Tag: review

Degenesis: Justitian Review


As a game master the best present I could ever receive is a setting book that makes me feel that if I got on a horse and rode far enough, I could reach the places it describes. I could smell the dust in the air, hear the sounds of its people, and see the sights change as I moved through it. Give me a world in motion, with fascinating, engaging NPCs, architectural oddities, weird accidents of history, seething tensions, and unexpected alliances. Drop story hooks on every page – some I can riff off on the fly, some so big they could propel multi-session adventures. Lure me with enticing stories and evocative images. That’s what you get with Justitian, an epic two-volume 570-page sourcebook that drops you into the most powerful city in the Protectorate. It guides you through the surrounding cities, spills the secrets of key NPCs, and reveals long-hidden secrets from the Degenesis metaplot. And it’s available for free. Read more

Cyberpunk Red: The Actual Play Review


Cyberpunk Red puts players in the chromed-out retro-future of Night City in the year 2045. This is a game that knows what it is about, and it follows its earlier incarnations without being trapped by them. The mechanics are straightforward, and making interesting and engaging characters is easy. Cyberpunk Red is like an instruction manual – very focused on play, easy to absorb. It’s also full of visual and textual flavor that drops you right into the setting. Whether you use the Jumpstart Kit or the core rulebook, you’ll be getting a quality product. Read on to get more detailed impressions and see the differences between the two products. Read more

Review – The Elusive Shift: How Roleplaying Games Forged Their Identity


With The Elusive Shift Jon Peterson delivers an engaging and thoroughly-researched history of how the first Dungeons & Dragons players discussed, argued about, hacked, and designed alternatives to these loosely-defined rules for fantasy wargaming. These trailblazers hailed from two different traditions – wargaming and science fiction fandom – and the fundamental differences in their approaches led to a range of interpretations about what “roleplaying” even meant. By shedding light on the early days of the hobby, Peterson’s surefooted work also provides context that helps us understand its current state. Read more

Guest Review: Degenesis – Black Atlantic

Guest post by Pablo Ruiz Valls

Degenesis never fails to amaze. In Black Atlantic (BA), the closure of the Jehammed Trilogy adventures, the game shows its strengths in full. I won’t, very unjustly, go over the excellent production values of the art, typesetting and graphic design. If you’ve seen them you know they knock it out of the park. Degenesis truly sets a new gold standard for the RPG industry. Full stop.

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Degenesis: Rebirth — The Actual Play Review

I’d picked up the Degenesis rule books months ago. I’d pored over them, ordered all the published adventures, and written a glowing review (which you’ll probably want to read before this post if you want a broader understanding of the game). Finally I’d found a game that delivered that same feeling of discovery and amazement that RuneQuest had first given me many years earlier. Which is why I approached the act of actually running the game with some trepidation. As anyone who has played tabletop RPGs for a while will tell you, the easiest way to ruin a promising game is to actually play it. Read more

Degenesis: Rebirth Edition — The Review



Degenesis: Rebirth is a visually astounding, sumptuous, two-volume, 704-page passion project — a richly-layered, horrific, intrigue-riddled, techno-mystical post-apocalypse Earth that feels like it was discovered rather than created. This is truly a game for players who enjoy being immersed in a deep, artfully-revealed setting. If you are looking for flashy system innovation you’ll have to look elsewhere, but the straightforward KatharSys mechanics incorporate some clever touches and are well-suited to the tone of the game. Read on for more details.

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Planning a Post-Apocalypse Campaign: Raven Rock

Thinking About the Unthinkable

If a biological armageddon hits the United States, how do vaccines reach Americans quickly? In the event of a nuclear war, who gets the word out about who is in charge and what laws are being enacted?

If you’re planning backstory for a post-apocalypse campaign, these little details can add to the verisimilitude you’re trying to invoke. They’re even more useful if you’re planning a near-future apocalypse-in-progress campaign. For example, when the zombies take over, where’s the President of the United States hiding out? As the GM it’d be good to know, right? Read more