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Eldritch Role-Playing System
Publisher: Goodman Games
by phillip h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/25/2008 08:23:45

As a long time role player, I enjoy “new” rpgs. And the one thing I love about RPGNOW is the ability to buy a “discounted “ PDF of new games that interest me, before I buy a hard copy at full price.

Eldritch Fantasy appealed to me as it is a non d20 system, and, well, right about now the world needs more of this, if you ask me.

Eldritch has a default bog standard fantasy setting, with all the usual suspects, Humans, dwarfs, elves, etc. Nothing out of the “norm” here, and nothing that felt even slightly inspired.

The mechanics remind me a lot of Savage Worlds. Attributes are ranked by die type. D4 through d12, with d4 being the default human “norm”.

Character generation consists of point a buy, where players can either pick and choose or purchase racial packages,. There are in addition to attributes, assorted advantages and disadvantages and occupations to be picked from. All are what you except in a largely generic fantasy world.

The mechanics are, also largely unoriginal or uninspired, and in general consist of rolling the appropriate die plus assigned bonuses and comparing it against either a static or randomly generated target number. Even the slighty more interesting "Open" magic rules, for createing your own spells, seems like yesterdays news.

Again, this all felt remarkably similar to Savage Worlds, with one distinctive and unattractive difference. Where savage world made efforts to keep it simple, Eldritch piles on the additional rules, and assigns each an annoying series of abbreviations :ADP, PDP, ADC, MRV, ETC, gahhhhh enough!. There is nothing that breaks immersion, like when the GM asks a player “Whats yer series of random letters” and the Player answer is “HuH?” .

In addition to the games love of abbreviations and acronym are flow charts, specialized rules, and a multi paged character sheet (I don’t know about you, but if a game requires more the 2 sides of the same sheet to keep track of my character, it is asking me to record and remember way to much information) all of which seems to fly in the face of it’s claim that the rules are “Transparent”. Even in a slim book such as Eldritch, having to stop and flip through in search of an obscure caveat, is a game breaker, for a “Quick and easy” system.

Eldritch also gets negative points for being way to generic, the sample world description is less then three pages long . It includes sample spells, I assume these are suitable to this default paragraph, er, ah, “world” and no where even a hint at what sort of beasties trouble the world, just rules for inventing your own (in all honesty it looks like rules for converting them from “that other game”).

In short I found Eldritch to be unoriginal, uninspired, overly complex and incomplete, to be worth even the price of the PDF. You are not really getting anything more then the barebones minimum of an FRP system , and that in and of it's self should be a deal breaker for a system that claims to be an all in one book.If you are looking for a simple, transparent, original, and all inclusive sysem, there are plenty of better options to had (BRP, D6, and T&T come to mind).

For thoses planning on making a go of it, you have your work cut out for you (I wouldn't even recomend using Eldritch as an alternate rule set). If you are lucky, the future no doubt holds a metric ton of additional books to flesh out the world of Eldritch.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Role-Playing System
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RuneQuest
Publisher: Mongoose
by phillip h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2008 18:55:55

The newest RQ update, that aims at being slicker, faster and more stream lined.

Over all it doesn't look as if to much was lost in the translation, the biggest change is the crunchiness of AH's RQIII. In fact a lot of the book tends to bring back fond memories of the glory days of RQII.

What changes there have been are a mixed bag. Strike Rank is gone, in favor of Initiatives, Resistance (trait vs trait) change, and Sorcery got a reworking, and Hero points, Heroic "Abilitiesare addded, to name a few of the changes. Most you will either love or hate. Among them the death of SR to a simplier system is a the most welcome.

Those wondering of "M"RQ is compatible with ealier games, the answer is yes- but a fair amount of tweaking and fudgeing is in order. "M"RQ uses far fewer skills, Armor and weapon stats have been toned down, and secondary traits (Damage Bonus, Hit Points, etc), are different.

All in all it's a fairly solid reworking, with the changes either being loved or hated by old timers.

Liked: The silcker/faster combat rules, reworked sorcery

Not to crazy: about the "Generic" rule set, like AH's edition, there is something very wrong with a "Generic" incarnation of RQ, as it was a system speficic system in the begining. Sure there are nods and a handful of references to the world of RQ's birth here and there, but it's not enough....

Needed: An introductory adventure for newbs.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
RuneQuest
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Artesia Afield: The Book of Dooms Volume 2
Publisher: Aegis & Gorgon
by phillip h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/05/2007 10:04:29

As much as I want to love these books, I find I can't. I have read the first three, and I did enjoy them a lot. But there is one issue I have with Mr. Smylie's epic story of "Girl Power & sorcery"-that is we never see Artesia really in any situation she can not handle, she is able to out think, out fight, out plan and out magic every one else in the world. Hell, it could be called "Artesia will not fail". In the three volumes I have yet to see anything that challenges our hero in the least- there are moments where others question her, but she just goes on full throttle, with no real moment of self doubt. This all seems to clearly telegraph where this is all going. One doesn't need to think really hard to imagine what her ultimate victory will be. That is unless Mr. Smyliethrows one heck of a big monkey wrench in, to gum up the works.

This is all unfortunate, every hero needs a tragic flaw, a moment of doubt, a real chance to screw things up- to make them more human. Instead we get a god like warrior queen, who is unstopable.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Artesia Afield: The Book of Dooms Volume 2
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Reve: the Dream Ouroboros - - Complete Rulebook
Publisher: Malcontent Games
by phillip h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2007 17:42:20

The premise's of this game is very peculiar. The general idea is characters are part of a dreams of sleeping dragons, who are in turn(?) dreamed by the dreams(???), that is the player characters-at least that is what I got out of the book....Any way the dream world the characters inhabit is a kind of multiverse ala Moorcocks Elric/Hawkmoon/etc meets Alice in Wonderland/Wizard of Oz and maybe just a pinch of Lovecraft tossed in...

On the surface, it looks like a generic medieval FRPG, but as read more in detail, the games focus is shifted more to the weird world(s) and the story ("Journey") the players alter egos take, and less on Hack & slash dungeon clrawls- In othere words it is very French, which is okk since thats where the game originated from.

Strange as the foundation is, and as clunky as the mechanics can be- over all some how it made me like it. Aside from Artesia: Adventures in the known world , I have ot come across a book that made me want to try it just once-though I doubt I will. Still there is something about this weird, whimsical and facinating world that I found very appealing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Reve: the Dream Ouroboros - - Complete Rulebook
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Map 9: Elphand Lands
Publisher: Judges Guild
by phillip h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2007 00:00:00

I really loved the old Judges Guild Maps/books back when I first started playing. They were great fun.

I bought this map, thinking I'd maybe run a kind of retro-game, with all the silliness & weridness of the good old days.

However, printing off the map is impractical, since it is a single scan, and an 8.5"x11" image doesn'rt do it justice (amd is impossible to read....And I lack the means to print a larger copy.

I suppose I could just move my computer out to the game and view it on the monitor (I don't have a laptop)-but that is a hassle.

<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: fun for the nostalgia factor.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: They could have scanned the map in 8.5" x 11 sections, so one could print out the whole map AND use it.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Map 9: Elphand Lands
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