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Hero DxD
Publisher: Dreams and Dragons
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2016 20:07:03

While I am rating Hero DxD (which is unique) I would also like to give a recommendation for other gamers to check out the publisher homepage. There you will find several other free games across a variety of genres. All are free and worth checking out. On to Hero Dxd, I am a huge fan of super hero rpgs(+ other genres to a lesser degree) and also of some more rule heavy games but I am also a fan of games that can be learned very quickly and run without much thought or preperation. I am sure after one play session the players should understand the game and rules without much if any difficulty. After a couple sessions all the traits should be engrained in your mind and a game could be started anywhere any time even without the rule book or any character sheets. I have paid alot more for a lot less. Add in the dice mechanics ( sometimes a 6 or double dice are good and other times bad) along with the ace card moving from player to player giving the option of saving the day for another hero is awesome as it does nothing for you but can help another hero if they fail a roll. Seriously people it is free. why are you even thinking whether you will download or not. DO IT!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero DxD
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BASH! Fantasy: Grimoire of Magic
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 19:41:17

This is a must have for BASH Fantasy if you want a structured or more spell casting options than the base book provides. Using the system provided you can create a dedicated sorcerer using 1 area of magic or a general mage that doesn't specialize in any school of magic but could have a wider variety of magic to choose from. Alot of new enhancements and limitations along with different ideas of how you could use magic or how easy/difficult it is to cast expand on the base book which did not offer any form of real magic system. A multitued of spells for each school will give you a great base should you decide that you might want even more spells or just to tinker with a spell already presented. The best part is this system could be used in any setting or even another game engine to provide a great magic system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Fantasy: Grimoire of Magic
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BASH! Fantasy: Codex of Fantasy Folk
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 19:16:34

GIving this book a 4/5 only because it is not an absolute must have. It does however add alot of races and can make any racial interactions easier and just by adjusting some stats, talents, or powers you can create any new race or sub species. The fact you can also use the races in any setting or any BASH product is a bonus. A couple of the new powers, advantages presented are naturals for a sci fi setting or even a supers settings. I guess every race could have used an illistration as some names do not directly conjure the right vision. the descriptions do however do a great job. this more of my preference than a slight on the functionality of this book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Fantasy: Codex of Fantasy Folk
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BASH Fantasy: Legends of Steel
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 19:00:07

I would given a rating of 5/5 but the grimoire was so darn good that it makes this book seem not complete. Which it does actually mention in the book that magic is rare and that the focus is on swashbuckling, adventuring and similiar things but not on being a dedicated spell caster.( I did give a 4/5 though) That said it does go into some detail on using special powers as spells and could easily be enough for most people to design a pure spell caster and enjoy the game as is. Other powers whether they be background or talent will allow you to design any kind or character in a low tech setting. With a little work on the users part you could also make characters for other setting as well(super, cyberpunk, modern, etc.). by applying the same rules you would design a fireball,lightning bolt or ice blast you can apply a gadget limitation and create a blaster, super power or any other form. I am actually upset that I bought the old Bash UE before purchasing this book as the rules are slightly different for some things but can make a huge impact on the game(how you soak damage and if enough wounds damage is taken at 1 time you can suffer dice roll penaties). Plus it is easier to adjust a game to a supers campaign set in a similiar world to ours from a low tech setting than vice versa. I am also starting to design for a sci fi setting as adding tech weapons are not that hard and making a sailing vessel into a startship is just as easy as adding a a couple of vehicle enhancements. As a long time player of DnD I like the general setting presented in the book but with the simpler rules and fast action of the BASH system I am a convert to the BASH engine of RPGs for other genres as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH Fantasy: Legends of Steel
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Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/12/2016 13:31:56

I will let the review by Zachary H. describe the mechanics as he does a great job.

I do need to add my thoughts. From a Super powers game I need quick character creation and fast, lite rules allowing creativity to manage how the powers are used. Triumphant does both of these things.

I normally try not to compare a game to other games as I feel that does a disservice to both games. However in this case I must compare it to SUPERS!. Both games have a similar feel of quick action not being tied up in rules but allowing the players and GM to be creative but with a simple resolution system allows for a structured system. I know I contradicted myself but both games do such a great job of mixing both.

What is different is the dice system which again Zachary describes very well and I will let that review do the talking. It does however play a little faster than SUPERS! which has been my favorite system for a supers game for quite a while and I have used a lot of them.

Triumphant may now be my new favorite for how the dice system works.

The reason I give it only 4 stars is because of the colored art and blocks of info. It feels like they tried for a top game layout but failed at the text layout. It would have been better had they just stuck to text only instead of adding the art but leaving the text the way it is. Nit picky maybe but I definitely wouldn't keep me from buying a revised version with a much more flushed out campaign setting, even in the same layout.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
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Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
Publisher: Sleeping Griffon Productions
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/10/2016 22:33:45

RATING 4 out of 5

Anyone familiar with D&D/Pathfinder could be playing within 5 minutes. the rules are basically the same. Roll 1d20 and compare it to the Armor Class of the opponent. Skill checks are 2d6 with a target number of 9. Class bonuses and career ranks add to your roll. Equal 9 and you succeed.

Very simple rules presented in a simple but beautiful format while not including obscure rules are a major plus for me.

The 5 classes available are again simple to understand and with the multi-class option you can create any style of character you may want in a more modern setting of investigating and fighting all kinds of normal and fantasy creatures or people.

Additional good points -Beyond the first few pages and 1 later in the book all the pages are black and white. -Plenty of creatures to battle -A sample adventure -A large variety of spells -a large variety of modern equipment, vehicles and weapons

  • little to no artwork Bad points -Even though Wyverns are presented and in its description dragons are mentioned, none are presented(I always need dragons)
  • Beyond that I can't really say anything particularly bad

Further thoughts In my earlier days of RPG games my group often times took to different time eras and while reading the PDF I was taken back to those times as this game doesn't seem to concentrate on the minutia of rules but instead on the fun and interaction.

Also while reading I had visions of zeppelins instead of planes and more of a steam punk setting but possibly including futuristic hover vehicles. My creativity was immediately put to work. THANK YOU.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skyscrapers & Sorcery White Box Rules
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review, I hope you enjoy the game, and I almost included an entry for dragons, so I\'ll put together a PWYW supplement on my take on dragons in the S&S setting as soon as I get a chance (might take a couple of weeks, I\'m in my busy time of the year at my day job)
Prowlers & Paragons Core Rules
Publisher: LakeSide Games
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/19/2015 09:59:10

I bought P&P a while ago along with a couple other games. This one got pushed to the bottom of the pile and forgotten for flashier or newer style games of descriptor driven. One day I saw it in my library and had no clue what P&P was. I was greatly surprised. While not being greatly innovative in any way the game mechanics are tried, tested and true. rolling 6 sided dice equal to the trait or power in question counting even numbers as successes and counting any 6 as a success and roll again hoping for more even numbers and especially a 6. You then compare your success against a number set by the gm or by a contested roll vs another being or item, etc.. Mundane trait, super traits, perks and flaws make up your character. there is quite a variety of each, not overloaded but having the skills , powers and everything needed. easy to understand costs without a lot of number crunching. there are quite a few samples of animals, NPCs, Archtypes, Weapons, armors, and vehicles that even though a fleshed out game setting is not provided you can still jump in to playing with minimal setup. With a little prep time for the GM and 5 minutes for new players you could be running a new game with the sample adventure because the rules are so easy and most players will be familiar with a variation of the rules. P&P is presented very well with some very nice art work. Not being my thing I won't comment to much but it is better than some other art work in other games by far. What I love is the balance between number crunching during creation and playing vs the open ended narrative of how powers work and how they are resolved. depending on degree of success or failure both the GM and the player could add their input on what happens during an action. If you have any doubts try the quickstart rules and download the free samples. what you will see is only touching on the game and I guarantee that what it doesn't have in the quickstart is worth getting in the core rules. Also on their web site is a free creation cheat sheet. listed is all the abilities and gear you will use in the game. just take a look, it is worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Prowlers & Paragons Core Rules
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PowerFrame Core Rulebook
Publisher: PowerFrame Games
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/09/2015 23:49:36

For a 5 start rating I gave I must also say nothing about this game will amaze the RPG world. I gave it 5 starts because it is presented clearly with easy rules to learn and play. enough samples to get a GM running fairly quick but not so much information that I got bogged down with numbers. Not going chapter by chapter I will go into specifics.

The basic rule system is roll a D6 and modified by your ability score. There is a list of Abilities and another separated by physical, mental, social, etc. Abilities start at 0 and can be modified by up to -5 to +5. Your target number is a difficulty number set by the GM or by the roll and ability score of your opponent. Quick, easy, not ground breaking but it works well.

Traits can also modify your abilities, dice rolls or just give your character some more flare. of course some traits will be negative, positive or both. Again similar to other games but it works.

Combat is straight forward. Easy to learn and play. there is enough expanded rules like burning and drowning to cover the basics but not overly done to bog the game down with number crunching and chart searching. there are rules for hit by location. I wouldn't use these myself unless the player was making a called shot but it is there for those that like this option.

Battle maps and world maps are discussed along with rules for using them. Blank copies are there for you to print out and use if you want, Enough information is given if you want to use them but not the game will not be affected too much if you choose not to use them.

The section on Settlements is clearly aimed towards a fantasy setting or post apocalyptic genre. Included here is information on the type of businesses, people and work that might be available. Decent section but not overly done but can be remodeled easily for a more modern or present society.

The gear section covers a lot of mundane equipment, weapons, armour, and vehicles to cover any campaign world from low tech to modern and into the future to cover energy weapons and powered armor. Very nicely presented with modifiers relating to attacking with or defending with items and armors that may be cutting, energy or blunt weapons. Again I wouldn't worry about those numbers unless a player had a trait making a certain style of weapon more or less effective. It is there though for those who want a little more depth to combat or their character.

The only place this game lacks is the sample characters, races, and other NPCs for different worlds. There are enough creatures that you can easily cover most creatures by modifying one presented. A wolf, just change the name to big dog. A dragon by changing its breath weapon you can make frost, acid or lightning dragons. Take away the flight and breath and you have a dinosaur. And how about a little poison snake, big deal right. Add a couple size levels and now you have one as big as a human. with a couple more you have one as big as an elephant. Take a zombie and rename it ghoul or mummy or even skeleton. I am just saying there are plenty of samples covering creatures.

Sadly, Vampires are not represented but by taking a normal character and applying a Drain health spell you have an immediate blood sucker. which brings me to the best part and the reason it gets a 5 star rating. The magic or Mysticism section.

First it is presented clearly what make up a spell and how it can be used in different genres. From fantasy wizards and healers to psionic and Super powers there are many different ways to use spells but each is easy to use and understand. Magic can either be define your spells as you play or by making pre made spells or any combination in between.

The more power you put in a spell the harder it is to cast or the mana it drains. There are plenty of spells to use or get the GM and players designing their own. It is pretty straight forward with plenty of options but not so much that it will bog the game down especially if you have several spells prepared. I can't praise this section enough and if I would borrow the section for any game I was playing. It is worth the price right here for a clean and clear set of magic rules.

You also get a section on how to create new weapons, armors, gear, spells and world settings. It is nicely presented and helps to wrap everything else up into 1 package.

To end this long review it is well worth the purchase and not a whole lot of time learning the rules. It can be used for any rpg style from dark and gritty to light and humorous. Any genre from fantasy to supers to westerns to space to horror to steampunk to spies to.... oh you get the picture.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PowerFrame Core Rulebook
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Creator Reply:
Thanks Keith, for the very thorough review! I was a bit torn on how many sample races, archetypes, and creatures to include, as I didn\'t want to bloat the book with exhaustive examples that may not be useful for most readers. I am considering writing some supplements, since I have plenty more material to put out there if there\'s demand, so an Adversaries expansion is certainly on the cards! I\'m also happy to help people with ideas and suggestions for original content, via the PowerFrame Games Community on Google Plus. I actually recently put together some Vampire stats for a new campaign. I\'m also glad to hear you liked the Mysticism rules. I had to give the old magic system a complete overhaul to fit it in the book, and I was a little worried that it might be a bit too... well, \"arcane\" for people to actually use!
Valiant Universe: The Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2015 00:51:07

Unfortunately open ended for Valiant means you only get half a game which justifies the 3 star rating I gave. The game system is fine, good to even great at times. rolling a d12 game dice along with stat die of 1d4 to 1d12 is a good thing. Using a power to add the power die, replace the stat die or to discard the lower of the power die or stat die is even better. no complaints here about that.

Changing Narrators(GMs) is ok too as most people like playing and narrating, maybe not equally but you know what I mean. It can also take the story in unique and unexpected directions like alien invasions out of no where and all of a sudden your grandmother is standing on the sidewalk where the battle is headed. It can be quite fun and humorous and personal grudges against other group members can be settled using the game system.

my main problem is the effect once you have succeeded in affecting an opponent. some sample characters attacking with the same dice numbers do damage of 2, 3, 4, 1d4, or 1d6 with really no explanation other than if it feels right do whatever damage you want. this applies to fists, guns, swords, fire, or any other form of attack.

As it stands you get a huge amount of armour allowing you to take many hits before having to worry about negative modifiers or lasting effects. Of course some characters possess an Armor power that can reduce damage by 1 but another character has it reducing damage by 3 with no explanation and yet having the same power die.

The samples are great but when creating a custom hero the open endedness falls apart hoping that your game group will keep your powers and the effects to a reasonable level. if your group also wants high damage for their characters they can't stop you from doing the same which means the enemies will have to be even greater in power or you will easily run over most opposition.

Open ended powers are a great thing allowing you to define the power as you play and use it in many different ways however there is nothing stopping a player from loading up on one power and assigning a keep the stat and power dice at the same time. and then using this power over and over for attack and defence. by adding the game die of d12 and a stat die of d12 and a power die of d12 on each roll you can have a max score of 36 to beat out your opponent. as few NPCs come close to this you will be able to hit and avoid the enemy with ease and that is not even using any Event points to modify rolls or scenes.

Tags, Cues, Action Cues, and Disposition descriptors while being optional is way to many. this is a minor issue for me as I would have 3-4 cues whether they be action or otherwise to define my character. A good Narrator(GM) can call in at least 1 of everyone's cues every game session without even trying. As it stands most characters will be cued for anything that happens in the game.

Like I said before half the game is on par with excellent. the amount of sample characters, NPCs, can have a new group running in 2 minutes if the LN(GM) knows the system and doesn't switch roles. Creating characters can be done in less than 5 minutes once you know the system as well. Leaving the cues empty or filling them in as you play(my personal method).

I have mixed feelings about Valiant but if the effects and some power defining was polished up I would not hesitate to raise my rating and purchase a version 2 but as it stands I have quite a few house rules to keep battles fair and NPCs on par with the Players.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Valiant Universe: The Roleplaying Game
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Witch Girls Adventure Rule book
Publisher: Channel M Publishing
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2015 01:29:15

Upon purchasing a product I immediately start looking at how many genres the system can mimic easily and how many it can with a little work. The game system and information provided can handle many genres easily with no effort on the GMs part. So if you don't want to be a teen age witch you can easily be a male teen with magical powers or a witch hunter, shapeshifter, vampire, God of past pantheons, etc. with the information provided by means of dozens of samples of npcs and creatures and animals you can be almost anything you want with in the world provided. If you want to be a super hero or government agent with psionic powers you can with very little effort. I immediately started to think of past cartoons that could be mimicked such as 1980's He-man, thunder cats, up to current thunder cats, dragonball z, and many others that can be done. the only genre not possible without a lot more effort is Mecha but as the greatest part of the game is the magic system you probably do not want to emulate that as there are many other systems that do a wonderful job with Mecha. If given a choice of books buy this one over the more recent Respelled as it is a cheaply made copy with only a few of the supplement material added but has a lot of the other info removed. This book and the game system is easy, versatile and perfect for beginners but also has world information and social rules for those wanting more than a combat simply game however if that is what you want it can also provide that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witch Girls Adventure Rule book
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The Comics Code
Publisher: Simon Burley Productions
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2015 23:47:40

As stated in other reviews it is very easy to learn and use. I understood the rules 5 minutes after reading and have since ran many episodes without even my pdf being anywhere near me. I used a dice app and presto instant super hero game that runs quick and allows the players to use their imagination without being dragged down by rules. I refuse to give perfect scores or I would have just for the simplicity of playing and game mastering.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Comics Code
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Universal Superheroes
Publisher: Universal Legends Workshop
by keith b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2015 23:39:08

I gave it 4 stars because nothing is perfect. I still created a couple house rules but It was to make combat a bit longer to resolve. if you want quick battles than it is great the way it is. Other than that, USH contains only a few pages but lots of info. not so much that you get bogged down but just enough to run a great game with a variety of powers for different level scales. I have been a fan of several fudge games and a hater of others because the game failed to capture the scaling of super heroes or was a complete rewrite of MSH using fudge dice. I did one myself and it took 1 page of info to do this. USH has a unique system of selecting and paying for a chance to use a wide class of powers and then selecting for a much smaller fee individual powers within each aspect. you also select modifiers or just leave your abilities and powers the way they are. It runs just fine with modifying everything to the extreme. Character creation is easy and so is playing and GMing. I suggest also getting the expansion even if you do not want to play a more street level game it has a ton of bonuses, flaws, items and NPC examples you can make use of at any level. this is a super hero must buy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Universal Superheroes
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