Albion's Ransom: Little Girl Lost coverkafka’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.”

Sixty-Winters-Cover_reduced1“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!”

Thanks, kafka!

Soldiers_of_Pen_and_Ink_CoverAwarding 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.

 

Eternal_Lies_cover_mockupOn 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.

Hillfolk_Cover_reducedRedditors dig Hillfolk. Here’s what some say,

cucumberkappa says,

“I played a “season” and it was one of the most fun campaigns I ever had… I really felt like a cast member-and-writer of a drama series as I played.”

“The finale was absolutely amazing. People held back all season and the finale became a madhouse of one-upping each other, dropping their saved up chips to take control of the big scene and turn it to their character’s advantage. But the whole appeal of it is – if you win now, you’ll pay for it later. And if you lose now, you have the power later to upturn the applecarts of the others.”

“I really recommend it for anyone who enjoys story gaming and the idea of a real drama series with mic-drop action.”

SpanishNinjitsu says,

“I’ve run several games of Hillfolk (well, DramaSystem) and it has easily become one of my all time favourite games. In my opinion it’s everything it promises to be and then some, it’s the most fun I’ve personally ever had behind the DM screen.”

“Hillfolk is goddamn great.”

Slatz_Grobnik

“It’s awesome. I love how it’s so intuitive. I feel that it’s pretty well already become the go-to game when there’s not some other sort of crunch that I want out of the game. I was impressed at how we had a group of moderately different levels of playstyle and experience, but there wasn’t much trouble with everyone getting it and getting into it. It’s a very smooth startup that way.”

“DramaSystem is more a way of thinking about games rather than strictly just a game in and of itself. I like how it gets people to focus on when things become interesting in a game because there’s conflict, because you can sweep as much material as is necessary between scenes. There’s some surprisingly interesting metagame around the procedural system.”

 

Dreamhounds_of_Paris_400Jason Thompson, over on his blog, mockman.com, reviews The Dreamhounds of Paris. Jason says,

This is great stuff. The Surrealists and the Mythos belong together.

Adding, “The idea of the Surrealists being Randolph-Carter-level Dreamers (or even better than that Carter dude) is genius; I can’t imagine historical figures who fit the role more.

In short, this is a fascinating, challenging campaign that pays homage to Lovecraft’s ‘canon’ Dreamlands, but, since it simultaneously upends and mutates them, might be just as well suited to people who *hate* the Dreamlands (shame on you). If I had one wish, I could have used more of everything…

You can check out the full review here. You can purchase the Dreamhounds of Paris Bundle, featuring The Book of Ants, at the shop.

Eternal LiesGames reviewer Endzeitgeist declared Eternal Lies the Best Non-Pathfinder RPG Adventure of 2013, in the new issue of Pathways magazine. (Download a free copy.) He says:

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.

Get Eternal Lies at the Pelgrane Shop or at DriveThruRPG!

13th Age cover detailWe 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

Eternal LiesOn 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.

13AgeLogoFull_small-300x300Another 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.

13thAgeCOVEROn 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.

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