Tag Archive | "small-press"

My Life with Master RPG Review

Posted on September 15, 2006 by

My Life with Master is a self-contained role playing game of personal horror by Paul Czege of Half Meme Press. It contains innovative ideas and a workable game, albeit one which would work best with creative and probably experienced players willing to enter into a setting and help to create it themselves. The interaction between GM and players is essential both in creating the setting and in forming the style and nature of the game. As the description below will suggest, gameplay can easily veer between a type of romantic desperation with which Vampire lovers will be familiar, to Grand Guignol to something rather less serious and bizarre. Since it can be difficult to maintain an intense style over an extended period of time and because of the very structure of the game, My Life with Master is best run as a single session game or, at most, a small number of sessions building up to a well-defined ending and epilogue


Man Made Monsters Review

Posted on July 6, 2006 by

“Monsters are Real!” claims the ad copy of this collection of horror stories from Crypto-American Press. Mad Marv tells us about zombies and other monsters created by science and technology throughout the book. Five short stories and a mix of “Recipes” featuring how-to guides for creating golems and other creatures from myth and legend (each with a short story of its own) make up this book.


What Lurks Beyond RPG Review

Posted on June 14, 2006 by

Weighing in at a hefty ninety-five pages (excluding an appendix of various maps and player handouts) and retailing for a reasonable $18.99 (US), What Lurks Beyond is a fantasy horror adventure module published by Cutter’s Guild Games (best known for their Deathstalkers RPG). So, what are you getting for that investment? First the good news….

Billed as an adventure module, the product reminds more of a mini campaign, due largely to its scope and length – it is heavy on the meat. The basic plot of What Lurks Beyond is both well thought out and engaging, if somewhat hampered by the product’s presentation. And that’s it for the good news. Now for the bad news….


Epic Role Playing (Rules Manual)

Posted on March 5, 2006 by

Available at Amazon.com Epic Role Playing is a fantasy role playing game system published by Dark Matter Studios and presented in three separate volumes (the Rules Manual, Bestiary, and Book of the Arcane, respectively). Additionally, a setting designed for use with the Epic system is also available in the form of the supplementary Atlas of Eslin (Volume 1). This review deals specifically with the Epic Role Playing Rules Manual, while further reviews will cover the other Epic core books, as well as the Atlas of Eslin setting supplement. Review written by James Hargrove


Interview with Game Designer Jonathan Ridd

Posted on February 24, 2006 by

In this interview John tells us about the design and development of the the Dog Town RPG and a little about how the Split System works.


Will of the Hunter | Blood Games Fiction

Posted on October 11, 2005 by

It was too late for tracking. This close to nightfall it would be tired of running. If he gave it an opening it would charge into the open. Abram made himself sound as panicked as possible, he broke branches, stumbled over roots and force himself to pant. It went against every instinct he had developed over the years of the hunt. Pam was right behind him, mimicking his actions but she wasn’t pretending. Whatever façade of strength she had summoned up to come with him tonight was gone now. There wasn’t time for a pep talk. “In a few minutes it won’t matter anyway,” thought a particularly bitter piece of Abram.

Written for the Blood Games setting by Daniel Potter


Interview game designer Malcolm Craig

Posted on October 7, 2005 by

The creator of a|state and Cold City breaks down some of his game design ideas, explore The City and gives us a few hints on some upcoming products.


Interview with game designer Clash Bowley

Posted on September 6, 2005 by

Clash tells us about his company, Flying Mice LLC and the RPGs that he has worked on, including Blood Games, Starcluster and more.


The Settlement | Cursed Empire Fiction

Posted on August 3, 2005 by

The families lived in exile, far removed from Condar, Rodak or Derve. They did not choose to live there, the mountain hand-picked them. They were merchants, traffickers, and traders in luxury goods, foodstuffs and information. All had a story to tell, some worse than others. A rockslide claimed one party, bandits tore apart another. Long have they been grieved for, even longer have they been forgotten. Until the miners came, dwarves with their pickaxes and knowledge of things buried deep within the earth. Tough yet resilient, Ilieva grew into the mountain ever since her husband died last Lokt. So, when the dwarves came offering a mutually-beneficial treaty, how could she refuse?


Sacrifice: Part V | Conspiracy of Shadows Fiction Series

Posted on July 12, 2005 by

Tall, yellow grasses rustled in front of a modest Sarlacchi village, mimicking the movements of a small boy. The child pitched forward, and then rocked backward. He stopped to brace himself against an unseen foe. Something punched him hard in the stomach. Flinging his arms to the sky, the boy grasped his totem necklace and cried out before collapsing to the ground. His mother rushed to the fallen child, clutching him tightly to her breast.


Desert Dreams RPG Review

Posted on May 31, 2005 by

Desert Dreams is the first supplement produced by Sacred Wolf for its Ignotus modern D20 setting. Ignotus is a dark world in which the eponymous supernatural realm poses a grave threat to humanity and its hideous denizens work to undermine society. Shadowy government agencies and vile religious cultists combine to make the real world, beneath the level of consciousness of most people, nasty, brutish and short.


Ignotus Player Guide Review

Posted on May 2, 2005 by

Ignotus is Sacred Wolf’s game of modern horror, in which potent conspiracies exist to render miserable the lives of the ordinary people and dark secrets are revealed to show that man is not alone. In the Ignotus Player’s Guide, all of the information required for players to take part in this darkly present world is provided. From formative experiences to feats and skills, prestige classes to starting occupations, the book lays out in plain terms what is what. The emphasis is primarily on the nitty gritty of gameplay rather than the flavour of the setting and it is sometimes difficult to envisage exactly how characters can be made to come alive.


Sacrifice: Part III | Conspiracy of Shadows Fiction Series

Posted on March 25, 2005 by

The darkness crept behind Malik and Risla, embracing them in its strong arms. Albin guided them to an abandoned camp where they could rest for the night. Tomorrow would be a slow day for the both of them, for Challenger needed to be reshoed. They both hoped, for different reasons, a village was nearby. Only the light would tell them that. Malik was fortunate he had excellent night vision. He thanked his father for grooming him well.

“I’m going to look around,” Malik told her. “Stay close.”

Risla could barely make out his arrogant outline. She wondered if “looking around” meant leaving her there. He cared more for his horse than he did for her.

“What should I do?”

Part of an ongoing tale set in the world of Conspiracy of Shadows.


Sacrifice: Part II | Conspiracy of Shadows Fiction Series

Posted on March 4, 2005 by

“What does it say, Father Clemens?” asked a young acolyte to the wizened priest.

The middle-aged priest looked carefully around the room, for explaining prophecy to youth was like expressing nature into words to young children. At least his following was here, just outside Alcona at the foot of the Boreni Mountains. It was fortunate they were not wandering off, trying to profess their faith to those who would not listen. Instead they were here, under his gaze, believing Albin granted him the tools to enable them to know things men shouldn’t.

Continuing the tale set in the world of Conspiracy of Shadows


Hunt | a|state Fiction

Posted on February 28, 2005 by

Aiken watched the gun. The muzzle was drifting to and fro, but always covering him, cutting down his options. He was trying hard to sober up. The little man was talking away in his fast, clipped voice, but Aiken was having difficulty concentrating on the words. Before the pair had arrived he had been busy drinking himself unconscious, but now that was a distant memory. The big one had come in first, the muscle, waving his vicious-looking sparklock languidly about, indicating to the clientele of this particular dive that they would be better off not getting involved.

A tale for the a/state setting from Contested Ground Studios, written by Greg Saunders.


Triad, Part I: Presence | Obsidian the Age of Judgement Fiction Series

Posted on February 25, 2005 by

It couldn’t remember how it was borne. Was it male? Was it female? It had given itself a name, one that only it knew. Pool.

Pieces of memory gnawed at Pool’s mind. What was home? What did it used to be? Now it was nothing more than a land of yellowing bone and black rock. Fires burned throughout the landscape. It couldn’t have been that way always. Before Pool left its Circle with the others, they poured over books documenting the stories of how things came to be. Shapes of letters appeared before him, describing the velvety touch of a thing called a “flower.” There were no flowers in its Circle. Pool closed its eyes, remembering the smell of sulfur and the feel of spikes crushing beneath its razor-skinned feet.

Part One of a Three Part Fiction Series


The Shark | Lacuna Part I Fiction

Posted on January 6, 2005 by

I woke up before sunrise this morning and could not get back to sleep, no matter how much I tossed and turned. The sky was changing from black to grey when I left the house. It was so early that almost nothing was open save for the newspaper kiosk by Cafe Station (I am sure you are laughing hard right now at the image of me waking before dawn!). Because the weather was pleasant for this time of year and because I felt like doing so I was dressed in a light coat and simple leather shoes. This is not important to the story but I feel compelled to discuss these kinds of details.

Written by Jared Sorensen


Posioncraft: The Dark Art

Posted on December 22, 2004 by

Normally I’m not one who likes many D20 products on the market, as I am not a regular user of that system. Also due to the fact that many of the products out there are not of the highest quality that they should be, more of an attempt to make a few dollars off of the D20 logo with a halfway thought out ideas done with shoddy writing.

However this particular book does not fall among the ranks of those.


Book of LARP Review

Posted on October 23, 2004 by

What is “LARP?” How do I design a “LARP?” As a GM, how is this different from tabletop gaming? The book of LARP, written by a team of writers, sets out to answer those and several other questions. Written for the novice or beginner LARPer, the book sets out to direct interested players on all aspects of a LARP game.


Unbidden Game Review

Posted on September 20, 2004 by

Written by Mark Bruno and Brett M. Bernstein, Unbidden interweaves the supernatural with modern-day life. It forces its players to create characters that are as real as your neighbor next door. Your character, whether it be a member of your local clergy or an average executive, is then transformed as their awareness of the world around them increases. Seeing with new eyes, your character will play in a world dominated by the quintessential fight between good and evil. While the war between the forces of light and darkness is not new to gaming, the idea that you, as a gamer, are forced to play an everyday citizen without the trappings of magic, powers, and other items is refreshing. As you play “Unbidden,” you will find that your character will soon become an extension of yourself.


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