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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi $9.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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The GameMaster\'s Apprentice: Sci Fi
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Scott M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/10/2016 16:49:29

Great for writing as well as RPGs. The ability to whip up situations, people, and items at the draw of a card makes awkward game mastering situations much easier



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2016 08:22:29

[Review revised now that the rules have more adventure-generation information.]

This is a packed, information-rich deck of cards to assist the running of a science fiction RPG. It offers multiple fields of information. The individual cards are each printed on both sides of 60 cards, which makes it unclear which side to pick (draw a card, and flip it like a coin, maybe?)

A small wheel of numbers lets you make dice-rolls from d4 to d100. This is VERY handy to make dice-rolls in a secret way for the GM, or by anybody for general noise-reduction. There are fields on the card to allow you to randomly pick evocative first names, sights, sounds, smells, locations, and belongings (in case an NPC living OR dead is encountered) suitable to an SF environment.

The cards are adapted from their set for fantasy, and several fields of the card have different sets of icons that are perhaps more suitable to fantasy. There is a field for the Elder Futhark runes (the runic alphabet of the Vikings) as well as an icon for the Four Elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This is not much of a drawback since they offer tables of "archetypal" meanings to help you imagine outcomes in any sort of RPG. There is a random verb, subject and object on every card that can add up to over a million combinations if you draw 3 cards. Parts of the cards resemble a more gamer-focused version of Rory's Story Cubes.

What is slightly imperfect about the game is that the instructions still insert a few fantasy examples and mention goblins, bandits in a forest, castles and so forth. They could hone their instructions to be more sharply SF in orientation (although some SF games such as Shadowrun might have no trouble mentioning magic or psionics). The instructions do offer suggestions to "transpose" the meaning of a draw to something more suitable to your game.

They describe how the deck could be used to generate encounters for a solo or GM-free game. An adventure generation scheme has been added to the rules more recently.

Overall, this is a beautiful deck of cards that can be used in different modes: evocative ideas for adventure design before the game, dice-rolls and random draws for the GM to improvise a situation or NPC on the fly, and suggestions for a GM-free game or for generating SF adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Kay S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/07/2015 00:06:21

I really like these cards. There aren't a lot of options like this for Sci-Fi, which is what I primarily run.

I Kickstarted these, so I started by doing the Print and Play option. MISTAKE. 1) It eats up a lot of ink - just look at all that black. (I did know this going in, of course, but it didn't really hit me until I was about a third of the way through. 2) Cutting them out was tedious. 3) I didn't quite get them cut out to size so I had to RECUT all of them if I wanted to sleeve them.

Which meant I went back and ordered the printed copy! Wasted my ink and my time, alas. Hopefully this review will save someone the trouble? Or at least better prepare you!

Anyway, the printed copy comes on 60 cards, front and back. I don't really like that - I'd have preferred 120 cards printed with just the one side. That said, the cards are nicely printed. I'd never ordered cards from DriveThru before and I am very happy with the result. The colors a crisp, the words are clear and the cards are of acceptable quality. I do intend to sleeve them, however, because I suspect they may fray during use otherwise.

Giving these 4 stars because I feel like the black background was a really poor choice for something that was going to be offered as PnP.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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