Pegasus Digital
Browse Categories
to €











Back
pixel_trans.gif
Other comments left by this customer:
You must be logged in to rate this
pixel_trans.gif
Forbidden Lands: Crypt of the Mellified Mage
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2023 10:30:55

Crypt of the Mellified Mage

The Crypt of the Mellified Mage book is not just about the location of the same name but presents four self-contained adventure locations that can be incorporated into an ongoing campaign for Forbidden Lands.

The Crypt of the Mellified Mage is a typical dungeon that, as the tomb of a notorious healer, is either a place specifically sought by player characters or some location they find by accident. With 35 rooms filled with traps, puzzles, and secrets, it's all about the former healer, bees, and honey - and the mage's background and secrets. The characters can find some treasures while exploring, deal with bees and undead, but also unleash things that should rather be left alone.

With The Firing Pit of Llao-Yutuy, the book offers another dungeon, this time a pottery workshop run by a master of his art, revealing its sinister secrets in the process. Various paths lead to this dungeon, but escape can be more difficult. Unsurprisingly, characters will encounter golems here (in very unusual varieties), stumble upon the secrets of pottery-making, and perhaps capture some interesting artifacts.

The Temple of the Six-Limbed Lord, which presents itself as a village, completely turns the game world upside down. The intelligent monkeys that have invaded the player characters' world with their temple not only cause chaos, but also have ambitious plans of conquest that the player characters can oppose. The different priests leading the monkeys offer not only unusual characters but also interesting potential opponents.

Finally, The Dream-Cloud of E'lok Thir introduces another bizarre dungeon, as this dream world is the remnant of a powerful mage's mind. In this dream world, the characters can interact with fragments of his shattered self. Unlike the other dungeons, there is no fixed map or clear room descriptions here, but a very dynamic setting that can also be shaped by the players.

All four locations bring very unusual settings to the game, but their atmosphere and content seem at odds with the main campaign. The Crypt of the Mellified Mage and The Firing Pit of Llao-Yutuy are typical dungeons that invite looting by the characters and offer little other interaction or backstory integrated into the greater setting. The Temple of the Six-Limbed Lord already offers a larger and more flexible story arc. Still, the invasion of the monkey priests is a bizarre setting that also presents itself somewhat ironically and will probably not fit thematically in many campaigns. The Dream-Cloud of E'Lok Thir, on the other hand, presents a fascinating idea and thus a dreamlike (or nightmarish) setting, which, however, demands some adjustments and imagination from the game master. All locations have in common that they have no strong relation to the game world of Forbidden Lands and, therefore, in my opinion, do not fit well into the campaign. In addition, they focus strongly on the typical dungeon exploration theme.

If you are looking for very unusual locations for your Forbidden Lands campaign, The Crypt of the Mellified Mage offers four well-developed and exciting locations. From my perspective, however, some locations are a bit too unusual and do not really fit into the setting and background of the Forbidden Lands. For me, these locations were too unusual and could not excite me as much as The Spire of Quetzel.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Forbidden Lands: Crypt of the Mellified Mage
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark
Publisher: Just Crunch Games
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2023 14:09:37
The haunter returns - a Mehisto review

The Haunter of the Dark

The story The Haunter of the Dark by H.P. Lovecraft not only provides the title, but also the starting point for an adventure, which was revised for the 2nd edition of Cthulhu Hack. The book consists of three parts.

The first part of the book deals with how to use stories like The Haunter of the Dark to develop adventures for Cthulhu Hack. In addition to the approach of taking the story, analyzing it, and adding footnotes, it shows how to use it as a role-playing setting. The introduction also describes, in general, how such stories are usually structured and how this structure can be used as a template for building adventures. In doing so, the “onion model” is also described here, which summarizes the layers of dangers and revelations and thus visualizes the layers of such a story.

The concrete analysis and treatment of the story The Haunter of the Dark makes up the third part of the book. This chapter reprints the complete original story and marks it with footnotes and references to possible tests, backgrounds, story ideas, and so on. Thus, one reads the story of Robert Blake, who is attracted to an abandoned church and stumbles upon the legacy of the Starry Wisdom sect. On the other hand, it presents notes and ideas on how to use this template for the game. Thus, one learns about the tests and challenges that would have affected the protagonist if he had been a character of the role-playing game.

The main body of the book in the middle is such an adventure, Horrible Abysses, which acts as a continuation of the original story. The player characters get on the trail of the missing Robert Blake and have to realize that the horror he faced still lingers. This story focuses on the investigative work about Blake's disappearance and St. John's Church, so the adventure offers many approaches and scenes to solve the mystery before an inevitable confrontation. An interesting approach here is that there are several explanations and backgrounds for the mythos antagonist, the Haunter, which the game master can choose from.

In addition to the specific adventure, The Haunter of the Dark offers a practical approach to using existing stories from the mythos as a basis for role-playing. It presents this concept in detail, using the titular story as an example. With this combination, the book offers an compelling sourcebook for Cthulhu Hack, which has been somewhat revised and supplemented for the 2nd edition but, in essence, corresponds to the earlier edition.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Forbidden Lands: The Book of Beasts
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2023 09:47:30
Monsters and more - a Mephisto review

Book of Beasts

The printed Book of Beasts already shows by its premium design with imitation leather cover that it is another basic rule book. It complements the classic trinity of fantasy role-playing game rule books with the monster manual for Forbidden Lands.

Accordingly, the book starts with 28 new monsters, each introduced on four pages. After a page-filling illustration and a background article from the in-game perspective, the description and game statistics, including the table for the different attacks of the monster, are provided. In addition, however, each monster entry offers encounter suggestions for incorporating these creatures into a campaign. These random encounters are presented compactly as a small scene and can thus be easily incorporated into a campaign. The entry is supplemented by background knowledge that player characters with the appropriate skills may possess and hints about what resources can be obtained from the monster. For example, the eggs of amphibians are very nutritious, while the mandibles of giant spiders are suitable for building weapons. Sometimes the new talent alchemist is necessary for this use, and sometimes other characters also benefit from these resources.

The selection of monsters includes classics like basilisks, giant spiders, or vampyres, but also offers unusual creatures like the tupilaq or the rat king. Typically, these beasts are still adjusted slightly to the background of Forbidden Lands, so that basilisks, for example, have an unusual weak spot.

However, this bestiary only occupies a little over half of the book. The following chapter provides the game master with another 36 random encounters, which can enrich a campaign as individual scenes or serve as hooks for smaller adventures.

In addition, the game master gets some further tools. There are new traps, tables for books (incl. talent or skill increase, title, and short comment), random tables for the condition of the area and camps depending on the terrain, as well as random tables for the weather. For strongholds – the headquarters of the player characters – the personalities of servants can now be determined by random tables (and serve as another hook for stories). In addition, there is a new talent for alchemists, which allows for brewing potions and poisons. It is also used for resource extraction from monsters.

In addition, artifacts can be determined randomly, some of which have helpful effects, many of which are strange, and some of which are a hindrance (an artifact that telepathically gives its bearer a bad reputation is the kind of unusual equipment to avoid).

The book concludes with the now-inevitable solo rules, which are designed to allow solitary exploration of the Forbidden Lands through a mixture of random tables and player improvisation. Thanks to companions, however, the player character does not have to go entirely alone. The so-called oracle, for which playing cards are used, helps the solo player determine answers to typical questions such as “is the encounter friendly or hostile”, “what will I find in the area” or “where does this character come from” through the card suits and numbers.

The Book of Beasts thus provides an excellent supplement for Forbidden Lands, whose core topic is indeed the monsters, but which offers the game master and the potential solo player much more. The ideas of monsters and encounters provide material for many game sessions and help the gamemaster to improvise the player-driven campaign. Although I am still generally unconvinced by the concept of solo play, this volume provides a solid basis for that approach as well. For Forbidden Lands gamemasters, the Book of Beasts thus offers an all-around recommendable toolbox and source of ideas.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Forbidden Lands: The Book of Beasts
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Dragonbane Quickstart
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2023 08:47:37
A short trip into the Misty Vale - a Mephisto review

Dragonbane Quickstart

To test the Swedish fantasy role-playing game Dragonbane, there is a free quickstart rulebook that presents the basic rules in a condensed form. It also includes one of the adventure locations, the Riddermound, from the Core Set as a playable adventure.

Of course, the quickstart comes without character creation and development rules, but offers five pre-made characters instead. Also providing a playable setting, the quickstart is clearly limited to the essential rules, which were compressed into about 20 pages.

The quickstart thus offers everything necessary to play the demo scenario, but no more. For example, only the spells available to the corresponding pre-made character are described.

The Dragonbane Quickstart is therefore an ideal starter booklet to try out the game and get a first impression of the roleplaying game without having to buy the excellent Core Set (see review at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product_reviews_info.php?&reviews_id=912416&products_id=418106 )– not only because the quickstart is available for free. Furthermore, the condensed rules summary may also be suitable for players, provided they can resist the temptation to peek into the adventure that is part of the Misty Vale campaign.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragonbane Quickstart
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Dragonbane Core Set
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2023 08:14:31
Classic fantasy in modern times - a Mephisto review

Dragonbane Core Set

The translation of the original title, Dragons and Demons, recalls a classic fantasy RPG. And that is consistent because in the 1980s, Drakar och Demoner apparently was the role-playing game that offered an alternative to D&D in the early days of role-playing in Sweden. The game was based on early Chaosium titles, with the first edition from 1982 being a translation of the Magic World role-playing game. However, the Swedish version quickly took on a life of its own, apparently providing an introduction to the hobby for many Swedish role-playing gamers. Now, 40 years later, Fria Ligan has revived the role-playing game in a new edition, available as a traditional box set (or its digital counterpart). This box contains a rulebook, an adventure book, maps, cards, cardboard figures, character sheets, handout maps, and solo rules. The fact that the rulebook and adventure volume offer only about 120 pages each also seems reminiscent of earlier games.

The rulebook first describes the basic concepts of role-playing games and their core elements before moving on to character creation. Here, players must first choose a kin that gives them innate abilities. Subsequently, they decide on a profession. Then it is a matter of age, attributes, derived stats, skills, and heroic abilities. Optionally, weaknesses can be selected, and gear completes the character. Of course, instead of making the decisions yourself, you can also let the dice decide the character's fate. 

The game offers six different kin, of which humans, halflings, dwarves, and elves are well-known examples. Two unusual variants are also available with mallards, duck-like humanoids, and wolf-kin, anthropomorphic wolves. All kin are briefly introduced, and each one has a special ability. For example, halflings are hard to catch, and elves have an inner peace that makes it easier for them to heal hit points and willpower points. When it comes to professions, you will find the usual suspects like fighters or mages and more unusual representatives like artisans, scholars, or merchants. Each profession comes with preferred skills and heroic abilities, as well as different equipment. Once the essential decisions are made that determine the character's basic framework, age is determined by choice or dice, which affects the number of skills and modifies attributes if necessary.

The attributes are the usual six variants known from fantasy role-playing games, and they mainly modify the skills. The idea is that skills have a base value depending on the attributes. Trained skills double this value, and these trained skills are partly defined by profession and partly chosen by the player. The game offers a broad arsenal of skills like bushcraft, performance, or sneaking. The heroic skills are special traits that can differentiate a character, such as the ability to wield two weapons at once or having a magical talent. As optional rules, weaknesses can be used to distinguish the character further. When these weaknesses appear in the game, they provide opportunities for extra advancement. 

The advancement system does not use levels but so-called advancement marks. You get these when you roll particular results for skills or at the end of a game session. At the end of the session, you get the marks for questions such as whether you participated in the session or encountered a dangerous enemy. The advancement marks allow one attempt to increase a skill by exceeding the current value with the roll of a d20. Alternatively, teachers can be used to improve skills. Once a skill reaches the value of 18, you also gain a new heroic ability.

As usual in role-playing games based on d20, the extreme values 1 and 20 play a unique role. A 1 is called a dragon, a particularly good roll, and a 20 is called a demon, which brings particular disadvantages. As is typical for newer systems, rolls can have advantages and disadvantages by rolling multiple dice and using the worst or best result. At the same time, there is a rule to push rolls by making another attempt. If this attempt is unsuccessful, the character receives a disadvantage in the form of a condition that limits them. 

Of course, an extended chapter is devoted to combat, using the usual mechanisms. There are critical hits and the possibility to roll a mishap. While regular damage reduces hit points, harder hits result in injuries that bring further restrictions. Dragonbane's combat rules include special results at 1 (dragon) and 20 (demon). A dragon may deal a critical hit resulting in additional damage or triggering an extra attack, while a demon causes a mishap. Melee attacks can be parried or dodged but require an appropriate action, while armor simply reduces damage. However, when the hit points drop to 0, the characters must test if they die and at least take severe wounds. There are also mechanisms for dealing with fear when player characters have to face particularly fearsome monsters.

The basic rules of Dragonbane offer three schools of magic. In order to cast spells, a player character must choose the appropriate profession and acquire the appropriate heroic skills. The three schools are AnimismElementalism, and Mentalism, which cover different application areas and can be mastered by any magical character. The idea in Dragonbane is that spells must be memorized, so mages always have a limited selection of their spells available. There are also magic tricks that are considered simpler spells. Magic is negatively affected by metal, and of course, there are magic failures that can make the game more interesting. The school of animism is reminiscent of druids and clerics and includes spellcasting to animals, nature and healing. Elementalism includes typical elemental spells using fire, earth, water, etc. and also allows conjuring elemental creatures. Mentalism includes abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, etc.

The following chapter provides a catalog of weapons and equipment, as well as additional rules. For example, when parrying, there is a risk of damaging or destroying weapons.

Of course, a bestiary is present too, which introduces several monsters. Among them are typical creatures such as dragons, giants, and the like. A peculiarity of the rules is that real monsters always hit without rolling dice. Only the type of attack is rolled. This approach is similar to the mechanisms of Forbidden Lands. Of course, there are also smaller creatures, such as goblins and skeletons, for which standard combat rules apply rather than the monster rules. 

A chapter for gamemasters provides additional tips, random tables, and rules concepts to cover aspects such as camps, food gathering, and other adventuring activities. There are also practical tips and instructions for designing adventures and campaigns.

The second book in the box is the adventure book. It features a sandbox region called Misty Vale, a closed valley that long ago was home to an advanced civilization that worshiped dragons but was then overrun by orcs. Now that the orcs are also in retreat, the valley is the destination of many adventurers and settlers seeking their fortune here. For the game master, the book provides a more detailed story that explains the background, which plays an essential role in the following campaign. For the players, the start of the campaign is more pragmatic: on their way to the valley, they have a fateful encounter that draws them into the adventures piece by piece. A central element in this sandbox is the settlement of Outskirts, which serves as a starting point for player characters to equip themselves, interact with non-player characters, and dive deeper and deeper into the campaign. In addition to Outskirts, there are 11 adventure locations in the valley whose stories require no particular order. It is up to the players to decide which locations to visit and when. These often serve as stand-alone adventure modules, which do not necessarily contain a fixed task and do not always follow the typical “enter the dungeon, defeat the monsters, grab the treasures” scenario but can have more interesting approaches. The adventure ideas are numerous and varied. Likewise, It is noteworthy that the campaign itself provides some context to the “dragons vs. demons” setting. Overall, the campaign includes adventure material for many evenings of play, allowing players to explore the valley and seek their fortune as they engage in an epic campaign.

If players are missing, another booklet also provides an approach for a solo game, where the rules are modified and countless random tables are supplied to flesh out the adventures. The solo game, however, is not just left entirely to chance. Instead, it also provides a background plot for a small solo campaign in which the player character must dive into the so-called breach to recover a dangerous artifact. There are several adventures here that are described in short, but their elaboration is then up to the tables and the player himself.

In addition to these books, the box contains additional extensive material. There are blank character sheets and five pre-made characters with background information. Also included are handout maps for locations and an overview map of Misty Vale. A double-sided battle map allows you to play with miniatures that are included as cardboard standees for the various monsters. Furthermore, there are various small card sets, including treasure cards, initiative cards, and adventure cards, that contain rumors and clues about the various locations in the campaign. A unique feature is the Improvised Weapons card deck, which can be used for encounters in taverns, caves, and forests. It provides impromptu weapons such as a wine bottle in the tavern or a wasp's nest in the forest to bring additional dynamics to the battles.

When I first read about Dragonbane – especially about the game's background – the project gave me the impression that it was a special interest role-playing game, mainly for the Swedish market and nostalgic role-players there. It seemed like it should appeal to players who want to connect their early memories of the role-playing hobby with this game. However, I am truly surprised and delighted after reading through the system. Dragonbane offers a wonderful blend of a basic approach, similar to the role-playing games of the 80s, combined with a well-designed, functional, but not overly complex set of rules. It offers an exciting and comprehensive sandbox campaign and a well-done presentation with additional material, coherent illustrations, and more. The game makes it easy to get started in terms of rules and campaign without lacking ideas or options.

Although Dragonbane does not provide much background information on the game world outside the campaign and does not come with an epic world description, this fits perfectly with the 80s approach and is more of an advantage than a disadvantage in my view. Dragonbane in this form is suitable for giving new players an accessible introduction to the hobby and appealing to role-playing veterans. At the same time, the game allows you to immerse yourself in a new and straightforward game world that is not overly complex or defined down to the last detail. The books have a good design and great illustrations that fit perfectly the game's direction. Of course, some design choices, like the duck-like mallard, take some getting used to, and one certainly hopes for more schools of magic, more monsters, and the like. But as a starting box, Dragonbane offers enough material for many play sessions and is, therefore, an absolute recommendation, especially (but not only) for players who started the hobby in the 80s.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragonbane Core Set
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Cthulhu Hack: From Unformed Realms
Publisher: Just Crunch Games
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2023 08:37:03
Fast formed monsters - a Mephisto review

From Unformed Realms

From Unformed Realms is a small, system-independent add-on to generate monsters of the eldritch horror genre or bizarre creatures for the Cthulhu Mythos. This extension is based on several random tables, which can be used to roll for different properties of the monsters. The resulting elements are primarily about the descriptive properties and characteristics of the monsters. Even if these characteristics can have game-relevant effects because they can be, e.g., natural weapons or similar features, no game statistics or rule mechanisms are presented here. The tables revolve around extremities (including natural weapons), sensory organs, skeleton, bodily fluids, appearance, and other features. Within these sections, there are always several subgroups, each with six traits, some of which can be further differentiated by additional rolls. For example, with body fluids such as saliva or sweat, there is the possibility that these are corrosive, poisonous, freezing cold, etc. All these characteristics have in common that they are bizarre, dangerous, or both.

The idea of From Unformed Realms is to define the appearance and bizarre features of such horrific creatures. This approach works fast on the one hand and generates hardly predictable monsters on the other. However, this expansion leaves the task of creating game statistics for the resulting creature to the game master.

As an appendix, a few additional random tables are presented to tie these creatures into a story and define certain backgrounds.

The rating of From Unformed Realms strongly depends on the individual attitude towards random tables. Those who like random tables and also want to generate eldritch monsters for their game round will get a comprehensive set of random tables to quickly and easily define bizarre monsters. Also, those who need general inspiration for describing their cthuloid horrors will find the tables a useful tool simply by using characteristics as a source of inspiration. However, those who value "canonical" Cthulhu monsters or for whom game statistics are more important than description will not enjoy this expansion.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Hack: From Unformed Realms
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
MÖRK BORG: IKHON English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2023 13:41:35
Use at your own risk - a Mephisto review

Mörk Borg Ikhon

The small-format supplement Ikhon for Mörk Borg presents magical incantations from the game world that can be assigned to four ancient, bizarre deities and offer powers at ten levels. When a player character wishes to use the Ikhon, he chooses one of the four sections or rolls a d4 and then determines the effect with a d8 (though willing human sacrifices or the sacrifice of a body part confer a bonus on the roll). While the low values have bizarre, but above all horrible and deadly consequences, they later deliver mixed effect or even real advantages, which are no less bizarre.

For example, in the worst case, a divine sheep herd tramples everything to a bloody pulp. If things go better, all the containers fill up with water or poison. For a full success, gigantic spider legs descend from the sky and deliver almost certainly destroy an opponent.

Ikhon reminds me of tarot cards, although they are played differently. Each effect features a typically darkly bizarre illustration, while the game effects are summarized briefly but drastically.

If you want to supplement your Mörk Borg game with an unpredictable and dangerous summoning system for your game (and presumably plunge your player's characters into brutal chaos), you will find the Ikhons a sufficiently weird variant. Mörk Borg players will almost certainly get their money's worth here.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MÖRK BORG: IKHON English
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Forest of Fear (PDF)
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2023 13:29:09
Against doomsday cults, ancient secrets and super-tanks - a Mephisto review

Forest of Fear

With Forest of Fear, a more extensive campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu has been released. The story arc spans eleven chapters and takes place in the late years of World War II, more specifically against the backdrop of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. The campaign is aimed at both experienced players and battle-hardened characters and recommends that agents have completed at least ten other missions. Not only does the campaign's length provide a challenge, but also the fact that several hostile parties operate here and get involved in a dangerous conflict. Moreover, the themes of this scenario and the strong correlation with one of the historic battles of World War II are responsible for the fact that this is a challenging scenario in any respect.

The agents are sent out to contact the Resistance in the Ardennes. At first, the campaign starts quite simply, with meeting a member of the Resistance and moving into a temporary headquarters. Thereafter, however, the plot quickly gains momentum and shows the agents that sinister forces are at work. The players are supposed to investigate the Black Sun's activities in the area, which initially starts with an archaeological outpost. Soon it turns out that ancient secrets rest beneath the Ardennes – or rather, rested until the Black Sun unearthed them to abuse them for their purposes. 

But before the player characters can focus on this task, a second storyline takes them in because, in addition, a dangerous and ancient cult is also active in the area. These cultists are preparing their own rituals to unleash a terrible threat to the region. Thus, the player characters get caught in a battle against two opponents, as both the Black Sun's and the cult's activities keep growing, making for increasingly dangerous missions. Sometimes it is about out-of-control summoning rituals. Then there are far-reaching caves to explore, created by ancient mythical creatures, to learn about the sinister plans of the Black Sun finally. The stakes are nothing less than stopping a secret weapon that could turn the tide of war against the Allies again. 

However, the cult goes even one step further, preparing to conjure a doomsday scenario. Fortunately, the agents are not entirely on their own, though, because in addition to the members of the Resistance, they also find the influences of a Celtic deity and her otherworldly followers working against the cult as the Wild Hunt. If the agents can establish good terms with these potential allies and pass their tests, they will receive much-needed support for the upcoming challenges.

The missions are varied and diverse – and often not designed to be solved by a simple frontal attack and fighting everything that moves. Often, it is mainly about gathering information and surviving to understand the enemies' activities and plans. Thus, sometimes caution is more useful than daredevil action. But, of course, there is room for hard fights and dynamic action. Towards the end, players will have to face extremely dangerous enemies in the two final missions. 

Forest of Fear is an extensive and challenging campaign. Player characters will deal with dangerous enemies and face a wide range of brutal cthulhoid horrors. They definitely have chances to fail in the missions as the stakes are high and the Black Sun's plan could set the Allies back greatly. However, not only the Black Sun and the Nachtwölfe play a role, but the players must also deal with a Celtic deity, a medieval cult, and the lost civilization of a mythos race and its secrets. In addition, they can meet some signature characters of the game and complete the storyline that started with Assault on the Führer Train.

From my point of view, the campaign has a good dramaturgy and offers varied missions that increase coherently and are not always simply decided by force. In fact, there are a few intermediate adventures that have entirely different goals. I found only the introduction of a Celtic deity into this scenario a bit atypical and not well suited to the mythos – even if it increases the player characters' chances of survival. Of course, the secret plan of the Black Sun and Nachtwölfe is both bizarre and coherent for Achtung! Cthulhu in equal measure, so Forest of Fear manages to combine cthuloid horror with the horror of World War II. Personally, I do not always find the latter combination a suitable scenario for a role-playing game, but those who get involved with the setting of Achtung! Cthulhu will probably have no problems with the fact that real war events are used as background for the fiction here. So if you are looking for a long, brutal campaign set against the backdrop of World War II, Forest of Fear will provide you with a campaign of adventures that will challenge the agents for many evenings of play.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Forest of Fear (PDF)
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Priority Mission 3 - Season of the Snake 2 - Assault on Zuara 2 PDF
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2023 12:59:03
Secret weapons of the Nachtwölfe - a Mephisto review

Assault on Zuara 2

When a mysterious Luftwaffe plane lands on an airfield in North Africa and keeps disappearing and reappearing, these events may indicate activities by the Black Sun or the Nachtwölfe. Therefore, this is a mission for Section M agents to spy on the plane and either steal or sabotage it.

The third Priority Mission is summarized in four pages of text and a map. The text primarily describes the airfield and the troops stationed there. This time, fewer alternative adventure seeds or scenarios are suggested. Instead, the player characters' options to fulfill this mission are described in more detail.

Assault on Zuara 2 presents less of a mythos setting and offers more of a commando operation on an enemy airfield that requires stealth and planning, as it can hardly be solved by a frontal assault.

Even though Assault on Zuara 2 offers good material for a short mission in its compact format, I personally find this setting too focused on the military operation aspect and lacking secrets from the Cthulhu Mythos.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Priority Mission 3 - Season of the Snake 2 - Assault on Zuara 2 PDF
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 - Priority Mission 2: Season of the Snake 1 - Our Lady of the Eternal Sapphire PDF
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2023 12:55:56
Secrets of an old monastery - a Mephisto review

Our Lady of the Eternal Sapphire

The second Priority Mission for Achtung! Cthulhu revolves around an old monastery near Cairo, from which a brooch made of Blauer Kristall originates. The player characters are sent out to investigate the site and get to the bottom of the rumors about a relic in the form of a skull made from Blauer Kristall.

The second Priority Mission basically offers two pages of text and a map as source material. The setting is briefly described, and for the antagonists references are made to the rulebook. Again, there are several adventure seeds and alternate backgrounds, which the game master can choose to include additional or alternate enemies or give the mission an entirely different atmosphere.

Even though Our Lady of the Eternal Sapphire does not provide much concrete material, it presents an exciting setting and alternative backgrounds that game masters can easily use to entertain their players for one or even two game nights. I liked this Priority Mission because it offers some exciting ideas that can be used to develop larger story arcs.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 - Priority Mission 2: Season of the Snake 1 - Our Lady of the Eternal Sapphire PDF
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 - Priority Mission 1: Resurrection Men PDF
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2023 12:53:19
Down into the ghoul tunnels - a Mephisto review

Resurrection Men

Ghouls living in old tunnels from World War I – that is essentially the summary of the Priority Mission Resurrection Men for Achtung! Cthulhu. In just eight pages (or really three pages of text and a map), it provides an adventure hook and setting as a mini-adventure that can be played in one session. Adversaries are depicted only with references to the rulebook, and the main part of this booklet consists of the map of the tunnel system and brief descriptions of the rooms and tunnels. Alternative starting points for the scenario are included for those the standard variant of this mission does not work for.

Resurrection Men has an interesting idea, but in fact, the scenario provides little that you could not come up with on your own. Only game masters who want to save time necessary for drawing a map or need a quick basic idea will get any useful material here. As free game material, Priority Mission provides a hook for one game session, but anyone hoping for a real mission will be disappointed.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 - Priority Mission 1: Resurrection Men PDF
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Black Cap (PDF)
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2023 12:49:36
Dangerous cargo - a Mephisto review

Operation Black Cap

Montenegro, 1941: A Black Sun plane crashed, and Section M is eager to learn more about the cargo being transported. Therefore, the agents are sent out to travel undetected from the coast to the crash site, scout out the situation, and intervene if necessary. This means that they are to either secure or destroy artifacts of value. Operation Black Cap takes place in two acts. First, the agents must arrive at the target location and avoid patrols, since the country is in a state of alert due to an imminent invasion. Then, near the crash site, the player characters discover that they are not the only ones interested in the crashed plane. The agents must avoid or face the other parties until they finally reach the plane wreckage. At that point, it becomes apparent that the cargo is potentially very dangerous. 

Ultimately, it is up to the players to decide whether the agents can secure the cargo, must destroy it, or just try to escape with their lives as cthuloid forces are unleashed.

Operation Black Cap is an entertaining short scenario with an interesting premise for one or two evenings of play. In fact, the adventure provides tie-ins for follow-up missions. However, the secondary threat that the agents have to deal with turns out to be a bit archetypical and would have had much more potential.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Black Cap (PDF)
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
CY_BORG Core Rules
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2022 11:22:17

Welcom to cyberpunk hell - a Mephisto review

CY_BORG

The cover shows it right away: Those who prefer the cyberpunk genre to classic sword & sorcery fantasy no longer have to wait for a role-playing game in the style of Mörk Borg. With CY_BORG, a cyberpunk adaptation has been released that sticks to the core aspects of Mörk Borg: simple old-school rules, gritty setting, and extreme presentation. The world of CY_BORG is a dystopia that turns out to be even bleaker than most other role-playing games in the genre because it is not just corrupt and rotten but definitely on the brink of ruin. On the one hand, there are super-rich corporations, and on the other, brutal gangs and mutants. Drugs, contamination, violence, and corruption characterize life in the city of Cy. After introducing the setting in short, concise text passages, a table for random events that affect the city provides dynamics within the game world – and additional hooks for the extreme setting. For example, a gigantic plant may appear overnight, all credsticks may become worthless, or an entire city district may go down in a nuclear explosion. And as with Mörk Borg, the last event ends the entire campaign...

Using the classic old-school approach, characters are created through dice rolls for five traits, possessions (some strange and limited in usefulness), style, characteristics, goals, etc. In addition to these generic characters, classes such as Shunned Nanomancer, Burned Hacker, or Discharged Corp Killer can also be selected, modifying stats and adding additional characteristics. Like in Mörk Borg, character creation takes only a few moments (which is thus guaranteed to be at least slightly shorter than the life expectancy of the game characters). Starting weapons (determined by the roll of dice) are generic and differ only in damage (and, if applicable, the fact that they have the auto-fire option). Finally, one thing applies to all characters: they are in debt to someone who wants his money back or else...

As with Mörk Borg, everything about equipment in CY_BORG is provided in tables: special ammunition, drugs, cybertech or apps. And here, too, the spectrum fluctuates wildly between useful, bizarre, and absurd.

With the apps, there is a simple approach to hacking. Additionally, nanopowers provide special abilities for the characters through nanobots, but these can also lead to infestations, which mean bizarre physical changes.

After all, characters also get bonus markers called glitches, which they can spend on rerolls or maximum damage etc. Characters can also improve between missions – but only at the gamemaster's discretion, and also based on random dice rolls.

For the gamemaster, there are many profiles and descriptions for enemies up to mechs. A mission generator can be used for rolling out adventures, and there are tables for corporations, cults, and events. The book also features a sample adventure, Lucky Flight Takedown, in which player characters get to take apart a casino....

Mörk Borg goes cyberpunk – even though this idea raised my interest and the system and setting were also consistently implemented here without any compromises, CY_BORG did not captivate me in the end. What works flawlessly for Mörk Borg – the brutally simplified and badass OSR rules and the sickeningly depressing Dark Fantasy setting – does not fit cyberpunk: there are no gray areas here, as I would have expected for the genre. The world is so corrupt and broken that the players' actions will not make any sense or difference. The arsenal of random tables, which fits perfectly to a dungeon crawler, does not sit well with the genre for me – though I am probably biased by my own earlier cyberpunk role-playing days in this case.

CY_BORG, like Mörk Borg, is an extreme yet consistent implementation from content to design that also contains exciting ideas. However, this game requires players willing to suffer (or there is a risk that they will just follow the setting and run entirely amok), so I personally find it more or less unplayable – even if it was fun to read the utterly over-the-top dystopia in the completely extreme layout.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
CY_BORG Core Rules
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Forbidden Religions (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/18/2022 10:15:16

Dangerous and mysterious cults - a Mephisto review

Forbidden Religions

Forbidden Religions is a sourcebook that complements themes and topics introduced in Cults of the Blood Gods in Vampire V5. The book focuses on vampiric cults and, in this respect, contributes additional game material that adds to the Kindred groups from Cults of the Blood Gods. These cults are dealt with in different thematic chapters, such as paths to power, the dream of Golconda, or even the end of the world. As usual, the cults are presented with their ideology, traditions, and beliefs, as well as some new discipline powers. On the one hand, some groups tie in with old metaplot elements, like the Shepherds of Ur-Shulgi or the Withered Ones, who worship the mysterious Nictuku. Therefore, some clan secrets left out in the streamlined main clan descriptions make their way back through these cults. On the other hand, new cults are established with e.g. the Children of the Devourer or the Penny Dining Club. While most cults appear to be local, many of them have far-reaching goals.

Forbidden Religions brings quite interesting cults into play, some of which have extreme views and rituals. In addition, there are always several story hooks to incorporate each cult directly into the game.

The book also concludes with several loresheets and some advantages and disadvantages for characters that complement the game. However, the rating of the book does not come easily. Indeed, the presented cults are exciting and a great addition for Vampire. But on the other hand, the book primarily presents 15 more cults that add up to the already large arsenal from Cults of the Blood Gods, definitely providing more material than a single gaming group can use.

Ultimately, this means that gaming groups will use only a fraction of the book practically, although they may find various tailored themes for their campaign here. The loresheets are also a nice addition, bringing the Gehenna theme back into play as well. However, even they alone do not carry the book.

In some ways, Forbidden Religions feels like a collection of material that did not fit into Cult of the Blood Gods because the book would have been too long. Game masters who want to know all the details from the world of Vampire will get a good supplement with Forbidden Religions. But how much of it they can use in the game practically is questionable - especially if they already own the primary sourcebook Cult of the Blood Gods. So, you get a fascinating and well-written sourcebook here that seems limited in terms of its practical usability.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Forbidden Religions (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: The Malevolent Grove FREE PDF
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2022 13:18:41

Lost in the woods - a Mephisto review

The Malevolent Grove

After the free expansion Halloween Horrors with some classic monsters, which were reinterpreted for Achtung! Cthulhu, The Malevolent Grove is a short, free introductory adventure. The Malevolent Grove is meant to be combined with Halloween Horrors to set the enemies of the player characters. The background of this adventure is an ominous place that holds a mysterious and potentially very valuable secret that not only the player characters want to uncover. In fact, the player characters compete with one of the monsters from the Halloween expansion, trying to reach the forest's secret. However, along the way, puzzles must be solved at various locations, based on the combination of clues and found items, before the finale starts.

At first glance, The Malevolent Grove is a rather unusual Achtung! Cthulhu adventure, since here the Secret War theme is entirely ignored, and the player characters are confronted with a kind of dungeon adventure in a forest. With its brevity and somewhat schematic structure, it falls behind the commercial adventures. Not only because it is free, but it is also ideally suited as a small interlude or as an introduction to the world of Achtung! Cthulhu and can be recommended accordingly.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: The Malevolent Grove FREE PDF
Click to show product description

Add to Pegasus Digital Order

pixel_trans.gif
Displaying 31 to 45 (of 296 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
pixel_trans.gif
pixel_trans.gif Back pixel_trans.gif
0 items
Powered by OneBookShelf