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Other comments left for this publisher:
Ghostories Expanded RPG
by collin s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2014 00:14:43
I think Thomas B's review pretty much hit the highlights, so I'll keep my review brief. Then Genre Diversion 1.1 rules are fast and with this rule book you could easily do X-Files, Fringe, Buffy the vampire slayer, Bureau 13, really any game that crosses into the supernatural. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghostories Expanded RPG
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Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
by Barry S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2014 15:47:49
Felt the system needed a little bit more support for conflict resolution, but, the spirit and direction of the system was good.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
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Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
by Rob H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2014 12:57:26
Personally, I love randomiser-free role-playing, but such games need to focus on the storytelling rather than the simulation. Much of this system appears to be an attempt to emulate dice-play through resource management, and that leaves me wondering if the dicelessness is just a gimmick. How does this comprehensive rules set move the game away from the tactical towards the imaginative? It doesn't. All it does is substitute a different mechanic.

For a freebie, it's well-produced, nice and clear, quite adaptable, but only innovative in the way that eating cornflakes out of a cup is innovative. At no point does it ask "why don't we do without cornflakes?".

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Disposable Heroes HARP Statix 1
by Bruce M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2013 12:11:45
The figures are pretty good. On bad thing is that the art is to dark for small counters like this, it is hard to tell the detail on each character. Lighter colors should be used to show more detail at such a small scale. Also some of the labels are not what the picture designates, sometimes even getting the gender wrong. But it is a useful product for those of us who can't afford the regular miniatures.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes HARP Statix 1
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The Solo Wargaming Guide
by Roger J. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2013 14:23:50
I found this book to be most appealing. There really isn’t all that much in it that is wholly original, but that’s not the point: ideas I’d heard of or read about elsewhere are taken up here and developed extensively and intelligently. Good examples of how to apply them are also included.

There’s even a rather creative section on solitaire play for boardgames intended for two players or more.

The proposed system relies heavily on randomness, so be ready to shuffle those cards and roll those dice every few minutes.

I thought the writing could have used some tightening up and a solid last review (I really dislike seeing someone confuse “affect” and “effect”, for example). Also, the focus of the book is heavily Napoleonic; although Modern-related issues are covered, they don’t seem to get the same careful consideration pre-Modern ones do, mostly in matters related to maintaining the fog of war.

But all in all, this is a very good buy indeed, not only for solo wargamers but for any wargamer interested in adding some unpredictability to their game: many of the ideas included can be used to ensure that a regular two-sided game ends up more capricious, and therefore more challenging, than otherwise expected.

A good purchase, well worth your money and, more importantly, your time.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Solo Wargaming Guide
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EarthAD.2 RPG (Core PDF)
by Benjamin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2013 16:57:01
I found this game quite well designed and set up. It was well laid out and logically structured in how the book was put together in sections. I do feel that it could have used a few more examples of creatures that had evolved after/ been breed before the cataclysm to show how they thought such things should be built. They did include a few "mutations" that where for creatures only.

The way that they chose to make the Equipment list as simple and generic as possible so that a GM or a Player can be creative and define the gear as they see fit.

The way that they divided up the simple and more complex skill/ combat systems into two separate sections is a very nice touch in my mind. It allows the GM to select the level of complexity/ detail they want, and not have to hunt for all the details they need.

The list of basic NPC templates as they call them gives a GM a head start on creating a set of Villains/ other Characters, all that is needed is to pop in the weapons, armor and incidental gear the template has and they are good to go.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
EarthAD.2 RPG (Core PDF)
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Lords of Olympus Diceless RPG
by Cliff B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2013 12:13:15
This is an excellent reworking of the Amber Diceless RPG.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Olympus Diceless RPG
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Disposable Heroes Western Statix 1
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2013 19:21:41
I needed a good mix of minis for an alt-history gaming taking place right after the Civil War in 19th century America. This collection from Precis Intermedia is an excellent add to any Western game or similar setting, and won't break your bank. I will happily recommend the Disposable Heroes line in general; regardless of genre, they seem to have us covered!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Western Statix 1
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Treasure Awaits: The Brewmaster's Tomb
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2013 13:36:56
I like how this adventure could be run without a GM (Director), but I think the writing and descriptions need to be tightened up and expanded upon for a solo adventure, though you cannot argue about the price. The dungeon is a real nice one-off that GMs of other systems might enjoy converting over and it might get a few more people to try the Ancient Odyssey Treasure Awaits system.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasure Awaits: The Brewmaster's Tomb
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Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 2: Civil War
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2013 21:17:32
These minis were of an excellent quality, and printed well just using a regular inkjet printer and cardstock. They're the perfect addition to my gaming table, since I needed Union and Confederate troops for my upcoming campaign.

I've used multiple types of Precis Intermedia's Disposable Heroes, and have never been unhappy with the value or quality of their product. Their Civil War Statix are no exception. I'm happy they make these lines for some of the less common genres as well--it's a godsend to us using them!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 2: Civil War
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Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 4: Napoleonics
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2013 19:27:51
These turned out perfectly on a regular inkjet printer with cardstock, and saved me a ton of money and time in trying to afford or scrounge up British and French army minis for my upcoming game. Precis Intermedia continues to make top-notch products for underserved niches in gaming--I'd recommend check out the rest of their Disposable Heroes line!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Disposable Heroes Soldier Statix 4: Napoleonics
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Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
by Asen G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2013 15:45:19
5 stars! The system actually can cover a multitude of genre and settings, and retains an element of chance without dice, via the different levels of Effort used. The rules are unified well, no matter the actions, and this doesn't feel forced!
And then there are the setting and genre books for it. I'm quite fond of some of them, and since they have to devote little space to system - the text is already a system - they're quite packed with information!

(As an advice, though, the GM should probably scribble the difficulty of the task down after determining it, and reveal it after the player has decided the Effort used. It only takes a sheet of paper that you can also use to scribble notes on).
Besides, it's free! Try it, you've got nothing to lose even if you don't like it - but if you do, you have found a very sleek, very adaptive system that's to your liking!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
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The genreDiversion 3E Manual
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2012 04:46:35
GD3E is a good system -- but there are a few major flaws within the rules.

Game mechanics are fine until they deal with Hit Points, Health, and Damage management. These issues are too complicated for the type of system that it pretends to be. If you can rework the health and damage, as I have, then it gets another extra star in the rating.

Also, GD3E is based on Active Exploits, a diceless variation of this system. My question is: why two systems for the same game? and why not in the same book as well, or more specifically, why not one book for one system? Why does the one book that explains this concept cost about $8, where as the diceless edition is free?

Another pet peeve I have is when I have to write my own skill and feat lists, when a game does not include these lists within its text. GD3E does not have an easy list of skills and feats (as such), so you will have to write these things down, in order to review what skills are available at character creation. It seems like an unnecessary, yet vital chore for me to perform. Make the lists, fer' cryin' out loud!

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The genreDiversion 3E Manual
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Lords of Olympus Diceless RPG
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/27/2012 07:34:18
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/09/27/tabletop-review-lords-o-
f-olympus/

So I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with Greek Mythology. When I first saw God of War, I nearly jumped through the roof with excitement. Unfortunately, most RPGs I’ve seen don’t really cater to that particular interest. Sure, there’s the odd minotaur or two, but it’s mostly elves, goblins, and the like. Lords of Olympus appealed to me for this reason alone.

Also, I was intrigued by the diceless aspect of the game. I’ve played a couple of home made diceless variations, but never an actual published title. I was very interested how the rules would work for character creation, combat, and basic gameplay. Add in the fact that characters play as demi-gods right off the bat, and this is one interesting premise for a game.

Let’s start with the character creation process. At the beginning, each player is given one-hundred points. The first thing to do with these points is to bid on the game’s four primary traits. These are ego, might, fortitude, and prowess. Ego governs the use of mental powers, might is a measure of pure physical strength, fortitude determines how long you can stay in battle, and prowess is all about physical skill and cunning. When I say players bid on these traits, I mean that they bid in order to get the highest ranks. Each trait comes with three basic ranks and then some higher ones for further specialization. A mortal rank in fortitude means you’re going to die easy, while a first class rank in fortitude means you can fight for days on end with no problem.

When bidding, players submit secret ballots with their bids. The gamemaster (GM) then announces the high bid, and then plays the role of auctioneer. The books gives a very specific example where the GM riles the players up and tries to convince them to raise the bid as high as he/she can. Whoever gets the win gets the highest class, while the others rank down based on how much they’re willing to spend. So, if the top bid was ten points, that’s what it would cost to get a first class rank. If the second highest bid was six, then that would be second class. Players can buy up to a higher class, but they will end up being slightly lower ranked than someone who bought that class first.

It should be noted that this system is well designed for pitting the players against each other. The game is, in fact, designed for characters to act independently, and therefore look out solely for their own self interest. This certainly is a unique way to set things up, and it will take a special group to play this game properly. I mean, there technically are provisions to make the game a team effort, but the author clearly doesn’t want this to happen.

There are a number of powers and abilities that can be bought with extra points. Of key note here are abilities that allow you to alter probability, travel between worlds, and even create new worlds. Player characters start off incredibly powerful, as you may have gathered. They’re meant to fight supernatural creatures, deal with the politics of the gods, and stake their own legacy. It’s also worth mentioning here that there is no one setting you have to adhere to. The game uses a multiverse. Each universe has its own rules for science, magic, and the like. One minute you could be in classical Greece, and then the next you could be in a laser pistol duel in the year 3000. The Greek pantheon is what binds them all together, as they are the only true gods.

When it comes to performing tasks and fighting battles, it’s all about those traits I mentioned earlier. In a straight up fight, someone with a high prowess is going to win most of the time. In a psychic battle, the winner is the one with the best ego. However, the game is designed so that through conversation, the player can attempt to maneuver themselves into a favorable situation in the event an opponent has a higher rank than them. For example, ducking behind cover can make it hard for your opponent to hit you, or getting them to walk on a patch of ice could tip things in your favor. In this way, performing tasks requires descriptive comments from both the player and the GM. The less specific you are, the more likely that things will turn out against your favor.

Advancement is also fairly unique. The GM seems to hold onto characters sheets for the entire game, thus giving players nothing to do but roleplay. When it comes time to “level up” as it were, the GM assigns points to the players. The players than make a list of the advancements they’d like to make and rank them in terms of importance. The GM uses this list to grant them new abilities. Also of note is the fact that the GM is to hold a private meeting with the players to discuss these advancements. This furthers the idea that this game was designed to be competitive from the ground up. After all, what other reason would there be for the players to keep these things secret?

More than half of the book is dedicated to a full on encyclopedia of divine Greek figures. The Titans, Primordials, and Olympians are all accounted for. Each of these characters is given traits, personalities, allies, foes, and histories. The player characters are likely to be children of the gods, and this can come into play. For example, Hera might have something against a son of Zeus, and therefore go out of her way to make life hell for him. The list of Greek figures contains even the most obscure characters. It’s pretty darn comprehensive.

My biggest problem with the game is that it all but actively endorses cheating, bribery, and collusion among players and GMs. Additional points can be handed out to players who do something to help the game outside of the game. The book mentions a player being awarded points for bringing snacks for the group. This opens the door for a player to pay a GM off and/or blackmail them in order to get a better character. I’m sure stuff like this happens in other games, but this book seems to outright welcome it. The fact that the GM has complete control over everything in the game is pretty damning as well. The GM makes all calls as to whether a plan succeeds, what kinds of skills a character is likely to have, what a newly discovered world will hold, etc.

What this game requires is trust. The players have to trust the GM implicitly, and he/she needs to take the trust very seriously. If not, this game can disintegrate rapidly. Also, in a competitive game, there are moments when only one player will be actively roleplaying. In these times, the other players are likely going to need something to do so as to avoid boredom. They’ll likely play some other game. That’s just odd.

Overall, it’s going to take a very particular group to play this game and play it right. For those that do get into it, I’m sure the sense of freedom will be exhilarating. If you’re part of a group that’s looking to avoid a mess of stats and instead focus on playing a role, this game is worth checking out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Olympus Diceless RPG
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review. I just wanted to clarify a few points: The game doesn't actually encourage players to cheat OUT OF CHARACTER, nor is the player bonus for snacks either obligatory or a "bribe." It is one of many ways that players can get extra points IF the GM agrees along with a long-term commitment to do so. It's not like "I'll buy the GM a KFC bucket and get 10 points." It's about "Jerry brings the chips and dips for everyone every week, so we should compensate him with 10 points." Thanks again.
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/28/2012 12:03:06
I am not a fan of diceless systems. I like the random element and the joy of rolling dice. For me diceless systems remove something that I consider to be part of the joy of RPGs.

That being said I am sold on Active Exploits. It is diceless and it weighs in at a whole 72 pages, it is a great game.
Any style, genre or scope of gaming can be covered in these very simple rules. It reminds me a bit of Fate.

What I like about this game is it truly seems to be universal. While the focus seems to be action, I could not think of anything you couldn't do with it. There is a assumption of modern games, doing fantasy or sci-fi might take a bit more work.

The mechanic is rather simple and would work great with the right players.

If you and your group are more into "Role" playing than "Roll" playing then you certainly can't go wrong with this.
I would also grab this as helpful guide on how to resolve action without always going to the dice. In this respect it is a great read for any gamer or game master.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying
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