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Flames of Freedom: Quickstart – Powered by Zweihander RPG
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2020 19:58:37

This product is awful. It is portrayed as a horror setting set in Revolutionary America, but the authors apparently did no research on the subject. It is set in 1776, billed as ‘the eve of the Revolution’, whereas the war had actually started the year before (which is why the coat of arms of the US Army, the direct descendant of the Continental Army, displays ‘1775’).

It refers to the British Army as ‘loyalist Red-coats’. During the Revolution, a Loyalist was the term applied to colonists who sided with the Empire, whether they fought in the local units raised by the British or were simply sympathizers. While some British infantry in the Revolutionary war wore red coats, many did not, and a quarter of the force was not even British, but Hessian auxiliaries who wore their national uniform (not red).

The general ignorance continues throughout the material. The 1770s are a fascinating period as the Native American tribes, the British, the French, and the rebel colonists all swirled in a political maelstrom of ancient feuds and current realpolitik. Military aid, bribery, political leverage, spying, and subterfuge swirled madly as the various factions in the war courted allies, called upon old friends, and tried to influence third parties. The political ramifications surrounding the involvement of the Native Americans could fill out a campaign without much difficulty, with PCs playing agents of any faction, or none (being merely profit-based opportunists, of which there were historically aplenty).

But the book ignores all that; in fact, the authors urgently advise their players to ignore tribal differences (beyond ‘respecting’ the cultures involved) and ignore the settler/native issues that made up at least half of the Revolution.

Slavery is an issue which the authors firmly state is taboo; players may not touch upon the subject. This despite the fact that the British created an entire regiment of former slaves, granting freedom in return for service (which they honored, even evacuating the regiment and its families to Canada when the war ended); likewise, the rebels encouraged slaves to aid their cause (but did not honor their promises), thus ignoring an wealth of period role-play opportunities. The topic of indentured servitude, another major issue of the time and another source of role-play opportunity, is utterly ignored. Or unknown to the authors.

By the time the background material is laid out, the alleged ‘grim and perilous’ setting bears no resemblance to the period, the conflict, or the society; it is also not very grim, or all that perilous. Basically it becomes a very weak Call of Cthulhu scenario played out in a current-day re-enactment park such as Williamsburg, where period dress is worn but otherwise it is simply 2020.

The only horror this game will inspire will be for those participants who have any sort of grasp of history. While there are not many games set in this period, there are still better alternatives to this product.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Flames of Freedom: Quickstart – Powered by Zweihander RPG
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Mothership: Dead Planet
Publisher: Tuesday Knight Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/30/2020 13:46:15

Sci fi adventures are hard to find, so I'm a bit more generous with this product than I normally would be.

Cons While art is of little importance to me, the art in this product is simply pathetic. Really, really bad.

The formatting is awful. Entire pages are neon pastels, apparently to ensure that you won't print the document.

Several lengthy entries are duplicated, apparently for no other reason than to pad page count. This was not an accident, because they are formatted differently.

The deck plans provided assume starships will be shaped like snowflakes. Why this is, is not explained.

The cannibal colony is equipped with a device that launches a harpoon, trailing 60+ MILES of cable, to hook and drag ships out of a low luna orbit. How they aquired such a device, the power plant required to launch such a load, and then drag the aforementined snowflake-shaped ships out of orbit (again, a minimum of 60 miles up) is not explained. Especially since these same cannibals' next biggest program is raising goats.

The writers apparently think that tables are the way to GM a game. Decisions, apparently, are consdidered to be difficult. This would not nessessarily be bad, except that the table entries range from dumb to farcical. For one moderate example, you can encounter a bulk hauler loaded with ceramic garden gnomes. Because apparently there are planets which desire huge amounts (tens of thousands) of garden gnomes, and have the capacity to build a starport, but do not know how to work clay.

The pdf is not bookmarked.

Nothing is covered in depth. There are some really decent ideas, but they never go beyond a brief statement.

There are a lot of really bad and downright goofy ideas put forth. For one example, if the PCs will not willingly undergo amputation in order to interact with the colonists, the book notes that the cannibals will sneak onto the PCs ship and disable the life support. Because apparently the PCs would never think to lock their hatches, or leave someone aboard.

Pros The authors do a good job of cross-referencing data.

There are some really great ideas included, and a workable outline of a plot, but there is zero depth of explanation or development.

Overall Overall, this is an extremely superfical document with many grossly immature ideas and zero background research. If your group is made up of adults with basic education, you are going to have to put in a lot of work to making this scenario playable.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mothership: Dead Planet
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THE ALMANAC OF FANTASY WEATHER Volume One: SWORDS & SORCERY
Publisher: Campion & Clitherow
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/17/2020 03:24:34

This is an superb produict, listing the high and low temps and weather per day, as well as phase of the moon. I have been usaing these products for years, and they are great for adding color, and for things like operateing at night ( having cloud cover, wind, and phase of moon at my fingertips.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
THE ALMANAC OF FANTASY WEATHER Volume One: SWORDS & SORCERY
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SEVEN YEARS OF FANTASY WEATHER Volume 1: Medieval England
Publisher: Campion & Clitherow
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/17/2020 03:24:09

This is an superb produict, listing the high and low temps and weather per day, as well as phase of the moon. I have been usaing these products for years, and they are great for adding color, and for things like operateing at night ( having cloud cover, wind, and phase of moon at my fingertips.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SEVEN YEARS OF FANTASY WEATHER Volume 1: Medieval England
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0-hr: Jinda Wolf
Publisher: 0-hr
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2020 19:05:46

As always, a high-quality, reasonably-priced product. I have nearly their entire line, and they always deliver.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0-hr: Jinda Wolf
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ALIEN RPG Maps and Markers Pack
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2020 19:02:46

The map is excellent; I will be using it (but not the game) in an upcoming campaign. I find it odd tat it is hard to find non-Travbeller star maps, but this one is a winner.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ALIEN RPG Maps and Markers Pack
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What's Wrong with the Ship? Vol 5
Publisher: CyborgPrime Publishing
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2020 22:18:28

Not bad. You get a table with decent technical terms for breakdowns. It's system generic, but the decriptions include some idea of the effect. You get your 0.66's worth from this.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
What's Wrong with the Ship? Vol 5
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Thank you for your thoughtful review!
Gear for the Frontiers of Space
Publisher: Old School Role Playing
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2020 22:15:43

JUnk. This is a simple proce list without meaningful descriptions of what the items do. Useless.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Gear for the Frontiers of Space
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MgT Traveller Map of the Trojan Reaches Sector
Publisher: Mongoose
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2020 22:14:35

Very sloppy work; art overlays text in several places, leaving the vuewer to guess what was meant from the two or three letters visible.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
MgT Traveller Map of the Trojan Reaches Sector
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After Zombies: White Star Trailer Park
Publisher: Apocalyptic Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2020 06:36:20

As is usual for this line, you get a clean, printer-friendly document. This is a location, not a scenario, but it is a useful opportunity to spend a session looting.

The map in this product is the least detailed in the line, but the product is also half a buck, so you need to grade accordingly. It is still VTT capable, and useable even for the most tactical of groups (such as mine).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
After Zombies: White Star Trailer Park
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After Zombies: Solace Police Department
Publisher: Apocalyptic Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2020 06:32:23

AS usual for this line, you're getting a clean, frinter-friendly product with just the cover art and one small picture of a zed. This product is not a scenario, but a locale: you get a fully dretailed police station to loot. The map is well-done, and suitable for VTT.

It is an excellent value.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
After Zombies: Solace Police Department
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0one's Blueprints: The Hamlet of Wodfeld
Publisher: 0one Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2020 20:18:25

You cannot go wrong with Oones. They are the best maps on this site, bar none.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Hamlet of Wodfeld
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0one's Blueprints: The Citadel
Publisher: 0one Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2020 20:17:40

You cannot go wrong with Oones. They are the best maps on this site, bar none.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
0one's Blueprints: The Citadel
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After Zombies Siege at West Lake Middle School
Publisher: Apocalyptic Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2020 14:20:30

Well, the title says it all, insofar as plot. Not unique, but a solid premise you wouldn't be embarassed to trot out for your group.

As is the norm, you get a clean, printer-friendly product with no art besides the cover, which is fine with me. The map is of very good quality, and suitable for VTT use.

As is the norm, the writing and organization is clean and concise. Everything is stat'd, but the data is unobtruisive, and you could plug this into any system.

This one is a little longer than usual because it is intended as the introduction to the campaign/game system, and there's a bit more advice than you would usually expect.

There are a lot of scenarios on this site that cost a great deal more and deliver a lot less.

I've purchased the entire AZ product line, and while I don't intend to use the game system, these scenarios are just too good to pass up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
After Zombies Siege at West Lake Middle School
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After Zombies Apex Predator
Publisher: Apocalyptic Games
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2020 13:49:16

The author got a little free with the adjectives in describing this one. What you get is a very clean, printer-friendly product. The scenario is simple yet solid, and should keep a group involved for a session just on its own merits. The map is suitable for VTT use, and overall the quality of the product is equal or better than most scenarios that cost ten to twenty times the price.

There are a couple typos which do no harm, and one reference to a grenade launcher as ".40mm" which is unforgivable.

This would be a handy scenario for any post-apoc or zombie campaign, and a great value.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
After Zombies Apex Predator
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