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Jade Colossus: Ruins of the Prior Worlds FREE PREVIEW
by Benjamin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 15:50:16

Very well done even for a preview of a game setting and campaign. I would highly recommend it to the dnd and rpg community as well as new dms and gms. This would be just as good as a resource to use to build random maps for other games as it is for this one.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jade Colossus: Ruins of the Prior Worlds FREE PREVIEW
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Predation
by Ronaldo F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2017 12:13:14

Fun setting and concept, amazing art and the feeling of a 80's cartoon updated to today. If you are going to pick one setting for Cypher beyond Numenera and Strange, pick this one!



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Predation
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Katarzyna S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2017 02:19:19

I was in the final playtesting group. This is a spine-chilling, attention-grabbing and mystery-ridden adventure! A definite must - but please be warned that you will never look at mushrooms in the same way...



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Predation
by David P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2017 16:11:52

Predation is a great setting, with a very interesting background story, so even in case someone not too keen on Cypher System, as me, it is worth to get the book.

But what the setting book offers?

Predation is a kind of mix of various genres, ranging from post-apocalypse, hard sci-fi, to survival games, dino-riders. The basis of the setting is simple enough, time travellers sent back from our future for some reason into the late Cretaceous period. But then the twist comes from here from other similar concepts, the actual players are third or fourth generation survivors of the original time travellers, and because the time travelling stopped working, they only know the future from tales and legends. The are more natives to the Cretaceous period than to the future Earth. Some of the knowledge and technology lost through the time, but other survived, some became source of ideologies or religious-like movements. But one thing in certain, the doomsday is close by as everyone knows the original time travelling was aimed close to the day when the asteriod will hit Earth, and thus give space for the mammals to raise after millions of year of dinosaur dominance.

Cypher system is not included in the setting book, and you can't really use Numenera's rules keenly (except if you put a lot of effort into it), so if you really want to play it in Cypher System, better to get the basic rule book. However the book includes new descriptors and focuses, which fits well to the setting. Also it re-construct the original four character types into a more scientific setting. But the real new innovation is the companion system, which is very similar to the White Wolf's Wraith: each player's companion is played by another player (in Wraith each player's darker, tempting aspect was played by another player). I like the basic idea, however, while the companion system is well-thought, this is one I have the most problem with too (mind you I did not tested the system yet, did not run or played a game).

Companions themselves has some kind of descriptor to describe their personality, enough to start with. You also bound to choose the type of the companion, which is the general type of the species - like Raptors, Early Mammals and so on. Each would provide some basic stats and some advancement you could by for later. However these few types are not deeply descriptive - which is excusable - the problem is that the art suggest some nice companion type, so some exact examples would have been nice. But the main problem is the stats, which seems only influenced by some advancements, but largerly remains the same. As, for example, the T-rex is a legally open choice as companion, I found it a bit silly, that a T-rex companion's stat will never ever be able to reach the T-rexes as an enemy (hit points remains basically the same, with some possibilities to modify the damage).

The second problem is the lack of choice as a progression of technological/genetical engineering - which is supported as a theme, but for example rule wise I can't see a possibility of having enhanced brain and skill access.

I would really love to see some short of extension with extended companion rules, choices, and generally dinos, plants in a future product. I even have a suggestion of the style written as some short of study of the local flora or fauna.

I love the part of the description of the regions. It is not overly detailed, but gies enough to start with, ideas how the humans adapted to the new environment, as well as descriptions of the main settlements and regions. There are three major groups or organisation included in the book (with some mention of more local groups), all of them interesting, and exciting, and most of them strongly connected to the conflict of the disappearance of the time travel, and the upcoming armaggedon.

The maps are nice, but I see the problem being very small in a real print edition - I have the pdf and the small maps are enlargeable. Would be nice to make these maps accessable somehow to those having the physical copy.

It is probably worth to mention the Cyphers interpretation in this settings. Cyphers and Artefacts are usually something that the player get through encountering time anomalies - something that appeared after the last time travellers arrived and teh time travelling went bust. It is temporal genetic modifications, strange events, strange powers. I like that idea. I would loved to see some more details about these time annomalies.

And probably it is good to talk about the time travel here. While it is important aspect of the game, it is something that is not accessable, more as a plot tool, then actual game mechanism. Which is fine, and very atmosheric - while you won't need to deal with time paradoxes directly as the actions of players - the question of the nature of time travel is all there - what will happen with the humanity after the time travel was successful to Cretaceous? Why is not working now? Could it be the cause of the time travel? What would happen if the humanity living in teh Cretaceous would prevent the apocalypse and the mass extinsion of dinosaurs? Wouldn't that be a death sentence to the humanity to save the humanity at the present? Do the descendants of the time travellers have to die out to ensure the future and the birth of humanity or there is some way to survie, perhaps by restoring the time travel or finding the Eden?

I love the setting, and even keen to give a try in Cypher System, but otherwise I am sure I will use the setting book in another system.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Predation
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UXP Deck
by Robert N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2017 06:33:28

I really like this deck. Encourages players to spend XP on non-advancement options without adding unnecessary complexity and makes the whole process more exciting.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
UXP Deck
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Mortal Fantasy
by Graham S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2017 08:30:25

This is a great supplement for the Cypher system and also the Gods of the Fall setting. If you are wanting to use the light and simple Cypher system in a traditional fantasy setting with a sprinkling of the tropes then this PDF does much of the hard work for you. You'll be up and running pretty much straight away.

The core of this supplement is a catalogue of prebuilt 'Types' that give you the additional 'Classes' that you would want, showcasing the mix and match flexibility of the Cypher system. In many ways this large section acts as a primer for you to create your own and a further guide if you are looking to create new Types in different settings (that's one of the things I want to do).

Further races are available as Descriptors. Theer's some guidance on cyphers and artifacts, Power shifts at higher Tiers, mixing and matching Types and Foci, XP and some more.

Thre are links back into the Gods of the Fall setting, but if you are looking to simply kick out to your favourite fantasy setting then you have most of the bases covered, leaving you to build further from there. A short adventure rounds out this PDF and I really like the adverseries as presented.

Formatted and put together to very high standard, this is a 'must have' for Cypher system players.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mortal Fantasy
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Alessandro V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2017 23:03:19

This one-off adventure is easy to port in about any sci-fi world (or even fantasy-sci-fi world), but its feel is perfect for the Ninth World. It is an underground story linked to a lost civilization, a huge, ancient juggernout used for a task not contemplated in its duties and two very peculiar communities of strange creatures fighting each other deep down underground.

What I loved of this adventure is not only how its background was built (the underground creatures are very alien in their organization and behaviour, but still everything makes sense once you understood them: there is no "weird for the sake of just being weird") but even more how understanding the background leads you to a maze of moral choices. This should be what sci-fi is for.

Considering the very low price and how this scenario can be very successfully adapted to about any campaign, I warmly recommend this adventure.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Mortal Fantasy
by Chad F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2017 21:46:05

If you want to run a traditional fantsay game for the Cypher System this is a nice resource to have. The Cypher System has rules that let you tweak the Types with Flavors to come up with your own "classes", and this book is basically doing that for you with a few more abilities added on to give the Types the familiar fantasy feel. The Types are Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Elf, Paladin, Ranger, and Thief. I like this book a lot for the amount of time it may save me if I want to create Types that fit the D&D style classes, and if I don't like something there is a framework that I can tweak with little work.

The layout is nice following the format of recent (2016-17) MCG books.

In addition to the Types, the book has a short adventure, notes on bringing Elves and Dwarves into GOTF, and several racial descriptors that add to the few in the Cypher Core rulebook.

I am happy I bought this book and recommend it.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mortal Fantasy
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Ninth World Bestiary 2
by Steve C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2017 23:10:59

This is a great addition with lots of new enemies to add to the game. I would give this a perfect score except my main gripe is they include some beasties from previous publications. It would have been nice to use that space for new creatures instead. Otherwise, I find this bestiary better than the first one.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ninth World Bestiary 2
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2017 15:51:10

It's a bit like Star Trek or Arrival adapted to RPG. A very unusual, complex, and challenging situation presented to the players, with additional sense of wonder. Looking good!

(full review in Polish: http://polter.pl/rpg/A-Breath-of-Fresh-Air-c29556)



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Predation FREE PREVIEW
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2017 13:38:54

A little light on content even for a preview but overall a good idea of what is to come. I am very excited about this and will be purchasing it in the future.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Predation FREE PREVIEW
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2017 00:09:05

Just finished running ABoFA for my group.

Simply put, it was astounding. The choices that that need to be made come along naturally.

To start off, pros and cons(Avoiding spoils).

Pros -Meaningful decisions -Lots of room to improvise within the situation using the tools presented -Communication with the main plot creatures is really fun! Frustrating at first, but intuitive once things get rolling. -Many many potential outcomes! The documentation gave some likely outcomes as well as resolutions for some of the more likely/common outcomes for most parties. -Quality writing, well fleshed out environments and story. -Very well prepared and realized ecosystem within its own sphere.

Cons -The opening scene seems a bit "openly railroady". The party needs to "activate the pedestal to begin the quest". To any players whom this isn't their first game, the "plot choice" is pretty clear. Some people may or may not like that, and it's a preference thing. -There could stand to be a little more meat to the middle section of the storyline in the PDF itself.

The Adventure took my group 2 sessions, and they all felt pretty happy with it. The pacing was solid, and we came to an unexpected conclusion.

All told, I'd give this a 9/10. Excellent writing, original ideas, good pacing, and fits perfectly in the Numenera setting.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Predation FREE PREVIEW
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2017 22:41:13

if it had not been free I would have been disappointed. it was ni=ot worth the down load time



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Predation FREE PREVIEW
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A Breath of Fresh Air
by Colin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2017 09:43:50

This review originally appeared at: https://mephitjamesblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/a-breath-of-fresh-air/

After reading through The Bridges We Burn, I was eager to look at Janek Seilicki’s newest scenario: A Breath of Fresh Air. It’s a strange mix of D&D tropes and bizarre sci-fi, much like Numenera itself, that provides a great plot for a gaming group through one session or beyond.

Disclaimer: The product’s author, Janek Seilicki, has once more been kind enough to give me a free copy of his adventure for review purposes. I have no other investment into this product, though, so take that as you will.

A Breath of Fresh Air is a shorter product than The Bridges We Burn, a single adventure as opposed to a campaign, and it’s for Tier 2 characters rather than Tier 3. However, the lower power level and smaller page count do not mean there is any less imagination packed into these pages. It takes place in some kingdom of the Steadfast (GM’s call) where a Rift delves into the ground with strange and otherworldly growing in its depths. In any other setting this would probably be a major site but in the Ninth World otherworldly rifts are just part of the landscape.

The themes of this adventure include dark legacies and survival: the group is dealing with the mess left by a group of mad nanos and they are venturing into a realm where the odds are stacked against them. In some ways this is a classic dungeon delve with heroes venturing into the depths of the earth where monsters dwell in their strange lair. As always with the Ninth World, however, things are not always what they seem and there are as many connections to Alien and The Descent as there are to Rage of Demons.

Depending on your group’s speed you can probably finish this up in a single session but two will definitely get it done unless the GM adds a bunch of side stories. That said, this is a great entry point into a whole subterranean plotline and A Breath of Fresh Air could easily be the first part of a longer series if you want it to be.

That’s about all I have that’s plot-safe so only GMs should continue from here…

Basic Plot The Rift is an ancient site with a nasty reputation that a group of “mad scientists, wizards, and prophets” called the Cabal ventured into long ago. These have no connection to the Cabal of Whispers described in Character Options 2 for Numenera but if I were to run this for my gaming group tying this Cabal to that group of excommunicated Aeon Priests would be my first move.

Before the group’s grand scheme of world domination could be launched, a traitor among them named Roh’dak-tun turned on the Cabal in order to protect the slave-race of fungus-creatures he had made that he didn’t want to see destroyed in the Cabal’s war. So he killed the others, melded with the fungus colony, and the whole plan faded away as the fungus festered and the secret weapon waited. A fantastic set-up for adventure.

Numenera - A Breath of Air - AutomatonThe party needs to first be in the vicinity of the Rift (the adventure provides some suggestions) and they find a hexagonal plate left by the Cabal to summon up their doomsday weapon. More on that later… Once activated, the plate starts to count down and then summons up horrible, insectile monsters called Badooks that threaten to overwhelm the characters with sheer numbers. Luckily, salvation shows up just in time. Unluckily, it is in the form of a massive colossus creature with space inside to hide.

Once the characters are in the colossus (again, more on that later) it begins to climb down into the Rift in a bone-jarring descent. Once at the bottom, the party has a chance to explore the giant war-machine they rode down in and the fungoid growth that surrounds them. The fungus colony seems to be growing over the top of the infrastructure left by the Cabal and there are enough areas to explore freely as the characters’ interest permits. Plus, there are lava pools and cascades of molten rock so… that’s fun too!

The party stays down there for a while, trying to figure out how to get out, and probably makes contact with the sentient fungoids. They might be interested to see that the fungoids die off every day and new ones are created with the hivemind’s memories. Amidst these strange surroundings they can try to repair and repurpose the automaton, build their own machine, or do something else. Let’s face it, they’ll probably do something else since players are the worst.

Tools for the GM This adventure is an excellent way to showcase the weirdness of the Ninth World. The fungoids “speak” in a spore language that conveys mixes of emotions (there’s a guide providing a two full pages of emotional terms to use) which means you get to make every conversation into a riddle. There is a great map that shows the fungoid colony, lava-filled cavern, and sectioned automaton, as well as helpful sidebars on topics that are likely to come up (such as food and water, talking to the remnants of Roh’dak-tun, and reskinning creatures) to make GMing this scenario easier.

I also appreciate the exploratory nature of the cavern and automaton. Though this scenario is broken up into six sections, it can really be thought of in three parts: freeform getting to the Rift, a wild scenario of panic where characters wind up at the bottom of the Rift, and then another freeform section as they figure out how to exit. This is an opportunity to make the scenario your own and the options are outlined nicely.

Railroading Issues It may seem odd after I just talked about the freeform aspects of this scenario but the weakest parts of A Breath of Fresh Air are the railroading parts. Once the characters are at the bottom of the Rift, the scenario can unfold as the GM and players want it to… But first they need to get to the bottom.

I don’t know about your players, but the hexagonal plate that summons the Badooks and the automaton would set off all sorts of warning bells. They might be willing to go along with things or inexperienced enough to just start pressing buttons. Most players, though, will take one look at this hexagonal plate and say “well that’s definitely bad news!” before moving on, which means the whole plot grinds to a halt. If I were running this, I’d definitely need to spend a long time figuring out how to make this seem like less of a tripwire so that the players might actually trigger it.

Likewise, the next step of the adventure requires players to run into the automaton to escape the Badook swarm. You can make this as enticing as you want to get them to do that but offering the players a deus ex machina (machina ex deo?) to sweep them into parts unknown for adventure is the definition of railroading. If your players particularly hate this device you might get pushback from them. Unlike the hexagonal plate, there’s little chance they won’t take this chance to escape certain death but they might be resentful.

There’s also the perpetual problem of teleportation. If your players’ characters can teleport, fly, step through time, or otherwise hop out of the Rift without exploring then you don’t have much of a plot. The scenario advises you take a look at abilities and items that can circumvent things and avoid giving those out, but if the characters already have them then there’s not much to do.

Conclusion This is a great scenario that offers a lot of chances for players to immerse themselves in the Ninth World. It’s also an imaginative story which, in the style I’m coming to expect from Janek Seilicki, blends familiar tropes and new details into a compelling narrative. It does have some problems with the beginning but experienced GMs can rewrite things to better fit their player’s expectations and tendencies, besides which if you just use the material regarding the inside of the Rift itself you still have more than seventeen pages of material to use in your campaign.

I recommend this scenario for beginning GMs and/or beginning players and appreciate the attention to detail and the GM help that the author has provided. Check it out and make your fungoid BFFs today!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Breath of Fresh Air
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Cypher System Rulebook
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2017 18:17:15

Cypher System (CS) It is an innovative and fun system that invites creativity and group interaction. They system is generally easy to learn for GM and player. If you enjoy Numenera and The Strange, CS is the same system but is meant to be for any genre of play. It is the "any genre” aspect that keeps me from giving CS 5 stars. I give it 4. Here is why.

Right out of the book CS tends to be supernatural and/or magical. There are supernatural abilities/aspects built into the character TYPES that MUST be edited or removed if one wants to use CS for a mundane or realistic game. Plus the Cyphers are definitely supernatural/magical. CS adds "Subtle Cyphers" that will work in realistic settings. CS does sort the Descriptors and Foci into genre but the GM should read them as some just don't fit where CS says they should. So, if the GM is preparing to use CS for a realistic or non-magical setting some abilities/aspects will HAVE to be modified or taken out. This is why, In the back pages of the book (and available on the web), there is the Campaign Design Worksheet. Use it. It's fun.

CS also has what are called Flavors. These are generic abilities that can substitute the Tier abilities of a given Type. Flavors are, in my opinion, the key to building the best and most versatile characters in CS. The Flavors are; stealth, technology, magic, combat, and skills and knowledge. Flavors are used as SUBSTITUTES for an ability that is built in to a Type. Give your Warrior some TECH abilities or more SKILLS. With Flavors you can truly make the character you want!

I will say it again, CS doesn't do realistic/non-magical perfectly right out of the book. The GM must read and edit/modify and then use the Campaign Design Worksheet to keep track of the genre YOU make. The worksheet is there because CS is MADE to tweak and tool with. If gaming is your thing, this process should turn out to be a lot of fun. CS encourages you to make YOUR game. And when you do CS is a unique and versitile system for single session or camapign play in ANY genre. Cool.

Thanks for reading and remember that this is only MY opinion. Yours may be different.

Bob



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cypher System Rulebook
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