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Gabriel

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I got my Absolute Power stuff a while back. I realize that it takes a while to produce stuff. I also realize the lateness of delivering the rewards was due almost entirely due to how messed up the world shipping situation has been. And I even realize that 3 months late was not really anywhere near a big deal in terms of late Kickstarter rewards. But, but the time I got the stuff, I really didn't care anymore. It falls into the category where if I had got it earlier, I would have been enthusiastic about it, but since I got it late, it just went on the shelf.

And I realize that I say that about a lot of stuff. I wait for something and then when I get it, I'm just not interested any longer.

Anyway, Absolute Power is Silver Age Sentinels 2nd Edition. It's a two volume set which is broken down into a system book and then a setting book. I'm not overly keen on that, especially because the Kickstarter rewards included a pocket sized Tri Stat Core rulebook which is a tiny little book that does everything the full sized Absolute Power: System book does. The whole thing could very easily have been a single volume. But I've been losing that battle for many years now, and I did buy the thing, so I might as well get over it.

What surprised me a bit was how much fun it was catching up with the SAS universe. I bought the original game when it was new and was never that big of a fan of the default setting and characters. This new edition updates the setting and characters for 20 years of faux comic history. It's oddly satisfying even though I never had much of any investment in these characters. It's interesting to read about the various events they've been in during the run of their "comics." Maybe it's silly, but I thought it was kind of cool.

I recommend Absolute Power if you were really into the provided setting of Silver Age Sentinels back in the day. I don't know about gameability, but I personally find the setting far more comics-like than other RPG-based superhero settings. I get the same feeling reading about the history of it as I do reading about the history of the "real" Marvel comics universe. The presentation with it's periodic faux comic covers of key issues really accentuates it.

But if you're into system, then the pocket Tri-Stat Core is a really cool little book.

Moving on...

I got the Elvira themed Chill adventure supplement called Evenings of Terror. A quick skim made me feel it was exactly what I thought it would be. It's a collection of adventures. "Elvira/Cassandra Peterson" provides Elvira themed introduction text here and there. Publicity stills of Elvira are used as art in the book.

Cassandra Peterson is not listed as a contributor to the book, and the only Elvira themed credits indicate only that the character and likeness were licensed for the book. Elvira is on the product for the exact reason you would think, and nothing more.

I see no reason not to be honest here. Elvira is the only reason I bought the book. It is the only reason Chill has ever stuck in my memory. Back in the 80s, due to the way the advertisements for the game were presented, I thought Chill was "The Elvira: Mistress of the Dark RPG." No, not that it was based on the Elvira movie, but it was an generic horror themed RPG framed with Elvira much like the character was used as a hostess for old movies. I guess that is an accurate description of this particular product, but I used to think this was the core/base RPG, not an adventure book.

As I flipped through the book, I couldn't help but have the spontaneous thought that it would be a product better suited to a solo adventure or collection of solo adventures. The presentation of the book just felt like a solo gamebook for some reason (and I'm not making a joke about the presence of the Elvira images).

Anyway, there are some mini-adventures in the book. There are introductions much like what would be seen in DC's Elvira's House of Mystery which was a comic running around the same era. There are pics of Elvira. It's exactly what I expected it to be. Next targets when I get back to Chill are the Vampire supplement and that one adventure where it looks like Elsa from Frozen is on the cover.

Moving on...

I broke down and got the Transformers RPG. I had been looking at my copy of GI Joe and liking it and then wanting to see how it handled Transformers.

The Transformers RPG is just as pretty a presentation as GI Joe. There's lots of art, and it looks good. Even though a lot of it is from eras of Transformers that aren't "MY generation" there is undoubtably that feeling of connection and familiarity. The text is also large font, which my old eyes definitely appreciate.

The rules are pretty much the same as GI Joe (Essence 20). I was curious how the wild breadth of selection of Transformer alt-modes would be handled. The answer is that they're handled in vague terms. Each altmode is assigned a broad non-specific class with a general bonus and players are expected to handwave it from there. You know what? I think it will work fine.

The back of the book has lots of named Decepticons given stats. Sadly, they are only shown in their robot modes. Their altmodes are mentioned in text, but I would have preferred pictures of the altmodes. Because even as a long time Transformers fan, there were lots of characters that I had no idea who they were. Plus, there are characters like Megatron and Shockwave who have modern altmodes that don't match their historic altmodes, so it would have been nice to see what was being used.

Nearly all the main named Decepticons are far too high of threat level to use against new or even relatively new characters. That's why stats for some nameless generics are provided. Think of them like all those off-blue Seeker jets in the original cartoon that weren't Thundercracker and were never given names and which mostly disappeared as soon as Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet showed up.

Before I bought this, I had come to the conclusion that Transformers wouldn't be fun for RPG night. What could I do with Transformers?

But for whatever reason, as I flipped through this book, the more I started thinking of ways I could spin things. I think what helped me with this is the book isn't the Marvel comics continuity. It isn't the cartoon continuity. I don't even think it's any specific continuity. It's just a mix. And I think that is what helped me start thinking of it as MY continuity. I can use this stuff and make my own Transformers lore, just like I did with the toys.

I'm cautiously optimistic about Essence 20. It doesn't look spectacular, but it looks like it will just work. Gonna have to try it out.
 

Gringnr

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I got my Absolute Power stuff a while back. I realize that it takes a while to produce stuff. I also realize the lateness of delivering the rewards was due almost entirely due to how messed up the world shipping situation has been. And I even realize that 3 months late was not really anywhere near a big deal in terms of late Kickstarter rewards. But, but the time I got the stuff, I really didn't care anymore. It falls into the category where if I had got it earlier, I would have been enthusiastic about it, but since I got it late, it just went on the shelf.

And I realize that I say that about a lot of stuff. I wait for something and then when I get it, I'm just not interested any longer.

Anyway, Absolute Power is Silver Age Sentinels 2nd Edition. It's a two volume set which is broken down into a system book and then a setting book. I'm not overly keen on that, especially because the Kickstarter rewards included a pocket sized Tri Stat Core rulebook which is a tiny little book that does everything the full sized Absolute Power: System book does. The whole thing could very easily have been a single volume. But I've been losing that battle for many years now, and I did buy the thing, so I might as well get over it.

What surprised me a bit was how much fun it was catching up with the SAS universe. I bought the original game when it was new and was never that big of a fan of the default setting and characters. This new edition updates the setting and characters for 20 years of faux comic history. It's oddly satisfying even though I never had much of any investment in these characters. It's interesting to read about the various events they've been in during the run of their "comics." Maybe it's silly, but I thought it was kind of cool.

I recommend Absolute Power if you were really into the provided setting of Silver Age Sentinels back in the day. I don't know about gameability, but I personally find the setting far more comics-like than other RPG-based superhero settings. I get the same feeling reading about the history of it as I do reading about the history of the "real" Marvel comics universe. The presentation with it's periodic faux comic covers of key issues really accentuates it.

But if you're into system, then the pocket Tri-Stat Core is a really cool little book.

Moving on...

I got the Elvira themed Chill adventure supplement called Evenings of Terror. A quick skim made me feel it was exactly what I thought it would be. It's a collection of adventures. "Elvira/Cassandra Peterson" provides Elvira themed introduction text here and there. Publicity stills of Elvira are used as art in the book.

Cassandra Peterson is not listed as a contributor to the book, and the only Elvira themed credits indicate only that the character and likeness were licensed for the book. Elvira is on the product for the exact reason you would think, and nothing more.

I see no reason not to be honest here. Elvira is the only reason I bought the book. It is the only reason Chill has ever stuck in my memory. Back in the 80s, due to the way the advertisements for the game were presented, I thought Chill was "The Elvira: Mistress of the Dark RPG." No, not that it was based on the Elvira movie, but it was an generic horror themed RPG framed with Elvira much like the character was used as a hostess for old movies. I guess that is an accurate description of this particular product, but I used to think this was the core/base RPG, not an adventure book.

As I flipped through the book, I couldn't help but have the spontaneous thought that it would be a product better suited to a solo adventure or collection of solo adventures. The presentation of the book just felt like a solo gamebook for some reason (and I'm not making a joke about the presence of the Elvira images).

Anyway, there are some mini-adventures in the book. There are introductions much like what would be seen in DC's Elvira's House of Mystery which was a comic running around the same era. There are pics of Elvira. It's exactly what I expected it to be. Next targets when I get back to Chill are the Vampire supplement and that one adventure where it looks like Elsa from Frozen is on the cover.

Moving on...

I broke down and got the Transformers RPG. I had been looking at my copy of GI Joe and liking it and then wanting to see how it handled Transformers.

The Transformers RPG is just as pretty a presentation as GI Joe. There's lots of art, and it looks good. Even though a lot of it is from eras of Transformers that aren't "MY generation" there is undoubtably that feeling of connection and familiarity. The text is also large font, which my old eyes definitely appreciate.

The rules are pretty much the same as GI Joe (Essence 20). I was curious how the wild breadth of selection of Transformer alt-modes would be handled. The answer is that they're handled in vague terms. Each altmode is assigned a broad non-specific class with a general bonus and players are expected to handwave it from there. You know what? I think it will work fine.

The back of the book has lots of named Decepticons given stats. Sadly, they are only shown in their robot modes. Their altmodes are mentioned in text, but I would have preferred pictures of the altmodes. Because even as a long time Transformers fan, there were lots of characters that I had no idea who they were. Plus, there are characters like Megatron and Shockwave who have modern altmodes that don't match their historic altmodes, so it would have been nice to see what was being used.

Nearly all the main named Decepticons are far too high of threat level to use against new or even relatively new characters. That's why stats for some nameless generics are provided. Think of them like all those off-blue Seeker jets in the original cartoon that weren't Thundercracker and were never given names and which mostly disappeared as soon as Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet showed up.

Before I bought this, I had come to the conclusion that Transformers wouldn't be fun for RPG night. What could I do with Transformers?

But for whatever reason, as I flipped through this book, the more I started thinking of ways I could spin things. I think what helped me with this is the book isn't the Marvel comics continuity. It isn't the cartoon continuity. I don't even think it's any specific continuity. It's just a mix. And I think that is what helped me start thinking of it as MY continuity. I can use this stuff and make my own Transformers lore, just like I did with the toys.

I'm cautiously optimistic about Essence 20. It doesn't look spectacular, but it looks like it will just work. Gonna have to try it out.
Are there rules for designing your own Transformers?
 

Gabriel

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Are there rules for designing your own Transformers?

Yes, there's character creation to make your own guys.

In terms of altmodes it's very handwavy.

When you make up a character you choose a Chassis. This is one of eight vague types. For example, a Champion Chassis is a car like a sports car, sedan, or luxury car. A Seeker Chassis is an aircraft. A Cutter Chassic is a seafaring form. Each Chassis provides a base package of abilities including basic move rates, an Essense score increase, a general size, starting health, fire points, etc.

So if I want to make up Aeroburn, Jetfire's cousin's sister's brother, I might pick a Seeker Chassis because it's one of only two that represents aerial altmodes.

You could say that your Chassis/altmode is your Race, and there's another structure called a Role which is a character class. It's very 5e-like.
 

Kobayashi

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It seems I'm on a Mythos kick right now...

DSC_0033[1].jpg

Most of these books arrived this morning but I already had the time to read Apochtulhu's main book. I wasn't expecting much but I was very pleasantly surprised. Scavenging rules are good, the chapter on Hodgson's the Night Land by Kevin Ross is worth the price of admission alone. It really manages to show the richness of the post-apocalypse genre.

I intend to run Viral for my group. Station S will be included in my Achtung!Cthulhu campaign, and I'd like to mix Full Fathom Five with the Sea Evil boardgame (if only for the visual representation, using the board and counters of the latter). Cultbusters is my own take on Pulp Horror, it's an add-on to my Cursed! game (yeah, that was a self-promotion minute).
 
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3rik

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Kobayashi Kobayashi I have Apocthulhu and must say I like what I've seen of it quite a bit. Not sure I'd need the Terrible New Worlds supplement, though, unless there's any particularly interesting setting in there.
 

Kobayashi

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Kobayashi Kobayashi I have Apocthulhu and must say I like what I've seen of it quite a bit. Not sure I'd need the Terrible New Worlds supplement, though, unless there's any particularly interesting setting in there.

I'll make sure to post about this one once I've read, it. I confess one of the adventures' description in a review (Even death may die) grabbed my attention:

The bathyscaphe Hierophant is out to sea somewhere off the coast of New Zealand. The players assume the roles of high-powered observers who are aboard the Hierophant during the shakedown dives. [...] Once on the bottom of Horizon Deep, Hierophant loses all contact with the surface. When the vessel returns to the surface...

More about the adventures in this review (spoilers!!!)
 

Acmegamer

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Oh I see, you're posting directly from your phone. I usually email any pics I would like to post from my phone to myself, then edit them a bit on the PC before uploading them. I never post from my phone.
Yup, I use my phone, take the pictures, upload them to OneDrive then download them on my tablet or Desktop and then use the edit to shrink them. Also never use my phone to post, too much of a PITA.
 

Gringnr

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Picked up a NM hardcover (sewn-in, not the POD) of Dragon Warriors for $50 at HPB. They were asking a hundo, but it's been there for a while, so I asked if they could do better. Been curious about DW for a while now. Also picked up the Kindred of the East HC, mainly because it was cheap, in great shape and sparked nostalgia. Oh, and Revelations of the Dark Mother.

Other than that, I recently got a box of starters for Super Deck!, the single worst-rated ccg on bgg. Designed by Marc Miller (yes, that Marc Miller), how bad can it be? Well, let's just say its rating is not undeserved. I just had to know, OK?
 

Atelerix

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Following a discussion on here, I picked up a printed eBay copy of Classified, an OGL rewrite of the 1980s James Bond 007 RPG. More for a readthrough out of curiosity than anything

My initial thought was that it's a very bland, simple system, but there's a LOT of innovative and smart mechanics in there. Doubly so for something so early in RPG history.

The rules are a toolkit to craft a spy scenario. The skills/task resolution system is very flexible. Hero points (the first implementation of such?) are more like narrative points for PCs. Hot/Cold encounters are designed to reel you in to the main plot.

Inspiring stuff that makes you think about structuring your game. Well worth a tenner!
 

Cowboy Duck

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Based on the comments from S sharps54 in the Best Western thread, I picked up:
IMG_20221123_093629354.jpg

I've barely scratched the surface of the rules, but, boy howdy, is it a pretty book. I particularly love the Time-Life Western look of the cover and the full-page pulp Western art sprinkled throughout.

I'm hoping to run this early next year...
 

sharps54

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Based on the comments from S sharps54 in the Best Western thread, I picked up:
View attachment 52077

I've barely scratched the surface of the rules, but, boy howdy, is it a pretty book. I particularly love the Time-Life Western look of the cover and the full-page pulp Western art sprinkled throughout.

I'm hoping to run this early next year...
I had a lot of fun running a one shot with it last month and look forward to running more soon. It is definitely a game where system and rules mastery is important but once everyone has a decent grasp it is going to provide a pretty unique experience.
 

Moonglum

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My boxed set collections of digest-sized hard covers for OSE just showed up, and they are fantastic. I'm generally somewhere between disinterested and sneeringly skeptical about new takes on OSR rules sets (which usually strike me as completely superfluous to anyone who has an original copy of pre-3E D&D and 1-2 pages of house rules). But OSE has won me over: the production values are exceptional; the game is basically identical to B/X yet also more complete and fleshed out because of the seamlessly integrated materials adapted from AD&D; and the approach to writing, re-organization and physical presentation couldn't be better.

I particularly like the careful pruning and rebalancing that went on with the translation of various AD&D extra (broken...) classes, like the Knight, Barbarian, Bard, etc. The OSE versions are enormously better than the originals - more focused, simpler, balanced. Clean presentations that actually feel like their target archetypes, as opposed to the over-cooked grade inflated nonsense we got in the originals. Even the recasting of more 'core' AD&D classes, like the Ranger and Paladin, seem significantly better.

This is literally the first time in 40 years that I've thought I had a version of D&D better written and edited than Moldvay. I'll have a better sense of the thing after I've played a few sessions using it at the table (first one is tomorrow afternoon), but after a few hours of fiddling around, it feels to me like the best take on D&D I've ever seen.
 

3rik

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Vaults of Vaarn: I'm a sucker for gonzo post-apocalyptic rpgs. It's based on Knave, it's short and to the point, issue 2 and 3 expand on the world and rules but always gives tools for the GMs to build what they want. It's my favorite rpg in the genre so far (and probably the closest to the Hiero books vibe).
I just went and ordered the Deluxe Edition of Vaults of Vaarn. Hopefully the store I went with can still get it for me. It looks charming.

 

Kobayashi

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3rik 3rik good catch! This new edition looks pretty cool and is very, very, tempting.

And now for something completely different... A lot of Black Friday deals everywhere so I ended up snatching Trudvang Chronicles (Core book, Jorgi's Bestiary, Snowsaga campaign, Wild Heart and the GM screen). I really dig the setting (and damn those illustrations are freakin' awesome). I'll ditch the system and use a custom BRP variant though.
 

3rik

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3rik 3rik good catch! This new edition looks pretty cool and is very, very, tempting.

And now for something completely different... A lot of Black Friday deals everywhere so I ended up snatching Trudvang Chronicles (Core book, Jorgi's Bestiary, Snowsaga campaign, Wild Heart and the GM screen). I really dig the setting (and damn those illustrations are freakin' awesome). I'll ditch the system and use a custom BRP variant though.
I backed both the Trudvang Chronicles and LexOccultum slipcases on Kickstarter, but I'd need clear instructions for conversion to BRP/Magic World or OpenQuest to be able to do anything with them. I agree that the settings and artwork are pretty cool.
 

3rik

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@
3rik
3rik good catch! This new edition looks pretty cool and is very, very, tempting.
Alas, the store no longer has it in stock. I found out there's a new print run of 500 expected in January. For now I asked the store owner to replace Vaults of Vaarn in my order with a copy of Frontier Scum and refund me the price difference, as that has apparently just gotten back in stock. :wink:

I'm definitely going to try and keep an eye on when the new printing of Vaarn becomes available. It did say the plan is to keep it in print.
 
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