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About Mazes & Minotaurs
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2018 12:13:46

This is just a single pge acknowledgment that Mazes & Minotaurs is a pastiche of OD&D.

What I regret is that it does NOT tell enough that is it really a good game that I'm in love with.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
About Mazes & Minotaurs
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Grin - Torchlight
Publisher: Arcana Games
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/16/2018 13:24:30

I like GRIN and I reviewed it.

Torchlight gives chips to players in the form of matches to spend instead of making a draw and risking dying.

And you light a candle in front of you and extinguish it when your character dies if you have no more matches to crack.

So you have extra lives.

Well, sorry, but there was enough space in the Grin DL to add this...



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Grin - Torchlight
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Grin
Publisher: Arcana Games
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/16/2018 13:13:38

I like one-page rpg and i've modestly reviewed a few and this one is nice.

The system is its great strength: It uses cards No character generation You draw cards to make a test, the more cards you draw, the harder the test If you draw a joker you fail If you draw a face card you drw another card If you draw an ace you get an hero point card for later use In all other cases you succeed. Simple, easy

But I only gave it three stars because the system is its greatest flaw: No character generation No tests rules apart what's above Too simple, too easy

I really need more "meat" to glue to this basic skeleton. I wo ndered a lot between 3 and 4 stars. However I realize that for a horror story, or a faery tale or a children game it's a really nice shot. So I'll give it 4 stars bec ause it's a very nice appetizer that makes me drool for more.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Grin
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CARTOMANCY RPG, the 20-page demo booklet
Publisher: Le Trip Fantastique
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/16/2018 12:54:17

Imagine the setting: you are a group of friends and you enter the tent of a mysterious fortune-teller. Then, you ask her what is your future for you and all the persons in your group. She tells you that your group is facing a problem on this one suit or another, and then she draws a few cards. If the suits on the cards are the correct one, she tells you things will go nicely, other wise they may tell an incoming disaster. That's the principle of fortune-telling. And this game works the same way.

Cartomancy is a game that claims to be a simple, math-free role-playing game, for tests it uses a strange process called the oracle. And all is built upon that way the fortune-tellers "work".

All oracles are based on the 3 following rules:

  • Each suit has a meaning, always the same, for characters or situation, like Hearts are for muscles and Spades for mental things like enigmas.
  • The DM draws cards for the group then players may draw for their characters
  • Quality ratings depends on whether or not you draw cards of the correct suit. If any one card is of the suit picked by the DM it's a triumph, if all cards are of the wrong red or black color it's a failure, other wise it's a simple success.

If the group's oracle (called the fate) is not good enough, or if they want to score a special something, players can draw their characters' oracle (called their outcomes). But they need a good reason and there are only 3:

  • Having strategically chosen the current kind of challenges the character expects to face (i.e.: the suit he's ready for). You show it by a counter on your character sheet that you can change whenever you want... except inside an oracle.
  • Having a quality that is relevant to the situation, knowing you are given 6 at character creation plus 1 per suit where you decide you will not be able to pu your counter on (meaning a real disadvantages)
  • Or risking a fumble: it means that if the color of the card drawn is of the wrong color, you botch!

There are more rules above this, like each quality gives you a single-use chip thqt can be a confidence (black) or an effort (red) and you can spend them to get additionnal effects or quickly succeed. They are not like hero points but rather like fatigue bec ause you get them back by eating or resting.

Contrarily to the previous demo, the combats are shown and work exactly the same way that all oracles do: threats levels of enemies tells the number of fate cards. The nice part are two welcome notions: "danger" is the level of meaner enemies: if all cards drawn are below its level, it means that the character suffers a wound and delete a suit, and can't strategically chose it anymore. When you have none left you are dead. BTW why not using it to cover all oracles where you risk hurting yourself with traps coming in mind instantly. "automatisms" are powers for meanest enemies and use the same system. The difference is that instead of giving a generic wound it gives an effect. For example versus a vampire, if all the cards are aces you are enthralled by the undead for a full 24 hours.

There is something amazing about this game: it does not use dice, it has no lists of skills or flaws and edges, there is no maths, it is clearly a narrativist engine but is seems to make sense. Maybe it's the name, maybe it's the lightning-quick character generation, or the oracle process (there are 3 pages of examples and combat is handled the same) or perhaps it's the cover but there is that great feeling that all is simple, evident, and straight-forward.

I long for the magic rules and I don't know neither what to expect nor how the game handles this or super powers but, I must have drawn aces only:

I'm enthralled by this crazy little game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CARTOMANCY RPG, the 20-page demo booklet
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Creator Reply:
Hello Thank you for being "enthralled" and giving us a five star rating. We really appreciate. A lot. M@nu & G@ël
Die For You
Publisher: Fantasy Heartbreaker
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2018 15:27:06

This is not a review, just a short opinion.

There something eminently poetic in this game, a real atmosphere of mystery and magic, a little like Buffy's complicated love affairs meet a dark anime. It is not a big game by its number of pages but it truly gives you everything you need. Maybe a few pics or rather simple drawings or a stylish character sheet could have been nice.

The system is simple with 3 stats: weird; real life & feelings. You roll one die, two if you are really prepared. You can roll one more if one person you trust is involved, if you sacrifice something or if your character goal is involved. . Note that you can force a character to help you if this characters trusts you or you can receive an appluse die if what you try to do pleases the other players. The number of successes gives quality rating

If there is something to change I think it would be to not give an auto value to Real Life but rather gives points to drop on all each 3 stats, maybe 10 or 7 with 4 being the maximum, just to make sure that all characters do not end up with a 3 in all.

Frankly speaking, this game is a little gem. I love it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Die For You
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Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2018 13:33:41

First, let's get rid of a common mistake. It's written diceless not rules-less. so it has rules, quite a lot in fact but they all circle the single identical idea of resource manageament. It's not that this is a bad idea at all, but for example you won't find the grand world-shattering competitive ways to roleplay that Amber introduced. Because yes you need to talk about Amber when you talk about diceless rpg.

So Active Exploits is not designed with a stable group of players in mind, there is no bidding process and all. Here you buy things, and there are quite a few to pick from: ABILITIES which are stats, there are 4 of them. ASPECTS namely luck and discipline which have base values according to game level of reality, SKILLS that you may take and a which level still according to reality level, GIMMICKS (as many as you want as long as the referee agrees) and PRINCIPLES like codes, faults and objectives. Creating a character is easy in fact, the reality level telling all you need, however it is not written in the most explicit way I've seen, but it's just my opinion. What is important is that it is quick, easy, but that players really need to be able to make the differences betwen all the differnt names given to all different possible values.

In fact the system is built upon the idea that you have a base value equals to ability + skill and that you need to burn points of bo uses (like luck etc) to get a sum that is over the target level. You can even spend XP spent on skills to get a temporary boost. It's quite crystal clear except that you need to make really sure players are aware of the many pools they can pick pints from. Especially with the advanced rules that introduces even more pools like flairs (say subskills), convictions, fields of expertise, threads linking characters.

The main problem according to me are these advanced chapters. Because you have character creation, system and combats THEN advanced versions of the same ones then others. All in all I love the way things get described with category after category enhancing game experience. But I must admit that this very depth is also the deepest flaw of the game system because it's easy to get lost and not being able to succeed because you fail at giving a reason why you could add this bonus or that one.

It is a very good game, not doubts. But there are so many resources to manage from that I wonder how far it is a playable game. You need a very committed group that will move farther, advanced option after advanced option. And that will be very difficult to introduce new players in the middle because of the sheer amount of variables to take into account when comes the moment to chose where you pick points from. I tried two games which is not a lot I admit, but each time we had to shatter that wall of "how I am supposed to do that?". In a typical dice-driven game you don't have it because you have clear values to add to a random die result. Here you never know if burning a point or a skill XP on that is useful or silly. On the first game I made all characters were quickly exhausted and succeeding difficult tasks became impossible, on the second one it was the reverse: nobody wanted to burn a dot and the story wasn't proceeding on.

I love this game but I don't know how to make it work properly in fact. How do you play a resource management system when you have no resources left or when no one does want to spend them? And it's the moment we get back to Amber...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
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CARTOMANCY RPG, the Flyer
Publisher: Le Trip Fantastique
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2018 16:22:03

Very pleasant demo, the pages looks weird until you understand that you need to print the 4 pages on a single page in a two-sided way.

There is a character side with a mini character sheet and character generation rules. On the other side there are the basic system explanations and also the game cover. Each side also have a pic. Nice by the way.

I expect the game to come soon because what I read seems really logical and easy to work with. However there is nothing about combat or skills list and I really want to know how the system will handle that.

I've had a strange feeling when reading this over and over and I think that the name of the game has been wisely chosen: the gameplay is really like a fortune-telling scene like you see in a movie. The referee draws a few cards and gives a result then players can try to improve things with a few cards of their own. Very fun.

Gotta see more to make a final opinion and know if the game is a triumph, but "as a flyer" I agree that it's a success.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CARTOMANCY RPG, the Flyer
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review, We uploaded a 20-page demo that will answer all your questions. It will detail character creation, oracle systems, GM & players cards and combat. If you want to know it all, the full game is already on lulu and the pdf will be soon on drivethrurpg.com. And great thanks for the 5*, we hope you'll enjoy reading further. M@nu
CARTOMANCY RPG, the Flyer
Publisher: Le Trip Fantastique
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2018 16:22:03

Very pleasant demo of 4 pages that turn into an efficient flyer when you print them on a single page in a two-sided way.

There is a character side with a mini character sheet and character generation rules. On the other side there are the basic system explanations and also the game cover. Each side also have a pic. Nice by the way.

I expect the game to come soon because what I read seems really logical and easy to work with. However there is nothing about combat or skills list and I really want to know how the system will handle that.

I've had a strange feeling when reading this over and over and I think that the name of the game has been wisely chosen: the gameplay is really like a fortune-telling scene like you see in a movie. The referee draws a few cards and gives a result then players can try to improve things with a few cards of their own. Very fun.

Gotta see more to make a final opinion and know if the game is a triumph, but "as a flyer" I agree that it's a success.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review, We uploaded a 20-page demo that will answer all your questions. It will detail character creation, oracle systems, GM & players cards and combat. If you want to know it all, the full game is already on lulu and the pdf will be soon on drivethrurpg.com. And great thanks for the 5*, we hope you'll enjoy reading further. M@nu
Mazes & Minotaurs Players Manual
Publisher: Legrand Games Studio
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2018 15:35:08

THE BOOK: The cover is nice and illustrations are appropriate and good. Talking about the cover it is a reworking of T&T's famous cover the same way that the M&M companion's is a reworking of RQ 3. The text is easy to read and clear. Most notable of everything is the way it is written in a very enjoyable tone because (somewhat like the book "the monk" by Lewis) it is written as being taken off from another dimension where this game would have been the very first RPG. Very funny and enjoyable. No, i'm wrong, there is something even more enjoyable: it's damn free like all other book of the collection.

Yes, free. And that rox!

THE SYSTEM: Apart the facts that stats are given other names (might, skills, wits, luck, will grace) it's a 2d6+6 roll with bonus according to how extreme you are on the 3-18 scale. You also have bonuses taken directly from stats bonuses themselves. There are experience points and levels that gives bonuses, classes that each have a little something special etc. So all in all it's very fairly classic and 100% easy to get. However there is no accurate skill system even if some basic situations (stealth for example) are given a 3 stats bonuses to compute to replace having a "real" skill.

COMBAT, MAGIC & ADVENTURES: Order is missile > movement > melee and all weapons (except a few classes bonuses) do 1d6. but there are many options offered. As compared to many "oldies" (as this game plans at being compared to) it is an efficient solid combat system. Magic is 1 spell for each of the 6 levels of experience per school of magic, the nice part being that spellcaster can cast all the spells of their schools right from the start. All in all, sorcerers are quite more powerful than what you can expect thme to be. There are sailing rules which are really needed in such a world as Mythic Hellas and several details given. The world itself is not described but it is not important in the slightest way as there are MANY books in the Publisher's shelves and they are all free.

Yes. All.

OVERWIEW: Frankly, this rules deserves to be more widely known because they are quite complete and do make sense. As a book, the whole tome is written in a very humourous style that is not that common nad that is very entertaining. I really love this blue text pages where the author takes a lot of fun in describing the controversies about his book. And it's delighfully funny to read. As a whole this game deserves its 5 stars wholeheartedly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mazes & Minotaurs Players Manual
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Star Trek Adventures Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2018 09:43:09

I really love the Star Trek universe because it's not a space opera with just battles and chases. It has quite an adult behavior and the hero has (according to me) always be the crew and the ship, not this or that character.

That said, I have three problems with this demo. Two are comsmetic ones:

first, what's all about these colors? Was that necessary to print all on black background? Is there a deal with ink sellers? Where are the coupons then? second, the colors themselves. Less fluo and more pastel would have been better for, well, everysingle color. It's not Star Trek it's Tokyo Nights on acid.

Third, the 2d20 system itself. And it is not cosmetic...

1 - In the end 2d20 is trying to mix the advantages of "multiple successes systems" where each die scores a success or not with the distinct advantages of "chances of success systems" where you have a basic chance to succeed or not. nice idea.

2 - You end up spending chips to add additionnal d20 with a maximum of 5d20 to roll (FIVE OL'TWENTIES MAN!!!). that's for the MSS.

3 - And that for each you have to check a success (found by adding two factors). that's for the CSS

4 - But now, you need to compute quality rating (0 to 2 per d20) keeping in mind that you need to check each versus 2 values: a calculated sum AND the focus).

5 - Then maybe you will have to spend a few more chips to better up your quality rating.

I'm sorry but after a few hours of gaming, if like me you like looooong games you realize that you've been taking a loooot of that time just multi-checking multi things all time.

In the end it's not that i do not like the game, it's just that I don't like the physical appearance of this booklet. However, I really think that the system is a wrong mix of 2 different ways to roleplay (MSS & CSS) that is intellectually fine but practically cumbersome and exhasuting. I'll watch over the scenarios but frankly I will keep up the fasa version for the system (and ease of reading....) or use other systems to roleplay them.

I would have loved to love this game wholeheartedly, but frankly, i do not.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Star Trek Adventures Quickstart
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Adventures in 54 cards - the instant tales RPG
Publisher: Le Trip Fantastique
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2018 07:55:23

A role playing system designed to make you start quickly.

By quickly, think about 5 minutes after having a scenario idea.

Also there is no computations: game is played with cards, their suits meaning characteristics (like heart is body, spade is mind, club is social etc).

CHARACTER GENERATION You draw cards for checks but you have a few ones you draw at game start that give your basic suits values (the more clubs you go the more social you are, the more diamonds the most dexterity and accuracy you have).

You can add a few suits levels by taking weaknesses.

The first trick is that you will keep these cards and use them like hero points. The second trick is that there is only the one you've chosen to put on your sheet that you will be able to use as such so you gotta chose carefully.

Lightning quick, and also tends to give a very balanced group because there are only 10 cards per suit to draw from and number drawn is limited.

SYSTEM Checks are made according to a simple code with a suit and a difficulty number.

  • Drawing the requested suit means critical success, the other suit of the same color is minor success, the 2 suits of the other color means failure.
  • If your suit level is superior to the difficulty you get one free card.
  • You can draw one more card to succeed at all or improve your result by sacrificing something (like takilng a lot of time to do the test, breaking a weapon etc)
  • You can draw a last third card if you are ready to concede a fumble if the wrong color is drawn

Very easy, not that realistic but greatly improves players to GM relationships as you need to describe what you do but also HOW you do it.

Also there is quite nothing to remember in fact.

PROBLEMS I've had minor issues like the character sheet that is not that much readable but maybe it's my pdf reader. (edit: this has been changed their new one is way better)

But I still I miss settings specifics (magic, psionics, etc). I would say yes to a full book version with themes specifics.

UPDATED OPINION Each 4 times i've played it now it works amazingly well all times (horror, sword-and-sandal without magic, medfan with ad&d rules, scifi with traveller's psis).

I also appreciate that they changed the character sheet when told the previous one was crap and added details lately on combat.

all in all, your scenarios starts quickly, the system works efficiently and all in all it's a very efficient little RPG system.

Will definitely keep on playing it.

It's something between my initiation system for newbies or my swiss-knife or first-aid kit forever.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in 54 cards - the instant tales RPG
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Creator Reply:
Hello Goran We were on the french version this last days and we probably haven't tested our pdf enough. You're true about the readability of the character sheet, really sorry for that. We gonna edit a new one and implement it asap. We'll describe the new file as having this new character sheet. Then, by the end of this week we are going to make a whole new version with 28 pages as the french version. Thanks for the info, and for the review.
NEW version is now online. Called ADVENTURES IN 54 1/2 CARDS Thanks a lot for the advice about the character sheet.
Stars Without Number: Original Free Edition
Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2018 15:58:51

Massive work with lots of nice details. It is really designed with a sandbox look at the game universe and it gives a lot of help to maintain the game world feeling right)

System is accessible and coherent. Stats on 3-18 and the usual bonused at both end of that scale.

Character creation is limited to basic classes with a very "old D&D" feeling in a science-fiction setting.

Book gives plenty of ways to add things to a campaign (factions etc), like Traveller and its offsprings but in an easier way.

If i have a complain it would be that' i'd like to have more objects, artefacts and psionics

However, I really llike it.

Best free SF DL I got ever.

Will play it soon.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stars Without Number: Original Free Edition
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Two Sided Roleplaying
Publisher: Le Trip Fantastique
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2018 10:52:54

Well, I can't believe that: a game that says it allows you to role play in two minutes and that just does that.

There is no character sheet but who cares after all in a one page rpg ruleset. System is funny (i like the roleplay with a 2 dided diMe thing) and not that unrealistic after all. At least it's damn quick.

Perfect to play rpg in a bus or with kids on holidays' car trip (btw is that the "trip" in the name of the company???)

Doubleplusgood as a game but only 4 stars because it is just a one-page game. However this is really a universal system, not a "one scene scenario mini rpg" one.

(sorry for posting two times the same post, this is my first day here;)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Two Sided Roleplaying
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Creator Reply:
Hello Goran, We are very happy that you enjoy the game enough to post a critic here. Very nice of you. We played this game on a wide numbers of locations but not yet on a car family trip, gonna try this out soon (8')- Thanks again for the review.
A Naturalist's Guide to Talislanta 1E
Publisher: Steve Sechi
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2018 10:46:48

Delighted to find this long time companion in a free pdf format.

Talislanta System has always been one of my favorites, D20 + modifiers versus a fixed laddr of results. Very basic by today's standards but quite ahead of time in its gone days where D20 systemdi not exist (sure there was such a time!)

The wonderful part is really the ecosystem of the world, very detailled and all. Creatures are original in a wicked way, entertaining and never have that "generic" kind you get in most other FRP.

The pdf is nice, exactly like my book on my sheves.

Doubleplusgood!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Naturalist's Guide to Talislanta 1E
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