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Golden Age Artpack
by Dominique C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2014 08:38:48

The stock-art in this document is simply stunning. It was done in early 20th century, but remains totally appropriate and excellent (i.e. high artistic quality) for use in an old-school RPG product. And there is a lot of material there! So an excellent purchase, with good scanning, well cleaned up, etc. Frankly this merits 5 stars. And all of this at a cheap price (well, I paid it 5$).

However, I may have a problem here. How do I know that the art displayed belongs to the public domain? (I mean: apart from the fact that the publisher claims copyrights for cleaned-up scans, that I don't deny.) In the US this is supposedly 70 years after an artist's death for his work going into the public domain, unless I am mistaken. So I got a look:

As of 2014: John Austen = 66 years since death; Walter Enright = death date apparently unknown; Elizabeth Shippen Green = 60 years since death; Garth Jones = 59 years since death. (All other are okay, dead for more than 70 years.)

I need to know, better to avoid potential someone suing me for using stuff that were copyrighted to them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Golden Age Artpack
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Publisher Reply:
Hi, apologies for leaving you in confusion over some of the images. I usually scan from battered copies of old books I collect whenever I see them for pennies. However, I also double check images against online libraries. Those you mention appear in titles where the author was working as an artist for a publisher and the particular title as a whole is indicated as out of copyright. I base this on having seen the images in use in a reputable online library where the copyright appears OK. Clearly, I consider that quite safe, but I wouldn\'t want to leave any doubt or concern - especially when different countries have their own fine print. I have pulled the pack and will update the download with extra images as replacements tomorrow. That should result in an update email to you and continued download of the full pack - even though the pack isn\'t available for any new purchaser. Any problem with getting those - nedjer@gmail.com and I can send by email. HTH.
Spinechillers
by Tyler H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2013 05:38:36

This pdf has no written content besides titles. If I get a chance to read it, I'll happily review the content.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Spinechillers
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Renegade ~ Corruption
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2013 17:10:26

All right, I'll admit it. I'm the person who can't keep all the versions of Renegade straight. Is Corruption the expanded ruleset or is it the Advanced version? All I know is that it has more pages than one of the Renegades and not as many as another. Or is it the other way around?

What you have here is Original something-and-something with better editing (even self-editing beats no editing) and a "voice" in the text which speaks to someone who is not familiar with miniatures rules and jargon. Yes, when I read that Original game, I was utterly lost and made almost everything up on the fly. In a way, I liked that. Yet I also wanted to know what the actual nuts & bolts were, what made things tie together into a cohesive system. In short, I wanted to know what the script was that I was ad-libbing to.

So it helps - a lot - that I can understand what Renegade is saying to me, and demonstrating to me how to play and run it. I really like the fact that it still allows me to ad-lib and house rule to my heart's content. There's almost a console-type of structure to it, where I can pull one unit out, replace it with a house rule, and the odds are that they'll all work together.

Renegade ~ Corruption adds a sense of dirt and sweat to basic Renegade. Imagine a "good" junky Steve Reeves Hercules movie of 1959 or 1960. Now add a good episode of Baretta and the smell of a high school gym's locker room. And - something - or someone - which is in the gameworld just to get you, personally.

So imagine Original x&x with a touch of Call of Cthulhu - not the Old Ones coming to get you (usually) but the claustrophobic, paranoid sense of things. Or compare a 1950s "the Gorilla Boss of Gotham" to "the Dark Knight Returns." Each are entertaining (and the former is my favorite Batman story of that era) but one is just - dirtier - than the other. Heroes aren't just flawed here. Sometimes, it seems everyone carries a bit of corruption in them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renegade ~ Corruption
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Spinechillers and Silent Killers
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2013 16:48:07

Megan may be correct. Perhaps David could use an editor. A good editor can make a good book great and a great book fantastic, and there's not a one of us who is our own best editor.

On the other hand, that would undoubtedly increase the price - and I'd rather see more copies of this book get in gamesmasters' hands than have it become a bit too much professional. There's a part of me which really likes the unstructured "fannish" style of writing.

And the information - the raw data - is what the book is about. Is it easy to understand? Yes! Is it data you will use? Yes! Will you have a hard time using it because you'll be laughing so much? Probably! I didn't NEED to make my PCs feel even more uneasy, but I saw the most delightful thing for them to be served. Y'see, I just happen to have a photo of baked sheep's head.

It's more than just traps, scary things, and PC killers. It's also a means to discomfort your heroes, to make things a little off-center. Just when they think they have your world and its natural laws figured out, you can pull out a LOGICAL shock which makes sense. This is not a traps manual or a TPK manual. It's made (and priced) for fun and for using again and again.

David does have a diabolical sense of humor. An editor might have tried to talk him out of some of this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spinechillers and Silent Killers
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Spinechillers and Silent Killers
by David A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2013 14:33:41

I have 1001 ways to kill PCs - do I need this? Turns out it's not really for killing them. Or a book of traps. The start says it's to surprise players and it does. I dropped a runaway wagon, a local delicacy and a jailbreak into my hex crawl. They all worked and the players want more.

Some of the jailbreaks are from old movies and I think the spinechillers are adapted from Lovecraft. I can make 10 or more whole dungeons round the traps as they are. I'm not going to use everything at once and I have to work out how to use half of the headings. I'd like it broken down into urban, wilderness and dungeon sections.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPG Handbook ~ Getting Started
by Thax T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 15:51:23

This book, at the time of my download, has no interior text other than chapter headings and subheadings. It is really bizarre and makes me wonder if this wasn't ever checked before putting it up on the site.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
RPG Handbook ~ Getting Started
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Publisher Reply:
Hi Thax thanks for reporting. It's downloading fine now, so I hope you give it another try. My wife checked the file very thoroughly, so all is well on that side :)
Spinechillers and Silent Killers
by Ben C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2013 13:45:04

This is a traps book, but it isn’t full of mechanical traps like Grimtooths. Almost every encounter makes a trap. Except they are all around and don’t work only once.

The spinechillers are creepy enough to count and the omens will get used. Dark scerets, food, wagons and money pits spread mayhem. Traps fill the longest part and are a load of fun. They go anywhere in a campaign and setup lots of ways. Some are brutal, but PCs get to use skills or ideas to escape.

The big difference between this and other random table books I’ve got is how much will get used. Another difference is the excellent all color look. My favorite GMs buy this year!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spinechillers and Silent Killers
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Spinechillers and Silent Killers
by Chloe M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2013 18:22:55

Love the layout and the color pics. Take or leave the 15 page intro - guess it's good for beginners.

The spinechillers are good and creepy. The horrible food, extreme sports and jailbreaks are a laugh. The traps cover 50 pages of pure mischief. It's the fun side of the book I like most.

Money pits and serious complications (rivals in the dungeon) are on the fun side too.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spinechillers and Silent Killers
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/21/2013 13:18:28

Loads of interesting stuff here, but in places it is quite hard work to extract what will be useful to you. The work opens with a rather rambling discourse (perhaps a editor could have tightened this up?) which appears to be trying to give advice on both how to be a good GM and how everyone around the table needs to work together to make the game fun for all.

Next come some snippets on creating different moods which don't get very much further than suggesting some moods and styles that you might incorporate into your game. This is followed by the first bit of real detail, a discussion on what to do with your prisoners. Apparently the author's experience is of groups - it's not clear if he's talking about PCs or NPCs here - who show no quarter and kill all captives out of hand. My experience is different, just about every GM I have ever played with enjoys taking PCs prisoner (usually MY character, dammit) and the players are not much different, delighting in what they can do with captured NPCs. Be that as it may, here's a table of suggestions for what you might do to keep prisoners alive but out of your hair.

More sections covering different things and offering suggestions, often using a D12 based table (ah, the poor neglected beastie gets some use!) as a vehicle for the suggestions proffered. Dark secrets, debt collectors (now, there's a reason to go adventuring in the first place!), extreme sports (some weird ideas here, although golem combat has some promise...), jailbreaks, local delicacies (not stuff that would make it onto the better cookery shows!), misfortunes (a fair few neat ideas for what can go wrong here), money pits (i.e. ways of relieving your PCs of their hard-earned loot) and more litter the pages.

Some are useful (omens, for example), others less so. They make for entertaining reading (ridiculous laws, anyone?) and may spawn an idea or two that you can throw into your game. Not too many, most will prove quite irritating to the characters even if the players see the funny side of it.

Then the real gem: a vast array of traps. These are more than the standard dungeon fare, these are full of twists and best of all, each has a way of figuring your way round them by the use of wits rather than rolling dice. MacGyver your way out of these...

Good stuff, but rather muddled in presentation in parts. Delve away, it may well be worth your while... but better editing would make it easier to use and eliminate errors and muddled bits.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Hi - I'm not sure where you picked up the idea that the title wasn't edited? (Perhaps because they don't wish to be credited, as they work outside RPGs). The preamble doesn't seem to be your cup of tea, but I kind of feel it's necessary. Thistle Games' titles combine to offer a resource for recruiting to the hobby. This involves setting up a ladder or a step-by-step approach as part of several titles. With Spinechillers the preamble seems particularly important to introduce young or novice players/ GMs to ways of using more surprises and suspense without rushing down the Tomb of Horrors route. Sure, the content can be adapted to make deadly dungeons, but the preamble steps new players/ GMs through how to use the contents to add twists and turns, novelty, calculated risks and a sense of overcoming the odds. I know this type of content can seem a bit tiresome for experienced players. However, it's a short, glossy section that benefits more experienced players in the long run if it attracts new players into the hobby. It has been suggested that I chop titles into short tables for experienced players, but that would negate the purpose. If we wish to attract more players into the hobby, novice GMs need an overview of - in this case - how to raise pulses, inject a sudden change of pace and reward improvised solutions. I was fortunate enough to discuss this with groups of teenagers beforehand and it was very much a case of opening up options which they were unaware of. E.g. a trap can be fun, an Orc can be as deadly as an Ogre Mage or a simple good deed leads to all sorts of complications. Sure they want battles, but they want mystery, exploration, discovery and creep mixed in. For battles they can reach for the rules; for much of the rest it's maybe more about helping to trigger a GM's imagination, as authentic mystery, exploration, . . . aren't things that can simply be plucked out of a table or bolted down in a rule set. As a hobby, imagination and improvisation are our unique selling points. So, while I can see that you would find some of the basics redundant, I feel there's easily enough value for experienced players in the main content to hope they'll take an overview :)
Renegade
by Pete A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2013 20:47:04

Renegade is the best clone I’ve tried. The rules are quick and easy. Extras for building new content go from dungeon crawling to making campaigns. The B&W artwork is all good and fits the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renegade
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The RPG Handbook
by Pete A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2013 13:14:22

Good read and tons of tables and lists. Packed with helpful info.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The RPG Handbook
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The RPG Handbook
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2012 20:38:16

Didn't think it could happen, but the best guide to rolegaming, published more than a quarter century ago, has been surpassed. Now -the RPG Handbook- reigns supreme, with not only more up-to-date examples and reviews, but at a hefty 213 pages (counting covers) the RPG Handbook by David Morrison is quite a bargain!

First of all, it's very nice to look at. The artwork reminds me of Flying Buffalo's work (Tunnels & Trolls 5, Sorcerer's Apprentice) which is the highest compliment I could give it. Some of Jeff Freels's art would make it perfect, but you all know how much I love Jeff's art. (You should go take a look at it on various DTRpgNow items.)

Yes, there's a certain amount of redundancy with What You Already Know, because this book will be the first RPG book somebody picks up. Besides, you'll be surprised at the amount of information provided in Part One: Roleplaying Games. Such as how to get kids of different ages involved with and enjoying rolegaming. Styles of play are considered (How else will you "hook" your players into playing and staying?)

From there, you'll go on to suggestions, information, and advice that may never have occurred to you. This is not just for the gamesmaster, because there are excellent chapters on creating realistic characters who are playable AND memorable. If you've never had other players come to tears over the death of one of your characters, you haven't truly lived the roleplaying experience.

Most of the information from there, is -usually- (not always) specifically for the gamesmaster. Building a campaign from a singing adventure on up, and from there building an entire world. As your players gain experience and travel from their comfort zones, you'll be ready with new territories and challenges for them. And you'll never...

Repeat: NEVER!

...have to repeat yourself.

RPG Handbook is saved from being absolutely celestial only by the fact that a history of rolegaming is beyond its scope - and thus there is no history of rolegaming. Perhaps that could be a new project for David.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The RPG Handbook
by Alan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2012 14:18:37

Absolute goldmine for any GM! The adventure builder saves hours making dungeons and sparks ideas all the time. Thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renegade ~ Corruption
by Greg S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2012 08:48:07

This is my go-to Old School game. It can run a dungeon crawl for kids one day and a creepy, bloodthirsty session for mates the next. A pick-up and go system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Renegade ~ Corruption
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Renegade ~ Corruption
by Kim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2012 15:10:18

Dark like it says, rock-bottom price, killer art. Cool!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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