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The One Ring - The Heart of the Wild
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Gary I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/12/2014 01:10:52

An outstanding sourcebook packed with enough information to bring every region of the Wild to life and build the atmosphere of awe. sadness and tension that marks the Tolkein setting. Maps are helpful, lots and lots of locations are presented from the merely interesting to the highly significant. I love the additional activities for the Fellowship phase.

This is probably essential to own if you want to get the most of TOR and is an important companion to playing the Darkening of Mirkwood campaign.

Very well written, nice artwork and obviously exhaustive research combine into a very compelling release.

For 5 stars, the material would have included one or two items of note - I know that magic is rare and different in Middle Earth, but that makes it perhaps more important to have the odd item available.

Thoroughly recommend this is you are going to play a TOR campaign, or even if you're just a huge Tolkein fan.

I thought this was excellent value as a PDF, certainly, and the amount of information in here is a lot more than I was expecting for the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - The Heart of the Wild
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Mythic Role Playing
Publisher: Word Mill
by Gary I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2014 14:06:48

If you buy this as a stand-alone RPG, you may find yourself a little frustrated by the emphasis on tables and on having to keep working out new success odds continually. But that's not really what Mythic is for - it's there to provide a slick, challenging, often exciting means of creating / abstracting story elements, actions, twists and turns and overall plot runs.

It's hard to take in until you start using it, but in reality the slick bit of this product lies in a relatively few pages: the concepts of a chaos factor, story interrupts, extreme successes and failures on probability rolls, and two "oh god that's such a simple idea but it works brilliantly" tables. What this does is provide a great way of crating a story 'on the fly' and challenging yourself, if you're GM / playing solo, or you and your group if you're playing without a GM, to interpret and add depth and colour as a story unfolds before you.

I have used elements of the system alongside The One Ring, and am about to use it in the same way with another LOTR RPG: the part-finished Hinter Lands. This is one of the suggested uses, and I found that I didn't need to do any system conversion - I use the Mythic system to shape and develop a solo story, and the other system to handle mechanics like character creation, skills and combat.

This is one of the strengths of the design: there are many ways to use it, in part of whole, with or without another rules system and in any setting. It has helped me to boil my own RPG use down to what really matters and what I really enjoy - storytelling and creation of my own myths and histories.

I strongly suggest you buy the supplement as it provides some more very useful tables, but I am very happy with Mythic despite my initial scepticism that something could really allow for solo roleplaying. It really does work - not for everyone perhaps, but certainly for those who enjoy story and its possible branches and diversions as much as sword-swinging.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Role Playing
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The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Gary I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2014 13:54:33

Yes it's pretty, though I have to say the artwork is not as inspiring as most of the reviews would have you believe. It's atmospheric and has some good system elements, such as the accumulation of Shadow points, the narrative-oriented Fellowship Phase and an easy to use skill system. Encounters are also structured simply, and again lend themselves to good roleplaying opportunity.

What lets it down for me is the combat system: if you want to recreate the combat maneuvres of the films, and to revel in the memories of artful fighting scenes, then this is not the system that will make that happen. Several oddities make it very easy to be knocked out (it's too easy to hit PCs, to be fair), armour makes no difference to that dynamic as it doesn't soak endurance damage, and somehow what should be atmospheric struggles become life threatening in the face of pretty poor opposition.

The background material, gifts of valour or wisdom and many other things are excellent, but combat is bad enough that I'll be melding the TOR material with a better system. Still worth buying if you love roleplaying in Middle Earth (in TA2946...) and for the well-structured (if often a little swift to complete) adventures.

Not the uber-game I was expecting from the gushing reviews, but certainly good. I will no doubt buy all the supplements available (not least because the MERP ones are virtually impossible to get hold of now) but just can't live with the skeletal combat rules.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring™: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild 2011 Edition
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Deathwatch: Ark of Lost Souls
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Gary I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2014 07:32:51

I purcahsed Ark of Lost Souls for use in a Black Crusade campaign, rather than Deathwatch, and expect to have to adapt heavily when it comes to the detail of stats etc, but then I tend to run combats and campaigns in quite a narrative style so this isn't much of an issue.

As a stimulating environment for adventure the content hits home quite well, with opportunities presented for much diplomacy and influencing as well as for ass-kicking. The content straddles both a single adventure-like exploration and the much wider material for generating 'random' future escapades aboard this (or with adaptation, any) space hulk.

There are some nice options, with a new and terrifying alien race (well, new to me at least...) and some familiar but no less scary opponents. I particularly liked the way that the text makes the Tyrannid threat sound really frightening.

The main adventure encourages you to make a selection between exploring different major factions / enemies on board, and these are all suitable for adaptation to any party. Instead of trying to stop an Orc Waaagh! I can see my Black Crusade chaos marines trying hard to ally with or control it. Similarly, major alien threats can be a source of new tek, evil alliances or simply outright destruction. In Black Crusade, at least, it doesn't take long for characters to rise to the heights of world- or sector-altering actions, and there is plenty in the Ark of Lost Souls to provide that sort of 'grand' opportunity.

I really liked it and the flexibility it gives. The layout is sensible and accessible for me, and the random generation system is actually quite fleshed-out, generating ideas that have depth and subtlety. As has been said, the whole thing is very much amenable to a complete campaign setting, offering challenges on all scales and for all parties. I am seriously thinking of having my players spend quite some time here, with the aim of somehow turning the resources and factions aboard toward their dark ends.

One particularly good feature of a space hulk is the opportunity to expose your party to xenos they might rarely meeet elsewhere, and this is well exploited by the material with plausible backgrounds. Finally, the chance to justify a Harlequin combat !

Good value, with loads of material and lots to stimulate your thinking. Even if you never plan to spend any time on a space hulk, there is so much here to give them more depth and flavour in your games.

Pleased I bought it, and am going back to read it again now !

5 stars would've been for slightly more surprises or twists, or moments of revelation, as my players like those a lot. Shouldn't stop you buying it though - a great resource, especially for anyone that loves the 40k setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathwatch: Ark of Lost Souls
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