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Underworld Stories
by Stephan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2019 03:45:03

Disclaimer: i was one of the playtesters for Underworld Stories but have no formal association with the game or its author, e.g. no financial ties.

Underworld Stories is an solid, ultra-light solo dungeon crawl game which plays in less than half an hour. It's conceptually similar to Four Against Darkness, but (A) the rules are both much lighter and much tighter, and (B) the player controls but a single character with no choice of class, race, etc. (That said, the game engine is flexible enough to easily customize it for new character types.)

For randomness it uses a deck of 18 cards - the exact same deck used by the designer's "Hannibal ad Portas" game and other upcoming games in his 1-Page Game series. The cards depict many types of information, each of which is used in different contexts in the game, e.g. generating dungeon layout, populating rooms, attribute tests, combat resolution, or even NPC/monster reactions.

Printed out, the tabletop footprint is 2 pieces of paper: one for the character record sheet and one for the dungeon. The game includes several dungeons, each with distinct monsters and treasures, and completing them grants the character XP with which buy new abilities or improve attributes for future delves. The character sheet contains everything one needs to track the character's state and includes a summary of all important rules of the game. After only one or two sessions, referring to the rulebook is no longer necessary. The dungeon page contains all tables required for that particular dungeon and has an empty area for drawing out the dungeon (most of which have random layouts determined by the cards, though fixed-layout dungeons are also possible). My recommendation is: rather than print out a new copy of each dungeon for each delve, put the pages in clear binders and use a dry-erase marker on them.

The game's environment is completely generic, including no "flavor text" or "world background", so if background/flavor is important to you, this game will not be a great match for you. If, however, you simply enjoy roaming dungeon halls, slaying monsters, and taking their loot, without any significant bookkeeping, then you'll be right at home here. Likewise, it may also be of interest to players who enjoy seeing new and clever game mechanics.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Underworld Stories
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Hannibal ad Portas
by Richard S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2019 19:14:43

For the price this is excellent. Its a small solitaire game that has a good balance of strategy and luck and tells a great story.

Good game and I can see great replayability.

If you are convinced that dice hate you you are in luck. The card deck in this game replaces D6 and will virtually ensure you never end up rolling a 1 after 1 after 1! Or indeed a slew of 6's. It tends to smooth out the number distribution. I might use it for other games. Of course, if that sounds bad to you then just roll D6's. It's your game...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hannibal ad Portas
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Blood in Space
by Jason B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2019 16:54:41

My early impressions of Blood in Space are positive - the author has definitely thought things through and provides a flexible system for running solo (maybe even cooporative?) sci-fi crawlers. There's a number of innovative mechanics that I haven't previously encountered and there appears to be enough content to adapt to pretty much any sci-fi setting you could readily think of. I'm going to keep on exploring the system and am tempted to give the fantasy version a try as well.

I wrote up a partial play-along/play-through on my Blog that describes the manner in which a scenario is generated, the map is explored and combat is resolved: https://southernbermanblog.blogspot.com/2019/02/bad-juju-blood-in-space.html

There's more depth to the game than I've presently written up (e.g., a progressive campaign and various non-combat focused scenarios) but I intend to explore them some more in due course.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Blood in Space
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Creator Reply:
Hi! Thanks a lot for your AAR and positive review. You suggested a different layout for the tables ("I'd like to be able to the combat tables in the same book, please"): can you provide some additional details ? Gottardo
Blood on the Blade
by David R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2018 22:48:40

I have been looking for the solo fantasy game. This game tops the queu of my solo collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood on the Blade
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Blood on the Blade
by Luca C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2018 04:17:17

I really love these kind of games that let you use all kind of miniatures and solo too. This one is definitively one of the best and I really love the free expansions and support.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood on the Blade
by Ian R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2017 00:05:48

This one managed to surprise me in alot of ways despite being a veteran of the genre. It takes well known concepts and snaps them together in a unique fashion. Whether it's the (Potentially frustrating) chit draw initiative or the system for getting damage and hit rolls with one roll it manages to stand out.

The core rules play well and lead to some genuinely interesting encounters. Each faction has it's own feel and they present unique challenges. This isn't to say that it's without a little clunkiness here and there, but the experience outweighed th eissues.

The campaign play itself is pretty good. The character growth is fun and there's a great feeling of raising your warband. That said, It benefits from a bit of decision making from time to time. It'll help if you're not afraid to say things like "Oh, this ambush is related to my last quest so I'm facing -that- army". rather than always rolling for opposition.

Overall, I've had a blast with this game and I highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood on the Blade
by Beau C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2017 00:57:48

Blood on the Blade is a really great, fast playing, unique miniatures combat system.

I've played a lot of these types of games but this system manages to add some really new ideas... enough to keep me coming back for more.

The built in campaign generator is a nice addition as well.

The author has plans for expansions and has already supported his game with a free supplement that adds some new rules and a Challenge system for use in between campaign plots.

Looking forward to more from Studium CMLXV and his Blood on the Blade line for sure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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