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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Seventh-Inning Slaughter!
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2021 08:31:30

I really enjoyed this Achtung! Cthulhu module as one that's refreshingly different. Instead of getting sent off on a serious misson, the players are just out enjoying a baseball game when evil comes to them. There's also the option of playing a baseball player if you're so inclined and it's a great way to either start a campaign or even introduce new players into the game. There's a nice looking handout advertising the baseball game as well. All in all it's a fun well thought out adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Seventh-Inning Slaughter!
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Mindjammer - Traveller Edition
by Sapphire C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2021 04:49:43

To preface this, Mindjammer can produce some high-falooting player characters. But that's kind of part of the charm.

Like Ironclaw, it's a setting that knows what it wants and how to get it. It's a setting and system that veers towards a single, powerful, expansionist bunch of technically good guys who ultimately trip, stumble and crash into every other planet. No aliens, BTW, all old human expansion efforts of thousands of years ago, reconnected into the Commonality.

I rather like the emphasis on cultural warfare. To fight an enemy by changing their mind through subversion and propaganda, undermining destructive ideals and replacing them with compatible ones. In general, the book feels very smart and forward thinking, which gives the setting itself a lot of shine.

It is, however, a very distinct thing its going for. Great gunslinging heroics are possible, but the way it's set up far prefers something more thoughtful, personal and intimate.

And if that all doesn't appeal, the fricking book is stuffed with just fun ideas on campaigns, technologies and more. You get your money's worth, one way or another.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mindjammer - Traveller Edition
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Mindjammer - The Roleplaying Game
by Jeffrey Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2021 17:27:38

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2014 issue of Freelance Traveller, and as such is written from the perspective of using it with Traveller*.

Disclosure: A complimentary copy of the PDF edition was made available to the author for the purpose of review.

Like Diaspora and Starblazer Adventures, previously reviewed in Freelance Traveller, Mindjammer is based on the FATE system. It represents a third esthetic for FATE-based SFRPGs, lying somewhere between the rollicking comic space opera of Starblazer Adventures and the very Traveller-like crunch of Diaspora.

The FATE system is very strongly narrativist, so the emphasis is on role-playing, with simple mechanics and little of the bookkeeping that characterizes most versions of Traveller as written. It has been discussed in Freelance Traveller’s prior reviews of Starblazer Adventures (reviewed by “kafka”, October 2010) and Diaspora (reviewed by Jeff Zeitlin, February 2011), and so will not be discussed here; rather, the focus will be on the setting.

Transhumanism has not been a significant part of Traveller, though Mongoose Traveller does allow for some possibilities outside of the Third Imperium setting. Mindjammer, however, is a strongly transhumanist setting, and offers a significant degree of modularity, to allow elements of the setting to be transplanted to other games, or to be included or omitted as desired in a Mindjammer game. Rules for creating various aspects of the setting are detailed enough to satisfy even hard-core “gearheads” of all types, but where gearheading is unnecessary or undesirable, a few broad strokes of FATE Aspects can be enough to satisfy the needs of the game.

Character types, including various humans, both genetically modified and not, uplifted animals (“Xenomorphs”), artificials (including such things as sentient starships, space stations, and so on), and aliens, are available to players, each defined by various combinations of Aspects, Flaws, and Extras. Further definition of characters is defined by additional Aspects, Skills, Stunts, and so on of Careers. While a wide range of sample careers and character types are presented, instructions for creating your own follow the examples. There is even a chapter on organizations in the Mindjammer setting, with rules and templates for creating your own.

While the distinction between the ‘real world’ and ‘virtual reality’ continues to exist in Mindjammer, the line between them begins to blur with the Mindscape and an individual’s ‘halo’. The halo is described as an individual’s extension into the Mindscape (through a Mindscape implant), and that extension enables the use of certain skills, enhancements, extras, and so on. Many of the skills provide analogues to “classic” psionic powers such as telepathy, psionic assault, and perception. Beyond that, virtual realities can be as convincing as the real world, and what happens in the Mindscape can have real-world consequences. The speed of light is still a limit for data transmission, so the Mindscape is kept approximately synchronized between worlds through starships carrying updates.

An in-depth look at the sociopolitical structure of the setting is presented, outlining polities, corporations, cultures, and technology, fitting them together and providing rules for using them in the game, and (as usual) creating your own. Extensive rules for world-building (and star system building) are included, as well, and potentially offer a greater range of environments than stock Traveller. It is even possible to define ecosystems ranging from artificial (for food production) through transplanted Terrestrial biota to habitable-but-incompatible and completely alien.

One resource that Mindjammer provides in the core book that Traveller to date lacks is a guide to creating scenarios and campaigns. Obviously, it focuses on (and provides examples using) the standard Mindjammer setting and the FATE system, but the linkage is not strong, and the two chapters that comprise the guide would be a useful resource for any system.

Mindjammer is not Traveller, but this book is worth using as a resource for ideas that can be incorporated into Traveller, even if you don’t want the high level of Transhumanism that its setting assumes.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mindjammer - The Roleplaying Game
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Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Luiz P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/06/2021 12:20:39

This is a really good solo wargame.

I've tried Rangers of Shadowdeep (which I like quite a lot), but this one is very enjoyable because of how good it is a creating a story. The many tables, the many rolls you make outside of battle makes stories easy to come up with.

For instance, one of my crew clearly showcased himself as a troublemaker after exploring and causing a rival to show up, and then later getting into a fight. All of this because of character and campaign rolls.

Battle might be a slight contention for some folks because of how deadly everything is. Like straight up deadly, unless your character is wearing some special kind of armor (which after a few rolls in the loot table I realized how hard it is to find), the character can die with a single hit and wounded shot from an enemy. This does helps make the game a constant risk and battles may be one sided in some ways, but you should never kamikaze it, because your crew could straight up die. The AI system also plays quite well, so you are facing very disctinct enemies each time.

Also with the battle event tables, its very unlikely for battles to all be alike.

The game is quite worth its price in my opinion, best 20 bucks I spent this month.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
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Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Chin K. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2021 22:40:27

This edition takes an already good game, and added polish and smoothened the rough edges to make it a GREAT game.

If you have 2nd Edition, this is still a great edition to get as the additions and editing make it a wrothwhile buy. As an indication of how smoothly Modiphius and NWG managed the updating, I was able to transition my on-going 2nd Edition campign into the 3rd Edition without any difficulty.

If solo, RPG-lite sci0fi tabletop wargaming is your thing, you can't go wrong with this!

(Rating would be 4.5 as the game play aids provided are actually not as good as the fan-made ones done for 2nd Ed.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Richard P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2021 11:50:54

I've been playing RPGs and wargames since the mid 80s. This is by far one of the best games I have ever played.

Do yourself a favor and grab this now. You will not be disappointed!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Under The Gun
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2021 08:28:42

Another short easy to run adventure for the world of Achtung! Cthulhu. The premise gets the characters started right away and the investigation and action are quick paced. The NPCs are clearly described and a page of handouts to print gives the players something tangible to make the session feel even more real. Also included is a printer friendly version of the adventure for those who prefer to run a session with paper instead of computer. All in all, it's a solid addition to the growing list of adventres for this setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Under The Gun
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Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Lee S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2021 00:54:59

I immediately liked the game from what I saw in reviews, but I wanted to wait until I played at least one campaign turn to get a better grip on it.

So far, I'm really liking it.

I'm playing the battles on Tabletop Simulator so I have access to minis and terrain, and playing ther pre-battle and post-battle phases on my desk. I had mostly used TTS to play Castle Ravenloft, so my collected minis didn't quite fit the theme, but I think over time I'll build a better sci-fi collection to pull from. I'm even considering buying custom figures from Hero Forge. Entirely due to this game.

I like that on the first playthrough, I didn't have to read everything. A lot of the stuff only needs to be read if it's pertinent at the time. For example, my crew consists of three humans, a feral (felinoid) a precursor and a robot. So I could skip reading about the other aliens for now.

Combat is real simple to learn, but more thorough than it looks. Finally, a combat system that separates defense from the 'to hit' roll.

Five Parsecs really does have an X-Com or Heroclix feel to it as far as the tactics go. Another game it reminds me of is Avengers Alliance Tactics, a game I loved but flopped because it couldn't find its audience.

Something else Five Parsecs reminds me of is a little-known game that only appeared in a magazine - Star Wars: Corellian Smuggler. It was a solo game that had a Daily Activity chart and random events for traveling, arriving on a planet or just hanging around at the starport. I liked it a lot, but it faded out of view and barely made any impact. Likely due to its limited release.

The reason I bring these up is because I've been house-ruling most of these things from these different games into my rpgs, with varying results. Recently, I got Star Wars: Outer Rim and was working on adapting parts of Corellian Smuggler over to it.

Then I discovered Five Parsecs from Home. The price tag scared me off at first. I rarely buy anything on DTRPG over $10. Unless it's a physical product. But then I saw the in-depth review by TheSoloWargamingShow. Wow. After a day of pondering it, and realizing that I could've bought two $10 games on DTRPG that I'd crack open once then forget about, as opposed to a $20 game that I may really like... I finally dived in.

Five Parsecs is just elegant. It does what it sets out to do. Gameplay is really smooth. Once I finished reading the rules (ending at the weapon list), I was ready to start playing. Everything else I learned as I played the game.

One thing that should probably be mentioned sooner is to keep track of the first non-robot hero that takes out an enemy. For dealing out the XP later. Fortunately, I knew it was one of two heroes and one of them was a robot. So I figured it out after the fact.

I also don't mind that there's really no ship combat in the game. I was always more of a Wing Commander: Privateer player than an X-Wing Starfighter player, so I'll survive. I may house rule the modular combat from Corellian Smuggler over to it later.

Before I started playing, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a quickstart available for the game. Especially since it's $20. But once I started playing, I realized that a quickstart would be almost impossible to do without it giving away all the rules. And if you're going to play it, you really want all the charts that are in the book.

I tend to buy PDFs first, then if I really like the game, I'll buy a physical copy. However, with Five Parsecs, it shot itself in the foot by not only being $20 for the PDF, but alao being so much more expensive in print. Ordering from the Modiphius site, the physcal copy is $37. Plus shipping to the US for $32. A total of $69. After I've already spent $20 on the PDF to see if I liked it.

Make no mistake about it: I really, really do like this game. I love it, even. But spending $89 total would be a bit outrageous for me. You're still getting five stars, because it's an amazing system and I see myself playing for many years. I'll also be on the lookout for upcoming products for Five Parsecs, as well as any updated Five X from X games.

Congratulations on a job well done. And finally giving me the framework I needed for my homebrew games.

Detailed gameplay here: https://reprep.blogspot.com/2021/06/five-parsecs-from-home.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the great review! We actually give the PDF price as a discount on the hard copy if you decide to trade up - just contact support@modiphius.com We will have local shipping in the US from our webstore from the end of June, though copies won't be shipping there till August - hope that helps!
Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Wormsign Quickstart Guide
by kristine y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2021 22:30:25

If you like Dune or were on the fence about playing Dune the rpg game, this product will help you decide if you should jump in.
Whats included: several types of premade pcs covering mentats, bene gesserists, ginaz swordmaster, to common types The artwork is similar to the up coming movie. Intro to the game universe the basic rules so you do not need the corebook for this adventure but it can be useful discusses how conflict works and has a conflict chart for easy reference The adventure takes place on Dune before/during the movie and is 5 scenes long. You can play this in one session if you wanted to as a stand alone adventure or as part of a campaign easily. At the end of the adventure are plot hooks for more adventures. I would suggest if you are interested in trying Dune rpg or even the 2d20 system give this adventure a try. Its pretty straight forward in design and does not need a lot of game prep to run. Also if you like to show and tell your players a quick google image search and you can find images to use.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Wormsign Quickstart Guide
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Under The Gun
by kristine y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2021 22:15:37

This adventure can be played in one session. Easy to use as an intro adventure but it is set in mid 1940 so depending on where your campaign is set you might need to do a little reworking. The adventure layout is similar to the other adventure for this game. The maps are helpful and well done. I like how the npc stat info is layed out and easy to use for a game master. One thing that I like that you do not much is a dedicated handout section is included for a game master to use for player handouts. Another thing I liked was the further adventure/campaign ideas given at the end of the adventure. If you know some british folklore or do a litlte research those ideas can be developed with little effort. The only negative comment I have is that the adventure seemed short compared to the last one. I felt like the adventure needed another part or needed to add more to another part.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Under The Gun
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Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by William E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2021 04:36:28

Excellent little solo skirmish campaign game. The combat might be simple compared to some crunchier games but that all helps facilitate rapid engagements and pushing your personal campaign forward. The various character creation options, equipment lists, enemy types, and objectives stimulate the imagination and make each turn interesting for the sake of seeing what will happen next. Sometimes some ill-equipped gangers ambush your crew and are wiped out in two turns, other times you're up against trained mercenaries, alien horrors, or overwhelming odds that push you to your limit and make retreat seem like an attractive option - this is truly a game where you'd rather live to fight another day.

The author has already announced continuing support to bring optional crunch in for players hungry for more, but the current difficulty options as well as the dangerous and deadly Red and Black Zone missions are enough to keep anyone going with this book alone for a long time. The built-in "prestige" system and ability to bring in characters from the related Five Parsecs: Bug Hunt game to join your crew feed into the core strength of this game: it wants you to play, play, and play, and you can't help but buy in just to see what will happen next.

This is THE solo sci-fi skirmish game if you want to find that balance between creativity, speed of play, and entertainment value.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
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Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Christopher B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2021 02:35:46

I'll admit, I was skeptical of this new edition but I was just being a hipster. Once I actually took a look through the book I was glad I got it. The finishing and editing, all the polish sets this apart from other NWG titles. I hope to see more titles get the modiphius treatment.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Erik R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2021 09:51:16

This is really a stellar game. It's a neat blend of wargaming, rpgs, campaign systems and solitaire play. For the uniniated, you take a band of heroes out into the far fringes of the galaxy and play out a story. It's something like Firefly meets Trigun meets Mass Effect, and you're the poor jerks just trying to make a living out there. The game really shines in its campaign system, with tables and events that don't feel random but rather like part of an evolving plot if you let your imagination run. The combat gameplay is fine, complexity wise it's well suited to solo play. Some players might find it a bit too simple for their tastes, but it's easy enough to tweak (or even outright replace).

To be fair, I've been a fan of Five Parsecs and Nordic Weasel for a long time, so my review is not without bias. But, that said, this is definitely the best version of the game that I've laid eyes on. For players of the second edition, there are some new surprises, but overall it's the same game. But it's clear that Modiphius has really stepped up to the plate and turned what was already a great game into an excellent product. The color and layouts are neat and the art is pretty good. A much appreciated section on the "Unity" universe has been added (though it will seem quite familiar to fans of Renegade Scout), and there are plenty of extras and goodies. It's well worth the price and I really look forward to seeing what else Nordic Weasel and Modiphius can do together.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard
by Edward K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2021 22:12:17

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard System- Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Producer- Modiphius Price- $6.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/355128/Achtung-Cthulhu-2d20-Operation-Vanguard?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Almost perfect but not what I wanted. 97%

Basics- Time to go, soldier! You just stopped a Black Sun ritual, so now it’s off to stop more Nazi shenanigans! What could they be doing off at sea?

Mechanics or Crunch-Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 does almost all the things I want and does them right, and this adventure has that as well. Solid monsters and encounters lead you through a stealth to destruction mission with lots of fun along the way. Just well done crunch if you like the 2d20 system. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- The theme/fluff/story is where I have my one major problem. The story itself is great. Investigate Nazi base, destroy, stop bad guys-all the fun things players want to do in Pulp Weird War II. But, this was billed as the sequel to the starter adventure, and it is, but it's just a second adventure after the first. They are not connected in any real way. It doesn’t tell as much of a continuing story aside from "go destroy more weird stuff." Go destroy the weird stuff is honestly 90% of A!C 2d20, and that’s why my players and I are here. But, I wanted the escape from France of the last adventure. My players LEVELED the castle in the last one as nothing stops evil like 40 TONS of stone to the head. So my expectations were slightly let down. If you don’t have the same expectation, you will have a blast. 4.5/5

Execution- PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes, extremely well done. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. A page with pictures to cut out to give to players for handouts, hyperlinks EVERYWHERE, easy to read, nice stat blocks, and TWO VERSIONS as a less graphics intensive one makes my tablet run better all make me a happy GM. This is how I want books made. 5/5

Summary- Oh A!C 2d20… you make me so happy. It’s a well done, slick system, and this is a well done slick adventure for it. I just wish this was more "direct sequence" and less "continuing adventures", but oh well. If you don’t have my singular crazy obsession with continuity, then you will absolutely LOVE this book. From crunch, to story, to just general production, I’m glad to have this one. 97%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Vanguard
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Star Trek Adventures: BRIEFS 002 - Disasters
by kristine y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2021 16:53:02

This product is a collection of short adventure ideas that cover star trek from TOS-STNG-DS9 eras. Each adventure has a focus player class like the doctor, engineer, or captain for example. The adventures can be used in any era, though some might need a little reworking. These can easily be used in a regular sized group or in a small group which I thought was a useful as sometimes you do not always have the entire group availiable to play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Trek Adventures: BRIEFS 002 - Disasters
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