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Hobomancer
Publisher: Hex Games
by Steven K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2021 15:48:38

This is an awesome book, brimming full of fresh roleplaying ideas to sink your nasty wooden hobo teeth into as you roll around in a filthy 1930s railyard. The rich setting is fleshed out pretty well for jumping in without anything feeling tedious or over-explained. The idea of "the songlines" sets up an appropriately fantastical trip by train through a magically corrupted dustbowl, populated by a healthy smattering of cool and unique monsters. I haven't gotten a chance to start playing yet but I'm impressed with how inspiring and fresh the setting is. Hobomancers do everything normal hobos do, plus they practice a special kind of hobo magic, and each PC also gets to choose from a nice list of special gimmicks and powers, as well as character weaknesses. The QAGS ruleset itself feels a little backwards at first but I imagine with time it gels nicely. A little bit more info on how the actual mechanics of the rolls would have been helpful, but Hex made the quickstart and the full QAGS2e rules free, so no compaints there. If you're itching for a break from classic fantasy or other common rpg tropes, take a swig on some bad hooch, throw on some Blind Willie Johnson, and enjoy Hobomancer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hobomancer
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The Road to Ruin
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Steven K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2021 16:57:27

Couldn't be more pleased with this unique, brilliant card game! It looks amazing, and the design is really smart. Cooperate with friends or go it alone in a modular game world riddled with hordes of walking dead! Basic mechanics and strategy are easy to pick up and teach new players. The rule about discarding any item for a last ditch effort to reroll helps stave off the deadliness of unrelenting zombie hordes. (Don't forget to respawn new threats when revisiting locations!) The cards themselves are really beautiful with great art and flavor text to immerse players in a ruined world. Replay value is pretty terrific with multiple different scenarios and randomized world-map layouts. Although the 'dice cards' are fine in a pinch, I recommend playing with real dice. You can use anything for the player tokens, we generally play with grubby old coins. It's helpful to lay down a tablecloth before setting up to avoid scratching or bending up cards as you flip them over. Five stars for sure, this game is rad and I wish there were more like it. What would be really cool is if Hero Forge released an expansion of some kind, maybe with more scenarios, different locations, new survivor characters. As solid as it already is, the game feels expandable. It may even accommodate an alternative ruleset to open up a secondary play mode that's less focused on world-maps and more akin to a faster paced competitive poker style game. As it stands though it's really superb, definitely grab it for a quick and engaging way to scratch that zombie-killer itch!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Road to Ruin
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Hope Inhumanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Lost Cause Games
by Steven K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2020 17:33:13

This game is really cool! Entertaining and challenging, but easy to pick up, it impressively exceeded expectations. If you're looking to kill a couple hours with an RPG-Lite Cards & Dice table game, this is the one you want to play!

Hope Inhumanity is a gritty apocalyptic game about a group of survivors trying to reach some destination. Players can invest as much as they want in story and character, making it a good gateway to new roleplayers. The game is played out over 5 rounds of randomly drawn Scene cards that present players with difficult situations. Each player can spend from their limited d6 "Humanity" dice pool to succeed or fail at each scene. You can also pull from a community pool of "Hope" dice to overcome the odds in the face of danger from killers and thieves... Failure normally means suffering Hunger or Harm, conditions which act sort of like 'hit points' and also add difficulty to future scenes. The essence of the game is striking a workable balance in that constant trade-off between harm conditions and lost humanity. It does prove rather swingy as the resource management strategy emerges over the course of each round. That's all part of the fun! Failure and death in the game is amusingly grim. Good news is, it counts as a win if at least one player makes it. In the apocalypse, success is a mixed bag at best!

Between the clever Personality, Relationship, and single-use Trait cards, a new cinematic experience results each session. With all its moving parts forming a chaotic but cohesive system, the game should retain a pretty great replay value. Hope Inhumanity's unique mix of fresh and interesting mechanics makes for a quick, challenging, super fun game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hope Inhumanity (2nd Edition)
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