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FU: The Freeform Universal RPG (Classic rules)
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2012 18:36:40

As a free system you expect that the rules will be a little light...

This is one of the best narrative systems I've ever encountered! The system is all but diceless and an entire character can be described in a few bullet points and a couple of sentences of descriptive text.

I think this is just the thing to get my group back into role-playing.

Excellent work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FU: The Freeform Universal RPG (Classic rules)
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HBG! Episode 25 - Women!
by Anton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2011 00:37:05

Tabletop Role-Playing Games are not generally considered a "women's hobby;" I was really hoping this podcast would go into this issue in depth, because I very much enjoy discussions of feminist politics, and I long for ways to give my RPG hobby a wider appeal. Besides this, making RPGs appeal to women is a big marketing issue lots of game companies would love to solve. Surely this (roughly) 3-hour recording would provide ample insight into this topic, right?

I listened and listened, but halfway through this podcast, I gave up on it. It's basically a bunch of British people talking about their FRPG characters and what games they played since the previous podcast. Apparently, this is the "women" episode because a woman joined in the discussion. It might be interesting if I cared about these personalities, but I felt like I was eavesdropping on some random peoples' casual conversations at a cafe. The poor sound quality did not help endear me.

In contrast, please consider the "3.5 Private Sanctuary" podcast, or even "Fear the Boot," both of which are FREE and quite good at identifying a topic and clearly attempting to educate their audience regarding that topic.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
HBG! Episode 25 - Women!
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FU: The Freeform Universal RPG (Classic rules)
by Steven L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2011 11:52:06

Absolutely superb. Rules light, but what rules! This game really knows what works and applies it to the utmost.

The dice mechanic drives the games narrative and Conditions are simply sublime, they are applied tags to characters, scenery, NPCs, you name it! They work almost the same as Fate's Consequences but Conditions can be beneficial and are far more versatile without breaking the dice mechanic.

The dice mechanic gives out Yes and..., Ye,s and Yes but... results with corresponding No answers. This means that not only does my character suceed or fail but the margin of that success and a narrative push to embelish this. It is so simple and elegant I cannot praise it enough.

But the absolute best thing, is that as well as being superb it is also FREE!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FU: The Freeform Universal RPG (Classic rules)
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Verge 24
by Ray W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2011 23:09:30

For a 14 page Fantasy Punk RPG that was written in 24 hour you couldn’t ask for much more. The first few pages give you a real sense for the world how it looks and feels. As I was reading the description of ‘The City’ where everyone lives, I had scene from Dark City and V for Vendetta flash through my mind which later on the Author recommends players watch for inspiration and it is clear that he has done the same.

From there the book describes how the day to day society is run and breaks down the social classes down in to groups explaining how they work together. This gives you as a GM or as a Play a solid but open idea of the setting and how you can build upon it.

The rules are simple roll a handful of D6’s equal to your stats + modifiers and look for successes. This enables both the player and the GM to shape the outcome of the challenge that was being faced. The author himself notes that he didn’t get to the magic section but to be honest with the rules the way that they are it is not hard to add in your own magic system.

Character creation is well laid out and easy to follow. There are a few examples given as well, not that they are really needed but it is always nice to see some included in any RPG. All in all it shouldn’t take more then 10 minutes to create a character and the hardest part of that will be picking a name for them.

Summing up, I highly recommend Verge 24. This is a well laid out, rules light RPG that could be brought to any table taught to the players, have them create a character and be ready to go in about half an hour. While it is missing a magic system it’s not the end of the worlds and the author does acknowledge this right at the front of the book. As it’s free you can’t really complain about the price either. Maybe with any luck in time the author will go back and complete a 2nd edition including a magic system but till then. Download it, Read It & Play it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Verge 24
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The Green and the Tan
by Miguel d. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2010 10:09:18

I played the game, right out of the box, so to speak, and the first thing I did was to tinker with the rules to include a major river; which was as easy as "the river is impassable" except through the bridges, which made for a very interesting little game.

In other words: boy it was fun. It made me remember my own green vs tan battles back in 1981 :)

I also used the optional rules which include objective areas to seize and hold. I suggest you to always use these and just tinker with the rules yourselves.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Green and the Tan
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The Green and the Tan
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2010 06:40:49

This is a fine introduction to wargaming. The author explains what he means throughout the text, in terms simple enough for a youngster or newcomer to grasp without difficulty, and the game mechanisms are great.

I would suggest some changes, however, which are not complicated, and do not violate the spirit of the rules: (1) Terrain is basically irrelevant, except as cover. I would suggest adding the rule that going through woods, across a stream, or crossing over obstacles cuts movement in half. (2) Add an Armored Car as one of the Special Vehicles available as an alternative, if for no other reason than bags of army men frequently come with one. It is armed with an MG, and has slightly better armor than a jeep or truck. (3) Add a sample scenario to the rulebook. Experienced gamers will know what to do, but a newcomer might not. Providing a map and a little background story would make things clearer, and would add to the excitement about "getting started" as soon as possible. (4) Change the victory conditions from getting points only for what you have left, to adding points for what you have killed, and subtracting the points for what you have lost. I have run many games for young people, and unless there is a reason for them to go out and attack the enemy, they will hunker down and try to avoid all combat--which is not what we want!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Fantasy Character Hotseat #1
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/28/2009 00:57:31

If you want a fun (but, admittedly, limited) tool for quasi-randomly generating information about your fantasy character's background, you might want to consider adding "Fantasy Character Hotseat: Warrior, Spellcaster & Rogue" to your character-building toolbox. The idea here is that you roll 1d20 to find a question about your race (human, halfling, elf, or dwarf), appearance (male or female), training (warrior, spellcaster, or rogue), and drive (also warrior, spellcaster, or rogue). You're supposed to answer each question "Yes, and …," adding details about that element of your background or experience.

So imagine that I want to play Vandros Craghammer, dwarven warrior. I roll d20 on the Background: Dwarf table and get question 8: "Did your family brew a legendary ale?" I answer, "Yes, and I started my adventuring career as a guardsman for delivery runs taking Craghammer Stout to the big human city down by the river." Then I roll d20 on the Appearance: Male table and get question 16: "Do you have soft, smooth hands?" I answer, "Yes, much to my chagrin. Some oafs have even called my hands 'effeminate' … but only once." Next, I roll d20 on the Warrior: Training table and get question 13: "Were you chosen to lead your fellows in battle?" I answer, "Yes, I distinguished myself many times against brigands seeking to seize barrels of Craghammer Stout by force of arms, so that I quickly rose to command our small brigade." Finally, I roll d20 on the Warrior: Drive table, getting question 3: "Have you sworn to kill your master?" I answer, "Yes, if the foul fiend should ever resurface. 'Lord' Rockwind was himself the master of the brigands, if you can believe such duplicity from a dwarf! And his dastardly scheme worked far too often, especially on deliveries where I was not among the defenders. He would have his brigands steal Craghammer Stout from the delivery caravan, charge the caravaners for his 'loss,' and then sell the stolen ale through his agents, reaping a double profit! Indeed, I am not sure that 'Lord' Rockwind was really a dwarf after all. If we ever meet again, I shall knock off his boots, and expose him for the fat halfling he really is."

If this sort of random backstory generation appeals to you, then by all means invest a couple of dollars in "Fantasy Character Hotseat #1." The "#1" in the title implies that additional installments might be forthcoming, perhaps treating different races, adventurer archetypes, and so on. If you already have a great backstory for your character, you can safely bypass this product. But if you want to give the dice some control over your character's prior history, or you just want to have a little fun, this product offers you that chance. I can even see myself using this product to add a bit more depth to NPCs' backstories, with very little effort.

On the negative side, the product certainly does rely on quite a few clichés, and some campaign worlds may not easily enable you to answer "yes" to certain questions. For example, question 8 on the Background: Human table is "Are you a gypsy?" If your campaign world has no gypsies or comparable population, you really lose access to this question. There are plenty of stereotypes, too: "Were your parents captured by orc slavers?" "Did a dragon destroy your village?" "Did your [dwarven] family brew a legendary ale?" And so on. If you can look past these clichés or spin them inventively with the "and …" portion of your answer, though, you can still have a lot of fun with these tables.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Character Hotseat #1
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Verge 24
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/13/2009 17:21:07

For a free game that was written in 24 hours, Verge is really impressive! Okay, that's faint praise. Let me try again.

Verge is a simple, quick game that comes with an evocative setting halfway between Dickens and steampunk. Essentially the system consists of rolling a pool of d6s and counting "successes", which are those that come up 4, 5, or 6. Each of those successes permit the narrator or the player to state one thing about how the conflict goes, which can lead to some interesting back-and-forth, particularly since the areas in which your characters are highly skilled are likely to have more highly detailed narrations and attention from the players.

An excellent start, Verge gives you a lot of different directions that you can go. By its 24-hour, 14-page (plus covers and an ad) nature, it doesn't go into great detail about anything, but it should spark some fun at the table.

The free price adds to the value and the layout is effective. There are no special PDF features.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Verge 24
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Verge 24
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2009 15:48:31

16 pages of goodness! Verge 24 gives a bit of background color, a bit of rules, and a lot of flavor. The genre is fantasypunk - think Charles Dickens writing Shadowrun in the 19th century - and the setting is more a "tone palette" then a concrete game world, so you can let your imagination go wild. The rules system is very light and narrative, with players and GMs trading facts back and forth based on the number of successes rolled.

Verge 24 is perfect as a "quick-and-dirty" RPG to carry around in your notebook and run on the spur of the moment. Two more things would have given it a perfect 5.0 from me - 1) at least a mention of a magic system and 2) a few more sample characters to get a better feel for the bredth of the game.

Steve W Baltimore, MD



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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