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Heroes & Hardships: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Old
by Keith L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2024 03:04:56

A nicely detailed setting that feels quite dwarfish but with depth, not stereotypes. The culture and history provide enough to hang a long adventure arc or campaign on, and the Sacred Stones adventure included is well thought out. It's also a good place to start playing the Heroes & Hardships game system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes & Hardships: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Old
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Heroes & Hardships: Wallace
by Keith [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2024 18:21:42

Outstanding!!!! Thank you for your hard work in bringing this important part of Scottish History to the role playing game world.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes & Hardships: Wallace
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Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
by Kirlian [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2024 17:21:22

I bought the book with high expectations, as the system uses mechanics that I really like, such as a dice pool, combat by ticks instead of turns, wounds instead of life points. In addition, of course, it is a generic system (although, we will talk about that below). I didn't regret the purchase at all, as the system not only met but exceeded all expectations. The book has a clean layout and easy-to-read and understandable text.

As negative points, I would just say that although the book is sold as a generic system, it is very focused on medieval fantasy (various skills, spells, etc.). And I think he lost a lot of space in what could have been rules more focused on sci fi or other genres, covering several pages with a bestiary, which could have been left for a separate book.

Despite the negative points, I still give the book 5 stars, due to the support given by the author on his discord, trying to meet the needs of his readers whenever possible.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
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Heroes & Hardships: Invasion Earth
by Keith [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2023 14:55:11

A tightly woven adventure that captures the feel of resistance fighters on a desperate mission under occupation. Requires some cleverness to succeed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes & Hardships: Invasion Earth
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Slaves to Fate - Adventure for Basic Roleplaying
by Dominic T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2023 07:49:26

Love the cover art.

An interesting scenario with a great otherworldly vibe. I used it for my Rivers of London adjacent BRP game as a 'jaunt' into fairy lands ....where it worked well. My players enjoyed it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Slaves to Fate - Adventure for Basic Roleplaying
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Creator Reply:
Glad you enjoyed it.
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Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
by Charles P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2023 08:49:47

While I haven't had any games yet (soon: two weeks!), I really like the rule set. They took a lot of the mechanics of Legend of the Five Rings as the core engine and implemented several other good ideas alongside those.

It'll be nice to use a roll and keep system with any setting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
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Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
by bradley p. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2023 13:17:21

Great universal system. Very innovative initiative and dicepool checks. beautiful art.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
by Walter P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2023 00:28:56

A great universal system that allows multiple styles of competitive play. There is no min/max, no razzle dazzle. The rules will accomadate your character concepts.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
by Jarrod W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2023 12:17:20

The Heroes & Hardships core rulebook has exceeded my expectations. I've followed the project for some time and the finished product is the nicest I've seen from a small, independent publisher. I don't have my hands on a physical copy yet, but have seen pictures of the proofs and I suspect its production quality will match the PDF. The same printer works with Free League and I've always been impressed.

As a GM, my favorite thing about H&H is its flexibility. Of course you expect flexibility from a universal RPG system, but the options in question aren't hard to remember. Since the roll-and-keep core mechanic is intuitive, it's easy to modify skill checks by adding or subtracting rolled or kept dice. I've had the pleasure of running an entire campaign as a playtester and even when I couldn't remember a particular rule, more often than not I found that my "best guess" was in line with the rules-as-written.

As a player, I've enjoyed both the character generation process and the initiative system, which employs Action Points (APs) rather than a single initiative roll. The skill list hits the sweet spot: Not too many, not too few, and I've yet to create a character, of my own imagination or a beloved IP, that can't be birthed via the H&H ruleset.

The art, layout, and writing quality could easily pass for, and sometimes SURPASS, a larger publisher. It's clear that Earl of Fife spared no expense and H&H was a labor of love. I believe all (or nearly all) of the art is commissioned (no AI art!) and it shows among the many pages of vibrant images that range in style from cyberpunk to fantasy to science fiction. Scrolling through the PDF is a visual treat.

In conclusion, you should support independent publishers and pick up Heroes & Hardships. I gaurantee that you'll be impressed and if the CRB is any indication, forthcoming works will be just as outstanding.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Heroes & Hardships Core Rulebook
by Pranab S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2023 08:26:25

Hello Fellow Adventurer,

I hope this review finds you in the best of spirits. If you are looking for a rulesystem for your next game that would allow you and your friends to craft unique characters and weave intricate stories then Heroes & Hardships is what you seek. This is a universal role playing system so there are lot of apsects that I could talk about. I will focus on the features that stood out to me the most.

  1. Character creation is nuanced. It allows for both quick generation and complex builds built with lot of thought and care. Ancestry traits and Flaws give the player and GM a framework within which to have a conversation about that character that is not only loved by the player but fits the world and the story.
  2. Injuries and Wound sustained from combat and/or social encounters create a level of grittiness to the world that is not overbearing to execute and play.
  3. The use of AP to track combat after the initial round creates a lively atmosphere. It creates a framework for all players to strategize thier moves based on the action of their team mates without getting overly bogged down in minutea. This aspect of the ruleset does have a learning curve compared to other games, but if you and friends take your time to understand the mechanics during the first few encounters, it will pay dividends in later stages of the game.
  4. Magic in this system is wonderful to watch in action as a player and character. Like all magic though, when things turn sour the consequences are oh so epic!
  5. The production quality of the core rule book is among the best I have seen. The art work is sublime and captivating and I cant wait for the print version to come out later this year.

All of this disguises the fact that it is an independent game developer who created Heroes & Hardships for the TTRPG community. This means in addition to the core rule book you get the support from the creator Jason Duff on any and all questions you may have about Heroes & Hardships. There is an active Discord server where Jason is creating new content for the system and helping players understand the esoteric parts of the ruleset. Jason has created a ton of content on YouTube to help players and GMs create characters, run combat and build worlds. There is a fully featured character sheet on Roll20 and the community is building character sheets for other Virtual Tabletop systems.

In conclusion I hope this review was helpful to you and I hope I have been able to convey in words what this system has allowed me to experience as a player. I know there are a lot of systems to choose from today and each review and marketing campaign talks about how each system is the only system you will ever need. There is no one system to rule them all. That never works as evidenced by the unfolding of events in Middle Earth. Rather think of Heroes & Hardhsips as ruleset that you should consider adding to your quiver if you want to play, run and build a world that is a reflection of your creativity and love for the game of table top role playing.

May the force be with you so you can live long and prosper.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Heroes & Hardships Quickstart Guide
by Michael G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2022 15:41:41

Lots of devotion and effort went into this.

However, I found the rule too "crunchy," to the point that combat slowed down during the game. Might be right for others (see the 5-star reviews), but I can't see these rules being of much use for me and those I game with. We'll stick to D&D.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes & Hardships Quickstart Guide
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A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/04/2022 10:27:19

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witchs-desire.html

Honestly, I could not pass this one up. It is a low-level adventure featuring a witch, it is quick and it is for Old-School Essentials. So yeah, I had to grab it. But how does it play? Let's look into it.

A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials

PDF and PoD. 27 pages. Color covers and interior art.

The designed levels for this are 1 to 3, but I find that it works well as an "interlude" adventure, that is as the characters are moving from one major adventure to the other. Not to say that this can't be a major adventure, it can. But for me, I wanted to feel more like the characters "wandered into a dream" sort of deal.

To start with, and what helps fuel this notion of an interlude, are some rules for travel. While the PCs are moving from their last adventure to this one using these rules helps give this one it's own feel. Yes they can be used elsewhere and adapted. Adding to this is the section after the travel and before the adventure proper, and that is the influence the witch has on the lands near her. I have been using something similar for my War of the Witch Queens based on the old superstition of Hex Signs, but the rules here are more explicit in their application.

The adventure is a "straightforward" mission to get some water for the Witch of the Wilds they meet at the start of the adventure. I say "straightforward" because obviously, it isn't. They are plenty of hazards along the way and foes to fight. The adventure is scaleable so that is also quite good.

There are no stats for the witch herself, nor should there be. The PCs should not be fighting her.

This adventure is set in the Forever Winter setting. Honestly a name like screams to be used. Also, there is mention of the Ice Queen and her rivalry with the Witch of the Wilds. The Ice Queen is not mentioned much here save for a sidebar, but the potential is great. So great in fact that I have an idea of how to work the Ice Queen (also a witch in my world naturally) into my War of the Witch Queens. I'll discuss her tomorrow. It is likely that their A Wintry Death adventures could be used in conjunction with this one, but I am pretty pleased with it as is to be honest.

While the art is wonderful for this it does make you think the Witch of the Wild could be something of an evil-ish character, certainly otherworldly. While reading through this I kept asking myself, what if this witch was good and just really needed the character's help?

Suddenly all I could think of was Ginny Di's character Morelia the Wood Witch. She would need the water for her potions obviously. Changes the whole tenor of the adventure. Not that I have any problems coming up with witches. It would also change the nature of the relationship between the Witch of the Wilds and the Ice Queen. They are still rivals, but now it is different.

Note: I just noticed that Morelia's familiar Crimini is a cat with white fur and gold eyes. Much like the art for the Witch of the Wilds. Maybe Morelia polymorphs Crimini to act as the scary Witch of the Wild? She then hides in the background so that the PCs she is hiring don't know she really is about as dangerous as a bunny. A lot like Balok in the classic Trek episode "The Corbomite Maneuver." Instead of tranya she offers them tea of course. Yeah, I like this idea.

In either case, the Witch of this adventure would need to be a potential ally for the characters in my game. I can't actually see Morelia getting mad with them anyway. And I really want to use Morelia. I just don't think I can pull off the voice Ginny Di uses for her!

In any case a fun adventure with a lot of ideas for use in my home campaign. The PDF version comes with separate maps. The PDF also features layers so you can turn on the background image for readability. That's worth an extra star in my book to be honest.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials
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Creator Reply:
I'm glad this inspired you Tim! Thanks for the review.
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The Helm of Radiance - Adventure for Worlds Without Number
by Brandon G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2022 00:16:52

I honestly don't know how to feel abou this product. It's not a brilliant adventure, and if I'm being honest I feel it fails to deliver on the core premises it advertises in its description.

  • 1-2 hours? Unless your players are EXTREMLY slow moving and prone to distractionn it is more in line of 30 minutes to an hour of content at best.
  • "explore" the cave of whispers? it is 3 scenes chained together by a loose narrative. No Map, no branches just: "Say these things. if the players do X, Procede"
  • solve a "riddle" of incredible danger? A series of doors that upon opening have various events that happen. No hint's at the danger's behind the doors at all. One of the doors is an instant "Save or die" scenario for level 1 characters with no warning, I guess that counts as incredibble danger. The only Hint at the doors is "have them roll a notice check, if they succeed tell them one of the doors has worn hinges, thats the correct door to go through" No other narrative clues are given.
  • Solving a mystery with several possibbble player determined outcomes is. "There are monsters at the end. You can either make a deal with them or Fight them".
  • "A new WWN monster" Yes. Thats technically true...But wwn is very generic in its stat blocks so anything that is given stats is "new", and the monster in question is not "new" in the fantasy RPG world. Its kobolds.

It's not a brilliant adventure. My first thought on reading it was "wow. This is the sort of thing I would improvise if my players went in a direction I was not prepared for. But I could likely improvise it better." Followed by "if this is a sellable adventure, I should try publishing the stuff I run."

All of that being said. the seed of something good IS there, and with some work from the referee the concept could be taken and something good could come of it. I'm unfamiliar with the other work by Earl of Fife, so I can't say how this compares to other things they've done...For 2 dollars: it's fine. It's an idea that can be run to fill some time and if you find yourself lacking inspiration, its a fine idea for an adventure if you are willing to put in the lions share of work to make it worth running. I'm not angry I bought it, but at the same time I feel like this could have been a random blog post someone posted as an idea.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Helm of Radiance - Adventure for Worlds Without Number
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Creator Reply:
Thanks Brandon. I have went through and updated some of the adventure to make parts less random. This is meant for a fill-in spot for a quick aside when adventuring.
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The Maze of Mezeria - Adventure for Worlds Without Number
by Aaron M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2021 06:34:59

Some cool art and interesting ideas on how to structure a WWN adventure with a few unique mechanics, but overall I felt underwhelmed, especially at this price point.

I think if the scene recaps were cut (a one page summary for each one page entry is not needed), the typos on alomst every page cleaned up, and the price reduced to around $3, you'd have yourself a pretty solid product.

Oh, and starting off the adventure with a unavoidable trap that EVERYONE has to roll a save or take 1d6 damage is a terrible idea!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Maze of Mezeria - Adventure for Worlds Without Number
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The Cook at the Crossroads - Adventure for MÖRK BORG
by Matt P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2021 09:47:02

I really like this simple yet effective adventure. It can easily be dropped in any campaign as a very neat encounter. It's about 12 pages but in my opinion, very worth while.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Cook at the Crossroads - Adventure for MÖRK BORG
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