Thursday Review: 13th Age

13th Age isn’t super innovative. Let’s get that out of the way ahead of time. In terms of mechanics, there’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before. The setting is good, but not really anything that we haven’t seen. Where 13th Age succeeds, however, is in its balance of elements. 13th Age is the sort of thing that I love; it takes a game and tears it down to its basics, then reconstructs it. I’m not sure that the d20 system was the best place to apply that, but it’s certainly an interesting take.
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Sunday (Extra) Review: Shadowrun: Coyotes and Gun H(e)aven 3

Shadowrun released two supplements this weekend, and I took a look at both of them. All-in-all, Catalyst releases content at a somewhat rapid rate, and while they haven’t been releasing the sort of content I’d like to see most (namely a Runner’s Companion for 5th Edition), they did actually answer a question I asked on Stack Exchange, so I can’t complain too much. Also, Gun H(e)aven 3 (which I will just refer to as Gun Heaven from here forth) adds sport rifles and more weapons to 5th Edition, giving more flexibility in characters’ loadouts and gear.

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Thursday Review: Covert Ops Role Playing Game

Covert Ops is a rules-light game of espionage and intrigue that is a great choice for quality and value. In a day and age when  basically everything has been released as a supplement, it packs a surprising amount of content, it includes not only a hundred-and-change page core rulebook but a similarly long GM’s guide, as well as a bulky portfolio of pre-made characters and a ton of additional goodies, such as printable initiative cards, to round out the deal. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Covert Ops Role Playing Game”

Thursday Review: Prowlers and Paragons Core Rules

Prowlers and Paragons is a tabletop game that attempts to make everyone think it’s a D&D retro clone but is actually a superhero game with an original, if not terribly innovative, system that is more than worthy of standing on its own merits. As a superhero game, it does a good job of providing a framework for highly-narrative adventures and, while it may not have the boon of a major comics publisher’s licensing deal it is, in my opinion, still as good as any of the alternatives, if not better in certain ways.

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Thursday Review: The Game Master

Tobiah Q. Panshin’s The Game Master is an interesting book from front to back, one which is both wonderful and cringe-worthy at the same time. Of all things, perhaps its worst is its inconsistency; verging from academic-styled formal writing to wonderfully light informal prose, it does few things explicitly wrong but doesn’t seem to know where it is. Nonetheless, it’s something that I would recommend, with a caveat. Continue reading “Thursday Review: The Game Master”

Thursday (Kinda) Review: Tunnels and Trolls

This week I haven’t really had that much time, because of a lot of crazy stuff, but I did do a little looking over of a game that I’d always sort of overlooked: Tunnels and Trolls. In particular, it’s somewhat interesting because of the fact that it’s an older game; and, of additional interest, one that has a relatively low profile among most of the gamers that I know, despite the fact that its age and legacy speak for themselves. Continue reading “Thursday (Kinda) Review: Tunnels and Trolls”

Thursday Review: 44: A Game of Automatic Fear

Normally I try to keep my reviews pretty up-to-date, but recently I’ve been running with a hectic schedule and a release log that doesn’t give me the flexibility I’d like to do long reviews, so I’ve been going through and reading some of the games that have been recommended to me but which I never really gave enough attention or never really gave my thoughts about. This week it’s 44: A Game of Automatic Fear which has fallen under my microscope. Continue reading “Thursday Review: 44: A Game of Automatic Fear”

Sunday Extra: Eclipse Phase: Transhuman Reviewed

Eclipse Phase is one of my favorite games, but I’m not beyond admitting that it has its faults, some of them pretty serious. For one thing, although there was a great range of morphs and the game really felt like it vibrantly embraced the question of not only transhumanism but the practicality of a diverse and exotic range of morphs, it didn’t really feel like the rules did. Transhuman, which could best be described as their player’s guide, does a great job of fixing a lot of those issues, and introduces a lot of new content. Continue reading “Sunday Extra: Eclipse Phase: Transhuman Reviewed”

Sunday Extra: The Void Reviewed

I know I’ve been doing a lot of reviews recently, but I’ve had a lot of family issues going on and I’ve been reading in the downtime between stuff going on, so I’ve just been voraciously going at anything that I can get my hands on that looks interesting. The Void looked pretty interesting to me when I first saw it, and it wasn’t disappointing. The fact that it’s Creative Commons licensed and available as pay-what-you want was particularly interesting, as I’ve always been a fan of open licensing, and even though in the past such games as Eclipse Phase have done major releases in CC they haven’t made themselves widely available for free. Continue reading “Sunday Extra: The Void Reviewed”

Thursday (Bonus) Review: BattleTech: Alpha Strike

I’m a long-time fan of BattleTech, in part because I grew up playing the MechWarrior video games and quickly fell in love with the wargame as soon as I discovered it. Alpha Strike is a bit of an oddity; on one hand, it attempts to include all the features and complications in BattleTech, but do so in a way that minimizes bookkeeping and allows for a faster form of play. Continue reading “Thursday (Bonus) Review: BattleTech: Alpha Strike”