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Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/07/2014 23:28:05

Pirates & Dragons is perhaps one of the most honestly named RPGs I know of.

In a nutshell, it's a rather well-written game with fairly extensive mechanics that will appeal to those that enjoy more substantial games rather than narrative ones. The Artwork is pretty good and evocative of the setting, which is more realistic than it is fantastic. There's plenty of opportunities to get in trouble in the game, and there are hefty swashbuckling rules to mirror dynamic combat and more than it's fair share of fumbles.

I would recommend Pirates & Dragons to those looking for a pirate game that has a stronger adherence to "realism" as opposed to fantasy, despite the presence of dragons. That said, those looking for lighter games might find themselves looking at a ruleset that is perhaps a little too crunchy for their tastes.

Overall, would definitely recommend this to those looking for something new in the Pirate genre of gaming.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
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Pirates & Dragons Corvette
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2014 14:19:03

Just got my copy of this through and WOW ! A great addition to the P&D line up from Cakebread & Walton. Floorplans are done by DramaScape who are what I consider to be the leaders in this field.

In total there are 77 pages (YES !!! SEVENTY SEVEN !!!)

First there is the cover showing the ship in all its (non-zombie) glory , a page of credits and then a page of stats for the vessel as a standard Corvette and as zombied one. Next are instructions on how to construct the plans and then there are the plans themselves available in square, hex or overlay-free format.

Excellent quality as would be expected with lovely detail. Five Stars !

I would love to see a few additional ships in this format. Maybe a Brigantine and Frigate or possibly a first to third rate Man o War ???



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Corvette
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Dragon Isles Poster Map (Pirates & Dragons)
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2014 06:42:16

Fantastic map of the PIRATES & DRAGONS world. The definition is superb and is of an unequalled quality. Recommended "MUST HAVE" for any player/GM of the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Isles Poster Map (Pirates & Dragons)
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Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2014 06:39:02

Well, I have been quite looking forward to this since it was first announced and happily backed the Kickstarter to see it come to fruition. So, what is the actual end result and was it worth my money ?

The very quick answer to these questions are : Mighty fine and Hell yes !

The longer answer is here but first I must state that this review is based on the PDF and not the Printed Product as the latter hasn't yet arrived with me but is due oh so very soon and I decided to write this up now:

FIRST IMPRESSION : The Art is, like all Cakebread and Walton products excellent. They really have some great artists onboard (no pun intended... well, ok maybe a small one) who really create excellent visuals. This cover is so evocative and wants to really draw you in. The choice of font is good too and the layout adds rather than detracts from the feel of the product. The page count means this is one hefty tome too coming in at 349 pages (actually 347 less cover and the blank last page). So, all good so far.

THE RULES : The rules are a tweaked version of RENAISSANCE DELUXE also by Cakebread & Walton . The system is based on the D100 percentile rules that will be oh so familiar to players of Runequest, Call of Cthulhu and a stack of other games meaning most roleplayers will have a good grasp of the mechanics from the first read. For anyone new to gaming the D100 system is one of the easiest rulesets to pick up and understand which makes this (and the other Cakebread & Walton Renaissance Series games) a good starting point and also good for kids as well as adults. I really like the inclusion of Talents which works really well and Doubloons which are basically like "Bennies" from Savage Worlds and allow extreme cinematic Swashbuckling actions to be made by the players. The addition of a "Black Spot" on the back of one of these bennies really adds to it . Draw that one and you will have a really bad day :). I hope that C&W somehow make these available as a physical product at some stage as that would be a truly awesome addition.

THE SETTING : Now, the Setting. Well, let's face it THIS is what the game is about. The best way to describe it is to think 7th Sea combined with D&D, Deadlands and Pirates of the Caribbean all rolled into one with an additional multitude of ideas and thoughts as well. P&D is set on an Earthlike world around what would be our mid 18th Century but with magic and fantasy permeating it for good measure. Just one part of the world is covered: A Caribbeanesque sea and lands full of mystery and adventure. As you would expect from the title both Pirates and Dragons play quite a large part in the setting. The Dragons have made this part of the world their own. Evidence exists of a once mighty Draconic Empire on a closeby continent but for whatever reasons the remains of this empire are little more than crumbling ruins. The simple fact is that dragons are now here, in the isles along with their associated wealth due to their love of gold. Mix in some external powers entering the islands not dissimilar to the Western Powers of 18th Century Earth, local tribes, an insectoid race and the Pirates and you have a hotbed of intrigue and danger with lots of swashbuckling.

OVERALL : The book is well written and is a credit to Messers Cakebread and Walton. Long may they keep up their purveying of fine games ! There is also some good support coming for the setting and I suspect the next few years will see some real expansion of this world. I would love to see more fiction about it and also further sourcebooks as well as Doubloons ! I have just scratched the surface of the product here to give an overview. Buy it , read it, play it and enjoy it !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates & Dragons Core Rulebook
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Abney Park's Airship Pirates
by Amy N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2014 21:01:44

With an interesting twist on the Steampunk genre, setting it in the far future after a slow apocalypse, Airship Pirates is a fun light weight system, good for those who enjoy telling grand stories. It's doubley fun if you're a fan of Abney Park, as the game's universe bases itself upon the lyrics from their songs.

I do find the combat system a little clunky at times, especially with the need to roll initiative each combat round, but if players and game master agree, this can easily be streamlined with a house rule to only roll once for a combat encounter... though this change can be particularly crippling, as winning initiative does also convey a dice bonus. The use of dice pools and exploding dice will make this sytem feel familiar to those who played a lot of White Wolf.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Abney Park's Airship Pirates
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Renaissance Deluxe
by Ade J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2013 07:24:29

The Hardback copy of Renaissance Deluxe arrived today and this review is based on this version of it.

This is the first Print on Demand from CAKEBREAD & WALTON since they decided to leave the Cubicle 7 stable and make their own way in the world.

First things first : It was well packed in a cardboard sleeve which ensured no damage in transit. A big plus to start with

Second thing that stuck out was the quality of the product : The binding is excellent as is the quality of the paper used and the clarity of the print itself. It actually feels good to hold it in my hands. I am confident that the book will survive many gaming hours at the table as well as being carried and transported around. Much kudos to the printers - Lightning Source based in Milton Keynes UK.

I also need to comment on the speed of printing and delivery. I collected the book from the Post Office today (Saturday) but the card for it advising of attempted delivery had arrived on the previous Tuesday. That means that the order would have arrived on the 6th day rather that the expected 14 days. Now, that is FAST !

Now a list of the contents but before I start on this section I do need to state that I do actually write Adventures and Supplements for this system and regard it as one of the most flexible and easy to use D100 systems on the market. So far I have used it as a base to write Cthulhu Mythos, Heroic Fantasy and Historical Adventures set in the French Indian War.

The book consists of an introduction, 12 Chapters plus a very comprehensive Index.

Introduction : This is what it says. It provides background as to what a RPG is but does give some thoughts on how to use the rules in a variety of settings and historical periods which means that, unlike many such commentaries in other games, it is useful and worth reading even by experienced gamers. It also includes a handy glossary of terms used.

Chapter One : Character Generation. What it says - How to create your Adventurer set out in a logical and ordered step by step way which refers you to other parts of the book as required. It also includes a great way of connecting the Characters together and giving them a base reason as to how they know each other via a useful Connections & Events table.

Chapter Two : Professions. A list of 26 (yes ! 26 !) different careers to choose from covering the Dark Ages through to the Victorian era.

Chapter Three : Factions. Now, I really like Factions. These are social, political and religious ideals that the Character may belong to. These really help with fleshing out the Character but also provides extra options and some great hooks for the games master. A variety of generic, customisable, factions are presented along with four fully fleshed out examples.

Chapter Four : Skills. Skills are split into Common which everyone has to some degree and Advanced which require some level of training or expertise. The lists are comprehensive, without being overly specialised and allow the creation of well balanced characters that can positively contribute to a game session.

Chapter Five : Combat. Comprehensive rules for ranged and melee combat. The chapter is written in such a way that you can include or leave out what you want resulting in either a quite complex system including hit locations etc. , a fast and furious ruleset or something in between. It works and works well but just be warned - Like most D100 combat systems, it can be very deadly. Just make sure the odds are in your favour before launching into a fight ! The Combat Reference Sheet on page 61 is well worth copying and keeping close to hand.

Chapter Six : Rules and Systems. This covers all non-combat activity and has a stack of optional rules covering aging, vehicles and encumbrance. Like all the other sections it is easy to read, logically set out and comprehensive.

Chapter Seven : Equipment. The currency used is the old English pounds, shillings and pence which some may find confusing at first but when equated to the D&D copper, silver, electrum, etc method you soon get used to it. The lists and descriptions are well researched and pretty much complete covering clothing, services, melee , firearms, armour, etc.

Chapter Eight : Alchemy. This is an example of a magic system for the game including spells, potions and familiars which is easily adaptable and expanded upon.

Chapter Nine : Witchcraft. Another magic system with its own distinct flavour and further options complete with spells.

Chapter Ten : Bestiary. 14 pages of natural, un-natural, fantasy creatures and races. Using this as a base you can create Elf, Dwarf, Orc, etc. characters rather than the standard human ones. The artwork provides some interesting images of goblins and orcs in historical dress which fires the imagination as to pseudo-historical fantasy worlds (French Orcs, German Elves, Dutch Goblins anyone ?)

Chapter Eleven : Sanity. A set of optional rules for the inclusion of sanity in the Renaissance game. This opens up the way for dark fantasy and horror themes, including Lovecraft's Cthulhu lore, to be effectively added into a more traditional setting.

Chapter Twelve : Games Matering. A superbly written chapter on game worlds and adventures as well as thoughts on how to run a Renaissance game. My only complaint about the whole book really is I would have liked to have seen more covered here as Ken and Peter obviously have a wealth of experience on the subject. I am hoping that a Gamesmasters Guide is released at sometime in the future as a standalone product.

Overall : A great product and very recommended in the hardback format. I still have the paperback version of the rules from their Cubicle 7 days and that will certainly continue to see use as well but this hardback will be reserved at the table for me and will provide many hours of reference and reading. My best RPG acquisition of the year for the writing and quality (As a pointer this list includes: Traveller 5th, Achtung Cthulhu !, Rocket Age, Swords And Wizardry, DCC Core Rules and The Dark Eye RPG amongst others).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renaissance Deluxe
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Dark Streets
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2013 05:23:06

The first printing of this was a little sparse, and I'm happy to see it's been updated with an atmospheric interior layout. Upon reading it, there is a massive potential for highly intriguing investigation within this setting. The Lovecraftian elements have been done a lot before, but are well illustrated and fit into the grimy London setting pretty well. In fact, the 18th Century seems quite an overlooked era for Cthulhu gaming generally, and sets up a strong 'Bow Street Runner' (protocops) hook that is very useable. The London maps and personalities are well researched, and in all, this is a very good supplemental game for the (excellent) Renaissance rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Streets
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Renaissance Deluxe
by Roger N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2013 00:43:22

Firstly let me start by saying i've recently done some freelance work for the guys at Cakebread & Walton using this rule system, however, this should not detract from my view of the game itself.

Renaissance is one of those games that, if you are like me, makes your imagination runs wild with possibilities. The rules are based around the standard d100 methodology that is familair to anybody that has played Call of Cthulhu, Legend and some of the iterations of Runequest. Simple and elegant the game is very much what you make it.

Ive run games of James Bondesque espionage set in the English Civil War, Cthulhu type mysteries in Tudor England and even used the rules for my own freelance work in the French & Indian Wars campaign im running.

A warning to those who intend to play the game though. It can be very lethal but this does ensure the players really start to think about consequences before firing that musket or drawing that sword !

I would strongly recommend this game system to anybody and everybody who wants to break away from the more traditional fantasy and sci-fi games. It use of the real world setting enables GM's to pilalge history for story ideas and the simplicity of the rules enables the story to come to life.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renaissance Deluxe
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The Isle of the Stone
by Pawel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2013 14:09:01

Celtic adventure continues with this great sequel to "The Wolves of the Coast". This time the brave warriors of Erin must face quite a different threat: something straight from the realms where REH's and HPL's nightmares intersect. As before, great story and fun background writeups. Top shelf and waiting for more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Isle of the Stone
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The Wolves of the Coast
by Pawel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2013 13:56:16

This adventure really made me look through my bookshelf for Robert E. Howard's Tigers of the Sea. It's a pleasure to read and fun to run; and it shows how adaptable and enjoyable d100 mechanics is in its Renaissance incarnation. Top shelf.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Wolves of the Coast
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The Depths of Winter
by Pawel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2013 13:50:19

An original military adventure which makes great use of the Renaissance ruleset. It's got unforgiving nature, fascinating historical conflict and an opportunity for the players to execute a special forces op in the French and Indian War. Another one in a series of great adventures I've recently discovered. Top shelf.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Depths of Winter
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The Wolves of the Coast
by Herbert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2013 20:32:45

This was a great romp through ancient Celtic times when the Sea and land were fraught with peril.The storyline with the Viking Raiders was great and left more options to play instead of just a "One off" game! The group had a fun time with it and the pre-gen characters fit perfectly in the scenario. This was a 5/5 rated game set for us! Great job guys!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Wolves of the Coast
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The Depths of Winter
by Herbert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2013 20:12:29

I had my advance group run this awhile back and we had a blast with it! Do not be fooled by the setting, this can and almost became a TPK! Everyone in my advance group are Military Veterans and it was an awesome time had by all! Well written and the weapon charts were well thought out for the time period.The pre-gen characters were spot-on and the storyline flowed well.Many thanks to Adrian and Roger for a great night of gaming,and of course to our friends at Cakebread and Walton, great setting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Depths of Winter
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The Wolves of the Coast
by Christopher B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 16:11:54

I thought this was a neat little adventure. I will use it in my 14th century game with a little twicking.

I have a situation coming up at some point where the players will be part of a galley crew in the Med

Thanks



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Wolves of the Coast
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The Wolves of the Coast
by Gazza G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2013 16:04:22

MY MATE HAD GOT THIS YESTERDAY AND I LOOKED AND ITS VERY COOL FOR A FREEBEE. HAD THE RULEBOOK FOR A BIT NOW AND NOT DONE MUCH WITH IT BUT I WILL BE DOING THIS ONE. I LIKE THE WAY THAT THESE CHARACTERS ARE MADE. LOVING THE WRITING STYLE MAN. THE ADDITIONAL ENCOUNTER JUST MAKES YOU THINK WHAT COULD BE DONE. I WANT TO SEE MORE OF THIS STUFF AND WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT. THAT MAP IS COOL AND SO IS THE PICS. RESPECT TOO TO THE ART GUY WHO DID THEM AND WOULD HAVE LIKED MORE ART TO BREAK IT UP MORE. STILL WELL A FIVE THOUGH.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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