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Machineguns & Magic (Classic Reprint)
by Marc [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2024 14:58:11

A fun RPG with generous content and gameplay opportunities for the price. Aspects like the fun style, candid writing voice, layout, and effective illustration use throughout reminded me of the old Palladium books. There are also plenty of examples for learning purposes and a full adventure including gridded map. You can tell the author was passionate about the hobby! The spells and bestiary were generous and fun to read. Beware the banshee cactus... If you like fantasy+modern scenarios or enjoy vintage RPGs this is worth a look for sure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Machineguns & Magic (Classic Reprint)
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Palace of the Vampire Queen (Classic Reprint)
by Andrew [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2023 20:28:18

A fun little dungeon, however there is an error in the document. Room 2-32 is not keyed, this is true, however it is on the map (Directly south of room 4). Otherwise a great baseline dungeon begging to be spruced up and added to your campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Palace of the Vampire Queen (Classic Reprint)
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Creator Reply:
Yes, true to the original, that room is missing a description. Consider it a GM room. Thanks for leaving your feedback.
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The Solo Wargaming Guide
by Joseph H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2023 11:24:21

While I enjoy a lot of the reference materials in this book it needs to be distilled down for gamers' practical use at the table. As another reviewer noted, there's a LOT of theory and discussion of the why and that is interesting to read. But it's mixed in with the mechanics and it makes referencing this guide tedious and frustrating. Additionally, the mechanics described in here are I would say 75% baked. Nothing about it is totally complete and ready to play. It needs a lof of player intervention. And while I appreciate that because no one size fits all campaign approach will work for everyone, the steps needed to get to a place where you're putting these ideas into practice are made arcane by incoherent and nonsequential delivery of information. I will use this in construction of my own campaign system, but I plan to put all of that in a QRS that is about a page or two long and once I have that I can't much imagine going back to this book.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Solo Wargaming Guide
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Ghostories Expanded RPG
by Derek W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2023 03:09:00

For those in love with the versatility of the d6 System (which is free from the right sources, or negligible in cost here at DTRPG), this work is a PERFECT addition to grant rules to integrate "Call of Cthulu" Lovecraftian-style gaming into what is already an incredibly simple (and inexpensive) gaming system.

Furthermore, I was persuaded to make the purchase when another customer asked for a user-editable character sheet in the comments here, and the author replied less than a day later saying he'd created one and provided a link to it, free of charge. THAT kind of care for the fans is what makes gaming great, and I am happy to purchase from and support ANY game designer, developer, or content creator who provides such amazing value to his fans.

For the TL;DR review:

System is fast, comprehenisve, and lore-friendly to any 2d6-style RPG as an addition, or can be played as a standalone RPG. Game designer provides outstanding support to gamers, and the price is definitely reasonable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghostories Expanded RPG
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Eldritch Ass Kicking Classic RPG
by Clayton F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2023 21:38:42

This game is awesome. It's straightforward, and the writing is witty and fun. Can't wait to get this out on the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Ass Kicking Classic RPG
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Iron & Gold RPG (Core PDF)
by Marc C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2022 22:15:18

For this price, are you kidding me? This is another no-brainer purchase from Precis and it's remarkably well put together. Seeing a GDi fantasy book was really exciting because the GDi system is really simple, straightforward, and well-supported by the publisher.

Characterization and character building is easy to understand. Races include Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Centaurs, Goblins, Centaurs, and Orclins. Eight example vocations are included, and they'd be easy to create from scratch as well. Equipment cost tables, like other tables in the book, are easy to read so you can get going fast.

The Action & Combat should be very familiar to anyone who's played GDi games before, and I like that. There are plenty of specific examples of gameplay within the pages on tasks and combat. Also included in the general Damage section are Other Sources of Damage, including Malnutrition and Poisons and Venoms.

There are three types of magic to learn about, and a really good depth of quality in the magic section overall, which is finally tied together with some great examples of the Practical Uses of Magic.

The bestiary is fun to browse and easy to read, with something like 42 entries in various categories, more than enough to get gameplay going fast, especially if combined with the pre-gens included in the adventures.

One thing I want to call out here is the terrific set of questions for world building on page 35 of Chapter Four, "A Fantasy Setting". This would be a terrific handout for people who are new to tabletop roleplaying games or even just writing fiction. Most of the questions are directly applicable to any genre, too, not only fantasy.

The game also includes alternate rules expansions (I like using the Heroics rules with my kids), conversion guides with other systems including Iron Gauntlets, 15 fleshed-out heroic character template pre-gens, quick references, two pre-made adventures including a full tomb with map and 10+ well-described rooms and adversarial pre-gens printed inline with the text.

Personally I really love reading these titles for the excitement of all the gear, skills, gimmicks, beasts, and other imaginative possibilities, even if a lot of the time I use something more like a set of GDi-Lite house rules that I've whittled down since I started learning about it. All the more fun!

Thanks to the publisher for making this title available and keeping the line alive.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron & Gold RPG (Core PDF)
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Atomik Conversion Kit
by Marc C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2022 21:36:43

Amazing how many systems are covered in this Conversion Kit! I appreciate the additional frameworks and suggestions for converting to specific Precis titles. I was able to equip my Coyote Trail homesteaders with EMP-shielded NNPs and Database Chips within seconds, knowing I wasn't missing anything important.

This bridges any gaps between Atomik titles and the various games very nicely. (To see even Worlds Beyond in here with matching typesetting almost brings a tear to the eye, wow nicely done)

And those homesteaders are suddenly amazing wayfinders for a local band of adventurers...it's like they memorized the map!

If you are interested in using the Atomik products but want to make sure you've thought of everything, you can't go wrong here. Thanks to the publisher for this title.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Atomik Conversion Kit
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Rune Stryders: Fantasy-Mecha RPG
by Charles H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2022 18:58:49

This states in the title that is is "Fantasy-Mecha". In the Section on "Stryders" it specifically states these are not Mecha, Robots, or Golems. They are extensions of the rider. I am calling it a rider, not a pilot. There is a picture of a headless rat with an archer standing where its head should be.

And if you want to get technical, you are not a rider, more like a babymama - as evidenced it the weird section on why your headless rat is better than the people riding giant bugs.

"For this reason, the relationship between Stryder and Pilot is much less akin to that of a brain and its body, and more appropriately compared to that of a pregnant mother and her unborn child."

This gives new meaning to the phrase, "Mission Abort." This is not fantasy mech, whatever it is.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Rune Stryders: Fantasy-Mecha RPG
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Iron Gauntlets Classic Reprint
by Marc C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2022 00:32:54

Iron Gauntlets is a new favorite fantasy RPG of mine. For a lot of reasons. But in short--great deal, awesome product, worth getting.

First off I'm just going to say I like the feel of it. Right from the cover you feel invited into a high-action, higher-fantasy world. The interior is also really well laid out and designed with classy detailed illustrations. Personally I like that kind of feeling in some of my fantasy game worlds, and the fact that the book echoes the theme is inspiring in its own way.

As a game product, it's also very professional and "batteries included" in philosophy, which means you are paying for the full game experience. You get clear instructions, gameplay examples, worldbuilding guidelines and tips, a flexible but also reasonably crunchy ruleset (I think of it as "chewy" since it's crunchy but substantial and flexible!), and all kinds of amazing add ons: 8 races, 12 backgrounds (nomad, seafolk, lord, etc.), 17 vocations (from adept (monk) to wizard), equipment, a bestiary, a detailed magic system, and more.

The world of Amherth is also introduced if you want to start with a basically fleshed-out world. There is a really reasonable level of detail here for interested players and GMs.

The companion book, also bundled in this product, includes even more backgrounds like desertfolk and satyrs, new vocations like courtesan, hedge wizard, personal defender, raider, and explorer, and other cool stuff: A "Convictions" system with Beliefs, Values, Fears, Temptations, and Triggers, to flesh out a character's personality, Character Threads to better link characters' lives together, optional health rules like Angst and Contempt, and more options.

Overall, if you like fantasy games you should get this one, it's really quite a good deal and it also works together with the publishers rule sets for other systems. You can easily turn this into space fantasy with HardNova II, or be a time-traveling supernatural detective assigned to a typical fantasy cabal with Ghostories.

I also purchased the softcover from the publisher and it looks great, thanks Brett & all who worked on this title.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iron Gauntlets Classic Reprint
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Mean Streets (GDi) Enhancement Pack
by Antoine B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2022 12:22:19

One of my favourite RPG. If you are into noir, this is your game. Lots of support from the publisher and a very simple system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mean Streets (GDi) Enhancement Pack
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Man, Myth & Magic (Classic Reprint)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/30/2021 09:52:32

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2021/11/review-man-myth-magic-1982.html

I am going to be spending some quality time with the classic game Man, Myth & Magic by Herbert "Herbie" Brennan and J. Stephen Peek and published originally byYaquinto Publications in 1982, and now published (in PDF and single softcover formats) by Precis Intermedia.
I was always kind of fascinated by this game. The name of course grabbed me for two reasons. There was the whole "Myth and Magic" side to it all which in 1982 was a big draw for me. Also, there was the magazine and encyclopedia series also called Man, Myth & Magic that dealt with all sorts of occult-related topics.

I read reviews for it in Dragon Magazine (#80) and White Dwarf (#41) and was actually quite curious about it. The reviews really ripped into the game and I needed to know if it was as bad as they made it sound. Sadly I never found a copy near me and a mail-order of $19.00 + tax and shipping and handling made it a little more out of reach when it was new.

But I was always drawn to historical games. I felt if I could play or run a game and learn something about history at the same time then it was time well spent really. A few I have enjoyed quite a lot, mostly Victorian-era ones, and others I ripped online so much I promised I wasn't going to rip on them anymore.

Man, Myth, & Magic sadly belongs to the camp of a historical mishmash, that is to say, it is about as historically accurate as an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Xena and it is very entertaining in the right frame of mind. The same is true for this game. Great, in the right frame of mind. In fact, I think that now, living in a post-Xena world, there is a place for this game that did not exist in 1982.

Man, Myth & Magic

For this review, I am going to consider my original boxed set from 1982 (now minus the dice) and the newer PDF versions found on DriveThruRPG published by Precis Intermedia. In both cases, the material is the same minus some of the extras that came in the boxed set like the dice and a pad of character sheets.

Man, Myth, & Magic was published in a boxed set of three books (same covers), with a pad of character sheets, some maps, and dice. The PDF combines the three books into one 132 page volume. The original boxed set retailed for $19.00 in 1982 ($55 in today's buying power) and the PDFs sell for $7.95 today. The books feature color covers and black & white interiors.

Book 1

Book 1 is 24 pages and covers the "Basic Game" and the game most like the one as originally conceived of by Herbie Brennan. In this game, the players play gladiators in the time of the Roman Emperors. Which one? That is up to a random dice roll unless of course, the players want something different.

Who's in charge around here? It's an interesting idea, but...well there are some problems here. According to the back of the box, it is the Summer of 41 CE. Cool. But Caligula was assassinated in January of 41 CE. Tiberius ruled 14 to 37 CE and Nero was Emperor from 54 to 68 CE. The only Emperor in the Summer of 41 was Claudius. Adding dates in parentheses would have been a nice touch. Let's not even get into the fact that Cleopatra VII, the last of the Egyptian Pharaohs, had died back in 30 BCE, 71 years before the events of this game, but that looks like her on the cover. I'll talk more about this later. In theory you can tun this game from 4000 BCE to 500 (or 1000) CE.

You begin with your Roman Gladiator and your two percentile d20s and roll up your characteristics. The characteristics in the Basic Game are Strength, Speed, Skill (not used just yet), Endurance, Intelligence, and Courage. The scores range from 1 to 100. You add all these up for your Life Points (so 5 to 500), you fall unconscious at 20 or below and dead at 0 or below.

The Basic rules take your gladiator from start to a bit of combat and adventure with the maxim that the best way to learn is to do. This is a tactic that the rest of the game uses. At the end of this, your character is ready for new adventures.

The neat bit, and one I want to revisit, is the idea of reincarnation. That is if your character dies they can be reincarnated.

Book 2

Book 2 covers the "Advanced Game" and includes 40 pages. Here we learn more about skills, the Power score, and the different Nationalities (10) and Classes associated with each (2-5 each). All are completely random and no real attempt is made to explain why say an Egyptian Sorcerer, a Gaulish Barbarian, a Roman Gladiator, and a Hibernian Leprechaun would all be part of the same adventuring party. Ok. That's not entirely true, but the explanation takes some digging.

Up first is determining your Nationality. Again a random roll gives you African, Briton, Egyptian, Gaul, Greek, Hebrew, Hibernian, Visigoth, Roman, and Oriental. Each at 10% chance. Within each nationality, there are character classes. Regardless of how many there is an equal chance for any given class. Most nationalities have a sort of "fighter" like class and all have merchant. There are two classes open to women characters only, Wisewoman (African) and Sybil (Greek). Details are given for all the classes, 20 in total, but not a lot of information. In most cases only a paragraph here and some more details later on. This brings up a persistent issue, the rules are a bit scattered everywhere throughout the book.

Additionally, there are two "Special Categories" of players (not characters) of "Orator" and "Sage" or essentially a storyteller and a record keeper. Much in the same way Basic D&D has a "Caller." Not much else is mentioned about these roles however.

This character is considered to be your first incarnation. Anytime your character dies, you can then reincarnate. This allows you to change your nationality, class, and gender and retain a little bit of the Skill from a previous incarnation. It is an interesting idea, I am not 100% certain though that it works. Knowing gamers I see a situation where players would play a character only to get them to die for a chance at a better character next time.

There is a fun chart on inheritance that would be fun to port over to other games. Related there are our ubiquitous tables of equipment.

Some of the other secondary "Optional" characteristics are also detailed. These include Agility, Charm, Dexterity, Drinking, and so on. These are really more akin to "skills." The trouble is that some of these you have to roll higher, some you have to roll lower and others you don't roll at all. There is no rhyme or reason here.

Combat rules follow and they remind me a bit of Runequest. Nothing really special really. Strength points over 50 can add to your damage, Skill points over 50 can add to your "To hit" chance. Combat, like all the rolls here, start with a basic 50% chance to hit. The Basic game just has you roll. The Advanced game has you make called shots. Classes with Combat as their "Prime Ability" can improve their ability to hit even more. All classes can spend Power to also increase their to-hit bonus; 10 points of Power to increase your chance by 1%. Interestingly armor does not stop you from being hit, it does reduce damage taken.

The goal of the game though is the accumulation of Power. Power advances your character and can overcome that 50% failure rate. Power also is the, well, power behind Magic.

The last third or so of the book covers all sorts of additional rules. Some seem tossed in, to be honest. Poisons are covered as are spells.

Magic, as expected, is given some special attention, though not as much as I was expecting. Magic is assumed to be real and work, at least part of the time. Magic is described as "Coincidence," a spell is uttered and something happens whether it caused it or not. "Science," Damascus steel is given an example. The superior technology was seen as magic. "Psychic Phenomena" which not really an explanation at all, likewise "Trance State" and as "Lost Knowledge." Though no explanation is really given as to how magic works.

Book 3

The adventures take up Book 3 and is 64 pages. This book is for the Lore Master (Game Master) only and is also one of the weaker parts of the game. The Adventures, while interesting, are a bit of a railroad. In order to succeed the players have to hit all the parts in order and then move on to the next adventure.

The adventures include the following:

  • The Dragon Loose in Rome. Not a dragon rally, but a rogue T-Rex. Not that this makes any more sense, but ok, points for effort.
  • Apollo's Temple. Emperor Caligula sends the characters to the Temple of Apollo aka Stonehenge.
  • The Witches of Lolag Shlige. The characters then have to go to Ireland (Hibernia) and rescue a child from some witches.
  • The Great Pyramid Revealed. Caligula has issued a death warrant for the characters. They find themselves in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

These adventures are a prelude to the published adventures. There are some neat ideas here, but the adventures lack something for me. Actually, it lacks a lot of things for me, but I could make some changes to make them work.

There are some encounter tables, but they only cover the areas that the adventures are detailed here. I also have to note there are no monsters here. Just humans.

One of the bigger criticisms of this game at the time was the then $19.00 price tag, about $55 in today's buying power. Now $20 for a boxed set of three books, character sheets, and dice sounds like a steal. With the PDF at just $7.95 it is at a price I think should attract anyone that might have been interested in this game.

The art is in black & white, which is expected and welcome, but there is not a lot of it and some of it is repeated throughout the books.

Man, Myth, & Magic at times feels like two different games, or rather two different ideas merged into one game. I feel that the classic Roman Gladiator/Basic Game was Herbie Brennan's idea and the worldwide game of various nations and types or the Advanced Game was Steve Peek's. Given that Brennan started working on a game called "Arena" which was a Gladitorial RPG.

About Reincarnation

Reincarnation is quite a big deal in this game. This is not a huge surprise given Herbert Brennan's publication history. His book "The Reincarnation Workbook: A Complete Course in Recalling Past Lives" could work as a guide for this game. Personally, I would like to use the reincarnation idea to help smooth out some of the issues with different times. So adventurers from Cleopatra VII's Egypt, can then deal with Tiberius, and then help in Boudicea's raid on Londinium. Something similar to the Old Soul quality in Unisystem.

Somehow using the idea of the Distant Memory which, like Old Soul, allows the characters to draw on past life knowledge and skill. That is easy to do in Unisystem, not so easy to do in D&D like games with very rigidly defined classes. Maybe taking a level in another class might do it.

I am sure there is more in the expansion, The Egyptian Campaign, but I don't have access to that set right now.

There is an interesting game here but I think the concept of it is greater than the rules as presented actually allow. It never quite lives up to what the box claims. Nor is it the abomination that earlier reviews made it out to be. I think most reviewers balked at the price tag and the fact that the game did not offer anything new; at least not anything that meant going through the rather clunky rules.

It is most certainly not a historically accurate game. Historically inspired to be sure, but not by any means accurate.

The bottom line is that the game really isn't good, in fact, it is rather bad in many respects. That is not to say that someone won't find this game interesting or fun. I just think that there are far, far better games out there.

Should you buy it?

I would say the PDF at just under $8 makes it worthwhile for the very, very curious. I have my boxed set and I am happy with it, but my expectations were low and my curiosity was really high.

The game itself is only worth about 2 stars. My curiosity about it and my desire to have pushed it closer to 4 stars. In the end I am going to give 3 stars since I don't want to unduly affect Precis Intermedia games' overall rating. But don't grab this unless you are really curious (which is a good reason) or want to see how not to design a game.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Man, Myth & Magic (Classic Reprint)
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PrecisRoller 2 (Windows Version)
by Andy T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2021 15:44:02

AMAZING! It installed without a hitch (Windows 10) and is so simple to use. I am very impressed and recommend it to anyone who roleplays with their computer or laptop nearby.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PrecisRoller 2 (Windows Version)
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Coyote Trail: More Trails
by Marc C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2021 00:12:01

This is a great supplement for all of GDi, not just Coyote Trails. You can build sniper-type characters or enhance firearms combat using the optional advanced combat action rules here. They include: Precision Ranged Attacks, Precision Damage, 2D6 Head Damage Chart, Random Hit Location chart with alternates for punching and kicking, Cover Modifiers, and modifiers for bracing (a firearm), silhouetted targets, and off-hand shooting. Oh, and a table of difficulty levels for detecting gunshots. All of these would seem to work great in modern or even future settings with little or no modification. Thanks to the publisher.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Coyote Trail: More Trails
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Disposable Heroes Fantasy Statix 2: Humanoids
by Ian D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2021 19:02:44

The size of the A-frame miniatures are appropriate for 15mm scale at 100% scale when printing. Scaling your print to 110% makes them closer to 28mm scale, but then the miniatures are cut off by the printer's minimal margins. You'll have to print on a larger paper than normal 8.5x11 inch paper/cardstock and adjust the scale to make the minis closer to 28mm. Other than that, the images are good. You may wish to label the minis to remember what's what as Precis only uses a number code.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Fantasy Statix 2: Humanoids
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Stormrift RPG
by Marc C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2021 22:32:16

Stormrift is a really impressive RPG package in a book. You get more than enough story and system detail to fire the imagination. Also I get the feeling that it would be really, really easy to play kaiju-type games with this book, because some of the creatures are huge and literally named things like "Kajii" which I hope wasn't a coincidence!

GenreDiversion 3E is really simple to use but also has a reasonable amount of crunch to it. You'll find a lot of charts and values for characters, creatures, and vehicles, but the book also includes a lot of helpful examples to aid new players and GMs.

This is a terrific value in a fun product that can easily get the imagination going. Thanks to the publisher.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stormrift RPG
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts.
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