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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rough Nights and Hard Days
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Darren K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2019 11:26:49

The first adventure in this collection, A Rough Night at the Three Feathers, is one of the old classics of WFRP. I have it in two versions from different editions, and it's always been an enjoyable scenario to run through. Its innovative format was to have a single location where multiple plotlines all ran into each other in confined spaces with the PCs sitting right in the middle at ground zero. It's complicated to keep track of but very rewarding for both GM and players when played out. The best part from the GM's point of view is genuinely not knowing what will happen at any point- the unwitting involvement of the PCs could send the action spinning off in a completely different direction at any point.

Probably my only complaint with A Rough Night at the Three Feathers is that it can only be run once per campaign, because knowing what the plots are spoils it and coming up with one for myself would be a lot of work for a GM. It seems that the folks at Cubicle 7 have heard me on this point- because the other four adventures deliver just that.

In each scenario the same formula is repeated, to the same great effect. A fixed location full of distinctive NPCs who all have conflicting agendas and plotlines that slowly build up speed until everything is rushing toward a train wreck with the brakes sabotaged. I feel that this might get somewhat repetitive if all five were run back-to-back as a mini-campaign (one suggestion in the book), but as occasional interludes in a larger campaign (like The Enemy Within) they'd be golden.

Of the four, two are completely original and two are based on previous adventures. In both those cases they're re-written and expanded to the point that it's definitely worth getting them even if you had the earlier version. One is Nastassia's Wedding, and another- Lord of Ubersreik- is clearly a (much improved) re-write of Edge of Night for 3e. And two are brand new.

And lest we forget the appendices...

The section on Pub Games is a fun read, and as most people point out the typical WFRP Adventurer spends enough time in taverns and inns that these will see plenty of use in most campaigns.

Then, we have the Gnomes. I'll admit I was abivalent about these when I heard about them. Gnomes haven't been seen since 1e- they were an afterthought, a race that wasn't needed because you could use Dwarves or Halflings for anything they did. Later editions just removed them from the setting and nobody really missed them. So what benefit could possibly be gained by their re-introduction?

Reading the actual background on Gnomes answered all these questions for me. I don't want to spoil anything- but Gnomes now have a distinct role and culture compared to other PC races. More importantly, an actual in-character reason for their disappearance since 1e and why they aren't mentioned in anything since is given, one that fits the background of the Warhammer world enough to satisfy a stickler like me.

I can't see any WFRP GM regretting the purchase of this book, and the adventures are solid enough that I'd even recommend this to anyone who doesn't want to switch to 4e and prefers a previous edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rough Nights and Hard Days
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Zenobia
Publisher: Zozer Games
by Darren K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2018 16:53:48

A game that manages to condense all the good stuff from Old School games- the random tables and monster lists- but loses the restrictive Level/Class mechanics. It's like RuneQuest, with the same gritty Sword & Sorcery vibe in the mechanics, but the game is a lot simpler to play or generate characters for.

It's written by someone who knows what was great about the historical period it's set in but treats that history as an inspiration rather than a limitation. The material inside lets each individual GM choose what balance of historical accuracy and fantasy they want. You could go entirely one way or the other using the same rules.

The single best thing about this game, though, is the combat system. The fact that every single review about the game or AD43 (which uses the same rules) mentions it should clue you in to that. It's a simple "Both roll 2d6 plus bonuses and compare" system that's pretty much the same as the old Fighting Fantasy books at the core. But a few key tweaks to that system have transformed it into something truly inspired, where tactical decisions are important and life or death depends on the three factors of individual prowess, the weapons being used and the armour being worn.

Not only is this a great game in itself, but it's one that would be easy to adapt to any other Bronze or Iron Age setting. Whether you've got a favourite period of history or a particular Myth-cycle you feel like playing, this could be easily used to run these games. Not just obvious similar ones- the Trojan War or the Roman Republic, for instance- but I've had thoughts on running both Viking and Aztec themed games with it. Or for just about any Sword & Sorcery fantasy setting.

My only complaint about this game is that it doesn't have the option to buy a combination PDF & Print On Demand bundle.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Zenobia
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Creator Reply:
Darren, thank you the nice words! Zenobia will soon be available as a softback, but through Lulu, rather than Drivethru. I'll be able to refund the cost of your PDF at that time, details will be on the Zenobia product page at Lulu, and on Zozer Game's website.
ATLANTIS: the Second Age
Publisher: Khepera Publishing
by Darren K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/10/2014 14:04:43

I had encountered this setting before- or so I thought- in the form of the previous editions. I'd given them a look, intrigued by the ideas behind the setting, but been less than impressed. It was nothing more than a mass of D&D cliches that utterly the great potential of the setting.

Khepera have changed all that. Giving both the rules mechanics and the background a major overhaul, they've left both recognisable compared to earlier editions, but made it a vastly superior game. The setting is now the pulp fantasy Swords & Sorcery epic that I'd always wanted from this world, and the rules now support this style of play at every level.

Character creation is based around making heroes from the start, not lowly neophytes who might become heroes one day. The lifepath system creates a very inspiring background for each player character, and the dramatic rules make combat and other adventurous pursuits feel suitably cinematic. Not only does the game have a Drama Point mechanic, but in order to refresh their Drama Points PCs have to engage in various activities, from making offerings to the gods to wenching and carousing in taverns. Magic is always dark and dangerous in some way, with practioners becoming more bizarre and otherworldly as their power grows.

The game also manages to improve on the Glory system seen in Pendragon, adding extra elements to make the characters feel like heroes of legend. In addition to the basic Renown score for glorious deeds, characters achieve Great Works (rescue the princess, avenge your brother, overthrow the tyrant) and Fate Points (the dark fate awaiting the hero). Many heroes of legend come to tragic ends, and the Fate Points show how close this is coming- players must keep their Glorious Deeds tally higher to escape this ignoble fate.

Finally, the action is driven by the PCs. Players decide on the goals, both their great destiny (Become King of Atlantis and the like are possible) and the short term ones (find the treasure of the lost city, drive the pirate queen from the seas). The GM then arranges the stories around these. There are many games with similar themes, but these are rules-lite indie rules, wheras Atlantis: The Second Age is most certainly a full RPG with stats, weapons lists and the like. Having some of the good points from drama-oriented indie games transplanted into a more traditional RPG ruleset is a very good combination for me.

This game is well worth a look. As far as I'm concerned, the only flaws are the lack of a printer-friendly version and the price tag given that a print version should be out soon. Have a look, and you won't be disappointed!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ATLANTIS: the Second Age
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Sufficiently Advanced
Publisher: Valent Games
by Darren K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2008 14:39:51

A very solid and innovative ruleset that, for the first time, makes Ultra-High-Tech Sci-Fi setting playable and fun. Simple core mechanics that cover a huge variety of situations, and story/theme driven plot mechanics that manage to keep the feel of supertech societies without sacrificing the drama or human element.

This game is a must-have purchase for anyone who wants to play a Sci-Fi game as something other than a Space Opera or Gunfest.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the compliments! If you're interested, there's an official site for the game at http://suffadv.wikidot.com/ . It has premade PCs, plot generators, forums, and other useful items.
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