Jonathan Hicks reviewed the 13th Age Soundtrack on rpg.net. Thanks Jonathan! Jonathan says,
“First off, let me be blunt – if, like me, you’re a lover of music in your game then this soundtrack is fantastic whether you intend to use it in a 13th Age game or not. The themes stand out and once the group hears them during their first few games then they’ll forever associate the music with the sessions, up to a point where an evening’s play will feel peculiar without having the music playing in the background.”
“It’s an amazing selection of music and I can’t see any gaming group not getting something out of it. More than anything, it’s unique; there are no movies, shows or games that have this music so the player’s will not have heard any of it before and will always equate it with their 13th Age games, or whatever ongoing RPG setting they’re gaming in. If that’s not perfect for a gaming group then I don’t know what is.”
“And that, at the end of the day, is what this soundtrack does – it delivers iconic music that not only suits the epic atmosphere of 13th Age but is so varied it contains a style of music that will suit most games in pretty much any fantasy setting. Left on loop in the background it’s perfect for any gaming session and has enough variety to help enhance the atmosphere of many playing styles.
The team of composers and performers on this album have done a sterling job on this soundtrack and they should be commended; I’ve got a few game-centric soundtracks and this is, by far, the best one yet. If you’re looking for an album that’ll help to take your games up a notch, or if you feel that your games are missing that little something that’ll take it to the next level, then this album is an absolute must.”
“A great album filled with solid, wonderfully crafted music. It’s a soundtrack waiting for a movie to be put to it.”
13th Age combines the best parts of traditional d20-rolling fantasy gaming with new story-focused rules, designed so you can run the kind of game you most want to play with your group. Created by Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet, 13th Age gives you all the tools you need to make unique characters who are immediately embedded in the setting in important ways; quickly prepare adventures based on the PCs’ backgrounds and goals; create your own monsters; fight exciting battles; and focus on what’s always been cool and fun about fantasy adventure gaming. Purchase 13th Age in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.
Jay Draper over at The Mad Adventurers Society reviewed Trail of Cthulhu. Full review here, thanks Jay!
“Overall, I really enjoyed playing Trail of Cthulhu. Despite it sharing the same setting as Call of Cthulhu, it is a far simpler game that is definitely more suited to the narrative, roleplay-focused style of gameplay that is popular at the moment. There’s also a more cerebral element to the game, through the resource management of skills and the fragility of the characters, though not to the extent of Call of Cthulhu. The more cerebral element also comes through in the shift in focus towards players working together to solve the clues as opposed to turning clues into abstract dice rolls to succeed or fail at, as so many roleplaying games try to do when they attempt mystery elements. With an array of optional rules and the purist/pulp dials, there are plenty of ways to customise your Trail of Cthulhu experience, and the rules are lightweight enough to not intrude as you craft a thrilling story of Lovecraftian strangeness for your players to investigate. If you like mystery investigation or cosmic horror, there is no reason why this book shouldn’t be on your shelf.”
“I’ve got to say it was great to return to the Cthulhu setting with Trail of Cthulhu. The Cthulhu Mythos offers such a rich tapestry of foes and lore to tap into, and combined with the social issues that go hand-in-hand with Depression-era America, you’ve got a great start to any game. The way the Mythos is addressed in Trail of Cthulhu makes it very approachable for those without a lot of experience in using or playing within the Cthulhu Mythos.”
“One thing I particularly liked about the point-spending nature of the tests is that for stability, the skill that represents the ability to withstand mental trauma, is that in order to pass the frequent tests against stability loss, players must spend stability points to avoid losing more. It seems futile at first, but once you get a feel for the nature of the setting, it suddenly makes sense that whilst you might be resisting being pushed over the edge towards insanity, you’re still cracking and undergoing a slow descent into madness, even if it feels like you’re winning for the moment.”
“I particularly liked the use of the purist and pulp rules throughout the book, they definitely expand the options the game offers and its re-playability by essentially presenting two very different games within one book. Purist is more well-suited for old school Call of Cthulhu fans and folks who prefer gritty, challenging realism, with investigators being far more fragile and less able to weather physical and mental trauma, as well as being less able to defend themselves. Pulp suits the more adventurous players, who want to play something more heroic and that suggests a higher rate of survival.”
Trail of Cthulhu is an award-winning 1930s horror roleplaying game by Kenneth Hite, produced under license from Chaosium. Whether you’re playing in two-fisted Pulp mode or sanity-shredding Purist mode, its GUMSHOE system enables taut, thrilling investigative adventures where the challenge is in interpreting clues, not finding them. Purchase Trail of Cthulhu and its many supplements and adventures in the Pelgrane Shop.
kafka’s shining review of Albion’s Ransom: Little Girl Lost & Albion’s Ransom: Worm of Sixty Winters is available in full at rpg.net
10/10: “this is British horror at its best.”
“The Esoterrorists picks up where Cthulhu games sometimes leave off in creating a truly horrific experience without getting into gore and staying true to the cosmic horror that we are truly insignificant against the banal and malevolent forces that look at our speck of a dirt that we call the Earth as nothing. Yet, aptly keeps things local and contextualized it by bringing a local yet alien world in the form of the United Kingdom feeling the winds of a cozy catastrophe blow-in from the Outer Dark. Solid writing, art and editing will guarantee that this adventure will be enjoyed for many years.”
“It is the strength of the writing that the descriptions of the NPCs are so powerful that they might pass for fact. The adventure moves from a modern police procedural and descends/ascends to almost Fleming-Bond adventure without any of the silliness inspired by the films of that genre.”
“It is a rollercoaster of an adventure that will really test adventures investigative abilities, in which, players will be thankful for the GUMSHOE rules that does not leave these things to chance. That said, players are no way conscripted into meeting their doom, say, in the way, that Return to the Tomb of Horrors. Rather, it is the grand tradition of the British Cozy Catastrophe. Whereby, the actions of the players do lead to the world going mad, but, they have every chance to set events back on track – preferably before the tea gets cold.”
“Solid writing, art and editing will guarantee that this adventure will be enjoyed for many years. Pelgrane Press continues to hit the ball out of the park with ease, nowhere is more evident than in the phenomenal adventures they produce – the extra features flesh out what dry rules cannot. This adventure is meaty enough that it will be enjoyed time and time again; and like the before mentioned, Return to the Tomb of Horrors creates a familiarity but also dread. So, if you are a Gamemaster, in need of an adventure that may or may not result in a TPK, but, provide lots of thought-provoking role-playing opportunities – you must check this one out!”
Awarding Soldiers of Pen and Ink a 10/10, kafka says,
“Gauntlett marvelously captures this mood and weaves a Mythos tale of intrigue and clandestine activity with the strong affinity of good Mythos literature”
“Players looking for the buzz of an alternative and peculiar locale outside Lovecraft country … should look into Soldiers of Pen and Ink.”
Regarding the Purist and Pulp modes, kafka assures players, “In my humble opinion, this adventure transverses both worlds giving players a chance to experience both.”
“This is an excellent scenario set in the chaos of the Spanish Civil War… it harkens to a time when suspicious was rife and a new world seemed to emerging on the horizon. Instead, it was a clash of totalitarianisms and a prelude for the titanic struggle that was the Second World War.”
Read the entire review here. Pick up Soldiers of Pen and Ink at the shop.
On the Flames Rising blog, reviewer Steven Dawes says about the epic Eternal Lies campaign:
“Eternal Lies is simply the most well developed and well designed adventure book I’ve ever seen!”
Steven adds, “The campaign storyline is loyal to and very worthy of the Cthulhu Mythos. The rules and organization of the book are easy to follow, and even the artwork and illustrations in the book were perfectly for the settling. Everything you need for an epic mythos adventure is in this outstanding book! But the authors and the maniacs who run Pelgrane Press must have fallen in love with this book just as much as I did…”
Finally, “Eternal Lies really raises the bar for RPG campaign books. Kudos to the authors, Pelgrane Press and everyone who was involved with (or is still involved with) this incredible book.”
You can read the full review on the Flames Rising blog here.
A review of five-ENnie-nominated Night’s Black Agents by Charlie White on Intwischa
If you want to feel like a badass, get this book. If you’re sick of Twilight, get this book. If you want compelling player-versus-player that doesn’t ruin campaigns or friendships, get this book.
Hell, if you like roleplaying games, get this book. It thoroughly deserves its spot as a nominee for Best RPG of the Year, and I’m very much looking forward to giving it a try.
A review of The Zalozhniy Quartet by featured reviewer Alexander O on DriveThruRPG. Five out of Five.
Once you’ve settled in to your regularly Night’s Black Agents sessions, I highly recommend The Zalozhniy Quartet.
A review from veteran Megan Robertson for the The Zalozhniy Quartet.
The whole campaign captures the feel inherent in the core rulebook excellently with plenty of scope for the characters to grow, develop, struggle as the experienced mercenary spies that they are supposed to be, complete with options presented based on the mode of game you have chosen to run.
Futile Position is revewing ENnie award nominated products, and they check out Lorefinder our Pathfinder/GUMSHOE mash-up here.
Lorefinder adds Pelgrane Press’ Gumshoe investigation rules onto Paizo’s Pathfinder system. Over 40 pages long, Lorefinder thoroughly covers Races, Classes, Spells, and Skills in the Lorefinder system, which provides a framework for your players to perform investigations without dice rolls. It’s a light system, and doesn’t add much weight to the underlying Pathfinder system, but – after reading Lorefinder – I find it preferable to the default system.
Kafka has reviewed Terra Nova over on RPGNet. Read the full review here.
Pelgrane represents a certain maturity of the RPG industry to tackle deeper and darker themes whilst maintaining enjoyment and good, crisp writing. Their editor does a fine job at eliminating bugs and problems. The art is once again at an incredible level that it sets a standard that other companies ought to emulate.