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Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2019 07:23:54

Excellent concept. Mediocre execution. The entire premise hinges on the question 'what happened to the alien life in the universe?' and the book sadly never answers it. in typical FATE fashion it offers several possible solutions, but unlike other FATE products, each answer is both weak and shallow. Hardcore FATE fans might find some enjoyment here, but otherwise I'd skip it as there are much deeper products in the genre even at pay-what-you-want pricing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Tachyon Squadron • Starfighter Academy
by Jeff P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2019 07:34:32

With 'Starfighter Academy,' game designer Clark Valentine has hit another home run for the "Tachyon Squadron" RPG for FATE Core.

This supplement takes player character trainees through the paces as raw recruits at the titular Academy. Demanding instructors and competitive classmates add to the tension of one challenging training mission after another. Upon graduation, one member of the class-- perhaps even one of the player characters-- will be honored with a coveted award, and then it's off to war for the newly-minted combat pilots. Designed as a four-session mini-campaign, but easily expandable into something longer, 'Starfighter Academy' allows players to gradually build their newbie trainees into the seasoned hotshot pilots that they'll play in an extended "Tachyon Squadron" campaign. Perhaps there will even be some beach sand vollyball along the way!

This is an absolutely fantastic supplement. You can play "Tachyon Squadron" without using this material as a prelude-- indeed, you could even run the 'Starfighter Academy' mini-campaign without going on to play a regular "Tachyon Squadron" game afterwards-- but why would you? The mini-campaign in this supplement flows so seamlessly into the default game setting of "Tachyon Squadron" that one is ying to the other's yang.

"Tachyon Squadron" is already one of the coolest games around. If you aren't playing it now, 'Starfighter Academy' is just another reason why you should be.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tachyon Squadron • Starfighter Academy
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Euan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2019 15:25:01

I bought the book, but I read no further than page 5 because it used tired old citations from a book without a source.

Mcarthyism the rpg.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Morts • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Euan C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2019 14:34:58

I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

"oh great this is going to be an awkward mix of DND and fallout"

Well it definitely borrows from those things, but it's more post-post apocalypse, and the dnd elements just work, the world work and the rules work, the settings lends itself to all manner of fun story telling, does everything an RPG book should do well



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Morts • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Tachyon Squadron
by Jeff P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2019 09:04:07

'Tachyon Squadron' is a setting for the Fate Core system. If you aren't familiar with Fate Core, you probably should be-- it's one of the easiest, fastest-playing, most versatile systems out there. If you already play Fate Core, you know what a fantastic system it is, and you should check out 'Tachyon Squadron,' too, especially if you grew up loving the tropes of rebellious hotshot pilots from TV shows like "Baa Baa Black Sheep" or "Battlestar Galactica" or films like "Top Gun" or even "Star Wars."

And man oh man does this rules set capture those tropes! There are a lot of tweaks from the default Fate rules set, and they all work together magnificently to facilitate a roleplaying game about the fighter pilot genre.

First off, character creation is slightly modified from standard Fate Core, using a streamlined skill and attribute set, but the biggest change is in the use of a 'decompression' Aspect. If you're already familiar with the Fate system, you need no introduction to Aspects, but for everyone else, we're talking about short descriptors of your character which define his or her personality and have an in-game effect during play. In 'Tachyon Squadron,' players have healthy and unhealthy means of decompressing, or dealing with the stress of constant stressful missions. One character might decompress in a healthy manner by spending quality family time with her husband and kids, but decompress in an unhealthy manner by drinking a bit too much on weekends. Another character might get healthy decompression working out between missions, but decompress in an unhealthy manner by raging and getting into fights with anyone who crosses him.

Another minor innovation is the ability to 'minimize' or 'maximize' an individual die in the Fate dice pool. While the rules for minimizing or maximizing die rolls seemed a little gimmicky to me upon first read, in actually play the system works swimmingly, allowing players to 'stack the deck' a bit by playing to their strengths. In other words, this mechanic allows players to think tactically and make strategic decisions during gameplay, splendidly setting the mood for dogfighting ship-to-ship combat.

And that last bit is where 'Tachyon Squadron' really shines-- dogfights. In a game about pilots and the fighter craft that they fly, you obviously need a great system for dogfights, and 'Tachyon Squadron' manages to raise the bar here. Using a pretty simple zone system, author Clark Valentine created a really nifty mini-game within the game, where events are completely random and chaotic, yet players can make tactical decisions to gain the upper hand. This system is now my go-to for starfighter combat in any game; it really is THAT good.

Fate Core is a great roleplaying game because it plays fast and easy at the table, but still has a lot of gears and levers that GM's can adjust to change the way things work and feel during play. 'Tachyon Squadron' is a prime example of how those settings can be adjusted to create something new and innovative. If you're like me and your toes curl at the thought of playing a hotshot pilot in a game of starfighting combat, you're really missing the boat if you aren't playing this game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tachyon Squadron
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Weird World News • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by Elliott W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2019 14:07:03

This was a really great supplement to start on my adventure of GMing, and it was good for the players who had never done any RPGing before. I even used it with my parents and they really got into it. This is something I will use more down the road, especially when my kids get old enough to start playing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weird World News • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Andromeda • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2019 09:45:18

Amazing epic space opera

You could run multiple campaigns for years with this supplement

The core conceit is that you're a leader aboard a space ark bringing humanity to the mysterious Andromeda galaxy. Are your colonists frozen? generational inhabitants? or cloned upon arrival? your choice! the book has many scenarios for each

Upon reaching Andromeda you must decide who has gone before? are you the first ArkShip to arrive? the second wave? Or a straggler behind the curve? Each has surprising impact upon the state of the galaxy and what you find there

Finally there are all the perils of Andromeda. Establishing a colony and dealing with the natives and other humans from rival ArkShips.

I can't say enough good things about this product. I don't like FATE but this book will be well used believe that!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Andromeda • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Knights of Invasion • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2019 19:40:58

I don't like FATE but i LOVE this adventure. The initial medieval setting is well designed by itself. The book actually contains 3 distinct alien invasion scenarios ALL of which are well written, well thought out, well detailed, and FUN.

I really wanted to dislike this product due to the ruleset but everything else other than the rules is so well done, useful, and original that I can't really go lower than 5 stars.

I can't wait to run it (but I will certainly NOT be using FATE to do so!)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knights of Invasion • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
by Trystan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2019 10:16:33

This might well be among the most important RPG supplements in the past decade. It deserves not just the full slate of artwork promised by Evil Hat, but a widely-distributed print run and multiple follow-up books. So many RPG settings, stories, and systems have ableist assumptions baked into them, ranging from the subtly hurtful to the egregiously uninformed and insulting. This toolkit goes a long way to undermining these problems not just in Fate, but in the hobby generally. (I know I'll definitely be using some of the advice within to inform my D&D games.) The writing is clear, the discussion is frank but unjudgemental, the topics surveyed are varied, and everything is written from the perspectives of people who live with the disabilities in question. As others have mentioned, the appendix on further resources could use expansion: pointing people to the DSM may be informative but technical manuals like that can be hard to interpret for non-specialists, and the useful links section only deals with (American) sign language, braille dice, generating audiobooks, and the widely-circulated "spoons" theory—strangely lacking the diversity of issues tackled by previous sections of the book. But here, as ever, search engines are your friend; the rest of the book gives you plenty to start from when looking for further information, so this criticism is a minor one. I want to see many more books like this, tailored not just for Fate but also for other RPG systems and for the hobby in general, at least until incorporating these perspectives into game design is a matter of course in the industry. In particular, a toolkit for decolonizing Fate (and other RPGs) would be a natural and important next step.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
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Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
by Katriel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2019 17:20:54

It seems like every week (at least) I see, in various systems and forums, someone going "a player wants to play a Deaf character, but wouldn't they then have difficulty communicating to the party/ wouldn't they then be immune to silence spells etc" or wanting to play blind characters but "then how would they notice enemies" or discussing a player who wants a character with mutism, etc... and almost always, these conversations are from people who have no knowledge of how these conditions actually can go, leading to not only system modeling questions (or the dreaded "but it'd be unrealistic" in a game that might have dragons in it...) , but also ignorance of how people with these conditions go about their lives. We play too, we live too, and disability is not an off/on switch.

I work in accessibility and AM disabled. And I have been waiting for this book since Evil Hat announced it, and the people who worked on this have disabilities of their own. This is not only an amazing resource to make characters and help people who don't have a clue about disabilities try to understand that process, but also to be inclusive and respectful of people who do have disabilities at the same time - who want to see ourselves represented also.

Thank you, Evil Hat. And thank you to everyone who worked on this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dresden Files Accelerated
by Adrian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2019 09:14:15

This is a magnificent piece of work, reminiscent of a dying art in RPG core books. By that, I mean a slightly smaller-than-usual book (in dimensions), coming in at 256 pages, and containing absolutely everything you need to run the game in one place. Add in some Fate dice, and you have the makings of a long-term campaign for very little outlay. Production values are high, the artwork is uniformly good (players of the Dresden Files co-op card game will recognise many pieces) and the writing style is highly engaging.

Having no experience with the Fate system before this, I am led to believe the 'Accelerated' moniker points to a streamlined version of the rules, specifically designed to lower the learning curve for the game. This certainly works for me, but don't let the 'lowering the learning curve' description fool you. The system is elegant and easy to learn (and run) but the flexibility becomes apparent after you play a few sessions; and then possibilities start emerging and an appreciation for the design really stares out from the pages.

Character creation is very easy and straighforward, yet allows for high levels of customisation. For example, you could create two Wizards, but with the various packages and intepretations left up to the players, they can be wildly different, and completely playable. Characters can be drawn from Wizards, Fae, Vampires, Werewolves, Knights, and regular folk who have become entangled with the supernatural. The perks for each type of character mean that everyone has a chance to shine; a Reporter will be able to contribute as much as a Werewolf, just in different ways in different scenes - and there's very little overlap.

The main points are to do with the party's familiarity with the novels. Firstly, as noted by other reviews, this book assumes you are completely up-to-date on the novels (as of this review, you should have read 'Skin Game' before diving into the RPG to avoid spoilers). This is a major bonus in some ways, but a drawback in others. Secondly, there is a certain level of lore required to completely immerse yourself in the setting, so the GM at least should be familiar with the novels and the setting. In our group, one of the players and myself are Dresden fans, the other two players have never read any of Jim Butcher's work (for shame). The players unfamiliar with the setting picked it up well (we drew a lot of references to World of Darkness, with which they are familiar), but the player with setting knowledge was able to take a greater advantage of opportunities in the game. This sounds like common sense, but it's worth noting nonetheless, in case you are considering the purchase.

Overall, this is a highly flexible game that encourages the GM and players to work together on the story, supported by a great rules set, with all the tools (except for the Fate dice) required to play the game in one volume. As a fan of co-operative play in general, and Dresden in particular, I've purchased a physical copy to complement the digital, and will be running this for some time to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dresden Files Accelerated
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Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
by Mike M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2019 15:48:17

This should be required reading for RPG creators and is a valuable resource for any system, not just FATE.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
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Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
by Dani J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2019 08:07:52

With this supplement! You could play, one eyed Odin, even betterm an eyeless Dare devil! You could play a handless Captain Hook, or Play as Armless version of Nero of DMC! Play as you! A genius on a wheel chair! wounded war veterans!! This is a really a great point to start with when you consider above stuffs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
by Paul O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2019 18:53:51

In a hobby where playing a D/deaf character generally got you 3 extra points to offset your "negative trait", this reframing of disability is refreshing and empowering to people who want to bring their whole selves to the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Accessibility Toolkit • Prototype Edition
by Jim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2019 09:48:15

All in all, good job. I commend the effort.

Two recurring themes in the toolkit are how to be inclusive of players with disabilities, and how to portray disabilities in the game with respect and verisimilitude instead of caricatures or ignorance.

The book is much stronger on portrayal than on inclusion, probably because it is, after all, an RPG toolkit. It's easier to suggest game mechanics than it is cover the broad topics of accessibility and inclusiveness.

The material on portrayal is generally pretty good. The aspects and stunts ring true (at least for the disabilities where I have any famiilarity) and let the character do cool or interesting things without lapsing into super-hearing-because-you're-blind stuff. While some might claim that representing disabilities with game mechanics trivializes the disabilities, I disagree. Trivialization would be in the attitude of the players. On the contrary, seeing "someone like me" represented in the game can be quite gratifying to those whose experiences are perpetually ignored or misrepresented in game settings. Or it could be the last thing they want to see; listen to your audience and be flexible.

The material on inclusiveness and accommodation was good as far as it went, but I was hoping for more. The appendix on "Resources" is thin - blink and you'd miss it. Frankly, the half page of Resources looks like a 5-minute afterthought. I was hoping for more material along the lines of "Here are the tools we've found useful" for accommodating various disabilities at the table, or online. You don't have to get down to specific product endorsements. Another area where I wanted to see more was about breaks. Some disabilities force people to take breaks during play, so I'd be interested in tips on various ways to handle breaks (short of "everyone just stops playing for as long as it takes").

The appendix on ASL signs for Fate terms is best suited for someone who already has some facility with ASL but who wants to establish some signs for specialized terms. For my part, I'd sign some of them differently, so I'm curious whether these are tried-and-true signs from on-going gaming groups, or something someone made up for this toolkit. In any case, paragraph-long descriptions of signs are hard to follow even if you have some ASL skills. Someone who has no knowledge of ASL probably isn't going to get these signs right. A page of videos demonstrating these signs would be more helpful than paragraphs of description.

I have my own disabilities to deal with. In fact, I had a flare-up while writing this review. As a result, it took me almost three hours to write these few paragraphs. (That's another thing about disabilities. In some cases, they can vary by the minute, hour, day, or year, sometimes with warning, sometimes without.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review! Those critiques look fair. We are hoping to include illustrations of the signs in the ASL appendix (if we put this book into print eventually, videos wouldn't print so good) once the art budget is achieved (we'll need to land close to Platinum for that).
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