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Tiny Gunslingers
by Paolo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2021 02:14:08

Tiny Gunslingers - playtest review.

Yesterday night I did a one-shot using https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/116132/SS--The-Gatling-Decision played with https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/280858/Tiny-Gunslingers

Caveats: I specified from the start that this would be a one shot so nobody (included me) should put it too much of an effort: we had a free night from my main campaign (one of the players was missing for two weeks) and I just wanted to throw together something.

I own 3-4 other TinyD6 titles (acquired via a Bundle of Holding offer), but I wanted something with zero "unrealistic" elements to see how the system works in more mundane circumstances.

The adventure is a bit "railroaded" but I think it was very well suited for my own needs. I don't want to give any spoilers, let's just say that we managed to complete 2/3rds of it and it featured both a brawl and an extended shooting battle.

Nobody at the table had ever used TinyD6 before that, and this was apparent from some of the choices in designing the characters (e.g. Tiny Gunslinger has separate mechanics for playing duels, which are modeled by using a sort of blackjack card game... some of the traits/advantages work only in duels, though, and considering you only have 3 of these at the start you better be sure that there will be duels or you risk to waste precious character traits for something that will be useless the rest of the time).

Finally, I can manage tactical fights but I really shine in devising investigative scenarios and providing interesting NPCs to interact with. Neither of those were really applicable there.

Having said all this, I do not think I liked TinyD6 very much (and I suspect all the players would agree). The system is very streamlined, so it plays fast. I tend to prefer lighter systems nowadays, so I am fine with that, actually.

What I am not fine with though, is:

A - PCs (and NPCs) feel very interchangeable: you have 3 traits, 1 broad proficiency in weapon classes and 1 weapon specialization. (In our case nobody had any skill in brawling/melee/unarmed combat and therefore... see B below).

B - TinyD6 started as a super-simplified D&D clone. So everyone has a variable level of HPs (PCs start with six). Weapons do all the same amount of damage (see also C, though). In the Saloon brawl scene even if I gave only 2HP to all NPCs we still had to go through a lot of undecisive rounds due to the high number of failures in scoring a hit.

C - I tried to prepare for this so I read a few threads about TinyD6: lots of people advocate an easy and fast way to make damage variable while still preserving "game balance". In the rules any kind of weapon always does 1 point of damage, this house rule guarantees that if you actually score, at least 70% of the time you get 1 point of damage, 2 points in no more than 20% of the cases, and 3 points on a particularly lucky case (~3%). When we actually started using guns, this made combat much more decisive instead of having to grind it out for hours.

D - I am always starved for time so I could have prepared myself a bit better, probably... but I doubt it would have made a big difference (considering that I did not expect to deviate from the written adventure). I did invest a couple of bucks to get nicer train deckplans: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151326/1880s-Train-Car-Map-Set (the game was played online, I always try to get nice maps for these).

Conclusions

I am really not happy with the system (take also in account that even if TinyGunslinger was sold as a "complete game" you better get a copy of TinyDungeons in any case or you have to invent lots of stuff, like stats for bears, horses and... average humans, too).

I appreciate that after this playtest everything would work better (my players would know how to better design their characters, I would get more accustomed to the mechanics and could start adding my own personal touches...) but I wasn't particularly impressed either by the system "per se" or by how it was used to model "old west" stories.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Gunslingers
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White Box Gothic [Swords & Wizardry]
by Edward A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2021 21:05:47

POD Please? lol this phrase gets overused, but I really think it applys here.

This is one of the best options I have seen from White Box. I actually had the PDF printed from Staples into a small, spiral-bound zine. I only do this for the books I love as it costs about $30.

One of my groups runs DDX, but heavily modde from other games. This book is essential to my DDX, OSR homebrew. White Box is a great system. I have the original White Box the author put out a decade or so ago. Dark Dungeons X has that skill and feat system that feels a little like 3e. Which is why I went with that. I hear there is a kickstarter for a better quality White Box game. If you're reading this, you probably already missed that.

Damphir is my favorite class/race option. More monsters (Children of the Night) and spells (Sorcery most foul) also add more options and a nice flavor. I'm can't wait to look into some of the Ravenloft stuff from 3e to add to this!

Reanimated are great. A great expansion on the Frankenstine Monster tropes.

The curse modifier chart on p 23 is forever in my games!

5 stars! This module gets used at lots of games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box Gothic [Swords & Wizardry]
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Dark Streets & Darker Secrets
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/10/2021 14:43:04

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2021/11/review-dark-streets-darker-secrets.html

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets has been on my "To Be Reviewed" pile for a very long time. I grabbed the PDF when it came out, but set it aside for the longest time because I was working on a bunch of other things and didn't get the chance. I picked it back up and really enjoyed it. So much so I also picked it up in hardcover Print on Demand.

So let's get to it.

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets

by Diogo Nogueira. 222 pages, hardcover. Color cover with black and white interior art. For this review, I am considering both the PDF and the Print on Demand hardcovers from DriveThruRPG.

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets (DS&DS) is a modern occult horror game from ENnie Award winner Diogo Nogueira. The book is digest size so it fit well with many "old school" style books of the last 10 years. It not only fits on the shelf physically but thematically as well. The game is based on Nogueira's earlier works Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, so out of the gate there are more resources for this game if you desire.

The game itself is a gritty, modern occult/supernatural horror game. The normal humans are just slightly above average for the most part and the monsters are way more powerful. Immediately I thought of it as a bit of Chill mixed in with Kult. The feel is very much "humanity alone against the darkness."

The book is laid out in eight chapters with some appendices.

Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter covers the basics of what is in the book.

Chapter 2: Character Creation

If you have played any old-school-like game in the last 45+ years you have an idea what this chapter is about. The differences here fit the tone of the game. Character attributes are rolled using a 2d6+3 (not a 3d6 or even 4d6 drop the lowest), this creates a narrower band of character attributes, 5-15 but still on the same human range of 3-18. There is a chance to increase these later on. The attribute themselves are a simplified version of the Basic 6; Physique (combining Strength and Constitution), Agility (Dexterity), Intellect (Intelligence), and Willpower (Wisdom and Charisma). Once those are done you create a character concept which is a basic couple word description and not a backstory.

After this, it is time to choose the Archetype or essentially the class of the character. They are The Tough, The Nimble, The Smart, and The Gifted. These align with the attributes above. The Gifted is special in that you can be a spell-caster or even a supernatural creature like a vampire, werewolf, or even an alien. Each archetype also gets a "recovery roll" which decides how quick they can bounce back from injury.

Since this is a gritty sort of universe all characters have a complication. These can come into play in the game to keep things "difficult and exciting" for the characters. It includes a d66 table (roll 2d6 and use the rolls like d%. Traveller people know this one well).

Then you pick out some gear. If it is mundane gear you have it. You also get some weapons and "weird" gear. These are detailed in the next chapter.

Finally, we have derived scores. Vitality (Physique + Level) are your "hit points." Sanity, or mental stability, is equal to your Intellect. Now I have mentioned before I do not like how many games handle insanity or madness. Sadly this game is not an exception. I spent a few years working in a mental health facility back when I was in grad school. There is no relationship between intelligence and mental health. In fact, I had one guy who was schizophrenic and could speak 3 or 4 languages including German and Swahili. He learned I also spoke German and would use that when he wanted to talk about the other clients "in secret" to me. So yeah. I am not really a fan of this one. I'd rather roll a 2d6 and then add a bonus from Willpower (and maybe Intellect) to get my Sanity score. There is also Luck points which are like fate points or drama points (everyone starts with 3) and Money.

Chapter 3: Gear

Covers mundane gear, expendable gear (like ammunition and things that wear out) and even some weird gear. Weird items are the best part. Every character has one weird item they start off with. This is easily explainable either they found it and thus introduced to the weirder world OR they have always had it and the world is waiting for them. There is a d100 table that covers a bunch of different sorts of items. Note, we just get the names of the items, what they do will be discovered in-game.

Additionally, drugs, services, illegal goods, and money points (abstraction of money carried) are also dealt with.

Chapter 4: Rules of the City

Here are our basic rules for the game. Everything is an attribute check (roll under your attribute modified by level and difficulty). There are some neat quirks. There is an advantage/disadvantage system here called Positive and Negative rolls. Rolling on your attribute is considered a critical success. You roll lower than your attribute to succeed, BUT higher than the difficulty. So if something has a difficulty of 8 and my attribute is 12 I have to roll a 12 or lower BUT also higher than an 8. So only rolls of 9, 10, 11, and 12 will get me a success.

Players can add a Luck roll to their challenges. This is not a matter of just adding points. You have to roll a d6. If it is equal to or lower than their luck score then you get to make a situation more favorable.

This chapter also covers sanity and madness. You lose Sanity if you encounter something strange and fail a Willpower test. Difficulty set by the situation. Points lost also can vary. When the character's Sanit score reaches 0 then they get a Madness. Thankfully there is no list of "madnesses" here. Most game designers get these horribly wrong anyways. In game you get a minor "quirk" on your first loss. If you suffer 4 losses then the character has succumbed to madness and can't be played.

Level advancement is a form of Milestone advancement that looks like it should work rather well. Again individual GMs can (and should) alter this to fit their needs.

Chapter 5: Combat

Like many RPGs combat gets a special chapter even if it is just a particular form of the rules stated above. But if one is going to fight the armies of darkness then one is expected to actually fight. Reading through this you get the idea that yes the characters can be tough. You also get the idea that the things they are fighting are a lot tougher. While there are a few ways the players can save their character's bacon, there are still a lot of grisly ways to die in this game.

Chapter 6: Sorcery and Psychic Powers

Ah, now this is the meat of the game in my mind. A Gifted character can be a sorcerer, a witch, a psychic or some other type of creature. Their powers and how to use them are detailed here. Regardless of the origin or the nature of the powers, game-wise they are treated in similar manners, the difference largely being different Backlash tables. How they are played can vary wildly. I mentioned that this is grittier game than one would see in say a Buffy-like game. The previously mentioned Backlash is one and Corruption is another. These include simple things like a "witch's mark" to changes to one's body and mind or just getting pulled right into the Abyss. Pro-tip, don't botch your rolls.

A very nice (and long) list of powers is given with their effects. While the list is long (60 entries) it is not exhaustive.

Additionally, Arcane artifacts are covered. How they are made, what they do, powers, cost (to make AND to use), and some samples.

Chapter 7: Running the Game

This covers the world of DS&DS. There is a bias (is that the right word? Preference is better) to an urbane game. Thus the title really. Outside of this there is no set theme or even setting. This would be a sandbox game if it were a FRPG. What we do get here is a ton of tables full of ideas for a a game, campaign, or an entire world.

Chapter 8: Monsters

Our Monster chapter differs from other games in that there is not a bestiary here per se, but example creatures and the means to make others of a similar nature. So for example there is a Cultis section that covers some sample cultists from 1-3 HD to demon-possessed leaders of 4-8 HD. This includes a table of "What are They Doing?" and "What do They Want?" A very effective means of repurposing content. The more powerful the creature the more detail they need obviously, but there is not a lot of detail in most cases. This works well here since the players (mostly the GM) provide all the details. There are powers listed for random creatures as well.

Appendix O: Optional Rules

Here are a group of optional rules you can add to your game. Things like Drunken Luck, Daring Points, Single Hero games and Multi-Archetype (Multi-Class) Characters.

Appendix I: Inspirational Materials

Covers the various books, movies, TV Shows, and other RPGs for inspiration.

Appendix S: Simple Scenario Structure

This discusses how to build a quick scenario and an example.

We end with a Character Sheet (and a Form Fillable one is provided with the PDF) and the OGL statement. I do feel the need to point out that Nogueira has released this game as 100% Open Gaming Content.

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets certainly lives up to the hype and has a lot going for it. If you have a world already in your mind and just need a system to flesh it out then this is a great choice for you. In this respect, it is very similar to old-school D&D. No default world type, just the tools to play in the world of your imagination with some assumptions built-in.

If you are looking for huge meta-plotting like the World of Darkness or even the baked-in mythology of Buffy the Vampire Slayer you find that here, which is refreshing. The players all have maximum flexibility to do what they want and that is the key strength of this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Streets & Darker Secrets
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Tiny Gunslingers
by Brent W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2021 20:08:48

Tiny Gunslingers is a role-playing game and belongs to the TinyD6 game line and as such is completely compatible with the other TinyD6 games and genres. So if you want to mix your western with magic, sci-fi, horror, and so on, it's got you covered.

I will not review the TinyD6 game system per se, but rather just the rules as presented here.

Basically, characters are still created by assigning a series of traits, of which there are 19 new ones focused on the Old West, along with the usual assortment from the other books. There are no stats such as Strength or Intelligence, nor skills. There are no races or classes (both called Heritages in TinyD6 terminology). Characters are entirely defined by their traits which give them a mechanical advantage in certain circumstances, and can replicate such things normally covered by stats or skills in other RPGs.

There is a well done mechanism for resolving shoot-outs/duels using a version of the classic card game Black Jack. A lot of games attempt to mechanically draw out the rising tension before someone yells "Draw!" and the bullets start flying. Most are too complex and time consuming. TinyGunslingers answers the problem with an elegant solution that also increases the lethality of a duel over regular combat. A nice touch!

Another addition is the use of Grit and Bounty which mechanically seems incomplete. Grit allows you to perform extra special actions, and the only way to regain Grit is by getting Bounty from capturing/killing criminals/bad guys. Characters may never have more than 3 Grit, but there is no limit to Bounty. There is a mysterious sentence that states since one may only have 3 Grit, extra Grit better be shared with the posse. How? There is nothing in the rules to clarify what that means or how to go about it.

The game is only 36 pages in a digest format and if you believed that this makes the game too short and thematically incomplete, you'd be right. Tiny Gunslingers was meant as a bonus mini-game for those supporting the author's Patreon endeavor. As such it does not include any information about how the Old West was, real or imaginary outside of some perfunctory paragraphs about a fictional location. To further muddy the waters, the Enemies section nearly exclusively provides examples of sci-fi western threats. I don't fault it for the missing or genre-inappropriate information as it was never meant to be a complete western source-book...except...for one criminal lack of discussion...

Indians.

There are no rules or commentary presented in the book that address Indians, Indian culture, Indians as characters, and so on outside of a single sample NPC. In fact, on a random enemy table that presents threats to characters such as bears, other gunslingers, or angry railroad workers, hostile Indians are omitted. There is on the other hand a rather sanctimonious paragraph that scolds the reader about not causing real mental health issues by engaging in pretend colonialism. Perhaps that is why the game is devoid of discussion of Indians for fear of offending someone? The tragedy of the American Indian should not be forgotten and it should be treated with sensitivity, but the solution to possible offense and stereotypes is omission? That seems perhaps even more racially insensitive than a negative inclusion. I believe this to be a serious misstep on the author's part. There are several blank pages at the rear of the book and I would like to see a revised version at some point address Indians in those available pages.

The Nitty Gritty Total Page Count: 36 Pages Character Creation: 11 Pages Game Mechanics: 9 Pages Everything Else: 16 Pages

Judgement: In the end, I love Tiny Gunslingers. Although it is a stand alone game, I cannot recommend it as a stand alone game unless you already have a good understanding of the old west. There is too much missing. As an addition to the TinyD6 line, I think it is a great vehicle for exploring genre-blending worlds. If you have Tiny Frontiers, Dungeon, or any of the others, this is a must-have.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Gunslingers
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White Box Gothic [Swords & Wizardry]
by Jonathan R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2021 07:09:30

Excellent additions for Univeral and/or Hammer-style Gothic horror for S&W White Box / White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game or other similiar OSR products. Like all White Box material, it's easily portable to other systems or hackable for your own ends. I'm looking forward to running a horror-themed White Box FMAG campaign with this as the primary supplement.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Box Gothic [Swords & Wizardry]
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Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells
by Alex J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2021 18:54:40
A new favourite

Purely and simply this is one of the easiest to use, best laid out books i've played...and I have a lot. Im tempted to buy the hardcover just because I am a fan!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells
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Knight's Gambit: A White Star Card Game
by MATTHEW A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2021 14:06:19

A lot of fun and easy to learn. My players enjoyed this card game so much they wound up playing it more than the rpg. Really nice for downtime and it can be fun just to reference to in game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knight's Gambit: A White Star Card Game
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White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
by MATTHEW A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2021 14:01:33

I've played and ran a few campaigns for this game and I really enjoy it, and my friends really liked it. The only drawback we found was advancing a level didn't seem to pay off, only every other level do you get a new feature. Would like to see that element changed up, honestly. Other than that, this is a super fun system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying [Swords & Wizardry]
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Tiny Cthulhu
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2021 21:34:05

Confession first: I'm a fan of the TinyD6 games and Alan Bahr, and i backed this on Kickstarter, so I am predisposed to loke this game. And I do.

I'll start with a possible negative. If you are unfamiliar with the Cthulhu Mythos and want to learn more, this may not be the game for you. While it does offer a nice gloss of Cthulhiana, it also points out that the subject is large, deep and obtuse, and covered in depth elsewhere.

If you are familiar with the Cthuhu Mythos, or are willing to fake it, and want a fun rules light set of rules, this may be the game for you. Truthfully, I think you could run just about any sort of pulp/noir occult or occult adjacent game with TinyCthuhu.

I recommend this game 100%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Cthulhu
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Tiny Cthulhu
by william g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2021 21:44:40

This is one of the first Tiny games I have purchased. I then bought Tiny Taverns and Tiny Gunslingers. The game is amazing, simple and if you are looking for a rules light system where you can let your players go wild, be silly and have fun, this system allows all the fun and story and the rules get out of the way. The only thing I would like to see in the future is something like a book with all the rules/traits from the various games. In the interm I will be purchasing the Tiny library and figuring out how to make my interdimentional tavern or my Musketeer Airship pirates game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells (Variant Cover)
by Lucas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2021 23:03:40

Excellent space adventure game - i get a gonzo / space opera feel from the art but more 'serious' games can be run with the ruleset provided. IMO the setting and adventrue generation tools included are the highlight of the work. Game mechanisms are easy to pick up and rules are given for just about any kind of space game you would like to play/run.

Physical print of the hardcover was suprisingly good. Unfortunately POD quality is hit-or-miss even from the same printer. My copy survived shipping in good shape. Image and text quality are excellent, binding is glued as you would expect but seems solid enough. Cover is good - i would recommend paying the extra to 'upgrade' from the standard cover art to the variant cover if you're buying the hardback version.

I've become a fan of Diogo's work. His games feature rule mechaninsms that are not complicated paired with an open framework that provide setting and adventure generation tools for game masters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells (Variant Cover)
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Swordpoint
by Andrey S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2021 03:38:29

A great system building off of the BRP base. Not every element of the system makes sense, but it's very hackable thanks to the nature of BRP for GMs to adjust elements they may enjoy more/less. For what it is, it's an amazingly high quality product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Swordpoint
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Sagas & Six-Guns
by John P. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2021 09:43:02

Ever since the first generic RPG's appeared in the 80's, there has been a steady stream of unique combinations of genres. This is one of those. Combining two perennial favorites, the Western and Fantasy, the author has created a truly unique game world. Aspects of Norse culture have been woven into a place mirroring the Old West, setting the characters as the heroes and heroines of their own sagas, but with stetsons and six-guns. There is even a touch of the steampunk genre, again, well-integrated with the Norse-feel of the setting.

A detailed plot-point campaign and many side adventures enable a game master to put their band of characters into an epic saga at the very core of the setting.

Although they might be fought with guns, many of the enemies featured are the traditional Norse monsters and villains – giants and trolls, the restless undead, and followers of Loki – along with traditional Western enemies – villainous cattle-barons, bank and train robbers, and rustlers.

All in all, this is a solid setting and ready for a lot of fun play with a minimum of preparation beyond a basic familiarity with the Savage Worlds rules, or conversion to a GM's choice of other rule set.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sagas & Six-Guns
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Tiny Taverns
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2021 14:48:38

OK attempt at a new idea. I like the idea of a fantasy tavern (or I wouldn't have bought the book!) but by including literally every fantasy race ever invented makes it a mess to play. The rules are OK - but when we tried it the concept just didn't seem to gel too well at all.

I need to have at the rule set with a pencil erasing about 30% of it and try again. I suspect there is a decent game buried in there.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Taverns
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For Coin & Blood: Second Edition
by Thomas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2021 14:41:20

Old School D&D with a superb twist.

Human centric (it assumes all characters and NPC's are human by default) this game focuses on the dark side of fantasy life. A world where killing innocents and taking what you need is seen as morally neutral. Not to be applauded, but not forwned on either. Your character does what it needs to to make some money and keep on adventuring.

Magic and monsters are rare and unusual. you certainly wont be running "monster of the week" type campaigns with this rules set. But if you wanted to do "Lies of Locke Lamora" then this would be almost ideal.

I love the artwork, and the short pirce of fiction at the start and end set the tone very nicely indeed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
For Coin & Blood: Second Edition
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