Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Savage Characters Volume One

Product– Savage Characters Volume One

System– Savage Worlds

Producer– Dragonlaird Gaming

Price– $5 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/137955/Savage-Characters-Volume-1?manufacturers_id=6270

TL; DR-An excellent book full of useful Savage Worlds characters.  95 %

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Basics– Need some characters quick for your Savage Worlds game? Dragonlaird Gaming provides several characters for fantasy, horror, western, and sci-fi settings for the Dragonlaird Gaming Savage Worlds settings.  Each character get’s a full write up including a picture, a background, a character sheet, a novice character sheet, some character hooks for different character levels, and an advancement plan for the character.  Some characters also get extra setting rules.

Mechanics or Crunch– The best comparison I have for this book is the NPC codex for Pathfinder, and honestly this is much better.  Instead of providing several different characters at each level, this book provides less NPCs and gives you an easy way to drop each NPC into your game at any level.  That makes this an easy to use resource for you game.  Awesome. Even better, this book adds a few new traits for your characters to use.  I didn’t expect to find new character options in this book, so that’s a present surprise!  One bad thing about this book is, if you don’t know all the Savage World rules, then the character write ups will not be as helpful.  Every character has a great write up with all their traits, but if you don’t know those traits off the top of your head, you’re going to be spending some time going back and forth between this book and your other Savage World books. 4.8/5

Theme or Fluff-Each character gets a full right up with a background, description, pictures, and character hooks.  I’ve got a picture to show the players, and I can jump into that character on the fly as a GM based on the character hooks and story provided.  These are well done complete characters that can help me carry the stories in my games.  5/5

 

Execution– Overall, this is a well done book.  I have a few minor problems with the execution of the PDF.  I would like the book to be hyperlinked.  Also, the art is good, but some are not as great as others.  One more issue I have is I’d like a bit more discretion of the different worlds presented in the book.  The character presented work well in any setting, but a bit more description of the worlds would possibly entice me to pay in those places a bit more.  However, overall the book loads quick, looks great, and reads easily. 4.5/5

Summary– Need some well done characters quickly for your game?  This is the resource you should consider getting.   It reads quickly, is well designed, and has some great characters for your games.  I do have a few minor qualms, but these problems don’t hurt the overall presentation of the book.  If you want to find out how to write a well done NPC book, this is the book to mimic.  95%

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Machi Koro Harbor Expansion

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Product– Machi Koro Harbor Expansion

Producer-IDW Games

Price– $20 here http://www.amazon.com/IDW-Games-AUG142812-Machi-Koro/dp/1631401688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429068035&sr=8-1&keywords=machi+koro+harbor   OR WIN IT HERE! https://throatpunchgames.com/2015/04/10/machi-koro-give-away/

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes (2-5 players)

Type-Euro

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TL; DR– This is how you improve an original with an expansion. 94%

Basics-TO THE SEA!  The Harbor expansion of Machi Koro adds several new things to the base game.  I’ve previously reviewed the base game here (https://throatpunchgames.com/2015/01/29/ring-side-report-board-game-review-machi-koro/ ).  First and foremost, the harbor expansion now adds a fifth player.  Next, the game completely changes the card availability mechanics.  In the base game, you roll a six-sided die, cards you or other players owned would trigger, and finally you could purchase any available building card or major landmark for your town, with the winner being the person who built all four major buildings.  This addition now mixes all the building cards together in a pile.  Cards are drawn and each different building is placed in a separate pile until 10 different piles are generated instead of having all the buildings face up and available at the start of the game.  Otherwise the game plays the same as before with the first person to build all their landmarks being the winner!

Mechanics– This expansion adds a new player and new cards.  That doesn’t sound like much, but adding the ability to play five people really makes this game that much more fun.  I can get this to the table that much more often.  Honestly, that’s awesome.  Next, the change in card availability is small thing with a huge impact!  Not being able to buy the same thing all the time massively changes the types of decisions made keeping you on your toes creating an atmosphere of positive stress.  This game moved from a simple game to an exercise in smart choices with limited resources.  Honestly, I WON’T play the basic rules again as this rockets the game from a simple Catan-ish game to its own stand alone masterpiece.  It’s still a game where randomness can really destroy a player’s chance.  That said, this game is even more fun now with the small changes added in the expansion.  4.25/5

Theme– The base game isn’t a theme powerhouse, but this game does build nicely on what was there.  This game is called the Harbor expansion, and one of the new landmarks is, obviously, the harbor.  What really improves the theme of this game is now some cards need other landmarks to function.  You CAN’T fish with a tuna boat if you don’t have a harbor to fish from!  It’s a simple addition, but now the cards make a bit more sense.  Also, the random nature of what pops up does make this game feel a bit more like developing a town as different towns try to attract new businesses.  It’s not perfect, but it’s much better!  4.5/5

Instructions– The rules are short, concise, and easy to read.  If you can manage the base game’s pages, then this games short addition is no problem.  It even clarifies some points from the original game that were somewhat fuzzy.  Well done! 5/5

Execution– It’s time for another video!  Watch my unboxing here: http://youtu.be/Dm8ZLiifjlA This expansion is more cards, some being new buildings, more landmarks, and an extra set of landmarks to add a fifth player.  The art is still the Machi Koro style you know and love.  Even, the box is well put together.  This is basically more of what I loved from the original Machi Koro game. 5/5

Summary– Machi Koro is a quick, fun game to begin with.  It might not be the eight hour Eurogame experience some players want, but thirty minutes for a four player game is pretty solid.  The Harbor expansion honestly ups the game to a new level.  It’s simple a better game by just changing the way buildings are reveled as well as the new thematic buildings.  Also, for less than $20, it’s a no brainer.  This is a great game with great additions that also allows for more players! 94%

We have some good news!  IDW Games has given me a copy of the base game to give away!  Want to win the game that started this all?  Click here and follow the instructions- https://throatpunchgames.com/2015/04/10/machi-koro-give-away/

Daily Punch 4-6-15 Empowered Healing feat for Pathfinder

Let’s make something for Pathfinder!  How about the ability to super charge some healing?

Empowered Healing

You can increase the power of your spells, but only for healing.

Prerequisite: Empower Spell feat

Benefit: When you prepare spells for the day, you may choose a number of spells equal to your spell casting ability modifier that are of the conjuration(healing) school.  All variable, numeric effects of an empowered healing spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables.

Level Increase: +1 (an empowered healing spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level.)

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 4-3-15 Two-Two Fast program for Shadowrun 5e

Can’t be in the right place at the right time?  Too many drones to run in all at once?  Let’s fix that up!

Two-Two Fast

This program splits your consciousness into two and must be run on a RCC.  When you run this program, you effectively pilot two drones at once.  If an action causes you to roll dice, you must split your total dice pool between the two drones as equally as possible, including all dice bonuses and penalties for being in the matrix.  However, this program is mildly addictive and exposure necessitates the same addiction test as BTL chips for your character.

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 4-2-15 Jet Ax for Shadowrun 5e

I recently rewatched the the Super Mario Bros. movie.  While it might be somewhat painful, it also wasn’t as bad as I expected!  I did get one idea from that movie as I watched.  Let’s make a combat ax a slightly better choice!

Acc Reach Damage AP AVAIL Cost
Jet Ax 5 or 4 2 (Str+7) P or (Str x 2 +7) P -3 or -6 12F 10,000Y
AVAIL Cost
Gas Canister 10R 50Y

Jet Ax:Where would your Neo Viking be without an ax that that has it’s own cyber-linked gasjet?  This ax can be used as a regular ax that with an accuracy of 5, AP -3, while doing (STR+7)P damage.  However, as a complex action using a wireless smartlink, a canister of CO2 can be fired shooting the ax ahead at an impressive speed using the better stats of the weapon.  Each canister has five charges before it must be replaced as a complex action.

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Princes of the Apocalypse

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Product– Princes of the Apocalypse

System– DnD 5th Edition

Producer– Wizards of the Coast

Price– $50 here http://www.amazon.com/Dungeons-Dragons-Elemental-Apocalypse-Adventure/dp/B00U6ALTOA/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1428288898&sr=1-1&keywords=princes+of+the+apocalypse

TL; DR– Good, but I left feeling hungry!  85%

Basics– The elements are back!  Around the town of Red Larch, monsters and evil are stirring.  Horrible elemental forces are advancing on civilization, and the heroes are the only ones who stand in their way.  Can you stop the elemental cults before they summon the elemental evil?

Mechanics or Crunch-This book adds a fair bit to the DnD 5e setting, but what’s here is less than I expected.  Overall it’s all well done, but I just want more.  The player’s companion online add-on was well done, but that had more options than this book.  The monsters and the story all have well done mechanics, but again, I wanted more.  I wanted new third level paths for a few classes.  I felt at least the cleric should have gotten four new domains and given the GM new tools to add evil elemental mad priests to the world, but that wasn’t added.  Clerics don’t even get new spells in this book!  What is here is great, but the book feels a bit like leaving hungry after a meal.  4/5

Theme or Fluff- I love the Forgotten Realms, so it’s good to see any more information about that world!  The story itself is well done, and provides the players with some great side trips for different adventures across the valley where the story takes place.  Even more interesting, some of the previous settings like Dark Sun get some support by providing the GM with Dark Sun information if you wanted to run this adventure there.  As a story, this adventure really hits its stride.  5/5

 

Execution– I don’t really like how WotC is setting up their adventures lately.  I feel the descriptions of the rooms bury the lead when it comes to monsters and other descriptions of locations.  Also, this book has a lot of information, but it’s somewhat arranged in a difficult to follow layout.  The campaign starts at 1st level, but that section before the real adventure is after the start of the campaign, so as a GM of a low level party, I have to flip all over the book.  It’s annoying.  Also, some of the maps are in different orientations, so unless you notice the compass rose, you’re going to spend a few minutes confused to why things to the north suddenly moved to the south!  It’s nothing game shattering, but some of the layout and arrangement choices for the book make this not as enjoyable as it could have been.  3.75/5

Summary– Let me start by saying, I’m just happy to see more D&D products out there!  This book is a great continuation of the Forgotten Realms story calling back to some of the most iconic D&D adventures ever written.  I also enjoy that other settings are supported by this book, as some of those settings haven’t gotten as much love lately as I’d like.  However, this book didn’t deliver as much I hoped.  The play section contents less information than the free online player PDF.  Also, I would have really liked a few new class additions to really drive home the elemental nature of this story.    Furthermore, the execution of this book, while not bad, makes this adventure somewhat hard to read and run.  This isn’t a horrible book by any means, but this isn’t as great as the core three books.  If you want a great adventure, this is worth it.  But if you want some good additions to DnD 5e as a whole, you will be somewhat disappointed.  85%

Daily Punch 4-1-15 Face Strike for DnD 5e

I know you can grant advantage to a friend as an action, but what if you could do it as part of a strike?

Face Strike

You go for the face to not only cause pain, but to distract your foes for your friends.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your dexterity or strength by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • When you make an attack with a weapon, you can take a -5 to the attack roll.  If you do and the attack hits, you damage the creature as normal, but the next ally to attack the target has advantage.

Thoughts?