Wednesday, 22 February 2017

[Review] Universal Exploits

"I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT PROTOS V SEXBOT!"

The review version is a PDF.

If you don't already know, +Venger Satanis is currently one of the best roleplaying games writer focused on weird, horror, sleazy and old-school; both fantasy and scifi. Alpha Blue is a great game, and Girls Gone Rogue made it even better with so much more material to use. What will Universal Exploits add to this sleazy space setting? Let's find out!

The book is divided into two chapters, "Rules, tables and setting" and "Suggestions, scenarios, and extras". But before the actual content begins, we get to read a three pages long short-story, which is

I wasn't a fan of Alpha Blue art, Girls Gone Rogue was way better and now Universal Exploits has best illustration of the trio! There are pictures from the same artist I disliked in the main game, but they blend well with other styles and artists, as they are no more (crappy) majority. They work now way much better. And line art is awesome. A warning though, many of the pictures are x-rated and sexual in theme with full frontal nudity and sexual acts, but there are also plenty of other science fiction imaginary. The porn doesn't bother me, though. Sure the sexual images oversexualize women and there could be more naked, porny men, too for balance. Again, be warned, there are so many images from which social justice warriors would rip their asses half. There are also few colored pictures, which is a nice addition.

Venger's writing is eloquent as ever, so the reading experience is really good. Everything is explained well with great writing. Because Alpha Blue's rules are extremely minimal and simple, you learn the rules additions easily and quickly. And there are plenty of them with lots and lots of random tables. The rules additions really give more detail for the campaign.

The strength of Alpha Blue product line are the random tables. There are so many, and they are so different. Many are really useful, some just fun additions to weird days you might need one. And what is best of these random tables, they are really inspiring for stories. You can easily just collect all you Alpha Blue books and start rolling tables, taking notes, and soon you have an adventure done. And naturally, you can use these tables in middle of the game to spice up, or sex up, the action and scenes. Religions, desires, alien worlds, locations, events, planets... everything in tables!

But because Alpha Blue as whole is basically made of tables after tables, you should write down all the random tables and collect them into one big index, so you know what tables are in what sourcebook. Otherwise it could be overwhelming to remember all the available material, yet shuffle through all the books to find the right table for the situation (in all sourcebooks and main rulebook together there are random tables for almost any situation).

One great part is domain management. In old-school games, when you have adventured enough, it is time to invest your money on some land. In this sourcebook, you can do it in space!

Suggestions, Scenarios, And Extras gives you hints and tips how to run an Alpha Blue game. Venger is an awesome (Space) Dungeon Master (proof: How To Game Master Like A Fucking Boss) who doesn't hesitate to share his experiences how to make games... well... fucking awesome. This chapter has lots of actual game expamples and suggestions how to get players involved in adventures - and how to make them adventure. Universal Exploits is an adventurers' agency after all!

You also get adventures, but in my opinion they are not that handy to refer during the play and read more than explained short stories. They feel a little railroading also. There are plenty of them, though, and even if not fun to run (I cannot decide that for you, or even myself without actually running them!) they are good fiction of the Alpha Blue setting. Some of the adventures here are more a location, where stuff is going on. A nice addition.

In my opinion, Universal Exploits is a great sourcebook for any science fiction game with weird, gonzo and action. If your game is pornographic -or needs more porn- even better. If you strip all the naughty, you still have lots of great content to use in different scifi settings. Well worth the buck!

Also with the PDF you get separate files for the maps included in the book. They are absolutely brilliant. +MonkeyBlood Design has outdone himself.

One final warning. Because the product is filled with tables and content, PDF version of it might be slow to use in actual game, when shuffling the book is nicer and easier. Just my opinion.
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Universal Exploits at RPGNow.
Alpha Blue at RPGNow.
Girls Gone Rogue at RPGNow.
Sleazy Space Opera (bundle of above three titles) at RPGNow.

My review of both Alpha Blue and Girls Gone Rogue HERE.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

[Patreon] Dwarven Stronghold + Bandits + Wizard Tower of Toerd + Alia(k) of Wizard Tower

Thanks to my Patrons, here is new content for you to enjoy! If you like stuff like this, you can support me to create more, and more, and more!

DWARVEN STRONGHOLD
Within this dwarven stronghold you find things like:

  • Barracks
  • Master's room
  • Dragon room
  • Sanctuary with a priest
  • Younglings educational spaces
  • Hatching chambers and information how dwarves breed... well, grow
  • And more!
Get it HERE!

BANDITS

Random tables to create bandits. You don't only get generic bandit information, new races and stats for different bandit types, but also tables for:
  • Encounters
  • Battle morale
  • Random stuff
Get it HERE!

WIZARD TOWER OF TOERD



Toerd is a small boring town, except there is a Wizard Tower.

Get it HERE!

ALIA(K) OF WIZARD TOWER


She was the first girl to start the studies of magic in Wizard Tower of Toerd. This is her story. Includes a timeline of events in her life, so she can be encountered in the campaign!

Get it HERE!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

[Review] The Blood Hack

Before I begin with the review, I want you to know, that I have had a privilege to work with this game. I did the layout, edited the text, made covers and a character sheet and discussed rules. But this review is not biased, because when I received the draft for this game, I fell in love. As I said, it was a privilege for me to get a change to work with The Blood Hack and its author +Matthew Skail.

I love The Black Hack. It takes my favorite rules system and tweaks it to simplier and more versatile form. Even though I still enjoy early D&D and OSR games, The Black Hack is something different, yet familiar. And because it is a versatile system, it is easy to reproduce for different genres, like Cyber-Hacked! which makes cyberpunk fun and fast or The Super Hack which makes super heroes not a chore, with roots to my favorite game(s).

In early 2000 I played Vampire: The Masquerade. I played it a lot! So much I grew sick of it for various different reasons. When I found OSR, I started to think what V:tM would be with OSR rules. When I found The Black Hack, I started thinking what playing vampires in World Of Darkness style campaign would be with it. Then at Google Plus I found out, that Matthew was working on a game using The Black Hack rules with a feel of 90s vampires and modern gothicpunk world.

And damned The Black Hack system works brilliantly with vampires!

You get the normal rules, where you roll everything under your Stats, be it fighting, different tasks or saving rolls. Because this game is set to a modern era, you also get rules for vehicles, firearms, chases and such, which all work great with the simple core mechanics.

There are four different vampire classes from four different Houses of the Blood. They are not just those four core fantasy races re-dressed with fangs, but great write-ups with different knowledges and skills. Each of them is great for different types of archtypes from magisters to warriors.

Vampires naturally have their supernatural powers, Gifts. They gain Gifts more experienced they get, and start with few. You are free to develop your vampire with Gifts you want to take, and are not restricted to bloodlines that determine your future gifts. The gifts are not only things that boost your vampire to be more powerful than human, they are many really clever and more towards roleplaying rather than rollplaying.

Some vampires can also learn rituals, which are blood powered powerful magic. There are five levels of ritual powers, from quite simple to truly horrific! The rituals are absolutely fantastic and don't feel that they are just replacing fantasy roleplaying game's spells. They are a different beast, and add extra flavor to the game.

The great thing is how the innovation of usage die is used with blood points and morale (basically humanity from V:tM). Instead of calculating and spending blood points like hit points, you roll usage die for blood for example when powering gifts or healing. Morale has an absolutely brilliant adaptation of usage die what really captures the downward spiral of vampire morality! Really elegant adaptation of the original system, where you used usage die for inventory items.

You also get lots of different NPC stats from commoners to supernatural beings. Many have special rules, which are simple, yet flavourful.

The Blood Hack has everything you need to begin playing in dark modern days as an undead vampire, who only doesn't struggle with her humanity, but also the dangers of the night. If you liked World Of Darkness games, this is a must have or you like The Black Hack, this is a great addition to your collection to mix with other "hack" genres.

Year 2017 has just started, but as an ex-Vampire fan and a big The Black Hack rules system fan, at this point I can already say, that The Blood Hack will be one of the greatest RPG products of this year.

You can get the PDF from RPGNow and print-on-demand will be released later.
Buy it HERE.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

White Star Campaign: 0 - Plans and background

White Star can be bought from RPGNow -
both PDF and print formats available!

WHAT IS WHITE STAR?


White Star is Dungeons & Dragons in space, using Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox rules. Basically it is OD&D with a modern and simplified touch, frosted with space-themes. You get everything you need to play, including space crafts combat! In short, easy and fun science fiction gaming where the rules are not a cumberstone!

HOUSE RULE: DIS/ADVANTAGE

I plan to play-by-the-book as much as possible. There are not many different rules, anyways. Only thing I am going to adapt is the dis/advantage system from D&D 5e and/or The Black Hack. Skill tests are d20 < attribute rolls. If the conditions are favorable OR character should know what she is doing or her character class is good at the task, she'll gain an advantage. If conditions are bad, she'll get a disadvantage instead. Easy.

SETTING

I am going to use White Star's default setting with some additional touches from me as a starting point for my campaign. A remote location, with three factions: Space Pirates, Galactic Consortium and The Resistance. Galactic Consortium has cut this sector from rest of the space by shutting down the only (known) jump gate there. They want total power and dictatorship and don't want anyone or anything from other sectors or places to come and interfere with their plans. When they have a total control of this Kelron sector they begin to build their military strength to take on a sector after a sector... Or that's their plan on the paper!

It was 60 years ago when Galactic Consortium cut out the power of the jump gate. It is now heavily guarded, and no one is allowed to get near to it. Safety reasons, they say, but the rebels know better...

Supreme Lord Adlar is either very old, or not completely human anymore. True, some genetics and advanced medical care can expand normal human lifespan, but people talk. Some say that Supreme Lord Adlar is half human, half machine. Some whisper that he has learned darkest secrets of the Void and is immortal. Whatever the truth is, Supreme Lord Adlar's humanity is long lost, and what remains is hunger for power.

Galactic Consortium wants to bend everyone within the Kelron sector into its will. Those who will not become workers or warriors for them, shall die. Galactic Consortium has been careful this far not to just go killing people, as there are more free-willed than brainwashed followers. But they will get there in a way or another...

Resistance is against the Galactic Consortium believing in free will and democracy. They are strong, as Galactic Consortium is not yet ready to fight the people and the mass. They fight against the most active and loud members of the Resistance, using not only firepower and force but also propaganda.

Space Pirates are just people who want to make riches fast by venturing the space and smuggling and stealing. They are stuck here, when the Galactic Consortium cut out the jump gate - only way away from this sector. Many original of the Space Pirates who got stuck into this sector are already dead, but their power and will are strong. They recruit new individuals continually amongst those who want true freedom to travel and explore. They have no place with Resistance and the people, as they are feared because of their original arrival of plunder. They refuse to take steps towards the Galactic Consortium which originally restricted their freedom of travel.
Space Pirates are a loose faction. There are gangs with one leader, the Overcaptain. But as long as the gangs do what the Overcaptain says, anything can happen, resulting that the gangs are rivals. Some of them respect each other, some of them are backstabbers.

Planets and other places of interests are vague enough to be used as they are written in the book, so adding material and adventures custom to the events of the campaign will be easy.

PLAYER CHARACTER

This campaign is for only one player, my girlfriend. She has interest in playing Aristocrat character class, which is a little different from other classes more familiar to D&D or Hulks & Horrors, what we have played earlier. Because this is a one-on-one campaign, I let her roll her stats 4d6 drop the lowest and assign at will. Because more interesting in this is the story of the character than the adventures. Well the adventures create the character, but in this case player will be playing her character, the antagonist of the setting, and her story will be on focus instead of the story what developes by playing adventure modules. If it makes any sense at all.

Player character will also have NPC companions from the beginning of the game. They are close to her, her crew, her comrades, her support, her friends.

Player will choose which faction her character will be a member of. She can be part of Galactic Consortium and try to get rid of resistance in order for her faction to conquer this section before they travel forth. Or she might be part of the Resistance and fight against the Galactic Consortium. If she is a Space Pirate, she will do this and that freelancing for her own good - and maybe towards opening the gate so Space Pirates can get out of this section. It's not good for the business to have been space pirating the same sector for over 60 years!

CAMPAIGN BEGINNING

I'll start the campaign with the beginning adventure from the White Star rulebook called The Second Battle Of Brinn. It's a good introduction to the system, and I can sneak lots of campaign background information. Depending on which faction the player character will belong to.

  • Galactic Consortium: The player and her crew must retrieve the data so the Rebels don't get their hands on it.
  • Resistance: Get the data before Galactic Consortium will get it, because it is important for the cause.
  • Space Pirates: The data is valuable, and will be easy to sell for the highest bidder - Galactic Consortium of Resistance. But before you sell it, you should make a copy of it. The information must be important, because them two factions are both after it. (At location 7, there are pirates, but they are from another gang).
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

It depends on the player and her character's actions and motives, what the campaign will be like. I will use some scifi adventures and modules I have, dropping them into the campaign where they fit - or I will make the campaign fit the adventures. I did this same thing when I ran Labyrinth Lord for her. We had this campaign plan, the great plot, but I used all different adventure material to flesh it out with fun content.

Monday, 5 December 2016

[Review] Slügs by Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Slügs was a free RPG day sourcebook, now available for everyone in print for a very reasonable price, and when they're all gone, a pay-what-you-want PDF will be released.

Most of the LotFP publications are adventures or settings, few being sourcebooks (like Vornheim for city adventures or The Seclusium Of Orphone for creating mages' towers). LotFP doesn't believe in traditional monster books, as its weird fantasy philosophy is, that each creature/monster encountered should be unique instead of just something out from monster manual. Slügs is a compilation of monsters - slugs in this case - but they are all unique and individuals. Or that's the impression the text gives. You don't meet 10 "muscle slügs" (yes, they're there) guarding a treasure in a dungeon.

 There are 16 different slügs in total, each different. Generally the aren't just meatbags and hit points for player characters to grind for experience and loot, they all have a gimmick or two - but the gimmicks are not stupid. Well, some of them are, like the christmas slüg what you get presents from if you're lucky, or breakfast slüg which is a slimy bowl of cereal. These slügs can be a big part of campaign, and a quest to find, for example the doctor slug to be found to cure horrible wounds and damage an adventurer party member has suffered. Some will make a quest, like mentallo slüg, who knows the future and wants you to prevent something horrible from happening. Some of them just have an effect, like sluggish slüg. But for those who want to fight horrible monsters, there are more traditional slügs like the vomit slug.

There are NSFW work included, but the quality of drawings is great. Kelvin Green's (Forgive Us) slüg drawings are great and he has captured the different qualities of the various slügs very well. Yannick Bouchard's inside covers are his usual great quality. And Rich Longmore's cover that expands to the back is very colorful.

Slügs was a fun read. There are many different slugs from which almost any Game Master can find something to throw into their campaign world. Many of them are humorous, some even stupid, but most of them are easily usable (the humorous and stupid depend on the players and campaign, rest don't that much). Even IF Slügs was just a big joke, you can use it without making your campaign just silly.

For the price of less than a dollar, when you order anything from LotFP strore, there is no excuse of not including this to it. I say, go get it!