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Ironsworn
Publisher: Shawn Tomkin
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2020 18:40:25

Ironsworn feels like the natural evolution of ideas presented in Powered by the Apocalypse and Forged in the Dark games. It takes what makes Apocalypse World and Blades in the Dark, and the innumerable games that they have inspired, and further refines their philosophy of play and design.

Ironsworn learns a lot from its predecessors, both in terms of overall design but also in terms of how to explain the intent of that design, and how to play the game effectively. Its simple, approachable mechanics are wonderful and quick to pick up, but the better part of Ironsworn's design is how explicitly it explains those mechanics to you. "Moves" are more clearly defined than in the PbtA and FitD games, as are the majority of the consequences for failing those moves. And gone are the somewhat vague rulings on how to fill a progress clock (replaced by progress tracks in Ironsworn, which do ultimately serve a different function but operate mechanically similarly).

It's still fiction first, as its predecessors are. But it has done a better job of marrying system and fiction in a way that not a lot of games have, and that alone makes it a standout. Add to the fact that the complete PDF is free to download, and it's an absolute steal, and you're really doing yourself a disservice if you don't at least read the book.

Its simple, evocative assets, its loosely defined by thematically rich setting, and its elegant mechanical design make Ironsworn a must-play for anyone remotely interested in the "rules light" or "story game" genre of tabletop role-playing games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ironsworn
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Skills Guide: Skills Supplement for Genesys
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2020 18:32:01

Invaluable for helping to further customize and understand skills in Genesys for your setting. Does a great job on adding more options for magic, as well as outlining potential uses of various skills, and gives a good sense of insight into how to choose skills for your game based on that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Skills Guide: Skills Supplement for Genesys
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Triboar Trail Non-Combat Encounters
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2020 18:28:57

Simple, fun encounters that aren't combat oriented. Exactly what you expect. I've found it really helpful for random encounter generation in my game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Triboar Trail Non-Combat Encounters
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review Michael, and I'm really happy that it has been useful in your campaign.
Symbaroum - Core Rulebook
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2020 18:23:03

Symbaroum has a cool setting and easy mechanics that give the players a ton of flexiblity and fun options. I'd like some mechanics that specifically support exploration, since so much of the game is about diving into Davokar and searching for the forgotten and unknown, but what's here is a lot of fun.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Symbaroum - Core Rulebook
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Classic Modules Today: U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (5e)
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2020 18:19:03

Used it to run a one-shot of Saltmarsh's first adventure last year. It was quite helpful, simple, and effective. Not much esle to say. It does what it says it does.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Modules Today: U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (5e)
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The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
Publisher: Ardens Ludere
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2017 12:41:27

Design-wise, fantastic. The playbook and MC sheets are great looking without being overly cluttered, which is nice. A lot of games will have custom sheets that are entirely too-busy with their graphic design work, making it difficult to keep focus on any one thing. It's an accomplishment to create something that both looks good, and is easy to navigate.

I'm fascinated by the systems at play, and a sucker for anything PbtA, as well as the neo-noir cyberpunk themes at work. The systems are solid, clear enough to make easy use of and vague enough to be easily manipulated as dictated by the fiction. Getting in, reading, learning, and playing was a quick process for me and my group of 4 players. It should be noted that of these four, only one has played a game PbtA before, but the rest were quick to pick things up, proving once again that these fundamental systems are really hard to beat.

I like the inclusion of a Noon version, which causes less eye strain than the Midnight version, as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sprawl // MIDNIGHT
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