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Insta-NPCs #7: Damsels in Distress
Publisher: Gallant Knight Games
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2014 12:50:46

I purchased this after the author so kindly provided a 3 page full view sample, and I was able to see first hand the quality of the writing and get a clear idea of it's use, and I am deeply pleased with the purchase.

At it core it allows you to quickly create random NPC's (male or female) and the type of distress they are in need of rescuing from, all from a few easy to reference random tables.

While not something to provide an entire adventure by itself this is an excellent tool for crafting an instant encounter to spice up overland travel or add depth to an otherwise ordinary area and can be the focus of a simple adventure.

I also especially liked it's variety, with additional tables making it useful not only for fantasy, but modern day and sci-fi settings as well.

In short, a great tool for the GM toolkit that speeds prep time and is great for last minute encounters when prep time is at a premium, and at a price that makes this product a worthy addition to nearly any GM's toolkit.

Clarity of Writing: 5/5 Organization/layout: 5/5 Artwork 2/5 (not that much at all is even needed for a product of this style) Price: 5/5 Over all value 5/5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Insta-NPCs #7: Damsels in Distress
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0-hr: Kintaro
Publisher: 0-hr
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/01/2014 13:10:21

Another quality product from Zero hour.

This ship is a smaller, lighter vessel that some of the others, and come in a gorgeous luxury version, and more streamlined police model, that fit in perfectly to the Serenity setting, especially given the ship statistics are given in increments of 1-5 which translates easily into Serenity's rule set of d4,d6,d8, etc..

Like everything else Zero hour produces, it's an excellent purchase well worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0-hr: Kintaro
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The Void Core PDF
Publisher: WildFire
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2014 21:07:13

It's hard to add anything to the already well done reviews already present, so I'll just add that for a free product the production quality is excellent and makes a solid addition to the survival horror in space genre.

Although it could have benefited from more artwork throughout the book, what artwork is present it of excellent quality, the setting is one sure to appeal to fans of sci-fi horror.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Void Core PDF
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0-hr: Renegade
Publisher: 0-hr
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/25/2013 20:47:58

Future Armada, the gold standard for starship deckplans unveils another excellent ship, this one similar in size to the Lakota, and with a hull design that fits in perfectly with the Serenity/Firefly setting.

The previews speak for themselves to the products quality, and this one has a couple new features, it takes advantage of the "layers" feature of PDF's, allowing users to easily hide cargo/shuttles, grid lines etc, for custom printing of the product.

Also of note this ship no longer offers up d20 style stats, and instead features a 1-5 star rating on things such as offensive capability, durability, maneuverability, relative cost, etc, letting GMs easily convert the ship to the rule system of their choice.

Over all the formatting changes help give the deckplans a streamlined feel and make it easier to use then ever before, and best of all, don't add any additional cost to the product.

5 Stars all the way.

On a side note this ships appearance/contours (Like some others of the future armada line) are also streamlined enough to make an excellent submarine for sea faring sci games like Blue Planet; or any ocean based adventures your Shadowrun group may get involved in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0-hr: Renegade
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T2013- Short Stories - Solitude
Publisher: Game Designers' Workshop (GDW)
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2010 18:19:21

A well written short story that does an excellent job of setting the gritty realistic tone for 2013 without being overly long or drawn out in any part.

With smooth concise writing had plenty of detail and a nice plot twist the story is good hour or so read and has elements that can be worked into a few fun encounters a gm can easily include in their next sessions. (Also of note the story had proper grammar and punctuation which was very nice.)

$2.50 for 44 pages of story some may think is a little over priced, but the writing quality is well worth it; and hopefully it will encourage the author to write additional content (with a higher page count) for the same price in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
T2013- Short Stories - Solitude
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Future Armada: Lakota
Publisher: 0-hr
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/02/2010 16:44:02

Yet another outstanding ship from Ki Ryn Studios. This time we have the Lakota, a nice fast light vessel with enough room for a fighter or two and and some nice alternate configurations. (complete with alternate deck plans for them as well.)

Like usual several npc's are provided with unique and interesting histories as well as details of the Storm Crow light fighter and NIAGARA 2 Escape Pod.

All in all an excellent buy especially for the $4.95 price tag.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Future Armada: Lakota
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Future Armada: Orion
Publisher: 0-hr
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2009 00:20:15

Another incredible star ship for the future armada collection that is arguably the most impressive one yet.

Multiple pdfs cover the Orion itself in complete detail (both color & B&W) in excellent resolution with the bridge crew officer detailed as an added bonus.

Also of note is the ships fighter, shuttle, escape pod, and tank complement, all of which are fully detailed and beautifully rendered with complete stats.

The Orion itself has everything one could possibly expect inside such a grand vessel, from med bays, rec rooms and hangars; to crew quarters a science lab and even quartermaster section, all laid out in minute detail in a logical realistic design.

All in all this is the best carrier deck plans I've seen for an rpg product, bar none.

Quality of artwork: Extremely Satisfied Quality of writing: Very Satisfied Value for Price Paid: Extremely Satisfied



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Future Armada: Orion
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BattleTech: A Time of War the BattleTech RPG
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2009 16:41:47

A well put togther Beta Release of the Battletech universe many gamers know and love, updated to use the same rules as Shadowrun 4th edition.

While containing excellent artwork and a plethora of rules and statistics one major thing is lacking:

Statistics and pictures of the battlemechs themselves.

The mechwarrior pilot class is included, but without any mecha stats it's all but useless.

I deeply hope the final relase has these stats, otherwise playing such classes or anything to due with mecha are all but impossible.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: A Time of War the BattleTech RPG
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Creator Reply:
While using a d6 mechanic, the rules are actually not the Shadowrun 4th Edition rules at all. The BattleTech Time of War rules are an extension of the board game rules, allowing for a near seamless interaction with games on the tactical and strategic levels. Rules for BattleMechs are actually played using the Total Warfare rules set and, if playing with Time of War characters, can be modified by the character stats. As such, the stats found in any technical readout or sourcebook will work with your character (as the character's abilities modify the 'Mech's target numbers, not the design itself). The BattleTech Universe has such depth and so many options of play that an RPG can operate as a stand-alone product or as a means to enrich a tactical campaign. As a matter of fact, Catalyst has worked extra hard to make the play seamless from the individual character all the way up to commanding an entire regiment or even Successor State (with the upcoming Interstellar Operations rulebook).
Fright Night: WHAT WENT DOWN
Publisher: Greywood Publishing
by Jenette D.
Date Added: 09/19/2009 00:15:29

A entertaining and excellent horror "one shot" adventure with some very well detailed & statted npc's for D&D 3.5 (but easily adapted to other rule systems)

The book also provides some useful game info for any sea/undersea based campaigns as well as some useful ocean based archetypes that could prove handy for any modern day/near future ocean adventures.

The downside was the art work, mainly the lack there of. Aside from a few small B&W pics scattered throughout the pdf art was sorely lacking (and the map of the submarine is so low quality as to not even bother with it)

I would have enjoyed seeing pics of the key npcs/ optional pc's as well as more/higher quality pics of the subs in general and pics of some of the salvage gear, but these were sadly lacking.

Artwork aside though the adventure is well worded and flows nicely, providing a good evenings entertainment for a relatively reasonable price. (although $3-$5 feels more reasonable for 66 pages)

Quality of writing: Extremely Satisfied Quality of artwork: Very Disappointed Value for money: Satisfied



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fright Night: WHAT WENT DOWN
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Inner-Earth
Publisher: Hero Games
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2009 02:20:00

A well put together source book detailing more of the inner working of hollow earth with some much desired dino stats and really good adventure ideas/additional world info.

There were a couple major downsides, namely the irritating inability to copy/paste any material from the book. Being able to copy/paste dino stats or other pieces into my game master notes is something I really need/expect in a pdf. (Disabling this prompts some potential buyers to simply pirate a copy with the copy/paste ability enabled rather then purchase it legitimately)

The extra included maps in .fcw were a nice addition, but having them be in large maps in .jpg format would have been more convenient (or at least including a .fcw file reader or link to download one)

In short I gave this a 2 star rating due to the inability to copy.paste info form the .pdf and having to hunt across the net for a .fcw file viewer so I can use the included maps. (If copy/paste was enabled and the maps in an easier to view format I'd happily rate this product 5 stars.)

Quality: Satisfied Easy of use: Disappointed Value for money: Somewhat Satisfied



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Inner-Earth
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Shards of the Heart
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2009 09:01:07

A wonderfully well put together product that gives some great examples of how to make an npc (or pc) more then a block of stats and base motivation/goal.

Although geared towards fantasy gaming, with a little work the chars can be "overhauled" to have their personalities/plot hooks fit with any modern/ futuristic campaign.

Of particular like was how several of the npc's were described with gender neutral plot hooks/preferences, allowing those playing chars with same sex leanings, (like myself and my girlfriend,) to have a variety of potential companions to run into without any additional work on the gm.

The pics for each npc was well done in B&W, although full body portraits would have been better then the torso/head & shoulders treatment some of them recieved. (If they had full color full body portraits of each npc I'd easily have paid $5-$8 more)

Over all the book had a nice "pick up and use" feel to it, and the short story added a nice bit of extra material to get the mind flowing with concepts.

Hopefully we'll see another of these types of books modern day/sci fi themed.

Quality of writing: Very satisfied

Quality of art work: Satisfied

Over all value for $: Satisfied ($7-$9 feels more reasonable for amount of content)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shards of the Heart
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The Book of Unremitting Horror (GUMSHOE version)
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2009 22:40:16

A horror source book for the modern day, this book provides some very unique and chilling creatures that are not only a refreshing step away from the standard werewolves and vampires, but also disturbingly detailed. (which is a good thing)

Graphically the book delivers with well inked black and white drawings of each creature mentioned, giving a good reference to go by. (Copy/paste is also enabled so you can copy desired creatures into pic files with ms paint or another program for easier use in your campaigns.)

Each horror is aptly described, with a short into story, detailed origins, and run down of what evidence investigators are likely to find at the since of an attack. Gumshoe stats are also provided along with a short description of the creature and any unique combat capabilities it may possess.

Over all this book is excellent for any contemporary horror campaign that needs a little touch of "never before encountered terrors" and can be easily adapted to other genres with a little work.

The only complaint I do have is text copying, while enabled is not functional, requiring you to rewrite any needed info from the book by hand instead of using copy/paste to add it into a word pad/note pad file when writing up adventures.

Art Quality: Very Satisfied Text Quality: Extremely Satisfied Value for Money: Very Satisfied Over all: The best $15 I've spent on a rpg supplement in the past 6 months.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Unremitting Horror (GUMSHOE version)
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Modern Weapons #1
Publisher: Sade
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2008 23:31:31

For only a dollar I was pleasantly surprised to find the guns very well rendered in the .png format, each picture nice and clear, easily able to be edited in a art program of your choice if you wish to customize them for your game.

Quality of Artwork: Extremely Satisfied Vale: Satisifed



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Modern Weapons #1
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Creator Reply:
I'm glad you like it :) Your feedback made me happy, i try to make more quality stock art.
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
Publisher: Magic Vacuum Design Studio
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2008 18:38:57

The Good:

For those that have played the Serenity rpg or Battle Star Galactica these rules are pretty much identical, providing some added enhancements as far as cybernetics, magic, and psionics as well as full details of how to use this system in sci-fi, modern day, and fantasy settings.

While owners of the Serenity rpg or BSG game at first glance have little real need for this book, they will find at the back several pages of text providing stats for common everyday animals, and even more fantastical creatres from aliens to demons, carnivorous plants and gryphons, making it much easier to portray stats for the mulititude of flora and fauna adventures encounter in their Serenity or BSG adventures.

Anyone else wishing to adapt their favorite setting to cortex rules can't go wrong with this purchase. There's also a expanded gear listing section for a variety of tech levels, making it much easier to appropriately outfit characters. As a bonus it also provides the outline of three lightly detailed example campaign settings of different eras:

Star of the Guardians (Based on the excellent novels by Margaret Weis which I'd definitely recommend to any lover of sci-fi) is a sci-fi type of setting that gives a fresh and exciting take on gritty yet fantastic space adventure and gives some good examples of how to keep such a setting interesting and engaging to the players.

Trace, is a modern day/ near future campaign setting revolving around a squad of police officers assigned to the Tactical Response Anti-Criminal Enforcement squad. This setting is meant to replicate the police drama and action seen in movies such as Lethal Weapon and tv series like The Shield, and provides some good examples of how to adapt the cortex system to modern day and a good bare bones frame of a police station with key npc's.

Arcady (based on the novels by Michael Williams) Is a gothic fantasy setting outline dealing with the borderlines between reality and dreams. While a little bit bizarre compared to more "generic" fantasy settings it's a rather refreshing take on a fantasy world (and the books are a great read for fans of such) and the cortex system is once again shown with good examples of how to adopt it to a fantasy setting with minimal effort.

This book goes even farther to provide at the end several solid pages of npc examples, from police officers, and the average Joe to priests and tribal's; even going so far as to stat out psychics, commando's, mad scientists, and psycho killers.

The Bad:

All of this content is sorely lacking in art work compared to other releases such as Serenity and BSG, having over all very little beyond a few scattered B&W character pics and assorted solid black silhouettes, (is it that hard to give us a pic instead of a outline?) with text easily making up 95% or more of the book.

Granted this is a pre-release version so the final press release will probably (hopefully) ship with a lot more pics to it's name, and given that final release will be provided free to buyers of this version I'm withholding final judgment until I see the finished product.

The Ugly:

For all of this content there is a price, which seems to me to be extremely inflated, (even at $21.99 let alone the original asking price of $29.99!) especially for a pre-release book with very little artwork.

For the price given I was expecting more in the art category, and definitely more in the clarifications of vehicle combat/design rather than a mere 1 1/6 pages it received.

Still, given this purchase comes with the promise of a free download of the finished product which will hopefully be worth the money, I'm not going to hold the higher than expected price tag too strongly against the product. (although for just this and no finished product download I would pay maybe $6-$8)

Quality of text: Extremely Satisfied Quality & Amount of Artwork: Very Disappointed

Value for price: Satisfied



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cortex Classic System Role Playing Game
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RDP: OGL Mecha 3: The LAS-17 Cerberus
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by Jenette D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2008 17:56:48

Yet another $1 mecha that provides some solid info on design, weapon systems and balanced d20 stats but still falls short in the artwork category.

What art there is, is composed of the cover, a small B&W photo of the same pic of the mecha later on, and a full page spread at the end of the mecha recolored a teal & turquoise in a mirrored reprint of the covers pic. (which isn't exactly outstanding artwork)

(and it's only 6 pages not of game material 7, the last page is used up with license info having no game related text)

For a single $1 you could do much worse, but still I was expecting a little more art work, maybe separate thumbnails of the weapon systems or a pic of the mecha in a different pose. As it is the mecha is worth closer to .75 cents.

Quality of Text: Satisfied Quality of Artwork: Disappointed

Price: More than I felt it was worth



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
RDP: OGL Mecha 3: The LAS-17 Cerberus
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