Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan Archive

  • The Dracula Dossier: Director’s Handbook This massive hardcover clocks in at 372 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial/backer-lists, 4 pages detailed ToC, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 362 (!!!) pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a critical, unbiased review.   So, what is this book? Well, first of all, this is the companion tome to the Dracula Unredacted-tome, which is perhaps the most detailed, massive handout ever crafted for a roleplaying game. I’d like to urge you to read my review […]

    The Dracula Dossier: Director’s Handbook

    The Dracula Dossier: Director’s Handbook This massive hardcover clocks in at 372 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial/backer-lists, 4 pages detailed ToC, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 362 (!!!) pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a critical, unbiased review.   So, what is this book? Well, first of all, this is the companion tome to the Dracula Unredacted-tome, which is perhaps the most detailed, massive handout ever crafted for a roleplaying game. I’d like to urge you to read my review […]

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  • Review/Miscellaneous Musings: The Dracula Dossier – Dracula Unredacted (System-neutral/GUMSHOE) This massive hardcover clocks in at 476 pages (489 in pdf form, with cover etc. being counted among the pages), so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   In a nut-shell, this is a twist of the original Dracula-novel as penned by Bram Stoker, with annotations. “I don’t need to read that, I know Dracula’s story already!” – I can see this impulse in at least some readers out there. You’d be wrong, for the text actually has been expanded by roughly 1/5 – 1/4 of its size, with […]

    Review/Miscellaneous Musings: The Dracula Dossier – Dracula Unredacted (System-neutral/GUMSHOE)

    Review/Miscellaneous Musings: The Dracula Dossier – Dracula Unredacted (System-neutral/GUMSHOE) This massive hardcover clocks in at 476 pages (489 in pdf form, with cover etc. being counted among the pages), so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   In a nut-shell, this is a twist of the original Dracula-novel as penned by Bram Stoker, with annotations. “I don’t need to read that, I know Dracula’s story already!” – I can see this impulse in at least some readers out there. You’d be wrong, for the text actually has been expanded by roughly 1/5 – 1/4 of its size, with […]

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  • Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) This massive mega-adventure clocks in at 364 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 7 pages EXTREMELY detailed ToC, 3 pages index (useful), 1 page magic item index (even more useful), 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 347 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy. While we haven’t yet finished this massive monster, quite a bit of playtesting went into this review.   We begin this book with an interesting explanation – while […]

    Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age)

    Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) This massive mega-adventure clocks in at 364 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 7 pages EXTREMELY detailed ToC, 3 pages index (useful), 1 page magic item index (even more useful), 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 347 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy. While we haven’t yet finished this massive monster, quite a bit of playtesting went into this review.   We begin this book with an interesting explanation – while […]

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  • Night’s Black Agents: Double Tap (GUMSHOE) This massive expansion book for Night’s Black Agents clocks in at 134 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 3 pages of ToC, leaving us with 123 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up forward in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for an honest and critical review.   All right, so, if you recall my original review of Night’s black Agents, you’ll recall that I have received said book as a gift from a friend of mine and how much I loved it – however, there always remained one particular observation that […]

    Night’s Black Agents: Double Tap (GUMSHOE)

    Night’s Black Agents: Double Tap (GUMSHOE) This massive expansion book for Night’s Black Agents clocks in at 134 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 3 pages of ToC, leaving us with 123 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This review was moved up forward in my reviewing queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for an honest and critical review.   All right, so, if you recall my original review of Night’s black Agents, you’ll recall that I have received said book as a gift from a friend of mine and how much I loved it – however, there always remained one particular observation that […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Children of the Icons This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The most common (and imho boring) unique thing imaginable – you’re a child of an icon! Congrats! Bet you’ve never seen that one before, right? Sorry, but when the icons themselves are basically archetypes, being kin to one is an archetype of its own. The fluff-only write-ups of the respective icon-parentages are pretty solid, with different pieces of advice each: A child of the archmage may be grow in a vat or a living seal of an elemental pact…or he may have […]

    13th Age Monthly: Children of the Icons (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Children of the Icons This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The most common (and imho boring) unique thing imaginable – you’re a child of an icon! Congrats! Bet you’ve never seen that one before, right? Sorry, but when the icons themselves are basically archetypes, being kin to one is an archetype of its own. The fluff-only write-ups of the respective icon-parentages are pretty solid, with different pieces of advice each: A child of the archmage may be grow in a vat or a living seal of an elemental pact…or he may have […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Temples of the Frog Folk This installment in 13th Age’s monthly series of supplemental pdfs clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf portrays basically an ecology on frog folk – but why did no one write about them? Well, there is this odd phenomenon – all who write about the frog folk seem to experience unpleasant accidents…and 13 reasons for the paranoia exhibited by and surrounding the frog folk are given: For example, what if ALL gods hate the frog folk, as they are a cosmic mishap? Or what if their skulls contain the fables toadstones?   […]

    13th Age Monthly: Temples of the Frog Folk (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Temples of the Frog Folk This installment in 13th Age’s monthly series of supplemental pdfs clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf portrays basically an ecology on frog folk – but why did no one write about them? Well, there is this odd phenomenon – all who write about the frog folk seem to experience unpleasant accidents…and 13 reasons for the paranoia exhibited by and surrounding the frog folk are given: For example, what if ALL gods hate the frog folk, as they are a cosmic mishap? Or what if their skulls contain the fables toadstones?   […]

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  • The Esoterrorists 2nd Edition (GUMSHOE) The Esoterrorists clocks in at 161 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 3 pages of ToC, leaving 155 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I received a print copy of this book for the purpose of providing a critical and unbiased review. This book was moved up in my review-queue due to this fact.   The Esoterrorists is the game that originally introduced the GUMSHOE-engine, which has since then been used in quite an intriguing array of systems that provide some overlap and options to combine them.   The system you’re probably most likely to know the engine from would be “Trail of Cthulhu,” Pelgrane Press’ investigative Cthulhu-horror game […]

    The Esoterrorists 2nd Edition (GUMSHOE)

    The Esoterrorists 2nd Edition (GUMSHOE) The Esoterrorists clocks in at 161 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 3 pages of ToC, leaving 155 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   I received a print copy of this book for the purpose of providing a critical and unbiased review. This book was moved up in my review-queue due to this fact.   The Esoterrorists is the game that originally introduced the GUMSHOE-engine, which has since then been used in quite an intriguing array of systems that provide some overlap and options to combine them.   The system you’re probably most likely to know the engine from would be “Trail of Cthulhu,” Pelgrane Press’ investigative Cthulhu-horror game […]

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  • The Book of Loot (13th Age) This book clocks in at 72 pages. I received this book in print for the purpose of an unbiased, critical review and it thus was moved up in my reviewing queue. Even if you are not interested in 13th Age, please read this review. Finally: I do not own the pdf version of this book, so I can’t comment on it.   All right, so if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’ll know what my introductory spiel will be here: If there is one thing I loathe about d20-based systems, it would be that they wrecked magic. What do I mean by this? The massive rules-interaction possibilities and mathematical crafting rules […]

    The Book of Loot (13th Age)

    The Book of Loot (13th Age) This book clocks in at 72 pages. I received this book in print for the purpose of an unbiased, critical review and it thus was moved up in my reviewing queue. Even if you are not interested in 13th Age, please read this review. Finally: I do not own the pdf version of this book, so I can’t comment on it.   All right, so if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’ll know what my introductory spiel will be here: If there is one thing I loathe about d20-based systems, it would be that they wrecked magic. What do I mean by this? The massive rules-interaction possibilities and mathematical crafting rules […]

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