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DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS: Ultimate Edition - Core Rules for SURVIVE THIS!!
by Philip [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2024 07:29:13

So to be honest, I first became interested in this title because of Stranger Things. I began role playing in the mid 80’s, so the nostalgia is also very compelling. I am the GM of my family group the consists of my wife, our two daughters and their husbands. I was looking for something new for the group, something that I thought the group would enjoy and be a change from the norm. Now, both of my daughters are Stranger Things fans also, so I knew they should be on board to give it a try. And my wife, in the same age as I, also loves the nostalgia of the 80’s. So the husbands will just have to come along for the ride.

So as I prepped our first adventure, I realized that this wasn’t Stranger Things. Yes you could make it that, but you could also make it Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Roswell or any of those paranormal dramas that have existed that I have always been drawn to. And I knew my audience, so I knew that I could tell so great stories with this system.

I used ideas from the default setting and came up with a local setting that the players would be familiar with, even with the change in the era. And I crafted the first of hopefully many Big Bads for my players to encounter. We had our session 0 and we went over characters and the rules/ mechanics of the game. The mechanics were simple enough to learn for anyone that has played a D20 based system before, so that didn’t slow anyone down. And the aesthetics in book definitely helped to bring the feel of the 1980’s into the game. While creating characters, I made all of the players roll randomly for backgrounds which provided for some very interesting future story hooks.

Finally game night came and the adventure began. The players, portraying high school students at an end of the summer carnival, encountered a creepy clown. I did my best clown laugh and poked fun at my son-in-law, who was playing a jock, and irritated my wife a little. But then the news of the missing 6 yo twins sent the carnival crowd into a panic. But you know how snoopy teenagers are.

The adventure continued as the players tracked the whereabouts of the children and the possibility that this clown was something a little more sinister. The players were all involved, and had different play styles due to only 3 of them have any really physical abilities. It was cool to see what someone with the Kid Scientist class could come up with to aid in the adventure.

I know this seems like more of a replay of our game session than a review, but let me tell you. We had a seven hour game session. This was probably the longest session that we have had, and it flew by because everyone was involved and having fun. There wasn’t anyone just standing by waiting because there wasn’t anything for them to do. We were able to tell a great story and enjoy it, and the rules didn’t get in the way.

I have always loved Pathfinder 1e because of the crunchiness of the mechanics and the almost endless amount of options there are within the game. But this game made me remember why I love role playing games - to tell great stories, and to have a good time sharing those stories with others. This game let me do that.

I have already picked up several other Survive This!! titles and I am planning on incorporating the material in those books into my game. The game is basic enough to learn easily and open enough to expand in any direction you want your adventures to go.

The only negative to the system (if I had to pick a negative) is that there is not a CR for monsters. There is what is called Hit Dice Equivalence, but there is no formula to calculate that. It is more on the GM to decide just how deadly a creature they create is, based on the examples provided in the book. This doesn’t cause a problem with the game, I think it is more a thing that I’m use to for a D20 game. Overall I think this is a great game. I plan on running it for the foreseeable future, and will review the other products as I use them in my game. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this much fun creating a world and it’s inhabited, and I look forward to what I come up with each day.

My wife looked at me when everyone left after our game session and asked “You’re really having fun creating this, aren’t you?” “Yes I am” I replied. “Great, just don’t do that creepy clown laugh when we’re alone…”



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS: Ultimate Edition - Core Rules for SURVIVE THIS!!
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SURVIVE THIS!! Bloody Appalachia - Core Rules
by Jackal [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2024 10:53:27

Incredible artwork, simple rules that are easy to modify (for example, I've homebrewed a werewolf character), and a true love for "Bloody Appalachia". In my opinion, this game is a must-buy for fans of gritty and brutal horror.

An added bonus is that the author and people involved aren't incredibly edgy. There's no real spiels about how people have gotten too soft-- it's just a book written by people who love gore and horror and nastiness FOR people who love gore, horror, and nastiness.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Bloody Appalachia - Core Rules
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SURVIVE THIS!! The Dead West - EARTH ON HELL - Adventure
by Roberto [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2024 19:16:27

I love this adventure. It's a great starter for Dead West. Question does the adventure include a map for GM or players?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! The Dead West - EARTH ON HELL - Adventure
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SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide - Cthulhu Sourcebook
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2023 11:02:31

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2023/09/review-survive-this-what-shadows-hide_14.html

Continuing my exploration of Bloat Games' modern horror/monster hunting RPG, SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide. Today I cover Part 2 of the two books, the Cthulhu Sourcebook.

SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide: Cthulhu Sourcebook

220 pages. Black & White cover and interior art. $9.99 PDF

A while back I once said, rather snarkily, that a game can get instant sales by slapping some Cthulhu on it. One the surface this could look like that, but it doesn't do that at all.

Also, I compared What Shadows Hide to the classic RPG Chill. So the logical comparison here is this is Bloat Games' version of Call of Cthulhu. But it is not quite that either.

What is this game supplement? Easy. Remember the first season of True Detective? It was a great detective show with a cult and some crazy guy talking about Carcosa. Turns out it was all just normal, though very evil, human agents.

Well, what if Carcosa had been real in True Detective? What if those human agents/cultists interacted with real Elder Gods from beyond reality?

That is what this game is.

This book gives us some new classes for What Shadows Hide. Archeologist, Priest of the Darkness, Priest of the Light, Priest of the Mother, Priest of the Old Ones, Priest of the Protean Path, Priest of the Void, Psion, Warlock, and my favorite, Witch. Some of these we have seen before, but that is fine, not everyone will start with the same book or buy everything in their line (you should, but I see why you might not).

There are new spells, new skills, curses, and psychic powers.

Why put these into this book? It keeps these more powerful classes out of the hands of the Players and squarely in the Game Master's hands.

We also get a bit about Cosmos Cats (fun!).

The bulk of this book is dedicated to the monsters the characters will encounter and the cults they will likely have to deal with. There is even a good section on creating your own cults.

This book has more utility than just "Book 2" of What Shadows Hide. This book can be easily used with other Bloat Games' RPGs like We Die Young or Vigilante City. There is also enough here for anyone who wants to add some cults to their Fantasy OSR games.

There is even an index.

Both books make for a great game, and a worthy addition to the Bloat Game catalog and the Survive This!! line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide - Cthulhu Sourcebook
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SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide - Core Rules
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2023 07:54:18

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2023/09/review-survive-this-what-shadows-hide.html

SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide: The Roleplaying Game 250 pages. Black & White cover and interior art. $9.99 PDF.

If you have followed any of my reviews of the various Bloat Game offerings then you will know that I am a big fan of their games and the SURVIVE THIS!! system that powers their games. Like the previous games (in particular Dark Places & Demogornons and We Die Young) this is a horror game. Though the feel to this one is a bit different. This is not the 1980s or 1990s anymore, this is a game with real stakes, real horrors and people dedicated to fighting them.

Up front, if you have played or own any of the other SURVIVE THIS!! games then a lot here will feel familiar. The rules sections are largely the same as are the rules for creating characters, combat, and some of the monsters. This time the authors address this and mention this is done for maximum compatibility between the game lines. You can take classes from any SURVIVE THIS!! game and use them here and visa-versa.

The joy of this game though is what it brings that is new. And there is plenty of that.

The game largely follows a similar path to that first taken by the Chill RPG. You have professionals working in various areas of the government (or other places) and they interact with an organization known as C.A.R.E., Conservers of the Ancient Realm of Earth. Think of them like BPRD, SCP, or even good old SAVE. Many characters will be involved with C.A.R.E., but you don't have to do that in your games (CARE-less?), the point is there is a connected group that does it's best to fight back against the monsters of the night.

Character Creation

Characters can have a Race, Occupation, and a Class. Races include Dimensional Forsaken (Angels and Demons), Doppelgangers, Fairies, Ghosts, Ghouls, Greys, Half Mer-men, Humans, Jari-Ka (Mummies), Negator, Reptilians, Vampires, and Were-beasts. This moves it a little further afield from Chill and into World of Darkness territory.

Occupations have a random table with how much they make each year.

Classes include Academic, Arcane Thief, C.A.R.E. Field Agent, Exorcist, Medium, Monster Hunter, Mystic, Necromancer, Occultist, Paranormal Investigator, and Void Master. Some of these are from other books, but pay attention to the details as some do feel different.

Character creation follows the same process as other SURVIVE THIS!! games and by extension most Old-School games. Attributes are covered which include the standard six, plus the "Survive" attribute common to all SURVIVE THIS!! games.

Like the other games in this family, Hit Points start with a 2d6 and increase by 1d6 per level, regardless of class or race. Combat can be pretty deadly in these games for people used to the hardiness of even Old-School D&D characters.

Character creation, spells (rune tattoos), skills, and Equipment cover the first 140 pages of the book, so a little more than half.

Rules

Here we get our rules for playing the What Shadows Hide game. We get an overview of game terms, which is nice really. Rules for Curses, Exorcisms, and Madness are covered. Similar to the rules found in We Die Young. It looks to me like they could be backported to DP&D rather easily.

There is a fair number of combat rules. Likely this has come about from the authors' experiences with their other game Vigilante City.

We also get rules for XP & Leveling Up and Critical tables.

The Setting of What Shadows Hide

This is the real treat of the book. What makes this one different than the others. The world is filled with monsters, aliens, and other threats to well well-being of humankind. It is largely up to the characters (and those like them) to keep the world safe. Here we get into detail about C.A.R.E. and other organizations. We also cover the cults and organizations the characters are most likely to encounter and how to deal with them.

At the end of the book, there is a section of adventure seeds. There are some monsters here, but they are directly related to the adventures. For more monsters, you will need the second book in this line, the Cthulhu Sourcebook, or grab one of the other Survive This!! books such as the wonderful DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - The Cryptid Manual are an excellent choice.

There is a bit here that can be found in other Bloat Games' Survive This!! games. But that is fine, because as an author/designer/publisher, you never know what someone's first book is going to be. So I am perfectly happy with seeing the Mystic again for example. Each book/game does add more to the sum total of the Survive This!! experience, so even in a class I know well (hello again Mystic) there is something new and often something a little different.

You can use all the games interchangeably, along with supplements made for the individual lines.

A quick read through the book at Gary Con 2022 and I knew right away I could use this core book to recreate any Chill or Conspiracy X game I played in. If I wanted to recreate ay Call of Cthulhu game, well for that I would need Book 2 in the series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! What Shadows Hide - Core Rules
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DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! - Core Rule Book OSR RPG
by Wesley A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2023 11:58:27

A very good game when folks take to the 80s and combat the creepy and super-natural with only their wits and, often, allowance money. The layout is hit or miss, but the rules work well and a lot of the art captures 80s retro perfectly. If you want to play an adventure based on a certain streaming show, this is a great option.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! - Core Rule Book OSR RPG
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Space Station M - Monster Manual Zines for 5e, DCC RPG, SURVIVE THIS!!, and System Neutral rulesets
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2023 22:05:34

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Space Station M - Monster Manual Zines for 5e, DCC RPG, SURVIVE THIS!!, and System Neutral rulesets

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Space Station M - Monster Manual Zines for 5e, DCC RPG, SURVIVE THIS!!, and System Neutral rulesets System- 5e, DCC RPG, SURVIVE THIS!!, and System Neutral rulesets Producer- Bloat Games Price- $10.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/434966/Space-Station-M--Monster-Manual-Zines-for-5e-DCC-RPG-SURVIVE-THIS-and-System-Neutral-rulesets?src=hottest_filtered&affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR-Solid retro player toys and monsters 97%

Basics- Time to fire the cold beam and then fire some missiles! Space Station M is a love letter to Metroid video games, being both a monster manual and an armory with art and creature breakdowns for all the classic monsters you find in almost every Metroid game.

Mechanics or Crunch- This book gives you the crunch of Metroid! You have the monsters you expect and they do the things you think they should do. I didn't feel anything was broken or game breaking in either the foes you face or the toys they drop when they die. I am impressed that this is both the monster manual and the treasure vault for these in one. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- If you know what you are getting, you are going to get a solid product. This is NOT an adventure. It’s monsters. If you expect a story you can play through, you will have a bad time. But, the book says that explicitly, so it's not a trick on their part. What is here is solid, and the monsters feel like they should. The equipment is almost everything you would expect, but I miss the grapple beam and the ball power ups. 4.75/5

Execution- PDF? Yep. Hyperlinked? No….. Solid Art? Yep. Good layout? Yes. Overall these are a solid books with good art, layout, and a fun art style. The things that I miss are hyperlinks and maybe pictures for all the equipment. Nothing is horrible and it’s a perfectly good product, but I’ve grown to expect hyperlinks. 4.75/5

Summary- This is a solid product, if you know what you are getting. I thought there would be an adventure. That is completely on me. It makes no claim to that. Once I got over that, I saw the product for what it is: solid, retro game vibes and modern mechanics for my favorite sci-fi franchise. I'd like a few more toys and hyperlinks, but you will enjoy this if you want monsters and items to throw into your 5e, Survive This, and DCC/MCC games. 97%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Space Station M - Monster Manual Zines for 5e, DCC RPG, SURVIVE THIS!!, and System Neutral rulesets
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The Blackest Space - An Interstellar Sci-Fi Survival Roleplaying Game
by Dustin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2023 17:23:19

Another knock out of the park by Bloat Games. My group had a blast with this OSR take on Star Wars. If you like the idea of a ragtag bunch get up to interstellar shenanigans a la Firefly you will enjoy thisone



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Blackest Space - An Interstellar Sci-Fi Survival Roleplaying Game
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Valor Knights - The Electrocube War
by Dustin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2023 17:13:29

Totally Not Transformers brought to you by Bloat Games. A fun game based in the OSR about interstellar beings fighting a war against their oppressors. Following HackThisRPG, some rules are intentionally unfinished and GM rulings are the name of the game. If the licensed game by Renegade Games isn't the fit for your table, give this a try



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Valor Knights - The Electrocube War
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ADVENTURE PERILOUS The Role-Playing Game
by Fernando C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2023 08:28:35

I keep picturing playing this like the old Final Fantasy games



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ADVENTURE PERILOUS The Role-Playing Game
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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Into The Sewers!
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/19/2022 08:30:17

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-4-into-sewers.html

Vigilante City - Into The Sewers!

PDF and softcover book. 224 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up from Bloat Games' own store.

Here we see Bloat Games' TMNT love on full display. And it works well here. I am sure other supers RPGs have tried this before, but I can't think of any that do this so explicitly.

If Book #2 gave us an overview of Victory City above ground then this book covers the sewers and underground. Sadly the sewers are full of radiation, mutants and eve worse dangers.

We go through the sections and neighborhoods of Victory City and discuss what is going on underneath. General features as well special ones such as Shayana's Bazaar. Great for all your underground (literal and figurative) needs.

It would not be a SURVIVE THIS!! game without plenty of random tables and this one does not disappoint. 100 things you can encounter in the sewers. There are plenty of new creatures too and they are detailed in this book. Yes. There are alligators and vampires in these sewers.

There are two new introductory adventures, "Into the Sewers, We Go!" and "We're In a Pickle Here" to get the PCs out of the relative comfort of the above world down to where the action is.

Given all of the new focus on mutants, there is also an updated Mutant Class with more abilities to replace or augment the one in the Core Book. Just reading through them I can't see any reason why you could not use both if you wanted. Different strains of mutants. Likewise, there is an updated Anthropomorph class.

We end with some new skill packages which include assassin and sewer rat. In this game, you can have a sewer rat skill pack applied to an actual sewer rat Anthropomorph.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Into The Sewers!
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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Superhero Team-Up!
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/15/2022 09:39:45

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-3-superhero-team.html

We continue our tour of Vigilante city with the next book in the series and the first expansion. If this one makes you think of the Teen Titans, then I think that might be the point.

Vigilante City #3 Superhero Team-Up!

PDF and softcover book. 176 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up from Bloat Games' own store.

Classes

This book presents some new classes for us to try out. They are the Alchemist, Getaway Driver, Mutant Hunter, Occultist, Revenant Hero, Sewer Guardian, Tunnel Shadow, and the Weapon Master.

So bits of TMNT poking through again, but that is perfectly fine really. The classes are good and few I really like. The Occultist was the obvious choice and yes I am a fan, but also the Alchemist and the Revenant Hero for running a game like The Crow.

We get some new skills too. The nice thing about VC is the skill system is very flexible. You could even run it without skills if you like. I try not to get too bogged down in the skills myself, but the system here makes it rather easy to use.

Teams

This section is where I am getting the Teen Titan vibe, though it can cover all sorts of teams. The first is team combo actions which give you some ideas on how teams can work together. There is some detail on your base of operations as well. Covers everything from living in the sewers to a giant tower shaped like a T if that is your fancy.

Gear

Alchemists and Occultists can make potions so there is new gear associated with that. There are new items of equipment and vehicles. If you ever needed to know how much it would cost to build your own superhero lair then this book has you covered.

Dr. Azmournus and More

We get into a section of rogues next. Up first is the evil Dr. Azmournus and his crew. This guy does tests on mutants and Anthropomorphs to create even more mutated creatures. He is not a pleasant guy. We also get his mutated crew.

There is a vigilante group that doesn't quite operate within the law, the "Wretch Slayers," and a group of sewer-dwelling crime fighters that face off against Dr. Azmournus and his crew ("Insecto's Sewer Guard").

There are more, but you get the idea. Use them all or none, but they add a bit more color to the streets, and under the streets, of Victory City.

Adventures

What might be the best part of a book full of great parts are the adventures. Included here are "Backup" by David Okum and homage to the "Buddy Cop" movies of the 70s and 80s. "The SynGen Situation" by Melanie R. Meadors, an open-end, even "sandbox" style adventure to get players and characters acquainted with Victory City. You get to meet other heroes and even have a run-in with a noisy reporter! There is even a tavern where you can meet up. Michele Lee gives us "The Demonic Cabal" here you get to meet a mentor in the form of Roadkill an ex-cop and former vigilante. Of course, Roadkill soon lives up to his name and is dead. It is up to the player characters to find out how and why. Friend of the Other Side James M. Spahn is up with "Quiver of Serpents" which is more of an introduction to the criminal organization, the titular Quiver of Serpents as the PC's version of the Legion of Doom.

All in all the book works really well and is a worthy addition to the Vigilante City line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Superhero Team-Up!
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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Villain's Guide
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/14/2022 08:07:25

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-2-villains-guide.html

Book 2 of the SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City core rules is the Villain's Guide and it was shipped out with Core Rules #1. It's Vigilante City week, so let us get to it.

Vigilante City #2 Villain's Guide

PDF and softcover book. 300 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up either via Kickstarter or from Bloat Games' own store.

This book builds off of the Vigilante City #1 Core Rules. While it says "Villain's Guide" on the cover it is really much more than that.

Victory City

We start out with the titular Vigilante City, "Victory City." We get the layout of the city and its districts. We get a great map of the city (and it is reprinted on the back).

Since this is street-level supers we get a lot of gangs. The gangs do feel like what you might get if you took the gangs from the movie The Warriors and let them populate Gotham City from Batman the Animated Series for a while. Yeah, it is every bit as fun as it sounds. I bet the creative team had a blast working on this.

There is a great section following about building your own city or adding to Victory City. Personally, I would rather add to the existing VC. I mean nearly every superhero story is defined by the city they live in. So for a Vigilante City game, I am going to want to play in Vigilante City.

Anthropomorph Island is our next big section and it is an island of anthropomorphic animals. Not all of them are teenage. It's a neat little addition to the superhero mythos.

There are a couple of sample adventures, which is nice.

Rogues Gallery

At about 75 pages in we finally get the Rogue Gallery. Ok, "finally" is too strong. Everything up to this point has been great. But let's be honest it is the bad guys that are the most fun.

Nearly 90s pages of all sorts of bad guys (and girls and animals) here and they are all fun.

There are a couple of local heroes, some sample characters, and a bunch NPCs.

Bestiary

There is a bestiary that covers normal animals to were-beasts and other threats. Bigfoot is even here! Note: The Dark Places & Demogorgons Cryptid Manual would work great with this.

Community Content

I think this material was part of the Kickstarter where backers could submit heroes and villains of their own. This is that section and it is a lot of fun really. I mean really, we are getting an official version of the Acrobatic Flea? Worth the price of the book alone!

This book could have been also called the GM's Guide, with all the material here. It is great stuff. Can you play VC without it? Sure. And you can also have Batman without the Joker and Gotham City but it would not be as much fun.

I can see this game taking the place of Icons or Villains & Vigilantes in my life. It is at the intersection of them both for me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Villain's Guide
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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Core Rules
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/13/2022 11:51:25

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/review-vigilante-city-1-core-rules.html

Vigilante City has been sitting on top of the computer I use as a home server forever. I figure now is a great time to let everyone know about this great street-level supers game.

Vigilante City #1 Core Rules

PDF and softcover book. 292 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art. For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up either via Kickstarter or from Bloat Games' own store.

Vigilante City, or more accurately, SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City #1 Core Rules, is a street-level supers game for the SURVIVE THIS family of games from Bloat Games. The same folks that gave us the awesome Dark Places & Demogorgons and the amazing We Die Young RPGs. So right away these rules feel familiar. But this game is more about teenage angst in the 80s and 90s. There are mean streets out there.

The game really is a great starter for anyone that has played D&D/OSR-like games and wants to get into a supers game. Like all SURVIVE THIS!! games this one in class and level with levels topping off at 10.

Right from the start, this game lets us know what it is all about. These are street-level supers. While there might the occasional mutant, anthropomorphic otter, Super Soldier, or power suit we will not be seeing the likes of Superman or Wonder Woman. This is Batman, Captain America, and Tony Stark down all the way to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and some guy with a baseball bat. If this sounds like your kind of game (and really who wouldn't want to play this?) then buckle in, because this is going to be fun.

The Core Rule book covers the basic hero classes (this is a class/level system derived from the SRD) and basic rules. I am going to point out here that the rules are very much the same as other Survive This!! games with notable areas to aid heroic play. While in the past I have pointed out that teens of the 80s in Dark Places & Demogorgons can grow up to become the young adults of the 90s We Die Young, there is no logical progression here from those games. To be fair that is also not the designer's intent. I can see a world that involves all these games (that and their newer What Shadows Hide line) but let's first appreciate this game for what it is right now and not what inhuman creation I'll make with it later.

The Basics

We start off with the basic rules, or maybe I should say "Basic" rules since these rules are designed from the d20 SRD to feel like old-school D&D, D&D Basic in particular. As mentioned before it shares this design with all the other Survive This!! games. You generate attributes, the usual six plus a seventh "Survival," you generate your saving throws, pick your alignments, calculate your Vigilante Points, work out your Origin/Background (every good hero has a backstory!) and then comes the time to choose your class.

Human Classes

Basic D&D's DNA is peaking through here. You have your normal human classes and then a section on "Mega Humans." But let us talk about humans first. Essentially these are the roles that an everyday, but not really average, human could pick up and say "I am going to fight crime as a ..." Yes a lot of these require training and/or to be born with the right genetic lottery (smart, rich, or both).

These classes are: Athlete, Crime Fighter, Dark Avenger, Gadgeteer, Genius, Hardboiled Detective, Knight Nurse, Martial Artist, Mentor, Mercenary, Protégé, Sharp Shooter, Street Preacher, and True Vigilante. Most, if not all are fairly self-explanatory. Each gets 10 levels of advancement where they gain certain advantages. Like the comics that inspired them the character classes are fairly 2-Dimensional. THIS IS APPROPRIATE. You fill in the blanks with your backgrounds and skills. You can choose "Street Preacher" but you have to figure out if you are Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel's character in "From Dusk til Dawn) or Jesse Custer from Preacher.

Mega-Humans

Much like the split between Demi-humans and humans in D&D, and Meta-humans/Mutants and humans in comics, we get our section on Mega-Humans. Mega humans are both a "species" and a "class" they can pick up skill packages to differentiate themselves, but largely this is what they are. Again, this fits the tone of the X-man comics.

Our Mega-Human classes are: Anthropomorphs, Borg, Mutant, Mystic, Powered Armor, Psion, Super Soldier, and Super Speedster. Lots of choices here.

These classes and their powers (spells for the mystic, psionics for the psion) cover the first 210 pages of or 2/3rds of this book. That is expected really.

The classes are followed with Skils & Skill Packs, XP/Leveling, Gear, Vehicles, Game Terms and Critical tables.

There is a solid index and the PDF is bookmarked.

The game has a feel of Villians & Vigilantes mixed with Mutants & Masterminds with the difficulty of Icons. Any veteran of either of those games will pick this one up fast. Anyone that has played D&D or other Survive This!! games will pick it up even faster. That is already given the fact that this is a quick and easy game to learn and play. There are groups out there that are searching for the perfect Supers game and this could very well be it for them. I find it very, very appealing.

Like all games from Bloat Games, there is a lot of support online and in other books for this line.



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SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Core Rules
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DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! - Core Rule Book OSR RPG
by Jonathan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2022 21:37:34

I've had a wonderful time running this system for my friends. The flavor of '80s sci-fi and horror is worth the price of admission alone and my players love running into something strange around every corner in J'Town. A word of caution: the rules system is better fleshed out in later SURVIVE THIS! games like We Die Young and What Shadows Hide. This isn't really a significant problem if you stick to the core book; however, most of the sourcebooks and rules editions (like Martial Arts Mayhem and the Class Compendium respectively) will assume you are familiar with mechanics like Morale and Seize the Day. I recommend that if you really find yourself enjoying this D&D rules hack, pick up the Players Options and GM Guide, the Class Compendium, the Jeffersontown Setting book, the Cryptid Manual, and one of the core rulebooks for the newer SURVIVE THIS! products.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! - Core Rule Book OSR RPG
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