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Andromeda • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2022 10:42:40

Epic start in a galaxy far away - a Mephisto review

Andromeda

The galactic civilization of the Milky Way has perished, and the remnants of humanity boarded hundreds of space arks on their way to bridge the millions of light-years between galaxies to start anew in Andromeda. However, when the space arks reach their destination after 500 years of flight, it becomes apparent that Andromeda is inhabited by many alien civilizations which do not welcome the newcomers. And even aboard the planet-sized ships, there is tension, intrigue, and conflict between four factions.

The Fate World of Adventure Andromeda offers a space opera setting with alien threats and internal tensions. On the space ark, there are four power groups: the ruling elite, the technicians and scientists, a mixture of church, educational institution and media, and the working population. The names of these groups and many other terms are derived from the artificial language Esperanto, to use a foreign and yet somewhat familiar language. Starting with this basic setting, however, some aspects remain to be defined by the gaming group - for example, whether the inhabitants of the space ark were in cold sleep, developed a centuries-old culture on board a generation ship, or were hatched as a new generation only arriving at their destination. It also matters whether the space ark is among the first ones to reach Andromeda, in the middle of the exodus or one of the stragglers.

Andromeda - like most representatives of the Fate Worlds of Adventure - uses its own approaches regarding several mechanisms. For example, this game consistently utilizes the Fate deck and its additional symbols and aspect phrases instead of the classical Fate dice. The aspect phrase on the cards describes the action as an Execution Aspect which can be used accordingly. The sun and moon symbols count as agenda points to advance the major goals of the characters and power groups. On the scale of this game, antagonists are defined as entire species right away and can be generated randomly or built from options.

More importantly, however, is the background of the space ark, its factions, and the characters associated with the factions. The central element is each character's agenda - a major goal to achieve, for which a complex rule system is presented. However, the game statistics of the characters are based on only four skills, which are rather basic attributes. In addition, there are extras such as allies and special abilities.

With agendas, the goal is to advance them, which is accomplished through successful tests and the collection of symbols on the Fate deck cards. How many symbols have to be collected depends on the size of the agenda - and lifetime agendas are the smallest size level here...

In general, Andromeda takes place on a level typical for space opera: the actions of a few individuals have effects on entire planets and civilizations.

Andromeda presents an exciting basic setting which requires some fine-tuning by the individual group, but encourages the game master to improvise heavily using tables and suggestions based on the characters' actions.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Andromeda • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Trinity Continuum: Meridian
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/07/2022 12:53:58

A trip through the wastelands - a Mephisto review

Meridian

For the novella Meridian, set in the universe of Trinity Continuum: Æon, the story is based on a thrilling background of the setting: La Blessure - the devastated remains of France, which became the graveyard for millions after the crash of the space station Esperanza due to an attack of the aberrants. A unit of soldiers and scientists from the paranoid United Republic is sent into this wasteland to accomplish a secret mission objective known only to the unit's leader. To spice up this situation, the protagonist, Sophie, is not only a powerful vitakinetic, but also an undercover agent spying on the mission. She, therefore, cannot use her abilities openly at first.

As to be expected, the mission goes wrong: the team's jet is destroyed by aberrants, and the team has to fight its way through the wasteland on foot – always on the lookout for mutants, aberrants, and flux zones. However, when Sophie's cover is blown, forcing her to fend for herself, the story quickly picks up speed and shows that vitakinetics are not just harmless healers.

Meridian tells a typical but thrillingly written story in which the protagonist must contend with mutants, aberrants, and denizens of the wasteland in a race against the military team to avert a great danger. Even though there is not much in-depth story told here, the novella, staged like an action movie, is exciting, features a fascinating protagonist, and can serve well as inspiration for role-playing. Personally, I really enjoyed this trip to La Blessure.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trinity Continuum: Meridian
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SLIP • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2022 13:45:29
When worlds collide - a Mephisto review

Slip

What if the feeling that something was wrong with the world was not paranoia but accurate? What if our known world was not the only one, and if other worlds were trying to invade ours? What if these phenomena were dangerous and a threat to humanity? And what if some people recognized this truth and had special powers from this insight?

The Fate World of Adventure Slip presents a game world in which worlds literally collide - and these other worlds of the so-called Slip try to invade Earth. This Convergence repeatedly leads to phenomena where worlds overlap, reality changes, and beings from other worlds infest our reality. But fortunately, some people have developed talents to oppose this threat and have organized themselves into a group called Vigilance. However, the mysterious Commission also opposes the Convergence - but with its own goals.

Character creation in Slip gives players the option to choose a talent, which brings advantages and disadvantages. For example, a Ripper can break the barriers between worlds where it is thin, but his very presence also weakens that barrier, leading to rifts that cause problems. Unlike other Fate worlds, the background for the game master is presented in a separate chapter with more background and a few rules. This chapter also clearly describes the truth about the Convergence or the real goals of the Commission.

After that, a bizarre world is briefly presented as an example. Additonally, The Sea from Beyond offers a complete scenario.

Slip proposes an exciting setting that provides many opportunities for horror and confronts the player characters with an escalating struggle for reality. The short elaboration on the groups, Vigilance and Commission, as well as some characters offers good starting points. From my point of view, Slip delivers an exciting scenario, which can also carry a more extended campaign if the gamemaster can come up with enough ideas for the threatening worlds of Slip.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
SLIP • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Scion: Tales of Heroes - A Scion Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2022 13:34:49
Heroes with all their might - and doubts - a Mephisto review

Scion: Tales of Heroes

The daughters and sons of the gods walk our world, perform heroic deeds and stand against the titans - this is the core theme of the role-playing game Scion. Appropriately titled Tales of Heroes, 15 short stories in this anthology provide insights into the game world and its characters - in this case, still at the more moderate hero level that the game has to offer. For example, a son of Loki seeks an ally to foil a plan involving dangerous flowers from the Aztec underworld. Then again, the rivalry between two young scions on social media escalates from a catfight to a full-fledged confrontation. In another story, two scions must rise above themselves to stop a tangible titanic threat. Many of the stories occur in our world, but some turn to mythological realms - sometimes the Asian underworld, sometimes the world of the Orisha and Loa, sometimes even Hades. The heroes all have unique abilities and often heroic ambitions, but they are also often plagued by doubts, human weaknesses, or problems, making them more tangible. The spectrum of stories is broad, ranging from the relatively 'simple hero must face and defeat monsters' to somewhat ironic reflections at a convention to the doubts and sacrifices of the heroes that emphasize the inner plot. When an annoyed pregnant woman turns out to be a scion of Set, that inner stress even breaks its way out at times...

My favorite story was The Bacchae, in which a female scion of Dionysus wanders the nightlife of London with her entourage of maenads. The party atmosphere is soon overshadowed by much darker things...

For Scion, Tales of Heroes provides a range of well-written stories that give insight into the game world and can also be used for ideas for characters or scenes in the game. Of course, without knowing the role-playing game, the world presented here may lack some context, but even then, Tales of Heroes can entertain, so this anthology is clearly recommended, in my view.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scion: Tales of Heroes - A Scion Anthology
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2022 13:25:56
Red Planet

The inspiration for the Fate World of Adventure Red Planet is Soviet pulp science fiction. In this science fiction setting, communist idealists have developed the philosophy of progressive materialism and traveled to Mars to found the Union of Materialist Republics there. Arriving at Mars, however, they first had to overthrow the Martian dictatorship and convince the Martians to join the Union. Over the following centuries, the Union has expanded over large parts of the solar system - from Venus, overgrown with jungles, to icy Pluto. But the Union still has many enemies: the corporate-dominated capitalist USA, the corrupt USSR, and the two-dimensional aliens of the Geometrists.

Characters first choose a class, each giving them a bonus to skills. In addition to scientists, soldiers, bureaucrats, etc., there are also preserved brains, cyborgs and uplifted animals. The skill system features a few minor changes, where Pilot replaces Drive, and Renown is introduced. Pilot is necessary for flying within the atmosphere and in space, while Renown reflects the fame and reputation that can help get respect and help. Since Red Planet wants to convey a utopian idealism, one rules mechanic revolves around how to convert people to the Union (instead of taking them out by force). The book introduces a few vehicles and technologies, as well as typical enemies. As usual, there is a sample adventure in which the player characters must foil a plot of the Geometrists threatening Earth and Mars. A few ready-to-play characters allow you to jump right in.

Red Planet offers a classic pulp science fiction setting, where the planets of the solar system are not only habitable but have their own species. The setting deliberately goes the route of capturing pulp flair with dinosaurs, dirigibles, four-armed gorillas, etc., and foregoes any illusion of realistic science fiction. The idea of combining the pulp genre with the utopian "progressive materialism" is fitting. The book also quite clearly distances itself from real-world communism and its historical atrocities (and also from capitalism), presenting a fictional utopian philosohpy (after all, in this setting, both the USA and USSR are the antagonists of the Union). The author clearly states that Red Planet is about a fictional role-playing world rather than a hidden attempt at political propaganda in any direction.

The book thus offers an interesting pulp setting with a space opera touch and a unique perspective.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2022 12:21:29

Calm prison life after the apocalypse - a Mephisto review

Behind the Walls

The starting point of Fate World of Adventure Behind the Walls sounds interesting: the year is 1959, and eight years ago, there was a nuclear war. The player characters have spent this entire time in prison. The setting revolves around the Collins Park Correctional Facility, where the characters are incarcerated and separated from the rest of the world. Therefore, character creation also begins with what crime (whether committed or not) the character was imprisoned for. In addition, there are the usual aspects and skills, but all skills are expanded that the player specifies how the character usually uses that skill. In addition, one skill is replaced (Lore by Knowledge), and with Invent a new skill is added. As for stunts, the setting distinguishes between personal, cooperative, and secret stunts, which have a simple format that describes what advantage a character gets and where it comes from. Cooperative stunts give a bonus to the player character and their partner, while secret stunts combine a strength with a weakness - and they are usually kept secret. Secrets play yet another role in the setting, as each character has a secret that also provides them with advantages. The book offers two approaches to how these secrets can be presented in terms of mechanics and discusses how they can be used to drive the story.

Finally, a ready-to-play story involves the confrontation between the two major gangs in the prison that the characters are drawn into.

Behind the Walls is based on a one-shot adventure, and it shows in the finished book. Even though the setting has potential, the limitation to the prison means that the post-nuclear war world does not play a particularly visible or essential role for the setting. Even the aspect of prison life remains vague. This impression is especially noticeable in the adventure hook, which focuses on prison conflict, missing a lot of the action and/or drama to be expected. In this regard, the ideas to adjust the scenario do not help much. The rules concepts regarding secrets provide an interesting rules variation. Still, in the end, this book fails to provide a consistent setting that lives up to expectations and can carry an ongoing campaign.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Behind the Walls • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Trinity Continuum: Dawn
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2022 11:44:45
Few risks, few fun - a Mephisto review

Dawn

The ISRA sends Jay and her team to Far Nyumba to help a research settlement with its irrigation system. The disappearance of the Upeo wa Macho isolated the colony for a long time, and it had to fend for itself until new Leviathan jump-ships provided a way to reach it. As an added motivation for the team, the brother of one of Jay's team members lives on the moon, so a long-awaited reunion is imminent. However, shortly before the psions' arrival, an extraterrestrial artifact crashes near the landing zone - and soon aliens show up, claiming the artifact for themselves, ready to take possession of it - even by force. So Jay's team has their hands full, trying to solve the situation and protect the settlement.

At just under 80 pages, Dawn is a novella in the Trinity Continuum: Æon universe. The initial situation is promising - the journey to the distant colony that has long been isolated, some sort of key leaked to the team's clairsentient leader, and a threat from an alien force. However, the story remains shallow, and the characters pale. The powers of the psions play a rather subordinate role, and the background remains vague. Also, the way in which the predominantly female team solves the mission non-violently and always with harmony in mind by stumbling onto the solution seems too contrived. Unfortunately, my hopes for an exciting insight into the world of Trinity Continuum: Æon were not fulfilled here.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Trinity Continuum: Dawn
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M20 The Rich Bastard’s Guide to Magick
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2022 11:37:10
If magick alone is not enough - a Mephisto review

The Rich Bastard's Guide to Magick

Mage - The Ascension focuses on high goals, personal enlightenment, and the definition of reality. On the other hand, money seems so banal - yet it would be so easy for an experienced magician to build up riches with the diverse spheres. The Rich Bastard's Guide to Magick is therefore dedicated to the topic of wealth and money in all its facets.

First, the volume looks at the relationship of traditions, conventions, and other groups to the subject of wealth and what they can and want to achieve with it. Then it goes directly to the topic of characters. Here, the focus lies on background resources beyond the usual 5-point limit, describing not only the mechanics of the game but providing a strong focus on what that means for the character's background. With appropriate new archetypes, advantages, and disadvantages, these backgrounds can also be modeled in terms of rules. A selection of rotes for the various spheres provides additional material for players. The focus here is not always on gaining wealth, but many of these spells fit the lifestyle of the rich. Corresponding paradigms and practices complement this chapter.

That wealth is the key to entering exclusive circles is the theme of the following chapter. Various organizations, from a wellness clinic to a sector in the digital web to a club of adrenaline junkies, provide different examples. What money can buy directly - whether the perfect home, excellent vehicles, or outright magic items of all kinds - is the next topic that the book addresses. These magical treasures are not necessarily powerful items but are always exclusive and sometimes quite decadent, like a billion-dollar work of art. If that is not enough, there are ideas for a private town or a chantry.

The book concludes with tips and tricks for playing with the rich and famous. This chapter is about how super-rich characters can change the game for the whole group, and how the game master can deal with players trying to solve every problem simply with money. A few adventure hooks from the world of the rich conclude the book.

The Rich Bastard's Guide to Magick is a special book. Hardly any gaming group will really need it, but it certainly provides interesting approaches and ideas - also in the form of concrete game material. The rotes, wonders, and organizations alone do not justify the book alone, but if you are thinking about a chronicle set in the world of the rich and famous and thus have considerably more room for over-the-top and fancy toys, this is the book for you. If this direction appeals to you, you will get plenty of ideas, tips, and hooks here. However, those who focus their Mage game on the street level or enlightenment will not miss this book. In short, if you want to play your Mage game in the world of rich bastards, you'll get your money's worth - everyone else does not need this book.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
M20 The Rich Bastard’s Guide to Magick
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The One Ring™ Starter Set
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2022 11:24:53

A family-friendly introduction like The Hobbit - a Mephisto review

4 stars if you are looking for a family-friendly RPG, 3 stars as a starter for The One Ring

The One Ring Starter Set

There have already been several role-playing games about The Lord of the Rings and The One Ring (TOR) has now been released in a second edition. To facilitate the introduction to rules and setting, a starter set has been released, consisting of three books, two maps, character sheets, item cards, and a marker. The latter, however, is not used for the starter set and only comes into play with the complete rules.

In the book The Rules, less than 30 pages describe the basic game mechanics and explain the basic concepts of a role-playing game and how it works. In The One Ring, d12 and d6 are used. The d12, called the Feat die, is the primary die, providing the values 1 to 10 as well as two special results. The Gandalf rune stands for an automatic success, the Eye of Sauron for a result of 0. Depending on the game statistics, additional six-sided success dice are rolled, and all dice results are added. The goal is to beat a target number, which usually depends on the character's three attributes and, in combat, the opponent's defense. This mechanic is extended as the success dice show another symbol that gives additional bonuses. In case characters have an advantage, two Feat dice are rolled, and the better one is used - in case of a disadvantage, the worse one is taken. Conditions can cause further modifications. Three attributes serve as character traits, which determine the minimum rolls. The 18 skills, in turn, determine how many success dice the characters have for specific actions. There are four weapon proficiencies for different weapon classes that work the same way as skills for combat. Damage is subtracted from endurance, and there are also hope points that can be spent on advantages.

Combat is very schematic and begins with an opening salvo and clear set-up rules for ranged and melee combat. An attack roll must exceed the target value based on the opponent's defense, and the damage determined by the weapon is subtracted from the endurance. If symbols are rolled on the success dice, they can be used for special effects such as heavy blows or armor penetration, which improve the attack. However, particularly good hits can cause wounds. Player characters can take one wound. If they suffer more (or lose all endurance), they are out of action. However, characters dying due to combat is not intended in the Starter Set.

The book The Shire presents the history, traditions, and homeland of the hobbits in over 50 pages. There is a brief background on how the hobbits came to the Shire, as well as a quick historical outline. This chapter focuses on aspects such as the art of pipe smoking and family traditions.

Then the reader is taken on a tour of the four Farthings of the Shire, as well as the Buckland and the Old Forest. Here, the various places and inhabitants are described, and random tables and ideas for adventures are offered to provide starting points for the player characters. Although the Shire seems mostly tranquil, some secrets and threats might challenge adventurous hobbits.

However, the book The Adventures, which offers a small story arc, provides a ready-to-play story arc. The story hook here is none other than the legendary Bilbo Baggins, who incites some young hobbits to some small adventures. Thus, they have to obtain a map from a museum, recover a historical treasure of the hobbits, secure fireworks, act as mailmen and confront a dangerous beast. The adventures are relatively simple stories with some minor challenges but few battles and no real threats to the hobbits. The story ties into the pre-made characters and also allows you to take on the roles of Balin and Bilbo later on.

Since the starter set comes without rules for character creation, eight immediately playable characters consisting of the character sheets and a brief background description are included. In addition to six different hobbits to support Bilbo, the selection also includes Bilbo himself and the dwarf Balin. Through the backstories, the characters are linked partly to each other and partly to the background of the setting. Since most of the characters do not have any combat gear to begin with, there are 23 cards of weapons and armor that show the item on one side and list the game values on the reverse.   The beautifully drawn maps show the larger region of Eriador and Shire in a more detailed version.

The starter set is aimed at beginners in two aspects. On the one hand, the rules are compactly reduced to the essentials and do without character creation in particular. On the other hand, the setting focuses on the hobbits and the Shire. Thus, compared to the rulebook, the Starter Set appears somewhat in the role of The Hobbit compared to The Lord of the Rings - namely, as the simplified, family-friendly version. This trend continues in the setting of the Shire and the adventures: Here, hobbits can experience a few harmless adventures where combat is hardly a factor, and the player characters are never in mortal danger. Unfortunately, the book about the Shire reminded me of the beginning of the Lord of the Rings about the hobbits: While the whole thing is well fleshed out, it's not what you expect for adventures in Middle Earth - and which is just an introduction before the real story starts.

Therefore, for me, The One Ring Starter Set is less of an introduction for roleplayers to the rules and setting of role-playing and more of a family-friendly, easy way to introduce children and possibly a still inexperienced game master to role-playing. In this respect, the Starter Set does an excellent job and provides a nicely crafted introduction. However, if you want to dive into the epic fantasy world of Middle-earth, more in line with The Lord of the Rings than with The Hobbit, you might want to give the Shire, and this set a wide berth and start your adventures directly with the core rulebook.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™ Starter Set
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The One Ring™ Loremaster's Screen & Rivendell Compendium
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2022 13:13:13
Hiding behind the screen or in the hidden valley - a Mephisto review

The One Ring Loremaster's Screen & Rivendell Compendium

The One Ring Loremaster's Screen & Rivendell Compendium consists of the three-part Loremaster's Screen and the Rivendell Compendium. While the loremaster's screen summarizes the most important tables and rules in a compact three pages, the Rivendell Compendium provides insight into the Hidden Valley and Elrond's House. First, it briefly explains how to reach Rivendell and how this place and Elrond's house are structured (including corresponding maps). Besides this description of the location, there is a short introduction of the most important people like Elrond and his daughter Arwen (but without game statistics). Furthermore, one chapter presents the high elves of Rivendell as a playable race with appropriate character creation rules and additional selectable virtues.

Whether or not you need a game master screen certainly depends on the individual game master (and also requires some tinkering with the PDF version, which is complicated by the oddly different sized pages). The Rivendell Compendium is an interesting and compact addition to one of Eriador's legendary locations and provides inclined players with the opportunity to play the game as a high elf. However, this set seems somewhat expensive compared to the material offered in the rulebook, so it seems primarily aimed at loremasters who either need a game master screen as an essential tool or want Rivendell to appear in their stories.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™ Loremaster's Screen & Rivendell Compendium
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: The Romanian Imperative (PDF)
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2022 13:03:40
Zeppelins in Transylvania - a Mephisto review

The Romanian Imperative

When a zeppelin of the Nachtwölfe appears in Romania on a secret mission, it's time for agents of Section M to investigate. So the player characters first travel to Belgrade and head towards Transylvania, where enemy troops are gathering. Not only should they find out what the Nachtwölfe are looking for in a dilapidated castle, but ideally, they should also destroy or capture the Nachtwölfe's zeppelin...

The Romanian Imperative is another adventure for Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20, telling its story in three acts. It begins with the journey and risky smuggling attempt across the border. After that, it's a matter of getting an overview of the situation, scouting out the activities of the Nachtwölfe, and making undetected contact with the recruited workers who are supposed to dig up something for the Nachtwölfe. In the finale, it is up to the players to decide whether to take the risk and target the zeppelin facing a dangerous enemy.

The adventure tells an exciting story in several well-staged scenes. The freedom of how the players may proceed in the latter part of the adventure - especially since a frontal attack is certainly not a promising idea - is also a great element. The fact that the Mythos elements remain in the background does not detract from the tension at all. The Romanian Imperative thus offers an exciting adventure for a few evenings of gaming.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: The Romanian Imperative (PDF)
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Arecibo • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2022 12:31:21
Kids vs strange forces - a Mephisto review

Arecibo

Something strange is happening in Puerto Rico: there is an island-wide power outage. The US military begins a naval blockade. And some children develop strange powers...

The initial situation of Fate World of Adventure Arecibo sounds exciting. Players take on the role of children who have been altered by strange forces and thus develop special abilities. Three new skills represent these powers, but they are also the central factor in the setting because they are apparently bound to alien entities seeking to achieve their goals through the children. And it's no coincidence that the title of the game refers to the radio telescope in Arecibo.

Arecibo offers an interesting setting – starting from the insights into Puerto Rico and the scenario of playing as children to large conspiracies of cosmic powers that also attract the US military to the island. An introductory adventure delivers the player characters directly into the story. Unfortunately, however, much remains very vague. After the introduction, the further course of the plot arc lies in the hands of the individual gaming group. For me, in this case, this feels less like freedom for the game master and more like being left alone. Arecibo offers exciting ideas and promises some potential, but in my view, the book leaves too many questions for the reader to start playing easily.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Arecibo • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Knights of Invasion • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2022 12:29:33
Knights vs aliens - a Mephisto review

Knights of Invasion

Two kingdoms share a volcanic island. The kingdom of Regen in the north has wood resources and good maritime trade relations; Stroming in the south has built up a small industry with its ore deposits. But relations between the two kingdoms are strained - partly because a political marriage has not come about. A tournament on the occasion of a birthday is supposed to calm down the tensions again (or secure one party's advantage). If that still sounds too straightforward for a Fate World of Adventure: At this point, the aliens come into play, whose invasion must be repelled...

Knights of Invasion follows the approach of many Fate worlds to combine two unusual components. Here it is knights and aliens. However, the book clearly defines itself as a one-shot (possibly even to be played at a convention). It offers several alternatives for the game master - why the atmosphere between the kingdoms is so bad, who the aliens are, and what they want. After the background and rules section, there are three scenario variants, each with a different premise and progression. Regarding mechanics, there are the usual minor adjustments to character creation, extras in the form of equipment or mounts, medieval siege equipment, and rules for jousting. The aliens can be created with a modular system using limitations, stunts and technology.

As a one-shot entry into Fate, Knights of Invasion is a fitting approach: it starts with the seemingly conventional medieval setting followed by a genre switch. The ideas and three scenarios offer plenty of starting points for fine-tuning. From my view, the setting lacks a clear sense of how the player characters are supposed to succeed in fighting back an advanced enemy realistically - but perhaps that is just not important for such a one-shot, which is better played cinematically. Knights of Invasion thus offers a fast-paced and potentially action-packed genre mix fitting to test Fate but is definitely not meant to support a long campaign.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Knights of Invasion • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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The Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2022 12:20:07

Dark fairy tales - a Mephisto review

The Huntsmen Chronicle

The world of Changeling is a nightmarish world - that's the central motif of The Huntsmen Chronicle, the anthology for Changeling - The Lost. In one story, a couple of kids get involved with an older bully and then with a dangerous fairy creature. Then families are threatened by strange beings - or the protagonists try to win back their families. Finally, desperation drives some to madness and others toward suicide. The setting is sometimes our modern world, sometimes a detective noir story, and sometimes the world of French nobility before the Revolution. But one threat lurks behind all these stories: the huntsmen.

In 11 stories, the The Huntsmen Chronicle for Changeling - The Lost introduces various aspects of the game world. A central theme is the typical conflict when the changelings find their way back from the fairy world and discover how a so-called fetch has taken their place as a replacement. The resulting problems, in particular, are told very captivating from the different perspectives - and thus are anything but one-sided. The stories are dark, eerie to nightmarish, and sometimes cruel - but above all, very well-written. From my point of view, The Huntsmen Chronicle not only shows very impressively that the changelings of The Lost provide a much darker - and very fascinating - atmosphere compared to The Dreaming.

(Björn Lippold)



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology
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Cthulhu Malbuch
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2022 11:42:08
Das Grauen in Farbe - eine Mephisto Rezension

Cthulhu – Das Malbuch

Eigentlich war ich immer der Meinung, dass Malbücher etwas für Kinder sind – doch dank Cthulhu bin ich mir nun nicht mehr sicher. Das Malbuch zu Cthulhu ist genau das, was der Titel verspricht: Ein Buch mit Linienzeichnungen, die dazu einladen, mit dem Schreibgerät der Wahl koloriert zu werden. Die Motive sind von Geschichten von H. P. Lovecraft oder aus Cthulhu-Quellenbüchern inspiriert, und kurze Textzitate ordnen die Szene in den jeweiligen Kontext ein. Dabei gilt, dass viele Motive nicht nur aufgrund des Inhalts begrenzt für Kinder geeignet sind, sondern die Zeichnungen gegenüber dem klassischen Kindermalbuch auch teilweise recht filigran und komplex gestaltet sind.

Aus meiner Sicht sind schon die nicht kolorierten Zeichnungen hervorragend gelungen, und die 28 Szenen decken eine große Bandbreite ab – inklusiver echter Klassiker, wie die Yacht, die Cthulhu rammt oder Tiefe Wesen, die durch Innsmouth laufen.

Eigentlich ist Cthulhu – Das Malbuch ein Produkt, bei dem man sich fragt, wie man auf eine solche Idee kommen kann – doch wenn man die Zeichnungen von Andrey Fetisov sieht, dann muss man nicht der Aufforderung „Koloriere das kosmische Grauen“ folgen, um an diesem PWYW-Produkt Freude zu haben. Für Kinder ist dieses Buch allerdings sicherlich nicht zu empfehlen…

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Malbuch
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