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Art of Wuxia Core Rules
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2020 13:36:46

Great little supplement. Really captures the Wuxia genre, with good well flavoured character options, in a nice easy to play ruleset. Plenty of options for martial arts and magic. Scant but very evocative artwork.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Art of Wuxia Core Rules
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Art of Wuxia: White Breath Cave
by 38720 M. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2020 02:29:26

I ran this adventure. It's a good way to introduce the players to the system...though as I ran it after he start of the campaign, they might have been a bit more powerful than expected. Still, it provided us an evening of fun on short notice when I wasn't feeling inspired, and what more can one ask from an adventure?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Art of Wuxia: White Breath Cave
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Art of Wuxia Core Rules
by 38720 M. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2020 02:19:56

That's a great wuxia game! And I do not say that lightly...I have more than a few of those. Due to being light, it's almost infinitely customizable. And the system is light enough that the players and the Referee can focus on what's actually going on in the game instead of on managing their own characters/NPCs. And creating NPCs on the fly is a breeze! As an aside: that, I believe, is the greatest failing of some other games aiming at the same genre, even games that I otherwise like a lot...

In the last month, I think my group is averaging over 2 sessions of Age of Wuxia per week. That should be enough of a recommendation, I believe!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Art of Wuxia Core Rules
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Art of Wuxia Core Rules
by Alexandre R. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/31/2020 05:46:39

This is a nice rpg for playing oriental adventures in a fantastic world. The art is amazing and very and very illustrative of this fantastic atmosphere. You have non crunchy rules for martial artists and classical magic spellusers. Ideal for dungeoning in an ancient oriental atmosphere.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Art of Wuxia Core Rules
by Newton P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2020 09:18:34

I love the game so far. They've done some fantastic things to bring the genre alive, and mimic those high-flying Kung-fu movies we love.

For example the Qi power: "Heroic Pose" is almost screaming for my players to stand-up at the table and say something cocky (but poorly dubbed in English so their lips don't match the words...hahahaha).

Also, I love the rules for "Improvised Weapons" (again, another standard of the genre) with damage output that doesn't make it a poor choice.

The 'Cinematic Sliders' is fantastic, and so simple, that other rpgs should have this for an easy 'heroic' mode.

The simple 'one-line' of stats for minor NPCs is perfect. I don't want to wade through lines of stat-blocks for mooks who are going to drop like flies.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Art of Wuxia Core Rules
by Ralph B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2020 04:43:52

An excellent iteration of wuxia! The ruleset is direct and simple to use but contains enough detail to make advancing a character fun and interesting over time. Skills cover dozens of different kung fu styles that feel different from each other, numerous spells for sorcerers, alchemies, and many others. Well worth your attention.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Art of Wuxia Core Rules
by Damian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2020 05:07:30

I have searched for a self-contained ruleset for wuxia for a long time, one that did not require extensive home-brewing to my group's tastes and my ideals.

This ticked all the right boxes for me:

  1. A straightforward system for capturing the tone of a wuxia game - I mainly skimmed it and it wasn't hard to grok
  2. It is classless and mainly skills-based (derived off your relevant ability score + skill level), allowing you to mix and match concepts
  3. It is capable of representing a diverse many in-genre abilities through these skills, including but not restricted to:
    • alchemy [poisons, medicines, antidotes, etc]
    • detective
    • diviner [can be traded for 'strategist' if you want a less magical setting]
    • sorcerer [which seems simple enough to remove if you want a straight-up non-magic game],
    • thief

In addition, the usual tropes are there:

  • Different kung fu styles, their effects and how to create them
  • Different spells and their effects
  • Sample weapons of ingenious design (hidden weapons mostly)
  • Sample magic weapons

I, for one, am happy with my purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
by Cold C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2020 15:51:45

There is so much to this small package. Classless & level-less. This system incorporates so much into it's basic mechanics. The melee sytem handles multi-attacks, superiority of experienced warriors, dealing with multiple attackers, and defense in it's single melee mechanic. Character building is only the essential, but easily allows builds to any archetype, and easily one of your own. The magic system is likewise extremely uncomplicated and adaptable. A free form spell creation, that actually requires very little math, and remains exact.

The creativity allowed in the magic system, and item creation does make for some opportunistic power gaming. It could be a bit OP, and NPC's taking advantage of this system could turn it into a fast paced slap jack system, of outwitting enemy spellcasters, or them you. The damage causing effects of spells seems well regulated, but the advantages of non-damaging spells, could greatly influence balance. Which could be good or bad? This system seems to promote problem solving, not only by making simply swinging through battles dangerous, but also by making sneaky and inventive solutions enticing.

This system is something that just must be tried. It's an innovative system, for innovative exciting roleplaying.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
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White Lies
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2019 17:24:33

Roughly coinciding with the release of the Bond movie SPECTRE, DWD Studios brings us "White Lies" with an appropriate gun-logo. Based on "white box" old-school rules, the rules system of classes and levels will be inherently familiar to the majority of gamers brought up on D&D. Combat rules can use either old-style Armor Class (AC; lower is better) or Ascending Armor Class (AAC; higher is better).

The familiarity is a powerful strength of the game. If people have the energy to explore a different rules basis, they could try DWD's game COVERT OPS, which also has an espionage setting.

The rules are written in a breezy, easy-to-follow digest size. Five character-classes are presented, suitable to the espionage setting, with progression up to Level 10. However, adding a Hit Die to your Hit Points when reaching a new level only succeeds if you have rolled greater than your last Hit Die advancement. There is a basic list of weapons, vehicles and other gear, more like distinctive classes of weapons, as the game says it will not detail fire-arms down to each model of revolver or hand-gun. Weapons and vehicles have various upgrades to enhance and distinguish a character's gear.

Not to be overlooked are several pages devoted to world-building. Akin to "random dungeon generation" but with a spy slant, this harkens back to several past DWD products and can be useful aids to players who are stepping over from the fantasy genre. The rules invite the Admin (GM) to roll on some random tables for the type of Enemy Organization, its location, descriptors, and its overall agenda. The Master Villain in the game can be rolled for Type, Motivation, resources, henchmen and minions, and a big d100 table of Quirks ("Here, kitty, kitty...") Missions have random tables as to the number of "scenes" or "maps" and what type of mission objective each scene involves, a random table for the descriptions of the location, and a dual d100 table to give your mission a snazzy (or totally meaningless) code-name! Of course, these tables should be used more to review the tropes of the spy genre, and the Admin should make some judicious picks of what should make the most sense, rather than a totally random determination.

A few stats for opponents and a few choice animals ("Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?") are given, including a few stats for alien opponents in a setting where nations are in fact controlled by aliens from an alien conspiracy! A suggested organization for the player-characters, Bureau 19, is given, and a short sample adventure.

Overall, an excellent product with the aim of drawing old-school rules-players into the espionage genre.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
White Lies
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BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
by Jim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2019 01:43:40

Fantastic RPG that I keep coming back to. It's also very child-friendly--an absolute hit with the kids at our centre. Check out our full review to see why it's one of the best introductory games for kids.

https://swordsandstationery.com/roll-for-insight/barebones-fantasy-review-one-of-the-best-role-playing-games-for-kids/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
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BareBones Fantasy Role Playing Game
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2019 15:00:34

This is a GREAT game! I'm a fan of rules light systems and have collected a lot (too many, its kind of embarrassing) looking for that perfect blend of flexibility and completeness. Every other product has left me wanting in some areas, with Magic systems typically being the most troublesome - too vague and hand wavy, too DnD or 'Vancian,' etc. Others have fiddly bits that can be a little too meta for some groups (Fate/FAE, PBtA, etc.), or mechanics that are overly simplified to the point of all rolls feeling the same (the Tiny D6 series feels a little like this to me). BareBones Fantasy (and the other games in this series) is the only one that to me gets it all right.

Character Creation and Development: Character creation is quick, well explained, flexible enough that you can start your character on the path you envision for them, detailed enough that every character feels unique, and streamlined enough that you're not stuck in a min-maxing analysis-paralysis. Character development is equally flexible, and allows you to tailor your character over time into exactly who you want them to be, all without having to keep track of a dozen different bits (I'm looking at you, Feats, Talents, Perks, etc systems!).

Mechanics: Ever since the first time I played Call of Chthulu a million years ago, I've liked the d100 (roll equal to or under) mechanic because its so easy to grasp - if you've got a 63% of doing something, you know immediately what that means. It also makes it really easy for new players to have an intuitive sense of how good, bad, or meh, they are at something. No curves to figure out, or percentile and mods to multiply by 5, etc. The problem for me has always been that most d100 systems get way too bogged down in minutiae. Hit locations, armor specific to hit locations, strike ranks and strike rank mods and costs, etc. (Not to mention the magic systems....) BBF streamlines everything to where it flows simply, easily and naturally, and yet somehow manages to preserve meaningful options and tactical choices. And it does all of this with one set of consistent mechanics that handles everything other systems have to create subsystems, feats, talents, class level benefits, etc to accomplish.

I'll give you one example from the combat system to illustrate this. Let's say you're in fight and you have the intiative (I also love how BBF handles initiative - simple, brilliant!) and you decide you want to strike quickly and try to take out your opponent before they can hit you. You can choose to attack more than once on your turn. Each action after the first on your turn suffers a cumulative -20 penalty to your score, so for two attacks, the first would be at your skill level and the second would be at skill level -20. Feeling saucy? A third attack would be at -40, but hey, with luck and/or a really high skill rating, you can pull it off. HOWEVER, actively defending against attacks is also an ability roll, so if you commit to multiple attacks, by the time it comes to defend yourself you're going to taking another cumulative -20 to each defense roll. No need for the players or GM to try to keep track of some special class/level/feat benefit that lets someone take multiple attacks and remember the specific penalties associated with those maneuvers. One mechanic, meaningful tactical choices, simple mechanics. Of course you can combine other actions with attacks or defense in combat to create cinematic maneuvers, but it all uses the same concepts. Magic is equally simple and flexible, without being hand-wavy, and the magic-using professions (skills) are different enough to give them each their own unique and distinct flavors, strengths, and limitations, without being cumbersome.

I can't recommend this game, or really any of DwD's products, strongly enough. If you're new to them, I would recommend this one as the gateway game, becuase the others add a little more complexity - but they are built on the same platform, so if you're familiar with BBF, you'll easily catch on. Also, the Keranak Kingdoms, the default setting, is really interesting and rife with adventure possibilities and great lore that get's your imaginitive possibilities flowing. Just like the main game, to me the setting finds that perfect balance of intriguing detail and broad brush strokes that doesn't paint the GM into a canonical box but isn't so vague or generic that it feels like just one of hundreds of fantasy trope worlds.

Recommendation: Buy this product! If you love it like I do, get more stuff and support the publisher so they'll make more great stuff. And spread the word - this small company makes games that are absolute gems and I'd love to see them get the recognition I feel they deserve.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Idea Factory
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2019 12:13:06

A very good story and hook dice rolled generator for Sci-fi adventures. I highly recommend this for $1.99. I use it enough that I have printed it out. It is original enough, with enough choices to generate good ideas, if not totally unique. Every major cliche is available to remix in the generator.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Idea Factory
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Covert Ops - Core Rulebook (Softcover)
by Jon S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2019 00:24:08

LOVE this system! Totally reminds me of the old Top Secret/S.I. which I played until the books lost their covers...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Covert Ops - Core Rulebook (Softcover)
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Creator Reply:
I won't lie - Top Secret/S.I. was one of the big influences for this project. I'm sure you recognize that!
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2017 12:16:27

FrontierSpace Player's Handbook by DwD Studios A review TLDR summary: Great game, good possibilities for tinkering, great art, good setting, great writing. Buy it, for it is fun. I will admit first of all that I have been looking forward to this game for quite some time. When I bought BareBones Fantasy several years ago, I learned that the authors had taken the system they loved from Star Frontiers and had carved it down to a lighter version which they called the D00 Lite system. Among the changes made to the system, attributes were changed, a new critical mechanic was given, and skills were changed to the class-as-skill model I have seen used successfully here and elsewhere. The BBF game was really a great innovation, to my mind, and I was left with an eager desire for the day when I would see my old friend Star Frontiers (by TSR back in the early 80s) take flight again in this system. I eagerly devoured Covert Ops soon after BBF, and saw a few more changes to the system that adapted the game to that setting, showing how versatile the game engine could be. My eagerness only grew. Now that I have my copy of the game, I am even more eager to take it for a spin. The first thing I saw from the game was in the notice of the download which contained the author's’ invitation for anyone to take the system and setting and do whatever they liked with it under the Creative Commons license. This impresses me especially as a game tinkerer and is a refreshing change from some other games. I already have a couple setting ideas that almost write themselves, and a few more ideas within the setting as it is written. And now the game itself. In the introduction of the game the primary setting ideal is explained, that this game is about small fish in a very big ocean. The frontier is the star of the show, so to speak, and the players part of a far larger whole. Here I got a glimpse of the quality of writing I could expect throughout the book, which was engaging and clear; dramatic yet succinct (if I am using that word correctly.) It is a gritty setting. The discussion then continues to explain the role players and referees each serve in, and the all-important golden rule of RPGs, that when the GM makes a ruling, accept it and move along. The dice system is broken down and explained in the beginning of the first chapter. All dice are ten sided. Most rolls will be percentile, with two zeroes read as 00 and not 100. You succeed if you roll under the target number, usually a skill plus an attribute plus modifiers. Rolls for damage or some other effects are the dice rolled and added together. There are six attributes which cover whatever your character is going to do. Skills follow the class as skill model as in the other outings of D00 Lite, but here instead of the previous games’ formula to arrive at the overall skill, it is simply expressed as a number between -20 (untrained) and +30 (top in the universe) with 0 being basic professional level training. At first I was thrown by this idea, but as I got used to it, I began to see how brilliant this is. For one, it is possible to use the same skill with multiple attributes. If you have a Medic skill, for instance, you could use it with Perception to examine your patient, with Coordination to perform surgery, and Willpower when you are telling the patient to relax and heal. Character creation is in the second chapter, and has a couple of neat points. You can roll for your attributes and then put the rolls where you want them or choose a predetermined array that includes a good mix of values to give a character enough depth without being overpowered yet. Species are discussed elsewhere in detail but are conveniently summarized here. The Referee’s book will have the means to create new species but the five included in the book are plenty to start with. (I have to wonder how hard it would be to adapt the various fantasy races from the BBF supplement Flesh and Blood. Probably pretty easy, and just a bit of re-flavoring and reskinning.) Characters start with one skill at 0 and two at -10. This I like because you then have a character that can do one thing well and a couple others (out of 12) that they do sort of well. I like the way character creation comes together as a fast and easy thing. The rest of the book follows along as a logical progression through the technology and the culture of the game and winds it all up with the setting. While glossing over much of the book and encouraging you with my opinion that it comes together well, is well written, and engaging, I will say that the game makes a few assumptions that pinch just a little. The setting is somewhat limited to a couple dozen systems but with a lot outside of this area left nebulous enough to be mysterious and so forth, but in saying that I have to giggle a little at myself since I haven’t seen more than a quarter on my own state and rarely leave a hundred mile circle of that. Ships are kind of on the small side but only when compared to Star Destroyers and Trek ships. The only other annoying thing about the setting is the number of loose ends set up in it which would all be things one could use as story hooks to get player characters doing cool stuff. It would be really easy, though, to port in any setting you like with this game. The artwork throughout the book is pretty cool and captures the essence of a spacefaring gritty story based game. Only a couple of the spaceship drawings were not quite up to my standards, but are still a ton better than what I manage. One thing the old game did that is rare to find elsewhere in science fiction shows and games was that almost all of the ships were built on the tower model rather than the boat model, which is to say that in a spaceship decks would be best placed perpendicular to the thrust so that you have acceleration as your false gravity. There is very little evidence that gravity floors would be possible let alone cheap enough to be ubiquitous. It appears that the space vessels are built on the boat model for the most part. Really that is my only gripe with the art. Everything else is awesome. Those boat model space ships are pretty awesome, too, really. Fair or not, I judge games on several criteria, mostly having to do with feelings. Frontier Space wins first because I have been excited for a long time to get it. It wins again in how confident in the way the rules are laid out that I could easily play and enjoy it. It wins in that I can see myself walking around on many of the described worlds, talking to Yar, Erakai, and Novim friends. It wins in that I can see piloting huge freighters and nimble fighters through the deep voids of space. It wins in that I cannot think of any ways in which it loses, with the only exception being the relative obscurity of the game, which is something I can at least try to do something about through this review and getting the word out on other places. I was going to ask for more D&D books for Christmas and birthdays upcoming, but since i got this as an early present from a kind benefactor, I think I would rather get printed copies of this book and the referee’s book, which together would be less than either the 5th Edition DMG or Monster book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
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FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
by dana f. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2017 12:00:11

This is a well-done but incomplete product. As other reviewers have noted, it's very much done in the spirit of Star Frontiers, except that the game mechanics of FrontierSpace are much better - smooth, consistent, and pretty fast. The downside is that the book is quite incomplete - combat rules, for example, are in the Gamemaster's Guide, and although there are a selection of stock NPCs, there isn't a bestiary of aliens (other than alien PC races), monsters, and such. For that, you need the Gamemaster's Guide (which has a tiny selection of creatures along with good rules for crafting them). As such, there's a fair amount of prep-work from a GM, since you'll have to create adversaries from scratch continuously. I recommend the game, but be aware that what you're buying is not complete. If you're used to having to buy multiple books (like D&D), this won't be a major issue for you.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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