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Story Design 2 [BUNDLE]
by Jeff J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2017 10:58:03

Warning, to enjoy this product you have to be willing to put up with spelling and grammar mistakes.

(Example: in Story Design- Decline and Fall; "The" instead of "They" near the top of page 10.)

That said, I am enjoying reading these PDFs. Every one that I read sparks ideas for possible stories. It makes for an interesting look at what is required for each type of story.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Story Design 2 [BUNDLE]
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Story Design [BUNDLE]
by Jeff J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2017 10:48:44

Warning, to enjoy this product you have to be willing to put up with grammar mistakes.

(Things like the word one instead of won in the Story Design-Duel book)

That said, I am enjoying reading these PDFs. Every one that I read sparks ideas for possible stories. It makes for an interesting look at what is required for each type of story.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Story Design [BUNDLE]
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Play Hard: Action Movie Roleplaying
by Alex G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/21/2017 18:20:36

A tribute game based on action movies.

Think of action heroes - Bruce Willis crawling through air ducts, Arnie chewing the scenery and putting people down with one liners, Sly Stallone fighting off the entire Soviet Army armed with nothing but a machete and a couple of trick arrows, Clint Eastwood sneering at a corrupt police force, Charles Bronson's silent vigilante bringing dirtbags to justice.

This is where you get to play the heroes of those kinds of movies.

What's your story? Are you a police detective chasing down bent cops a la Serpico? Are you a government Marshall protecting witnesses by "erasing" them with elaborate theatrical trickery? You can be a Special Forces soldier, part of a unit chasing invisible aliens in a steaming jungle, or a First Officer aboard a commercial ship plagued by a chestbursting xenomorph.

The game mechanics, a simplified version of the Lighthouse roleplaying system, are so simple and easy to learn that you'll all but master them in the first session, allowing you to enjoy the game without the rules getting in your way.

Whether you want your action movie to be grim and gritty, or light-hearted and packed with one-liners, this game is for you. Just remember - these aren't the kinds of stories where the problems can be solved by just talking. You're only here to do one thing, and also chew gum ... and they're all outta gum.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Hard: Action Movie Roleplaying
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Lighthouse Roleplaying System™
by Daniel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2017 22:42:04

I picked up Lighthouse because I have found that my tastes in roleplaying game systems have drifted more towards the simple and narrative, rather than the complex and rules-laden. Everything I read about Lighthouse told me it would be along the same conceptual lines as other games with those qualities I already liked, so I went for it.

I like a lot what Kinsman has done in Lighthouse, a lot. This is a narrative-focused system that highlights descriptive devices, using dice mechanics sparingly and meaningfully to drive the story forward with an eye towards drama.

In Lighthouse, characters are built using descriptions with varying levels of importance/complexity--Big, Medium, and Small Things--each with its own numeric bonus. Rather than get bogged down in extensive skill lists and abilities, what a character can do is derived organically from each Thing description in conversation between the player and the Guide (Game Master).

The resolution mechanic is simple, using a d20 + modifiers to achieve either a low (1-10) or high (11-20), odd or even result. You then put forth a die bid, a die which determines how much you're investing into that particular roll, ranging from d4 (barely invested) to d12 (you're all in). A low result is a failure, high is a success, odd means Guide narrates, even means rolling player narrates, with the bid die determining the level of success/failure.

Threats to the characters are handled using narrative devices called Consequences, which are tied to the bid die. Characters have five slots of increasing degree of seriousness with which to absorb "damage" received during conflicts, from d4 (a very light consequence) to d12 (a potentially-permanent consequence). Consequences are dictated by the narrative, and are meant to evoke drama, not bad luck with the dice, so that no one bites the dust unless everyone playing agrees it is the proper, dramatic consequence.

The Lighthouse book includes a number of character examples drawn from easily-identifiable pop-culture stories, showcasing the versatility of the system, while the example of play helps the reader see how the pieces all fit together when in use. To this add that the book is only $3.00, and you have an easy-to-use, new-player friendly, storytelling-driven, affordable game that can power pretty much any story you and your friends want to play through at the table.

Dancing Lights Press has already published a couple of games powered by Lighthouse, and I can't wait to see how the system moves for each of those settings, as well as in what ways it can be hacked at home.

If you like Fate Accelerated Edition, or value dramatic storytelling over task simulation in your roleplaying games, pick up Lighthouse and give it a spin. Personally, I can't wait to do so.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lighthouse Roleplaying System™
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Premise: Fantasy - 100 Plot Ideas
by Arto S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2017 07:50:04

This is really useful as the plots are written generic enough for both protagonist and antagonist point of view. Too many plot books are way too specific on races, locations and artifacts etc almost sounding like mini adventure-modules. It rhymes with my own approach on story design: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/218412/Structured-Free-Association-Story-Plot-Method-20?src=dancing



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Premise: Fantasy - 100 Plot Ideas
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Starlight Manifesto
by Alex G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2017 10:11:22

Berin Kinsman's latest tour de force from Dancing Lights Press, Starlight Manifesto ventures into science fiction roleplaying - a genre dominated by Traveller and other SF games.

The characters are Peacekeepers of a galaxy-spanning interstellar organisation, in the manner of Starfleet officers from Star Trek or the Earthforce from Babylon 5. They are explorers, problem solvers, ambassadors and occasionally warriors.

The Starlight Union is not a perfect organisation, but they do have a system - and it works. The underlying philosophy behind the Union is outlined, and echoes both Trek and Babylon 5 in that it paints a future of inclusivity and cooperation, driven forwards by reason and optimism.

The characters' role is exemplified by the virtues espoused by Doctor Who - never being cruel, never being cowardly, and recognising fear as a companion and teacher rather than a threat to be met by a hail of plasma fire, an attitude seen all too often in other SF roleplaying games.

Starlight Manifesto is a full roleplaying game, using the Lighthouse Roleplaying System available separately. All you need to play is Starlight Manifesto, dice, pencil, paper and your imagination.

As with all Berin's books so far, there is no art: the aim is to free your imagination to picture the humans, aliens, equipment and visual appearance of the game the way you see it. The lack of art is a feature which results in the books being not only very small, but very good on your pocket.

The game became a DriveThru Best Seller within days of its launch, which is testimony to the creative power and passion of Berin Kinsman, manifest in the optimistic tone he adopts in this book.

In Revelations in Cold Iron, the protagonists had their work cut out for them; in Starlight Manifesto, the positive philosophy is not only triumphant, but ascendant. The universe beckons, and the future will be with us for a long time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starlight Manifesto
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Starlight Manifesto
by Guy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2017 05:44:33

Starlight Manifesto is a space opera setting, optimistic in tone, beset by other civilizations who are not so enlightened. Though reminiscent of several favorite examples of the genre,Starlight is a setting of its own. The characters are members of the Starlight Peacekeepers, exploring, keeping tge peace, and opposing the numerous endmies of the utopian union. Berin Kinsman gives us more than a setting and a rules set (the Lighthouse Roleplaying System), but he gives practical advice on creating a campaign in keeping with the optimistic setting, and on the purpose of each element of the game. Instead of creating numerous species of little depth, he has created several well-developed races, which you can nevertheless customise to suit your interpretations.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations in Cold Iron
by Lon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2017 15:57:49

Berin Kinsman has long been a bright light in the roleplaying community, and Revelations in Cold Iron continues this tradition. The setting and premise are a wonderful bit of catharsis in a time when that's badly needed. While Kinsman has tried to not make the game a specific political polemic, it can't be what it is without being a general one. This is a selling point for me; I understand it won't be to everyone's taste, but for those similarly inclined it will be a fantastic fit.

Also, if you're looking for something like The Invisibles: The Role-Playing Game, this is as close as you're likely to find. Which is also a selling point for me.

The Lighthouse system, the engine of the game, is a fantastic rules-light system for which I can see near infinite applications. Like any rules-light system, it really requires that the playes and the GM have a strongly shared vision of what the game is uspposed to be. There isn't much in the way of rules to enforce genre or tone; that's left up to the people at the table to do for themselves.

My only real complaint, and the only reason this didn't get five stars, is that Kinsman really needs a line editor. It's clear he put a lot of work into this text, but it's also clear that it suffers from the author being too close to see some of his own mistakes.

So, yeah. Go buy this game. Hell, buy everythinf from Dancing Lights Press. It won't break your bank, and it will support an indie game designer who's clearly in this for the love of his hobby.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations in Cold Iron
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks, Lon!
Revelations in Cold Iron
by Guy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2017 06:15:07

Berin Kinsman knocks it out of the park with "Revelation in Cold IRON", the first supplement for his Lighthouse RPG System. Revelation is a dark fantasy thriller, based on the concept that an Illuminst-esque conspiracy is manipulating themselves into absolute power using sorcery to overwrite the objective reality of the world with their own subjective reality. The setting? Our own world, ripped from today's headlines. The Cult of Moloch feeds off the pain and fear caused by the corruption they themselves sow, and only the Resistance can fight back before reality is completely overrwriten



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks, Guy!
Revelations in Cold Iron
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2017 19:11:10

I think this is fantastic. I'm a big fan of Berin's work and Dancing Lights Press products in general, and I didn't see this one coming (he's so busy doing background-work-type texts for DLP).

OK so the game is obviously inspired by political events of the past few years (especially the last two). If you're as frustrated as I have been watching the newsfeeds, you're looking for a game with which to vent your frustrations, and you like streamlined mechanics, check this one out.

Pros: The Lighthouse system is easy to use and intended to foster collaborative storytelling.There are shades of FATE with respect to character development and managing dice rolls. With this as a mechanical foundation, Revelations in Cold Iron presents a setting reminiscent of the older World of Darkness... except that the gritty badness kinda errily familiar --and current! I like the paranoia, near-hopelessness, and desperate feel. The bad guys are untouchable, and really bad. They'rein positions to offer themselves, as Chomsky put it, riches "beyond avarice". And they're ruthless. The good guys are pretty screwed, and there's a lot of variability built into the rules system so you can make archetypes rather than stereotypes (my least favourite part of the White Wolf games was that the PCs "types" were based on stereotypes). I also like the book's structure (a lot, but really tight structure is typical for DLP). The twist that makes Revelations in Cold Iron a game rather than retelling current events is that (subtle) magic is a thing, and the PCs can do something about the grim situations in which they find themselves. The types of magic are relatively easy to understand (harder than DnD, a lot easier than Mage or Ars Magica). (Thought: What if the game's premise is true and the game is a bit of magick developed just to distract us?)

Cons: I know limiting art in the books is a philosphical thing for DLP, but I like pictures in my books. That's a personal preference. A bigger con is that the book doesn't seem to have been edited carefully; I noticed a number of typos just skimming it the first time. I would have given 5 stars if the editing had been more careful. For content, inspiration, and style, it's an easy five stars. Having said that, if you tend toward the more conservative-by-American-standards end of the political spectrum, you may perceive this game to be an unfairly biased part of the liberal agenda and suspect that a recent US president commissioned it in another attempt to stifle your freedoms and take your guns. If that's the case, don't buy this game, reading it will only enrage you more. (Wait a minute, what if my thought experiment is true? What if the book is designed to distract less conservative gamers from actually getting involved and making a difference? What if the spell used provokes anger and a desire to shut it down in gamers who support the political status quo? OMG!! "They" know I'm reviewing it!! Crap! I don't know what I'm goi



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations in Cold Iron
by GYEONGWON J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2017 10:39:57

I really recommend this if you are fan of Mage, Changeling. But most of all if you are an advocate of individual free will and you are one of those steller people who are willing to face and stand for inconvinient relative truth even under the yoke of seemingly convinient paradigm ruthlessly overriding every grain of feable human mind, you are in for a treat. Incredible first complete game using lighthouse system, rules are easy to pick up and it is versatile giving a chance for both GM and Players to blaze the trail and carve out a unexpected tale to create a drama for themselves. Become a member of Cold Iron, fight the oppressors and set things right!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations in Cold Iron
by Alex G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2017 14:00:38

I had been waiting to see what this first game based on Dancing Lights Press' Lighthouse Roleplaying System would offer. The concept of a cultlike group taking over the world is very much like the Seers of the Throne from Mage: the Awakening, and the Cult of Moloch sounds like one of the Great Ministries, if Moloch replaced the Paternoster Great Ministry.

In contrast, Cold Iron, the group to which the protagonists belong, is a Tier Three conspiracy group straight out of Hunter: the Vigil, along with a choice of Endowments based on the imposition of logical fallacies on the minds of targets.

The setting is dark fantasy, though "dark comedy" would perhaps be a more apt description, because what humour there is, is very black indeed. The distinction between protagonists and antagonists is hideously blurred - both sides would make use of SJW groups, alt-right / gamergate / MRA trolls, right-wing radio hosts spouting tinfoil hat conspiracies, anti-vaxxers, flat Earthers, vegans, gun nuts, survivalists and hate groups to impose their reality.

This is a very modern roleplaying game, one very much of the year of its release, 2017: a game of social media revolutions; of trials by television and newspaper headline; of fake news and Newspeak, and outright propaganda masquerading as journalism; of oligarchs sitting off the coast of Corfu on their private yachts, controlling entire nations from an iPhone; where, when a mad, frothing politician rises to a position of immense power on some bizarre ticket like chemtrails or building a wall, nobody on either team is entirely sure whether it was their influence or the enemy's influence that got him into power - and where the point is entirely moot, since both sides would happily take advantage of the regime to their own ends.

One quibble - the headline "Gaslighting is magick." I've been a victim of gaslighting. It is one thing that personally detracts from the overall pleasure of this rulebook and setting. But that is a subjective, personal issue.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks, Alex! I understand your sensitivity to the way the term "gaslighting" was used. I kept taking it out and putting it back in, wondering if it was too dark or too on-the-nose. Ultimately I kept it because I thought it aligned with the in-game concept of subjecting people to subjective, fake realities, very much a tactic used by the Cult of Moloch.
Revelations in Cold Iron
by Jay M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 19:40:20

This is a setting about resistance to a Donald Trump-like dictator. That could work as a premise, but the implementation isn't particularly interesting, amusing, or even very coherent. The distinction between objective and subjective reality is crucial to the setting, but the author seems to believe that his favored political ideas are objectively true, which makes the entire foundation of the setting very wobbly. Not recommended.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review. Yes, the fictional setting where people use magick to fight a cult that has taken over the world is, in fact, a subjective reality based on my beliefs. You got the joke. I'm sorry you didn't like the joke. It is, admittedly, a little dry and not for all tastes. Humor is... subjective.
Lighthouse Roleplaying System™
by Chris P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2017 08:22:19

I have read, but not yet run, the game. I will update this review once I run a few sessions.

My initial impressions are positive. The game is narrative, but there's enough system here to handle task resolution with varying degrees off success. The character creation reminds me of Fate Core, you have three sizes of aspect/skill/talent (Big grants +5, Medium +3, Small +1), and when you resolve a task, if those aspects apply, you get that bonus (they don't stack, you take the largest applicable.)

Task resolution is 1d20 + aspect bonus + advantages + gear - penalties. Unopposed tasks need a high roll (11+) to succeed. Even number = player narrates the success, odd = target narrates success. There are suggested types of conflict (timed, contest, unopposed, etc), and examples of these.

Results are based on risk. Each player has 5 (to use Fate's term) consequence slots, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12. d4 sticks around for 1-turn (you drop your sword), and d12 is big, nasty, and narrative - hospitalized, in a coma. Similarly, if you succed with a d4, your success is only barely. Succeeding with a d12 is (sticking with Fate's terms) success with style - the best you can think of, with a narrative bonus.

There are a LOT of examples of characters, unusual, but incredibly helpful for an indie game. Wizards, Jedi, Spys, the basics are covered. It should take a player (who has a character concept in their head) less than 5 minutes to create a character. GM characters are of the "take only what you need" variety. In other words, this is a low prep, high improv game - right up my alley!

Now, for the things I didn't like.

There's no art in the book, which is not a big deal. The price was so low that I can't criticize the lack of art, but it could bother some.

The game could use an example of play / actual play, which is common in most games. There ARE examples in the book, but they are spread out.

The game could use some game aids: character sheet, reference cards stating the types of contests, what the different die size success / failure look like, etc.

The combat bothered me slightly in that most conflicts have the PC and the Target (usually the GM) rolling dice to see the higher margin of success. Combat, however, is only rolled by the attacker, there's no defense roll. I'll need to test this in play, but my gut says that any of the target's applicable skills would act as a penalty to the attack. Ex: Badass Fighter (+5), attacks Shaolin Monk (+5), and rolls d20 hoping for 11+. Badass Fighter (+5) attacks Goblin Soldier (+1), and rolls d20 + 4, hoping for an 11+.

All said - I was very impressed with this system, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some of the other titles by Dancing Lights Press!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lighthouse Roleplaying System™
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Roleplaying Emotion
by Lacy V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2017 23:36:25

What I like about this series is that every book focuses on role-playing and storytelling rather than mechanics. This makes the ideas easy use for any game you are playing. Because I am a person who likes telling stories with friends more than killing mosters, this book is no exception.

The idea is to think of what your character is feeling. There are two options, positive emotions and negative emotions. This allows you to decide how to interpret situations. There are 5 examples of positive emotions and 5 examples of negative emotions to demonstrate the kind of choices you can make for your character. These examples can be used for other emotions you might want to express because they are common feelings that arise in fantasy role-playing. You are not limited to these options as you would with a list of spells or feats. They are included to help you understand how it works.

Part of the book is how emotions can affect the game by adding modifiers. If the character is angry for example that could give a bonus to the intimidation controls. However mechanics is not the point of the book. This is a better role-play and use the examples to make decisions on the character and role-play of your character based on how they feel about the situation. I think the mechanics were included to help some people feel less uncomfortable about expressing feelings at the table because they can write it down as they go for a modifier.

For the use my group has gotten out of the book the price was fair and I saved by buying it in a bundle with a bunch of the other books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Roleplaying Emotion
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