Robin D. Laws Archive

  • Ashen Stars (GUMSHOE) This massive sourcebook clocks in at 304 massive pages, 1 page cover (though the front cover of the print edition is its separate pdf), 1 page editorial, 3 pages of ToC, 1 page blank, leaving us with no less than 298 pages of raw content – so let’s fire up the engines, shall we? Yes, we shall!   This was moved forward in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   First of all, what *is* Ashen Stars? The unimaginative and not really helpful reply would be that it represents a variant of the brilliant GUMSHOE-rules-system for a Scifi-context. Since I already have covered plentiful GUMSHOE-systems in […]

    Ashen Stars (GUMSHOE)

    Ashen Stars (GUMSHOE) This massive sourcebook clocks in at 304 massive pages, 1 page cover (though the front cover of the print edition is its separate pdf), 1 page editorial, 3 pages of ToC, 1 page blank, leaving us with no less than 298 pages of raw content – so let’s fire up the engines, shall we? Yes, we shall!   This was moved forward in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.   First of all, what *is* Ashen Stars? The unimaginative and not really helpful reply would be that it represents a variant of the brilliant GUMSHOE-rules-system for a Scifi-context. Since I already have covered plentiful GUMSHOE-systems in […]

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  • The Strangling Sea (13th Age) This module for 13th Age clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page blank inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 34 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved ahead in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a critical, honest review.   We begin this module with a briefing and a selection of the icon patron for the PCs – and, let me state this from the beginning, this section is very detailed: Each of the patron icons and also, each […]

    The Strangling Sea (13th Age)

    The Strangling Sea (13th Age) This module for 13th Age clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page blank inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 34 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved ahead in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a critical, honest review.   We begin this module with a briefing and a selection of the icon patron for the PCs – and, let me state this from the beginning, this section is very detailed: Each of the patron icons and also, each […]

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  • Fear Itself (GUMSHOE) Fear Itself clocks in at 91 pages, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, leaving us with 86 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This book was moved forward on my review-queue due to me receiving a physical copy in exchange for an unbiased and critical review.   We begin this variant of the GUMSHOE system with a disclaimer that kind of makes me sad for its necessity: Fear Itself is, more so than ToC, Esoterrorists or Night’s Black Agents a hardcore horror-game. PCs will die. Uncomfortable topics will be mentioned and explored. The fact that players and GMs buying a horror game have to be notified that […]

    Fear Itself (GUMSHOE)

    Fear Itself (GUMSHOE) Fear Itself clocks in at 91 pages, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, leaving us with 86 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This book was moved forward on my review-queue due to me receiving a physical copy in exchange for an unbiased and critical review.   We begin this variant of the GUMSHOE system with a disclaimer that kind of makes me sad for its necessity: Fear Itself is, more so than ToC, Esoterrorists or Night’s Black Agents a hardcore horror-game. PCs will die. Uncomfortable topics will be mentioned and explored. The fact that players and GMs buying a horror game have to be notified that […]

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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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  • 13 True Ways (13th Age) Disclaimer: I received the hardcover of this book for the purposes of an unbiased, critical review, which I hereby provide. This review is based on the 256-page hardcover and not on the pdf –hence, I can’t judge electronic qualities etc. The material herein underwent playtsting for the purposes of this review.   13 True Ways, much like the 13th Age Core-rule-book, is a combination of crunch-book and setting material, though this one is focused slightly more on the setting aspect. I have already discussed in length and depth my stance on just about all rules-decisions of 13th Age in my review of the core book, so this review will NOT focus on those; Instead, I […]

    13 True Ways (13th Age)

    13 True Ways (13th Age) Disclaimer: I received the hardcover of this book for the purposes of an unbiased, critical review, which I hereby provide. This review is based on the 256-page hardcover and not on the pdf –hence, I can’t judge electronic qualities etc. The material herein underwent playtsting for the purposes of this review.   13 True Ways, much like the 13th Age Core-rule-book, is a combination of crunch-book and setting material, though this one is focused slightly more on the setting aspect. I have already discussed in length and depth my stance on just about all rules-decisions of 13th Age in my review of the core book, so this review will NOT focus on those; Instead, I […]

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