Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Oracle of War- The Iron Titan

Product– EB-EP-01 The Iron Titan

System-DnD 5e

Producer– DMs Guild

Price– $4.99  here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/308553/EBEP01-The-Iron-Titan?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Something for us all!  95%

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Basics–  Multi table event?  With my home group?  OH YES!  I’ve been part of lots of multi table events, but never one at home with a solo group.  The Iron Titan picks up with the players dealing with the giant they adventured under in the first Oracle of War adventure causing havoc in town.  How well does a multi table event translate to home?

Mechanics or Crunch– This adventure is pretty much the same event in both the multi table event and the single table.  The multitable event has rules for multiple tables, and it’s well written.  There are small sections added to this adventure that help you run it as a single table event.  The players honestly don’t get a different experience in terms of single table crunch vs a multi table event.  That’s quite frankly awesome.  5/5

Theme or Fluff– The story of this one is simple.  Zombies come.  You kill zombies.  Then Big Moe attacks, and you run around Big Moe killing pieces of him till you win.  Here is where something strange happens.  This is a battle interactive, and I liked it when I ran it with several other tables.  But I think I like it MORE as a single table event.  My players felt like they were the stars.  They blew up both arms then went for the head.  In the multitable event, you turn off a hand, but then another group does that as well.  That’s kind of strange…  It’s a fun story where everyone gets to play, but this multitable event actually runs better in single player mode!  4.5/5

Execution–  PDF?  Yep!  Hyperlinked?  No, but it doesn’t really matter (I’d still like it though).  This is well done.  I think the hyperlinks are needed more here than ever as this gets long and finding the sections you need on the fly is pretty important.  Overall I like what I see.  It reads fast, is well set up, and let’s you go from downloading to playing in about 10 minutes.  And you can play well after 10 minutes!  Solid execution in this one but I miss my hyperlinks.   4.8/5

 

Summary– I like this adventure, but this goes beyond me liking the adventure.  We’re in the middle of the plague.  Some people can’t make it to a regional con.  Some people have limitations on where they can play.  Some groups can’t travel.  Now every group playing the Oracle of War campaign can play this.  Of all the things I like about this adventure, that’s the best part-accessibility.  More groups will have the shared experience of this adventure.  You will enjoy this kaiju killing adventure, but the fact that any group anywhere can play this makes this a homerun I hope I keep seeing more of.  95%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Refractions of Glasston

Product– Refractions of Glasston

System-Call of Cthulhu, 7th ed

Producer– Taylor University PWR Press

Price– free! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/297601/Refractions-of-Glasston?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– A grade 297601college work!  90%

 

 

Basics-All is not well in the midwest….In a small glass making town in Indiana, something ancient and evil is stirring.  Can our heroes learn the horrific secrets in time or will fail and end up consumed by the glass as well? Let’s break this down!

Mechanics or Crunch– This is mechanically well done for an intro adventure.  Honestly, the only major tool in the CoC toy box that isn’t on display is a chase scene.  There are fights, ancient, evil books, spells, investigation, and lots of social interaction.  If you play your cards right, don’t lose your head, and look everywhere (all the parts of a smart CoC investigator), you can put down something TRULY evil, and it will feel natural when you do it.  5/5

Theme or Fluff-Here things suffer a bit.  The story is decent once you are in.  However, it’s a big rough getting the different investigators together, into the town, and working together.  That’s a pretty rough start other than “YOU SEEM TRUSTWORTHY! LET’S INVESTIGATE HORRORS BEYOND HUMAN KEN TOGETHER!”  But once you are past that part of the story, it opens up well and you will have a blast. 4.5/5

Execution–  PDF?  Yep! Hyperlinked?  no…. For a first outing by this team, I like what’s here.  Need my links, but it’s not bad. There are rough spots like there is a character that they characters will need up with who plays a major role in advancing the story, but she’s not in the Dramatis personæ at the back of the adventure, so that’s a minor problem.  Aside from minor issues like that, the adventure is solid. The pregenerated characters have a mix of types that are fun, but their skills are thought out enough that they compliment the problems you see well. I would like for pulp options in the next adventure like how that is handled in the larger adventures Chaosium puts out, but again, that’s going beyond in development.  What’s here is relatively solid and reads well out of the box. 4/5

 

Summary-I majored in the hard sciences in college, so I never did anything as cool as write a CoC adventure for credit.  But, if this is the quality I can expect going forward, I think I really missed something awesome. This is a good intro adventure with a fun variety of toys to spring on and for the adventurers.  The story has a harder start, but once it’s going, it takes off. The execution is decent. It’s not perfect, but the issues are minor enough that the players won’t know if you think on your feet as a keeper.  Good layout and text make this easy enough to read. I did enjoy the line about completely reading the adventure before you start because that NEVER happens. Overall, this is a fantastic intro adventure I feel like I can spring on any group of new players and get an amazing CoC experience that will hook them for decades to come.  90%

Ring Side Report- Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box Set

Product– Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box Set

System-Shadowrun 6th Edition

Producer-Catalyst

Price– $30

TL; DR-Strong start to the six edition.  95%%

Basics-What’s old is new again!  Shadowrun celebrates its 30th anniversary with its 6th edition. Let’s dive deep into the new edition and see if its wizzer or hot drek.

base mechanics-attribute + skill, roll that many six sided dice, count 5s and 6s for good, over half 1s is bad.  Same dice pool mechanics you know and love and most likely won’t ever change under the current Shadowrun development team.

So What changed?

Edge– Edge is one of the two MASSIVE differences in 6th Ed.  In 5th Edition, you rerolled dice or rolled extra dice at the start of a pool.  Now, edge is more an ala cart menu where a character choices to reroll extra dice, add successes, or even change the critical glitch range of an opponent.  You can only choose one option each round, but now edge begins to flow a lot more. Gear, items, and even differences in ability between you and your opponent will earn you up to two edge an ACTION.  That means some people with impressive defences being fired at by multiple opponents will earn edge each attack, not each round! So edge is gonna flow quickly.

Combat-Combat keeps the spirit of the previous edition but massive changes to how actions work and the nature of killing each other.  For actions, there are two types of actions: minor and major. Minor are smaller actions like moving while major are your spellcasting and attacking.  This ties into initiative. Initiative is still reaction and initiative plus a d6. A character gets two minor action to start and one more minor action for each d6 beyond the first.  This ties into multiple attacks. Four minor actions can be converted to one major action meaning if you have 3d6 or more dice for initiative, you can make two attacks a round.

In addition, initiative isn’t rerolled nor do we ever remove counts as we go through a round of initiative.  Initiative is just rolled once, play moves from high to low, and goes back to the high. Just like most other RPGs.

Killing People– The bread and butter of Shadowrun is shooting people, and this is still strong in 6th Ed.  When you want to kill somebody, you now compare the attackers attack value (determined by the range of the weapon) vs. the defence value of the target’s armor.  If someone has an advantage of four or more in this comparison, that character earns one edge. In addition, both people may earn edge based on situational modifiers such as darkness and abilities.  The target of the attack rolls a number of d6s equal to the reaction and intuition while the attacker rolls a number of d6s equal to their agility and firearm skill with both sides counting fives and sixes as successes.  The side with more wins with ties now going to the attacker. If the attacker wins, the difference in hits is added to the attackers weapon damage. A massive change is now the defender only rolls a number of dice equal to its body attribute with the five and sixes reducing damage as in 5th edition.  Since the defender doesn’t have many dice to reduce the damage, weapon damage is also reduced as well.

Magic– Magic is also revamped.  When you cast a magic spell, you no longer choose a threshold as thresholds are no longer part of the game.  You roll a number of d6s equal to your magic and spellcasting attribute. Each spell has a number of success needed to cast the spell and expressly indicates how a target avoids the damage.  It’s clearly written and I not

Skills-Skills are massively reduced with multiple skills being rolled into one skill

Ok, now let’s look at my thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch-The crux of the game is the d6 rolling system, and that doesn’t change.  I love the reduced skills and faster flow of the game. The flow of edge is fun as it provides more player control over the game and less like subjective story candy.  The nature of magic and matrix actions also works well. The one thing I’m kind of iffy on is the nature of armor. Armor and weapons having a separate state is ok, but I don’t like that armor is divorced from reducing damage.  That feels off. But otherwise, the nature of quick play becomes central to the gunfight nature of the game. I’m optimistic about the nature of the full game’s mechanics. 4.75/5

Theme or Fluff-It’s Shadowrun.  You like corporate dystopia and Tolken fantasy, you’re going to like what 6th edition still is.  This is more awesome future fantasy in Shadowrun 6th edition. 5/5

Execution-The box set is well put together.  I like the layout of the books. The character sheets teach the game well to new players.  The biggest issue I have with the quick start rules is I would like a few more pages of explanation to some of the materials.  I discussed the materials with a few other Shadowrun GMs and those discussions really helped me solidify the rules. Most people will not have that luxury.  The full rules will clear up those issues, but for now, a few more pages would help tie the material together. In addition the art looks amazing, so that gets me ready for a whole new attitude to play.  If you want to see a full breakdown of the product check out my unboxing here:https://youtu.be/ruxgYe5usLw   4.5/5

Summary-I’m looking forward to this edition.  The changes look good and thought out, for the most part.  I think it’s gonna take me a few games to come around on the armor thing.  It’s not bad, but it is different. Good different? We’ll see. The rest looks like well done, modern game design streamlining the process and avoiding the random crap that really don’t make a game fun.  The physical product is amazing as well. Solid cardboard and writing help get me into this one. I just need more of it to really make my life as a gamer easier. That said, I’m in. I’m invested in the 6th edition of Shadowrun. 95%

Ring Side Report- Fine Country Folk adventure for Shadow of the Demon Lord

Product– Fine Country Folk

System– Shadow of the Demon Lord

ProducerSchwalb Entertainment

Price– $2.79 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/270395/Fine-Country-Folk?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR-Do you hear banjos?  95%

Basics– We don’t cotton to kindly to your kind ‘round here…  In Fine Country Folk, two factions of rednecks vie for dark powers.  Can you find the source of their vile power and end it or will you end up dinner for the inbred yokels or one of the made betters?

Mechanics or Crunch-Shadow of the Demon Lord is one of the slickest systems out there, and Fine Country Folk keeps up that fine tradition.  The adventure has some great mechanics for a hex crawl. Good, simple to draw map with a good random distribution of events, and well detailed locals with new monsters to fight.  The simple nature of the adventure makes its a fun, easy to run, four hour adventure. 5/5

Theme or Fluff-Fine Country Folk is a hex crawl through and through, and it has some of the problems of a hex crawl.  Overall, it’s an awesome adventure once it gets going, but like all hex crawls you can drop into the middle of an active campaign, the start is a bit rough.  The hook into the adventure is the weakest part. Once the players have a reason to kill he inbred hicks or redneck mechanical abominations in the woods, they will have a great time.  As a hex crawl, the DM has more work to do than in a set piece adventures to make sure a story flows and give the players a reason to stay. The adventure has prompts for DMs, but this is an important heads up that you should be aware of.  It’s a fun adventure that will require a bit more muscle to get the story to crack over in the beginning but it hums along after the start. 4.25/5

Execution-Fine Country Folk is one of Schwalb’s longest adventure with lots of details and new monsters.  This adventure is twice as long as his other individual adventures and FOUR times as long as some of the adventures from the first campaign.  It has great art, nicely done tables, and is a breeze to read. Heck, it even references WITH PAGES things that DMs might need to review when they run this adventure.  This is what I want a Shadow of the Demon Lord adventures to look like. 5/5

Summary-Fine Country Folk is standard Schwalb, and Schwalb is an acquired taste.  I love sushi, but if you can’t stand fish or raw food, go away. Even Michelin star sushi is still sushi.  This is some of Schwalb’s best writing, but it is still Schwalb’s writing. If rape, murder, violence, cthulhu-satan, or a whole host of other mean nasty things, you will be turned away by this one.  I love sushi and the horrible, monstrous things Schwalb has to say, so this is a great work of dark vile fantasy to drop your players into. That said, it’s not perfect. Your adventure will need to shift into this one and hooking your players into this can be a bit tricky and I would like more explicit ways to get them involved more readily.  That said, once you are past that, you will enjoy this fine food and the fine country folk who will try to eat you, skin you alive, or horrible experiment on you. Just pray your PC doesn’t have a pretty mouth. 95 %

 

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes

Product– Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes

System-DnD 5e

Producer– Wizards of the Coast

Price– $33 here https://www.amazon.com/MORDENKAINENS-FOES-Accessory-Wizards-Team/dp/0786966246/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531451731&sr=8-1&keywords=mordenkainen%27s+tome+of+foes

TL; DR-It’s not plagiarism if it’s from you!  83%%

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Basics-It’s not Monster Manual II, IT’S MONSTER MANUAL II!  Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes builds out the world of Dungeons and Dragons, focusing less on any one particular world and more on the higher and lower planes.  It provides players with some new options, race options, and even story to build out the characters they want to be. DMs get new monsters, focusing on higher power, extra planar monsters as well as building the universe around the normal material plane players are used to.

Theme or Fluff-This book is by the same people who made the planes in the first place, so its top notch.  The story is amazing, not just for a monster manual, but for any book honestly. You get a ton of options to really make well rounded characters from backstory to new hooks to get the characters really involved in the world.  There are multiple versions of tieflings depending on your devil parents. Those little touches really draw you in. DMs get monsters that have story as well as world-building that will really make higher level play much more interesting.  This is a great resource for any DnD 5e player that wants some planar spice in their game or character. .5/5

Mechanics or Crunch-Again, this book was written by the people who made the system, so they know their math.  The monsters feel right. There are new monsters as well as old favorites. Get ready for heavy hitters though.  This book has low level monsters, but it brings a ton of big boys to the fray. If you need high level monsters, then this is the book for you.  5/5

Execution– Is there a PDF since this book came out in 2018?  Nope, well we’re down to at most ⅘. Then, this is where I get personally angry.  This book copy/pastes the high level monsters from Out of the Abyss. I’m not just talking monsters, but art and even whole written backgrounds for monsters.  We’re talking about ⅕ of the monsters from the book, and almost all the high level monsters. And that is where I draw the line. Need big monsters to make the fight happen?  Great! Use some but not all. The highest level monsters are all the demon princes/princesses of the abyss. NO DEVIL LORDS ARE IN THIS BOOK. That means the DnD team decided to phone in ⅕ of this book by just copying another book they put out a few years ago.  So even though the book’s layout is good, art is good, and event tables of contents and appendices are great, you get a crap rating because you want me to pay full price for phoning in effort. 2.5/5

Summary– I want to like this book.  It’s got a ton of great qualities.  Players and DMs both get excellent resources to use to build up their stories with new characters options and monsters.  And honestly, the book is put together well. I like what they did here with all the different end tables and even the layout of the monsters.  However, this book breaks two important rules for me. First, I can’t get a digital version without have to buy it separately through an app. I already have a number of apps, and when that company folds, I will lose my purchase.  So the lack of PDFs really hurts this book. Second, large parts of this book are just copies of an earlier book. So, why should I reward any company for just selling the same thing to me twice? This is a great book, IF you can get past the fact that if you already own Out of the Abyss, you are buying the monsters again.  If that doesn’t bother you, or you don’t own that book, then this is going to be a great book for your DnD collection, both as a player and as a DM. 83%

 

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Finders Keepers

Product– Finders Keepers

System-Dungeons and Dragons 5th Ed.

Producer– Janek Sielicki

Price– $3.95 here http://www.dmsguild.com/product/215482/Finders-Keepers  

TL; DR-The Great and the Mixed of the DMs Guild 93%

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Basics-Need a 20th level adventure in a hurry?  Here you go!  Finders Keepers is a 20th level adventure set in the Forgotten Realms, but easily ported to any place.  Players start in town, but soon enough a rampaging dragon attacks the land.  Players then have to save the town, and perusing the dragons leads down a rabbit hole of dead gods, hidden powers, and words that can literally destroy the world!

 

Mechanics or Crunch-This book is fine, completely fine, but that’s the one problem with the book the author can’t fix.  The monsters are all directly from the Monster Manual, the items from the DMG, and traps come from there as well.  That all works well, but if things are just exactly what you’ve seen before, it’s a tad bland.  But, the way the DMs Guild and the AL runs, writers can’t change that fact.  That little bit hurts the book a bit, but honestly as constrained by the rules as this book is, the mechanics work.  What’s here is good and runs well, but I would like the author to do a bit more, even though I know he can’t.  4.25/5

 

Theme or Fluff– This is an awesome story!  We get dead gods, demons, devils, entering alternative worlds, and a goal off saving everything.  The author can’t write new mechanics, but he CAN write a crazy new story!  I love what’s here!  It might not be completely the most original as I’ve seen tiny bits of other things, but I’m happy to see all the pieces come back together in a great new way.  4.75/5

Execution–  Hay, this book made me change my opinion of how books are put together.  This is one guy at a computer putting out fantastic materials.  There is art to break up text, there is the standard template to break up text, and there is formatting that works welo.  What I have here that puts it over the top is hyperlinking to pages, maps that the GM can copy/past into any software, and a new art that is made just for this material and handouts.  This caught me off guard.  WHY ARE OTHER BOOKS NOT DOING THIS?  This is a less than 100 page adventure, and honestly, it doesn’t need hyperlinking, but the addition makes my life a little bit easier.  Also, not many groups make it to 20, so this book comes with pre-generated characters with and without items to make the plug and play that much easier for any group.  More books need to do that, and adding this and other little parts makes me honestly love what’s here.  5/5

Summary– This is a fantastic adventure constrained slightly by the DMs Guild.  The book itself is put together amazingly well!  As I read more and more books on my tablets and phones, simple things like hyperlinking make my life that much more simple!  The store is great.  It’s got a few elements that you may have seen before but it’s not a ripoff of any story, and it’s told well.  The mechanics are the low point, but that’s a bit harsh.  It’s far from bad in any way, but it’s limiting for the author as you can’t build new material as often.  Overall, I found this to be a solid adventure that you can plug and play into any FR game with ease that is well put together. 93%

Ring Side Report-Freeway Fighter #1

Book-Freeway Fighter #1

Author and Illustrators– Ewington, Coleby, O’Grady, Campbell

Book- ~$3.99 here https://www.amazon.com/Freeway-Fighter-1-Andi-Ewington-ebook/dp/B06WWGCJGV

TL; DR-I wanna play the old games now!  91%

FREEWAY-FIGHTER-ISSUE-1_COVER_A (1)

Basics-The world has ended and those left fight to survive.  That’s a standard intro to everybody’s favorite post-apocalyptic freeway franchise, but this one is based on the Fighting Fantasy game called Freeway Fighter!  In this comic we meet Rose, a former not-NASCAR driver who survived a massive plague and now fights in a world where only the fast survive.

Characters-You can’t really say characters for this one as you really only get to meet Rose, the main character of this series so far.  She’s described more in actions than in words as she speaks in a few monologues to the audience but mostly is alone in the issue.  She spends lots of time behind the wheel, and does a bit of outside the car actions.  I’m intrigued by her, and do want to know more about her.  So good job here.  4.5/5

Setting-I’d say this is a ripoff of Mad Max, but both Mad Max and Fighting Fantasy date back a long time.  This is a good reimagining of the Freeway Fighter books from FF.  The world looks and feels dirty and harsh.  What’s here shows a good contrast between the world of today and the world of Freeway Fighter.  5/5

Story-This isn’t a story heavy book, but that doesn’t make it bad.  When I first read the book, I felt the writers tipped their hands too quickly by telling the reader how the world went to hell, but then I realized, this is not that kind of book.  This is straight up action.  And it’s good at that.  The book’s main goal is get the word out about the world and introduce Rose.  It does that well.  I know a bit about who she is, and what is going on.  The book sets the stage for a race that happened long ago, and now I want to know what happens in that race and what’s going to happen to Rose.  Well done!  4.75/5

Execution-Oh comics…I love comic books.  This one is well written, and the art is great.  What does hurt this a bit is the price.  It’s $3.99, and the book isn’t an extended issue.  I love what’s here, but it feels a bit too much for it’s current price.  4/5

Summary-I grew up in a pretty rural area in Wisconsin, so geek culture didn’t really make its way out to my home town.  This books makes me want to find and play the old Fighting Fantasy Freeway Fighter books.  The comic looks awesome, is well written, and makes me want to know what happens to Rose in issue 2.  All those are great things, but the major problem I have is price.  $3.99 is a bit much for this book.  That hurts a bit.  But, get this one through your pull program, so you get a bit of a price break and it’s well worth you time.  91%.

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

 

ProductCall of Cthulhu 7th Edition

System-Call of Cthulhu

Producer-Chaosium

Price– $30.00 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150997/Call-of-Cthulhu-7th-Edition–Keepers-Rulebook?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR-Great RPG with an ok execution.  85%

150997.jpg

Basics– ia ia cthulhu fhtagn! Call of Cthulhu is back with the newest edition of the classic horror RPG.  It’s got a new update, a new hardcover, and a new look.  Let’s see How it stacks up to the current stack of other RPGS!

Mechanics or Crunch-Let’s break this one down into a few different areas.

 

Base Mechanics- This is a classic percentile dice based game.  Much like any other RPG, when you are told you need to roll the dice, you roll percentile dice (d100).  The goal is to roll under your skill or ability.  An example would be trying to read an ancient Egyptian manuscript.  You would see if you have the skill Language(Ancient Egyptian).  If you do, you can roll your d100.  If you roll under, you roll succeed.  It’s quick and simple.

 

Additions that are new to the system (or at least to me)-CoC 7th edition my first edition of Call of Cthulhu .  What this system does instead of modifying your percentage in a skill or ability like other systems is the use of ½ and ⅕ skills.  If the test is difficult, you may be asked to roll under ½ your skill.  If the task is amazingly difficult, then you have to roll under ⅕.  Again, it’s a quick and easy way of executing difficulty .

 

Pushing–  Let’s say you fail, but you want to try again.  You want to steal a wallet.  You fail once, but you think you could do it again.  This is called a push.  When you push, you get to reroll a skill.  Failing to steal the wallet is bad as you might get caught.  BUT, if you push, you might get the wallet and not get caught.  HOWEVER, if you push and fail, then it get really bad.  Maybe instead of pushing you off as a harmless carpetbagger, the target of the theft calls the cops and starts swinging immediately instead of just yelling loudly.  It’s a great addition to the risk and reward of Call of Cthulhu.  Also note-you may never push in combat.  Speaking of which….

 

Combat-Combat is quick. There is no initiative.  You have an statistic called dexterity (dex).  Combat resolves from high to low dex.  Each turn you can move a bit and then do one action.  Just like the base mechanic it’s roll under.  If I want to attack, I roll under an attack skill, and the target tries to roll under a dodge or counter attack skill.  If we both succeed , then we look if both are under ½.  If that happens, we check to see if we’re under ⅕.  If that happens, the defender wins.  Each character only has a few hit points and damage adds up quickly, so combat is deadly fast!  I love quick and efficient systems.

 

Bonus and Penalty Dice- Many other percentile based systems have modifiers you add or subtract from a skill.  Call of Cthulhu 7ed doesn’t do this, but It uses something similar to DnD 5th edition advantage system with bonus and penalty dice.  When a situation is particularly good like doing research on ancient Egyptian mythology in at the University of Cairo’s Egyptology department library, you would get an extra d10 die.  You roll this die along with your other percentile die and use the lower of the 10 position dice.  Penalty dice work exactly the opposite.  Say you are trying to decipher a deep one script while riding across the countryside in the dark avoiding horrors from beyond time and space, you get an extra d10 die.  Now, you get the higher of the two dice as you have a harder time doing the skill.  Of all the things I’ve seen develop in the RPG world lately, this is one of my favorites.

 

Money-Here is a weird one.  Characters don’t have cash, per se, they have a credit rating.  This is a rough estimate of how much they can spend at any given time.  You walk into a shop and want to buy something and it’s under your credit rating expenses in a  day, you just get it.  If it’s massively above your credit rating, then you might lose some credit rating at the end of the adventure!

 

Advancement-Every session, a character marks all the skills they use and succeed at.  At the end of every session, the character makes  single attempt to roll over their current skill in that task.  If they do, then they gain 1d10 extra points in that skill.  In addition, characters can also attend school and do a test over their skills and advance much the same as above.

 

Sanity-It wouldn’t be Lovecraft without someone going mad!  When you see something scary or learn a spell, you make a sanity roll.  Sanity is like any other skill that you roll under.  If you roll under, you lose less sanity.  If you roll above, you lose more.  Both events make it harder to deal with in the future!  Lose all your sanity and you go insane!

 

Magic-Magic exists, but it comes with a cost.  Spells use skills like any other action, and each spell uses magic points.  When you run out of magic points, you start to lose hit points.  To cast a roll, a character has to succeed at a ⅕ power roll.  From then on, the character doesn’t have to make a check to cast the spell.  Again, it’s a sleek and easy system.

 

Summary-  Overall, I like what I see here.  It’s sleek, easy to run, and more important, easy to play.  Players are not buried under a mountain of information at the start of the game.  You want to do X.  If X could fail, then you roll.  If you do fail maybe you can push and succeed or things get really hairy.  Call of Cthulhu has an advantage-like system that makes life easy instead of having to fiddle with different modifiers.  Money is easy to handle, and advancement is a snap.  I like what I see here.  My only issue is diversity and options.  You really only advance in things you succeed at.  If I want to learn to speak Aramaic, I have to know it at the start of the campaign.  I don’t freely learn that unless I train which might not happen.  My second problem is character options.  Sure there are lots of cool options, but beyond character generation, character are more flung into situation and can’t really build in a direction.  It feels a bit swingy to me, but that also enhances the helpless feeling from Lovecraft.  These are minor complaints, but overall, it’s a good system.  4.5/5

 

Theme or Fluff-The theme of this game is on point.  This is the 7th edition of the game, so they know how to make a good story with Lovecraftian themes.  In general, you CAN’T hack and shoot your way out of a confrontation with the horrors beyond time.  The book has lots of help to get new investigators into the game quickly and efficiently.  There are even two fully fleshed out adventures that the keeper(GM for this game) can throw at the players to get them playing the day you get the book.  4.75/5

Execution-This is the one area where I have some significant problems.  Things are written relatively well, and the art is good.  But, the layout of the book is a problem.  The PDF is hyperlinked, but finding what you need is still a pain.  The book has over over 300 pages, and I still have problems every time trying to find the credit rating table to figure out how much my players can spend at any given time.  That is a significant problem!  3.5/5

Summary-This is a great system that the layout of the book hurts a bit.  I love the way the system works in general, but wish that it had just a bit more options for the players during the game.  The  theme is on point, and I love what here.  My major problem is the book’s design.  I can’t find what I need when I need it.  I will admit, that might be a problem from me not having much experience, but if a new keeper is having problems, then that’s bad no matter what.  However, if you can push through some problems with using the book, you can easily fall in love with this horror RPG.   85%