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Monday Mutant 1: Junko
by Russell T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2019 14:46:57

It would appear that William McAusland is releasing the Monday Mutant series in order to build excitement for the upcoming TME Expansion Rules which are slated to be released in September. If that is indeed his plan, its a good one!

The Junko, Monday Mutant 1, is a great addition to the incredibly detailed menagerie of horrors that populate the TME world. This horrible, ogre-like creature would be an unwelcome surprise for a group of excavators exploring the ubiquitous ruins of the future. Among the Junko's many unique traits is it's penchant to use loot to bait adventurers into an ambush. Now there is a whole side-adventure right there! In addition to the monster stats and great art, the PDF comes with a unique loot table and a list of of 10 unique mutations for the Junko, which makes it feel like you are getting 11 monstes for the price of 1!

And the price is right for this Pay What You Want PDF! The suggested price is $0.00, which makes this an absolut steal.

There are a few minor typos, but they shouldn't impact your enjoyment of this beasty. TME is my favorite post-appocalypes game. It's easy to play and packed with as much detail as you want to use. if you are leary about buying the main rules, download the Quick Start rules when you download the Junko and give them a try. it's a fantastic game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monday Mutant 1: Junko
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Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art Set 9
by 5E S. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2018 17:25:48

Amazing art for DMs and creators alike. I almost don't want to tell people how good it is because I want as few people as possible to be using it! I use this stuff liberally in my products and have all of WM's art packs. Hoping he'll put out more. Top notch black and white line art. It don't get much better than this IMO. The art has a distinctive feel, reminds me a lot of FF Gamebooks. I use it in my own 5e Gamebooks. Easily worth the asking price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Clip Inks:: Spot Art Set 9
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Handcrafted Dungeons:: Basic Dungeon Tiles set 2
by John G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2017 12:54:55

Handcrafted Dungeons (Both sets) are fantastic- i have had my eye on them for a while and just bought them and arranged for pro printing. The 'maker' quality of them is just beautiful. lighting, texture, doors, traps and details, plus all the printing and furnish level options. I can't recommend them highly enough. I am eager for the caves sets! If you buy only one set of tiles, buy two and make them HCD!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Handcrafted Dungeons:: Basic Dungeon Tiles set 2
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Handcrafted Dungeons:: Basic Dungeon Tiles set 1
by John G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2017 12:33:32

I have looked at tons of dungeon tiles, computer rendered, painted, drawn, inked, and none come even close to these. The fellow who published them actually built them out of clay and other materials, lit them and took photos of them to make the tiles. The results are nothing less than spectacular. I can't say strongly enough how much i enjoy them, where using, planning or just admiring the craftsmanship that went into them. I've always liked the idea of 3d dungeons, but lacked the space to make or store them. This stuff solves that problem elegantly. If you buy only one set of tiles, make it Handcrafted Dungeons. Full Disclosure: I am in no way shape or form affiliated with HCD, they are just that awesome that I was willing to eat the Canadian $ exchange so you other folks can get a good price on a fantastic resource. I even printed them out on 11x17 paper to make them larger for my kids to move figures around on.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Handcrafted Dungeons:: Basic Dungeon Tiles set 1
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One Day Digs 5
by Thaddeus M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2016 12:43:37

Excellent short adventure for Mutant Epoch. I enjoyed running it and my players enjoyed it as well. Maps are clear and concise. I would put average playing time around 4 hrs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
One Day Digs 5
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The Mutant Epoch RPG Quick Start Rules
by R. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2016 18:44:43

I have Mutant Epoch core rules. I only solo roleplay with it. This game supports solo roleplay extremely well. All their large adventure books are written to account for a solo experience which is so very rare.

I digress. These quick start rules are an amazing addition. Apart from their obvious reason for being they are perfect for solo roleplaying. I need a game to be rules light in order to keep the pace snappy. This concise 48 page edition (the adventure is an additional 42 pages plus setting material) is perfect for my needs and comes with another fantastic adventure for free! When the rules become second nature I can start adding more from the full 246 page core rules.

Really, what more could you want? Great artwork? Its got that too!

Richard Smithston



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mutant Epoch RPG Quick Start Rules
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Tyrannosapien: Creatures of the Apocalypse 11
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2016 15:04:41

At 11 pages, 8 are the content. This beast looks like an oversized 'Velociraptor', of sorts; but the claws are at the front, not the back feet.

Size is approximately just under 13 feet high to just under 23 feet at max height. Page 3 gives a good size comparison of this large beast to a humanoid. You could very well get trampled.

Some heavy hardware would be needed to take this one down. Artwork is good for depicting the creature.

I'd hate to think of the carnage that a pack of these could do.

And best of all, it's free!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tyrannosapien: Creatures of the Apocalypse 11
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Handcrafted Dungeons:: Basic Dungeon Tiles set 2
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2016 21:34:31

Darn impressive. The pictures need zero adjustment when being printed...you can print it right on 8x11 110lb card stock, trim it, and you're ready to go. The art looks beautiful and clear, every bit as good as the pathfinder or D&D sets, and even better in a way because the photography really gives a 3D pop to the models....the shadows that are cast on the walls really give an air of verisimilitude! And being able to print as little or as much as you need is a bonus. Combining them with other sets is flawless as well, so close is the scale. This is my first purchase, and I'm looking forward to other sets as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Handcrafted Dungeons:: Basic Dungeon Tiles set 2
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The Mutant Epoch
by George T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2016 09:15:55

I admire the scope and unity of vision that went into creating this game. William McAusland did it ALL himself: writing and art. It's comprehensive in the best tradition of core RPG books -- this volume contains everything you need to play the game.

I've been reading sourcebooks and playing RPGs since the late 80s. Here's my detailed feedback:

== THE GOOD ==

  • Comprehensive overview of character creation options, equipment, hazards, creatures and encounters, treasure, etc.
  • VAST character creation options: human, mutant, "ghost" mutant (think X-Men -- they look like regular people but...), cyborgs, human clones, Bladerunner-esque bioreplicants, transhumans (homo sapiens DNA but upgraded -- people 2.0), beast men in about 40 different flavors...
  • Classless system: you start with a caste, which dictates the character's background, skills, and wealth. From there on out, skill and attribute progression is based on experience.
  • Detailed combat rules
  • Creatures: OMG the creatures! Instead of a static stats block like D&D 1.0, nearly every creature encountered has a chance of offensive or defensive mutations that drastically affect combat and their deadliness. Humanoids like the lowly skullock (the goblins of the Mutant Epoch world) can't be taken for granted -- is this just a bog-standard critter, or one with psi mutations who's somehow acquired a relic assault rifle and a bag of frag grenades? Once your players learn how little they can take for granted, it creates MUCH more tense combat situations...
  • Support: Outland Arts offers a free starter adventure and a load of additional opponents for free. Paid supplements include a few comprehensive adventures, a couple of gazeteers (to date), a handful of smaller adventures, and a magazine. There's lots of support.

== THE BAD ==

  • Organization: there's no streamlined character creation process that puts all tables and bonuses in the same place. You'll find yourself flipping back and forth A LOT during character creation.
  • Lack of context: there's a TON of material about the world the characters find themselves in, but not much information about stitching it together. This leaves the GM loads of latitude -- but also requires purchasing a supplement if you want your campaign to fit cohesively into the larger world McAusland has established.
  • Technology: the level of technological development in the fallen world isn't clear. There are self-aware androids and laser pistols, for example, but no rules for lower-tech items like tritium night sights or reflex sights etc. Again, GM's choice to create these items, but savvy players will definitely be interested in them.
  • Power differential from start-up: depending on the luck of your starting character rolls, you may start with an escaped slave infested with fleas and still wearing his shackles, virtually worthless except for bait. Or you may start with an infiltration bioreplicant assassin, capable of 3 knife attacks per round. There's more swing in character creation than in all of Count Basie's work, so if your players don't like randomness, you'll need to house-rule some levelling mechanisms to keep your starting characters approximately equal.

== THE BOTTOM LINE ==

This game is CRAZY fun. I totally dig it and everyone I've introduced it to responds well. I can't recommend this game highly enough for PA fans or people who wonder what the world of Shadowrun would be like if civilization collapsed.

Three (mutant, mildly radioactive) thumbs, one tentacle, and one prehensile tail up!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mutant Epoch
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One Day Digs 6:: Hunt in the Dark
by Thomas H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2015 13:03:51

One Day Dig 6: Hunt in the Dark is a 15 page one day adventure for characters of the Mutant Epoch. Fully illustrated by Outland Arts and written by Giulio Iannarella. It takes your adventurers on a quest through the ruins of a large exhibition center, chasing a mutant rat-man fugitive. The blown out ruins are described well and the locations lend themselves to the kinds of creatures that will be encountered. Pitch black parkades with troll like mutants, blown out and buried conference rooms with terrifying rat mutants, and the depths below all conceivably out of the eyes above in the dusty apocalyptic town of Rust Haven. I recently purchased a copy of the Mutant Epoch game. Needing some inspiration for my own games I thought I would give Hunt in the Dark a read-though, so I payed $3.50 for my copy - since I had to sign up for RPGNow anyway to download the PDF. The encounters are self aware of how dangerous it will be and offer options to the players for creative role playing - something that was severely lacking in my underdeveloped adventures. I like the creatures and there is a variety, so don't expect this to be a grind. There were more illustrations than I expected for a pay what you want adventure and I think that it will have to have its own binder; however, I felt at times that the story might have catered to the RPG player crowd too much (no spoilers!). Although I haven't played this yet I know that it will be of great help in making my own Mutant Epoch adventures of similar flair. 4/5 - Very Good!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
One Day Digs 6:: Hunt in the Dark
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Wasteland Treasures 1
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2015 04:07:09

I put a lot of faith in Megan's reviews. She describes the book pretty well. What she failed to do in my opinion was mention that it is 20 pages of TME charts and tables with the fun and interesting writing that accompanies them.

These are not just list. Each entry is a complete write up of the item. That said, there are really not that many tables. Even the Mutant Lord can only squeeze so much writing into 20 pages. (If you are not familiar with his work, he tends to put on a page what most people would put on three. Maybe a disgruntled ex Xerox employee...lol).

Its pay what you want with a suggested price of $.0, so you can't go wrong or feel guilty. It is an excellent example of his writing and its a great resource for any modern/futuristic game where players "find stuff". Players finding stuff? Right?!

I recommend getting it now before the suggested price gets jacked up to a $.25 and you feel a pang of guilt for downloading it for free!

See you at the Bohemian! Now no longer rated the least structurally stable building outside of Tentville!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wasteland Treasures 1
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The Mall Of Doom
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2015 14:32:22

I have written a review of The Mutant Epoch and the Crossroads Gazetteer which may be helpful.

The Mall of Doom is, at heart, a good old fashioned dungeon crawl. It is also so much more. This "dungeon" truly lives and breathes. It is set in the Crossroads area; but it could be anywhere and could work with most PA games or as a module for a lot of other games. As the name suggests, it takes place in the ruins of an ancient mall. It doesn't have to be a mall though. It could also be the ruins of a small town, space port or any other place that would have various stores.

It is intended for beginning characters; however, it recommends that the players use multiple characters in case of deaths. So it can easily be used for much higher level characters. Personally, I am not a fan of players playing more than one character at a time. The Mutant Epoch has a completely random character generation system (or not, depending on your preference). The idea behind multiple characters is that the "cool one" will survive; although which one the "cool one" is can really surprise you.

Being new to the game, I ran this "as is" and had my players use three characters each. Because we used the completely random method to give the game a "test", the results were fairly interesting.

As a "1st level" dungeon it was a fairly good setting. The characters are hired...well to do some stuff. Part of the payment was up front in the way of "relics". This really helped out for the character that fortune had given a "pitchfork" as their weapon. The "dungeon" was located...well lets just say really close to a village where the characters could heal up and do some trading. This was fairly important and not for the usual reason of 1st level characters need to rest a lot. There was plenty of loot to be found! But most of it was not really valuable to an adventurer.

The best part about this dungeon was it really felt like a dangerous place. Things were in place that made it so that sometimes it was repopulated faster than it could be cleared!

Most of the players were down to one character by about 5th level. None of the players' "fav" from generation was the one left standing; but by then all of them agreed it was now their favorite. I can see where this system could have gone horribly wrong; but the "test" had bonded player with character.

Because of the way it was written, even old places felt fresh as the players worked on uncovering the secret. Their was literally more stuff to do in the same place for it to start feeling old.

The module was written with several possible endings (more on that in a minute). Ultimately, the players were able to solve the "problem". I can't say what happened next because it would give away too much. Lets just say the characters ended up just below 10th level and with a nice assortment of loot after returning to the nearby city. It wasn't their first choice of loot; but it definitely set them up for their next set of adventures.

As the first full "module" of TME that I ran for my gaming group, we had all gained a great understanding of the setting. Not only was it a great module, it was a great introduction to TME!

OK, now to the part, I would get to later. This module has two interesting features. It was made to be played as a "choose your own adventure" meaning that one person could sit down and play it without a Ref and all the encounters for each "room" were randomly rolled from several possible choices. So, "room 7" could have a collection of music discs the first time through, a hungry alligator chewing on the remains of a mutant the second time and a partially collapsed ceiling that reveals part of a car and its dead passengers the third time. It could really be run as a dungeon for the same players several times without repeating its self.

My players, after the first few attempts at rushing through it, finally settled down and approached it like the "Mall of Doom" it was meant to be! Honestly, I think the reason that they felt so attached to their characters by the end was because they really felt the "fear". Honestly, only an old GURPS module, Flight 13 has ever caused this kind of reaction in my players.

So, I have to say, its a great module! It is a good start to a TME campaign because of the pay off at the beginning. It also would work well for characters up to 10th Rank easy without modification. It would also work really well for many other games especially ones that are "dungeonny".

I would really like to run this for about a 10th level D&D group as a new "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks". Its well worth the money!

Also, if you are a bored RPer and can't get together with your gaming group for the weekend and don't feel like pugging a raid on WoW, it can make a snow day feel like a holiday!

Hope to see you at the Bohemian, where the Soylent Green has been certified to be PSH free!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mall Of Doom
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The Crossroads Region Gazetteer
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2015 13:09:47

I wrote a review of the HUB rule book for an overall game review see that entry. On to the Crossroads...

I was a little surprised at first when I noticed the price of a setting book being higher than the game book; but, since I really love the game and I noticed page count wise that it was almost twice as big, I gave it a try.

I really understand why now. Its HUGE!

Since no one has given an in depth review yet, I'll try without ruining the content since it is a setting book.

The first thing that really struck me were the city/town/settlement maps. Not only is the detail far beyond what most gaming books would give; but there is also a 3D picture of most of them. This may not sound as cool as it is; but it really brings the area to life. It doesn't feel like "oh, an number 22 is an inn". The picture view really gives one a sense of being there and is handy to show players. My players really felt like they were going somewhere instead of just to a point on a map. I guess the best explanation I can give is the difference between Google Maps and the Google Maps thing where you can set the camera to street level.

The second thing I noticed was how much was on the map. I had to take an area I knew and pull up Google Maps to the same scale as the one for the area. Yes, you really can get that much stuff into one area without it being "on top of each other".

The next thing that really struck me was how "alive" the setting was. Most PA games concern themselves with the empty barren wasteland. This setting is teaming with life. That doesn't mean you want to encounter a lot of it. It is just a really good example of the kind of "bio-explosion" that could happen if things were mutated or were robotic/cyborg. It is still a "wasteland"; but a different kind than is usually presented.

Crossroads covers two factions that hold a good amount of territory and two sort of alliances. One faction is presented as being fairly "bad" (or really good, depending on your tastes) and one sort of bad. The two alliances are the "good guys"; but, like much of The Mutant Epoch (TME), there is no clear cut good and evil. The book is more about the places in Crossroads than about the factions. It also mentions several other ones that can exist or not.

The Crossroads setting would work well with any PA game that involves some mutants, cyborgs, etc. A very interesting NPC leader also leaves the possibility open that the setting could also work with any space game as a interesting planet or even an "old school D&D" game. Think Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. It is one of the serious strengths to TME in general. It reminds me of the original "fantasy" ideas that were kicked around at the beginning of D&D before they just placed it firmly in a fantasy version of the Middle Ages.

The art work is good and very printer friendly. Honestly, it looks like someone's sketchbook after having travelled through the area. I really think this quality adds to the "feel" instead of pretty pictures that someone used to illustrate what something is suppose to be like.

TME works with the idea that the players are "excavators" searching through the ruins looking for relics. this is a nice point of view for those just interested in "dungeon crawls"; but the rules and this book would allow any type of campaign and suggest different ideas on types.

What didn't I like? Well, the font is a tad small. Not terribly. Most companies would have probably broke this into several books; but it really works better as one book. Outland Arts have several other supplements for places in the Crossroads area; but they are not required and the book doesn't leave "holes" assuming that the other books will fill in the gaps.

What is the best part? It is a complete area that delves deep enough into each place that it gives information on what each place would consider suspicious and why. It not just thorough, a lot of thought that is missing from standard campaign areas has been included.

This book alone could fill an entire campaign for TME or other games where this type of setting would be appropriate. It can also just be an interesting place to visit in a Traveller, Dr. Who, Firefly or even D&D campaign. In short, well worth the money.

Hope to see you at the Bohemian! The first round of Neon Green Mutant Fairy is on me...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Crossroads Region Gazetteer
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The Mutant Epoch
by Russell T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2015 17:00:38

The Mutant Epoch (TME) is a fantastic game and an incredible labor of love...and to think I almost passed on it! I'm old. I have been gaming since the '70s, and I love it. But I have a family, job, etc. it's hard for me and my friends to find time to game or even prep. At 246 pages, TME seemed like more rules than our group wanted. But I kept hearing great things about the game, and as some of my group really enjoys the post-apocalyptic theme, I decided to give it a try. I am so very glad I did.

I was surprised to find that the actual rules comprised only about 26 pages of the game. You can learn the rules in less than an hour! And the rules are good...simple, straight forward, but rich in detail. Almost every conceivable situation seems to be covered by a rule that is both logical and intuitive. Combat is detailed, and hazards are frightening. The game is a joy to play...and to read.

Most of the page content is devoted to detail that brings the setting to vivid life. The book is lavishly illustrated with Mr. McAusland's beautiful black and white art. There is an illustration on almost every page, and 3-5 on most. Character creation is richly detailed, provides a framework backstory, but still only takes about a half hour or less to roll up a new one. I think the 30 page selection on creatures has a piece of art for all 104 original creatures...and they're pretty horrifying!

That's one of the best things about TME. The creatures and encounters are all so new and original that the games are absolutely filled with suspense. No boring goblins or ho-hum orcs here. With brand new creatures and scores of horrible mutations, my PCs have no idea what to expect! There hasn't been this much "fear and loathing" around my game table since the 1st edition of Call of Cthulhu. Our games are young again, and the world bright and terrible.

Finally, the folks at Outland Arts obviously put a lot of love into this creation of theirs, and it shows in the excellent products the make. But they also value their customer and fan base, and cheerfully answer questions and provide support for their game. If you are interested in a post-apocalyptic game, I can not urge you to purchase this product strongly enough. It's just so much fun!

Reviewer's Note: one criticism of this game that I have seen a couple of times deals with sexism and the prevalence of non-voluntary sex labor in the game setting. I would like to point out that we have a sorrowful amount of that in the real world today. I can't imagine why anyone would assume that the situation would improve in a desperate post-apocalyptic future. It's a grown-up game that tries to envision both the good and bad aspects of this grim future. That being said, it's a subject that has never been the focus of our group's games. You have the complete liberty to ignore it in your games as well. Please, let's censor ourselves, and let our artists create in freedom.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mutant Epoch
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One Day Digs 1 and 2 Double Feature
by Russell T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2015 15:12:11

The Mutant Epoch (TME) has become one of my favorite RPGs. It's simple mechanics and wealth of detail make it a true stand-out in the gaming world. But many of my friends are reluctant to try a new system, as most are married to D20 games(nothing wrong with that).

One Day Digs 1 and 2 is a great way to introduce new players to the system. As the product teaser says, these short adventures are designed for this purpose...short intro sessions at a con or store. They accomplish this task beautifully!

The first adventure is pretty straight forward and introduces the players to the TME system, and some of the grim hazards of this post-apocolyptic world. The second adventure is a hunt for missing laborers and supplies, but the end of the adventure requires quick thinking and tactical planning if the characters are to succeed and/or survive. Each adventure is designed to be completed in 2 to 4 hours of play, but are easily expanded. Our old-school group finished the first in about 3 hour, but took over 4 hours on the second adventure...nothing extra added, their first experience made them cautious.

At 9 pages, this product is packed with quality adventure, great maps and evocative art. If I had payed five bucks for this product, I know I would have gotten my money's worth, but at Pay What You Want, it feels almost like stealing. But Outland Arts is good to their customers, so, don't feel guilty, give it a try!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
One Day Digs 1 and 2 Double Feature
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