Alright, boys and girls, I’m back for some more punishment. For those who are new to me, I’ve been working on my own games for a while so I’ve been taking a back-seat on reviews, both because I don’t typically have time, and because that’s a heck of a conflict of interest (so take this with a grain of salt), but I’ve finally gotten my assorted appendages on a copy of Starfinder and I figured I’d write a review, since I was really excited for Starfinder and it was really something that covers a lot of my interests.
I’m getting back into doing the occasional review; these will be rarer than they used to be, because I am no longer a featured reviewer on DriveThruRPG, but when I get around to getting a new game I will try to write a review of it.
Apocalyptia caught my eye as a free and open source tabletop game over at DriveThruRPG. Since it has a post-apocalyptic theme and I’ve been on a post-apocalyptic kick recently, I gave it a good look and it is fairly interesting, although it’s not necessarily a stand-out title.
Digital Tools Box contains what would be two physical boxes. Each contains a lot of interesting content, though Alphaware is far more fleshed out and approaches the size and complexity of the 5th Edition core rulebook, while the Beginner Box is a quick start guide with an attached setting guide and novel excerpt. Continue reading
Wreck Age is a respectable, though not necessarily innovative, Post-Cataclysm roleplaying and tactical tabletop game. While it has a decent level of quality, looks good, and has enough content to stand out, it suffers a little bit from not committing to one style or the other. Still, it’s well above average, and is in many ways a good example of what such a game should be.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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