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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Falling Crystal
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2021 07:56:50

Baseball instead of battles - a Mephisto review

Operation Fallen Crystal

In the series of new adventures for Achtung! Cthulhu, in Operation Falling Crystal the player characters must travel to Scotland to investigate the discoveries of a university team. Apparently, they have managed to find a large amount of Blauer Kristall - the very substance on which the Nachtwölfe's technology is based. While players investigate the caves and find traces of the mythos, of course, their enemies appear to take possession of the find. Once again, a mythos-race also enters the scene, so players must not only survive in the underground tunnels but stand their ground between Black Sun and mythos creatures.

Again, Operation Falling Crystal is structured in a relatively typical way: At the beginning, it's all about exploration, after which the adventure plunges into action, which also leads to several battles accordingly. The interaction with the Mythos creatures is presented in an interesting way, so Operation Falling Crystal offers another exciting adventure in the current series.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Falling Crystal
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Seventh-Inning Slaughter!
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2021 07:55:32

Baseball instead of battles - a Mephisto review

Seventh-Inning Slaughter

Far away from the action of war in Europe, Seventh-Inning Slaughter takes the player characters to a seemingly peaceful place. The scenario is based on a baseball game of the American women's league, which the president himself attends as a spectator on the occasion of Independence Day. But of course, this scenario quickly becomes a deadly danger because stranger and stranger incidents happen during the rounds of the baseball game. In the end, the goal is to stop a deadly threat that will otherwise endanger the president and the safety of America.

Seventh-Inning Slaughter offers some pre-made characters that can be used if the game master wants to involve the players more in the baseball scenario to participate in the game itself. Round by round, the game is described as it unfolds with or without the players' intervention. Also, which each round, more mysterious and later threatening things happen. In the end, the player characters must stop a dangerous ritual if the whole thing is not to end in disaster.

While Seventh-Inning Slaughter offers some good ideas, the overall adventure did not quite convince me - perhaps because I lack any connection to baseball. While the challenges in the individual rounds are interesting, they do not make much sense to me in the context of the entire adventure. On the other hand, the finale seems a bit extreme when a member of the Black Sun tries to underline his importance with a terrorist-motivated ritual.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Seventh-Inning Slaughter!
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2021 07:53:20

Fighting the Nachtwölfe - a Mephisto review

Operation Vanguard

Even before the 2d20 rulebook for Achtung! Cthulhu has been published, Modiphius already provides a series of adventures that can be played with the starter set A quick trip to Paris. In Operation Vanguard, player characters are sent out to explore a secret Nachtwölfe base in the occupied Netherlands. It is up to the player characters to contact the local resistance, scout out the location, and infiltrate the base. Due to the location and security measures, this operation is challenging. While the Black Sun cultists were the agents' antagonists in the first quick-starter adventure, this follow-up mission focuses on the activities of the Nachtwölfe. Thus, the mythos faction that plays around with alien technology is introduced.

Operation Vanguard is an adventure that emphasizes exploration and preparation, as well as combat and action. Of course, the goal here is to uncover sinister experiments being conducted by the Nachtwölfe (although, in reality, DNA that was only discovered in the 1950s, which probably will not matter for most players). Operation Vanguard is thus another introductory adventure to learn the basics of the game and introduce the player characters to another group of antagonists.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Under The Gun
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2021 07:51:13

Mythos secrets in Dover - a Mephisto review

Under the gun

The adventure Under the gun has already been published as a starter adventure for the version of Achtung! Cthulhu based on the rules of the 7th edition of Cthulhu. There is now a new edition as part of the 2d20 version of Achtung! Cthulhu. The story remains the same: the players' agents are called to Dover because mysterious caves have been found in the chalk cliffs during the building of defenses against an invasion by the Germans. The player characters first have to deal with the traumatized individuals who have been exploring these caves. After that, they travel to the scene of the mysterious find itself. Here, a battle quickly ensues with several parties having their own interests in the mythos background of this place.

Under the gun is a fitting introductory adventure that highlights two central aspects of the game: on the one hand, gathering clues and questioning people - that is, classic investigative work - and on the other hand, what is even more prominent in Achtung! Cthulhu: the fight against the powers of mythos. As an introduction to the world of Achtung! Cthulhu for the 2d20 system Under the gun is well suited. Even layout and presentation have been enhanced compared to the previous edition.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Under The Gun
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The Cthulhu Hack: Rhan-Tegoth
Publisher: Just Crunch Games
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:36:52
Terror through time - a Mephisto review

Rhan-Tegoth

Rhan-Tegoth is a sourcebook for Cthulhu Hack that revolves around the entity of the same name. Originally a sorcerer-king, he became an entity that exists throughout the ages after being captured by his enemies. This small book briefly introduces Ran-Tegoth's backstory and provides gameplay statistics for the entity. In addition, there are some ideas on how Ran-Tegoth's influence manifests and how the entity can be incorporated into a campaign. A few small game mechanics like a new special skill and two spells round things out.

While Rhan-Tegoth introduces a mythos entity and its various facets in just six pages, there remains the feeling that it would help to know the original story, as otherwise the introduction remains somewhat vague and not all references are clear.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: Rhan-Tegoth
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CTHULHU: Das grausame Reich Tsan Chan
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:36:29
Cthulhu ist erwacht - eine Mephisto Rezension

Das grausame Reich Tsan Chan

Während die meisten bisherigen Cthulhu-Publikationen historische Zeitepochen thematisieren, geht Das grausame Reich Tsan Chan einen anderen Weg. Hier wird das Setting ins Jahr 5000 verlegt, in dem die Welt zu einer „vom kosmischen Grauen überfluteten Hölle“ geworden ist. Cthulhu ist erwacht, und während bei seinem Erwachen in den 1920ern nur einige sensible Seelen an den Rand des Wahnsinns getrieben wurden, hat sein richtiges Erwachen die Welt ins Chaos gestürzt. Der Großteil der Menschheit hat sich in wahnsinnige und blutdürstige Monster verwandelt. Nur in der Region des heutigen Chinas ist ein kleines Reich übrig geblieben, dass sich vor dem Wahnsinn schützen konnte. Durch die ungewöhnliche Allianz der Todlosen mit den Schlangenmenschen – und später noch anderen Mächten – konnte der den Wahnsinn verbreitende Traum Cthulhus ausgesperrt werden. Entsprechend werden die späteren Generationen dieser Überlebenden die Traumlosen genannt, die von den Fieberträumen des Großen Alten nicht berührt wurden. Tsan Chan ist das letzte Rückzugsgebiet der Menschheit vor den unzähligen Schrecken, die nun frei über die Erde marodieren – doch die Menschen zahlen dafür einen hohen Preis. Tsan Chan ist eine drakonische Diktatur, angeführt von einer wuchernden Mythos-Mutation, im Hintergrund von den Todlosen und Schlangenmenschen geleitet. Das Leben in Tsan Chan basiert auf einem Verhaltenskodex, der nur der Weg genannt wird und von dem abzuweichen den Tod bedeutet. Während ein Großteil der technischen Errungenschaften der Menschheit lange vergangen ist, gehört Magie zum täglichen Dasein, während am Rande des Reiches die verschiedenen Feinde immer wieder versuchen, die letzte Bastion der Menschheit zu überrennen.

Das grausame Reich Tsan Chan ist eine Kombination aus Quellenband und Abenteuer. Zunächst erzählt das Buch die Ereignisse bis ins Jahr 5000, und diese Zusammenstellung erinnert ein wenig an die Frühzeit des Cthulhu-Mythos, in der sich diverse Mythos-Rassen und Kreaturen auf der Erde tummelten und Kämpfe lieferten. So sind sowohl Cthulhu und seine wahnsinnigen Anhänger als auch die Älteren Wesen, die Shoggothen, die Mi-Go, die Tcho-Tchos, die Tiefen Wesen, die Ghoule und andere Kreaturen offen auf der Erde unterwegs. Das Reich Tsan Chan wird wiederum durch eine Allianz der Todlosen mit den Schlangenmenschen beherrscht und verfügt über Adelshäuser, die durch Mythos-Mutanten geführt werden und aus deren Reihen auch die Imperatorin stammt. Das Leben in Tsan Chan ist hart und brutal und geprägt durch Misstrauen und Paranoia, um Gefahren zu erkennen und diese schnell ausradieren zu können. Das Buch nimmt sich die Zeit, nicht nur die Geschichte, sondern auch die Gesellschaft zu beschreiben und auch die verschiedenen Optionen für Spielercharaktere zu erklären. Eine regeltechnische Besonderheit ist der Weg, der die geistige Stabilität ergänzt und dabei hilft, trotz des grassierenden Wahnsinns die Spielercharaktere nicht binnen kürzester Zeit unspielbar werden zu lassen. Zudem werden einige Abenteuerideen, die sich häufig um eine Art Inquisition gegen den Mythos drehen, eingestreut.

Das Abenteuer Stillwater Rapids erscheint zunächst als Bruch, denn hier landen die Investigatoren aus der heutigen Zeit in einer sonderbaren Stadt, in der das Leben scheinbar einfacher ist, unter deren Fassade jedoch ein finsteres Geheimnis schlummert, das es zu erkunden gilt. Hier wird der Bezug zu Tsan Chan zumindest den Spielern vermutlich erst am Ende klar. Auch wenn Das grausame Reich Tsan Chan gut ausgearbeitet ist und ein an sich interessantes Setting bietet, konnte mich das Buch nicht überzeugen. Die Welt 5000 Jahre in der Zukunft, die vom Mythos überrannt ist, erscheint mir nicht als attraktives Spielsetting, insbesondere da noch mehr als bei anderen Cthulhu-Publikationen der Kampf gegen den Mythos komplett sinnlos geworden ist. Zudem ist die Welt so fremdartig, dass sie trotz der ausführlichen Ausarbeitung immer noch vage bleibt und ein wenig an ein Fantasy-Setting erinnert. Ähnlich zwiespältig ist das Abenteuer aus meiner Sicht. Die grundsätzliche Story und Idee, sowie auch deren Umsetzung sind durchaus gelungen – der Bezug zum Quellenteil ist aber so vage, dass dieser dafür gar nicht nötig gewesen wäre. Auch klärt das Abenteuer nicht wirklich auf, wie man in der fremdartigen Welt von Tsan Chan wirklich spielen soll. Wer für Cthulhu ein wirklich ungewöhnliches und explizites Mythos-Setting sucht, sollte einen Blick auf diesen Band werfen. Wer jedoch der Meinung ist, dass Cthulhu sich durch den subtilen Horror auszeichnet, der unter unserer Realität lauert, der wird mit diesem Band nicht warm werden.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
CTHULHU: Das grausame Reich Tsan Chan
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On the Wall • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:31:56
Dystopian teenage super mutants - a Mephisto review

On the wall

What would happen if a part of humanity suddenly developed superpowers - that is the question that the Fate world On the Wall takes on, based on the comic of the same name. In the world of On the Wall, these super mutants are usually not the heroes who fight some super villains in colorful capes to the cheers of the population. Instead, the sudden appearance of superpowers has led much of the people to fear these mutants, so harsh laws have been introduced to control them. A central measure is that teenagers who develop these powers must visit special schools to learn how to harness their powers. This way, their powers should be kept in check. Of course, the player characters are such teenagers, who each have a single superpower (which doesn't necessarily have to be spectacular). The game offers a mix of superhero stories, dystopian governmental control, and teenage chaos.

Accordingly, the book provides a few simple rules for playing with superpowers and briefly introduces the world - though one gets the impression that it would help to know the original comics. From my point of view, On the Wall is a fascinating take on the superpowers theme, providing an exciting twist when mixed with the dystopian elements.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
On the Wall • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Vaesen - Nordic Horror Roleplaying
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:25:12
Horror in idyllic Scandinavia - a Mephisto review

Vaesen Scandinavia in the 19th century is not as tranquil as one might think at first glance. Here, too, the drastic changes brought about by industrialization are intruding and disrupting the old order. But not only is society in upheaval; the supernatural beings of Scandinavia, called Vaesen, are also reacting to the changes. As ancient traditions are forgotten, and industry encroaches on nature, many of these beings feel threatened and respond aggressively accordingly. While humans and Vaesen knew how to live together for many centuries, confrontations now occur again and again. Some humans have the gift of seeing the Vaesen, who are normally invisible in their true form. This people form the Society, who wants to protect humanity from the Vaesen. From their headquarters, a castle in Uppsala, they seek out these creatures.

Vaesen is another role-playing game by Fria Ligan, based on the same rules base as Forbidden Lands. Four attributes and twelve skills define player characters. For tests, the combined value of an attribute and a skill determines the number of six-sided dice rolled. Any 6s rolled are successes, and the more successes achieved, the better. Characters are created based on ten archetypes. In addition to their game statistics, characters also need a motivation, a trauma (a bad experience that scarred them), a dark secret, and relationships with the other player characters. Depending on the chosen archetype, the resource level (the financial means) is also defined, and the different archetypes have various talents available giving them further bonuses.

Instead of hit points or damage levels, characters in Vaesen have three physical and three mental states they can check, each of which means the loss of a die. If all these conditions are checked, a character is broken and thus out of action. There is a risk of critical damage, which may become permanent at the end of the adventure if the character is particularly unlucky. However, some of these injuries can also provide special insights that improve a character. Because of the small number of conditions, fights are correspondingly dangerous and carry the risk of a character being broken quickly. Most Vaesen cannot be defeated by normal weapons either but require rituals to banish them forever. Since many of these creatures are suitably terrifying, the game also provides rules for fear, so characters often have to pass fear tests when they first encounter an enemy.

A central element of the game is the Society, a group of people with the second sight who deal with the Vaesen. Even though the Society has a long history, it has been gone for several years. The player characters are now a new generation with the Society's headquarters, but they must rediscover its knowledge for themselves. The only contact with a former member is the woman who granted them access to the castle but otherwise spends her time in an asylum.

The Society's headquarters also takes on an essential role within the game. Various resources, rooms, and upgrades can be used between adventures to restore the headquarters from its dilapidated state to its former glory. The rooms give corresponding benefits, for example, to gather knowledge or resources, heal damage or even provide equipment. Another chapter briefly and compactly introduces the mystical north. Even though Vaesen is set in the 19th century, it does not claim to depict this time historically correct. Instead, the setting should roughly provide the atmosphere without clarifying which changes happened precisely at which time. Accordingly, life in general and, above all, the city of Uppsala are portrayed briefly.

Much more space is given to the Vaesen themselves. After the brief general explanation about their origins and powers, the rulebook introduces a whole arsenal of creatures that have sprung from Norse mythology and revolve around ghosts, fairy creatures, and trolls. The emphasis here is on background rather than game statistics. As mentioned earlier, Vaesen usually cannot be defeated by brute force. Even if their abilities are predefined to a certain extent, the details are left to the game master to provide for surprises accordingly. Small adventure ideas about the Vaesen offer story hooks for the game master.

The book concludes with a chapter on game mastering, clearly structuring adventures in their flow and central conflicts. Usually, there is a primary conflict and a secondary conflict. While the primary conflict must be resolved, the secondary conflict presents an addition to the adventure. The game also works with an escalation system that allows the game master to steer the adventure towards disaster if the players do not act skillfully. Notes on atmosphere, etc., are also provided in the chapter, as well as some tips on how to present the game world. The book concludes with the adventure The dance of dreams, which confronts the players with a threatening enemy and is meant as a hook for a larger story. The adventure offers a solid introduction to the game world and should be quite challenging for beginners. In addition to the free character creation via the archetypes, the book also offers tables for creating characters by rolling on various tables for the character's life path, which determines the statistics.

Vaesen offers an exciting setting and an intriguing facet of horror that draws on the traditional mythology of Scandinavia. After all, the inspiration for this role-playing game was a book of the same name about the mythological creatures of Scandinavia. The time period of the 19th century and the idea of the Society, which has to be rebuilt by the player characters, adds to the fascinating background. The rules system is coherent. The important thing here is that the Vaesen cannot be defeated by brute force, but the players have to use investigative work to find out their weaknesses, so they have a chance to stand up against them. I enjoyed Vaesen's ideas very much. In particular, the extremely atmospheric illustrations convey perfectly the flair and the contrast between the seemingly idyllic world of Scandinavia and the ancient horror that lurks beneath.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vaesen - Nordic Horror Roleplaying
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M20 The Art of Mage: 20 Years and More
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:04:02
More than trenchcoats and katanas - a Mephisto review

The Art of Mage - 20 years and more

For the anniversary edition of Mage M20, an accompanying artbook has been published, which tries to summarize twenty years of illustration history. Satyros Phil Brucato first looks back self-critically at the beginnings of Mage and the illustration style of "Trenchcoats and Katanas." Subsequently, the reader learns a bit about the workflow in the early years, when illustrations were still sent by mail, revealing glimpses into the early years of White Wolf.

However, the central part is titled Artistic Legacies, introducing many illustrators with a background, anecdotes, and stories - and especially their artistic work for Mage. The artbook impressively shows the range the illustrators have covered and how Mage's graphic representation has changed over the years. The last chapter also presents the illustrations of Mage M20 - and proves that Mage is not just a role-playing game of the 90s. In addition, chapters are dedicated to the signature characters as well as the creation of the Mage Tarot.

I enjoyed the mixture of texts and illustrations immensely because this excursion shows impressively how the complex topics of the most multifaceted game of the World of Darkness is also reflected in an incredible spectrum of artwork. Of the World of Darkness artbooks, this is my clear favorite so far.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
M20 The Art of Mage: 20 Years and More
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The Beast Within Revised
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:01:48
Back to the beast within - a Mephisto review

The Beast Within - Revised Edition

The original anthology The Beast Within was published back in the early days of Vampire and originally presented 13 stories - fittingly introduced with the 13 clan illustrations. The new edition contains ten stories, two of which were not included in the original book. The setting is Vampire's version of San Francisco. The individual short stories cover very different topics: e.g., a desperate poet stumbling into the world of the kindred, a clanless vampire who is forced to search for his sire, an ancient South American vampire who awakens in a completely alien world.

The individual stories are varied and introduce interesting facets of the game world. However, San Francisco's kindred society plays only a limited role - at least in some stories. Nevertheless, this anthology is still good for learning about various aspects of the kindred of the World of Darkness - e.g., ancient vampires, the social order of clans, intrigues, and so on. From my perspective, the new edition is also an entertaining book in the world of Vampire.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Beast Within Revised
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Heroic Land-Dwellers!
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2021 12:59:46

Ordinary and not-so-ordinary heroes - a Mephisto review

Heroic Land-Dwellers!

For a quick start in They came from beneath the sea! the first sourcebook offers 16 characters, fleshed out with background and game statistics, who can face the horrors of beneath the sea as everyday heroes (or not-so-everyday heroes). There are several variants for each of the game's different archetypes: fences, KGB agents, famous adventurers, nuclear scientists, and other characters who have come into contact with the dangerous monsters and mysterious conspiracies of the game. In addition, there are entertaining short stories at the beginning and end of each book.

For gaming groups who want to hit the ground running (and/or have a high character attrition rate), the book offers a good range of coherently fleshed-out and well-illustrated pulp characters (who can also serve as non-player characters), so there should be something for everyone.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroic Land-Dwellers!
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Cthulhu: Geschlossene Räume
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2021 13:19:22
Eingeschlossen mit dem Horror - eine Mephisto Rezension

Geschlossene Räume

Wie für Cthulhu-Abenteuerbände üblich hat auch Geschlossene Räume ein zentrales Thema, das die beiden Abenteuer in dem Band miteinander verbindet. In diesem Fall steht im Mittelpunkt die Idee, dass die Abenteuer an einem geschlossenen Ort spielen.

Le Tre Madri - Die drei Mütter der Schmerzen führt die Spielercharaktere in eine Kunstausstellung, die einzigartig ist – und finstere Ziele verfolgt. So müssen sich die Spielercharaktere Raum für Raum vorarbeiten, deren Rätsel lösen, am besten den Gesamtzusammenhang verstehen und – natürlich – am Ende auch überleben. Während das Abenteuer selbst mehr wie eine Art Baukasten funktioniert, aus dem sich die Räume relativ schematisch zusammensetzen lassen, nimmt sich die Ausarbeitung ausführlich Zeit, den Hintergrund der Mythos-Entität und der Symbolik der Ausstellung zu präsentieren.

Auch Zwanzig Räume schleudert die Spielercharaktere in ein begrenztes und gefährliches Setting. Hier finden sich die Investigatoren in einer bizarren Parallelwelt wieder, der es zu entkommen gilt. Die Spielercharaktere müssen nicht nur den Gefahren dieser Welt trotzen, sondern auch deren Aufbau verstehen, um den 20 Räumen zu entkommen. Dieses Abenteuer ist ebenfalls mehr als Baukasten zu sehen, der verschiedene Orte und Szenen beschreibt. Wie im ersten Abenteuer wird hier zunächst ausführlich erklärt, was der Hintergrund der Geschichte ist – auch wenn dieser für die Spieler lange verborgen bleibt. Die 20 Räume selbst sind jedoch in der textlichen Beschreibung relativ schematische Begegnungen.

Beiden Abenteuern ist nicht nur gemein, dass sie an einem begrenzten Ort spielen, sondern auch einen spannenden Hintergrund haben. Allerdings ist mein Eindruck, dass bei der Ausarbeitung der Spielleiter zum Spielen einige Vorbereitungen treffen muss, damit das Ganze nicht zu schematisch und im schlimmsten Fall repetitiv wirkt, weil verschiedene Räume zu ähnlich werden. Wer jedoch bereit ist, auf dieser Grundlage ein wenig Arbeit zu investieren, bekommt zwei spannende Abenteuer – die sich allerdings aufgrund ihres Hintergrunds wieder einmal mehr eher als One-Shots denn als Kampagnenabenteuer eignen.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu: Geschlossene Räume
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Cthulhu: Eiskalte Ernte
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2021 13:17:06
Der Mythos in Sowjetrussland - eine Mephisto Rezension

Eiskalte Ernte

Auch wenn Cthulhu mit der amerikanischen Ostküste der 1920er eigentlich ein Standardsetting hat, könnte man fast den Eindruck gewinnen, dass das Spiel stärker durch seine Ausnahmen definiert wird. So verschlägt es die Spieler in Eiskalte Ernte nach Zentralasien – genauer gesagt ins stalinistische Russland von 1937. Die Investigatoren sind Agenten des NKWD, des Volkskommissariats für innere Angelegenheiten, und werden zu einer kleinen, im Rahmen der Zwangskollektivierung entstandenen Siedlung ausgeschickt, um dort eine Familie zu verhaften und ins Arbeitslager zu schicken. Alternativ lautet der Auftrag, den Produktionsabfall an diesem Ort zu überprüfen.

Das Abenteuer stellt zunächst grundsätzlich Setting und Ausgangslage vor und präsentiert dann das Dorf und seine Bewohner. Zudem gibt es eine kurze Übersicht der Ereignisse. Es folgen einige Regeln, um die Investigatoren passend zu diesem Hintergrund zu erstellen (falls man nicht direkt mit den vorgefertigten Charakteren spielen will) und dann beginnt auch schon das Abenteuer. Die Besonderheit ist, dass hier stalinistische Paranoia auf cthulhoiden Horror trifft und das Abenteuer in seinem Verlauf sehr frei definiert ist. Es ist allerdings auch so angelegt, dass die Spieler vor dem Dilemma stehen, wie sie mit der Situation und ihren Befugnissen umgehen. Der Gegner, dem sie sich stellen müssen, ist durchaus gefährlich. Glücklicherweise werden aber hier nicht gleich die ganz großen Mythos-Mächte aufgefahren.

Auch wenn Eiskalte Ernte Ideen liefert, innerhalb des Settings länger zu spielen, ist es eher ein One-Shot mit einer ungewöhnlichen Ausgangslage: An sich sind die Spieler hier sowohl mit Autorität als auch mit guter Ausrüstung ausgestattet, doch ob das die Begegnung mit dem Mythos – oder auch nur ihren eigentlichen Auftrag – einfacher macht, sei dahingestellt. Wer einen Exkurs ins stalinistische Russland machen möchte, um sich dem Mythos in einem ungewöhnlichen und düster-paranoiden Setting zu stellen, ist hier genau richtig.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu: Eiskalte Ernte
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Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/04/2021 13:46:06
Hunter or hunted? - a Mephisto review

Of Predators and Prey

Of Predators and Prey has been released as a companion short story collection to the Hunters hunted II sourcebook for Vampire V20. A total of nine stories are dedicated to the theme of vampire hunters and, as the title suggests, play with the question of who is the hunter and who is the hunted. Thus, sometimes vampires meet surprisingly well-prepared hunters, sometimes unsuspecting humans stumble into misfortune, and sometimes the line blurs as to who the real monsters are.

Thus, the stories cover a wide spectrum of hunters, sometimes ordinary humans who stumble into the vampire menace, and sometimes professionals who are totally dedicated to the hunt. Just as varied are the vampires they must face. In most of these hunts, the outcome is uncertain. The stories are varied, surprising, and exciting and offer what one expects from short stories: entertainment with a few surprises. However, those who expect greater mysteries or connections of the World of Darkness in these stories will be disappointed. With few exceptions, the hunters know so little about the World of Darkness that this background plays only a minor role. In my view, this is also consistent and does not detract from the stories. Those who expect mysteries and strong references to the setting from this book will probably be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a few vampire hunter stories that are worth reading and that also provide inspiration for hunter characters (as protagonists or as antagonists), you will get an entertaining short story collection here.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology
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The Making of the Art of Children of the Revolution
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/04/2021 13:42:34
Just a making of - a Mephisto review

The Making of the Art of Children of the Revolution.

Even though the term art appears in the title, this volume is not a typical artbook, but focuses on the "making of" aspect. As such, the book is comparatively text-heavy. In addition to the sketches and stages of development to the finished results of some of the illustrations, sorted by illustrator, one finds the email conversations in the exchange between art director and illustrator.

In this respect, the book could not really appeal to me. While the sketches' development is interesting, the book focuses more on the intermediate stages than the final results. While it's interesting to get a glimpse into the discussion about the motifs, the collection of emails - in the typical colloquial form (including various typos) - may be authentic, but it couldn't captivate me. I was more convinced by the approach of other artbooks to the World of Darkness - personally, I would have liked an artbook representing the whole range of V20 much better.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Making of the Art of Children of the Revolution
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