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Torg Eternity - Core Rules
Publisher: Ulisses Spiele
by Jeffrey A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2018 13:24:22

Love the material! Very well-done update / 2nd Ed. / Reboot!!

The Good:

  • The rules no longer require each person to have a Bachelors+ in Math.
  • The rules are a bit better organized.
  • Personally, I like that XP and Possibilities are no longer a shared resource.
  • Tharkold from the start!!
  • Psionics, not only from the start, but now properly a Social Axiom ability (Note: in other games this might not work, but in Torg it makes perfect sense.)
  • The High Lords are not immediately portrayed as dim-wits who just failed-up into super-powerful beings (well, except maybe Uthorion).
  • Rules simplifications, beyond just the math, the rules are presented in a more easily grasped format.
  • Perks!! An awesome way to add a dimension of expansion; basically similar to Feats in DnD/Pathfinder or Advantages in GURPS/Hero/etc..
  • Clarifications! Many rules are actually explained as opposed to just stated!
  • Extended examples - as above, but worth their own mention!! Very useful, helpful and cool!
  • color art! And it looks good!
  • Revised Axiom tables. (I like the 0-30, personal taste there)
  • Quinn - awesome nod to the old, and enrichment of the new product - Good job!
  • We finally have more Torg to love!!!!!!!!!

The Bad:

  • Perks
    1. Way skewed, some are immensely powerful, others barely count as fillers.
    2. Punishing - for any caster- / Cyber-type the initial perk gives three "spells" / 10k for Cyber, but then each additional perk gives only 1 spell / 5k. At a static Perk purchase price this might be annoying, but when each perk increases the price of the next perk, this is a crushing weight to put on the player. Especially assuming future Cosm & Expansion books have more of these in them (a virtual certainty).
    3. Restrictions - some of the perks are restricted in ways that don't really make a lot of sense (either by being too available, or not available enough). To be fair, this is somewhat rare.
  • Depth/breadth: What I mean here, is that, without knowledge of the 1st Ed., it would be next to impossible to "correctly" (ie. flavor, personalities, etc.) run a game with nothing but this book. The original set came with a Worldbook that gave a bit more detail and depth to each Realm. A few spells/miracles, and some commentary on how to get the feel for it. It then also included an Adventure Book, which included a full short adventure across many realms, but then also gave a whole slew of adventure outlines, with bits of flavor included. This book has a tiny smattering of that information but, really just glosses over it, occasionally mentioning "future books" for more/greater detail. On this, I'd say they went about 2/3 where they should have gone. The adventure-making section in the back helps some, but still isn't enough, in my opinion. Having said all this, I do fully understand that the vast majority of "early adopters" are, like me, 1st ed players, which is why this really only barely makes it on to the "bad" list.
  • Errors. (This happens to everyone, of course). Some of the Index references are incorrect, meaning you have to search through the whole book to find what you're looking for. Also some grammatical errors make understanding a few rules kinda tough. This is a bad, but not terribly common, thus not in the "Ugly" section below.

The Ugly:

  • Perks. (Yep, they are good, bad, and ugly!)
    1. When I said the power is skewed, and the restrictions are somewhat off, I wasn't kidding. The Reality Perks are THE WORST offenders. Powers that, in 1st Ed were inherent to ALL possibility-rated characters, are now available ONLY to Core Earth. Worse yet, the rules talk about NPC's having such abilities, meaning that apparently such restrictions apply only to players, which is not only skewed, but in fact makes no sense.
    2. One Reality Perk pretty much begs players to break the (whole) game. "Increased Personal Axiom" take it 7x to build a "mad man with a blue box", allowing you to build literally anything you want; 7x (+1 Psionics perk)instead lets your mind expand into everyone else’s within 1km (assuming it's a contradiction where you are), and (reasonable extrapolation here) rearrange matter and maybe even reality to your liking. Raising the Spirit or Magic to 30 this way would be tremendously expensive, but still possible, to similarly game wrecking abilities/effect.
  • The book itself (the PDF file). Ok, here I really could be wrong, but it looks like this PDF is basically their page layout for the physical book. OK, no big deal. But that means the PDF itself cost them $0.00. Now, I'm all for making a profit, but I'm also not appreciative of getting screwed. A PDF for $25.00, should, at the ABSOLUTE LEAST be thoroughly bookmarked. Frankly, it really should be cross-linked. Bookmarking a title like this would have taken them less than 30 minutes (trust me). Cross-linking considerably longer. But if I'm right, and the total production cost of this file was "click a few buttons", I truly believe it would have been excessively reasonable to bookmark the thing!
  • The Drama Deck (/accessories) this is required to play, but isn't included in the PDF, AND isn't for sale as a PDF (at the time of this writing...), which means you can't play the game when you buy the game... (I almost knocked off a whole star just for this one). The only way to get the cards (again as of this writing) is to mail-order them for $20 - correction, with shipping $30! No clue how long that'd take, and frankly, I'm just re-using my old deck (which is NOT directly compatible, yay more work and confusion...). The most irksome part of this is that the cards ARE available in PDF, they just won't sell them... In fact, that is a star. Originally I was going to give this 4 stars, but in all honesty, selling a game that you can't play (as sold; and keep in mind none of my local stores carry this) is just of wrong-headed!

[Edited 03-29-18; Reality Perks; Drama Deck price]



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Torg Eternity - Core Rules
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Savage Rifts: Savaging Your Favorite Rifts Ideas
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment
by Jeffrey A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/14/2017 08:31:14

Meh.

Realisiticly this entire product could have been presented in one sentence:

"The math to do an actual translation into our system would be insane, so take your best guess - good luck!"



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Rifts: Savaging Your Favorite Rifts Ideas
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Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Jeffrey A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2016 15:01:57

Great book, nice streamlined setting, with lots of general info, allowing a lot of room for the GM to work with while still giving a solid background on which to build. The basic "templates" - based on the High Concept, gives the game an almost class-like feel, while still allowing characters to pretty much do their own thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate Core System
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2014 13:50:50

Am I allowed to just say "Awesome"?

Ok,

The Good: ~A truly unique view of gaming, a simple streamlined rules system that ACTUALLY gets out of the way of play (unless you actually want it to). Absolute flexibility, utter and complete COOPERATIVE control over the entire game. ~Super-simple, Super-flexible rule system, that is VERY easy to learn and run. ~Very well presented, I noticed only a very few minor grammatical errors, and no major presentation flaws.

The Bad: ~Well.... I guess the "in-game" examples could have been pulled from multiple genres (throughout) to give a BIT more breadth of how the various systems work...

The Ugly: ~Jargon. People, seriously! There are (really) basically 3 main parts to the rules system, but to introduce the game to my group I had to type up a 3 PAGE crib sheet so they'd understand what the hell I was talking about... YEESH!! (and the sad part of that is that in several places they talk about having dropped a bit of jargon here or there because "maybe it was a bit much".... Oi!) ~I will also note this - if you have a group of "jerks" this game could be a real nightmare to run.... If party members really just like to jockey for attention and "play pranks" on fellow players, unfortunately this game would be an absolute gold mine... no diamond mine for them (so GM's beware)

The rest of the story: ~This system really lends itself to pretty much all manner of gaming (pick-up, casual, serious, and long-term). It also would be a fairly easy translation of any other system to this one... ignore stats, (if you want to) break skills down to types or "meta-groups", and the rest is just aspects, stunts, and extras.... very little work would need to be done, and you get to play a super-simple game designed for PLAYING! ~I didn't much care for the art... but I'm not really an art critic so maybe that's just me...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fate Core System
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101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2014 10:18:38

the Good stuff...

Great resource. ~Awesome layout - haven't noticed any major typographical issues. ~Great diversity! Both up and down templates, which is rare... and a lot of the templates are fairly "versatile" in that you could put them in any geographic area and they'd make sense... ~Very good artwork (I'm not much of a critic, but I liked it)

The Other stuff...

~I do wish they'd included more than just +/- 2cr... not a whole bunch, but a few higher / lower would have been nice. [Note, there ARE 2 +3 and 2 +4, no +5; there are 2 -3 and 1 -5 but no -4] A wider spread, rather than 95% being in the -2 to +2 range (of which only 3 are 0) would have been nice... on the other hand, many of these could EASILY be modified to fit the higher/lower needs of a GM. (but the whole point of the book was to not NEED to tinker - just have something to slap on...)

The bad stuff...

~Some of the internal logic in assigning CR's didn't make a lot of sense to me... since one or two +2 templates were powered just barely a sliver more powerful than a similar template at +1... most of the templates are fine, but a few do need (minor) adjustments up or down.

The "Big Picture"... ~Would I buy it again? Yes! ~Would I recommend it? Absolutely



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
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Mythic Minis 8: Trickster Path Abilities
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2014 00:10:45

So, to start out with, I want to say I've bought several of LG's PDF's. In general I've been very satisfied, or even impressed.

Not so here.

So, each PDF is $1 ok, that's not so bad, right? Well, each PDF is also 1 page. Wait, what? 1 page? yep. Now yes, there's a cover, and some legal stuff, but you get exactly ONE PAGE for one dollar. So, lets say your favorite book is 400 pages, are you going to spend $400 to read it? Not me... Sadly I bought these (I got Guardian, Trickster, and Champion) around the same time, so I (foolishly) didn't read one before the other (again, I've had pretty good luck with LG stuff up to this point).

Now, you say, yes, but if it's REALLY good stuff, that you just HAVE to have in you're campaign, surely that's not so bad.... right?

Nope.

First up, (and this is what truly enrages me) they're REPRINTING from one to the next, they're not even original. ALL 3 have a path power called Analytical Eye as a first tier power, and they are identical (gee.. maybe put it in the Universal Path...) then 2 of the three have the follow-up power "That Trick won't work on me Anymore", while the third (Champion) has "Two can Play at that Game". To be fair the Champion version is different, though not by much (almost an inversion), still, at least they bothered to type something instead of cut-n-pasting it. Further, both Guardian and Champion have the powers "Mythic Rider" and "Trick Rider" again cut-n-paste. Since I'm not planning on blowing anymore cash on this series, I can't prove it, but I'd almost be willing to be a dollar <innocent grin> that Marshall is going to have pretty much all of these as well...

Now, I know... It's only a dollar. But, for a dollar, for one one-sided page... really?

The only other irksome thing is that the Champion book doesn't even have a 6th tier power... too bad there wasn't enough room... If only there was something they could have left out.... but oh well.

As for the quality of the powers themselves. Meh. Most of them read like better-than-average feats as opposed to anything truly MYTHIC. They're not bad, and there are one or two that I'd consider taking, or even recommending to another player... but they're not must-haves, they're more like high-quality fillers for a tier when nothing else tickles your fancy.

And if you're wondering, the answer is yes. I'm cut-n-pasting this review for all three books. Hey, if they can do it and charge me a dollar for it, why can't I review them that way... and I'm not even charging for it!

The "Big Picture"... Would I buy it again? NO Would I recommend it? Nope.

[Please note this review is for Mythic Minis 8, Trickster Path Abilities]



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 8: Trickster Path Abilities
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Mythic Minis 6: Guardian Path Abilities
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2014 00:09:18

So, to start out with, I want to say I've bought several of LG's PDF's. In general I've been very satisfied, or even impressed.

Not so here.

So, each PDF is $1 ok, that's not so bad, right? Well, each PDF is also 1 page. Wait, what? 1 page? yep. Now yes, there's a cover, and some legal stuff, but you get exactly ONE PAGE for one dollar. So, lets say your favorite book is 400 pages, are you going to spend $400 to read it? Not me... Sadly I bought these (I got Guardian, Trickster, and Champion) around the same time, so I (foolishly) didn't read one before the other (again, I've had pretty good luck with LG stuff up to this point).

Now, you say, yes, but if it's REALLY good stuff, that you just HAVE to have in you're campaign, surely that's not so bad.... right?

Nope.

First up, (and this is what truly enrages me) they're REPRINTING from one to the next, they're not even original. ALL 3 have a path power called Analytical Eye as a first tier power, and they are identical (gee.. maybe put it in the Universal Path...) then 2 of the three have the follow-up power "That Trick won't work on me Anymore", while the third (Champion) has "Two can Play at that Game". To be fair the Champion version is different, though not by much (almost an inversion), still, at least they bothered to type something instead of cut-n-pasting it. Further, both Guardian and Champion have the powers "Mythic Rider" and "Trick Rider" again cut-n-paste. Since I'm not planning on blowing anymore cash on this series, I can't prove it, but I'd almost be willing to be a dollar <innocent grin> that Marshall is going to have pretty much all of these as well...

Now, I know... It's only a dollar. But, for a dollar, for one one-sided page... really?

The only other irksome thing is that the Champion book doesn't even have a 6th tier power... too bad there wasn't enough room... If only there was something they could have left out.... but oh well.

As for the quality of the powers themselves. Meh. Most of them read like better-than-average feats as opposed to anything truly MYTHIC. They're not bad, and there are one or two that I'd consider taking, or even recommending to another player... but they're not must-haves, they're more like high-quality fillers for a tier when nothing else tickles your fancy.

And if you're wondering, the answer is yes. I'm cut-n-pasting this review for all three books. Hey, if they can do it and charge me a dollar for it, why can't I review them that way... and I'm not even charging for it!

The "Big Picture"... Would I buy it again? NO Would I recommend it? Nope.

[Please note this review is for Mythic Minis 6, Guardian Path Abilities]



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Minis 6: Guardian Path Abilities
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Mythic Mastery - Missing Mythic Magic Volume I
Publisher: Necromancers of the Northwest
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2014 19:02:45

The Good stuff... Solid layout, haven't noticed any major typographical flaws. Fairly unique viewpoint on spells, with some real thought behind them.

The Other stuff... ~I bought, and am using "Mythic Magic: Core Spells" in tandem... it has a variant viewpoint that I find useful, also in my game, I allow a fair measure of variance since I don't believe all Mythic characters are the same "kind" of mythic... thus they might develop divergent enhancements to various spells.

The Bad stuff... OMG!!! these guys want $60 - $70 dollars (1.49 x400+spells / 10 spells per PDF) for just the core spells!!! Holy Crap!!! Not all spells are "unique" or really even all that "mythic" (to be fair I couldn't do any better on some of them so... [but then again, I'm not charging such exorbitant fees for my "work" either....]

The "Big Picture"... Would I buy it again? Yes Would I recommend it? Only one volume (pick the one with your favorite spell(s) and buy only that one, the price point is insane.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Mastery - Missing Mythic Magic Volume I
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Mythic Magic: Core Spells
Publisher: Legendary Games
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2014 18:49:13

the Good stuff...

Great resource.
~Awesome layout - haven't noticed any major typographical issues. ~Fairly in-depth treatment of spells that can get "sticky" based on various situations... ~Very good artwork (I'm not much of a critic, but I did enjoy what I saw)

The Other stuff...

~I bought, and am using "Mythic Mastery - Missing Mythic Magic Volume I" in tandem... it has a variant viewpoint that I find useful, also in my game, I allow a fair measure of variance since I don't believe all Mythic characters are the same "kind" of mythic... thus they might develop divergent enhancements to various spells.

The bad stuff...

~I really think 14.99 would have been a fair price, I literally wouldn't have bought it if it were $20.01... [Conversely, if you do the math, the Mythic Mastery line wants me to pay somewhere between 60 and 70 dollars (1.59 x 400+ spells)... so, won't be getting any more of those either....] ~The 2x mythic surge for 80%+ of all the augments... makes it all feel VERY watered down... I mean the basic function is a surge, which GROSSLY alters the probabilities of combat... or I can spend TWO surges to get an extra +2 enhancement out of the various Ability buff spells (Eagle's Splendor, et al.), yeah not really all that MYTHIC... Basically I don't find certain spells to be very MYTHIC.... but rather a bit "bumped".... ~This is an annoyance only - they cross-hyper-super-duper-linked everything... EXCEPT the actual spells.... There's a bookmark for every level of every spell list - and yes you get there that way... but not the ACTUAL spells themselves, nope, the whole point of the book, and you have to either manually navigate, or you have to look up the spell on one of the various lists....

The "Big Picture"... ~Would I buy it again? Yep. ~Would I recommend it? With reservations. (Basically, do you have $20 just burning a hole in your pocket? Are you planning on having a bunch of mythic casters in your game? then this is for you...)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Magic: Core Spells
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In The Company of Dragons Playtest (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2014 16:16:04

Ummm.... No.

I LOVE the intro and various other flavor text parts, but overall no.

First off, you're not playing a Dragon... you're playing a quasi-dragon, secondly you end up finishing normal progression as about an adult dragon, without many of the (real) dragons' basic abilities... so you end up being significantly less powerful than you would be if you just played a Savage Species version of a class/level system.

Further, if you want to GET various abilities, you have to pay for them with your every 4th level feats. So then you end up being ALMOST as powerful as you should be, but then you've turned into a cookie-cutter version, and you're STILL only ALMOST as powerful.

Bear in mind, I'm not talking about min-maxing here, I'm actually talking about class balance... in the end you really aren't going to be much of a match for equal-play PC's, or if you are, you end up being utterly "vanilla" to do so...



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Dragons Playtest (PFRPG)
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Creator Reply:
I want to thank Jeff Anderson for posting a review of our free playtest draft, as it is often hard to get reviews for free products. I would encourage him to join the playtest so his voice can be heard in improving the final draft of this product. I will however have to point out a factual error in his review. \"a Savage Species version of a class/level system\" Pathfinder does not use the ECL system to which Jeff is refering, because it was a broken system, so we were required to use a paragon racial class levels and archetypes. Steven D. Russell Rite Publishing
Evil
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2014 15:47:40

To be honest, I only bought this book for one race that my friend wanted to run in my game. That being said, I did page through it, and found it to be a very useful sourcebook.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Evil
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Splicers®
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2013 15:13:51

Ok, so getting the two Con's out of the way first:

  1. Cover Art: sucks and is completely NOT what the book is about.
  2. There are some logic/plot-holes in the story that can be somewhat annoying to overcome/overlook.

The Pros:

  1. Awesome!! Love it, the basic setting, the tech, the deep character / NPC interactions are great!!
  2. The tech: Power Armor and Robots, that grow WITH the character!!! Love it!!!!! Wanted something like this (non-magic) forever, and it is done VERY well! Lots of options, etc...
  3. The main villian, ok... not exactly original, and a little-bit spotty on the logic, but VERY interesting take, and VERY well laid out! Fun too!
  4. Great artwork inside, lots of different things illustrated to help bring the world and it's unique tech "to life".
  5. Completeness, even though the author has stated many times that a LOT of the book hit the cutting room floor, the setting is quite complete and playable as is (for those wanting more, there are several rifters that have new tech, OCC's, and even Great Houses, plus some adventures).

Overall LOVE IT!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Splicers®
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