Eternal Lies ranks as one of the best campaigns I’ve seen for any Cthulhu-system – it’s glorious and I’m not going to SPOIL the awesome premise here. Every Keeper should check this out – it’s one magnificent beast.
We had high hopes for 13th Age, but its popularity took even us by surprise. Very quickly the game attracted a strong community of passionate fans who’ve run some amazing campaigns, and used the new DIY-friendly mechanics created by designers Jonathan Tweet (D&D 3rd edition) and Rob Heinsoo (D&D 4th edition) to create new classes, spells, monsters and magic items.
Check out the latest testimonials from Twitter and Google+:
“You know 13th Age is a unique creation when, depending on who you ask, people will insist that it’s a direct successor of D&D 3.x, or of D&D 4E, or of the OSR. I think it’s a combination of all of the above, and people are focusing on certain aspects of the game when they make those comparisons. We’re getting the best of all worlds with 13th Age.” - Tim Baker
“I really enjoy 13th Age — the game rules, the setting, and the lovely bullshittery it enables. All kinds of fun.” – Patrick Weekes
“Our 13th Age campaign is blossoming into one of the most amazing, highly improvised RPG campaigns I’ve ever played. So much so that I consider it one of the high points of my GMing career.” - Philippe-Antoine Menard, the Chatty DM
“It makes clerics fun, and makes a mechanic of setting fluff. 13th Age rocks.” - @FrayJoker
“While reading through it, I think I finally hit upon why I like this game despite its D&D 4e roots: many rules are expressly stated as some variation of ‘use common sense’ or ‘do what makes sense for the fiction/situation’. I like that a lot. I’ve moved away from rules-heavy games (both as a player and as a GM) specifically because I often feel constrained by the system in ‘crunchy’ games. I don’t need rules for coup de grace attacks and other actions that should have very concrete fictional results. I like systems that get out of the way by themselves, without me having to intentionally ignore rules.” - Christopher Stone-Bush, Idle Red Hands podcast
“My players (and I) loved some parts of 4e, and it has taken those parts, along with the best of AD&D, 3.5, etc, and made the best d20 game I have ever run/played.” – David Thomas
On the Dreams in the Lich House blog, reviewer Beedo says about the epic Eternal Lies campaign:
“After spending the past few weeks reading this 400 page monster, Pelgrane has far exceeded my expectations.”
Beedo continues, “The overarching theme of Eternal Lies is corruption, and the adventure does a fantastic job of grinding stability and sanity from the investigators and threatening them with effects that corrupt their character’s thoughts, souls, and ultimately, their physical bodies.”
Adding that “This is an excellent campaign, highly recommended, which confronts the players with a diverse series of locales and investigation types, while showing off the strengths of the Trail of Cthulhu rules set”, Eternal Lies is top of Beedo’s queue for next games to run.
You can read the full review on the Dreams in the Lich House blog here.
Another great review from Jonathan Hicks, the Farsight Blogger, about 13th Age. Jonathan says,
“I think this is a great game. It’s wonderfully presented, colourful, full of flavour and brimming with great ideas that can not only work for 13th Age game but pretty much any roleplaying game, D&D or otherwise”
Giving it a classy and well done 4 for Style and an excellent 5 for Substance, Jonathan concludes by saying,
“I can very highly recommend 13th Age, both as a general OGL D&D game – as the changes and streamlining of the rules is very good – and the new Icon and One Unique Thing rules make for an incredibly well put together story-driven system that marries narrative games with old-school roleplaying goodness.”
You can read the full review on RPGNet here.
On RPGNet, Kafka has given 13th Age an excellent 5 for Style and meaty 4 for substance. Describing the art as “truly phenomenal” and the writing as “superb”, Kafka states that “Purple prose is in abundance and makes reading a delight, as opposed to realms of rules and tables”, but also points out that:
“The casualness is not to be mistaken for a languid tone but rather a playful and humorous conversation that one would have with a friend.”
Kafka concludes by saying “If you are d20/4e player, you should certainly pick up 13th Age, and even if you are a causal FRPG player/game master like myself – this is a rich tome containing lots of useful information.”
You can read the full review here.
Over at his defective yeti blog, Matthew Baldwin has rapidly become a fan of Trail of Cthulhu. We are delighted to hear that it’s thanks to Trail of Cthulhu that Matthew can “at long last, add the title of ‘roleplayer’ to my gaming resume without resorting to exaggeration or wishful thinking.”
In great detail, Matthew examines the core Trail of Cthulhu rulebook and the elements of the game that he most appreciates, as well as referencing some of the Trail scenarios he’s played (collected in Stunning Eldritch Tales, Out of Time and The Final Revelation). He says “Chock full of ideas … the Trail of Cthulhu book will be of interest to anyone fascinated by the Mythos — even those who have no intention of ever playing the game.”
You can read Matthew’s thoughtful review on the defective yeti blog here.
Over on RPGNet, Kafka has picked up The Justice Trade and given it a once-over.
Kafka says “Each of these adventures add more colour and flavour to the Ashen Stars universe with each containing a mystery waiting to jump out and shock the players. This collection is unreservedly recommended for the setting and the Gumshoe system, and even for other SFRPGs (once you master the tropes specific to Ashen Stars).”
Ending with the high praise, “So, if you need inspiration to create your own adventures or are a lazy sod like myself (who would rather steal…I mean adapt) this package of adventures is guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing along with creating a great night guaranteed to thrill and in some cases give your players the willies”, Kafka rates The Justice Trade an excellent 5 for Style and Substance.
You can read the full review here.
Over on RPG Geek, Paul Baldowski has read through the latest edition of Ken Writes About Stuff, Looking Glass: Mumbai. He describes how “Rather like getting someone else to read Rough Guide or Lonely Planet on Mumbai, and then digesting the executive summary. Looking Glass: Mumbai boiled a fascinating city down to a thick lightly seasoned sauce and allows you to apply the resulting condiment however you see fit.”
He goes on to point out that “Sometimes, it’s good to have someone else do the legwork for you in finding somewhere interesting and potentially exciting to run your next adventure.”
We completely agree, Paul, which is why we got Ken to Write About Stuff in the first place. ;)
He concludes that Looking Glass: Mumbai is “A brief and very focussed taster of a complex and vast city with potential to be used in innumerable games, not just Gumshoe-powered ones.”
You can read Paul’s complete review over on RPG Geek here.
Over at RPGNet, Kafka has been working through our new releases, and has posted a great review of The Esoterrorists 2nd Edition, giving it 5/5 for Style and Substance.
Kafta notes that the second edition contains “both an update of the basic rules (GUMSHOE), hence edition change but also add-ons that make it more the game (possibly) more enjoyable”, and then concludes by saying that “it is a significant improvement over 1.0 by addressing all the shortcomings that slim volume had. It is not only twice the value for the buck – but very careful attention is paid to explaining the workings of the GUMSHOE system – so if that still eludes you – this book is worth its weight in gold (and it is a heavy book).”
You can read the full review on RPGNet here.
On the UK Roleplayers forum, Ragr has given the Esoterror Factbook a great 8/10. Ragr says the Factbook “…expands the background wonderfully and provides great advice for developing characters and helping the players to visualise exactly what their job as OV investigators is all about.”
Ragr concludes by saying:
“For me this book was a palpable hit and highly recommended, if not essential, if you’re plunging into the world of Esoterror and want to maximise the experience.”
You can read the full review of the Esoterror Factbook on the UK Roleplayers forum here.