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Monkey The Roleplaying Game
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2018 12:30:50

I became aware of this product through the quickstart rules, although I have since learned there was a KS in 2017, and was awaiting the full rulebook being a fan of wuxia and finding the premise of playing an immortal companion to a questing monk interesting. The card draw system is simple to learn and adapted to the highly narrative concept of the game, but luck plays a great part in the outcome of any action, so using save cards and/or assist from your companions is required if you don't want to fail at something important. The character creation process with its story-like development and challenges is a fun way to set the stage for the campaign, but immediately underline the weakness of the product as is: the lack of sufficient examples and background information. Your immortal is supposed to choose a Yin and a Yang Attitude, which is central to the game mechanic, and have some magical powers and items to help in his adventures. Yet, aside from 13 pairs of basic Attitudes, 14 Weaknesses, the 8 pregens and limited random choices (one per card suit and joker per origin for skills, story challenges and magic items (which may very well mean that a randomly-based party of four might end up with a few identical traits/background), you are left on your own to decide what they are. Same thing with only 5 broad realms basically described (Western & Eastern Heavens, Four Oceans, Earth and the Ten Courts of Hell) with 3 or 4 possible NPCs each. No map of the Tang China setting either. Maybe worst, aside from the 2 complete adventures provided, only 8 adventures seeds are given to provide some ideas of what this Journey to the West campaign could actually be like. You do get rules to play mortal martial artists instead of immortals though, but I feel that the option somehow changes the "celestial" scope of the game. I get that some of the interesting sounding material in the KS, like the Ministry of Thunder adventures and the Golden Register of 101 Immortals and Demons aren't out yet (and may take a while to be), but the aforementioned are essential elements IMHO to run a Monkey campaign, and their unfortunate absence will require more work on the part of the prospective GM to get their Journey on the road. I would suggest to those that want to give it a go nonetheless, to look up Yaos in the Qin rpg Bestiary for Animal Spirit examples as well as Demons and other celestial creatures, and for the Warring States period map and info in the Qin rulebook (which also has usable examples of Weaknesses and Magic Powers), or the very nice setting map and info (as well as random encounter tables) of the Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate rpg, while waiting for hopefully new material for the game. You may also look up the "List of Journey to the west characters" on wikipedia for more adventure seeds and background info. Personally, I'll be using the Hoshin Engi anime/manga slightly different premise of a band of immortals joining an heavenly apprentice "monk" on a quest to capture 365 demons in order to free the emperor from the evil influence of a Fox Spirit as my campaign basis.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Monkey The Roleplaying Game
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OpenQuest
by Steven A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2018 10:06:07

I am extremely disappointed in the poor quality of rules and editing in the OpenQuest refreshed.

I have been trying to make the system work as smoothly as possible but every week either my players or myself find an inconsistency or out right contradiction in the text. Some pretty blatant examples:

Grappling is only mentioned in one place in the book but no where else. So there is not explanation as to exactly what that means.

Sorcery has different requirements if you look at it from character creation versus in play.

Weapon strengths and dexterity requirements are mentioned but not listed in the book.

There are monsters in the bestiary that are not even finished.

These are just the ones that I can come up with at the top of my mind.

Anyone on the Editor and Proof Readers list should be ashamed to see their name there.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
OpenQuest
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Tomb of the Necromancers
by Grahame H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2018 07:16:33

I really like what they have done with the Crypts & Things game, but there is a point where poor proofreading and editing cannot be forgiven. I ordered the pdf and the POD version of this product and have only read the pdf at this stage, so I hope that the poor proofreading is only a problem with the pdf version.

The amount of typos in this adventure is almost overwhelming and I found it hard to make it through the whole thing. Some of the word choices and sentence structures appeared 'off', but this may be because the author is not a native English speaker (?). I can usually let this pass, but the almost complete lack of proofreading is hard to forgive. Here is an example sentence and I'm not kidding when I say this product is full of sentences just as bad as this:

"Nahi is ‚empowered to negotiate‘ with the player characters by his employer, ‚the mighty enchantress, Magda of Tetronis‘."

The adventure itself is not too bad, with a reasonably done crypt/undead encounter area and a hostile town overrun by bloodthirsty berserkers. There are some decent opportunities for roleplaying and the art is pretty good. Something can be made out of this, but you have to have more patience than me and not mind random punctuation marks being randomly strewn through sentences. A thorough proofread, a good edit to remove unnecessary material and you've got something at least decent.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of the Necromancers
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Crypts and Things Remastered
by Grahame H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2018 04:27:51

Great product. This game certainly does S&S better than Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea (AS&SH). If you want an S&S style game rather than a high fantasy one, this is certainly one of the best options out there. The rules-light system works fantastically to capture the S&S feel, and the magic system, while not perfect IMO, does a decent job of ensuring sorcery is a dangerous endeavour as befits the genre. The treatment of magic items is well done, with most having negative side effects or other unpredictable consequences. This game feels like a dangerous, low magic S&S setting, rather than a form of AD&D minus demi-humans + pulp fiction monsters.

The only negatives I have are that I don't feel that the optional exotic classes added in this remastered version are very well done. They just feel a little too tied into the setting for my tastes and although this is based on OD&D/S&W, I've never been a big fan of the 'race as class' thing. My other negatives were more cosmetic in nature, there being a large quantity of white space in some sections in the book and quite a few typos, though these do not impede comprehension.

All in all a great product for any fan of this genre.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crypts and Things Remastered
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Life and Death Zarth Edition
by Raymond W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2018 06:28:45

I think Michael T. has a very good point. I also think that this is an excellent open-ended adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Life and Death Zarth Edition
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Life and Death Zarth Edition
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2018 10:29:30

WARNING! This adventure does NOT take place on Zarth!?! WTF!?! If you want to write a D&D adventure,then don't say it's a "Zarth" edition! Call it a "BS pocket dimension edition"! RIP-OFF. I want my money back! }:{



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the balanced and well thought out review. Its called the "Zarth" edition to tie it into Crypts and Things default setting. From the introduction (which is viewable in the preview): "Where in the World of Zarth? If you intend to use this adventure with characters who have previously adventured in the Continent of Terror, here’s some suggestions on where The Shattered Lands exist: • Far across the Reapers Sea on another continent. • In its own pocket dimension or Other World. Characters from Zarth arrive via a magic portal, such as the one in the Black Monolith in the Haunted Lands in the main Crypts and Things Rule Book ." So as you can see I give two suggestions: one is Zarth based, the other is a pocket dimension/Other World.
Project Darklight
by Gary A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2017 11:20:59

The setting is evocative and is a new spin on the cyberpunk run of the mill settings. However, the execution could use alot more polish. Character creation is kind of a mess. It's muddy and unclear. The book has a cut and paste feel to it. The art is good for the most part but overall the book could have used a professional editor and layout person. The book also lacks any character examples. It would have been nice to see some character templates or a few fully formed characters to get a good idea what they are suppose to look like.

I purchased this as an implulse buy simply because I thought the ancient aliens and cyberpunk mashup sounded refreshing. I wish I just bought the PDF and not the print/PDF bundle. Oh well...



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Project Darklight
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The Hollow West
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2017 23:47:50

BLUF:This is too lite.

The idea behind the setting is fantastic. Cowboys vs Dinosaurs vs Native Americans vs Cattle Barons vs Power Hungy madman vs Occultists vs Serpent Men vs Atlanteans and I am sure I am missing somebody. Frankly the mash up is very satisfying. What isn't satisfying is the lack of a good engine. Fortune absolutely guts Fate Core and FAE for the sake of simplicity. If you want simple use FAE. If you want more crunch use the myriad tools available from Evil Hat to tweak Fate Core. Hollow West uses a simplified Fate system and advertises it as self-contained. However, the author is relying on scanty rules, with few examples, and implicitly that you have seen/played Fate or FAE before. Fate Core is full of examples because it isn't a game familiar in style to most RPGs out there. It is Theater of the Mind with the players having as much control of the story as the GM. This is unfamilar territory for most players/gms. It needs more explanation than is present in the short Hollow West book. If you do want to use this setting and are not familiar with Fate I would suggest you check it out for free on the Evil Hat website.

The only reason I would give this three stars is because of the setting. I will run this, but I will use Fate Core.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Hollow West
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Hearts in Glorantha Vol 1 Collected
by Olivier P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2017 12:00:09

Highly recommended for all fans of Glorantha, really great content (background and scenarios)!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hearts in Glorantha Vol 1 Collected
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OpenQuest
by Simon B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/24/2017 16:35:49

Excellent! The rules live up to their tagline, 'D100 Gaming Made Easy.' The result is a smooth play style, unburdened by the snowflakery to which percentile systems so often succumb.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OpenQuest
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OpenQuest
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2017 17:12:24

This is a very nice iteration of the D100-based BRP system, built from the OGL spin-off that came from Mongoose Publishing's version of Runequest a few years back. OpenQuest is closer in design and style to classic RuneQuest and the old Worlds of Wonder's Magic World, with a percentile-based skill mechanic, down-and-dirty combat system (but with fewer layers of complexity, especially in contrast with RQ6/Mythras) and an emphasis on evocking the style of play most familiar to those who cut their teeth on RQ2 and RQ3 especially.

With most of the current BRP/Magic World line OOP now or no longer supported, I decided to take a look at the 2017 upgrade to OpenQuest and am glad I did. Here's the pros and cons:

PROS: --Great artwork in this edition. It's full color and evocative, and looks much nicer than prior editions --Good, elegant take on the BRP/D100 system with four magic systems and a sense of familiarity midway between classic Runequest and Worlds of Wonder/Magic World --The combat revisions are welcome --You could easily run a lengthy series of campaigns with just this book --I believe the vast majority of prior typos/errata are cleared up in this new edition --It's in print and New Newport and co. support OpenQuest like I wish Chaosium would support BRP/MW --close enough in compatibility to other BRP/RQ/MW games that you can cross-pollinate with other material --very fun and easy to play --Has several sourcebooks in print/PDF for support with more planned

CONS: --The layout in the book is still sparse and a bit ugly (contrast with the sister game Rivers of Heaven), but this is a YMMV issue and I like the spartan style --If you've bought in to prior versions the changes in this edition might not be enough to entice you (they did, however, entice me)

A+++



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
River of Heaven
by Judd G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2017 16:34:52

River of Heaven is a trans-humanistic sci-fi game with a mix of feudal, Byzantine politics. It was written by d100 rockstar Jon Ossoway. The game is built on the d100 based OpenQuest rules. The setting is filled with some intriguing and scary ideas, as it focuses on a new Bright Age following humanity's survival of a catastrophic encounter with advanced alien science that nearly wiped us out. PCs are agents and operators for the various competing forces in this new world.

Art is gorgeous and mixes high-tech with the resurgence of Byzantine fashion and aesthetics. The graphical presentation and text are clear and clean.

The way the game uses OpenQuest's battle magic system to reflect the effect of implants, nanotech, and biotech modifications is a cool use of those rules in a harder sci-fi setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
River of Heaven
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OpenQuest 2 Deluxe
by Kenneth S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2017 15:06:48

After years of hearing rave reviews I FINALLY bought a copy of Openquest. I'm basing the review on a quick read through... not actual play.

Things I like about it: It's descended from Runequest and Call of Cthulhu and the general BRP family of D100 games. Some of my favorite RPGs share that lineage. So that's a big plus right from the start.

Openquest's system sits on the lighter end of the spectrum RPGs. Its author's intent is that it be fast and versatile, and from what I've seen so far, it is. That should make it easier to teach to newbies and faster to just 'pick up and play', as the book puts it.

I also like the writing. It's got that clear, friendly, and conversational tone that makes me feel at home while I'm learning a game. Like I can put my feet up on the coffee table and raid the fridge if I want to. No golden tablets of truth being passed onto mere mortals here... the designer WANTS you to make the game your own. Everything is very clearly explained, with examples.

Openquest covers various levels of play as PCs advance in power. So even though they might start as dirt farmers, there is stuff in place for when they become powerful rulers and can start oppressing the new crop of dirt farmers.

There are already several settings and and adventures for Openquest... as well as rulebooks that take Openquest into other genres such as science fiction and historical adventures. So it's well-supported.

I haven't noticed a lot of typos or obvious errors either. So that's always a good thing.

Things I don't like about it: Well, not so much 'don't like'... since I knew about them going in. There are just a few rules here and there that I'll be tweaking... matters of taste. Openquest's experience system feels like a step down from Runequest's/CoC's 'use a skill to improve a skill.' So I'll be using something closer to how Call of Cthulhu has done it. I'll probably also want to hold onto the traditional BRP Resistance Table/Formula.

I suspect the default power level of Openquest is a bit more 'heroic' than I'm usually drawn too. It shouldn't be too hard for me to adjust that as needed if it still feels that way in play. It's probably just that starting PCs are a bit more capable/well-rounded than I'm used to in something like older versions of Runequest.

Things I'm just 'meh' about: Not a big deal, but I know others might care more than I do. Visually, outside of the cover art, which I LOVE, the illustrations and general appearance of the game is... capable. Nothing amazing... but also nothing distracting. No graphic flourishes to dazzle your eyes. No full page bleeds of photorealistic art. If you're the sort who collects RPG rulebooks for the visuals... this ain't your sort of thing. If (like me) you just want it for the rules and how it plays at the table... then it really doesn't matter.

Anyway, I put off buying Openquest for far too long... and now that I have it and am digging into it, planning a game of it... I'm really glad i've got it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
OpenQuest 2 Deluxe
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Crypts and Things Remastered
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2016 17:08:07

I just finished my first read through of Crypts and Things Remastered. I was disappointed. I thought the original was inovative and engaging. I ran a handful of adventures and thoroughly enjoyed the game. When I heard about the remastered version, I was very much looking forward to getting it. Now I feel as if I have wasted my money.

Not that the remastered version is bad; far from it. It still has the innovative Swords and Sorcery vibe of the original. It just didn't add anything I needed. I rarely use published settings, so the background material for Zarth was wasted on me. I prefered the original generic events tables to the area specific tables in the remastered versions. I also miss the art from the first version. It may have been erratic in theme and execution, but it had a certain charm that the "generic fantasy" art of the remastered version lacks.

I did not like the expanded character classes at all. I felt they added nothing to the game and actually detracted from the clean aesthetic of the original edition. I feel quite strongly that the "Serpent Noble" class will do nothing but foster enmity within the party and lead to a disruptive and less enjoyable gaming experience.

If you do not own the original, then this version is still worth the asking price. If you've already purchased the original, then I would advise you to not waste your money on this version unless you feel the need for the expansion material for the house setting.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Crypts and Things Remastered
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Crypts and Things Remastered
by Allen H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2016 08:19:11

This game ranks among the best of the Sword & Sorcery genre games that I have come across.

I don't consider myself "Old School," per se. I started gaming in '81 with Moldvay Basic (well, before that, but I was ignorant of D&D and was introduced to Holmes by an older cousin). I enjoy the older playstyles, but I am also a fan of newer games (Shadowrun, Rifts, the d20 products, Fate, Cypher, etc). I never read the prior incarnation of C&T.

This game pulls from some of my favorite source material: Conan, Elric, Weird Tales, Lovecraft, etc., The O.G. Dungeonmaster's Guide, Fiend Folio, Stormbringer, music inspirations that remind me of my high school days (old Metallica, Slayer, etc). Magic is powerful and mean (no saving throws, though player characters can "test their luck" to mitigate some dangers). The selection of beasts is a mix of Howard/Lovecraft and others. Magical treasures are reminiscent of Warhammer Fantasy (unique and often consequence laden). Corruption and sanity serve as balancers to the corrupting forces of black magic (yeah, I used corrupting to define Corruption. Big C vs little c. Just go with it, it works.).

What I'm saying here is: the game has an incredible atmosphere that the rules firmly back up. This is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of a game.

The system is based on Swords and Wizardry, but it is sufficiently different to make the purchase and play worth it. I am really impressed with the author and editor (I can be fairly pedantic at times). I am not one to point out when one uses "he" as a standard pronoun (mainly because, English), although I generally dislike the he, she, or he/she alternating between chapters that some games use. The author/editor chose the route that I generally choose: using words that are completely gender neutral. I feel it shows a more intelligent choice while not catering to a more vocal segment of society (please, no offense is intended towards anyone).

Other reviews have detailed the rules.

I would favorably compare this game to AS&SoH, another S&S game that I think is fairly incredible. C&T edges it out slightly, however, mainly due to ease of rules in C&T vs AS&SoH (Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea). I could see stealing from either game to complement the other.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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