bit for that being added to a system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Horrors of the Heights
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Flying Circus - Horrors of the Heights
by Simon R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2020 13:39:56

If you have the Core Book for Flying Circus, Horrors of the Heights puts a maganifying glass a rule set that more or less hand waved till it becomes Plot Releveant: The Effects of Alitude on People and Flying Machines. On top of a focus and expanstion on atltiude based play, this also includes new and exepanded threats and rewards that hint to terrible new dangers and glorious forgotten tresure hidden in the the dizzying of heights of over 30,000 Ft. In grand Flying Circus fashion, this book is part Pulpy action adventure, part detailed simulationists rule sets but all friggin awesome!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Horrors of the Heights
by Iv R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2020 00:18:20

This was a very good read. It doesn't has many new rules, tho the ones it has are very very significant. It mostly adds a ton of new ideas and lore to the world of Himmilgard. In this world where the sky and flying are so important it makes sense that the sky holds many unknowns and that are the source of myth and legend for the people that live here.

I'm particularly fond of Leaviathans and Flying Fortresses and their Fortress Guardians. I want to play a guardian!! Truly a great adition to the Flying Circus game



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Horrors of the Heights
by Rick M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2020 21:40:42

As an expansion, this doesn't have the sheer page count that the core book does, but it's really efficient. With three pages for altitude, temperature and extreme conditions, it builds a new environment to fly in that can be challenging to brave on its own, four pages for mountain terrain build a new type of land to fear and respect in equal measure and add a bit to regular ground combat, and so on. It punches above its weight, fitting tantalizing snippets of lore in new enemies and a whole variety of new challenges and adventures to take part in.

One thing I would appreciate is a few more planes that are well suited to the high altitudes, or worked out examples of existing planes modified. I'm fine living in the plane builder, but I know other players might prefer not to get into it or play with planes they know have gotten balancing attention.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
by Iv R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2020 11:02:57

This game is big and crunchy and if you are into big and crunchy games it will be amazing and more than you expect. The author has constantly updated the text polishing specific details and rebalancing, which is amazing. And you get so much content. From the art to the many many pre made airplanes, or the online plane builder. It really is an amazing game



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flying Circus - Core Rulebook
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