Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reviews, True20 Edition

Some more reviews from DriveThruRPG.  Since I have been on a True20 kick again of late, here are some True20 products.

Colonial Gothic (True20 version)
The world of Colonial Gothic using the True20 system instead of it's normal house system. Typically when a product is converted to a "generic" system some of the style and feel is lost. Though I will say that CG survived with much more of it's soul intact. The system is normally a very easy one to learn so the conversion here does not sacrifice complexity. The game is still same, one of a supernatural New World as it becomes a new country, America.
The conversion does highlight many of the pluses of the game including it's atmosphere and style of play. It also allows you know to bring other True20 that might be helpful. In some ways I prefer this to the original. This one also gets a plus from me as a fan of this time period for play. So kudos for giving revolutionary era America a go.
5 out of 5 stars.

Legends of Excalibur: Arthurian Adventures (True20)
Legends of Excalibur, True20 edition. This conversion of the very, very good d20 edition is also very, very good. In some ways I prefer it since it takes much of the d20 overhead and trims it out. Instead we are now focused on a game that strives to emulate Arthurian Legends with a very tight and neat system. Everything in the d20 version is also here, so this is not a "trimmed down" version of anything except rules. Maybe some of the unique flavor is lost (no prestige classes or new magic systems), but they are all there expressed in terms of the True20 system, so what would have been a class in d20 is now a background feat in true20. I think the system works well in presenting that low fantasy, high romance feel that one often associates with Arthur too. In the end I think the True20 version works better than the d20 one.
I think I even like this better than Pendragon.
5 out of 5 stars.

Gearcraft: Amazing Machines and Their Construction: The True20 Steampunk Sourcebook
Gearpunk and Steampunk for your True20 games. It is in interesting book. Not set in any particular genre or time the illustrations are evocative of Victorian Steampunk, Pulp and even weird science. The rules are fairly straight-forward on how to build various machines; almost as if they were characters in their own right. Feats and skills are discussed. If you have True20 or a TRue20-based game and want to add some gear based machines (no Matric here yet) to it then this a great little book.
4 out of 5 stars.

World of Nevermore (True20)
Ever wonder what the lands of dream are like? Wonder no more with this world guide book, World of Nevermore. Filled cover to cover with a fantastic world where dreams live. A perfect world for someone with True20 and desire to do something very different. Take your characters (and players) out of their reality and into this one. The book reads like one part Lovecraft's dreamlands, one part Shakespeare's land of the fae and one part Ravenloft.
Plenty of new rules for characters including roles, feats and powers. Plenty of new monsters and 200 pages worth of world to play with them. Really fun stuff here.
5 out of 5 stars.

Shadows of Cthulhu
Any game that tries to do H.P. Lovecraft mythos has an uphill battle against the very venerable "Call of Cthulhu" which is arguably not just the best Mythos game, but maybe the best horror game ever. That is some steep competition. Shadows of Cthulhu holds up quite well really. Looking at it as a Modern Supernatural game using True20 it works out really, really well. There are plenty of new roles and backgrounds for characters. SoC does what only CoC has been able to do well and this incorporate a sanity system into the game that makes sense. Here SoC makes good use of the True20 rules and gives us the Sanity Save. Works just like the damage track already used by True20 it works very, very well with the system.
There is a great section on role-playing in the 1920s (as it should have) and a great section on sanity and the Mythos, which includes the magic common to the HPL games. All regulars are here in the bestiary and some of the "gods" of the Cthulhu mythos. I didn't notice anyone was missing. The book ends with a bit on the town of Innsmouth.
SoC had an uphill battle, but I think it did a great job of giving us a good mythos-based RPG. You would think that we were all Cthulhued-out by now, but SoC is so good and makes True20 really shine. Fantastic use of True20 and the rule additions, while not earth shaking, are great all the same. A must buy if you are Cthulhu fan or a True20 fan.
5 out of 5 stars.

The Imperial Age: True20 Edition
True 20 has become a great solution for all sorts of Modern d20 based games for me and Imperial Age shows why. The rules are adapted from the Imperial Age supplements for d20, so a lot here has been seen before, but all of it looks new through the lens of True 20.
All the Imperial Age products ooze style and this one is no different. There may be better Victorian Age games out there, but one can't deny that this is a great product and a welcome addition to any Victorian gaming library.
5 out of 5 stars.


Unlike some of the d20 books, the True20 games even by 3rd party publishers, seem to work together a bit better.  Hope these games are as fun for you as they were for me.

2 comments:

Ka-Blog! said...

Fascinating. Shadows of Cthulhu and Imperial Age are both of interest to me, and I've been looking for good gateway settings into True20.

Thanks!

Rhonin84 said...

Tim,

I have to agree both Shadows and Imperial age do a great job with their respective translations!

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