DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories
 Publisher















Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
Jailbreak
by Loris G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2021 07:54:02

This is an exceptional scenario. One, maybe THE, darkest horror scenario I have ever known. It's not about slimey monsters. It's not about gore. It's not about cultists. It's not even about psychokillers or whatever your monster of the week is. It's about people. And worse : those people are the PCs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jailbreak
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The Watchers
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2021 14:39:20

Excellent adventure which works either as an introduction to RPGs for new or young players, or as a worthy challenge for more seasoned players. The use of video is fun and different without getting in the way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Watchers
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Ian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2021 02:31:13

This rule set is exactly the kind of thing that I like. The task resolution system is simple and fast, but not so simple as to completely lack granularity. It is universal enough to handle most genres pretty well, but not so generic that everything feels the same with a different skin. I'm planning on using this to run a campaign for a group of RPG newcomers. I enjoy certain other games that are more complex, but I dislike using complicated rules to introduce newbies as it can really cloud the real goal of a tabletop game.

The core of the system is so simple that very few references to the book will be required. Task resolution works like this: Ability Score + Skill Score + Misc Modifiers + 1d6 vs. Difficultly Number or opposed roll. Environmental modifiers and skills are hard capped at a value of 3, so the numbers are small and simple to calculate. Most d6 rolls can explode and are rerolled on a 6 then the sum is used. Only one explosion per roll is allowed. Health works on a hit point system, but even a very tough fantasy hero might have merely 24 health points. Hit rolls are opposed rolls against the target. Criticals exist, but are equally simple to handle.

There are sections for Fantasy, Horror, and Pulp/Supers. These sections provide just enough to get started, but not quite enough in my opinion. The fantasy section is the largest with lots of spells and creatures. The horror, sci-fi, and supers sections are notably smaller (or at least it seems that way.) I believe that these portions of the book could really have been fleshed out a bit more. For example: The sci-fi section contains ships and mecha, but they get not much more than one page each. This is nice in its simplicity, but I do wish there had been a little more meat on the bones here.

That said, it is remarkably easy to create what you need with a game this simple. I created a more fleshed out starship combat system in my head in about 30 minutes, so, the bare bones nature is kind of a mixed blessing. I also don't agree with all of the spell difficulty numbers in the fantasy section, but that is also super easy to customize by just increasing the difficulty on the flasher spells.

If are looking for an RPG that hits about a 3/10 on the complexity scale with plenty of room to customize, this will scratch the itch. If you like a more tactical, complex, or more fleshed out game you will not be satisfied. As for myself, I like light to medium complexity games with room to build and tinker. So, I'm kind of the target audience of this product. Your milage may vary.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Ian, thanks for the informative and thoughtful review. Your comments do a great job explaining who the game is for and isn’t for. Glad you’re enjoying it!
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2021 17:18:33

Wow. Elemental is yet another attempt at a ‘generic-universal-any genre-any type of character game’. What makes it unusual is that it works.

The “Discovery Guide” (and reviews) impressed me enough to get the softcover print version of this book when it was a ‘deal of the day’ recently. The PDF priced was reduced but the print version didn’t seem to be reduced. I would have bought it earlier if it had been.

The book is beautiful, very well illustrated, with excellent use of coloring in the very clean and readable fonts. It is also remarkably free of spelling and grammar errors. Thank you for that. But most impressive are the rules themselves which are quickly explained in the first 19 pages. No stupid “flavor text”, no time-wasting ‘What is roleplaying?’, just straight forward, but not dry, “this is how you play this game”. Very refreshing, reminiscent of the classic Traveller in its utility and clarity. Logical, specific without being tedious, this game is ready to play immediately and yet will ‘stay in the background’ by being easy to remember and easy to run.

Also appreciated is some specifically helpful ideas on HOW to run the game, who should roll when, what amount and type of modifiers you should use, when to add complications, what to do if you can’t think of any, etc. Even a brief discussion of social interaction rolls. This type of information is almost NEVER in the actual rule book, and yet critically important skills to running a good game.

This is a d6 only, largely 1d6 system with straight forward difficulty numbers, skills, flaws, critical hits/fumbles and point allocation. GURPs done right basically. Or OneDice if it was compiled into one book.

But it also does several things to keep the rules simple, like modifiers and penalties max out at +3/-3 and exploding dice are limited to only 1 additional roll. All the benefits with none of the minutia. If any of the above turns you off, you probably wont like this system. It’s a minimalist system, but not a hand-wavy system.

There are touches I like that I’ve never seen in ANY system, such as successive characters after your first are built on a lower point total, some skills are given descriptions of how they are used by animals/monsters and even vehicles.

It’s not perfect of course. Stat Checks have a rather strange difference in that they roll low instead of rolling high. In keeping with it’s “cut-to-the-chase” style, there are very few examples, making it so that you’d better remember what an attribute roll is compared to a Stat Check if you want to figure out how damage works. Nothing fatal, but may initially require some flipping back and forth. Powers are given two pages here, though really, they are talking about “Arcane Powers”, i.e. spells. It gives a rough outline of casting time, range, duration, concentration, rituals and innate (magical) powers.

Skills are remarkably comprehensive and yet brief (65 skills, 11 pages, but many can be thought of as ‘talents/feats’ such as Aquatic, Battle Rage and Lucky). It also includes nice specifics such as not being able to attempt certain actions without a skill.

There are also some very wise rulings on only allowing a certain number of uses of some skills per ‘game session’ making them much more strategically valuable. The skills also make it very clear when one skill is applicable rather than another, making them argument free rules.

Flaws are a pretty good deal at 1 character point per level of Flaw (maximum 3), but they are balanced by all of them being given specific game effects that means the flaw is unlikely to be avoided. Even the typically problematic ones such as Addiction and Code of Honor. There might be some possible abuse with Flashbacks or Greed, but by and large they all seem pretty severe and there are few enough of them (19 flaws, 2 pages) that they are not necessary unless they are truly part of a player character conception rather than just ‘free points’.

Equipment has got a good selection of weapons (two types of clubs, four types of swords, 5 types of maces, flintlock, musket and blunderbuss).

Armor is treated fine, as light, medium and heavy but there is not even a nod to partial or mixed armor. Nor any kind of reflective, ablative or armor with life support.

Though I definitely deduct points for not giving anything a monetary cost - which makes no sense since under Followers it gives amounts for how much gold or dollars they expect to be paid. You either leave money to the GM or you don’t.

The Gamemaster guide follows. It’s not particularly bad advice, though I notice some of the more “modern” conceits that give bad advise on top of the bad advice the authors were given. For example “For instance, you might come up with an interesting reward (e.g. a magic sword) but rather than defining where it is and how to find it, you can let the party “find” it if you feel they’ll need it for the next encounter - or you simply want to reward them for a fine performance.” Is there anyone out there that doesn’t know that as a “railroad”?

Creatures are given an XP value however, which I also think should be genre specific - unless every game is about killing.

Fantasy starts with “Archetypes” which are usually called ‘templates’ in other games. A set of skills and suggestions for purchasing that aren’t required, but merely suggestions on the kind of things that type of character could have. Races are typical; Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human, Dragonfolk, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Fiendling.

Then ‘class’ archetypes; Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard. The only really odd thing about it is how many spells are suggested. Could a beginning character really start with that many spells? If there is something I’m not understanding, I’m laying it straight on the text.

The spell list starts next and rather than spell ‘levels’ each spell is rated by its Difficult in casting from 0 to 9. And it’s pretty impressive at 38 pages. And it seems to have just the right mix of style and utility. It seems magical and unique, as spell should. Nothing particularly surprising, but some neat spells I haven’t seen before also. It even includes a spell for making magic items.

Magic Items have one page devoted to them. It seems to imply that most all magic items (except Artifacts) have ‘charges’ and that the magic is gone once those charges are used up. It works, but I’m not sure making most magic items ‘disposable’ is a good ‘generic’ way to deal with them. There are 4 magic item examples. Count ‘em. 4. Strangely enough they are followed by 4 example artifacts. Also, there are no costs in money or XP associated with these items.

The Monster section is much better. Much like the spell section are typical monsters, and non-typical interesting monsters. Unfortunately they are not all illustrated. And the ones that are...well I’d be much more interested in an illustration of a “Behir” than that a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of course, monsters are mostly of the D&D variety. And the descriptions are very sparse. But also like the spells, they weren’t chintzy about it at 27 pages.

The Horror section starts off with a list of archetypes based on typical ‘horror’ characters (and 5 monsters). The Sanity rules are next. So by ‘typical’ I guess I mean ‘Call of Cthulhu’. But the Sanity rules are pretty simple and workable - players will fear it, but it won’t cripple them. Then they add Corruption, an optional rule that can serve as “the Dark Side” or “the Eye of Sauron”. Clever and simple.

Another cool spell section. Another Monster section follows. A few monsters are given entries like “Spells: Yes; GM’s choice” or “Sometimes, GM’s discretion” which is annoying as hell. It’s ALWAYS GM’s choice. I’m not paying you to tell me that. I’m paying you to MAKE THE CHOICES and if I don’t like them I’ll change them.

The Science Fiction section is next with a 9 archetypes. The Weapon section follows and doesn’t disappoint. Armor, Vehicles, Mecha and Spaceships also comes out well with enough to satisfy most gaming needs. A brief mention is also made of Cybernetics.

Psionic powers gets a full listing as well and even at 6 pages seems very complete and well done. Pulp & Superheroes is the next section. The first decision is that when a character has superpowers they are tied to a particular stat - just like a skill. That’s not surprising. But what IS surprising is that all Superpowers must have their appropriate attribute at 4 or more (Very High). This sort of makes sense. I mean, the power might be pretty weak if you had it for a low attribute. You are told to come up with one “super” weakness and given a few (obvious) examples. It also gives various point ranges for “Pulp”, “Comic Book” or “Cosmic” heroes. Then 12 pages of powers (55 powers).

Well, it does what it says on the tin. It provides a fast-paced rules light, but detailed and sturdy set of RPG rules that could pretty much do most of the common RPG genres. Is it spectacular and able to instantly replace all other games? No. But it’s very, very good, and if you were in the market for a ‘universal’ game it’s a lot better than than most ‘mainstream’ games of this type.

I could name on one hand with fingers left over the number of games I would play immediately and without needing house rules to ‘fix’. This is now one of those games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Michael, thank you for taking the time to write this. This is an incredibly helpful run-down of the book, allowing anyone to make an informed decision before buying the game. And by the way, ELEMENTAL also features a growing collection of awesome ready-to-play adventures in various genres, so it’s super easy for you and your friends to jump into the game. The adventures a free or pay-what-you-want, so your purchase of the Complete Guide really goes a long way.
Blackout
by Wayne B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2020 11:33:02

Probably the best 'one-on-one' game I have played, and then run for others, in years...!

The overall concept is great. However, the fluidity of play and potential for multiple outcomes, balanced with a perfect mix of 'action' and role-play, is what truly sets it apart.

Everything just 'works' with this game, but works differently every single time.

More please.....!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blackout
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Alfredo S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 05:07:13

A very interesting setting-agnostic system which reminds me of the old Dream Park book by R. Talsorian Games: light on rules, heavy on support material. It somehow manages to avoid the rules bloat common in other systems while providing ample support for the most usual genres (fantasy, sci-fi, horror and superheroes) with a good sampling of advantages and disadvantages, archetypes, spells, psionic powers, superpowers and equipment, but it would be very easy to add or adapt more if needed. If you head to Elemental's Facebook page you will find unofficial conversions for Aliens and Fallout and a good number of popular Marvel/DC superheroes. The "official" adventures available also do a good job of showcasing the system's versatility.

The One Page Rules also available on Drivethrurpg contain all the information a player may need in most cases. You only need two d6 (one for the player, other for the GM) to play, but the rules support partial successes and a limited form of exploding dice called "break". The Complete Guide expands on the One Page Rules and also adds rules for chases and other special situations, all of them handled in a very simple, unobstrusive way. I think the chase rules could easily be used to play out other kinds of extended or complex conflicts with a little work, BTW.

If there is a gripe in the book for me are the whimsical names of some of the spells in the Fantasy chapter. "Caeradinn’s Elemental Discourse" or "Gideon's Fragmented Perceptions" sound nice, but I would have preferred to see a more "generic" denomination. It is really not difficult to figure out what the spells do, so it might be just me, but they simply do not feel "generic" enough for me. Other than that, if you are on the market looking for a simple but complete enough and easily expandable ruleset, you should have a look at Elemental.

There are a couple of caveats, though:

1) This is not a game for GMs new to tabletop rpgs, as it assumes you already know what tabletop roleplaying. It should work beautifully with new players, though. 2) I guess the author wanted to keep the page count down, but perhaps a few more examples and a bit more of meat on vehicle combat and use would have been nice.

On the other hand, I really like the simple, readable layout and tables (even though the illustrations were repurposed from those offered by Sine Nomine Games). There is even an index, which is a nice touch.

[Edited to add a couple of points]



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Alfredo, thank you for your in-depth and informative review. The information you provided should be of interest to anyone seeking to learn more about ELEMENTAL. To confirm and expand on one of your points: We run the game a lot with new and young players. Our experience, as you suspect, is that they “get” the system very quickly, which allows them to focus on role-playing and have fun. We’re glad you enjoyed the game!
Nightcrawlers
by Alfredo S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2019 13:47:32

A very interesting (and nasty in some points - and I say this as as good thing, being essentially a horror adventure) scenario for Elemental, but very easy to reskin for your favorite ruleset. You could play this with D&D or Savage Worlds, but I recommend having a look at Elemental if you like simpler but still traditional game systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nightcrawlers
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

The World's End Masque & Ball
by Alfredo S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2019 04:01:29

A very interesting Dark Fantasy/Horror short adventure, complete with NPCs, monsters and pregenerated PCs. It could be adapted easily to your generic/fantasy system of choice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The World's End Masque & Ball
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Predator Saint
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:22:44

This monster is the stuff of nightmares. It can be added to a horror campaign or one-off game that is sure to frighten timid players, and gain player appreciation from jaded experienced ones!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Predator Saint
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

ELEMENTAL Character Sheet
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:17:41

Very clean and straightforward. This character sheet reflects the elegant simplicity of the Elemental system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Character Sheet
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Pantagruel
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:09:53

Very imaginative. Not the "Gentle Giant," for sure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pantagruel
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Fear Can't Hurt You
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2019 19:28:38

This was a great module! We kept jumping and wondering what was next! Love the twist!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fear Can't Hurt You
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by William G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2018 21:46:24

The Complete Guide gives you incredible value for the price. Compared to Savage Worlds, it manages to pack the equivalent of the core book AND all the Companions (5 books). This role-playing focused system gives you not only the rules, but so much additional content (spells, monsters, character templates, etc) in a single book. Don't be fooled by the number of pages devoted to fantasy...this is a truly universal system. I've used the system for post-apocalyptic SF and 1920's Pulp Adventures! It works really well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2018 11:45:01

I have been gaming and collecting a variety of games since '87. Here's my take. The really positive aspect of the game is that the resolution system appears to be less combersome than some of the games that have clearly influenced it. The not so good: the game system is a little too wed to OGL, Palladium and GURPS design to accomplish what it claims in the page count it currently has. Seperate systems for spells, psionics and powers could be unified, for example, but really, the book needs another 75 solid pages to be the complete game it claims. Content is heavily scewed towards fantasy, and few achetypes are listed for scifi, other than racial ones. There are no superhero achetypes listed. Build system would make the game complete, e.g. a toolbox for creating races, achetypes, monsters, vehicles, mechs, including those more than meets the eye, and starships. Until this is added, it isn't worth $15; $7 maybe, but not $15. Elemental is not a complete universal system, though it is a solid system.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review, Curt! As an addendum, I would encourage anyone who's interested to check out the free ELEMENTAL Discovery Guide. On pages 50-58 there is a list of all the skills, flaws, archetypes, spells, powers, weapons, vehicles, creatures and characters found right here in the core book. Our experience suggests that it's enough to get started and gives people a good foundation to build from without needing to buy any extra books.
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Wayne B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2018 08:13:27

OK - I've been gaming for more than 30 years and ELEMENTAL is one of the simplest, most elegant systems I have ever played (and I’ve played my share).

Its inherent simplicity allows for total flexibility and adaptability. Not only can you play or run a game without getting bogged down in tables and rule-mongering, it also allows you to customize the game to the specific genre and audience. I have run games now with adults and kids alike and the game play, even the few but necessary technical bits, are equally accessible for those with decades of experience or no experience whatsoever.

I have also successfully adapted a few old time favorite games from other systems in a matter of minutes, which is a real bonus. Lastly, because all you need is the ruleset on your phone, a D6, a pencil, and a piece of paper, I’ve even whipped up and run an ad hoc game with three other people while sitting in a tent waiting out a thunderstorm while camping.

Cool system – looking forward to hearing what others think and finding more players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 16 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates