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Black Crusade: Core Rulebook
by Ben W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2020 16:46:19

The actual book and contents are great but the latest PDF has issues, specifically the bookmarks don't work. Considering the pdf is 401 pages long it would be really difficult to actually play without first editing the pdf to get some working bookmarks going.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Black Crusade: Core Rulebook
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Wrath & Glory: Core Rules
by Lane T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2020 06:50:43

Wrath & Glory had a rough start with its previous publisher, but I've been playing since its earliest released edition. It is at its heart, a system that accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish and has ample room for growth.

To wit: W&G is not meant to be a 1:1 replacement for its predecessor system, Dark Heresy (and its derivatives like Rogue Trader, Only War, Deathwatch). Dark Heresy was by design, intended to be an extraordinarily deep system, with little breadth. It is deep, but narrow. It is focused almost entirely on Imperium-based play, with incredibly rich descriptions of equipment and minor settings, and superlatively detailed rules for every occasion. That was both its greatest quality, and worst trait in my opinion. Every time I picked up a Dark-Heresy style sourcebook, I felt the utmost overwhelming desire to dive into the universe - to play and run its games. To absorb every rule and every nuance of the gameplay. Every time I tried to play Dark Heresy (and on other occasions, Rogue Trader), the campaigns felt flat. There was almost never a GM capable of meeting the standard of richness set by the book. Every session was bogged down by half an hour of searching for rules (and there is no reasonable way to summarise Dark Heresy's rules). I had never seen a universe so rich, and a ruleset so wretchedly bloated.

Wrath & Glory is the opposite by design, and in my play experience. W&G is by design, very shallow and very wide. Some would understandably make the same criticism for as Skyrim: a game with an ocean's width, and the depth of a puddle. This ignores that games like Skyrim are iconic in their field, and actually incredibly fun. W&G's in-house settings have never appealed to me. I have never once looked in its wargear lists and been enamoured with an item of gear or a relic. Yet the rules slipped on like a glove, from its more flawed first edition until now. In playing W&G, my groups have always been able to commit the main rules to memory, and make a reasonably sized quick-reference file for the other content. Having to trawl the rulebook for an obscure rule is fairly uncommon with this system. When I picked up Wrath & Glory and read it for the first time, I felt none of the burning desire to immerse myself the way Rogue Trader made me want to. Nothing even close. But unlike any of those previous systems, my group of newcomers and 40K lore buffs all got together and finished a long campaign. And we actually played the game successfully. That is the system's greatest success, and one I build my rating on. I can play Wrath & Glory, and it's not a chore. I can play it, and it's enjoyable. I can flesh it out with mountains of homebrew and not fear for conflict and bloat.

The comparisons between W&G and the entire Dark Heresy library are frankly unfair. Comparing a first-release core rulebook to a nearly decade-long franchise spanning dozens of works that had a completely different design philosophy is patently absurd. W&G, like Dark Heresy, needs to be evaluated on its own merits as much as its own drawbacks. The result is that I see W&G for what it was meant to be: a contemporary introduction to 40K roleplay suitable for new and old people. One that is not gated behind the elitism, expense and complexity of Dark Heresy, but one that consequently lacks fleshing-out.

The core mechanic for W&G is simple, adaptable and has built-in nuance for catastrophic and exceptional results. It is a generally stable and useful core mechanic using pooled D6 and I find it excellent. It does suffer from scaling issues when tests or skills become too high, and it is very difficulty to accurately estimate percentage changes for your success, unlike D20 or D100 systems.

Lore wise? My group are consummate homebrewers. We did not play with the pre-packaged lore for this one just like all the Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader source materials. I read those works for entertainment and inspiration, not to build a campaign over. From what I read of this book's lore, it is basic and covers the essentials, but it suffers from the shortcoming of having to place too many species into too-small a setting, and suffers from a lack of depth.

The lack of content with regards to wargear, narrative impact and playable characters is the book's greatest limitation. The book is packaged for four distinct factions (Orks, Eldar, Imperial, Chaos) right out of the box. But you can only play a very limited and small version of all of those factions except for the Imperium (unsurprisingly). Even the Imperial selection of wargear is pedestrian and basic by Warhammer 40 000's standards, with none of the eye-popping innovation and complexity previous systems featured. The gear and character archetypes require future content support, or heavy GM homebrew to reach their potential. Yet like every other part of the system, the framework for designing your own equipment and archetypes are simple and straightforward.

Cubicle7's changes in formatting, talents, ascension packages and... spelling are generally positive. I have no areas to report where the earliest edition was clearly superior to this edition and I write this on the release of its 2.1 Errata, adding new corrections and adjustments. I do note the removal of vehicle combat and voidship combat rules from the previous edition. I respect Ulisses' attempt for bringing iconic voidship combat into this system, but the attempt to bring such a complex and rich set of rules to a streamlined system was unsuccessful. The original implementation of vehicle and voidship combat were some of my greatest criticisms and Cubicle7 has seemingly removed them outright. Sadly, I think the removal of this content improved the average quality of the work, but it is notable.

And so:

Good

++Superbly simple and adaptable ruleset

++Highly playable

+Much better organised than previous edition, may Ulisses North America do well for the work they put in

+An excellent base for future content additions

Bad --Very shallow on its own story, gear and lore, requiring copious future content updates or copious homebrew

-Depth of rules was sacrificed in favour of flexibility and playability

-Removal of the vehicle combat rules, even if they were hideously flawed

A 4/5 in my eyes, if you want to play a 40K RPG. A 5/5 if you have a GM willing to do the copious homebrew needed to flesh it out. And a 5/5 one day, if it receives the content support it deserves.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wrath & Glory: Core Rules
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Starter Set
by Phillip B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2020 01:42:37

Rich and beautiful, every page drips with the chaotic fun of the Old World. More story hooks than you can shake a fish at. Perfect step for those considering stepping into the world for the first time, and like returning home for those that know their Ulthuan from their Athel Loren.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Starter Set
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Wrath & Glory: Rain of Mercy
by Jacob S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2020 17:50:42

This was a Free RPG day product for 2020, and specifically for this purpose 'Rain of Mercy' is a fast introduction to the basics of Wrath & Glory whole.

It gives you a quick taste of the baseline mechanics and characters (written much simpler than how they are in the full rules) while giving a basic adventure that has the hallmarks of a simple "grim" story with "dark" elements.

Obviously intended to be a Oneshot run in a day, I would find it hard to have the adventure last longer, which is the point as well. Allowing it to be a jumping point rather than something there to last.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wrath & Glory: Rain of Mercy
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Wrath & Glory: The Graveyard Shift
by Jacob S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2020 12:43:19

The Graveyard Shift is a fast introduction into the very basics of Wrath & Glory.

While not covering the particulars of the revisions Cubicle 7 has completed to the original work released by Ulissses Spiele the adventure itself gives a good introduction into one of the less seen areas of the Imperium, a Cemetary World

It should take one or two sessions, depending on how thorough your players can be, and if a Game-Master wants to add in a few bits they could likely span it out over 3 sessions.

In it is useful bits to grab for your own toolbox as well in relation to bestiary entries and a chart for encounters in ruins.

All in all, a solid short adventure to grab for more than one reason.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wrath & Glory: The Graveyard Shift
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The Laundry - As Above, So Below
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2020 13:54:55

IT government service in Call of Cthulhu! It's a surprisingly better fit than one would expect.

A supplement for Cublicle 7's The Laundry RPG. Based on the series by Charles Stross.

As Above, So Below tasks your PCs with being the front-line in the hopeless battle against the Mythos. But it also lets your PCs be the middle and upper-management who run that hopeless war. You'll find being in charge is just as dangerous, if not more, than being on the pointy end of the stick. It's the Mythos; check you hope at the door.

Heartily recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Laundry - As Above, So Below
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The Laundry - Targets of Acquisition
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2020 13:52:16

IT government service in Call of Cthulhu! It's a surprisingly better fit than one would expect.

A supplement for Cublicle 7's The Laundry RPG. Based on the series by Charles Stross.

Targets of Acquisition contains a laundry-list of items for use as plot MacGuffins or traps for the PCs. It's CoC; you didn't expect the items to be beneficial, did you?

Heartily recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Laundry - Targets of Acquisition
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The Laundry RPG
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2020 13:45:25

IT government service in Call of Cthulhu! It's a surprisingly better fit than one would expect.

The Laundry RPG captures the feel of the early volumes on Stross's Laundry Series. It contrasts nicely with the CoC version of Delta Green. In fact, I can see both being the same universe, with a bit of squinting.

I don't know about Cubicle 7's plans for the Laundry with the lapse of the CoC license from Chaosium. But I'm hopeful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Laundry RPG
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WFRP: Death on the Reik - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Volume 2
by Samuel S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2020 16:49:24

This is a great product. 140 pages of adventure. Plus another 20 pages of player maps, NPC, player handouts, and GM advice. It's a solid adventure with twists a number of twists, and helpful advice. It's a classic. Updated not only to fit current rules, but more modern style, format and readiblity standards.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WFRP: Death on the Reik - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Volume 2
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Wrath & Glory: Core Rules
by Craig B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2020 12:08:32

Although I like these rules, they are currently going through a revision. Once complete, it may warrent a 5 star raiting and more detailed review.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wrath & Glory: Core Rules
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The One Ring - Laughter of Dragons
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2020 17:18:07

The One Ring. It's an RPG that really captures the feeling of Tolkein's Middle Earth. Since that's what got a lot of players my age into RPGs (including me), I'm glad there's a game set in Middle Earth.

The Laughter of Dragons is everything you need to set your players up against a series of adventures as enjoyable as The Hobbit and culminating in a foe as epic as Smaug.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Ring - Laughter of Dragons
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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Soulbound Rulebook
by David W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2020 12:25:52

Cubicle 7 are on fire at the moment ! Great game with a accessible system that allows for a variable depth of complexity and a setting which allows for a breadth of play style depending on your tastes - if you want to lose yourself in some true fantasy roleplay then give this fun game a run for its money - you wont be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Soulbound Rulebook
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WFRP: Death on the Reik - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Volume 2
by Andrew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2020 10:28:09

So, it’s finally here, part two (or three, depending upon how the counting is done) of The Enemy Within Campaign.

The adventure sees the heroes of Enemy in Shadows fleeing, perhaps extremely rapidly, from Bogenhafen with at best a couple of minor leads pointing towards dark insidious conspiracies beneath the Empire’s ‘civilised’ surface. What follows is a long, almost self-contained, adventure across the great waterways of The Reik and its tributaries.

Death on the Reik follows a very similar structure to Enemy in Shadows breaking down to a foreword, synopsis, eight chapters incorporating the adventure, a single appendix and a handout and map section (no longer with spoiler annotations).

The eighth chapter is the first part of the scenario Carrion up the Reik by James Wallis, originally published in the Hogshead reprint of Power Behind the Throne as an interquel that bridges the river bound part of the campaign to the city of Middenheim.

The adventure chapters, in contrast to the original, are broken down by the sections of riverways that are traversed, which is a welcome change as the original could be somewhat confusing. Some of these are possibly only a single session play, but several would likely span many. Additionally, due to the very open world nature of this part of the campaign, any number of other scenarios may easily be interjected.

DotR is a vast and sprawling adventure with mysteries to solve and even a couple of traditional[ish] dungeon crawls to boot.

Plot Spoilers Death on the Reik is the story of a noble family driven mad following the acquisition of a warpstone meteorite from Morrsleib itself several generations ago. The party get wind of this discovery while investigating another cult faction, The Red Crown, linked to the events in Bogenhafen.

Much of the first five chapters is a race between the players and The Red Crown to recover the meterorite, incorporating a couple of substantial scenarios/sub-plots. Over the course of these chapters it is necessary for the GM to track the progress of the players and the Red Crown, before any potential confrontation between the two parties takes place.

The plot begins (well, probably) by uncovering the research of a wizard tracking the warpstone meteorite at a disused observatory (now being rebuilt as a signal tower). Pursuing these clues, along with those from Enemy in Shadows, eventually sees the characters at the town of Wittgendorf, a miserable location of mutants and beggars. With the help of local outlaws, the characters infiltrate castle Wittgendorf and deal with the corrupted noble at the heart of the town’s troubles.

Along the way, there are a couple of minor urban encounters involving the Purple Hand, continuing the case of Mistaken Identity, a kidnapping to solve and opportunities for advancements and career changes. A rural hike leads to the impact crater of the warpstone meteorite and a large subplot with dwarfs, goblins with some typical WFRP subversion.

The final chapter sees the characters lose their barge and become coerced into acting as a courier transporting merchandise to Middenheim.

As the fourth edition version of TEW is less bound to the pre-generated characters than the original, it does struggle with finding motivation for the characters to go to certain locations. For example, Harbul would be striking up a relationship with Elvyra from Enemy in Shadows to continue his training but without him (or a near equivalent) this link to the earlier parts of Death on the Reik is a lot weaker.

Another example is Wanda, the apprentice wizard from the original, who would be visiting her mentor, Heironymous Blitzen, which was integral in the 1st edition version.

DotR attempts to address this within the appendix by adding a series of mentors that could be used at the GM’s discretion. Although this is a fine, perhaps a framework for adding mentors to the plot would have been useful. This is possibly something that could be addressed in more detail in the companion.

Another minor complaint is that the synopsis could be a little more substantial. I’m still lacking a feel for how the campaign ends post Power Behind the Throne. This is exacerbated by the inclusion of Carrion up the Reik, which was originally planned by James Wallis to link to the unpublished Hogshead rewrite of Empire in Flames. Hopefully those threads will come to something in the Director’s Cut.

As noted in the comments section, River Life of the Empire, an integral part of the original version, is not present in this book. Instead, it will be included in the Companion. This decision was made to make way for Carrion up the Reik. River Life of the Empire contained (and presumably still will) useful information for trading, navigation and piloting and the social and economic nature of the towns and villages on the nation’s riverways. This will be invaluable for those wanting to really add meat to the adventurer’s time on the rivers. It’s also a reason for the events in Carrion up the Reik, as James Wallis noted, the characters may end up “a bunch of demented early renaissance Elite players,” and completely ignore the plot.

This is frustrating as this information is very useful but given the page count limitations the only option would be to remove the handouts and maps to a separate booklet similar to the Collector’s Edition. I suppose the positive spin is that this demonstrates how much useful content there is overall.

We’ve seen the return of the Grognard boxes and once again they contain interesting alternatives to mix things up for the players. There are perhaps not as many, again likely due to space limitations. Interestingly, they’re used most frequently at the end of the campaign to handle veteran players attempting to subvert the plot (some of them even suggest letting them do this).

The artwork is of a very similar standard to Enemy in Shadows, but I think some of the riverway vistas are level above, particularly the evocative rendering of Castle Wittgendorf. Maps are of a more consistently high standard, but perhaps one or two could benefit from being larger (Trail of the Red Crown in particular).

Overall, Death on the Reik is excellent. It was my second favourite WFRP adventure following Power Behind the Throne and contains dozens of hours of play at least and a whole lot more when the supplemental content comes out with the Companion. Unlike other parts of the campaign, it’s perhaps got a little bit for everyone: mysteries, hack’n’slash, investigations, dungeon crawls, rural and urban sequences and a lot of messing about on the river. The latter sections also include a very large dose of WFRP nihilism, particularly Castle Wittgendorf. I guess that’s all part of the fun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
WFRP: Death on the Reik - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Volume 2
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
by Patrick M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2020 02:27:26

The Enemy in Shadows indeed is a faithful and improved remake of the original first modules of the Enemy Within campaign. The thing is that the source material just didn't age that well.

At the time of the original release, this campaign was groundbreaking. It was first to move away from "kill 'em and take their stuff" adventures, focussing instead on memorable NPCs, involved plots and putting investigation ahead of fighting to solve problems. So at the time of it's original release this would have gotten a 5-start review from me.

BUT: Looking at the adventure (new and old versions alike) from today's perspective, one can only note that this is a tight railroad. This doesn't have to be bad, as railroading sometimes is needed to tell a comprehensive story. But this railroad has some very bad "derailment points", of which I just mention a few below:

SPOILERS AHEAD

a) The whole plot hinges on on PC being a look-alike of a deceased (evil) NPC. But what happens if this PC dies? This is a real risk in a game as prone to random death as Warhammer. So you either give this one PC strong Plot-Armor or you can scrap significant parts of this adventure (and the next modules as well) if the PC passes away

b) Some logic PC action is completely ruled out and disregarded: The secret temple in the sewers will be cleaned out, no matter what the players do (i.e. put one PC on permanent guard there); the secret door can't be found no matter what; the cult traitor can't be protected no matter what; the players will be framed for murder no matter what ...

c) The investigation in Bögenhaven doesn't advance by smart thinking of the players. It is a thin trail of breadcrumps of NPC accidently dropping secret letters and notes out of their pockets. Nicely signed with a heptagram and a the skull of some beast

d) The final reveal comes with one big cultist getting cold feed and spilling the beans to the PC. But this only works if the PCs have contacted/questioned him before. But there is very little reason for the PCs to do that. So the whole plot breaks down if the PCs don't contact this one person out of the blue.

e) The opening adventure of the the next module Death on the Reik assumes that the PCs "befriended" a healer/herbalist in Enemy in Shadows. But there is no hook why they should befriend her. She is one of many tradespeople selling their products at the Schattenfest fair ground. PCs MIGHT talk to her, if they need healing herbs, but they for sure will not befriend her.

For above reasons I would give the source material a 1/5 stars from today's point of view. The good production quality of the new version raises it to 2/5 stars. Shame that they didn't decide to fix the weak points of the original though.

(Note: I GMed both the original verision some 30 years ago as well as the current version just last month. We decided to not continue the campaign for above mentioned reasons)



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
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WFRP: Death on the Reik - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Volume 2
by Robert C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2020 01:12:23

The content isn't bad at all. I'm rating it at two stars because its missing advertised content and when this was pointed out, instead of addressing it, they changed the description. See the discussions on this product.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
WFRP: Death on the Reik - Enemy Within Campaign Director's Cut Volume 2
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