Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

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Review – Shadows in Focus: Morocco (Shadowrun)

18 March, 2018

Shadows in Focus – Morocco is a location sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides useful information on Morocco and its environs that would be useful to the sorts of people who are Shadowrunners. It is the sort of book you need if you are going to run a game set in or around Morocco.

Shadows in Focus – Morocco is a location sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers the shadow nexus of smugglers, corporations and nationalism that exist in the Morocco of the Sixth World.

Morocco is a gateway to the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds so it serves as a nexus of trade, legal and illegal, as well as a gatekeeper of the Gibraltar straights. In the Sixth World, it suffered heavily during EuroWar II which saw it invaded by European forces driving back the Islamic forces which had used it as a stepping stone to invade Spain. Morocco has rebuilt with heavy corporate aid making many see the government as a puppet of megacorporate interests. The truth is more complex with the Morocco government, corporations, traditional social groups and other factions all vying for power.

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Review – Shadowrun: Dark Terrors

16 March, 2018

Shadowrun: Dark Terrors is a sourcebook for Shadowrun and provides a lot of information, a lot of interesting information on the dark corners of the Sixth World but not a lot of advice on how to use or incorporate that information into a campaign, especially an ongoing campaign. I enjoyed the read but, for me, there is almost nothing I can or would use in my ongoing street level campaign. I am not sure who the target audience for this book is, it seems like it should be a GM’s book but there is just not enough here to hang campaigns on, in many cases there is barely enough to hang an adventure or two off of. Equally, players can read it and be scared of the horrible things out there but there are not any tools to help you fight the terrors. So, ultimately, I am not sure what this book is for beyond pushing the metaplot(s) forward (especially on CFD) a little.

Shadowrun: Dark Terrors, is a Plot Sourcebook for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book covers a variety of dangers, threats and evils, primarily magical in nature that exist in the Sixth World.

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, Read the rest of this entry ?

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Review – The Girl with Ghost Eyes (novel)

22 February, 2018

The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a fantasy set in the San Francisco Chinatown in the late 19th Century. It follows the troublesome situation Li-lin, daughter of a Daoist exorcist and practitioner of the Maoshan tradition quickly finds herself in.

The author handles the situation of the Chinese in the 19th century US with a light touch, weaving the cultural threads of Chinese tradition and the problems faced by the immigrants deftly, so they inform but never overwhelm the story. The magic and the spirit world play a major role in the story are fascinating and well drawn from Chinese myth and legend.

My only problem was that it was difficult for me to track what was happening in some of the action scenes, which are notoriously difficult to write, so it may be more me than the writing. But overall an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading more of the adventures of Li-lin and how she adapts to America and America to her.

The book is an excellent resource for anyone playing game set in a fantastic China (such as Feng Shui) or even a mythic version of Japan (such as Legend of the Five Rings), the description of the spirits and the magic of the Maoshan is quite evocative.

Note: The link in an affiliate link and this site would receive a small amount if you purchase using it.

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Review – Shadowrun: the Complete Trog

24 October, 2017

SR: the Complete TrogShadowrun: The Complete Trog is a runner resource for Shadowrun and this makes it unusual at it is a player facing book in many ways, providing world information to make playing orks and trolls deeper and more tied to the setting. It provides considerable, if scattershot, information for ork and trolls and how they fit into the Sixth World. For any campaign that features orks and trolls (and their struggles) prominently, it will prove to be a vital resource.

Shadowrun: The Complete Trog, is the first of the Shadowrun Runner Resources for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, this particular book is all about how orks and trolls, and their variants, fit into the Sixth World of Shadowrun.

After a short introduction to what is in the book, we get two fiction sections, and then starts with a section entitled What Are You? Which is an in-game look at being a trog with commentary from others. This gives an interesting, and fairly nuanced, view on what life is like in the Shadowrun world, at least the American section, for those who are orks and trolls.

Living as a Trog in . . . Read the rest of this entry ?

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Review – Shadowrun: Book of the Lost

3 August, 2017

SR Book of the LostShadowrun: Book of the Lost is a campaign book for Shadowrun and provides a considerable amount of potential adventure for a GM. But is it necessary? Not really, unless your group is already intrigued by the Sixth World Tarot, you do not have to prioritize this book, it is pretty and has quite a bit of fun stuff but all of it will need to be adapted to your campaign. But if a tarot hunt sound like it would be fun for you and your players, then pick this up.

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Review – Through Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e

6 July, 2017

More than pointy earsThrough Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e presents good roleplaying tools for constructing nonhuman characters. It is entirely support for character building and is quite helpful for those interested in playing nonhuman characters.

Through Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing is what you would expect, new traits for fantasy cultures tied to the traditional type of fantasy folk. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

For each dwarves, elves (surface and drow), halflings, gnomes, half-orcs, dragonborn, tieflings, aasimar, goblins, and kobolds there is a short paragraph with thoughts on their culture. Then each of either six or eight options for personality traits (gnomes get ten options here, the only ones that do), ideals, bonds, and flaws to mix and match with those from backgrounds.

The only layout issue is that the notes on aasimar culture are repeated, it is not a lot of wasted space but some more thoughts on aasimar would be interesting. While primary player oriented, a DM can get some food for thought about the nonhuman cultures in their campaign world as well.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

The links are affiliate links and I will earn a small amount if you purchase through it.

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Review – Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana

25 June, 2017

SR - FAShadowrun: Forbidden Arcana will be on the list to acquire for anyone GMing a magic heavy Shadowrun campaign, both for useful background information on what is happening with magic and new things to play with. For players, sightly less useful but there is still a lot of good information and interesting options for characters here. Overall, one of the more solid works to come out of for Shadowrun lately.

Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana are the Advanced Magic Rules for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, expanding on the earlier rules presented in the Street Grimoire (which is required to use several sections of this work).

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then it begins with a section called Seeing the Invisible World which talks about how non-magical people perceive magic with a variety of (in game) first hand accounts of encounters with magic. This is useful for both for players and GMs when describing magical effects to characters who cannot directly see magic.

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