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1366 Second Edition
Publisher: Graham Rose
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/13/2023 14:26:53

I picked this up a while ago, and hadn’t had a chance to look at it until now. I really wish I had.

I’m not even done reading it yet, and it’s already the coolest game I’ve read in a while. It does the three things I find most RPG’s I read (and that’s a bit more than many) don’t do!

1) It’s a new idea that hasn’t been done before. 2) It’s well written and tailored to its idea without being “twee” about it*. 3) It makes you want to play it immediately because the things you do in it seem like fun!

“1366: A Medieval Oddity” by Graham Rose is a simple idea. You play medieval peasants in a pretty straight forward medieval world. Earth. Just peasants. Just ‘normal joes’. Of course, you’re a little bit more special than most peasants and you have an extremely interesting list of talents and oddity’s to choose from.

What stands out immediately is how professionally done it is. Not necessarily in graphic design, but in a good table of contents, very readable layout, minimal misspelling and editing mistakes and when I say minimal, I don’t mean like most PDF RPGs, “I per page” - I mean I don’t remember any.

A perfect progression between the basic history of Medieval England to how to use dice, then create characters, and their personality. All wonderfully influenced by the period itself. Using “humors” to give basic personality types, an appropriate list of period names, and appearances. Everything you need to immediately explain the game and get to it quickly, without getting bogged down in the completely unnecessary fan fiction most RPGs indulge in.

And the rest of it is filled with the kind of touches that in seem like ’extras’ nowadays but make the game instantly playable and greatly useful to GM. Four pages of period-appropriate equipment. Procedures for finding special herbs, creating diseases and the amount of detail on the Bubonic Plague that screams fun adventure! Two beginning adventures and a great list of colorful NPCs and a listing of animals and their stats. Even a ‘bad luck’ table because peasants just can’t get a break!

An example NPCs should give you an idea:

Goblyn of Deddelye, X3, Quidnunc, Motley and Bodkin talents, Brimstone oddity.

If you don’t want to play a game with that guy in it I don’t know what you’re doing in this hobby.

Top it off with a background setting. Though unfortunately with a map.

Thanks for a great game! I can’t wait for the Kickstarter!

  • The best way I have of explaining this is all the prehistoric/caveman games that try to use rocks or hand gestures as a substitute for dice because ‘its a caveman game and that’s the way they would play an RPG!’. Except that’s pretty stupid because if cavemen played RPGs they could just as easily use dice!


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
1366 Second Edition
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Sherwood | A Game of Outlaws & Arcana
Publisher: R. Rook Games
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/20/2022 12:41:43

I just got finished reading “Sherwood | A Game of Outlaws & Arcana”. I’m a very big fan of the Robin Hood tales. Before finding Sherwood I purchased “Shadows of Sherwood” by Kekla Magoon for reading pleasure and it joins a huge collection of Robin Hood books (including “No Good Deed” by Kara Connolly and “Robin Hood vs the Plague Undead” by James Black, both highly recommended!), RPGs (“Darkwood”, “OneDice Robin Hood” and “Furry Outlaws” in hard-copy), television shows (DVDs for both “Rocket Robin Hood” and “The New Adventures of Robin Hood”) and even miniature games (“Outlaws of Sherwood”)! And I have always wanted to run a Robin Hood style campaign so Sherwood for free was a no brainer.

So obviously, “Sherwood” as a pretty easy sell to me. But instead of just going ‘on the pile’ of Robin Hood RPGs I decided that this one was good enough to play.

So keep that in mind, that while I have some criticisms, it’s definitely going to be my next campaign.

First it’s a nice looking game, well laid out and very readable. There is not a lot of artwork in it - almost none - but the layout, font choice and Robin Hood related quotes definitely made up for it.

Both the use of the F* word in the first chapter and the admonition on Gender and Sexuality seemed a little gratuitous to me, these seem to be standard issue on a lot of “modern”, “indie” kids games.

And it definitely feels like an “indie” game. The rules are very fast and loose and there is quite a bit of hand waving throughout.

But there is just enough system that I think it can be played - how much house-ruling you’d want to do comes down to individual taste (as it should be). Alot of games like this need the GM to entirely write the game before they can be played. So this one stood right on the outer edge of not enough. There are only four attributes - Endurance, Luck, Willpower and Wits. They are all capable of being “spent” to accomplish certain effects. Presumably the attributes will stay reduced until ’healed’ in the ‘downtime’ process. There’s a bit more ‘presumptions’ to come.

Then you pick from a small selection of Background Abilities, and a larger section of Careers from which you will choose which table to roll on to get skills and/or Attribute boosts. The selection of careers is particularly interesting and flavorful and well suited to the genre.

All characters are also assumed to have “Troubles” from a table which are not ‘disadvantages’ so much as they are good story elements. Again, each player will have to do some writing to fill in the blanks, but they do get an additional skill level for their trouble.

Players are also told they have two “Connections” to PCs or NPCs. What is done with these are another thing GMs will have presume.

Money is replaced by “Resources” and while enough suggestions are given on how to use it is another area where the GM is given a very light hand. Legend is another point resource representing the outlaw groups reputation and is spent on things such as favors from local villagers to perhaps hide them or provide an alibi. Another thing somewhat left to the GM to determine.

These both are also used as ‘experience’ points.

Finally the PC group must have a “Mission” and “Code” which is defined by the group and used ...however they wish.

Encumbrance is given a very light weight ‘slot’ treatment and weapons, armor and equipment is given one light page with a few Resource cost suggestions.

The rules define Skill Checks and Saving Throws along with Advantages and Disadvantages. Succeeding in a skill requires rolling two six-sided dice and achieving an 8 or more. Jack of all Trades talent might help here. Roll High. Saving Throws roll under an attribute. Roll Low. Spending Luck might help here.

This and the way Careers are structured make me view this as a rather Traveller take on Robin Hood. Why not just use Cepheus? Well it doesn’t bother me, but your mileage may vary.

Combat has another ‘indie’ twist in that initiative is “conversational” (or argumentative) and that either opponents dont roll dice and whether a PC is hit in combat is dependent on their own Skill Roll or..... something else happens and the GM just has to figure it out. This is the most likely place where I think LOTS of house rules will be needed, but again it seems par for the course with modern indie games nowadays.

Damage is also given similar treatment and it appears that that there is no written way for PCs to die if the GM doesn’t want them to. There is also a fast recovery mechanism.

Downtime is what passes as experience and the type of healing, skill acquisition, research or resource gain is chosen.

There is also a magic system which is definitely one of the high points, that while not as strictly defined definitely has more meat on the bone while at the same time matching nicely with the genre - though I’m not real sure I remember Pyromancy coming up in any tales. But a nicely done system with lots of variety for those who want to add magic to their own games. Something which I have seen in Robin Hood tales.

A small set of NPCs are given the indie treatment of having a much smaller set of attributes - basically hit points, armor and attitudes.

Two one page adventures follow along with a set of inspiration books, tv shows and films.

So what do I think? I think it’s well done. It’s good points largely overcome its weaknesses and its style I can definitely work with to run and play the kind of Robin Hood style games I’d like to.

It’s not for inexperienced GMs at all. There is zero to negative hand-holding for new players. Another common indie trait.

As long as you know what your getting - an outline of a good game - and are prepared to fill-in-the-blanks yourself I can definitely recommend this game. I hope there is more forthcoming.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sherwood | A Game of Outlaws & Arcana
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Creator Reply:
Hey Michael: Thanks for this review!
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Social Rolls for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG
Publisher: RV Games
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 15:01:51

Not a "5" as in this is the last set of rules you'll ever need for the subject, but a 5 in the sense that it does what it says on the tin in an elegant and simple way. Much in the flavor of Mothership but a clever say to rule on social situations.

It could use with some expansion, but it's a great framework as it is.

Highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Social Rolls for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG
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Instant Towns III: Nulukkhur
Publisher: Art of War Games
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/27/2022 15:47:48

2 pages. No map. A tavern. A potion shop. Move along. Nothing to see here. Overpriced.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Instant Towns III: Nulukkhur
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Wild West Cinema rulebook
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/16/2022 10:07:35

I’ve played and enjoyed Wild West RPGs and hope to do so again. I own a ridiculous amount of western role-playing games for someone who’s never run one (Ace & Eights, Western Hero, Coyote Trails, Boot Hill, GURPS Old West, Westhedge, etc.) so it took me a long time to finally buy Wild West Cinema.

And boy I’m glad I did. This has to be not only the best Western RPG I’ve ever read but also the best RPG rule set that Spectrum Games has (and I have nearly every one of those as well).

And thank god they didn’t try to find some awkward way to use poker cards because…”It’s a Western!”.

Slightly irked that there aren’t more (than 1) of the Western Archetypes that are female, though of course, there is no reason you couldn’t play a female Drifter, Gunslinger, Indian Outcast, Outlaw and even Preacher Man. Still I think there’s a Soiled Dove or Homestead Protector archetype that could have added to the fun.

Some great writing and the dip into “Alternity” style character definitions is well done and an very appropriate.

Even the skill definitions were interesting to read! Including an insightful treatise on how to deal with ‘charisma’ in relation to role-playing.

So in addition to being a fine rule set (not perfect, it has some too-fiddly bits, but very few), it’s also a blast to read. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

The NPC example list is staggeringly good and complete and ought to be emulated by every RPG.

In so many other ways it’s an amazingly well written description of how RPGs should be played and GM’d. It’s a template I’ll use for all my games.

Top if off with a clever and fun starting adventure that includes a ‘home base’ location and the game practically plays itself.

Pound for pound this is the best Western Game I own and if they had a hard-copy version I would buy it instantly. This is a game I could run tomorrow with as close to zero preparation as any game — granted westerns are easier than most - but these rules make a breeze.

I’ve got to say this is the best RPG system put out by Spectrum Games - and that’s saying something! (I have most of them!)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wild West Cinema rulebook
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10 Fantasy Villages
Publisher: Azukail Games
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/12/2022 09:58:25

Absolutely excellent overview of 10 fantasy villages. Avoids many of the flaws of other products like this - no "Oh, look! Demigorgon is tending bar!", "The outhouse is a portal to the Elemental Plane of Air", etc.

Just nice normal villages with interesting stories, people, placing and personalities that won't disrupt anyone's campaign with gonzo stuff.

The maps are simple, but well done and nicely generic in that they will fit in any type of terrain without requiring weird terrain additions to someones already existing map (another flaw in other products like this).

I'll definitely keep an eye out for more of this quality. Thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
10 Fantasy Villages
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Abiding Perdition
Publisher: Arcana Comics
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/28/2021 12:19:47

Wonderul, fun, cheesy, great art. Storytelling is a little disjointed sometimes and the hero is the hottest, dumbest hero I've seen in a while, but great fun - everything a comic should be.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Abiding Perdition
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Decahedron Magazine #5
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/22/2021 09:53:50

I can't add any more than the first review. There is stuff here I will use in my games, and that's as high praise as I can give.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Decahedron Magazine #5
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ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
Publisher: Gildor Games
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/17/2021 17:18:33

Wow. Elemental is yet another attempt at a ‘generic-universal-any genre-any type of character game’. What makes it unusual is that it works.

The “Discovery Guide” (and reviews) impressed me enough to get the softcover print version of this book when it was a ‘deal of the day’ recently. The PDF priced was reduced but the print version didn’t seem to be reduced. I would have bought it earlier if it had been.

The book is beautiful, very well illustrated, with excellent use of coloring in the very clean and readable fonts. It is also remarkably free of spelling and grammar errors. Thank you for that. But most impressive are the rules themselves which are quickly explained in the first 19 pages. No stupid “flavor text”, no time-wasting ‘What is roleplaying?’, just straight forward, but not dry, “this is how you play this game”. Very refreshing, reminiscent of the classic Traveller in its utility and clarity. Logical, specific without being tedious, this game is ready to play immediately and yet will ‘stay in the background’ by being easy to remember and easy to run.

Also appreciated is some specifically helpful ideas on HOW to run the game, who should roll when, what amount and type of modifiers you should use, when to add complications, what to do if you can’t think of any, etc. Even a brief discussion of social interaction rolls. This type of information is almost NEVER in the actual rule book, and yet critically important skills to running a good game.

This is a d6 only, largely 1d6 system with straight forward difficulty numbers, skills, flaws, critical hits/fumbles and point allocation. GURPs done right basically. Or OneDice if it was compiled into one book.

But it also does several things to keep the rules simple, like modifiers and penalties max out at +3/-3 and exploding dice are limited to only 1 additional roll. All the benefits with none of the minutia. If any of the above turns you off, you probably wont like this system. It’s a minimalist system, but not a hand-wavy system.

There are touches I like that I’ve never seen in ANY system, such as successive characters after your first are built on a lower point total, some skills are given descriptions of how they are used by animals/monsters and even vehicles.

It’s not perfect of course. Stat Checks have a rather strange difference in that they roll low instead of rolling high. In keeping with it’s “cut-to-the-chase” style, there are very few examples, making it so that you’d better remember what an attribute roll is compared to a Stat Check if you want to figure out how damage works. Nothing fatal, but may initially require some flipping back and forth. Powers are given two pages here, though really, they are talking about “Arcane Powers”, i.e. spells. It gives a rough outline of casting time, range, duration, concentration, rituals and innate (magical) powers.

Skills are remarkably comprehensive and yet brief (65 skills, 11 pages, but many can be thought of as ‘talents/feats’ such as Aquatic, Battle Rage and Lucky). It also includes nice specifics such as not being able to attempt certain actions without a skill.

There are also some very wise rulings on only allowing a certain number of uses of some skills per ‘game session’ making them much more strategically valuable. The skills also make it very clear when one skill is applicable rather than another, making them argument free rules.

Flaws are a pretty good deal at 1 character point per level of Flaw (maximum 3), but they are balanced by all of them being given specific game effects that means the flaw is unlikely to be avoided. Even the typically problematic ones such as Addiction and Code of Honor. There might be some possible abuse with Flashbacks or Greed, but by and large they all seem pretty severe and there are few enough of them (19 flaws, 2 pages) that they are not necessary unless they are truly part of a player character conception rather than just ‘free points’.

Equipment has got a good selection of weapons (two types of clubs, four types of swords, 5 types of maces, flintlock, musket and blunderbuss).

Armor is treated fine, as light, medium and heavy but there is not even a nod to partial or mixed armor. Nor any kind of reflective, ablative or armor with life support.

Though I definitely deduct points for not giving anything a monetary cost - which makes no sense since under Followers it gives amounts for how much gold or dollars they expect to be paid. You either leave money to the GM or you don’t.

The Gamemaster guide follows. It’s not particularly bad advice, though I notice some of the more “modern” conceits that give bad advise on top of the bad advice the authors were given. For example “For instance, you might come up with an interesting reward (e.g. a magic sword) but rather than defining where it is and how to find it, you can let the party “find” it if you feel they’ll need it for the next encounter - or you simply want to reward them for a fine performance.” Is there anyone out there that doesn’t know that as a “railroad”?

Creatures are given an XP value however, which I also think should be genre specific - unless every game is about killing.

Fantasy starts with “Archetypes” which are usually called ‘templates’ in other games. A set of skills and suggestions for purchasing that aren’t required, but merely suggestions on the kind of things that type of character could have. Races are typical; Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human, Dragonfolk, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Fiendling.

Then ‘class’ archetypes; Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard. The only really odd thing about it is how many spells are suggested. Could a beginning character really start with that many spells? If there is something I’m not understanding, I’m laying it straight on the text.

The spell list starts next and rather than spell ‘levels’ each spell is rated by its Difficult in casting from 0 to 9. And it’s pretty impressive at 38 pages. And it seems to have just the right mix of style and utility. It seems magical and unique, as spell should. Nothing particularly surprising, but some neat spells I haven’t seen before also. It even includes a spell for making magic items.

Magic Items have one page devoted to them. It seems to imply that most all magic items (except Artifacts) have ‘charges’ and that the magic is gone once those charges are used up. It works, but I’m not sure making most magic items ‘disposable’ is a good ‘generic’ way to deal with them. There are 4 magic item examples. Count ‘em. 4. Strangely enough they are followed by 4 example artifacts. Also, there are no costs in money or XP associated with these items.

The Monster section is much better. Much like the spell section are typical monsters, and non-typical interesting monsters. Unfortunately they are not all illustrated. And the ones that are...well I’d be much more interested in an illustration of a “Behir” than that a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of course, monsters are mostly of the D&D variety. And the descriptions are very sparse. But also like the spells, they weren’t chintzy about it at 27 pages.

The Horror section starts off with a list of archetypes based on typical ‘horror’ characters (and 5 monsters). The Sanity rules are next. So by ‘typical’ I guess I mean ‘Call of Cthulhu’. But the Sanity rules are pretty simple and workable - players will fear it, but it won’t cripple them. Then they add Corruption, an optional rule that can serve as “the Dark Side” or “the Eye of Sauron”. Clever and simple.

Another cool spell section. Another Monster section follows. A few monsters are given entries like “Spells: Yes; GM’s choice” or “Sometimes, GM’s discretion” which is annoying as hell. It’s ALWAYS GM’s choice. I’m not paying you to tell me that. I’m paying you to MAKE THE CHOICES and if I don’t like them I’ll change them.

The Science Fiction section is next with a 9 archetypes. The Weapon section follows and doesn’t disappoint. Armor, Vehicles, Mecha and Spaceships also comes out well with enough to satisfy most gaming needs. A brief mention is also made of Cybernetics.

Psionic powers gets a full listing as well and even at 6 pages seems very complete and well done. Pulp & Superheroes is the next section. The first decision is that when a character has superpowers they are tied to a particular stat - just like a skill. That’s not surprising. But what IS surprising is that all Superpowers must have their appropriate attribute at 4 or more (Very High). This sort of makes sense. I mean, the power might be pretty weak if you had it for a low attribute. You are told to come up with one “super” weakness and given a few (obvious) examples. It also gives various point ranges for “Pulp”, “Comic Book” or “Cosmic” heroes. Then 12 pages of powers (55 powers).

Well, it does what it says on the tin. It provides a fast-paced rules light, but detailed and sturdy set of RPG rules that could pretty much do most of the common RPG genres. Is it spectacular and able to instantly replace all other games? No. But it’s very, very good, and if you were in the market for a ‘universal’ game it’s a lot better than than most ‘mainstream’ games of this type.

I could name on one hand with fingers left over the number of games I would play immediately and without needing house rules to ‘fix’. This is now one of those games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
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Creator Reply:
Michael, thank you for taking the time to write this. This is an incredibly helpful run-down of the book, allowing anyone to make an informed decision before buying the game. And by the way, ELEMENTAL also features a growing collection of awesome ready-to-play adventures in various genres, so it’s super easy for you and your friends to jump into the game. The adventures a free or pay-what-you-want, so your purchase of the Complete Guide really goes a long way.
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Medieval Landscapes: Peasant House
Publisher: Alea Publishing Group
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2020 16:37:10

Wonderfully well-done and very useful materail. Thanks! Hope to see more!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Medieval Landscapes: Peasant House
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Ghost Punchers - Bare Knuckle Edition
Publisher: Hardy Tales
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2020 19:12:46

I'm not at all familiar with the web-comic this may have been based on, so I can't speak for it's fidelity. I was interested in as a non-Ghostbusters take on ghosts. In that it succeeds very well. A good set of rules and ideas about what ghosts do, why they do it, and how to deal with them (spoiler alert - punch them).

It's a little thin, otherwise.

Some neat ghosts powers, some basic ideas for the types of people and organizations that would punch them and a few ghost write-ups.

Nothing bad, but I rather wish I'd only gotten the PDF rather than the print version (which is completely un-illustrated).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ghost Punchers - Bare Knuckle Edition
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Strange Nations: A Worldbuilding Resource
Publisher: WMB Saltworks
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2020 08:09:23

The best book on cultures for rpgs I've ever seen. A detailed look at over 20 different and distinctive cultures that will work well in a multitude of fantasy games - high magic, swords & sorcery, etc.

No stats, all flavor and mostly human.

My only complaint is there is a little/way too much detailed food information. Not very useful.

But otherwise a definite must have for world-builders.

I hope there is a sequel!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange Nations: A Worldbuilding Resource
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DINOSAUR TABLETOP GAME: Cretacea - The game of gargantuan survival
Publisher: Wicked Wargames
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2020 10:34:55

I’m pretty sure that I have every prehistoric miniature game every printed since 1970. REALLY.

So far this is the best one I’ve ever seen. Simple, common sense, and fun.

It works with any scale dinosaurs you have and in a reasonable amount of table space. Only uses six-sided dice as well.

If they add cavemen to the game my search will be over.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DINOSAUR TABLETOP GAME: Cretacea - The game of gargantuan survival
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Creator Reply:
This is so very kind. Thank you, i really tried to keep things simple and fun and slimlined but also i didn't want to lose the sense of these hulking beasts roaming the plains. I am glad you enjoy it. If you haven't already try watching Walking with dinosaurs froim the nineties, its a bbc show and it inspired the entire feel of the mechanics for the game.
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Witch Girls Adventure Rule book
Publisher: Relentless Fiction
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2019 11:46:23

Terrific set of rules but the inability to search greatly limits the usefulness of the PDF.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Witch Girls Adventure Rule book
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Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology
Publisher: Relentless Fiction
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/26/2019 12:55:18

“The Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology” is a supplement for the Witch Girls Adventures role-playing game that deals with a girl-scout like organization for the magical girl.

Anyone who liked the “Secret Saturdays” cartoon shouldn’t hesitate to pick this up immediately!

A great idea with a terrific backstory and organization. It makes it very easy to get into the structure of a game with “earning badges” consisting of very interesting and varied adventures.

It is a 98 page PDF, with most of the book (around 67 pages) consisting of a ‘monster manual’. The rest is detailing the nature and organization of the “Hex Scouts”.

The PDF has readable fonts but it is on the dark brown ‘parchment’ like background that is extremely unpleasant to read. Searching the PDF is especially difficulty because it’s almost impossible to tell the highlighted word from the background.

There is color art scattered throughout some of it appropriate to the text, some of it not. It mostly depicts Hex-scouts ‘day-in-the-life’ scenes. The style is ...unusual. Almost like stained glass with rich colors. A step up from the “Super Crusader” art if you’re familiar with that style.

I’m not sure why thematically a blood splat marks the page numbers, but it does the job.

Personally I don’t think it even comes close to the art in the “Witch Girls Adventures” core rulebook. It’s not out of place and better than nothing but I wouldn’t call it “playful” or “inspiring” either.

The art for the badges and chapter separators (mostly just badges) is very good and very inspiring for the material.

All in all it does what it says on the tin and gives enough material to easy creating an episodic game of the adventures of a troop of young witches.

What is there is excellent and will be perfect for setting up an easy to run game with a varied cast of characters who can come and go as the players schedules allow (something very much needed in today’s busy world). So if you’re looking to run a “open” game, I can’t think of a better way to organize it.

A great history and background, an explanation of the organization and specifics on meetings and events make it very gameable.

Earning “Badges” is done by accomplishing a certain number of missions, with the older girls getting the more complex missions. The missions are open-ended enough that getting them will be fun and not subject to the “leveling-up” mentality prevalent in a lot of RPGs. There are 12 badges described and all of them seem interesting to play.

For example, earning the “Mermaid” badge requires visiting a total of 12 oceans - including earth and other realms. The adventures practically write themselves.

The scouting activities are well described and inspire great ideas for wholesome adventure where combat isn’t necessary or expected (mostly).

Four new Cliques are added: A horse rider, an archer, a monster whisperer and totem spirit watcher.

Skills gives some new skills are added: Animal Training, including a list of the tricks the animals can be taught.

Crafts including example difficulties and time to craft. It mentions “Wealth” with no explanation as to what that is.

Fighting: Range Weapon is also given, along with a list of nine maneuvers its possible to do with this skill.

Herbalism skill and Languages along with a list of “exotic” languages.

Medicine is also given along with eight example difficulties and modifiers for the type of patient.

Riding skill and Survival skill along with seven example difficulties.

Track along with 5 different example difficulties and terrain modifiers.

Cryptozoology is considered a Magical skill and is a knowledge skill.

An absolutely excellent skill section that doesn’t skimp on the details.

New scout/nature oriented talents are also given: Capricious, Environmentalist, Flower-child, Naturalist, Relentless and Survivalist.

Heritages are also given: Moon Maiden, Monster (with monster examples), Summoner and Shape-shifter all with a good amount of details.

The Magic section gives examples of Summoning and Summoning spells and Totem Bonds with two pages of examples.

Another excellent and well-detailed section. It might be too many rules for some, but they are all well written, detailed and distinctly different from anything else, and well-suited to magical scouts.

The Equipment section is not and has not only a fine selection of camping equipment but “Add ons” which for a cost can add abilities to the weapons as well.

Finally there is the rest of the book - the Cryptids.

It first describes several pocket dimensions where cryptids are kept in a form of magical nature preserves.

Cryptids are given a sort of “Challenge Rating” that compares their difficulty to defeat with the equivalent “Stars” and “Groups of Stars”.

The Cryptid descriptions are pretty standard “monster manual” descriptions and all take up one or two pages.

They give some extra information in terms of the locations where they are likely to be found and their motivations and some “common traits” that can be chosen that mean that not every cryptid of the same type will behave the same way.

They also give some ‘hooks’ that are good for inspiring an adventure and ‘facts’ that can be used to for researching.

Also, every cryptid is illustrated and truthfully, while I’m not very fond of the ‘human’ depictions in this book I think the cryptid illustrations are excellent and evocative. Forget everything I said before! Go figure.

There are some ‘classic’ monsters and some entirely original ones (at least new to me). These descriptions are overflowing with plot ideas and this is something I WILL be using and WOULD be willing to get a printed copy of! Though please get a white background!

The variety is amazing and if you play games like “Monster of the Week”, “Meddling Kids” or “Cupcake Scouts” there is a lot to like here.

There’s even stats for normal animals as well.

Unfortunately it is marred by the worst editing I have seen in quite a long time - and I buy a LOT of PDFs.

Extra spaces in sentences are the smallest of the errors. Extra lines between paragraphs. Misspelled words (that won’t get caught by a spellchecker). Weirdly worded phrases and dropped words are most common. Hex-Scouts sometimes has a hyphen and sometimes doesn’t. Missing commas that make the sentence confusing. Words after semi-colons sometimes capitalized sometimes not. For example:

“Most Covens have three or more, meet twice a month...”. In the next paragraph it states that Covens have monthly meetings. So do they meet once a month or twice a month?

“If the creature isn’t to dangerous...”;

“Hex Scouts depending on their skill explore those places and even help map and them.”

“Hex Scouts competed on broom carpet and flying steed amongst a coven and other covens in various races...”

“...as members as long as the are of age and....”

“.This magical uniform provides +_1 bonuses to resist intense heat and cold, Changes to Standard uniform, Casual uniform and dress uniform for 1 Zap point and is resistant to dirt wear and tear” So if you spend at Zap point they are also resistant to dirt and wear and tear, but if you DON’T spend a Zap point they resist intense heat and cold? And what the heck IS a Standard, Casual and Dress uniform? They are never mentioned again.

“To show this Directors..”

“Basic Perks” What are the basic perks? I think they are the uniform(s) and skill bonuses, but it’s never made clear.

“...don’t have I easy...”

I could go on, but I think you get the drift. It’s mostly understandable but a frustrating and jarring read.

Especially considering the high production values of the other Witch Girls Adventure book, this is especially glaring.

As a supplement to mine for ideas and a campaign, I highly recommend it.

The information is so dense and useful I’d even buy a print copy.

(Like most Witch Girls Adventure products) This Is Good Stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology
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