Author: Paco G. Jaen

Game Master’s Kit : Dragon Age RPG

The Game Master’s Kit is the perfect accessory for fans of the Dragon Age RPG. This handy product features a three-panel hardback screen that puts all the essential game info right in front you. It also includes a 32-page adventure by Jeff...

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Icons Superpowered Roleplaying

Steve Kenson, the designer of the best-selling Mutants & Masterminds delivers a superpowered new role-playing game, inspired by the fast-playing old-school games and the new generation of narrative role-play! Within its pages are complete rules for character creation, abilities and powers, random adventure generation, a rogue’s gallery of villains, a complete adventure and all the superheroic action you can...

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Settlers of America Trails to Rails MFG

Settlers of America: Trails to Rails utilizes the simple, fun Catan hex-tile grid to map the United States of the 19th Century. Collect and trade resources in order to purchase and move settlers, build cities, lay rails and acquire and move trains. Create rail links to acquire gold, which lets you buy resources and use opponents’ rails. Use trains to distribute goods to rival cities. But, as your settlers populate the West, they deplete the resources of the East. Still, your options always abound. News brought to you...

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Smallville Review

Apparently I review a lot of supers games these days, and the latest in that field is the Smallville RPG, newly released in PDF for $20 at RPGNow, and available in hardcopy at GenCon for $40. I’ll be honest…I’m not a big fan of the show.  I tried watching it in the early seasons, but got turned off by a mix of “Freak of the Week”, Tom Welling’s one facial expression and how seemingly every episode ended with the same overwrought scene between Clark and Lana where she went on at length about how people can’t keep secrets from one another and Clark, well, had his one facial expression.  I sure did enjoy Lex and Lionel Luthor, though. That being said, it’s not the license that brings me to the game, it’s the system.  Smallville was released by Margaret Weis Productions, who are handily taking over the slow once occupied by Eden Studios as the cult license company, previously releasing Serenity, Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural.  All of their games use their own in-house system known as Cortex, which ranks any abilities, perks and what have you in die types, and you roll the relevant dice together.  In Smallville, you virtually always roll three dice (unless you spend Plot Points to roll more), taking the highest two results and adding them together. One of the major areas where Smallville departs from the other Cortex games is that your characters don’t...

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Orcs of Stonefang Pass, a review

This is more like it for a game and a company the calibre ofDungeons and Dragons andWizards of the Coast. Although my previous posting about the Dark Sun adventure was far from complimentary,  WOTC has proven they can do it right when they want to. For starters the cover illustration is by one of the best established and most experienced fantasy artist, not to mention one of the most talented, Wayne England. He has the amazing ability to capture the atmosphere and spirit of whatever is necessary. His extremely meticulous painting and his incredible attention to detail makes him a virtuoso with the brush (and yes, he still paints traditionally). With that, this adventure was on a good start. And it continued on the good side of design, but let’s go one step at a time. Product quality. It is pretty good for what it is. It will last long enough for the adventure to be played and then as long as you want if you don’t drop coffee (or any other liquids!) on it. The paper is heavy enough and the printing is very good. The illustrations are clear and the colours vivid, the wording perfectly readable and the maps very clear. The maps for all the encounters come printed in fairly sturdy paper and although they do the trick, the seams will break if you don’t handle...

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Children of Orion: The Venu Sourcebook

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