Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Lost Omens: Legends

Product– Pathfinder Lost Omens: Legends

System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed

Producer– Paizo

Price– $18.37 here https://paizo.com/products/btq023gd?Pathfinder-Lost-Omens-Legends 

TL; DR– Almost the best text book it could be.  86%

Basics–  Welcome to the Age of Lost Omens and Golarion!  Pathfinder Lost Omens: Legends is the current standing of the world of Golarion and its people.  It updates the setting from Pathfinder 1st ed. to Pathfinder 2nd ed., gives a good overview of the major areas of the Inner Sea, and provides some player options to help players get some mechanical links to the areas of their game.  Let’s look at the pieces of this book.

Mechanics or Crunch-This book has some solid mechanics, but I’d still like a bit more.  What is really surprising is this book has archetypes for each region’s specific known combat enthusiast.  Think of having a Special Forces archetype if you were to do a write up on the US.  That is surprising and enjoyable.  Also there are backgrounds for each area.  Both of those are VERY welcome in the equivalent of a fantasy high school geography book that only the GM might spend a lot of time reading through.  I would like a bit more though.  Give me some ancestry feats that all the people from an area might get.  It doesn’t matter if you are an orc, dwarf, or human, if you come from the cold place of ice and snow, odds are you picked up some cold tolerance! Even some more general feats would be good additions to this book.  What is here is some solid mechanics that you don’t often see in these books, but I would just like a bit more to really drive home that players need this book.  4.5/5

Theme or Fluff–  This is another solid area of  this book, but the book needs a bit more to fully round it out.  This book is both too short and too long.  If you read this from cover to cover you will not enjoy it as much as if you just wanted to read about one area quickly.  You wouldn’t read all of wikipedia in one day, but you would drop in to read quickly on an area if you are studying as an example.  This honestly is a fantasy high school geography book as you will get 10-20 pages on an area.  That is a good introduction, but the book needs a bit more like who are the gods and more world building.  Those things are mentioned, but I feel I need more on them.  As a Pathfinder 1st ed. player, I know a lot of that world stuff, but for a new player, they will have to do outside research on who some of the key players are.  I learned a few things that maybe I missed before, and I can see where Paizo is setting up the next 10 years worth of adventure paths in the mix, but I felt like I needed a bit more content to better understand the world if I was an outsider.   4.5/5

Execution– PDF? Yes.  Hyperlinked?  NO! If you buy a college textbook today or even a highschool text on an ipad, it is hyperlinked.  This is getting crazy as this is an over 100 page civics book and I have to scroll around and find random bits I want to read more on.  What is here is good.  If you read in chunks, it reads well enough and is enjoyable.  If you marathon the book in one sitting, then it’s not as much fun as it does feel too long and too short.  Long for its got LOTS of information, but short because I feel like I need some explanation on a few of the players.  The art is good and you get a few headshots of major movers and shakers in the world ,so you can drop them in your game.  The layout is nice in general with enough breaks to make the reader not go crazy staring in a textbook.  I just need a few more additions to really make this an amazing book  4/5

Summary– I have compared this book to a textbook often, and it is a well done textbook.  If you needed to learn what most people in an area would know about the region, this would be a great resource to give the players.  Also, if you like me haven’t read every splatbook or adventure path put out by Paizo in the last 10 years, then this is a good way to get deep into the world quickly.  Now, there is room for improvement.  I need a bit more on the world.  Gods play an incredible role in the setting, and I feel like they don’t get enough exploration in this book.  I also love what’s here mechanically, but I want more.  So, all players, not just who decide to make a hellknight, can lay claim to a heritage from Cheliax.  Also, PAIZO LEARN TO HYPERLINK!  Let me click around your book with ease please.  Most textbooks do it now, and your world textbook needs to as well!  This is a good world book with a few key flaws that keep it from being great.   86%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Broken Compass- Adventure Journal

Product– Broken Compass-Adventure Journal

System- Broken Compass

Producer– Two Little Mice

Price– $24 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/336888/Broken-Compass–Adventure-Journal?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Good light pulp adventure game with a few flaws.  87%

Basics–  Onwards to adventure!  Broken Compass is a classic pulp RPG where the characters play adventurers like Indiana Jones as they run across the world solving ancient puzzles and surviving gun battles with groups of minions among the skeletons of those that have come before.  This is much more of a rules light, roleplay heavy game.  Let’s see the pieces themselves.

Character Build- Character generation and build is incredibly easy.  Each character has a bunch of skills that you can think of as attributes in DnD and fields you can think of like skills in DnD.  Each skill has multiple fields that are linked to it.  All players start with 2 ranks in each skill and one in each focus.  You get the skill and foci for your character via choosing two tags the describe your character in two words.  You also choose expertise that further describes what things your characters are good at.   You then get a bit of gear and you’re done.  It’s VERY quick.

Base Mechanics-Fitting quick character building, the mechanics are also very quick.  When you face a problem in this game, you choose a skill and a field within that skill.  The GM called the fortune master may give you additional dice called advantages or make you lose dice called disadvantages.  In addition, you may get additional dice or penalties depending on your condition aka how you feel.  You roll a number of six sided dice equal to this total.  The goal is to get sets of dice with the same value like three of a kind.  For basic challenges, you need two of a kind.  For challenging encounters you need three of a kind and so on.  Some conditions and events require you to get multiple sets to succeed like shooting a gun as a challenging encounter while driving a car in a storm as a basic encounter.  If you fail but have one set but not enough of that set, you can risk the result and reroll any dice you want to hopefully get the successes you need.  In addition, if you have expertise from your character background in what you are doing, you get a reroll for free on that activity.

Challenge vs danger–  There are differences between reading an ancient scroll and shooting a nazi.  This is reflected by challenges and danger.  Challenges are fail forward encounters where a player attempts something that might fail, but if they fail the story continues.  This may alert the enemy or cause you to miss a vital clue yet find the hidden temple just not notice the trap at the entrance.  Dangers are fights or traps that might hurt a player.  If you fail a check, you take damage in the form of luck.  Basic challenges cause you to lose one luck while more advanced things cause you to lose much more luck.  When you are out of luck (the book is VERY pulp heavy!), you have to spend a luck coin to stay in the fight.  Between fights, you can rest up and get back your luck. 

Let’s dig deep into my thoughts on this game!

Mechanics or Crunch-This is a fast game that is not for crunch heavy gamers.  The game is very light and lets the players just free form ideas as long as the GM goes with it.  It’s also reminiscent of Numenera as the GM doesn’t really roll dice.  Players roll dice and success or failure determines what happens, not GM rolls or attacks.  When a player is attacked, the player tells the fortune keeper how they avoid the attack.  It’s very fast.  The one problem I have is I would like a bit more complexity.  It’s solid enough, and I like rolling d6s and hoping for sets.  But, I like a bit more crunch for the system.  Feats or special abilities would help a bit here.  Also leveling up doesn’t really get you much.  That’s good as the players can hop in to basically any adventure, but it also means long term play doesn’t net the characters many gains.  The system I compare this the most to is Numenera, and in that system when you level up, you get a bit more.  Also in Numenera, there is just a bit more crunch for players to dig into.  Broken Compass is fun and light, but I want a bit more crunch in this system.   4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-Hands down this is an amazing, fluff filled game.  Every character is set up to look like a pulp stereotype, both modern and old school.  The adventures are written to be replaceable and generic but relatable in that classic way as things like OLD MAN, ANCIENT TEMPLE, RIVAL are used to be plug and play with different characters but the fortune master is given tons of different materials to help make the story.  Is the OLD MAN a survivor of the great war who saw the temple in the Jungles while on patrol or is the RIVAL a silicon valley billionaire out for world conquest with the Eye of Ra?  Its light in a good way so you can put this into any time or place with that good pulp feel.  Stories flow from Amazon adventures to exploration under the Egyption pyramids.  Every page has lots of fluff and art that makes a player or a fortune master feel like they are part of a classic pulp book in the discount bin of a grocery store.  If you want to feel like your Indiana Jones or at least someone reading an Indiana Jones story, this is a solid book to read through.   5/5

Execution– PDF? Yes.  Hyperlinked?  Yes!  I like this book, but don’t love it.  The book reads well, is well laid out, and has great art.  There are even pregens and a quick adventure where the players and the fortune master can get playing asap instead of having to figure out character generation and adventure creation on their own.  Those are all great reasons to check this book.  But, the major fault of this book is I need more on how to run the game.  There are explanations of how single players encounter things, but I need a bit more on how multiple players encounter a thing.  Does everyone face the threat or just one?  Even fighting one on many, how does that work?  A bit more would really help me better understand how to run this game.  This is a solid game, but it needs a bit more explanation to make it rock solid.   3.5/5

Summary-I like this game, but it has some small faults.  The idea of rolling a bunch of dice and hope for sets of numbers is a fun one.  The theme is great and well presented.  The book overall is a solid read and way to get into the game.  One major issue I have is I want more crunch, so players feel like they are progressing.  Good for one shots or short campaigns, but longer multi story arcs might not be as much fun.  The other major issue I have is I need more explanation on how to run this as a fortune master.  The system works, but I have questions if I’ve done it right.  That’s never a good feeling to have.  If you play with people who just want to have a good time, it will be fun.  But the power gamer out there won’t enjoy this as much.  If you want some good pulp, this is worth your golden idol.  If you need a bit more crunch and a bit more explanation, maybe look in another tomb.  86%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Planet Apocalypse

Product– Planet Apocalypse

System- Dungeons and Dragons 5e

Producer– Petersen Games

Price– not out yet but will be here https://petersengames.com/planet-apocalypse/#info-tabs|1 

TL; DR– DOOM IN DND!  97%

Basics–   Time to be the only thing they fear!  Planet Apocalypse  is a DND 5e source book not for the faint of heart! This is a MASSIVE change from the other Petersen games I have played as this is straight up gore horror of the damned.  Worst parts of the Bible, rivers of blood, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!  Let’s dig into this foul tome.

Mechanics or Crunch– This book has a lot, but is missing just a few things.  This game is ALL about killing horrors from hell.  There is no subtlety here and it shows in every horrible thing here. The characters are hard scrabble wasteland survivors trying to eke out a life among the fiends from the pit.  There are feats, spells, and some class options, but I kind of wish each class got some love with its own class options.  The math of all the monsters work out and MAN are there a lot of monsters here.  This is a one stop shop for a game like the old world books.  It’s a solid book, but I want a bit more for all the characters to really make this the total package.   4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– You will not feel safe reading this book.  This is not a book you sit around in a cozy blanket with cocoa on a winter night.  This is a book you read and feel like the shadows are watching you and you better not mess up the circle or you will be dragged somewhere where death will be a mercy.  This book is full of well done, horrific art.  The world is BRUTAL as you have just absolute monstrosities on every other page doing horror to the poor people of this world.  You get to be the hero they need.  And considering Sandy Peterson wrote Doom levels, this is Doom in DnD.  If you were not challenged, horrified, or nauseated enough by the last expansion to Doom Eternal, this is the source book you need to fill that Demon killing itch.   5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? YES!  This is a solid book that is well written, well laid out, and reads easily.  I know that is a common refrain from me, but that’s what I want in a book!  It’s also OVER 350 pages!  This is a single serving world that with the DnD base book is a game you can start playing today!  There are even some adventures that wet your whistle and show you how Sandy wanted you to play this game.  Easy to read, hyperlinked, well laid out, and a solid intro adventure are all the things I want in a world book. 5/5

Summary–  This is the most vile thing I have ever seen from Petersen Games, and I can’t wait for more.  As a God fearing Christian, this is the vision of hell I was told about in the most twisted Sunday sermons I have ever seen and now you can be the hero to push back those horrors.  This is NOT for games where you want to save the princess from the Orcs and have tea with the Orc bandit afterwards.  If you want to plunge headlong into hell itself, rip Baphomet’s jaw off, possibly have your friends get ripped apart in front of you along the way, and end the demonic invasion, then this is the game for you!    97%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Black Powder Rebellion – Firearms and Historical Campaigns (PF2)

Product– Black Powder Rebellion – Firearms and Historical Campaigns (PF2)

System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed

Producer– Beyond the Horizon

Price– $6.95 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/350371/Black-Powder-Rebellion–Firearms-and-Historical-Campaigns-PF2?term=black+powder+rebellion?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– I need guns… LOTS OF GUNS. 98%

Basics–   OVER THE WALL!  Black Powder Rebellion – Firearms and Historical Campaigns is a third party book focusing on using historical settings and guns in Pathfinder 2nd Ed games.  The book introduces guns from all across the history of firearms, history and settings information for  players and GMs, and even character options to take any character and make it a gun toting hero.

Mechanics or Crunch– The goal of this book is to add guns and world history settings to Pathfinder, do so without magic being the major focus, and then give the players options to build characters in that world.  And in that, it succeeds completely.  There are LOTS of guns in this book with only one fake gun that I know of.  That’s some dedication to realism across multiple time points in history.  Character options are also solid crunch as archetypes are put to good use in this book allowing any class to pick up a gun and go to war.  Solid crunch for any group that wants to add guns to their sessions as both a GM and a player.  5/5

Theme or Fluff– How much history do you know?  I might not have majored in history in college, but I love to learn it.  I also grew up teaching hunter safety in the US.  There are gun things I learned from this book from across history that I have not heard yet!  That is some solid dedication to the gun and world history.  From old school single shot guns, to samurai with guns on horseback, to trench warfare, if you want some historical guns in your PF2 game and the story behind them, this is the accessory for you and your friends.   5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? YES!  This is a solid book that is well written, well laid out, and reads easily.  It wasn’t a slog even though this is a history book.  Heck, this book even hyperlinks out to other media to help you LEARN more.  That’s good use of the medium!  My complaints are, as always, pictures.  A few more would make this read a bit easier to read in the text chunkier areas.  Also, this book digs DEEP on some firearm types.  I would like a few more pictures, so i know what the gun looks like.  That said, for the price of less than seven bucks, this is a solid book and a good effort by the team.  4.75/5

Summary-Want some guns in PF2?  Want to play historical games in PF2?  This is the book you need.  Solid options, solid themes, and solid equipment all make a solid book.  I always want more pictures, but that is the ONLY complaint I have for this one.  Another great book at a good price for this team.  98%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Quickstart

Product– Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Quickstart

System- 2d20

Producer– Modiphius

Price– FREE here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/347802/Achtung-Cthulhu-2d20-Quickstart?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Let’s kill some Cthulhu Nazis!  97%

Basics– The Weird Wars are back!  Achtung! Cthulhu is a horror/action RPG using the Achtung! Cthulhu world and the new(er) 2d20 system put forward by Modiphius.  Let’s dig into this historical horror.

Base mechanics-The 2d20 system is a roll-under system.  Every time you do an action, you use a skill and an attribute.  You add your skill and attribute together and try to roll under that total on each individual die.  If you roll under your skill, you score two successes and if you roll under the total you just score one success.  Get enough successes, you do the action.  You need between 0 and five successes.

Momentum, threat, and fortune- Since you only get two dice and you might need up to five successes, you need more dice in a hurry.  You can get more dice from momentum.  Every success above what you need earns momentum for the group.  You can spend momentum to get more dice.  You can also give the GM threat to get more dice, but threat is GM momentum.  You also have fortune.  Fortune is story candy.  You automatically crit and earn two successes.

Combat-Combat works just like skills, but if you hit, you roll six sided dice with either 1, 2, or 1 and a bonus event on them.  The bonus things might start fires or do extra damage and depends on the weapons and the person using it.  When you take damage, you subtract either armor or your resolve (mental armor) and take stress.  When your stress fills up, you are out and you take an injury.  This could be from going crazy or from taking a hit to the face.  Too many injuries and you’re out for good!

Ok, now my thoughts on this.

Mechanics or Crunch– I like what’s here.  I love Call of Cthulhu, and 2d20 feels enough like that but it has some things that feel like DnD.  There are feat like traits.  There is a more combat emphasis, and the flow of threat and momentum makes things a bit more dynamic than either parent game.  There are parts I want described more like spending threat.  This is a quickstart for free, so it’s ok if it’s not a complete rules book now, but I want more of that in the final product.  That said, the crunch here feels good and full of combat goodness with hints of story built in to keep the action rolling.  4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– Hate Nazis?  Want to hate Cthulhu Naizs?  I’VE GOT A GAME FOR YOU!  The ultimate killable bad guys are the main villains here, so it always feels fun to fight those guys. It is Weird War, so get ready for some strange elements, from spellcasting Americans to Australians with combat dogs.  But, here is where things shine.  2d20 is built on this back and forth of rolls, story, and tension.  Momentum and threat roll back and forth across the table making things fun.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with some old school gaming, but for story and theme, I love when the mechanics build into that.  This system does that well.  5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? No, but it’s a quickstart, so I’ll forgive it.  It reads well, reads quick, and has great pictures.  Now those pictures are from the original Acthung! Cthulhu, so I hope for new art, but it’s all good.  The player section is at the back and easily prints out to a separate PDF, so my players will not be spoiled.  Honestly, it’s 45+pages of good introduction to the system that you can read in under half an hour and get playing your first game.  5/5

Summary-This is a free PDF, so check it out!  It’s also a solid RPG with a great mix of theme and mechanics.  Lots of fun to be had from this quick read that you will be playing fast.  Go kill some bad guys and save the day in the Weird War!  97%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Adventure Path #163: Ruins of Gauntlight

Product– Pathfinder Adventure Path #163: Ruins of Gauntlight

System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed

Producer– Paizo

Price– $24.00 here https://paizo.com/products/btq023hs

TL; DR– 92%

Basics– Strange lights in the mist!  The old lighthouse calls!  The local crazy calls forth a group of adventurers to see what horrors her harrow cards have foretold!  A dungeon crawl for characters level one to four.

Mechanics or Crunch– This is a straight up dungeon crawl.  There is a dungeon lighthouse in a marsh.  You are told to check it out.  Overall, its slick quick rooms with lots of fights.  There are some things I think are a bit rough like some things are listed with different names, so that made the experience a bit harder to dig through as a GM.  However, the players have solid fights with fun things to discover. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– This is a dungeon crawl.  There is a town and it gets a full write-up in both the player guide and the first adventure, but honestly, it’s background.  The adventure literally just starts you at the foot of the dungeon.  I would like a bit more lead up for my players.  Otherwise, this megadungeon ends up like the random generated dungeons where I just mindlessly kill orks on my phone.  The dungeon is nice and atmospheric, so the story beyond the start is built on show don’t tell.  4.5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? Kind of.  The writing is good, the layout is nice, and the flow is quick.  The book has bookmarks in the PDF, but it doesn’t have clickable links in the parts.  That would help as this is over 60 pages and hopping around is a pain.  What I absolutely LOVE is the maps.  There is a separate map file given with the PDF.  That map lets you add and remove things like secret doors and the grid.  That makes life SO much easier to run and align online or digitally.  Paizo knows how to make a solid book. 4.75/5

Summary– Been looking forward to this one for a bit.  Some hack and slash is fun, and having some Pathfinder hack and slash is a blast.  Now, the one thing I think I would like different is a bit more story to the carnage.  Some lead in as my players need to know why they are killing things.  The crunch is good, but a few things are just slightly off enough to annoy the GM.  Players won’t notice.  The book itself is solid and something I loved to read.  This adventure is a solid start to a good old fashioned kick in the door and kill the bad guy campaign.  92%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of EB-EP-02 Rolling Thunder

Product– EB-EP-02 Rolling Thunder

System- DnD 5e

Producer– DMs Guild

Price– $6.00 here https://www.dmsguild.com/product/335587/EBEP02-Rolling-Thunder?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR-A great train robbery!  98%

Basics-Time for a train heist!  Can you infiltrate a train, get all the pieces, and break into the vault all while not alerting the entire Breland military? This is a multi table event that can be run with a single table as well.  Now to our thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch– THIS IS NOT A COMBAT ADVENTURE!  Big alert on this!  If the party is down to kill everyone all the time, they will not have fun!  But, if you want to flex your non-combat expertise, this will be an amazing experience.  The crunch here is well done and the new mechanics are well executed.  I would like a bit more fighting so the fighter with no skills still gets to do a bit more.  From cooking to social to even some puzzles, this is a fun change from the standard kill everything adventure.  4.75/5

Theme or Fluff– Since this is not a dungeon crawl, the fluff here has to be tight.  And it delivers!  There are a lot of materials here to make this feel like an upper class train ride.  Players duck between cooking, gambling, social, and even some stealth all while trying to blend in.  There are a lot of pieces to the puzzles of this adventure, but honestly they all fit well together in a great picture. 5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? Yes there are bookmarks.  The adventure is set up with enough information that you can run as a multi table event or single table easily.  The handouts are well done and easy for the players to read.  The adventure reads well and quick, so there is no confusion on what is going on.  This team executed another solid adventure.  5/5

Summary-I love the new format of epics in DnD.  I love more players being able to play.  That makes me happy, and would alone be worth a good review.  But, the Eberron team is constantly delivering solid adventures that I love.  This is no exception.  If you want to be part of a train heist that is amazing to play and easy to run, then grab this adventure.  98%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart

Product– Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart

System- Cyberpunk Red

Producer– R. Talsorian Games Inc.

Price– $10.00 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/279014/Cyberpunk-Red-Jumpstart-Kit?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Good appetizer to the whole system! 90%

Basics-Choombatta, it’s time to make some EB!  Cyberpunk Red is the latest version of the popular Cyberpunk series, taking place decades after the last edition.  Players try to survive in Night City as gangs, governments, and corporations all fight for dominance.  What will you do in the dark to make money?  Let’s do a breakdown

basics-This is a 1d10 based system.  You roll a d10, add an attribute, and a skill and you are done.  If that number is better than the difficulty value (DV) or higher then your opponent, you win.  That’s it.  Hacking, fighting, seducing, it’s all 1d10+stat+skill.  Slick and simple.

combat-Combat is the same as above with 1d10 + stat for initiative and each round you get a move and an action.  Attacking vs defending is again 1d10+stat+skill vs 1d10+stat+skill.  You will roll each time for damage and attack.  You crit on a 10 and roll another 1d10 to get bonuses to hit.  Beat the defender and do damage based on melee, ranged, or how much chrome cyberware you are sporting. Armor protects you but each time you take damage over its protection value, it degrades.  When you take enough punishment, you gain penalties to all your rolls.  Eventually you get knocked out and you need help ASAP or you die quick!  Healing is slow as this is a realistic game where bullets hurt!

hacking– Hacking uses the same basics as above except your net actions are accelerated as you get multiple actions in a round if you have better gear.  You also hack in/jack in physically and have to stay close unless you get dumped out and bad things happen.  Once you are in, basically all computers operate like buildings with elevators.  You investigate a floor and see what’s there.  Black ICE and other hackers defend places, so keep your wits about you as you dig for pay data and machine controls to keep yourself alive and paid!

Ok, that’s the basics of the box.  Now for my thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch– Cyberpunk is a solid game that is realistic, but maybe a bit slow.  The base mechanic of roll dice, add, and done is good, but this is a combat heavy game.  I like the speed that regular rolls have, but I feel that rolling to dodge slows down games like this.  D & D is as heavy a combat game, but I feel that the static defence value helps with that speed.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty slick system where you do move quickly getting past obstacles and negotiating the dark underbelly of Night City.   4.5/5

Theme or Fluff–  This book does a solid job explaining the world, but I would like a bit more for the included adventure.  Night City and the world it is in feels real.  You can tell this was written long ago in the long ago past of 1988 (god I am getting old!) as it has the feel of what they thought the future would be back then.  The world is well built and I’m glad to see a future where Africa doesn’t take the brunt of the world going to hell.  My one minor concern is the adventure that is included.  I want a run where I can score money and fame. This one is more an Assault on Precinct 13.  Not bad, but I wanted something else.  Overall, this box portrays a solid world with only a few issues.    4.5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? Yes!  Starting strong! Overall, the layout is good, but I have some issues as some small things are left out or included in areas away from the revelivent text, like how armor degrades.  It’s here but it’s mentioned in one place and fully explored later. It is a quick, fun read,, but the jumpstart format always leaves a few things on the cutting room floor that are needed.  I do enjoy the maps and other pieces, and the book flows well.  This is a decently executed book that only has a few minor issues. 4.5/5

Summary-Overall, this is a solid introduction to the world of Cyberpunk.  I am left wanting more, but I don’t hate what’s here.  I want more adventures and such. The intro one is good, but not the adventure I wanted.  The world is well built, and the crunch is solidly designed.  I have small issues with game speed and book odds and ends, but those are minor compared to everything else.  This was like a solid taster to a good meal.  I want more, and I look forward to the whole meal.  I like Cyberpunk, and I can’t wait to play and see some more Cyberpunk Red! 90%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Dungeon Crawl Classics 2020 Holiday Module: The Doom that Came to Christmastown

Product– Dungeon Crawl Classics 2020 Holiday Module: The Doom that Came to Christmastown

System- DCC RPG

Producer– Goodman games

Price– $6.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/335600/Dungeon-Crawl-Classics-2020-Holiday-Module-The-Doom-that-Came-to-Christmastown?affiliate_id=658618

TL; DR– Fun, but you will need to provide your own glue for this adventure! 93%

Basics-Who can save Christmas?!  Santa is sick and who can save him?  Gather his friends, find the horrible Grinch, and save Christmas for all the good little boys and girls!

Mechanics or Crunch–  Goodman Games knows how to make a solid adventure!  They wrote the system, so they know how to make the crunch.  Solid monsters, solid puzzles, and solid extra tables for encounters.  This is a well put together adventure.  5/5

Theme or Fluff– This is a fun adventure, but the story is a bit off.  You don’t need to hit all the major NPC to find the horrible grinch.  And the NPCs are the best part!  This adventure will pull at your Frank and Bass Christmas movie memories.  Lots of the old school heroes like Yukon and even Hermey, who becomes a Dentalmancer!, make appearances and serve to build out the story.  I just wish there was more of a reason to meet more of them!  Solid parts here, but the glue holding the scenes together here is a bit lacking.  4/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? Not really, but it’s ok.  This is a well executed adventure.  I love this one. There are crazy fun puzzles for the players to work through and there are monsters to fight that feel fun.  I love all the little touches that are put into the adventure.  Heck this adventure even has a new spell for the players to use.  You can buy this from Drive Thru and be playing in five minutes based on the easy to read format and beautiful drawings and maps.  Goodman Games executes another adventure amazingly! 5/5

Summary-Ho ho holy crap this is a fun one.  If you want something fun to plunk down into your DCC/MCC game, this is a solid adventure to run.  Mathematically, it works perfectly, and it’s executed well.  I love all the little pieces here from new spells to the crazy tables built into this game.  I wish the scenes were better connected, but that’s the one flaw to this amazing adventure.  Check this one out if you get a chance!   93%

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Shiver RPG

Product– Shiver RPG

System- Shiver RPG

Producer– Parable Games

Price– $21.00 here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/399308593/shiver-a-film-and-tv-inspired-ttrpg 

TL; DR– DON’T LET THIS GET AWAY!  99%

Basics-Who’s the man in the mask?!  Shiver is a horror RPG with some serious table top influences.  Let’s look at the pieces and give a review.

Basics– This is a mostly d6 based system.  Each time you do anything, you roll a number of d6 equal to your stat for the skill.  The game uses speciality d6s with specific symbols on them.  Every symbol that matches the task (like strength for a strength based task) is a success.  Get enough successes and you do the thing.  Don’t, and you fail!  You can also roll luck symbols which allow you to add additional dice to later rolls by banking those points.  There are also strange symbols.  These have OTHER effects depending on the scenario or character you are playing.

Talent dice– you can also get d10s in each skill for a specific action in a skill.  These have much higher chances of success and have a few strange symbols for good measure.

Combat and monsters- wouldn’t be horror if there were not monsters that would show up and kill you!  Combat works pretty much like everything else.  You mostly use grit as the skill and the brawling ability.  Each monster has a challenge rating and that is the number of successes you need to hurt the monster.  If you get two more than needed, then you get a critical hit.  Critical hits are random and you get a random effect, ranging from extra damage to knocking down the target.  

Monsters also have random effects when hit depending on their type.  Basic monsters only do something every once in a while, but big monsters respond to each hit!

Combat rounds are quick with people acting in the beginning for fast characters, middle for characters who don’t need to go fast, and last for hurt characters or slow people.

DOOM!-Horror needs suspense and you get that with doom!  Each failure and some strange dice rolls result in the clock ticking closer to midnight. As we get closer and close to midnight, the game gets harder and things happen!  Success means good things, and failure has consequences.  Sometimes the heroes don’t win!

Ok, now my thoughts.

Mechanics or Crunch-Got to love a committed horror game!  Shiver is an easy to learn game.  Heck, what you saw above is the basic rules!  Roll d6s, see if you win.  The doom mechanic means randomly doing things has consequences.  This means the basic mechanics of rolling ties right into the theme.  Also, that mechanic of dice, doom, and failure reminds me of many board games I’ve played, and I love those games!  That is some good mechanics execution!  5/5

Theme or Fluff-Already said I love the mechanics and they flow right into the horror of the theme.  This game is amazing for its flow of dice rolling going right into the basic mechanics.  I love the horror and the difficulty of the game.  People will focus on their roles as each die only gets you a ⅙ chance to succeed at an action, so less random rolling happens and people play their roles in the horror story.  I love what’s here!  5/5

Execution–  PDF?  YEP!  Hyperlinked? Maybe?  I got a prerelease, but I like what’s here.  The art looks like Hellboy, which is good.  The only thing I don’t like is fancy dice.  I know, I know, it’s a small thing to whine about, but fancy dice are hard to get after a kickstarter.  You do get rules to deal with regular dice, but that’s my one minor issue.  Outside of that, this is an amazing RPG that you need to get onto.    4.9/5Summary-DON’T SLEEP ON THIS!  There are less than 50 hours left.  Go get this. Solid rules, solid theme, and good execution of the book mean this is a game you can get playing in under 30 minutes when you get the PDF.  For 21 bucks or 15 magic foriegn money ( I kid I kid!), I am already in, and YOU SHOULD BE TOO!  99%