Thursday 24 February 2022

Some More Reviews

Some things here I meant to review for a while so apologies.
I will do a follow up featuring a few items deserving more attention next post.

I finally get the difference between a PDF and a hard copy and why reviewers won't review from a PDF. Most of my time releasing stuff I couldn't even my own copies. When I was moving constantly and my stuff in storage PDFs were great. As I'm slightly older and buying a house and have all my stuff in one place I have enjoyed reading books and comics more. I think having books in front of me does make them easier to review especially for the more arty books in fashion now. Also some PDFs I loved the books didn't do it for me as I had some texture of paper stock I didn't even like touching (possibly I have weird issues). 

Today I'm rating in starts out of 4

Gathox Vertical Slum - Print 💥💥💥💥
I have reviewed from a PDF before and It meshes well and would fit in my planet Psychon setting so a Plus there for me. This is one of the best weird-school gonzo RPG books ever and It Is fairly neutral to older games. The Book version is better than the PDF, feels substantial and the art and vibe are great. If you don't know it is a giant mobile planar-alien slum that travels the planes. So scope for anything. I kinda like the idea of using this as a base then letting characters run amok in wildly inappropriate settings and break the railroads. Lots of inspirational stuff If you want your DnD tavern to be more like the Starwars cantina than the Prancing Pony. 

Fungal Far Realms - print 💥💥
(if you like pretty weird quixotic then 💥💥💥)
A beautiful to the touch lovely old school book. I saw early then saw second hand which I have now. I'm not sure it is really an RPG book. I have done fungus tables. There is the Fungus Forest on Drivethrough which is amazing. It uses a d666 to generate a fungus type. The pages are mostly watercolour art and the basic pages have a repeated stain which irks me slightly. They adequately describe the various fungi differences but I don't love them. Most of them have little utility in a game and they seem so much like natural history you could maybe just grab some off the internet. They do get weirder but most are not. No654 has some kind of mild jab at gender that makes me wonder. The rule bits in beginning and the appendix sections feel more like a game book and I liked more. As a beautiful RPG book it is physically a nice book like a classy folio edition. Content or usability wise less so. There are interesting things but they have lots of space and it might be hard to randomly get something interesting by dice of flipping at random. It's obviously a labour of love. If you hoped for a usable or final word on fungi in your games this probably is not it.

The Lost 77 Worlds Basic Core Rules - PDF💥
This is not great. I'd even say it is repetitive and feels very dated. In fact, it may as well be a Metamorphosis Alpha campaign but Epsilon City theme areas sort of already has many of these ideas. So much so it would seem repetitive. I like the idea of Westworld or Dream Park in ruins but you could only pull it off so many times. The layouts feel simple and dated. The art is incongruent with other art and don't make any vibe and feels off the genre. The story of human civilisation being attacked by aliens is ok stuff but basically the 77 worlds. I don't have much comment on mechanics - If I use this will be stripped and probably used for Gammaworld but it uses cards if that floats your boat. Ads in this PDF show a bunch of products but I will probably stop here. So many elements feel old like the assistance of armour from DnD that is not considered real historically now. The lunar complex basically has theme park worlds featuring King Arthur DnD, Egypt, Gangbusters each with 40 000 clones living ignorantly. It is envisaged you will start in Egypt, discover things are a bit fake then go to Camelot then the 20s and eventually contact the moonbase AI and explore the rest of the solar system. You could use this as a gammaworld or metamorphosis alpha setting. 

As a way of having multiple genres in a campaign, the idea has some merit. Im not sure in future or even now we would get a theme park of historical settings of interest to the 20th c tastes. Lots of the game advice feels old too. Maybe use your various IP games in here instead - starwars, Jurrasic park or do a simulation within a simulation westworld. The book promises more worlds and the solar system and more on the evil aliens. I am sure how weird it will get. The book has some promising ideas wise and maybe if I see a discount bundle I will have a look. It has so many elements like androids that plug straight into his other SF games. I really think this would have been better as a metamorphosis alpha setting book. It shares some of the flaws of the massively bloated Metamorphosis alpha Warden hardback. 

I am a fan of James Ward Creations but this has some germs of ideas but not the tools. Like metamorphosis alpha no maps or even diagrams. The cover has some monorail and dome but travel from dome to dome and other details seem glossed over. Possibly they are built on more in later books. Glad I only got PDF here.

Scientific Barbarian 1 & 2 PDF 💥💥💥
The biggest disappointment of Mutant Crawl Classics was how little world lore it had despite cool maps in previews. Early on fans complained it needed more monsters which also it lacks vs Dungeon Crawl Classics. Way too much space on patrons. The game has great art and vibes but needed more which hopefully this mag can do. I read everything as system agnostic and mash up all my post apoc games happily (any modern era stuff can be post apoc). 

Vol 1 has monster lore, awesome robot ponies (if you want a riding robo horse in fallout this is close) and a faction who use them you could easily use. Diseases are gruesome and good. Mutations by James Ward is nice and system neutral. A large good adventure with monsters good for any gonzo-core game. Then some more monsters. Pretty entertaining.

Vol2 has titanic kaiju, nueral programing pills with knowledge and other effects (good shortcut for languages), a character class, Dr temposaur a time-travelling dino scientist and an adventure of cyber dinos, some talk on dice that is long-winded and really about gaming culture more than any game. 

Both have great art and lots of comics. Though the knights of the dinner table seem irrelevant and I always found art made me have no interest in it. It is one of the better magazine format products and I will keep reading. Improbably satisfied as PDF over print.

Maximum Mutagenasis - PDF & Print
While this is a book for the DCC post-apocalypse setting Umerica the line has been in my view superior to MCC. It's like Richard Scarry Busytown meets mad max. This book is about mutants but the art is so fabulous you should look at it. It has new mutations and classes and monsters with plenty of content to steal. Seriously so many amazing spreads. I got the hardcover and most of the sourcebooks and have run several of the modules so I am a total sucker so far. Even though I dyslexic all misread and spelled it for a few years.

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