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Tales of Blades and Heroes Fantasy RPG rules
by Courtney D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2021 21:51:00

For those not familiar with Ganesha games's other series (such as "Song of Blades and Heroes" or "Flying Lead"), ToBaH is a tactical-skirmish-game-turned-rpg with tiny character sheets. Characters can be summed up as a few core stats, a short list of traits and maybe a magic word list for magic users. These simplified characters lend themselves to a lightweight system that is (generally) easy to pick up and play. Because this focuses on individual characters rather than a warband, the rules are a step more detailed and complex than its wargame relatives.

For those familiar with SoBaH and whatnot: this takes the current systems you would be familiar with and makes them more interesting by upping the complexity. Quality rolls are done differently, making use of multiple (potentially exploding) dice and traits boosting individual dice rather than the stat itself. Damage is taken a step further, with an additional roll applying additional effects on top of whether a character recoils or is wounded. For example, a character may drop their weapon or give opponents a free hack on a recoil. Also, characters roll for initiative, which determines when they get their chance to roll for activation, and rather than ending their turn outright, they risk a critical fumble.

Most of the traits supplied are tailored towards a stock medieval fantasy setting with some primitive firearms. The magic system is centralised around magic words: combine two or more to create a spell and describe its intended effects, with the ensuing roll determining its capabilities and strength. The flexibility is great but customising a spell on the fly will be a little rough on beginners.

I found the game to be pretty neat, but I found some rules as written to be convoluted or confusing. Also, I made the mistake of thinking this was the only book you'd need to play, finding it lacking at times: Some topics are touched upon but never elaborated and although example characters are supplied outisde the book, it is devoid of any example creatures or monsters. Turns out you will want Tales of Beasts and Perils (aka the GM guidebook) as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Blades and Heroes Fantasy RPG rules
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Tales of Beasts and Perils GM's book for TBH
by Courtney D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2021 19:40:04

Pretty much a MUST-HAVE for GMs intending to handle Tales of Blades and Heroes games. The original ToBaH tells you how to play but skimps on a lot of core details (particularly experience), and this book picks up ALL the slack. The description clearly tells you everything it does, and it delivers on each of them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Beasts and Perils GM's book for TBH
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Tales of Blades and Heroes Fantasy RPG rules
by William B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2021 08:16:37

Tales of Blades and Heroes is an RPG based on Andrea Sfiligoi's excellent Song of Blades and Heroes fantasy wargame.

This book adds a full suite of RPG flavored special rules to Song of Blades and Heroes. The result is what I will call an RPG wargame.

The RPG elements are well-thought-out, and I think they would play well.

Will I use it? If I were going to play an RPG with other people, this would be at the top of my list. It has integrated combat balance, which makes it far superior to most other RPG's I've tried. I mostly play solo RPG's, and I think it'll work just fine in that context using the Mythic GM Emulator to automate the RPG elements of the game, and Lone Blade to handle combat AI. I think I'll try it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Blades and Heroes Fantasy RPG rules
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Four Against Darkness
by Radovan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2021 07:39:38

Pure fun. There are typos and small errors and... but it does not matter. This is pure fun, with beutiful artworks and it has more theme than all new games released. Besides autor is great person!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Against Darkness
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Digressions of the Devouring Dead
by Radovan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2021 07:21:03

What a beutiful old school book. What a beutiful artworks. My soul sings. We are playing in a group and we love this to bits. This will bring memories, beutiful memories of Conan and red Sonja of old school posters and life as it used to be, normal, natural, easy. Well done! Do not stray from this path. You are a shining example of how it should be done Ganesha games!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Digressions of the Devouring Dead
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Fiendish Foes
by Chad B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2021 19:04:43

First supplement I added to 4AD after having a party survive a few adventures - characters are all around level 4 and I'm afraid of dying again! ;)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiendish Foes
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Four Against the Great Old Ones
by John K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2020 23:26:40

A lot of excellent content and potential here, but there are production issues and the game can easily beome a die-rolling exercise.

  • Can't search the formatted version (you get a plain text version without art as well)

  • No bookmarks or hyperlinks for either version (and this has so much content to refer to you really need it). And there's some special bullet character that isn't showing up properly.

  • The characters and encounters are very interesting - but they all just end up as a die rolling combat exercise, so this can easily get boring unless you are going to flesh out the narrative extensively and houserule the reactions of the NPCs - or run this with a GM (which would work extremely well).


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Four Against the Great Old Ones
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Alone Against Fear
by Chris D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2020 12:49:23

Quite good. It reminds me a lot of a roguelike moreso than a traditional pen and paper game. Yes, the events can get a tad repetitive over time, but there is a sort of "meta" going on underneath with specific items being able to unlock extra scenes. Fascinating and actually worth the $12 for a solo RPG player.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alone Against Fear
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High Stakes - FREE storytelling and adventure rules
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2020 01:42:40

Interesting idea that had no support. Hackbooks mentioned to be coming out in 2017 did not appear. Probably because of 4AD's success.

I wouldn't mind seeing Andrea take this and revise it to work with 4AD as a narrative hybrid.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
High Stakes - FREE storytelling and adventure rules
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Four Against the Great Old Ones
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2020 22:04:21

I dare say, the best Cthulhu-based game since Call of Cthulhu and the Fantasy Flight line. The material is thoroughly researched and presented very well. Eight investigators to choose from, and you'll probably need all of them as the game does not hold your hand.

Repeat: There is no hand-holding in this game. You will lose, and lose terribly, until you learn how to win. It's not a theme park game designed to let you breeze through encounters to ensure you see all the beautiful things they put into it. It doesn't give you a 'been there, done that' t-shirt for showing up. It is very old school, as are all the 4AD books, in that they are meant to be challenging.

If you want a game you can play so you can say you did, roll a die. If it's a six, you won! Congratulations. Here's your shirt. If you want a game that will challenge you and keep you on your toes, 4AtGOO is one to beat.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Against the Great Old Ones
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Caves of the Kobold Slave-Masters
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2020 13:34:54

I just finished playing all three chapters of Caves of the Kobold Slave-Masters, and here's what I thought of it...

It's actually a really good sampler of applying the 4AD rules to different play styles. The first chapter uses a pregenerated map and introduces the idea of using the random charts with already created maps. After playing Chapter One, a player should have no problem dusting off old maps and using them with 4AD. The second chapter plays just like the default style presented in the Core Book. The third chapter goes a bit abstract, with almost no map at all and larger parties of characters.

The third chapter was actually the most challenging of the three, as keeping track of the four PCs, the eight NPCs and the eighteen demons was made more complex by the demons all having a poison attack. I made a tracking sheet before tackling the third chapter that listed cleric abilities, spells, holy water, scrolls and bandages, as well as hit points. It helped immensely.

I still made a few mistakes during play, but would catch them myself when transcribing the adventure to a log.

The adventure lost one star due to poor editing and some unclear rules that required me to go online to get answers. For the price, however, it's a great deal considering how much playtime is involved.

Overall, it is a nice adventure that expands ideas about playing 4AD. And we get some new monsters.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caves of the Kobold Slave-Masters
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Four Against Darkness
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2020 20:32:26

I was a bit hesitant because I already know how to play rpgs solo, have played a solo dungeon crawl with 2nd Edition AD&D fashioned after Diablo, and I've played Castle Ravenloft. What finally got me to buy the book was when I saw the Boardgamegeek page and saw how people were customizing the game and expanding on it. Along with all the affordable add-ons being released for it, the customization of adventure content has really grabbed my interest. That, and it's a lot less cumbersome than AD&D. Especially if you factor in four characters.

I wouldn't mind a guide on how to create custom classes, but I doubt we would see something like that until after all the official classes have been released. This is something that eventually hurt Castle Ravenloft for me. Meanwhile, I can collect all the monsters and make my own vermin, minion and boss charts to fit the theme of my games.

I also like that playing a campaign is possible, but it's left to the player to define as they see fit. This way, new players have a game to play that's focused more on the dungeon crawl experience. As they get accustomed to that, they can add a village or a regular travelling merchant to slowly introduce campaign elements at their own speed. If that's what they want.

Good job on finding a good balance between rpg and board game and solo play. And a special thank you for making something of such quality for solo players, who (contrary to popular belief) don't just play solo because they don't have a group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Against Darkness
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Four Against Darkness
by Eric A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2020 12:07:03

I needed something to scratch my dice rolling itch. Four Against Darkness more than did the trick. My youngest watched me play the first game and wanted to join, we had a blast. So much so, I bought a few more materials to expand our games. More than worth the cost!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Against Darkness
by William B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2020 18:18:26

Edit: I gave it another chance, and had a lot of fun. I still say Invisible Goblins are heavy handed, and not very thematic, so in the future I'm house ruling them like a trap. If a party member detects them, nothing is stolen, they harmlessly run away, and the party gets an XP roll. Theives and halflings get +1 on the detect roll vs. a 5. After all, invisibility does not also grant complete silence, and if the characters are alerted, there's no way they're going to steal everything and escape. A) The item they are holding is not invisible, even if they are. B) If the characters can see their items floating through the air, they can attack, and chase the goblins. I think this is more fair than the rule as written.

Upgrading from a 2 to a 4.

Downloaded, and read the rules, sat down to play the first game. Invisible Goblins stole all weapons from the party in the 3rd room. It's not possible to fight the Invisible Goblins, or avoid them. I did not find this very enjoyable, by I may play again some day.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
High Stakes - FREE storytelling and adventure rules
by Courtney H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2019 13:19:50

There was a negative review on this product complaining about how this is a storytelling game. This is a storytelling game. It's silly to rate it lower because it does what it says it will do. "High Stakes is a simple, fast set of rules to create awesome stories with your friends." I really like the dice system for this game. It turns simple encounters into surprising scenes. It keeps players involved with really simple rules. I've played Dungeons & Dragons since AD&D. Sometimes you just want to sit down with a friend and make up a story instead. This game is perfect for that. However, it is not D&D. So, don't expect it to be.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
High Stakes - FREE storytelling and adventure rules
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