Survive The Night: A Horror RPG Review

With Halloween approaching I felt this was the perfect time to cozy up to Horror RPG for a review. After some careful consideration and the irony of fate, I picked Survive the Night. It has been on my review radar since March of this year. While at MACE West I had the absolute pleasure of playing in a pick-up game of the RPG ran by DM Scotty (Linked to his video of StN). It left such an impression on me that I reached out to the creator and asked if I might have a copy for review. They were more than happy to provide me with one in short order. As fate would have it, I was unable to write my review of the game at the time. Now both the season and timing are perfect. Survive the Night just became available on DTRPG.

Can You Survive The Night?

Survive the night knows at its core it is a narrative one-shot horror game. It wastes no time like other horror products with things like a leveling up system. The Game Mechanics are simple, smooth and designed to get out of the players way letting the story take center stage.

Mechanics

The only dice you need to play is a single D6. With that one die, you can do everything in the game. At first, I thought rolling only one dice would bother me, dare I say even lessen the experience. Instead, it further pushed focus to the action taking place in the game. Dice rolls didn’t become an afterthought. They became exciting. Everyone at the table knew a roll of a six occurs great things are about to happen… Yet, that 1… Might be the roll that sends you to the grave.

Characters

There are four classes in the game and each class has three character types. These classes are by design Tropeish, further setting the atmosphere of the game. 12 pre-gen characters are included with the product if you want to just get right into the game. Or if you prefer you can make your own character via a point-buy system. Players assign a class and choose from a selection of 18 skill and 24 traits.

Narrator’s Guide & Adventure Section

The Narrators section is short sweet and to the point. There are no special rules that you need to know. All of the rules of the game are provided in the player’s section of the book. This section focuses as a guide to assist in running a session of Survive the Night. What you will find in this section are tips on controlling the mood and, setting the pace of play. This is important in a game where a total party kill is likely a great end to a fun night of gaming. The last section of the book is four full adventures spanning over 50 pages.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy a good horror one shot from time to time, but you do not want to learn another rules heavy system. Survive the night is exactly what you are looking for. The gameplay is fast and fun. It’s easy to learn in a matter of a few dice rolls. Leaving you all the time to dive deep into the story and lose yourself in the game. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this game.

First Looks Relics a Game of Angels RPG Kickstater

Relics by Tin Star games made its way onto my radar by way of Twitter recently. A fellow blogger and friend of mine pointed this project out to me when they had commented that they were still looking for another review or two leading up to their project launch on Kickstarter.

After learning in short back and forth with the developer that they were designing an RPG that was drawing inspiration from sources like:

  • Prophecy
  • Dogma
  • Wings of Desire

They had drawn further inspiration from Steve Jackson In Nomine I was eager to want to give this RPG a look. Now I will say that I was not able to give this product a full deep dive that others before me might have. I only had the product for a few days and I wanted to get a thoughts review out before or at the Kickstarter Launch for both the Developer and Backers. So lets get down to it.

First Impressions

This right off the rip is a very complete product. In years past with Kickstarter products often reviewers and backers would be told that the writer or developer has a solid outline and rule-set. This product is an example that these days are past. Weighing in at 275 pages of art free content in its current state. I imagine that this project will push well into the 300 page mark depending on if the Kickstarter will add content or not.

Relics is packed to the gills with depth. There is so much content to draw inspiration from that it is shocking that Tin Star was able to jam this much information in just 275 pages.

At the point where I thought i had have seen all that Relics had to offer me I was further surprised. At the back of the book is you are presented with a set of several ENTIRELY different set of setting ideas to run as settings for the Relics as further inspiration. I absolutely love this! Tin Star knowingly created a product that is deep and rich and then thrusts it into the owners hands and says.. MAKE IT YOUR OWN!

The Setting

Relics takes place in a world where you play Angles that have fallen to earth after god barred anyone from passing again through the gates of heaven. Now a mad race for immensely powerful relics has ensued and you are far from the only ones that are in search of these celestially powered items. This is a world where myth and legends real, but the real story behind their power was told by humans. Who could not possibly understand what it was that they were really witness too.

The tone of the game is a mature one with the understanding that this game takes place in a darker and slightly more gritty world than our own reality. The world is a complicated place the players may have been here for centuries, but they are still strangers in a strange land.
The book also goes into some detail about the following things and how they affect play in the game:

  • The Bible got most of it wrong
  • Strangers in a strange land
  • You can’t go home again
  • Fallen angels filled the world with magical items
  • An arms race has begun
  • Thou shalt steal
  • Angels are a product of all they remember
  • The path is unclear
  • Everyone wants you dead
  • You can’t trust anyone

The System

Relics is a narrative RPG that focuses on the players crafting and developing the story of their world at the table. The game encourages you to do much of this outside of the system itself. When the need arises the system that is used to resolve rules and outcomes is the Fugue System. This system was created by James Wallis and first appeared in his game Alas Vegas. It was released under the Creative Commons license.

The Fugue system has two main parts to it: it uses a tarot deck to generate random outcomes, and it is designed for the personas to begin as amnesiacs, who discover who they are through the play of the game. The personas in Relics do not have amnesia, but still use the concept of memories in the same way: flashback scenes triggered by players provide personas with character abilities they can then to use to impact on their environment.

Myself I have never used this system but I have always been intrigued by the idea of a Tarot card system. Something about it adds flavor that goes beyond just rolling dice. But I can not place much opinion of if it is really the case. So I will leave it at that.

Final Thoughts

I wish I would have had a little more time to dig deeper in this product, There was so much that it offers. But what I am sure of

  • I think this RPG offers a ton of Homebrew opportunity.
  • It has a creative Tarot Card mechanic to propel its narrative.
  • The Product itself offers a exceptionally deep setting to draw inspiration from.
  • My review barely scratches the surface of what this RPG offers.
  • It is already a completed RPG book short of artwork insertion.

Overall, If you have the money to spare this should be a kickstarter you will want to keep your eye on. Especially if you like narrative based games with alternative resolution mechanics and a ton of depth.

Hands On Review: Fragged Aeternum A Fragged Empire Setting

Fragged Aeternum is a relatively new RPG Product in the Fragged Empires product line by Wade Dryer. Aeternum is the City Eternal, believed to have been built by Celestials even before the age of men. This Gothic “Ecumenopolis” a city spans the breadth of the planet. Some even suspect that Aeternum may go on in every direction without end.  

Before we get into this review we need to touch on a few things regarding Fragged Empire and Fragged Aeternum. I will begin by telling you what Fragged Aeternum is not. Fragged Aeternum is not part of the Fragged Empire universe, but it utilizes the Fragged Empire Core rules. It does make some modifications to speed gameplay. Because of this Fragged Aeternum is NOT a stand-alone game! The Fragged Empire Core Rules are needed to play this game. So for those familiar with Fragged Empire what changes can you expect.

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Changes

 
Simplified Rules

Aeternum has been built around dramatic combat and the use of momentum to propel the story forward. But just because things have gotten simpler they have not gotten easier. Combat is deadly and players should learn to accept that death is part of life in Aeternum. Additionally, players will see that much of the FE resources have been trimmed away. Gone are Ships, Trade goods, and Ammo. Lastly, RoF is gone along with many weapons that just would not fit the setting and there are fewer actions.

Death

As I mentioned above death is part of life in Fragged Aeternum, your players will die and die often. In Fragged Aeternum you play the role of the Tethered. Tethered individuals are bound by powerful magic of the celestials to return again and again to face the foes of humanity. Do not confuse the Tethered as divine beings. The Tethered are immortal men that face Fiends and Evils again and again. In addition to being human themselves, they wage battle against unspeakable Fiends. Immortal or not in time they can break and give into madness.  


Other Changes


Many of the remaining changes that you will encounter from FE to FA are mostly cosmetic. The Attributes are different but work the same as intended and many skills are gone, new or re-skinned from FE. The two last changes of note that I would like to point out are that Fate is gone from the FA and the mechanics of Strong hits are used for Momentum points.   

There are other changes that could be noted but these are the ones that stand out to me, the most that I feel should be mentioned if you are interested in taking a deeper look at Fragged Aeternum.

With that out of the way let’s now take a deeper look at Fragged Aeternum. In Aeternum there are four forces at play in this setting. The World itself, Tethered, Celestials and Fiends.

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Fragged Aeternum Setting

Now that we have touched on some of the key differences that set Aeternum apart from Fragged Empire lets take a look at what makes the world of Aeternum tick.

The World of Aeternum

Aeternum is a world-spanning gothic cityscape backdrop for a world where life is hard and death is easy. Death is not the end for a denizen of Aeternum because once your body falls to the ground and your soul claws its way free of its old shell. Then it will either drift skyward or twist and crawl the earth to become a Fiend. The grim fact is far more people who meet their end claw their way into the depths to rise as Fiends. It is up to the Tethered to keep them at bay.  

The City itself spans the known world, crisscrossed with rivers, lakes and massive district-sized parks. The districts themselves are separated by massive walls and gated entrances. Many of these districts are independent towns and in some cases, collections of towns could align with their own city-states.

Life is still not easy, yet without the careful planning of the Celestial Architects to bring balance to Aeternum, there would not be enough food or water to go around. Why they do what they do no one really knows. But they have a vision and are not interested in sharing.

When the people of Aeternum need metal they have to scavenge them from abandoned parts of the city, or in times of great need, Underneath it. In the labyrinth of ruins that the city has been built on top of for as long as humans can remember.

The Tethered

Tethered are men and women who have bound their souls to powerful artifacts known as the Great Lanterns thereby allowing them to cheat death. Granting the Tethered abilities far superior to average humans in addition to near immortality. When a Tethered falls his soul returns to the Great Lanterns and he is again reborn. Thus making Tethered the best defense for humanity against Fiends and all other horrors in the world. It is assumed that the players are all Tethered in the game.


Celestials

Beings of incalculable power rarely descending from the heavens to walk the world for any reason. So powerful are these beings that they are capable of destroying entire districts in their encounters with Fiends. The goals of the Celestials are known only to their fellow Celestials and it is rare to receive anything more than cryptic or mysterious information when they do choose to offer it.

Fiends

Born from the stuff of twisted nightmares, madness, and the souls of humanity it is thought the first Fiends came from a world that is believed to exist beneath the world of Aeternum. Like Celestials, Fiends are capable of corrupting and destroying entire districts if left unchecked. There is little solid understanding of the true motivation of Fiends as any that study them either go insane or are discredited and cast out and shunned.

To complicate this no two fiends are alike in appearance or motivations.

Magic and Technology

Both of these things exist in Aeternum. Clockworks, and Cogworks and even Golems can be found in the world. But Golems are things forged from magic crafted by skilled craftsmen and given life by rare magic.

Magic itself is beyond the common man; often called Warlocks or sorcerers or in some cases Witches. Magic is widely feared no matter its use or intent.

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My Thoughts

Fragged Aeterum is a wonderful dark gothic setting that allows you to go to some very dark places at the table. One of the best parts of Fragged Aeternum is the fact that by its very nature players are pitted against forces, factions, and consequences that often are larger than the characters.

The Tethered are beyond death, yet they can’t just throw their life away in a conflict against the power of the Fiends. Death is not without consequence because the players are fighting to protect something worth more than their own lives. They are the first and in many cases the only line of defense for mankind. If a Tethered falls in battle frivolously the result may be the loss of an entire neighborhood or even the loss of a district. More importantly, these neighborhoods and districts are filled with mortal souls many of whom will descend only to return as Fiends themselves. Because of this, even the Immortal Tethered have to weigh the options of their actions in the game.

I know that Aeternum was inspired by the Soulborn games like Dark Souls and such. But I would like to go even more old school as an example of what it must be like to be a Tethered.

I think it’s kind of like the old video game Gauntlet. Not the new one or on a console or PC. I’m talking OLD School… That reaction you had when you dropped a quarter in the machine and took your first steps and realized that your health was already ticking down. Additionally, there was little you could do to prolong your life in Gauntlet. So each life became a race against the Reaper. Get the most of each life you had before you had to resign to death and punch another quarter in the machine to continue your quest.

When you sit down and start a session of Aeternum you know it is not a matter of if you will die, but how. Knowing this you must struggle to make each of your immortal lives matter. Unlike other RPGs where player death is the main threat, in Aeternum you may not die but comes with consequences. Depending on how you live each of your lives and when and how you die can have a vast impact on the world of Aeternum.

My Ranking

Aeternum is not going to be for everyone, but if you are a fan of dark gothic and stories that go well beyond the scope of the player characters themselves you are going to get hooked hard by this setting. It has a powerful feeling that at the table it plays in a very “go big or go home” fashion.

I know it has been cited that it was born of the Dark Souls genre, the setting also reminds me of Malifaux in its supernatural gothic artwork and vibe.

The Fragged Rules are solid and in Fragged Aeternum the FE resource system has been pulled out of this setting, I mention that as the FE resource system was a good solid mechanic but one that personally I was not a huge fan of so I see this as a bonus. Overall it’s a faster smoother game with a great backdrop for high fantasy games.

D20 #16-19Considering all of this, I have to say that my Runkles Ranking for Fragged Aeternum is Outstanding. And not just for the reasons that I have listed here, but because in its 165-page count it is absolutely stuffed to gills with information. More than I could cover in 3 blogs.

View my Rank System Here

 

 

Closing Thoughts

Much of this is because to run Aeternum it requires the Fragged Core book. This is also my only issue with Aeternum, as a Fragged Setting book you need FC to run the game. Forcing new FE players to have to make two purchases to get in on this game.

If you are interested in picking up a copy of Fragged Aeternum you can get it at the following link

DTRPG: Fragged Aeternum

If you have played FA or have any questions or thoughts on the setting please feel free to comment below

 

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Hands on look at the D&D 5E GM Screen Reincarnated

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I know I’m a little late to the party in my review of the 5e reincarnated DM screen. So let’s get right into it and take a look at what we got. Personally Even with much of the cover art is pretty blank the picture is beautiful. I much prefer the Dungeons and Dragons logo as well as ampersand compared to that of the old 5e symbol on the original GM screen.

So for this review, I’ll be looking at the panels from left to right for my review. The left panel has the most changes overall this product. The tables for NPC characteristics, NPC ideas, NPC flaws and bonds and the Name Generator all have been removed.

In their place, we have a Actions in Combat table that describes in detail everything that a player can do in a combat round. This table covers Attack, Cast Spells, Dash, Dodge, Help, Hide and Ready Actions as well as Search, Use A Magic Item, Use an Object and Use a Special Ability actions.

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We are also given a table with some rules that are not always easy to remember and will save you time looking things up like Long and High Jump, Suffocation and the easiest of all to remember Concentration. As easy as the concentration check is to remember it’s still good to have it here. Additionally, they managed to squeeze in one more little section on this panel for things that you can do in a turn listing everything that a player can do as a little quick reminder.

This panel does have one piece of art and I like it! The art is straight out of the player’s handbook and it is the of “Points of Origin” of Area Spell Effects. I really like this because one of my biggest criticisms of the old GM screen was the art wasn’t helpful and it took up to much real estate on the screen. By comparison, this art doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s very helpful for a GM.

Myself I actually used these tables fairly often and will be sad to see them go. That said overall the replacement tables that they have put in this panel are a far better choice and if I myself had to make the choice to decide which of these panels to keep I would have gone with the new panels in the reincarnated GM screen as well.

The 2nd panel covers Conditions and is exactly the same as the old GM screen right down to the artwork. Again my complaint on the conditions panel is much the same as it was before. Granted conditions are likely the main thing we will be looking up as a GM’s during a game. I just feel that a panel and a half of the GM screen is just too much real estate for this information. Simply by sacrificing the artwork for the conditions table, they could have condensed a panel a half worth of information into one panel. This would have remained just as effective and we would have gotten more space for use out of this GM screen.

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The new and old GM screen third panels are very similar. The last half of the Conditions Table and the Exhaustion Chart are exactly the same on both of these panels. The only tables remaining the same are the Skills And Ability Table and the Setting A DC table. The tables of Light Obscured Areas and Cover we’re moved to the fourth panel on the new GM screen. In their place, the tables of Damage By Level of Severity, Object Hit Points, Object Armor Class, Setting A DC and Tracking DC’s tables have now taken their place.

Lastly, the fourth panel has changed quite a bit. Gone is my much-disliked artwork of the Tarrasque. This has been replaced by another piece of art comparing the sizes of creatures from tiny, small, medium, large, huge and gargantuan creatures.

The Something Happens table that I really wasn’t a fan of his now gone as well as the Quick Finds table. In my opinion, it is an improvement that they have been removed. The Travel Pace table and Encounter Distance tables have remained. Lastly, we’ve been given two new tables that I think are an excellent addition to the D5e DM Reincarnated screen. These tables are Food Drink and Lodging And Services both of these tables I think will see a lot of use in most players games.

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Runkle’s Ranking

The last GM screen I gave it abysmal 6 to even though I came back earlier and had given an almost to 7, All Things Considered, there’s not a whole lot been changed in this GM screen but it is far more useful I will give this screen a rating of a 13. It’s landscape, it’s useful, it has many tables now that it didn’t have before that will be helpful for a GM. The artwork has been reduced and its overall an improvement over its predecessor. D20 #11-14

So what keeps up with such a low ranking for me? The simple fact that it doesn’t have inserts. it’s only useful for one thing and that is base generic 5e. With Gale Force 9 producing a GM screen for every new campaign setting that comes out. A much-improved GM screen reincarnated would have been a landscape GM screen with insertable sheets. Then we could customize each screen, and every time we ran a particular campaign we could pick and choose the tables and maps that we would wish to add to your particular screen.

Final thoughts

If you already own a GM screen you will be able to make do without this product. If you do not have one this is a better choice over the old one. If you are willing to make your own screen then I would suggest a GM screen with inserts that you can customise.

If you want to pick up one of these hit up your FLGS and grab one or head on over to Amazon to get yours.

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Or if you prefer to pick up a customisable screen you can get one at your FLGS as well or grab one off Amazon as well. I recommend the landscape screen by Hammerdog, You can also pick up a non-landscape version if you prefer or the screen that I use. The Hammerdog Mini.

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Hands on with Dog Might Games: Component Collector Review

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Here we are again with another great Kickstarter by Dog Might Games underway. The Viking’s artisans from the north are at it again with their newest creation “The Component Collector”. SO what is this crazy stack of wood and magnets with a strap that at first glance looks like Dog Might Games made an all wood drink coaster set? In the words of the Dog Might Team, The Component Collector is

“A modular tile system for organizing board game tokens and components. Use with your entire game library. Custom. Magnetic. Elegant.”

The Design

  • Rolling Trays measure 4.25″ x 6.5″ with a depth of 0.75″Tiles measure 3.25″ Square and are 0.5″ deep.
  • Modular flexible footprint. Every tile connects to any other, even from different Component Collectors.
  • Rolling trays work in line with all tiles.
  • Works with a huge variety of games
  • Utility-driven designs
  • Snap together layout uses rare earth magnets securely glued into each tile.
  • Every Component Collector is coated with Dog Might Varnish for a lifetime of protection.
  • Straps are created from heavy duty furniture upholstery that is moderately textured. It is easy to clean, will not fade, and is water and crack resistant.
  • Leather Straps are created from 2.5 oz finished Cow leather.

 

 

 

Having just wrapped up the review for the Skirmish Box I was only slightly surprised when I was contacted about doing another review so soon. The creative guys at Dog Might have been cranking out a ton of awesome things in the last few months. If you do not follow the Dog Might Games Feeds you may be surprised to know that not all things Dog Might are launched as Kickstarters.

So, Michael Konas informed me that they had packed up a new prototype that they were about to launch on Kickstarter and had sent me one for review. It arrived the day before launch and in the time I have had it the Kickstarter has exploded. At the time of this writing, there is still 22 days to go on the project and it has pulled in more than $84 thousand dollars!

Often when I get a Dog Might Games product I take advantage of my local games and take it around to FLGS to get a wider opinion on the project than just my own. It’s always nice to see the reactions of fellow gamers when they have a quality product in hand and they can think about how they would use it at the table. More often than not their thoughts are very much in line with my own. The craftsmanship is beautiful, the feel is solid in the hand and they look amazing on the table. After that, it is just a matter of deciding how useful it is at the table for its intended purpose.

Honestly, when I first saw the pictures of The Component Collector I was not sure what to think of it. It was definitely something that I knew I was going to need to get my hands on and experiment with. This might be because I can get a little OCD. This left me at first not fully seeing the wide variety of uses that you got from having 8 trays. The main issue I was having difficulty with was understanding that you would not always use all 8 trays. The moment I accepted that the intent that The Component Collector having 8 trays was to give you the widest range of games you could use it with, it all became clear.

When my Component Collector arrived I happened to be running D&D. So, I wasted no time in pausing the game long enough to rip the box open and begin using it. Once I got The Component Collector on the table its design became immediately apparent. The many numerous options of how you can configure the layout of the trays is just awesome!

 

 

 

As The Component Collector made its way around the table my players each spent a little hands-on quality time with the prototype. Playing with their own configurations and getting an idea of how they could put it to use. The first thing I noticed as it was being passed around was everyone had would assemble in a way that would suit them best. Now, granted there is no wrong way to set it up. But that also is the beauty of The Component Collector.

When I took it to my FLGS the board game crowd was eager to get their hands on The Component Collector. The first thing I noticed as it was making its way around the room was much the same behavior as my RPG players. One by one each person laid the tiles out and began clicking them together the way it felt natural to them. Some made one long single row while others made two rows. Some boxed the dice tray in with tiles while others set the dice tray aside altogether. With no wrong way (as long as the dot faces away from you) to use the tiles, your personal creativity takes over. Sometimes in unexpected ways as one of the players made a Shelf to hold cards at one point.

 

 

 

Over the course of my week with the product, I have taken it with me to my FLGS twice. Having shown it off to more than a dozen gamers who I have let experiment with it. Some big fans of Dog Might Games some not so much. One who at the mention of Dog Might Games commented “Oh the guys that make wooden boxes?” Yet every single person I have shown this magnetic tile system to has liked it. That my friends is high praise from a guy that thinks of you as “The guys that make wood boxes.”

The feedback that I gathered from those who handled the product over the week was overwhelmingly positive. Now, It must be said that my set is a prototype and is not the final design that every one may receive. The Square tile was by far the most popular tile with the Bowl, Card, and Double seeming to be the other favorites. This could easily have been due to the games that were played as noted above you likely will not find yourself using all 8 trays at a time. This proved to be true as well when out in the wild. Players often only used 6 tiles at a time. Myself I used two when playing my Sunday RPG the Square and the dice tray. The Bowl for as popular as it was, did receive a few comments wishing it was a little wider or deeper. Allowing for it to hold a larger number of tokens or meeples. I have already passed this information onto Dog Might Games and they have said they will see if they are able to accommodate that request.

My final thoughts on the Component Collector

This dice tray with 8 tiles slowly crept its way into my heart. I went from on the fence to in love with it. Anyone would be hard pressed not to be able to find a use for several of these trays for most games. With the option for just few bucks more, you have the ability to hand-pick all 8+ tiles. Unlocking full customization to you and opening a vast number of additional game options. Congratulations Dog Might Games you have Critical Hit on your hands!

This project just might be a perfect example of what Dog Might Games is all about. With every project, they strive to give their customers choices, hundreds of thousands of choices! If you back a Dog Might product you know you are going to get something personal, special, and maybe even unique among the rest. A perfect example of this is my Skirmish box. I got the most basic of boxes but with my custom logo, I know that no one except myself has that box. They may have a skirmish box but this one is mine and mine alone. In this day and age of mass produced things, this is exceptional and exceptional is the standard at Dog Might Games.

Runkles Ranking

Nat 20!D20 #20

 

 

Dog Might Games Skirmish Box

With 17 hours to go, I won’t have the time for a deep in depth review of Dog Might Games newest product The Skirmish Box. But In the short time I have had it, about eight hours now I have given it a bunch of attention. The box is everything I asked for and could not be happier.

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A few weeks back just as Dog Might Games was about to launch their current Kickstarter The Skirmish Box. I had reached out and asked them if they had any new products in the wings. After some discussion, they let me in on their plan to craft an amazing magnetic minis box. A box for Skirmish war games like Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux or Guild Ball or even as a storage box for your D&D and Pathfinder minis, I was immediately sold!

They kindly offered to chuck a box in a mail bag and have one sent straight my way so that I could do a review on it. Knowing that this was likely a box that I will use extensively for a long time to come asked if they would consider taking my logo on the box this time. Usually, for review proposes the Viking lords at Dog Might grab a product sample at random pitch it into the air for Hermoth to deliver straight away. In this case Dog Might was happy to oblige, but woodworking and art take time and they have other Kickstarter orders and products that take priority.

The Postal gods were not kind and I had hoped the box would have arrived on Saturday. Eventually, It did arrive and I have had it here for nearly eight hours now. With less than 15 hours to go before project ends and they begin cranking out boxes for their eager backers. Thankfully I did get it before the project ended and here we are with a final hours review!

In the past, I have had hands on review of Dog Might Games Dice Chest, The Dragon Sheath as well as their Dragon Trays. Each of these has impressed for equally different reasons. The Skirmish box is by far the biggest of the boxes I have reviewed for Dog Might. The Dragon Tray is longer but the Skirmish box is one massive hunk of carved wood.

In standard Dog Might Games fashion, they are giving you a tremendous amount of customization options to make your box your very own. Skirmish boxes can have up to six designed insides depending on your personal needs. Myself I got the open box as I will likely be storing large numbers of RPG minis that I pull and store before my weekly games.

With nearly 30 exterior carving options including the Malifaux Symbol and each of the Malifaux factions you have a huge selection of carvings to pick from to adorn the top of your box. If you are unable to find a symbol that you like. For the small price of $25 dollars, you can ask them to provide you with a custom job like they did for me. They currently have over 1,000 metal symbols to pick and chose from!

The selection of wood types varies by Tier but they have more than 20 woods and stains to choose from. All of these things make for a very personal experience you are not just getting a box that is like every other box that was produced for the Kickstarter. Time and pride go into their craft and It shows. If every box was just ripped off an assembly line I would not be writing a final hour hands on review It would have been done weeks ago. That says a lot about the guys at Dog Might Games.

Now, does the box do what they guys at Dog Might Games do what they say it will? I did not have the opportunity to run the gambit of tests. But I did take the time to drop a few of my rare earth magnets into my box to test the strength of the hold it gives. I am pleased to confirm the hold that the metal plate gives is considerable and you can expect magnetized models are going to stay in place nicely in this box. When playing around with this I also noted to myself that the lid of the standard box makes as a great dice try as well. I thought that would be worth pointing out!

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The Skirmish box comes in two sizes.

Dimensions. The Skirmish Box comes in 2 sizes. There is no price difference in the sizes:

  • Standard is 11.25 x 5.75 x 4.25 with an interior height of 3″ (the bottom is 2″ deep and the top is 1″ deep). Fits minis up to 3″ in height.
  • Large is 11.25 x 5.75 x 5.25 with an interior height of 4″ (the bottom is 2″ deep and the top is 2″ deep). Fits minis up to 4″ in height.

Dog Might says

“The Skirmish box uses an embedded metal plate that allows your minis with added magnets to stand apart from one another, ensuring safe transport. It also offers a variety of wells to hold cards, tokens, dice, or anything else you need for your game and holds up to 25 minis.”

Well, I can tell you in my last photo I had set more than 30 minis of various sizes in my open well box. All of the bases had room sit and connect flush if they had been magnetized. Granted it is worth noting that I was also using 28mm figures. I think the 25 figure statement is based on 35mm models.

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In the end, this is just another awesome Dog Might Games product. And anyone that plays Malifaux or any other skirmish game is going to draw attention when they set this bad boy on the tourney table. Congratulations on a job well done Dog Might Games!

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Burning Games: Faith A Garden in Hell Review

faith-garden-in-hell-background-2-pngI am back again with a review of FAITH – A Garden In Hell. In June last year, I reviewed FAITH RPG and gave it a very positive Ranking of 17. Since then, they went on to run and deliver another Kickstarter: FAITH – A Garden In Hell. I did not pick this one up, as I am not normally one to grab up campaign box sets. With Burning Games preparing to launch their newest Kickstarter for FAITH, (deleted something here) they reached out to me once more. They asked if I would be interested in taking a look at where the story of FAITH has gone. As well as write a follow-up review before the launch of their Core Book Kickstarter. As you can see I accepted. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Following in the footsteps of the FAITH RPG project, the first thing that you notice with A Garden in Hell is they pick up right where they left off, with beautiful art. The cover of the campaign box is striking, vividly bringing to life the image of the alien world the story will take place in.

A Garden In Hell comes with

  • 76-page Campaign Book
  • 36-page Rulebook
  • 4 Character Folios
  • 54 Gear & NPC Cards
  • 1 Player Deck
  • 4 Large Boss Cards
  • Campaign outline for the GM

FAITH A Garden In Hell not only designed to drop you into the thick of things as a story, but also walk you through learning how to play & run a game of FAITH. You also receive the tools you need to continue running future games of FAITH.

The Campaign Book


The 76-page campaign book brings you the GM up to speed with the setting of FAITH, introducing you to the Corvo and the Iz’Kal and the coalition they have formed to push back against the Ravagers. Also introduced the players as Team Inferi, the surviving members of a coalition recon squad crash landed on a strange alien world inhabited by a Ravager queen & cut off from their allies.

The encounters are designed with the understanding that this is likely the first time the Gamemaster has run FAITH. There is plenty of explanation for both the Gamemaster and the players. The first encounter is a gameplay walkthrough to help get the game flowing properly for everyone. Thus, A Garden In Hell serves both as the first Campaign book and a quick start guide for everyone involved. However, instead of just a small taste like many quick start guides, A Garden in Hell is a full 21 chapter 4 act campaign that should take most groups between 7-12 sessions to finish!  Act One focuses on exploration and recon. Act Two features diplomacy and combat. Act Three deals with backstory & furthering the plot. Act Four has a climactic face-off that has multiple endings, one of which will become canon for the FAITH RPG.

The writing is excellent; the opening alone sets a vivid scene that strikes a tone for the whole story. The campaign book presents each encounter in the traditional fashion of “Read this section aloud” in one colored block and the Gamemasters section is not in the highlighted portions. One thing that I noticed right away was the encounter creation portion, and I loved this. For example, in one of the encounters in the Gamemasters section where a combat is going to take place it says:

Create a level 3 encounter using a combination of the following NPC’s Stormer,Flamer,Reaper,Techno & Ironskin.

This subtle level of flexibility might not be noticed by most, but to me, this is something I truly appreciate. It frames me out an encounter and still gives me some flexibility. I thank the minds behind Burning Games for that.

The Rulebook


The rulebook is exactly the same as the free download found on the Burning Games website. It is 38 pages, 39 if you count the printable character sheet, the index, and the quick character creation rules. It is also the 1.5 version of the rules, taking all of the feedback from their players and playtests into account. Yes, you may already have this in PDF form, but many of you purists out there will be happy to have a physical copy in hand.

The rulebook, for the most part, is very cut and dry. Rules are explained well and have plenty of easy to understand examples that anyone should be able to quickly grasp. The only ‘downside’ of the rulebook is the artwork. There is so much beautiful art in FAITH I and my players that flipped through the rulebook found we actually wanted MORE! More visuals to bring the world of FAITH to life for us like the cards and things.

NOTE: I can confirm this as I have been given the honor to take a peek between the covers of the upcoming FAITH Core Book. ( Don’t tell Burning games I told you )

The Character Folios

Each character folio is packed with info. One page is background and personality information, followed by racial ability & upgrades. The third gives you information about your God and the gifts from them, and finally the character sheet itself. Not much here to talk about, but it’s nice having some Pre-Gens for an introduction to the game.

 

Gear NPC Cards & Player Cards  


This is the where FAITH takes moves apart from standard RPGS. FAITH uses a poker style draw system for all skill and combat resolutions, referred to as Confrontations. In FAITH if the only time you can fail doing something is if it is a Confrontation. It firmly embraces the YES,and… RPG mentality. The poker style playing of cards during confrontations allows you the player to manage your own luck and decided when you want to “Roll” high on an action. Not a random roll of the dice.

Large Boss Cards


FAITH is very much a game of visuals, with cards for gear laid out and Character Boards (if you have them). Keeping with that theme, the GM gets several large boss cards for major encounters. The artwork alone is worth it to show the players what they are up against.

Campaign outline for GM

Recently have become a huge campaign flowchart fan. The outline for A Garden in Hell is simple and I flipping love it! Not only does the provided  4 sheet outline provide you with a simple handy guide from ACT to ACT and the scenes in each ACT.  They also provide you with a sample key to keep track of if the players achieved the goal or failed a task in each scene! I can not say enough how I hope other RPG games will see this and follow similar outlines.

 

Final Thoughts.

This is a stand out box set. Not only is it an introduction to the FAITH system, it gives you the entire current ruleset in print format. You get 7-12 sessions worth of game content and a wonderful outline as a guide for running the campaign. I think it is a great box set. In my past review, I gave FAIT RPG a 17. This firmly convinces me that I gave it the right ranking. Likely with a successful Kickstarter, I can only see the score going up for Burning Games. I look forward to being able to bring you a deeper look at FAITH CORE

Until next time!