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DCC Day #2: Beneath the Well of Brass
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/15/2021 14:42:54

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of DCC Day #2: Beneath the Well of Brass

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- DCC Day #2: Beneath the Well of Brass System- Dungeon Crawl Classics Producer- Goodman Games Price- $6.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/352617/DCC-Day-2-Beneath-the-Well-of-Brass?term=beneath+the+well+of+brass?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Great intro fun with some crazy story elements. 97%

Basics- Dragged by a brutal “king”, you have to find the secret of immortality or your village dies. You are nobodies when you go into the volcanic tunnel under a mountain, but you will emerge heroes if you survive!

Mechanics or Crunch-This is a great adventure for starter heroes. The players will get a kick out of this adventure as they get the basics overall. One issue is that there isn’t much combat here. There are traps, some crazy bits, and a finale, but not a ton of fights. A bit more would make this more fun. Also, most of my players get through this adventure in about three hours, so it's a bit short. A few more fights might help this one. But what is here is nicely balanced, and a fun intro for your newer players. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- Oh DCC, never change! This story is crazy as you just get dumped into the dungeon, and then planar transport before level 1! Solid crazy stuff here; hellknights, a city of djinn, and a thug who needs killing all feature into this adventure. This adventure is just crazy gonzo fun for your players. 5/5

Execution- PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes. THIS IS LESS THAN 20 PAGES AND IT HAS HYPERLINKS! Goodman games knows how to put out some solid stuff. It has crazy, old school art. It’s easy to read. It’s fun to read on its own. It’s all the things I want in an intro adventure. 5/5

Summary-Solid work here for DCC Game Day. If you want to have some quick intro fun for your players to enter the world of DCC RPG. This is a well written, well crafted, easy to read adventure that is something almost every DCC gamer and honestly every RPG player should try. Check this one out quickly! 97%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC Day #2: Beneath the Well of Brass
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard
Publisher: Modiphius
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2021 22:12:17

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard System- Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Producer- Modiphius Price- $6.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/355128/Achtung-Cthulhu-2d20-Operation-Vanguard?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Almost perfect but not what I wanted. 97%

Basics- Time to go, soldier! You just stopped a Black Sun ritual, so now it’s off to stop more Nazi shenanigans! What could they be doing off at sea?

Mechanics or Crunch-Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 does almost all the things I want and does them right, and this adventure has that as well. Solid monsters and encounters lead you through a stealth to destruction mission with lots of fun along the way. Just well done crunch if you like the 2d20 system. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- The theme/fluff/story is where I have my one major problem. The story itself is great. Investigate Nazi base, destroy, stop bad guys-all the fun things players want to do in Pulp Weird War II. But, this was billed as the sequel to the starter adventure, and it is, but it's just a second adventure after the first. They are not connected in any real way. It doesn’t tell as much of a continuing story aside from "go destroy more weird stuff." Go destroy the weird stuff is honestly 90% of A!C 2d20, and that’s why my players and I are here. But, I wanted the escape from France of the last adventure. My players LEVELED the castle in the last one as nothing stops evil like 40 TONS of stone to the head. So my expectations were slightly let down. If you don’t have the same expectation, you will have a blast. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes, extremely well done. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. A page with pictures to cut out to give to players for handouts, hyperlinks EVERYWHERE, easy to read, nice stat blocks, and TWO VERSIONS as a less graphics intensive one makes my tablet run better all make me a happy GM. This is how I want books made. 5/5

Summary- Oh A!C 2d20… you make me so happy. It’s a well done, slick system, and this is a well done slick adventure for it. I just wish this was more "direct sequence" and less "continuing adventures", but oh well. If you don’t have my singular crazy obsession with continuity, then you will absolutely LOVE this book. From crunch, to story, to just general production, I’m glad to have this one. 97%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #66.5: Doom of the Savage King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/16/2021 21:03:04

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Dungeon Crawl Classics #66.5: Doom of the Savage King

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Dungeon Crawl Classics #66.5: Doom of the Savage King System- DCC RPG Producer- Goodman Games Price- $6.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/129075/Dungeon-Crawl-Classics-665-Doom-of-the-Savage-King?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Appendix N shoot first ask questions never? 97%

Basics- Time to kill the unkillable! Doom of the Savage Kings starts out deep in the action as the players come upon a local lord tying a young woman to a pole to be eaten by a beast to sate its bloodlust. What happens next is completely up to the “heroes”! Save the girl? Serve the Lord? Either way there is an unkillable beast that needs slaying if the sacrifices are to stop.

Mechanics or Crunch-This is an early one for DCC RPG, and it shows a bit. The mechanics are fine, but sometimes the Judge may have to tone down the challenge for the players to survive. Especially mine, as my players never met a situation where certain death deterred them in the slightest! It works well for higher player counts, but lower ones will need a bit of adjusting. Doom of the Savage Kings mechanically is an early very deadly, very fun adventure. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- This adventure is PURE Appendix N. Village sacrificing people to save the rest like “The Lottery” and an ancient tomb where weapons will slay not-Grendel? FANTASTIC! This adventure is gonzo fantasy that makes DCC DCC. 5/5

Execution- PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes, basically. This has what I need to run this adventure. Maps, quick rundown, and detailed enough encounters. It reads fast as my initial read through was five minutes before the game and my players had a blast completely abandoning the adventure’s basic path within five minutes. If you like the basic layout of DCC, then you will like this layout. Like always, Goodman Games DCC modules read like the old modules you used to get with some art in the middle, maps at the end, and a summary at the start. Since I’m living an era of gaming I wasn’t part when it came round the first time, it’s a blast to be part of it this time as the editing has massively improved the experience! 5/5

Summary- Doom of the Savage Kings is classic DCC RPG. It’s a bit harder than it needs to be so maybe some love from a Judge will save the PCs from their bad rolls if not their stupidity. The book itself is well laid out, and the plot is top notch. Players will have a blast saving a town, delving into old crypts, and killing the monster stalking the helpless in the fog. If you need your Boewulf fix but want to do it with some crazy DCCRPG rules, this is hands down a fantastic adventure to get into. 97%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #66.5: Doom of the Savage King
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Broken Compass - Adventure Journal
Publisher: Two Little Mice
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2021 21:53:15

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Broken Compass- Adventure Journal

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Broken Compass-Adventure Journal System- Broken Compass Producer- Two Little Mice Price- $24 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/336888/Broken-Compass--Adventure-Journal?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Good light pulp adventure game with a few flaws. 87%

Basics- Onwards to adventure! Broken Compass is a classic pulp RPG where the characters play adventurers like Indiana Jones as they run across the world solving ancient puzzles and surviving gun battles with groups of minions among the skeletons of those that have come before. This is much more of a rules light, roleplay heavy game. Let’s see the pieces themselves.

Character Build- Character generation and build is incredibly easy. Each character has a bunch of skills that you can think of as attributes in DnD and fields you can think of like skills in DnD. Each skill has multiple fields that are linked to it. All players start with 2 ranks in each skill and one in each focus. You get the skill and foci for your character via choosing two tags the describe your character in two words. You also choose expertise that further describes what things your characters are good at. You then get a bit of gear and you’re done. It’s VERY quick.

Base Mechanics-Fitting quick character building, the mechanics are also very quick. When you face a problem in this game, you choose a skill and a field within that skill. The GM called the fortune master may give you additional dice called advantages or make you lose dice called disadvantages. In addition, you may get additional dice or penalties depending on your condition aka how you feel. You roll a number of six sided dice equal to this total. The goal is to get sets of dice with the same value like three of a kind. For basic challenges, you need two of a kind. For challenging encounters you need three of a kind and so on. Some conditions and events require you to get multiple sets to succeed like shooting a gun as a challenging encounter while driving a car in a storm as a basic encounter. If you fail but have one set but not enough of that set, you can risk the result and reroll any dice you want to hopefully get the successes you need. In addition, if you have expertise from your character background in what you are doing, you get a reroll for free on that activity.

Challenge vs danger- There are differences between reading an ancient scroll and shooting a nazi. This is reflected by challenges and danger. Challenges are fail forward encounters where a player attempts something that might fail, but if they fail the story continues. This may alert the enemy or cause you to miss a vital clue yet find the hidden temple just not notice the trap at the entrance. Dangers are fights or traps that might hurt a player. If you fail a check, you take damage in the form of luck. Basic challenges cause you to lose one luck while more advanced things cause you to lose much more luck. When you are out of luck (the book is VERY pulp heavy!), you have to spend a luck coin to stay in the fight. Between fights, you can rest up and get back your luck.

Let’s dig deep into my thoughts on this game!

Mechanics or Crunch-This is a fast game that is not for crunch heavy gamers. The game is very light and lets the players just free form ideas as long as the GM goes with it. It’s also reminiscent of Numenera as the GM doesn’t really roll dice. Players roll dice and success or failure determines what happens, not GM rolls or attacks. When a player is attacked, the player tells the fortune keeper how they avoid the attack. It's very fast. The one problem I have is I would like a bit more complexity. It’s solid enough, and I like rolling d6s and hoping for sets. But, I like a bit more crunch for the system. Feats or special abilities would help a bit here. Also leveling up doesn’t really get you much. That’s good as the players can hop in to basically any adventure, but it also means long term play doesn’t net the characters many gains. The system I compare this the most to is Numenera, and in that system when you level up, you get a bit more. Also in Numenera, there is just a bit more crunch for players to dig into. Broken Compass is fun and light, but I want a bit more crunch in this system. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-Hands down this is an amazing, fluff filled game. Every character is set up to look like a pulp stereotype, both modern and old school. The adventures are written to be replaceable and generic but relatable in that classic way as things like OLD MAN, ANCIENT TEMPLE, RIVAL are used to be plug and play with different characters but the fortune master is given tons of different materials to help make the story. Is the OLD MAN a survivor of the great war who saw the temple in the Jungles while on patrol or is the RIVAL a silicon valley billionaire out for world conquest with the Eye of Ra? Its light in a good way so you can put this into any time or place with that good pulp feel. Stories flow from Amazon adventures to exploration under the Egyption pyramids. Every page has lots of fluff and art that makes a player or a fortune master feel like they are part of a classic pulp book in the discount bin of a grocery store. If you want to feel like your Indiana Jones or at least someone reading an Indiana Jones story, this is a solid book to read through. 5/5

Execution- PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes! I like this book, but don’t love it. The book reads well, is well laid out, and has great art. There are even pregens and a quick adventure where the players and the fortune master can get playing asap instead of having to figure out character generation and adventure creation on their own. Those are all great reasons to check this book. But, the major fault of this book is I need more on how to run the game. There are explanations of how single players encounter things, but I need a bit more on how multiple players encounter a thing. Does everyone face the threat or just one? Even fighting one on many, how does that work? A bit more would really help me better understand how to run this game. This is a solid game, but it needs a bit more explanation to make it rock solid. 3.5/5

Summary-I like this game, but it has some small faults. The idea of rolling a bunch of dice and hope for sets of numbers is a fun one. The theme is great and well presented. The book overall is a solid read and way to get into the game. One major issue I have is I want more crunch, so players feel like they are progressing. Good for one shots or short campaigns, but longer multi story arcs might not be as much fun. The other major issue I have is I need more explanation on how to run this as a fortune master. The system works, but I have questions if I’ve done it right. That’s never a good feeling to have. If you play with people who just want to have a good time, it will be fun. But the power gamer out there won’t enjoy this as much. If you want some good pulp, this is worth your golden idol. If you need a bit more crunch and a bit more explanation, maybe look in another tomb. 86%



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Broken Compass - Adventure Journal
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Black Powder Rebellion - Firearms and Historical Campaigns (PF2)
Publisher: Beyond the Horizon
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/19/2021 00:11:39

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Black Powder Rebellion - Firearms and Historical Campaigns (PF2)

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Black Powder Rebellion - Firearms and Historical Campaigns (PF2) System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed Producer- Beyond the Horizon Price- $6.95 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/350371/Black-Powder-Rebellion--Firearms-and-Historical-Campaigns-PF2?term=black+powder+rebellion?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- I need guns… LOTS OF GUNS. 98%

Basics- OVER THE WALL! Black Powder Rebellion - Firearms and Historical Campaigns is a third party book focusing on using historical settings and guns in Pathfinder 2nd Ed games. The book introduces guns from all across the history of firearms, history and settings information for players and GMs, and even character options to take any character and make it a gun toting hero.

Mechanics or Crunch- The goal of this book is to add guns and world history settings to Pathfinder, do so without magic being the major focus, and then give the players options to build characters in that world. And in that, it succeeds completely. There are LOTS of guns in this book with only one fake gun that I know of. That's some dedication to realism across multiple time points in history. Character options are also solid crunch as archetypes are put to good use in this book allowing any class to pick up a gun and go to war. Solid crunch for any group that wants to add guns to their sessions as both a GM and a player. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- How much history do you know? I might not have majored in history in college, but I love to learn it. I also grew up teaching hunter safety in the US. There are gun things I learned from this book from across history that I have not heard yet! That is some solid dedication to the gun and world history. From old school single shot guns, to samurai with guns on horseback, to trench warfare, if you want some historical guns in your PF2 game and the story behind them, this is the accessory for you and your friends. 5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? YES! This is a solid book that is well written, well laid out, and reads easily. It wasn’t a slog even though this is a history book. Heck, this book even hyperlinks out to other media to help you LEARN more. That's good use of the medium! My complaints are, as always, pictures. A few more would make this read a bit easier to read in the text chunkier areas. Also, this book digs DEEP on some firearm types. I would like a few more pictures, so i know what the gun looks like. That said, for the price of less than seven bucks, this is a solid book and a good effort by the team. 4.75/5

Summary-Want some guns in PF2? Want to play historical games in PF2? This is the book you need. Solid options, solid themes, and solid equipment all make a solid book. I always want more pictures, but that is the ONLY complaint I have for this one. Another great book at a good price for this team. 98%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Black Powder Rebellion - Firearms and Historical Campaigns (PF2)
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2021 21:08:56

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Quickstart

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Quickstart System- 2d20 Producer- Modiphius Price- FREE here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/347802/Achtung-Cthulhu-2d20-Quickstart?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Let’s kill some Cthulhu Nazis! 97%

Basics- The Weird Wars are back! Achtung! Cthulhu is a horror/action RPG using the Achtung! Cthulhu world and the new(er) 2d20 system put forward by Modiphius. Let’s dig into this historical horror.

Base mechanics-The 2d20 system is a roll-under system. Every time you do an action, you use a skill and an attribute. You add your skill and attribute together and try to roll under that total on each individual die. If you roll under your skill, you score two successes and if you roll under the total you just score one success. Get enough successes, you do the action. You need between 0 and five successes.

Momentum, threat, and fortune- Since you only get two dice and you might need up to five successes, you need more dice in a hurry. You can get more dice from momentum. Every success above what you need earns momentum for the group. You can spend momentum to get more dice. You can also give the GM threat to get more dice, but threat is GM momentum. You also have fortune. Fortune is story candy. You automatically crit and earn two successes.

Combat-Combat works just like skills, but if you hit, you roll six sided dice with either 1, 2, or 1 and a bonus event on them. The bonus things might start fires or do extra damage and depends on the weapons and the person using it. When you take damage, you subtract either armor or your resolve (mental armor) and take stress. When your stress fills up, you are out and you take an injury. This could be from going crazy or from taking a hit to the face. Too many injuries and you’re out for good!

Ok, now my thoughts on this.

Mechanics or Crunch- I like what’s here. I love Call of Cthulhu, and 2d20 feels enough like that but it has some things that feel like DnD. There are feat like traits. There is a more combat emphasis, and the flow of threat and momentum makes things a bit more dynamic than either parent game. There are parts I want described more like spending threat. This is a quickstart for free, so it's ok if it's not a complete rules book now, but I want more of that in the final product. That said, the crunch here feels good and full of combat goodness with hints of story built in to keep the action rolling. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- Hate Nazis? Want to hate Cthulhu Naizs? I’VE GOT A GAME FOR YOU! The ultimate killable bad guys are the main villains here, so it always feels fun to fight those guys. It is Weird War, so get ready for some strange elements, from spellcasting Americans to Australians with combat dogs. But, here is where things shine. 2d20 is built on this back and forth of rolls, story, and tension. Momentum and threat roll back and forth across the table making things fun. There is absolutely nothing wrong with some old school gaming, but for story and theme, I love when the mechanics build into that. This system does that well. 5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? No, but it's a quickstart, so I’ll forgive it. It reads well, reads quick, and has great pictures. Now those pictures are from the original Acthung! Cthulhu, so I hope for new art, but it's all good. The player section is at the back and easily prints out to a separate PDF, so my players will not be spoiled. Honestly, it's 45+pages of good introduction to the system that you can read in under half an hour and get playing your first game. 5/5

Summary-This is a free PDF, so check it out! It's also a solid RPG with a great mix of theme and mechanics. Lots of fun to be had from this quick read that you will be playing fast. Go kill some bad guys and save the day in the Weird War! 97%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Quickstart
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EB-EP-02 Rolling Thunder
Publisher: D&D Adventurers League
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2021 21:32:39

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of EB-EP-02 Rolling Thunder

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- EB-EP-02 Rolling Thunder System- DnD 5e Producer- DMs Guild Price- $8.95 here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/335587/EBEP02-Rolling-Thunder?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR-A great train robbery! 98%

Basics-Time for a train heist! Can you infiltrate a train, get all the pieces, and break into the vault all while not alerting the entire Breland military? This is a multi table event that can be run with a single table as well. Now to our thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch- THIS IS NOT A COMBAT ADVENTURE! Big alert on this! If the party is down to kill everyone all the time, they will not have fun! But, if you want to flex your non-combat expertise, this will be an amazing experience. The crunch here is well done and the new mechanics are well executed. I would like a bit more fighting so the fighter with no skills still gets to do a bit more. From cooking to social to even some puzzles, this is a fun change from the standard kill everything adventure. 4.75/5

Theme or Fluff- Since this is not a dungeon crawl, the fluff here has to be tight. And it delivers! There are a lot of materials here to make this feel like an upper class train ride. Players duck between cooking, gambling, social, and even some stealth all while trying to blend in. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzles of this adventure, but honestly they all fit well together in a great picture. 5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? Yes there are bookmarks. The adventure is set up with enough information that you can run as a multi table event or single table easily. The handouts are well done and easy for the players to read. The adventure reads well and quick, so there is no confusion on what is going on. This team executed another solid adventure. 5/5

Summary-I love the new format of epics in DnD. I love more players being able to play. That makes me happy, and would alone be worth a good review. But, the Eberron team is constantly delivering solid adventures that I love. This is no exception. If you want to be part of a train heist that is amazing to play and easy to run, then grab this adventure. 98 %



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
EB-EP-02 Rolling Thunder
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Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2021 18:01:02

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart System- Cyberpunk Red Producer- R. Talsorian Games Inc. Price- $10.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/279014/Cyberpunk-Red-Jumpstart-Kit?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Good appetizer to the whole system! 90%

Basics-Choombatta, it’s time to make some EB! Cyberpunk Red is the latest version of the popular Cyberpunk series, taking place decades after the last edition. Players try to survive in Night City as gangs, governments, and corporations all fight for dominance. What will you do in the dark to make money? Let’s do a breakdown

basics-This is a 1d10 based system. You roll a d10, add an attribute, and a skill and you are done. If that number is better than the difficulty value (DV) or higher then your opponent, you win. That’s it. Hacking, fighting, seducing, it's all 1d10+stat+skill. Slick and simple.

combat-Combat is the same as above with 1d10 + stat for initiative and each round you get a move and an action. Attacking vs defending is again 1d10+stat+skill vs 1d10+stat+skill. You will roll each time for damage and attack. You crit on a 10 and roll another 1d10 to get bonuses to hit. Beat the defender and do damage based on melee, ranged, or how much chrome cyberware you are sporting. Armor protects you but each time you take damage over its protection value, it degrades. When you take enough punishment, you gain penalties to all your rolls. Eventually you get knocked out and you need help ASAP or you die quick! Healing is slow as this is a realistic game where bullets hurt!

hacking- Hacking uses the same basics as above except your net actions are accelerated as you get multiple actions in a round if you have better gear. You also hack in/jack in physically and have to stay close unless you get dumped out and bad things happen. Once you are in, basically all computers operate like buildings with elevators. You investigate a floor and see what’s there. Black ICE and other hackers defend places, so keep your wits about you as you dig for pay data and machine controls to keep yourself alive and paid!

Ok, that's the basics of the box. Now for my thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch- Cyberpunk is a solid game that is realistic, but maybe a bit slow. The base mechanic of roll dice, add, and done is good, but this is a combat heavy game. I like the speed that regular rolls have, but I feel that rolling to dodge slows down games like this. D & D is as heavy a combat game, but I feel that the static defence value helps with that speed. Otherwise, it's a pretty slick system where you do move quickly getting past obstacles and negotiating the dark underbelly of Night City. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- This book does a solid job explaining the world, but I would like a bit more for the included adventure. Night City and the world it is in feels real. You can tell this was written long ago in the long ago past of 1988 (god I am getting old!) as it has the feel of what they thought the future would be back then. The world is well built and I’m glad to see a future where Africa doesn’t take the brunt of the world going to hell. My one minor concern is the adventure that is included. I want a run where I can score money and fame. This one is more an Assault on Precinct 13. Not bad, but I wanted something else. Overall, this box portrays a solid world with only a few issues. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? Yes! Starting strong! Overall, the layout is good, but I have some issues as some small things are left out or included in areas away from the revelivent text, like how armor degrades. It’s here but it's mentioned in one place and fully explored later. It is a quick, fun read,, but the jumpstart format always leaves a few things on the cutting room floor that are needed. I do enjoy the maps and other pieces, and the book flows well. This is a decently executed book that only has a few minor issues. 4.5/5

Summary-Overall, this is a solid introduction to the world of Cyberpunk. I am left wanting more, but I don’t hate what’s here. I want more adventures and such. The intro one is good, but not the adventure I wanted. The world is well built, and the crunch is solidly designed. I have small issues with game speed and book odds and ends, but those are minor compared to everything else. This was like a solid taster to a good meal. I want more, and I look forward to the whole meal. I like Cyberpunk, and I can’t wait to play and see some more Cyberpunk Red! 90%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2020 Holiday Module: The Doom that Came to Christmastown
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/20/2021 21:17:59

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Dungeon Crawl Classics 2020 Holiday Module: The Doom that Came to Christmastown

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Dungeon Crawl Classics 2020 Holiday Module: The Doom that Came to Christmastown System- DCC RPG Producer- Goodman games Price- $6.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/335600/Dungeon-Crawl-Classics-2020-Holiday-Module-The-Doom-that-Came-to-Christmastown?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Fun, but you will need to provide your own glue for this adventure! 93%

Basics-Who can save Christmas?! Santa is sick and who can save him? Gather his friends, find the horrible Grinch, and save Christmas for all the good little boys and girls!

Mechanics or Crunch- Goodman Games knows how to make a solid adventure! They wrote the system, so they know how to make the crunch. Solid monsters, solid puzzles, and solid extra tables for encounters. This is a well put together adventure. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- This is a fun adventure, but the story is a bit off. You don’t need to hit all the major NPC to find the horrible grinch. And the NPCs are the best part! This adventure will pull at your Frank and Bass Christmas movie memories. Lots of the old school heroes like Yukon and even Hermey, who becomes a Dentalmancer!, make appearances and serve to build out the story. I just wish there was more of a reason to meet more of them! Solid parts here, but the glue holding the scenes together here is a bit lacking. 4/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? Not really, but it's ok. This is a well executed adventure. I love this one. There are crazy fun puzzles for the players to work through and there are monsters to fight that feel fun. I love all the little touches that are put into the adventure. Heck this adventure even has a new spell for the players to use. You can buy this from Drive Thru and be playing in five minutes based on the easy to read format and beautiful drawings and maps. Goodman Games executes another adventure amazingly! 5/5

Summary-Ho ho holy crap this is a fun one. If you want something fun to plunk down into your DCC/MCC game, this is a solid adventure to run. Mathematically, it works perfectly, and it’s executed well. I love all the little pieces here from new spells to the crazy tables built into this game. I wish the scenes were better connected, but that's the one flaw to this amazing adventure. Check this one out if you get a chance! 93%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2020 Holiday Module: The Doom that Came to Christmastown
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Sinking the Stercorarius, The Salty Funnel 0 Level Adventure
Publisher: 2 Old Guys Games
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2020 21:41:28

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Sinking the Stercorarius, The Salty Funnel 0 Level Adventure

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Sinking the Stercorarius, The Salty Funnel 0 Level Adventure System- DCC RPG Producer- 2 Old Guys Games Price- $10.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/318718/Sinking-the-Stercorarius-The-Salty-Funnel-0-Level-Adventure?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Another great funnel, but now at sea! 93%

Basics- SOMETHING TOUCHED MY LEG! Your band of rag tag….honestly level zero losers has to survive a ship flooding but wait! There is a mysterious island on the horizon. What could be there? Time for another level zero funnel! No spoilers for the fun secrets of why the ship sank or what’s to be found on the island in this review.

Mechanics or Crunch-I love the crunch of the DCC level zero. Lots of death whittles characters away until you get a character with its mettle tested. This adventure is no exception as characters die on ship, in the water, and on the mysterious island. Not only that; there is a ton of new content, from crazy weapons to new toys for the players and Judge. This adventure has a ton of new material that any DCC fan will love. 5/5

Theme or Fluff-This story is a fun one, but has a bit of trouble with the final touchdown. The story is great up to the point of why you explore the island. The basics are to get off the ship and survive. From there the adventure is basically up to the GM. The players are not given a goal aside from what the Judge gives them. The adventure gives you tools to make it happen, but it's up to you. The judge given free reign isn’t bad, but I would like a bit more direction for the judge. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? Yes! This is solidly DCC. The art, the layout, and the text are all great DCC standards. This is exactly what I want from a DCC module. My one complaint is I wish this would be the retail price. I did the kickstarter for $10 which came with the extra materials. This doesn’t come with the extra stuff, so the price is a tad high for what you get. Overall, a solidly produced adventure for DCC RPG. 4.5/5

Summary-Yar! Time for a funnel at sea! I like this funnel. There are never enough funnels, so more is always better. This stands out by providing a lot of fun toys for the Judge and players to have after the adventure as well as a fun location to play in. It's a bit pricey for what you get and it is a tad open ended without a clear goal for me, but those small things aside, it's a great adventure. If you need a funnel that your players have not seen, this is a solid new adventure they will enjoy. 93%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sinking the Stercorarius, The Salty Funnel 0 Level Adventure
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Star Crawl
Publisher: Tuesday Night Fiend Club
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2020 22:04:07

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Star Crawl

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Star Crawl System- DCC RPG Producer- Tuesday Night Fiend Club Price- $10.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/254637/Star-Crawl?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- DCC Starfinder! 88%

Basics- Need some space in your DCC RPG? Want to play Starfinder and DCC? Then Star Crawl is for you. Let’s see what the new things are from DCC RPG.

Basics-Can you play DCC RPG? Then you can play this. Honestly that’s the big mechanics of this. Seriously! That’s not a bad thing.

Races- Star Crawl introduces race templates. You choose a race template that you add to a character at level 1 or 0. It's a few ability changes and a few extra abilities. Nothing too crazy, but some solid additional crunch to the system.

Space ships- You can’t have space opera without space ships. This system adds in space much like Starfinder. Basically, pilot checks determine who goes from low to high as you outmaneuver other ships. It's simple to keep in the flavor of DCCRPG.

This is’t a complete change so much as an incremental change. Let’s look at my thoughts on this.

Mechanics or Crunch-This is both the high point and the low point of the book. Why high? The new stuff is great! I love what’s here. Solid new classes. Solid application of the basic ideas of DCC RPG. Solid new races. Everything here is great. Why low? It didn’t feel like enough. I want more spaceships. I want more space options. It’s kind of a short book. It was great, but I was just left wishing for more to help me build my space world. 4.25/5

Theme or Fluff-I was looking for some Star Wars DCC RPG, and this delivers. You get new settings to play, and the fluff to get there. What I do need more of is world building. It's a solid intro book with the basic ideas of the universe, but I need more. The included adventure builds that out, but I would have liked a bit more history, background, and details to draw me in and help me make it my own. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? no...I can live without the hyperlinks, but they help, especially for an intro book. The rest of the book is well done. The art is simple, but charming. The layout works well. It reads easily, and is approachable. Overall, this is a solid book, but I still want a few more tech toys. 4.5/5

Summary- My players and I are chomping at the bit to get into this. I like this book and world. The mechanics are good, but I need more toys for the sandbox. The world is solid, but needs more to help me build and expand. All in all, for a small publisher, this is an amazing book that I really recommend to anyone who needs a bit more scifi in their fantasy. If you want some space fun, throw your DCC RPG players into this space opera. 88%



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Crawl
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Trail of Cthulhu
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2020 22:51:17

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Trail of Cthulhu

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Trail of Cthulhu System- Gumshoe Producer- Pelgrane Press Price- $24.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/55567/Trail-of-Cthulhu?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Do you think Call of Cthulhu has too much Crunch? 88%

Basics- Should the story stop when the players just suck at rolling? Trail of Cthulhu believes that story trumps mechanics as story should drive the game. Let’s look at the pieces.

Overview-Trail of Cthulhu is a skill system like Call of Cthulhu, but unlike Call of Cthulhu you have two types of skills: investigative and general. General covers any contested rolls and investigative covers learning the horrors of the mystery. Let’s break that down.

Investigative Skills- You enter a room, ask to search the library for secret books, and you find all secret books. If you have ranks in the appropriate skills, you find all the books. That’s it. If you couldn't find the books, the story might stop. Trail of Cthulhu focuses more on you learning the mystery and less on you flubbing rolls to learn the mystery. You build these skills with points like ranks, but those points are spent to learn more, not just enough. Characters with even one rank would find all the books, then can spend points to learn more, like find the right places in the hidden books to skip something horrible or learn more secrets beyond the base mystery.

General Skills- Punch a guy, out run a monster, and hide from the cultists are all opposed rolls where the story isn’t the issue, so they become general skills. This system uses ONE d6. That’s it. You want to to a thing? Roll a d6 and aim for a 4. Before you roll, you can spend points from the pool to add to the roll. Some skills give you more damage or more hit points or sanity, but for the most part opposed rolls happen with skills or trying to do a thing that isn’t dependent on the story happening at all.

Honestly, that's it. There is sanity and HP, but for the most part the two types of rolls define the system. Let’s see my thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch-I like crunch (heck I build point based Shadowrun characters for fun!), but for the most part, this is a quick, light system. My more roll-happy friends freak out when we play as they NEED to roll to search, but the option to make story happen as the goal is a good one. If you just want a game that happens fast without a ton of hassle because you didn’t spec into the right build at level 4 to cast the one spell to put the deepone to sleep, but you will want a horror game then this is the crunch for you. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- This game is put out by the premier Lovecraft people in the industry. They know their stuff. It feels right, but it also feels like Indiana Jones as they build Pulp and straight Lovecraft versions of the rules into it. If you want to punch the ghoul, then this can be your game, or if you want to go mad at the sight of a corpse, then this can also be your game. The book builds out a full world in a quick way to help new GMs get running right away. 5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? YES! I have the two big things I want, but why am I not happy? Well… RPG books can be built one of two ways: mechanics first or theme first. This goes character build first. I don’t know what ANY of the math means until WAY far into this book. When I googled it it made perfect sense, and then 20 pages later I saw the explanation. That is not good. I like the world that is built with the book, but it's a pain to read; a three column design isn’t great. This book is modern, but some of the design decisions are just a bit off. 3.75/5

Summary- Slick and simple. This game is a fun one regardless of the book design. I like the game this makes. The solid focus on story first is nice. I would like a bit more crunch, but simple is fun sometimes. The story and theme of the book are top notch. The execution isn't. If you want a game that starts quick and plays quick but still has great Lovecraftian horror, then Trail of Cthulhu is worth checking out. 88%



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Trail of Cthulhu
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Pip System Corebook
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/04/2020 10:27:41

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pip System Corebook

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Pip System Corebook System- Pip System Producer- Third Eye Games Price- $14.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/216645/Pip-System-Coreboo?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- The Cypher system and Shadowrun had a baby! 93%

Basics- What do you want to play? The Pip system book is a generic system book that focuses on the mechanics of the pip system and all the different worlds you can play in. Let’s dig in.

Basics-This is SOLIDLY a skill based system. Everything you do is based on how many skill dice you have and EVERYTHING is a d6. Basically you take however many ranks you have in a skill plus your quality ranks (think specializations that may count for some activities) and roll that many six sided dice, counting 4s, 5s, and 6s as successes. These are called your white dice. Then you or the GG (game guide, the GM for this system) roll a number of dice equal to the challenge rating of whatever you're up against and counts 4s, 5s, and 6s. These are the black dice If you get more white successes than black, you succeed.

Combat, AC, and the rest- We don’t really do that here. You have hit points, but as a skill system you basically tell the GM how it goes down. You just dodge the hit, then you roll athletics to dodge, but you might say I roll stealth to hide and avoid or survive to get out of the way into cover. You succeed on the dodge, you don’t take the hit. You attack with different traits as well,and damage is just difference in hits if you succeed on the attack.

Gear and Character Building- Character building is quick too. You choose a basic archetype that gives you some mental and physical hit points, basic starting skills, an ability, and a hindrance to roleplay. Then you spend build points buying skills, quality ranks (specializations in a part of a skill), and advanced qualities (feats you have to meet prerequisites for). Gear is the same way. You spend other build points buying different gear. It’s all generic to help you build a character for any setting that you might want to pay.

Fortune- Magic cheaty points! Fortune is how you can control your rolls. Everyone wants rerolls, HP, and other things so you can control the action a bit, and Fortune is that thing. Roleplay well, do cool things, and play nice and you get fortune tokens.

Ok, what do I think of all this?

Mechanics or Crunch- For the crunch here, you have to ask yourself one of two very important questions-”Do I like the cypher system, but want a tad more crunch?” or “Do I like Shadowrun but could use a bit more speed?”. If yes, you will love this. It’s a simple system where you make lots of choices and control a lot without having too many rules in the way. That also means that players can have a HORRIBLE time if the GG and they just don’t work well, so it’s got that OSR vibe of the system flexes a lot for fun, but your GM can ruin your experience. Overall, the base mechanic running EVERYTHING is amazing to me. You do need to coordinate with your GG to make sure your awesome character isn’t completely built against what he/she is thinking so your game time won’t be an issue. Solid quick mechanics make this a good system to learn and get into. 4.75/5

Theme or Fluff- It’s always hard to review a generic system without a world. There are some splashes of places to play, but mostly this book is how to play and check out the other stuff we got for specific places to play. It’s got good intros so I like what I see. The book does go a bit more fantasy than modern or future, even though it supports everything. Good intro to a gateway to several new worlds. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? YES! Solid execution here, but a few issues that hurt it a bit. Text is easy to read. Pictures break up the flow, and I like a lot of the toys on offer. However, I would like a few more examples of actual play. Tell me how numbers happen. That's the big issue here. It's a generic system, so as the GG I need more guidance on what to throw at my players and how my players make the dice pools. Overall, it's decent, but if it were to provide a bit more walkthrough of a game and a combat scene, I would love this more. 4.75/5

Summary- Well, I’m in. This is a fun system that I can get my players running in about 10 minutes after they select pregens or 20 minutes if they have to build people. It's quick, easy, and negotiable. Players have control, but with all negotiable systems, dialogue will be key. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and players will enjoy this game. I like Sci-fi, so I want a bit more of that in the base book. But, what’s here is good. As for the physical build of the book, it’s done well. I still need more examples, but I think I can run my first game well enough. I like what I’ve found in this one. If you want some quick d6 gaming in any universe, this is worth a look. 93%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pip System Corebook
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Pocket Lint, Light Loot & Tiny Treasures
Publisher: Beyond the Horizon
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2020 22:39:23

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pocket Lint, Light Loot & Tiny Treasures

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Pocket Lint, Light Loot & Tiny Treasures System-NONE! Producer- Beyond the Horizon Price- $1.95 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/321954/Pocket-Lint-Light-Loot--Tiny-Treasurest?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR-Solid, random stuff! 95%

Basics- What has it got in its pocketses? Need some random stuff an NPC is carrying and not sure what they have? This is the book for you. Roll a d20, then a d6, and finally a d20 again. Random pocket stuff on the fly!

Mechanics or Crunch- Roll three dice, get an item. That’s the basic idea, and it works pretty well! The book is here to help you find some good, random stuff, and the number of dice make it pretty random. The one thing I would like is a random die to know how many items each creature should have. The book gives a bit of advice: aim between 1 to 2 and no more than six, but throw another die in there to get me a number. Aside from that, it's an easy, quick way to find some stuff that can make a monster’s random possessions stand out. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-This is where the book shines. You need some random crap on a monster? DONE! And it’s lively! Each thing feels like it will build a world a little bit. Solid random stuff in these tables. 5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? No… This book is solidly layed out and has good tables and readability. It’s 14 pages including an intro and cover page, but otherwise its tables. But I can read them quickly and easily. THAT’S WHAT A LOT OF BOOKS NEED TO LEARN! Would like some linking so I can use this as a quick reference more, but that’s the only negative here. 4.75/5

Summary-If you need some random on the fly, then this is your book. You will be surprised how easily some of these things could become whole adventure seeds. Some, on the other hand, are just fun. I have my minor issues, but for less than two bucks, you get a whole lot of bang for those two bucks if you need some quick ideas to spice up the random possessions you find on a fallen foe. 95%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pocket Lint, Light Loot & Tiny Treasures
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EB-03 Where the Dead Wait
Publisher: D&D Adventurers League
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/28/2020 22:04:15

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of EB-03 Where the Dead Wait

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- EB-03 Where the Dead Wait System-DnD 5e Producer- DMs Guild Price- $4.99 here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/302373/EB03-Where-the-Dead-Wait?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Solid semi-side episode of an awesome campaign. 95%

Basics- Time for Dawn of the Dead in Eberron? You’ve escaped from the Warforged with a magic talking box, but now the dead hunger for you in the Mournland. Can you get out, keep the box, and stop the dead from eating you?

Mechanics or Crunch- The crunch here is strong! It’s a fun adventure. Mechanically it works well. It might be a bit much for some players if they don’t think straight and want to do a smack down outside with an army of undead and don’t keep track of what’s happening with the NPCs. Overall solid, but sometimes the hint stick may be needed to help if the players just can’t keep themselves from killing themselves. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-Combine Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead 2, and From Dusk till Dawn, and you have this adventure. It’s fun. It’s mostly a side adventure, but it doesn have a major plot tie in. Even the filler episodes of this campaign are fun. 5/5

Execution- PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? No… I like these adventures. They are a blast to run as they read quick and I feel I can tie the player into the story. Reads quick, layout is nice, art makes me feel like it's the 1920s between the wars period, and the additional newspapers are a great touch. Just give me my hyperlinking to move easily through the materials, and it would be perfect. 4.75/5

Summary-Oricle of War keeps delivering. This isn’t the main plot for the most part, but honestly you won’t care. Solid plot, decent mechanics, and a good execution make this an adventure to play if you want to get deeper into this campaign. 95%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
EB-03 Where the Dead Wait
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