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ASTOUNDING SCIENCE - Retro-Futuristic Options for Urban Jungle
by Jeremy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2021 19:37:12

Take of this book what you will. I picked this up as a pdf. The base book and first expasion I got a physical coply and pdf. This one not so much of a need for the hard cover. The first expansion gave you powers and interesting jobs. This one saying more playable species did not lie, but they are all alien. Only new thing in this book I liked was the mixed species. Is your dad a alien and mom and Earthling now you know how to cross breed if that is something you wanted. I would rather play Albedo for space furry fun. This is okay, but not what I hoped for urban jungle. I wanted other time periods to play in with more modern jobs and other animal species. I am not going to say don't buy it but for me it was the weak link of the three books. Okay for generic science fiction fun, but was a miss for me.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
ASTOUNDING SCIENCE - Retro-Futuristic Options for Urban Jungle
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URBAN JUNGLE - Anthropomorphic Noir Role-Play
by Jeremy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2021 22:53:55

This review will be short. The game takes place around the 1930's with a renaming of cities. The walkthrough the rules are fine. If you have played Ironclaw the rules are similar, but a bit more streamlined. If you are a furry this is a nice game. It is not overly sexual, but one of the careers is hooker.

I picked up the book and pdf. The pdf is clear and I have no issues. That being said I don't use quicklinks to search the pdf. The book is well made and the ink is easy to read.

I have just started with my regular RPG group playing this. My sister is the host. This is only the second system she has run. She wanted to give this forever DM a chance to play seeing how I am a furry. We only have one game under our belt and my character only got to use 2 dice roles because my sister got confused. I still think it is a good starting RPG for new DMs the rules are not over complicated. It did however take forever to set up two of the players characters. Both being new to RPGing. This groip started with Vampire 5ed then this.

I would recommend picking up the horror book to mix it up. The science book adds alien races not more basic races and I was not as impressed with it as the horror book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
URBAN JUNGLE - Anthropomorphic Noir Role-Play
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ASTOUNDING SCIENCE - Retro-Futuristic Options for Urban Jungle
by Sapphire C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2021 13:31:33

What never fails to amaze me is how Sanguine manages to really make some darling books. If you're familiar with D&D or PF, forget it. This isnt' some dry, dusty tome that spits rules and settings at you, it's charming and made with love. And unlike those books, the setting has a theme, a point, and bearhugs it, instead of throwing out a wide net of ideas.

It's never shy to give some pro-tips on how to use its systems, or have some fun with what it does. Even if you don't plan to run Urban Jungle, Astounding Science, Occult Horr, and the Ironclaw books are just filled with good, fun ideas. Some of the new Soaks are quite delightful, doing that thing where it marries a narrative fluff with a mechanical quirk for a gestalt whopper of a moment.

Seriously, it really breathes in that goofy idea of the early sci-fi era. Every page does lifting. Just Pluto alone features an exciting mystery with a strange localle and curious natives to meet and greet. Like the Mindjammer books, it's not afraid to hint at adventure and campaign ideas without feelign the need to spit it out, trusting you to figure it out and have fun in your own way.

If you want character, bite, a book that actually makes your brain rev and roar with ideas and excitement, you can't go wrong.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ASTOUNDING SCIENCE - Retro-Futuristic Options for Urban Jungle
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USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
by Wayne P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2021 08:11:54

A ¾ complete project abandoned to the internet

I bought the PDF of this game shortly after its release in March 2020. This review is based on the PDF as it was when I downloaded it on 8th April 2021. It’s roughly a year old and has had several updates since release.

When I first heard that Sanguine had got the rights to do a Usagi Yojimbo RPG I had mixed feelings. On the plus side, Sanguine are the go-to publisher for furry RPGs and despite being quite cumbersome and horribly complex, I actually really liked the original Jadeclaw, so it seemed like a really good fit. I don’t really understand how it’s a second edition when it’s a new rule system by a different publisher but you could argue the same is true of D&D 3rd edition. On the downside, however, they announced that it would use Powered by the Apocalypse, a game which I’ve bounced off in the past because it felt like it was trying way too hard to be cool and edgy and different for the sake of being different, which is a shame because from what I could see it seemed like quite a neat narrative system. I hoped that, with Usagi as its focus it might drop some of that pretentious nonsense and as a consequence be substantially more palatable, and it does to some degree, to be fair.

So, where to begin? Well, let’s start with the positives. The art is gorgeous, but let’s face it, Stan Sakai’s art is the lion’s share of the reason we’re here, right? The two column layout and black text on a white background is simple and clean and the square shape is quite pleasing, aesthetically.

Powered by the Apocalypse is, as I suspected, quite neat. It’s a simple, narrative system that collaboratively tells stories in broad strokes rather than granular, blow-by-blow detail and that’s definitely my bag.

The downside is that, having read the book from start to finish now, I’m not sure I really understand how to play the game and I don’t think that’s PbtA’s fault. Some of the rules are explained in the Rules chapter at the beginning of the book, some in the Playbook and some in the Master of Ceremonies chapter toward the end but I can’t really connect the disparate elements in my head. I think having the rules gathered together and explained with play examples might have helped connect the dots. This is not, however, a game for people new to roleplaying. I think folk not familiar with the concept will really struggle to understand what the hell is going on. It’s worth mentioning here that the GM (Master of Ceremonies) doesn’t roll any dice. Outcomes are decided by how well or how poorly the players roll and whilst I really like that, and I guessed as much from the Rules chapter, it’s bafflingly not explicitly stated in the book until page 205 (of 244) where it is a throwaway line in parenthesis in the middle of the second of three adventure plot hooks! This should have been stated in bold in Chapter 1: Rules. It is kind of an important and noteworthy feature of the system.

This particular version of Powered by the Apocalypse does, as I said, eschew much of the pretentious nonsense that has put me off the system before now but still has some irritating ticks. First to annoy me was the ‘Moods’. Moods are different styles of play. 'Casual' is when PCs are just wandering about exploring or chatting to NPCs via the GM, 'Dicey' is when dice are rolled to determine an outcome (skill checks and such) and 'Combat' is, well, combat. You know, like in absolutely every other RPG where ‘moods’ are a sort of intuitive given, but PbtA feels the need to formalise it, therefore making it feel much more complex than it actually is. We have the Playbooks with a couple of actions that your character has, called ‘Moves’. Moves in any other system are just the actions that your player can take on their turn but PbtA feels the need to also formalise it and give it a fancy name. The biggest offender though, is the name of the GM, the Master of Ceremonies or MC. No need. I’m fine with GM. It feels too much like it’s trying to be different for the sake of being different and I just want to cuff it about the head and tell it to grow up. PbtA also suffers from one of Fate’s problems in that it expects you to be able to use adjectives as scores. A ‘weak’ hit, a ‘Grand’ strike. All very admirable and narrative but I still need to convert them into numbers to be able to use them which is inefficient and I wish they’d just use the numbers instead. These bellyaches aside, the various 'Moves' that the PCs have, are quite neat and if you use the optional ‘Upgrade’ system, then characters have the potential to become quite varied and interesting mechanically as well as narratively.

However, I think for me, the biggest negative of all is the incredibly poor quality control on the book. It is absolutely riddled with typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and layout issues. The worst offenders being two paragraphs that end mid-sentence. It seems that the book wasn’t proof read before they hit the publish button, or if it was, it was done very poorly. This could be forgiven if it were caught and fixed almost immediately after publishing but twelve months after release I still count over 70 errors, that Sanguine have apparently never made any attempt to fix despite updating the PDF several times. I’ve catalogued them all in the comments page (if they’ve not been deleted) in the hope that it helps Sanguine correct them. (Reading reviews for several other of their products, however, this seems to be a common complaint with Sanguine!) My other gripe is that the covers of the book are supplied as JPG files separate to the PDF file. I don’t understand why. A friend suggested it might be because it made it easier to print but you can just choose to not print the covers. Another reason might be that the cover would throw the page numbering out but I’ve seen PDFs that list the cover as page 0 or i so that page 1 is still page 1. The shame of it is that without the front cover, viewed in double-page mode, the pages are out of order with the right hand page on the left and the next page over on the right. The page numbers are then on the inside which looks wrong and each playbook has the wrong accompanying comic strip image alongside it.

This last is admittedly a minor thing but combined with everything else it gives the whole product the feeling of a project three quarters completed and then just abandoned to the internet, which wouldn’t be so bad if people weren’t paying over £14 a time for it. Indeed people are ordering printed hardbacks of the book for over £43 in the above described condition! It’s absolutely shocking.

It’s so frustrating. I wanted to love it but I am, on the whole, very disappointed with Usagi Yojimbo 2nd ed as it could have been something quite special. As it is, I think if I ever run a Usagi Yojimbo game, it’d be less taxing on my nerves to just use the old Gold Rush Games’ Fuzion system rules.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
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IRONCLAW: Book of Jade
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2021 09:38:03

I'll keep my review short and sweet here. As a fan of the Ironclaw game system, I greatly welcome any book that adds to the pool of usable lore, items, races and creatures. The Book of Jade specifically is a really wonderful addon, as I'm also a fan of Eastern inspired lore, archetecture, mythology and designs. The book itself in terms of construction looks great, and feels great in the hands. Props to the artists who contributed as once again the beautiful artwork makes a print copy worthy of owning alone, beyond the additions to the Ironclaw system provided within the pages.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW: Book of Jade
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USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
by Angelo P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2020 08:18:15

This is one of my favorite implementations of a Powered by the Apocalypse system. It uses the Weak / Strong / Grand scale of challenge and success that I first encountered in Far Flung. I enjoy this because it enables storytelling in an intuitive way, one that fits the rising arc of escalating danger so common in stories of heroism. The "classes" feel authentic, and when I use the system I strip out the animal-aspects and just let folks assign a combination of +2 / -2 as they see fit. You could play out any number of stories and movies, from Seven Samurai to 13 Assassins to Shogun. It would be easy to file off the serial numbers and play a game of The Lord of the Rings with this; once you understand the system it lends itself to telling those kinds of stories.

Like any new system, it takes a hot minute to understand how the roles fit together. At the begining, the character abilities feel a ittle mechanically indistinct. At first I worried this would be a little boring, but it actually helped me see how the different core abilities interacted, gave the opportunity to see how Setbacks and Story Points work, etc. After a few games the special abilitis start to crystalize and the game really hums.

That said, you need to bring your own story and play this with people who want to tell a story. The mechanics will facilitate it but the narrative has to be brought to the game and all the players work together to tell that story (e.g. it wouldn't be easy to just drop them in a dungeon). If you want to tell an exciting, sincere story in the Warring States periods this is a fantastic choice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
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MADCAP: Screwball Cartoon Role-Play
by Tamshu B. D. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2020 20:06:46

I truly want to love this system, but the sheer number of errors in the document are infuriating. Especially for a game that is 3 years old. I get that your proofreader may be a hippopatmus with rose colored glasses, but sentences like "Nefarious forces try to steal the item leading to a chase them across the." happen too many times. Explanations of rules, end in

There, see how freaking annoying that is? And the grammatical errors outnumber the incomplete thoughts! (check the example above...it suffers from both).

FIX THE ERRORS!!!!

That said, once you make it through the rules, the system has a lot of entertainment value. I was looking for something to run with a wacky zany twist with a little less "adult content" than Big MutherF'ing Crab Truckers. While my players love the game, and it can be fun....sometimes I want funny not filthy funny. This looks like it may fit the bill. The rules allow for development of a personalized cartoon character, and a good mechanic for keeping things flowing with a slant toward success, but possible failures. This included a method to "force" a failure and still reward the player. I love that.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
MADCAP: Screwball Cartoon Role-Play
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USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
by MANOS K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/21/2020 13:50:24

Blurred use of the Apocalypse system. Too many different effects based on the roll and no clear MC intervention windows. Also, a lot of paragraphs in the book do not have an ending and they stop middle sentence... Not new player friendly, you will struggle a lot learning how this game works (and I have read and played as a GM a lot of different RPGs). On the plus: I discovered the Magnificent Pbta system!!! The Pbta system is difficult to understand at first because is very innovative but very rewarding and full of action!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
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USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
by Andrew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2020 11:18:22

This is a fairly simplistic mechanical system, but a very rich world. If you love the Usagi books, this one is for you. If you love feudal Japanese history, culture, etc. This is for you. The book provides rules for playing any of the animal "races" as well as a number of different occupations. It even provides a fairly good list of characters for gamemasters to tie into the game. But where it really shines is how it gives a summary of Japanese history, politics, etc. through the Tokugawa Shogunate, as well as a breakdown on the different provinces of the nation.

If you want to run a Usagi game, this is a fun stand-alone book. If you are interested in running a historical campaign, this book provides enough maps and details to use as a sourcebook for any mechanical system.

For those unfamiliar with the books, the default era of Usagi Yojimbo is the first five years of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1605).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW: Book of Horn & Ivory
by Paul W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/19/2020 13:15:32

As someone who's been playing with the CARDINAL game system since Ironclaw's first edition, this book is bad. Very, very bad. There are a number of not only techncial issues, but typographical and continuity errors. Let's dig into some examples:

The Technical

pg. 744/18 - The Tazekar career seems to have at one point been the Munjam career, but they never removed references to it. In addition, the gift of "Tazekar's Way" does not exist, but "Tazekar's Path", does.

pg. 747/21 - The Alchemy gift references the "Chemistry" gift, which does not appear in any of their books.

pg. 754/28 - A vast majority of the black powder artillery, such as the cannons and abus, lack Spark dice. One can argue that they don't need them, but why does the mortar have it in that case?

pg.820/94 - The X-Card, created by John Stavropoulos is included in this section, but is not credited to him per the X-Card's publishing under its Creative Commons License, which is a massive omission.

The Typographical

pg.764/38 - The entry for the Libertalian Lodge unexpectedly cuts off. The text reads: "Calabrese merchant companies pooled their resources " and then just hard stops. This is not a scanning error, because the next paragraph section picks up on the Governor's Palace and is spaced appropriately as if that really was the end of the section.

pgs.766 and 768 (pgs.40 and 42) - In what has to be the laziest thing I've seen, the entirety of the text for Sultana Yonca I and the Palace of the Sultana has been copy-pasted from one section to the next. Both paragraphs read the exact same and we have no clarification on what the palace actually looks like. As an aside, what is up with that bizarre shift of tone between the entries for Sultana Yonca I and Sultana Mariam?

The Continuity

all - It is very clear that the authors of these entries did not communicate with one another and wrote their entires sight-unseen to the map published in the Book of Jade (BoJ). Cases in point:

pg.757 and 759 (pgs.31 and 33) - The authorship, for reasons unknown, renamed Fayadeen (its name in the BoJ) to the Corsair Island, which they fully admit to being confusing as Calabria already has a Corsair Island. Compounding this issue, the authors choose to use words "Pirate" and "Corsair" interchangably, despite the Pirate Coast and the Corsair Islands being geographically distinct regions. In references to Anatolia, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out if they're referring to the westernmost part of Akoma or the southernmost part.

pg.759/33 - "Leaving from Fayadeen, their flotilla migrated slowly along the southern coast of Zhongguo, finding no such land in which they could settle until they crossed the sea and landed in Akoma" Fayadeen is not listed in this book, but it is in the BoJ, and it's analogous to the aforementioned "Corsair Island" here. In order for this to be correct, they would have had to gone from Fayadeen, eastwards around Yindustan, continued along Zhongguo's southern coast, past Calabria, and then landed in Akoma having circumnavigated the known world. An easier method would have to just go slightly north-west and land in Akoma at the (presumed) location of Bandar e Lengeh. This text insinuates that Zhongguo and Akoma are separated by a large body of water, but they're not. The easternmost part of Akoma butts up against the Zhongguo's westernmost provinces. Double bonus points of their capital city of Lygos not being important enough to put on the map.

pg.764/38 - Boats docking at Bazargani don't want to wait instead go to Bandar e Lengeh. We don't know where Bandar e Lengeh based on the map in this book, but if we look at BoJ, we see that Bandar e Lengeh is on the south-westernmost tip of Akoma; about 370 miles away from Bazargani's location on the map of Akoma. Quite a trip to cut the line.

pg. 765/39 - Tearspring is said to be at a river estuary in the north, but is actually located on a southern island on the opposite side of the country.

In Sum

This is just a bad book. For $15.00 you can purchase something else, like a splatbook from a different publisher, or a pizza. Having read this book I can safely say that I question if Sanguine uses proofreaders or even just re-reads their own material to ensure that it is free of grammatical, spelling and continuity errors. But the amount of omissions, lazy copy-paste jobs and poor editing that seems to have been slowly plaguing Sanguine recently, is apparent in this book from the get-go. A decline in quality this sharp means that this publisher has lost my business moving forwards. I simply cannot trust them to put out a quality product, let alone a mediocre one. To drive home the stake through the heart of this garbage book? There is a post on their official forums listing many of the errors above (and additional ones as well that I omitted for the sake of brevity) asking for Errata that has gone unanswered for over a year. If this doesn't show that Sanguine no longer cares about the quality of their work, I don't know what will.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW: Book of Horn & Ivory
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IRONCLAW: Book of Jade
by Patrick B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2020 15:42:52

Un nouveau continent, de nouvelles espèces, et des tonnes de matériel à utiliser pour rendre plus exotiques nos parties de Ironclaw !

(A new continent, new species, and lots of stuff to make more exotics Ironclaw parties !)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW: Book of Jade
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IRONCLAW: Book of Horn & Ivory
by Patrick B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2020 15:27:46

Un super extension, qui montre un nouveau continent et offre des tonnes de nouvelles possibilités pour créer des campagnes dans ce super jeu !

(A super expansion, showing a new continent and offering lots of new opportunity to make new campaign for this grat game !)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW: Book of Horn & Ivory
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IRONCLAW: Book of Monsters
by Patrick B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2020 15:25:40

Un sympathique et bien fun bestaire !

(a nice and funny bestiary)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW: Book of Monsters
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USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2020 09:50:47

I was very pleased with how this game turned out. Looking through the material, anyone who is a fan of the Usagi Yojimbo comics can make a character like their favorites from it! Any of Usagi's adventures can be mimic'd as well, as I've experienced, which is great fun when you realize how well things mesh together. If you have any doubts or questions, I'd recomend watching the video and see how that group played the game. Everything I experienced was basically one to one with that. ;-)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
USAGI YOJIMBO ROLE-PLAYING GAME 2nd Edition
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IRONCLAW Player's Book
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2019 18:04:36

This book is the players half of the omnibus, which is great when you need a book to share at the table that doesn't involve the extra content for the GM. Love the illustrations and general layout the same as I loved in the Omnibus. Highly recomend!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
IRONCLAW Player's Book
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