• Reviews

    Here at EN World, I'm looking at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, essays, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? After School Adventures: Adventures in Wonderland #1 - Chasing the White Rabbit by J Gray from Playground Adventures is the first in a series of mini-adventure paths available for 5e, Pathfinder, or Hero Kids. Each sold separately, these 15- to 17-page (depending on the gaming system) introductory PDFs includes adventure hooks, the adventure, new creatures, and a map.

    Recently I picked up the print on demand version of The Primal Order by Wizards of the Coast founder Peter Adkison. I have the original edition of the book, I managed to grab a copy of it back in the day, and I have the other published books for the unfortunately uncompleted game line. The idea behind The Primal Order was to build what they called a "capsystem" that would work as an overlay to other game systems, expanding them into new directions. The Primal Order line dealt with gods and clerics, an important part of many fantasy role-playing games.

    One of the first rules they teach you in those pesky freshman-year composition courses is "know your audience." Before you sit down to write a text, consider who's going to be reading it and plan accordingly. When it comes to tabletop role-playing games, I've always considered the game master to be the primary audience of published adventures. Game masters are far more likely than players to read the text of an adventure, so why wouldn't a designer write with the game master in mind?

    A lot has been made recently about specific games for gaming with your children. A lot of products in the last five years have focused on this with a wide variety options and feels from Hero Kids, Little Heroes and the upcoming Last Unicorn RPG from Playground Adventures. With that I thought I'd provide a review of a game I used for a long time to get kids into gaming – Steve Jackson Games's Toon.

    Welcome back folks, it’s time for the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP, your one-stop spot for all the new and interesting material coming from your favorite ever-giving golem. In this go-round, we’ll pick up some new toys that got left out of the earlier look at Ultimate Wilderness, and also introduce a brand new Player Companion. Let’s get started!

    Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play portrays a grungy world being infiltrated by Chaos magic and cultists. Beneath the dirty streets of Renaissance cities are the tunnels of the Skaven, ratmen, while in the highest halls of power leaders and rulers corrupted by Chaos plot the downfall of the kingdoms of men.

    Last night our gaming group started a new game, dipping deep into the history of tabletop role-playing games we had decided to go for a game using the Original Dungeon & Dragons rules. The group has flirted around the edges of the ruleset with various retroclones over the years, but it has probably been a good thirty years since I've directly played the game. We had three players and the DM, and a night of adventure.

    Like WotC's Dungeon Masters Guild and White Wolf's Storytellers Vault, Atlas Games has entered the field of fan-contributed content with the (appropriately) enigmatically-named Statosphere program for their Unknown Armies RPG.

    Sins of the Father is a uniquely dark storytelling role-playing game created by Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games. The prime mechanics of this 2017 ENnie Award nominee, utilizes standard decks of playing cards, rather than dice. Player characters will be taking the role as Hellborn, humans born without agency of their soul, and bearers of a dark ancestral secret. After the jump you will find spoilers for Sins of the Father, so be warned.

    One of my favorite retroclones has long been Chris Gonnerman's work of love, the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. Basic Fantasy (as I'll shorten the title to for the rest of this piece) flies under the radar of a lot of gamers, even those among the old school fandoms, because it isn't a flashy game, and it doesn't feature the works of creators who spend their copious free time being edgy online. What the game does is to be a solid presentation of a fantasy ruleset that builds off of the 3.x SRD material in a way that is simple and to the point. It combines a reverence for the old with a respect for the last thirty years of game design. And, it does all of this with one of the most engaged fanbases that I think I have seen online.

    I've been a Ghostbusters fan for as long as I can remember, watching the film countless times. As much as I enjoyed it, the Real Ghostbusters cartoon expanded the universe in more interesting ways, supplanting the movie in my personal fandom. The Ghostbusters RPG took the series a step further by allowing fans to role-play as the Ghostbusters themselves, busting ghosts in a series of hilarious adventures through two editions of the game.

    So you finally slew the Kobald Lich and her minions who have been harrying the kingdom for more than a year. Bloodied but satisfied you and your companions wander over to her pile of loot and start sifting through the valuables. You find a bag full of books; apparently Ashrital, Scourge of the North was a reader. Fortunately, so are you and your eyes alight with the possibility of what strange tomes may lie within. Welcome to the DMs Guild Round Up! There has been so much material created for the Dungeon Master's Guild since its inception, so we want to spotlight some of the great works being produced. Some days it will be Random Loot (like today) and some days it will be a theme. So let's get started and dip our hand into the hoard and see what tomes await.

    When I went to Gen Con this past summer, there weren't a lot of things that we on my "to get" list. So many new releases at the convention were little more than rewarmed Kickstarter releases, or other preorders that were at the show so that people could avoid shipping prices. Something that I was looking forward to were getting a physical copy of Paul Baldowski's The Cthulhu Hack and an All Rolled Up dicebag/gaming accessory. Being based in the UK made getting an All Rolled Up bag difficult, because of the exorbitant shipping costs inherent in international shipping, but picking one up at Gen Con took all of that out of the process.

    Xanathar's Guide to Everything packs a lot of useful content for both players and DMs in its 192 pages. Here I'm going to expand on the first part of my review to cover the section that will probably be used the most by its readers – character options.

    Here at EN World, I’m looking at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? Instead of reviewing an all-ages game this time I’m looking at Medusa’s Guide for Gamer Girls - Gaming with Kids, a collection of essays about gaming with kids, what players gain from role-playing, and what GMs can bring to the gaming table.

    Launched just prior to this year's Gen Con, Storytellers Vault is a crowd-sourced content creation arrangement that allows fans of World of Darkness to create and sell supplements for their favorite games from that line. The Storytellers Vault is similar to the successful Dungeon Masters Guild program for Dungeons & Dragons, and indeed it uses the very same content guidelines.

    Nearly two years have passed since the partnership between Wizards of the Coast and OneBookShelf entered into the "partnership" that lead to the creation of the Dungeon Masters Guild (DMG) website. With release of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition System Reference Document (SRD) and the DMG platform, Wizards of the Coast has been at the head of a pretty steady stream of new D&D content. Finders Keepers is my first opportunity to review something specifically created for the DMG, so let's have at it.

    As the first actual rules expansion of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGtE) is facing an immense amount of scrutiny, guaranteeing that it won't please everyone. That said, there's a lot there for fans to like.

    Enter into a world of adventure that you have encountered before in books and movies with The One Ring from Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Based on the words and worlds of J.R.R Tolkien, the game has you adventure between the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Play heroes who explore the world of Middle-earth after the great dragon Smaug has fallen, and before the Fellowship of the Ring must rise up.

    I have followed the OpenQuest game from D101 Games, and its various spin offs, throughout the years. Based off of the open content from the Mongoose Runequest system reference document and their Legend role-playing game, OpenQuest harkens back to a simpler era of fantasy role-playing, and draws upon the inspirations of the early days of the Chaosium-published Basic Roleplaying System. I backed the IndieGoGo campaign for the second edition of the game a couple of years ago, and recently publisher and designer Newt Newport released a new, revised edition of the game's rules.

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