January 31, 2011

[Review] Necessary Evil

NECESSARY EVIL is a superhero campaign settings for Savage World: Explorer Edition.

In this setting, some years ago, aliens invaded the planet killing every superhero, conquering the planet and destroying every major city of the world. Now the Earth is ruled by a puppy government as a colony of the invaders.

The only super-powered beings left are super-villains and super powers are outlaw so they have to choose to fight or flee.
NECESSARY EVIL is the story about the ones that chose to fight.

The Good
  • BAD GUYS: You can do the bad guys!
  • SAVAGE WORLD: Savage world is one of the best ruleset available. It's fast, fun and solid.
  • SUPERPOWERS: The superpowers are enough to simulate any superhero I can think of. Some of them have the ability to combine in nasty ways that makes everyone potentially dangerous.
  • ADVENTURES: In the Necessary Evil book you will find a full campaign (11adventures), 25 stand alone adventures and an adventure generator. It is true that the adventure are all one or two sessions long, but there is enough material to play non stop almost a year. What do you want more?
  • FLAVOR: The superhero flavor is solid, thanks to a couple of additional rules. Simple and effective.
  • SUPPORT: The game is well supported and the official forum is kind, competent and quick with the answers.
The Bad
  • SETTING: The setting is bad. Everything is ment to happen in the ugly "Star City". The players are kept avay from the devastation of the world, from the dead people, from the enslaving ships, from everything is not PG-10
  • NO GAME PROOFS: The combat system if halfway between the strategic, map dependant one and a freeform one. The downside is that you have to draw by yourself tokens and maps-
  • RULING SUPERPOWERS: Some of the superpowers are confusing, expecially the ones that makes you do extra things (like extra turns, copies of yourself and mental control). 
  • POWER GAMERS: Like every superhero game, power gamers and Munckin will try to break the laws of common sense along with the physics ones.
    The verdict
    NECESSARY EVIL is a fun game for a quick campaign. it could became great if you want to work on the setting introducing more mature themes. Played as is written feels too much like the early 80ties spider-man for my taste. 

    Need more Savage World?
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    January 29, 2011

    [D&D 4E][NPC] Vale Temros - Ranger

    Vale Temros is the second ranger surviving the Fort Rannick Massacre. He is a dark-skinned man, strong and sturdy, but quiet and calm in manners. He's fond for architecture and stonework and he can give a "siege-like" insight if required

    He will not leave his bear Kibb if the group decide to split.

    NPC Vale TemrosLevel 4 Artillery
    Medium Natural HumanoidXP 175
    Initiative +3Senses Perception +4
    HP 43; Bloodied 21
    AC 16; Fortitude 16, Reflex 15, Will 16
    Speed 6
    M Axe (Standard; at-will) ♦ weapon
    +11 vs. AC; 1d6+4 damage
    R Bow (Standard; at-will) ♦ weapon
    Range 10; +11 vs. AC; 1d10+4 damage
    r Healing Arrow (Standard; encounter) ♦ weapon, healing
    Range 5; +11 vs. AC; 2d6+4 damage and an ally adjacent to the target can spend an healing source.
    R Lightning Arrow (Standard; encounter) ♦ weapon, ligtning
    Range 10; +11 vs. AC; 2d6+4 damage and all the enemies adjacent to the target suffers 5 lightning damage.
    r Stunning Arrow (Standard; daily)
    Range 10; +9 vs. Fortitude; 2d8+4 and the target is dazed (save ends)
    Alignment UnalignedLanguages Common
    Skills Athletics +9, Dungeoneering +9, Insight +9, Nature +9
    Str 14 (+4)Dex 12 (+3)Wis 15 (+4)
    Con 13 (+3)Int 11 (+2)Cha 12 (+3)


    Artwork by theonekurgan
    Here the token ready to print


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    January 28, 2011

    [Artwork] Sandara

    From today I will share with you some of the most talented artist I stumble upon.

    Let's start with Sandara an artist from Singapore who draws some beautiful pieces of art. She made some of the Warhammer LCG illustrations.

    I don't know anything else about here, exept the fact she draws things like these:

    This is a scene from a book by Robert Fannéy


    I cannot draw something like this in a lifetime


    Ooooh. I want to do an NPC out of this one!



    She is so talented I'm out of words. (But this baby require 4E stats!)

    January 27, 2011

    [D&D 4E][Monsters] Graul Family - Crowfoot and Billing the Spider

    Crawfoot is the member of the Graul family preposed to take care of Billing the spider, to guard the courtyard from intruders, but mostly is the one avoiding that prisoners escape to the forest.

    Crawfoot is a monstrous half-ogre, with a really skinny left leg, and a couple of ram horns protunding from the forehead. Crawfoot is the most brutal member of the family, prone to anger easily he's really enthousiast when someone try to seak out (or in). Obviously Crawfoot express his enthousiasm charging on sight anyone approaching.

    Like every other member of the family Crawfoot have a second, child-like, face on his body, specifically on his right knee.

    Graul Family: CrowfootLevel 5 Elite Artillery
    Medium Natural HumanoidXP 400
    Initiative +13Senses Perception +3
    HP 110; Bloodied 55
    AC 17; Fortitude 19, Reflex 16, Will 16
    Saving Throws +2
    Speed 6
    Action Points 1
    Double Head
    Every Graul Member, having two heads, can act at initiative-10. in this second turn, he gets only a standard action.
    M Club (Standard; at-will)
    +8 vs. AC. 2d8+4 damage and the target is pushed 1
    m Frenzy (Standard; at-will)
    Usable only in a charge attack. +8 vs. AC; 2d8+4 damage and the target is pushed 3
    r Pinpoint (Standard; recharge 456)
    +12 vs. AC; 1d10+4 damageIf Crawfoot has combat advantage: +1d10 damageIf does not: the target is knocked prone
    Alignment UnalignedLanguages
    Str 20 (+7)Dex 13 (+3)Wis 12 (+3)
    Con 19 (+6)Int 8 (+1)Cha 6 (+0)


    Artwork by mannixfrancisco


    Billing is a spider, a giant one, living in the farm's stable. When Crawfoot frees him from the stable, Billings will attack anyone is not an half-ogre as long his pray is in the stable or in the courtyard. He will never attack someone inside the house, cause his masters have taught him the hard way not to do it.

    Graul Family: Billing the spiderLevel 6 Elite Artillery
    Large Natural BeastXP 500
    Initiative +6Senses Perception +4
    HP 114; Bloodied 57
    AC 18; Fortitude 18, Reflex 18, Will 16
    Saving Throws +2
    Speed 6
    Action Points 1
    M Bite (Standard; at-will)
    +13 vs. AC. 1d8+4 damage. Double the damage against immobilized targets.
    r Web acid spray (Standard; at-will)
    +11 vs. Reflex; 1d10+4 and the target is immobilized (save ends)
    r Acid shards (Standard; recharge 456)
    +13 vs. AC; 2d6+4 acid damage and ongoing 5 acid damage
    m Acid Shower (Standard; encounter)
    +11 vs. Reflex. 10 acid damage and ongoing 10 acid damage.Miss: 5 ongoing acid damage.
    a Web burst (Standard; recharge 56)
    Blast 4; +11 vs. Reflex; Targets are immobilized (save -2 ends)
    Alignment UnalignedLanguages
    Str 15 (+5)Dex 17 (+6)Wis 12 (+4)
    Con 15 (+5)Int 8 (+2)Cha 7 (+1)


    Artwork by corazondedios



















    NEW! Get for free the printable tokens for your games:



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    January 26, 2011

    [D&D 4E][Magic Object] Whisper Cloak +1

    Here comes an object that puzzled my players for some weeks. Usless or really useful? It's only when the barbarian wearing it encountered a web spitting spider that everything became clear.

    Now the barbarian is very proud of his new cloak.

    Whisper Cloak +1
    This dark cloak shift and twirls slowly while weared.

    Item Slot: Neck
    Enhancement: Fort, Ref, and Will
    Power (Encounter): Free Action. 
    Teleport exactly 1 square. Your turn ends.


    NOTE: You can print and fold this image to give it to your players
    The artwork is from the Facebook game Castle Age

    January 25, 2011

    About the future of D&D.

    Things were better when
    they were worse?
    These days, everyone is a prophet for the armageddon.
    My players are worried about the future of their favourite game (D&D 4E) and the blogosphere is too.
    Everyone is saying that D&D is dying, that Hasbro will let drop the brand, that we are all doomed.

    You got it right, but you got it wrong too.

    The Red GM today writed the first thing I feel to agree on this subject. Where? HERE.
    To explain why I have to take a little detour.

    First point
    First I totally agree that D&D4E is for high end players/GM. I do no agree the meaning of the sentence as The Red GM says it.
    High end players/GM are not the ones who have a lot of money or a desire to learn difficult rules. D&D 4E, despite the popular opinion, is aimed to Plyers/GM with a lot of experience. When I try to explain why I love 4E so much i often use this sentence "4E have a solid math system and don't messes with my job: building universes." But that's not the point.
    At the same time 4E, with essentials and Gamma World, want to steal players from other hobbies (like boardgames and MMOs)
    First question: A single game can be adressed to high end customers ant total mewbies, completely ignoring the gamers in between the two steps?

    Second point
    The point is that 4E answered to problems the 3.5 fan base didn't have yet.
    Teaching the game to new players, making the fun quick and easy, balancing PCs made from newbie and hard core gamers. 3.5 satisfied users was, by definition SATISFIED. Guess what? AD&D satisfied players, was satisfied too!
    Second question: What do we do with 3.5 satisfied players?

    Now Paizo's Pathfinder is eating customers from 4E and WotC don't know how to expand the fanbase.
    This is the way?

    What's the solution?
    It's easy.
    Easy, but unthinkable.
    The D&D brand must be acquired by Paizo.
    Then, a single company will have 2 great products to make everyone happy.

    D&D4 E Essentials and Gamma World will be their weapons against fist timers. They will have dedicated supplements and adventures, with simple rules (Gamma World rocks!) and catching situations.

    Pathfinder will continue to produce awesome supplements, but will make this products cute little bosed sets composed by three different books. One with the story, the second with the Pathfinder stats and the third with 4E stats. 3.5 lovers will be happy to have all the D&D brand behind them (marketing, more great artists, great miniatures, great battlemats). 4E lovers will be delighted to discover someone who can write great adventures and supplements.

    More reasons? After a good essential D&D Experience, you all 3.5 lovers will be grateful to the game who brought you girlfriends to the gaming night.

    When TSR paired the D&D red box and AD&D they knew what they where doing.

    What do you think? Am I crazy to dream a peaceful gaming world with satisfied customers and rich gaming companies?


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    January 24, 2011

    [Review] A game of Thrones Living Card Game


    A GAME OF THRONES is a card game inspired by the Gorge R.R. Martin series of book "A Song of Ice and Fire". There was already a Collectable version of this game, practically DOA and this is the fantasy flight version.

    With this game 2 to 4 players can use one on the four noblle houses (six with a couple of expansions) to battle one of the others (or all of them).

    The Good
    • DIFFERENT FLAVORS: The four base decks are fairly different one from the other. Playins as a Stark is a total different experience that playing a Lannister, as it should be.
    • RICH BACKGROUND: Martin's books are awesome and this game succesfully brings to play characters that you love and you hate if you have read the books.
    • NICE COMPONENTS: Besides the four decks the box includes a little board, some tokens and some nice sculpted pawns.
    • BEAUTIFUL: The artworks are amazing.
    • LIVING: No rare cards! No deck stronger for rich players!
    The Bad
    • BOOK RELATED: If you haven't read the books you'll miss half the fun.
    • CARDS GAME: It's a card game. If you don't like them, don't try.
    • NOT SO CHEAP: If you wanna go into the deckbuilding be prepared to buy AT LEAST 2 core sets plus all the expansions required.
      The verdict
      A GAME OF THRONES is a good card game. If you like Martin's work and/or (Living) Card Games, your money are not wasted at all.



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      January 22, 2011

      After 13 fuc*ing years, it sould be!

      [D&D 4E][NPC] Jakardros Sovark - Fighter

      Jakardros Sovark is a human ranger who survived to the Fort Rannick Massacre and that now wants to win his former home back.

      He is the step-father of Shalelu Andosana and will not accept to part from her side, in case the PC decide to form different groups. When he's with her, his primary concern is her safety and he will go the notorious extra mile to protect her.

      NPC Jakardros SovarkLevel 4 Soldier
      Medium Natural HumanoidXP 175
      Initiative +6Senses Perception +3
      HP 55; Bloodied 27
      AC 20; Fortitude 16, Reflex 16, Will 15
      Speed 6
      M Sword (Standard; at-will) ♦ weapon
      +11 vs. AC; 1d8+4 damage
      R Bow (Standard; at-will) ♦ weapon
      +11 vs. AC; 1d6+6 damage
      m Human shield (Standard; encounter)
      +9 vs. Will; 1d8+4 damage and the target is immobilized (save ends). Until the target pass his save Jakardros Sovark is immobilized
      m Knee cut (Standard; encounter)
      +9 vs. Reflex; 1d8+4 damage and the target is slowed (save ends)
      m Deadly Strike (Standard; daily) ♦ weapon
      +11 vs. AC; 3d8+4 damage and the target is bloodied 5 (save ends)
      Alignment UnalignedLanguages Common, Elven
      Skills Athletics +9, Endurance +9, Heal +8, Intimidate +8, Nature +8
      Str 14 (+4)Dex 15 (+4)Wis 13 (+3)
      Con 15 (+4)Int 11 (+2)Cha 12 (+3)

      Artwork by Mu-An
      Here the printable token for your games:

      Need the core books?
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      January 20, 2011

      [D&D 4E][Monsters] Graul Family - Rukus and the haunds

      Rukus is one of the youngest members of the Graul family. He is in charge of the haunds and with them he patrol the outskirts of the house. His main hobby is haunting, mostly humans, even if his favorite pray are halflings.

      He's not the brightest in the faminy, but with the haunds he's very caring. Obviously PCs are not haunds and he will not be nice with them.

      Like every other member of the family he have a second, child-like, face on his body, specifically on his right pectoral muscle..

      Graul Family: Rukus Level 5 Elite Brute
      Medium Natural Humanoid XP 400
      Initiative +13 Senses Perception +3
      HP 158; Bloodied 79
      AC 17; Fortitude 19, Reflex 16, Will 16
      Saving Throws +2
      Speed 6
      Action Points 1
      Double Head
      Every Graul Member, having two heads, can act at initiative-10. in this second turn, he gets only a standard action.
      M Club (Standard; at-will)
      +8 vs. AC. 2d8+4 damage and the target is pushed 1
      m Frenzy (Standard; at-will)
      Usable only in a charge attack. +8 vs. AC; 2d8+4 damage and the target is pushed 3
      m Whip double attack (Standard; recharge 456)
      Make two distinct attacks. Reach 2; +8 vs. AC; 2d8+6 damage and the targetis pulled 1
      Alignment Unaligned Languages Common, Giant
      Str 20 (+7) Dex 13 (+3) Wis 12 (+3)
      Con 19 (+6) Int 8 (+1) Cha 6 (+0)

      Artwork 88grzes
      Graul Haund Level 4 Minion
      Medium Natural Beast XP 43
      Initiative +4 Senses Perception +1
      HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
      AC 18; Fortitude 16, Reflex 16, Will 13
      Speed 6
      M Bite (Standard; at-will)
      +9 vs. AC; 5 damage, or 8 damage against a prone target
      Trip
      If two Graul Haunds are flanking an enemy,  the enemy is also knocked prone on a hit.
      Alignment Evil Languages
      Str 15 (+4) Dex 15 (+4) Wis 8 (+1)
      Con 15 (+4) Int 8 (+1) Cha 8 (+1)

      Artwork by all-day-everyday

      January 19, 2011

      [D&D 4E][Magic Object] The swamp heart +2

      I needed a magic staff to be found by my players and I was running a simple swamp encounter with crocodile people and a REALLY big crocodile lurking around.

      That's what I've made for my players

      The swamp heart +2
      The green gem on top of this staff can control, to some extent, the wild forces of nature running through a swamp
      Implement (Staff)
      Enhancement: Attack  and damage rolls.
      Property: When your attacks does not include a beast as a target you gain +2 to damage.

      Critical: +4d4 acid damage.
      Power (Daily): Move action.
      Transform 6 squares in swamp until the end of the encounter.
      Overload
      10+: Everyone starting his turn in a swamp square you created is slowed until the end of his turn.
      9-: You take 10 acid damage.


      Overload?
      Overload is a mechanic I borrowed from Gamma World. Basically a player can choose to let the object run wild, overflowing him with magical energy.
      As a free action, the player makes a saving throw and applies the effects listed in addition to any other effect of the object.



      NOTE: You can print and fold this image to give it to your players
      The artwork was taken from *Zubby on DevianArt.com




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