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Stalwart: The World's Niftiest Superhero RPG
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Maxwell [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/05/2024 16:57:04

I've followed Dr. Desing's game design journey for quite a while now, and if you look, you'll find several other 5-star reviews of his efforts here in my name. They were all earned at the time, and they still deserve them now. However this latest iteration of his approach to the supers game, "S:TWNSRPG," has also earned 5 stars from me. This in no way "takes away from" previous games like "The Stalwart Age" or "Sentinels of Echo City." Those are still awesome and playable in their own rights. What THIS game represents though, is an evolution in quickness of character creation and sheer playability that could only have been achieved by going through all of the previous designs before it. What we have here is brevity achieved without nearly as much of a loss in granularity as one would think, with the optional levels of complexity often being left up to the player in the moment (see the rules for multiple actions/attacks). I'd get into the rules a little more here, but this game costs One Dollar, is sixteen pages long, and is already supported by tons of free additional content on Dr. Desing's blog. Get it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stalwart: The World's Niftiest Superhero RPG
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The Golden Age - The Dirty Dozen
Publisher: Soultaker Studios
by Maxwell [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/01/2023 13:55:04

A great resource not only for the FCH RPG, but for fans of or those curious about Golden Age characters/comics. The author lists the first appearances of every character included in the work, and pretty much all of those comics are in the Public Domanin and available to read for free legally on sites like comicbookplus.com. However, the game-related content is really well done, too, providing solid examples of hoe to design in this wide-open system, with a couple of adventures to boot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Golden Age - The Dirty Dozen
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Sovereign City Setting Guide for Triumphant!
Publisher: Beyond Belief Games
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/09/2023 16:26:54

An absolute gem of a Supers RPG city book! Complete but concise, with enough detail to make you want to visit, but not so much that you feel like you are running for Mayor. Includes several statted-up heroes and villains, as well; some even written up a different "power levels." If you need still more characters, an absolutely FREE "Sovereign City Heroes and Villains" supplement was just released, too. Triumphant is really shaping up to fill the "point based but not a total pain" niche for this genre.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sovereign City Setting Guide for Triumphant!
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Four-Color Heroics Core Rulebook
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2023 15:26:23

Yes, there are a LOT of superhero RPGs out there. There are even several that focus on the Golden Age of Comics. So...what's different about this one? Well, instead of equating "Golden Age Comics" with "OSR/D&D-Derived" rule-set, this game uses a rules framework that is more LIKE the comics that it's inspired by! Instead of, say, trying to fit a D&D-like, class-and-level straightjacket onto the writingly deranged chaos of the sheer craziness of the Golden Age, this game keeps things open. There's no list of Powers, but instead a system to build your own. And YES, there are games out there with "free-form super powers," too, However, the free-form power system in this game is wide open conceptually, while being concise and focused mechanically at the same time. Task resolution and combat are written to be quick and easy, but with enough depth and wiggle room to keep things interesting. Heroes build "Momentum" based on an "Impact Die" that not only gauges their success, but has other wild effects on the game as it's being played. This is a compact product, written with clarity and focus, and with CC Miller's by-now-expected transaprency of process and design. Not only are there 8 sample characters, but the way that half of them were built is broken down in detail by the author. What's more, there are a couple of sure-to-be equally focused and useful supplements on the way. To sum things up, I'll just say again that this is a Golden Age Comics game that actually tries to capture unhinged creativity of its inspirational source material. Some GM/Player cooperation is required, of course, guaranteeing that each table will be different, just as each comic series is different when helmed by a different editor :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four-Color Heroics Core Rulebook
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Creator Reply:
I appreciate the review. I'm glad you like the game.
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CRUSADERS
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2022 06:37:49

I am a long-since confirmed superhero RPG junkie. So, yes, I was gonna give this game a shot no matter what. However, after reading through it, I immediately rolled up a 4-member super-mercenary team. Yes, the character generation is mostly random, but with a good amount of player choice mixed in. This hybrid system is implemented very simply and easily, though, as it everything else in the game. This is a rules-lite game with just enough meat on its bones, lots of customization options, and plans for tons of regular support in the very near future. Try it...you'll like it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CRUSADERS
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Tales of the Splintered Realm Complete Rules
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2022 09:53:51

Dr. Mike Desing has condensed and refined his already great Fantasy RPG into a concise 54 page book without losing any of the funor sense of completeness that one expects from a core rulebook. Character classes, Races, an excellent Magic system, a packed Bestiary, world-building, and an adventure are all here, and all spelled out in clearly written and eminiently playable fashion. If you're looking for a new FRPG with an old school feel that gives you "more" in less than 100(s of) page(s), look no further!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of the Splintered Realm Complete Rules
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Bookmark No HP RPG
Publisher: Lester Smith Games
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2021 19:58:32

This is game design at its most daring, folks: write a multi-genre RPG that fits on both idea of a bookmark and still gets the job(s) done There's some adjudication required, sure, but this is necessary when there isn't room to fit a "rule for everything" on something that can fit between two pages of a paperback This is the kind of fast and felxible game that puts imagination and improvisation up front, but it also has a simple, robust set of (a few) rules to back it up



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bookmark No HP RPG
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The Superverse (ICONS)
Publisher: TGI
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2021 21:10:57

I first "met" Aldo, the writer behind this book, in the forums for the original "Supers!" RPG (before the RED version came to be). Almost immediately, I knew that he would be a creator to watch for in this field. It didn't take long for him to prove me right, either: with supplements like "Freedom Ring" (and more), it was obvious that Aldo had a whole universe full of ideas in his head. They were good ideas, too, and he knew how to communicate them well and in very "gameable" and entertainign fashion. Now, years later, Aldo has proven right once again, AND proven that what I was impressed with before was just him getting started.

I backed this project on Kickstarter the very day that I heard of it, and to say that it has met my high expectations would be faint praise indeed. Folks, this is quite simply one of the best superhero universe sourcebooks I've ever seen, gaming-system-related or otherwise.

Not only is there a wealth of information; a detailed timeline, abundant information on important locations, organizations, and NPCs, but it's all presented extremely well. This book is a fun read, whether you intend to use it for gaming at all, or if you just want to lose yourself in a new superhero universe that's been built with tons of passion, creativity, and skill. Yes, it's also very useful for gaming (and available for lots of great systems), but I would be just as happy with this work if there were no "official system" stats in these pages at all.

Yeah, just give me some vague Marvel/DC Trading Card style "stats" (why is Wolverine rated for "Energy Projection?" who cares?) and I'd enjoy that version, too.

So, hey: bottom line - this book is fantastic. You should absolutely buy it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Superverse (ICONS)
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The Stalwart Age RPG Core Rules
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2021 08:28:59

"The Stalwart Age" is a sequel to or even a reboot of the "Sentinels of Echo City," which until recently was my favorite superhero RPG. Now, as you may have guessed, I have a new favorite: this one! Really, though, this game takes everything that worked about SOEC and tweaks it and trims it into a leaner, meaner, smoother-working package. The action economy is designed to be even more "comic-book-like," and there are plenty of creative options for heroes, using "Resolve,' and viallins, using "Tenacity," to keep things interesting and exciting. Perhaps my favorite part of this game, though, is the immersive quality of the universe it's set in. Not only is there a GREAT overview of the world, but there's a brief but very complete overview of a new home-base city (Midvale, which is located between the two cities featured in previous iterations of the game), and a very well-written three-part starter adventure, complete with four 1st level villains and plenty of other monsters/traps/puzzles for the players to encounter. All of this is fit very nicely into a startlingly low page count without feeling cramped or rushed. What's more, at the Stalwart Age and Splintered Realm blogs, Mike Desing is building and detailing this world all the time, including "summaries" of various issues of "comic books" from the history of this universe! If you join his Patreon, you get to see even more stuff, too. Really, folks, if you're looking for a new superhero RPG that's built for fun, speed, and creativity: look no further. Mike has more releases planned, and I can't wait to see 'em.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Stalwart Age RPG Core Rules
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Hideouts & Hoodlums [Basic 2nd edition]
Publisher: Great Scott! Press
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2020 17:47:23

This game eschews the "4 color kitchen sink" approach of most superhero games, focusing very strongly instead on its chosen theme. The comic books of 1930s and 1940s are that theme, and the author uses the basic rules of early 70's D&D to create a game that almost flawlessly draws you into that world and lets you inhabit it. There are a lot of nice touches here, from calling all non-player controlled characters/creatures "mobsters" (instead of "monsters"), to the basic superhero power of "Wrecking Things," which is a true genius-level breakthrough for emulating the genre. There's a lot more to say here, but I'll leave it at this: Scott Casper has done exhaustive research on the Golen Age of Comics, and he uses it expertly here to create a fast-moving, easy-to-learn game that is simply packed with content.

....And this book only covers Levels 1-6! Buy this game, people, and give Scott a reason to create the rest of the 2nd Edition series!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hideouts & Hoodlums [Basic 2nd edition]
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Lairs and Locales #1: For Sentinels of Echo City
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/16/2020 08:35:27

This is yet another excellently written and crafted supplement for what is, in my opinion, the best superhero RPG on the market. Like all of Mike Desing's work, this product contains just enough detail and information to inspire GMs and Players, without bogging things down with of self-indulgent "fan-fiction overdoese" exposition. I want to take chanracters to this Hideaway, and I want to create new bad guys for those characters to interact with. This is fun, enthusiastic, entertaining stuff!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lairs and Locales #1: For Sentinels of Echo City
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Echo City Sentinel Issue 1
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/24/2019 11:10:29

Support for Sentinels of Echo City is back, and it couldn't be cooler! In one page, you get two new superheroes, and one new supervillain for your game....and also for 50 cents! Heck, the publisher isn't even forcing you to pay that much! They also aren't stopping you from paying more than that, either, which is what I did. Get it! Encourage the creation of more issues!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Echo City Sentinel Issue 1
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The Stalwart Age Issue 2
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2019 21:11:52

Another fantastic issue! This a perfectly bite-sized but power-packed product, filled with just enough short fiction and statted-out gaming goodness to make you really feel like you are taking a quick vacation into the Stalwart Age of the SOEC universe. Buy it, enjoy it, and encourage the author to make more of it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Stalwart Age Issue 2
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind words! I hope to have the third issue out in the next few days...
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Zindagi #4
Publisher: Zindagi Comix
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/07/2019 22:04:11

With this latest issue of "Zindagi," the story really starts to move forward, adding new elements even as previous developments come to a head. The philosophical themes are still very much present, but they are woven into the action instead of being used to stall it like some navel-gazing coffee break. I've said it before, and it bears repeating: Ken is creating a ground-up indie-comics cosmic saga the likes we haven't seen since Jim Starlin was the "new kid in town."



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Zindagi #4
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for the kind words!
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Manowar #1a
Publisher: Lucky Comics
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/16/2019 18:31:03

Jay Piscopo is one of the best creators working in independent comics today. If you need proof, you can get it right here, for the insanely low price of 75 cents! Jay's art is dynamic, his storytelling is clear, and his pacing is crisp. Get in on the ground floor with Jay Piscopo's Manowar, and go find anything else he's worked on. You won't be sorry!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Manowar #1a
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