Basics– Pathfinder! The Society calls! A new lodge is being built and new agents are needed to help with getting the area settled. You won’t be wielding a hammer. The land needs to be purified and the locals may help or hurt if you make enough friends. An intro adventure for levels 3 to 6.
Mechanics or Crunch-I love the crunch here. There are a ton of fights, but none drag on. Also, there are multiple things like social encounters, exploration, and some solid fights as well. Heck there is even a hard boss fight, but like all good RPGs, if you play smart and make friends, life is easier. This feels like a great introduction to the system and world, even better than 2-01. 5/5
Theme or Fluff– Story, combat, exploration, and social-all parts of a solid whole that make a fun adventure. When I run this I have a blast and so do my players. Nothing drags; there is always time left but you leave feeling full. More adventures like this are needed to pull new pathfinders into the fold. 5/5
Execution– PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes. Good layout, handout, and all the other basics make this a solid adventure. The only thing I don’t like are the maps that are marked up so I have to buy the other map somewhere else. That always feels cash grabby, but that is the only bad thing here. 4.75/5
Summary-I love this adventure. You get new locations, new characters, and solid fights that make a fun adventure. It’s balanced well with a fun boss fight and great execution that makes running this a blast. Would like clean maps, but that is my only problem. If you want some intro to Pathfinder, you won’t go wrong with this one. 98%
TL; DR-Good introduction to the world of Starfinder Society. 92%
Basics– Starfinder! Society calls! New Starfinders are needed to help find the pieces of an old tablet that will open a long lost vault in the stars. This adventure is four short scenes that are all tied together in one adventure.
Mechanics or Crunch-This is a good introductory adventure that has some exploration, combat, space combat, and a bit of social interaction. The only downside is the pieces may be a bit easy for most players. Even pregens have an easy go of this one. But it’s fun nonetheless. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff– This adventure is four short adventures that all tie together. It’s a bit rough between the pieces, but the goal of this one is to be more an intro to the world, Starfinder Society, and the system. It does a solid enough job with a decent story providing the basics of the world and story of it. 4.5/5
Execution– PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes. Good layout, handout, and all the other basics make this a solid adventure. The pieces I don’t like are the maps that you have to buy because the maps are marked up. I understand why, but it’s still annoying. That’s the worst part of the execution, so that is not bad at all. 4.75/5
Summary-. Dreaming of the Future is a solid introduction with a few rough parts. The rough parts are all due to the episodic nature of this one. The pieces are short but that helps with new players learning the system. If you want a fun quick adventure for a new group of Starfinders, you would have a hard time finding a better one than this one. 92%
Basics– Time to go, soldier! You just stopped a Black Sun ritual, so now it’s off to stop more Nazi shenanigans! What could they be doing off at sea?
Mechanics or Crunch-Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 does almost all the things I want and does them right, and this adventure has that as well. Solid monsters and encounters lead you through a stealth to destruction mission with lots of fun along the way. Just well done crunch if you like the 2d20 system. 5/5
Theme or Fluff– The theme/fluff/story is where I have my one major problem. The story itself is great. Investigate Nazi base, destroy, stop bad guys-all the fun things players want to do in Pulp Weird War II. But, this was billed as the sequel to the starter adventure, and it is, but it’s just a second adventure after the first. They are not connected in any real way. It doesn’t tell as much of a continuing story aside from “go destroy more weird stuff.” Go destroy the weird stuff is honestly 90% of A!C 2d20, and that’s why my players and I are here. But, I wanted the escape from France of the last adventure. My players LEVELED the castle in the last one as nothing stops evil like 40 TONS of stone to the head. So my expectations were slightly let down. If you don’t have the same expectation, you will have a blast. 4.5/5
Execution– PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes, extremely well done. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. A page with pictures to cut out to give to players for handouts, hyperlinks EVERYWHERE, easy to read, nice stat blocks, and TWO VERSIONS as a less graphics intensive one makes my tablet run better all make me a happy GM. This is how I want books made. 5/5Summary– Oh A!C 2d20… you make me so happy. It’s a well done, slick system, and this is a well done slick adventure for it. I just wish this was more “direct sequence” and less “continuing adventures”, but oh well. If you don’t have my singular crazy obsession with continuity, then you will absolutely LOVE this book. From crunch, to story, to just general production, I’m glad to have this one. 97%
TL; DR– Appendix N shoot first ask questions never? 97%
Basics– Time to kill the unkillable! Doom of the Savage Kings starts out deep in the action as the players come upon a local lord tying a young woman to a pole to be eaten by a beast to sate its bloodlust. What happens next is completely up to the “heroes”! Save the girl? Serve the Lord? Either way there is an unkillable beast that needs slaying if the sacrifices are to stop.
Mechanics or Crunch-This is an early one for DCC RPG, and it shows a bit. The mechanics are fine, but sometimes the Judge may have to tone down the challenge for the players to survive. Especially mine, as my players never met a situation where certain death deterred them in the slightest! It works well for higher player counts, but lower ones will need a bit of adjusting. Doom of the Savage Kings mechanically is an early very deadly, very fun adventure. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff– This adventure is PURE Appendix N. Village sacrificing people to save the rest like “The Lottery” and an ancient tomb where weapons will slay not-Grendel? FANTASTIC! This adventure is gonzo fantasy that makes DCC DCC. 5/5
Execution– PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes, basically. This has what I need to run this adventure. Maps, quick rundown, and detailed enough encounters. It reads fast as my initial read through was five minutes before the game and my players had a blast completely abandoning the adventure’s basic path within five minutes. If you like the basic layout of DCC, then you will like this layout. Like always, Goodman Games DCC modules read like the old modules you used to get with some art in the middle, maps at the end, and a summary at the start. Since I’m living an era of gaming I wasn’t part when it came round the first time, it’s a blast to be part of it this time as the editing has massively improved the experience! 5/5
Summary– Doom of the Savage Kings is classic DCC RPG. It’s a bit harder than it needs to be so maybe some love from a Judge will save the PCs from their bad rolls if not their stupidity. The book itself is well laid out, and the plot is top notch. Players will have a blast saving a town, delving into old crypts, and killing the monster stalking the helpless in the fog. If you need your Boewulf fix but want to do it with some crazy DCCRPG rules, this is hands down a fantastic adventure to get into. 97%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%