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Curse of the Yellow Sign Collected
by Mike P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2018 23:34:08

Wow. So, I don't know what that other reviewer is smoking. My review is based entirely on the first Act - Digging for a Dead God.

Folks, if you want the adventure, here it is: Nazi officers find the entrance to an ancient tomb in the jungles of Africa and if they open it a ghost escapes and whispers evil shit into their ears and they are Nazis so like do that evil shit -- inside the tomb is a skeleton, some treasure, and a podium with a hand print (think the end of Total Recall).

THAT'S IT. That's the whole fucking adventure. Sorry. "Sandbox." No other details are provided about the tomb. What happens when you put your hand in the imprint? No fucking clue. Make it up. What is the skeleton? No fucking clue. Make it up. What happens when characters stare upon the Yellow Sign? No fucking clue. Make it up. Or, as the author puts it: Nazis find a door, open it, and bad shit happens.

It couldn't be summed up any more plainly because that's literally the meat of the adventure.

Seriously. In large part, Wick puts the onus on the players and the Keeper to actually write the adventure. Well, for fuck's sake. If I had known the synopsis on the product description was THE ACTUAL ADVENTURE I could have saved $10 and dreamed up all the cool shit myself.

Here's what is NOT in this "scenario":

  • an interesting location to explore beyond a veneer of "tomb with some unexplained shit"
  • insight into any fucking thing that might be why this place is here or what its purpose might be
  • more nuanced and interesting character motivation
  • some actual fucking psychological effects for failed sanity rolls in this place
  • any number of possible events that might occur during the session for the Keeper to draw from (e.g. a British soldier is captured, one of the villagers starts an uprising against the Nazis, a list of spooky events to randomly roll or pick from, OR ANY FUCKING THING THAT I COULDN'T JUST COME UP WITH RIGHT NOW TYPING THIS -- it's YOUR JOB AS THE AUTHOR TO PROVIDE COOL SHIT SO I DON'T HAVE TO)
  • Something fucking interesting to say about the Man in Black, especially what he might want the various specific characters to do

Also, this is not a fucking "sandbox". A sandbox has interesting choices to make based on the environment. Calling this a sandbox is an insult to every actual gaming product providing some semblance of an actual location-based scenario. There are supposed to be "sidebars" with conditional effects that are entirely missing. What happens when the players use dynamite instead of strength to open the door? "See non-existant sidebar".

I would give this 1 star, however, there are a few tidbits of character motivation in the admittedly neatly designed character folios. It's nothing mind-blowing: one of the Nazis wants to kill everyone, one has a secret that another is using to blackmail him (though the actual handout doesn't fucking explain this to the player who has the secret... so the Keeper is once again required to do the heavy lifting here), one is a spy, and one wants to "keep his men safe" (barf).

DO NOT BUY THIS MODULE. Just read the synopsis and use that to flare up your imagination -- that's all you'll find here anyway. And, you can find the map and character handouts here: http://www.johnwickpresents.com/yellow/act1.html



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign Collected
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Play Dirty (15th Anniversary Edition)
by Phillip M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2018 14:15:46

Delightfully devious, especially for those GMs dealing with experienced players who think they have "seen it all."



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty (15th Anniversary Edition)
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Curse of the Yellow Sign Collected
by John H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2018 22:21:43

The best example of one-shot horror writing I have ever seen.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign Collected
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Play Dirty (15th Anniversary Edition)
by Dale G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2017 12:31:30

I had hopes for this and some concerns because of the reputation of the author and articles in it. I'm happy to say that my hopes were justified. I liked this one enough that I bought Play Dirty 2 as soon as I finished this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Play Dirty (15th Anniversary Edition)
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Houses of the Blooded
by Geoffrey M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2017 10:17:41

I've resolved to make this a honest review, written within a half hour. No days of editing and rewriting. Straightforward review, from me to anyone who might want to read this. All my thoughts are out there, as flawed or as complete as they might be:

Houses of the Blooded is an underappreciated game by an underappreciated author. Having gone into work for himself, John Wick seemed to have taken the reigns off of himself with this, and he made good use of his time.

Style: Houses of the Blooded is great if you want to play a game of tragic heroes (or at the very least, if you're tired of games featuring flawless Mary Sue characters- as a GM and player alike, this has irked me sometimes in the past). Shakespeare's tragedies, Oedipus Rex, Moorecock's Elric of Melnibone... all characters upon which I had a good foundation to make and conceptualize characters. The setting itself is simple and straightfoward- the written history is simple, but the culture is very, very well detailed. Ways of speaking, the law and it's impact upon nobility (ven) and commoners (ruk) alike, what colors signify, what food and drink the ven enjoy (or abhor), the things they entertain themselves with, and of course, their views on Romance and marriage. As the book will note and make no mistake in failing to illustrate, there's fine cultural reason why "Romance" is capitalized but "marriage" is not. At a glance, these might seem like unnecessary details. You might say "I just want to play my Shakespeare game and leave it at that", but you'd be doing yourself an injustice if you turned this away solely on that basis. The details are great enough to make the ven seem real, but given simply enough to ensure one doesn't get lost within the pages, blurring the line between a well-spoken conversation on the subject and a historically documented examination of the subject.

Mechanics: Tying in to style, mechanics uphold the idea of playing a tragic hero quite well, I'd say. Anyone can get a game, roll up characters, and say "I'm going to play a sorcerer Hamlet in this campaign!", but HotB both mandates and incentivizes such things. You have six attributes (called "Virtues" in the game, as they encompass Courage, Strength, Cunning, Wisdom, Beauty and Prowess- each one being far more detailed as their name suggests), with all but one being accessible to the player characters. Aspects are included as well. For those who've ever played Fate or Spirit of the Century, you know what I'm talking about: you have points to spend, and Aspects are the means to both spend those points on dedicated advantages, or gain more points from an Aspect's disadvantages. Every Aspect has both positive and negative sides to it- every strength has some manner of weakness, every weakness having an advantage that can be contrived. The game incentivizes "tragic heroes". Your flaws and advantages feed into one another, creating a sort of feedback loop of actions that both make them powerful and give them very human elements of weakness. The ven are powerful nobles who are often haughty and arrogant, but never Mary Sues or munchkins.

I'm approaching the end of my half hour, but I think you'd be doing yourself an injustice to turn this away. I'd recommend everyone read this, if only for the advice it gives and the knowledge that can be gleaned from it. My biggest issue with HotB is that there aren't many players for it, so getting a group together may require handholding.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Houses of the Blooded
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The Flux
by Ronald B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2017 18:17:33

Originally posted here: http://ronblessing.blogspot.com/2011/12/read-thru-flux.html

Are you one of those GMs who get Shiny New Game Syndrome? Does it cause you to constantly switch games on your usually-reeling players? Have your players held an intervention to make you commit to running the same game for more than, say, 90 days?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions (I may have), then John Wick's The Flux might be just the ticket for you and your group!

The Flux is one of the many little games to be found in John Wick's Big Book of Little Games. The PDF was provided to me, gratis, by the fine folks at DriveThruRPG.

You might be playing The Flux in your current game, and you don't even know it - yet. Because The Flux happens to your character, to your group's whole party, and usually when they least expect it.

Imagine playing a sorceress in a Pathfinder game, and she's in the midst of a climactic battle. Suddenly, your GM describes a humming in your character's ears. She can't place where it comes from - it's everywhere and nowhere. Then there's a flash and BAM! She's no longer a sorceress in Golarion, but a mad scientist in Hollow Earth Expedition. Later in the Hollow Earth, she has been captured by Nazis and left without any gadgets. As the player you try to help the mad scientist recall a memory - a skill or ability - from a previous world or existence, and suddenly she makes a gesture, speaks an incantation, and throws a fireball at her captors, clearing a path for escape!

In The Flux, you can totally do that. Seriously.

So if you're running a game, say RunePunk for Savage Worlds - you love it; you really do - and you discover you can finally read Earthdawn Third Edition on your iPad (totally not your fault!), there's an easy way to transition, using The Flux and making it easy on your players: Grab your players' RunePunk characters Make new Earthdawn characters for them, based generally on their RunePunk characters One session, in a tense moment, have The Flux kick in You're now running Earthdawn Your players don't have to make new characters or come up with new personalities - you're remaking their characters in a different world. Your players don't have to know about the new world right away - your players' characters are supposed to be hazy on the new setting.

There's no need to remember the rules from the old game. To access their previous characters' abilities, the players keep their characters in a stack - newest on top, oldest on the bottom. They roll some d6s - the difficulty based on how old the previous character is - and if they succeed, they automatically succeed with the best possible outcome: Fireball? Max damage. Shooting? The target is dead, if that was the goal.

On the surface it may seem broken. You may think players will abuse the abilities. But there is a price. The world knows someone is breaking the rules, and it fights back. Every time you use an ability from a previous character, there's a chance for Whiplash, where your character may get really hurt - or worse.

The Flux is very cool. I will be trying it at some point. And to my players: trust me, there were no spoilers in this post...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Flux
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The Big Book of Little Games
by Kristopher R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2017 00:15:03

My only complaint is it does not include Dragon: A little game for little dragons. Yes that game was kind of incomplete and uses the same system as Cat. But I still think Dragon is the best game John Wick ever made! Putting thatt gripe aside, the Big Book of Little Games delivers. I own the Flux and while the art is different, the content is the same. The text has a cleaner look. The Pdf has no book marks you you have to scroll and can't just jump to the game you want. But All the content is crisp black and white and seems printer freindly. Also some of the games seem to be able to mix and match together. Worth the price unless you already have all these games seperately.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Big Book of Little Games
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Eldritch High: A Little Game about Wizards, Witches and Warlocks
by Caroline G. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2017 06:47:39

This is a very poorly put together system. The idea behind it is interesting. But the result that is this pdf file, is horrible. The whole booklet is poorly written and confusing. Stuff only being mentioned one time. And things being mentioned by several different names so you have to guess that they mean the same. There's also funktions that don't have any meaning in the game like fudge. Could never find out when or what that's for.

Almost impossible to make the characters you want as well unless you either want a jack of all trades wizard or a skillful fighter. Cause of the restriction to classes.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch High: A Little Game about Wizards, Witches and Warlocks
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Schauermarchen by John Wick
by Antonio G. I. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2017 22:42:42

This game is dangerous. It is filled with bits and pieces of story and fear and hands you just enough to gain a sense of hope. But the true horror of the game is less in what is already in the book, and more in what the players will end up doing to each other or to the other children in the story to survive.

Schauermarchen is a masterful work that invites the group to trust in each other to tell a tale of horror and despair and yet gives you just enough tools to make you believe there is a way to get home in the end. Highly recommended especially for groups that are searching for a zero-prep horror experience.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Schauermarchen by John Wick
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Wilderness of Mirrors 002 Edition
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2017 14:59:20

The game has promise, but for a second editon its horribly edited. There are references to old terminology from the first edition that make no sense in the newer version, and some rules are very unclear, again likely owning to poor editing between versions. It looks like fun, but if this had been a Pay What You Want Game, I'm not not sure I would have paid even the $3 it cost



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wilderness of Mirrors 002 Edition
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Wield
by Kenneth S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/26/2017 22:26:13

I picked this up because it sounded like Bloodlust, which was a French game I'd heard about where the PCs were intelligent weapons and other players were the characters using them. So Wield has that same basic concept and some fun suggestions for items and character creation. It's a nice looking book too. It doesn't really have a setting. No bestiary or equipment lists or NPCs or maps... or anything. Beyond the concept of the Vatcha it's just an outline of some simple mechanics... simple to the point that I wonder if the authors' goal was rules-lite or work-lite. I'm not so fond of it's combat system... it feels like something from a kid's party game and is very 'meta'. Overall, it was worth the purchase for some grand ideas... but I think I'll be using the Vatcha in a different system, probably some flavor of BRP. Now... If I could just find a copy of Bloodlust in English...



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wield
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The Shotgun Diaries
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2016 12:31:28

I purchased this product thinkingit was a story. I was incorrect. It is more than that. It is a whole system for running a zombie campaign. I recommend it for any one looking fora fun one shot or quick start game. The rules aresimple but well thought out. Great work here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Shotgun Diaries
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7th Sea: Second Edition Quick Start
by Arnold V. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2016 00:03:52

New GM/player to the 7th Sea world and this quick start guide was an excellent read to help introduce myself into the world and the system. Right now I'm using this to "sell" the world to my playe friends with a quick and action packed romp int Thean.

Also backed the kickstarter (because really, i was sold on 7th Sea when I read magic and pirates in one sentence).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea: Second Edition Quick Start
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7th Sea: Second Edition Quick Start
by Nicholas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2016 00:29:16

I got to say wow it`s a grate game. I played the first Edition when it was out and loved it. So when I saw the 7th Sea: Second Edition Quick Start it was a must have.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea: Second Edition Quick Start
by Juergen I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2016 13:11:17

A bit of Salt in the air... 7th Seas is back! Great stuff for all who love sword fights, dashing heros and scheming enemies! Rules are easy to understand, ready to play. Off we go an mission which can be good or ill for the beloved kingdom... familiy... cause and captain.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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