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Neoclassical Geek Revival Content Guide 2nd Edition
Publisher: Zzarchov Kowolski
by Michael I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2022 12:30:57

I had high hopes for this game. I'm into indie magazine sized OSR D&D like-games generally. This one just rubs me the wrong way. It's trying SO hard to be different that there are mechanics that seem to be there simply to make the game unintuitive. Rules like taking the opposite number of a die rolled (which on a d6 is fine but on a d12 or d20 range are a nuisance). In addition, the attitude the book was written in is sarcastic in a sort of insulting way (.."you were too lazy to give a f*ck"). And, the worst bit is that you gain ZERO efficiency from all your years of D&D play, no matter the version to help you absorb these rules. This is a practically a sin given that the main advantage to the OSR movement is that they operate generally in the way a historic game did so you only need to learn the minimal changes. Not so here. You will be learning an entirely new system that no one ask for and that does not seem by a read through to streamline play.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Neoclassical Geek Revival Content Guide 2nd Edition
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Low Fantasy Gaming (Original)
Publisher: Pickpocket Press
by Michael I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2022 12:16:48

This is a solid game but not really "Low fantasy". This is a quickstart free version of an AD&D 1e retroclone through and through.

Magic is handled nearly the same as 1e so low magic it is not. Magic is generally Vancian spells and work like AD&D 1e but with more evocative titles and potential danger on casting failures. Spells are all assumed to be movement and verbal commands without spell components. It's a fine OSR 1e clone but only brings a few new cool things to the table.

The coolest bits are around trying cinematic extra actions during combat. It is also nice in that the main book also includes a dungeon creation table, a list of spell miscasting dangers, chase obstacles table, and couple other nice tables. Meanwhile, this book (nor the original full version) include any encumbrance rules at all. That's in the second book. Buying equipment is otherwise oversimplified.

In addition, about half of this quickstart is a monster encyclopedia with bland entries. I'm not sure I see enough here to get excited about. I already own and am fairly familiar with AD&D 1e.

If you want AD&D 1e with less rules, this is a winner since there are about 90 pages of rules here. On the other hand, once you get the full version, it may be pretty close to the original in size. Then, if you add on the companion rules book, it would no longer be much lighter.

Maybe the complete version would be worth the purchase? I'm not sure. I'm leaning towards Old School Essentials instead as the presentation looks much clearer and the rules changes there are generally to reconcile rules that never made sense in the first place.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Low Fantasy Gaming (Original)
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Mothership: Hacker's Handbook
Publisher: Tuesday Knight Games
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2021 23:21:08

This is an incredibly dense 2 pages of hacker, network, account priviledges, and hacking / network / hardware inventory list. The concepts introduced here are very versatile, clever, and based on real world network concepts. It can easily be plugged into any game that uses a skill check for hacking and to give non-hacker characters a way into a system through user accounts. Smart and useful details! The example of a pair of networks on a ship are also really handy for any GM that wants to build this sort of hard sci-fi into their game.

There are two parts that give me pause (and loses a star).

*equipment list. Some of it is clear, like +1 on system security reactions with a tougher console for 1.5k credits. Other parts have no explanation of what they do mechanically. What are the software slots used? Maybe it's there so that the system can have ice or a firewall added on but really I have no idea.

*The network security reaction for failures are incredibly harsh if the hacking is supposed to take place several times (e.g. once per level of a ship where employees have different network access based on what levels they work in). The PCs would be screwed even earlier than in a standard Mothership game. Instead of 1d10 where 7 results are probably the beginning of game over AND where consoles can add to this roll to make a result like an alarm going off impossible, I'd consider rolling 2d10 -1 where the first 8 or so are not so harsh. The module even includes examples of other optional hacking failure results for inspiration as well.

I love all the official Mothership releases so far but these issues make it my first 4 star rating. Still, for 2 pages, there's a lot to like.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mothership: Hacker's Handbook
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Power Outage
Publisher: Go Nerdy
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2021 23:30:29

A fairly old school chunky rpg for a game directed at kids. That said, the writer has done a good number of donations and the like and seems to be a positive force in the world



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Power Outage
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In Darkest Warrens
Publisher: Trollish Delver Games
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2021 23:29:05

OSR micro rpg - just seems bland compared to Maze Rats



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
In Darkest Warrens
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Tomb of the Twilight Queen 5E
Publisher: M.T. Black Games
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2021 00:08:24

a fully fleshed out 20 -30 page dungeon for $2 - 3! What are you waiting for? You know it's a great deal!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of the Twilight Queen 5E
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Never Tell Me the Odds: The Space-Scoundrel RPG About Risking It All
Publisher: Smrvl
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2021 00:05:28

If you ever wanted to run a collaborative narrative game focused 100% on your PCs wants and dreams, pick this up NOW! The art is FANTASTIC, the game is very clever and yet still at a micro-crunch level. If this still sounds good, buy this game!

P.S. I think the PDF suffices due to the low crunch, the fairly low need to reference the book once it clicks, and the low page count, but the concept and art are still certainly worth a few bucks. This is an oustanding game even in Play by e-mail / forum formats!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Never Tell Me the Odds: The Space-Scoundrel RPG About Risking It All
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5 Questions
Publisher: Roving Band of Misfits Press
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:59:04

Incredibly easy, deep, and interesting backstories rolled or determined. Great resource for any fantasy rpg!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5 Questions
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Trilemma Adventures Compendium Volume I
Publisher: Trilemma Adventures
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:56:20

Holy crap these isometric maps and story hooks+ are AMAZING! If you like to run your own adventures BUY this!! This is all the inspiration you will need for dozens of sessions and you can right whole campaigns around a few of the more similarly theme maps. You won't regret this purchase!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trilemma Adventures Compendium Volume I
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Mekton Zeta
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:51:50

I loved this game back in the day but as an adult, I don't have the bandwith for this much crunch in my rpgs. This game is definitely showing it's age despite being a true classic.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mekton Zeta
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Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells
Publisher: Old Skull Publishing
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:44:40

It's very nearly everything I want in an OSR game. If I combine this with the magic system from Maze Rats or something like Whitehack, it might be my favorite game ever! I am also keen on reading the expansion book for this game. Might change my rating for the game as a whole even. In any case, it is well written and well conceived. Give it a read!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells
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Reef of Madness
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:38:30

A fun bit of adventure with up to 3 sessions worth of material. I found only one story line interesting enough to run though. It was a bit old school with railroading necessary but we had fun over 3.5 hours playing it out. P.S. The art is super cool. Could easily be used as a one off from Saltmarsh or the like.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Reef of Madness
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We Used to be Friends: Ashcan Edition
Publisher: Firestorm Ink
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:34:45

Some great ideas are here but not a complete game. I guess I'll be using Bubblegumshoe for my Riverdale / Veronica Mars type games instead.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
We Used to be Friends: Ashcan Edition
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Tiny Frontiers
Publisher: Gallant Knight Games
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:32:48

This game has all the character customization, easy to learn, micro-setting fun you could want! I just wish it had some sort of relationship or bond type mechanic so that the characters could have an easy way to fit together without elaborate backstories or full handwaving away their pasts. Otherwise, a solid title.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Frontiers
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Vast & Starlit
Publisher: Dig a Thousand Holes Publishing
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2021 23:28:32

The background just makes it too hard to read. I gave up after a while and a couple attempts. It might be a great game but it's a terrribly rough read!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Vast & Starlit
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