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Trophy Loom
by Stefan [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2024 19:50:39

A system-agnostic dark fantasy setting that's super-useful. It's a setting in itself, but is chock full of brief, evocative entries perfect for any GM to steal for use at their table. And if your table is running Trophy, so much the better. Read the full review here: https://stygian-muse.com/trophy-loom/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trophy Loom
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Public Access
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2024 20:53:37

Public Access is simply AMAZING. An analog horror mystery story game set in 2004, that plays on all the right levels of nostalgia. If you never had the opportunity to be 20something solving mysteries in the early 2000s, this is a great window into the weirdness of smalltown nowhere. And if you grew up in the time, there is an odd sense that in another reality these characters we become were actually not far off from who we might have been, or thought we were. Exploring Deep Lake from the safety of our table, there is something for everyone in this shared experience storytelling game. As a longtime OSR gamer who only discovered offerings from The Gauntlet like The Between and Public Access in the last couple years, I am 100% into this!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Public Access
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Brindlewood Bay (Kickstarter Edition)
by Chromie [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2024 12:30:11

I think the system itself is great, just enough rules to help a GM but not enough to get in the way of a fun time.

I only docked a star because it seems they released a PDF that's been compressed almost TOO much and I wish there was a highres and lowres version instead.

It's a shame to have such a beautiful package compressed so much it hurts the art quality. Please reconsider



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay (Kickstarter Edition)
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Trophy Dark
by Stefan [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2024 03:40:07

A fantastic game: super dark and gloomy. Read a longer review here: https://stygian-muse.com/book-of-the-week-trophy-dark/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trophy Dark
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The Between
by Harper [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2023 17:23:58

This is an intriguing game to read, for sure!

I haven’t played yet, so I’ll have to come back and update this review, but so far I have some very strong opinions after reading through the rules.

The Carved From Brindlewood system is a genuine innovation in TRPGs. Reading through each section, and discovering how each system fits in with the other systems, I begin to imagine how strange, how new, and how exciting this will be to play.

There is such strong support for narrative pacing, character development, and cinematic play in the way this game is structured that I’m guessing I’m going to really enjoy it at the table.

However… the way the book is laid out does not make it easy to reference. A lot of key concepts, referred to later in the book, that are hard to find earlier in the book. Lot’s of command-F going on.

Def worth checking out, but has it’s drawbacks so far.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
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Brindlewood Bay
by M A. B. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/12/2023 13:28:23

Fast and wonderful system. Very easy to learn for the players, who loved it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
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The Between
by Andy R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2023 13:10:50

I'm familiar with the rules from Brindlewood Bay and Public Access. On the surface this is "what if Penny Dreadful?" but there's plenty more going on. While the playbooks may be familiar, the mysteries aren't. It adds up to a fine narrative game with plenty of collaborative world building that uses the fun "piece the clues together to find an answer" play-to-find-out mechanic I very much enjoyed in BB and PA. Also has some excellent guiadance on making your own threats. Will be picking up some of the supplements later this evening I think.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
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Trophy Gold
by Andy R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2023 17:07:17

Intriguing. Cuts the mechanics right back, focuses on the roleplaying and the cool while still having the theme of dreadful people looking for treasure in the worst places possible. Can't wait to run it for my group.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trophy Gold
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Brindlewood Bay
by Talen B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2023 07:49:40

I ran a one shot of "dad overboard" for Brindleewood Bay, and it went absolutely swimmingly! The game mechanics were clear and easy to articulate, and the general premise was so easy for my players to latch onto that they had a blast roleplaying!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay
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Brindlewood Bay (Kickstarter Edition)
by Samantha [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2022 12:26:11

My favorite mystery game! Brindlewood Bay is an incredibly elegant system and a great introduction to Jason Cordova's emergent mystery mechanism. As a Keeper, I love how little prep is required and how the worldbuilding is collaborative. During a campaign, the mavens go through amazing character arcs that feel 100% natural. The mysteries are all full of rich details and witty cultural references. And the Dark Conspiracy simmering in the background adds just the right amount of creepy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Brindlewood Bay (Kickstarter Edition)
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Brindlewood Bay (Kickstarter Edition)
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/10/2022 13:14:50
Murder, they played - a Mephisto review

Brindlewood Bay

Brindlewood Bay is the name of a picturesque coastal town in Massachusetts that began as a whaling port and has evolved into a cozy town for tourists. Brindlewood Bay residents include a mystery book club of older ladies, the Murder Mavens. They are fans of the Gold Crown Mysteries series featuring super sleuth Amanda Delacourt. But the Mavens are not just passionate mystery fans who appreciate a good book; they also emulate their great role model and investigate as amateur detectives – with real success and to the chagrin of the local police force. And their cases are not just petty crimes, but mostly murder cases the Murder Mavens run into. And for a seemingly innocuous small town, Brindlewood Bay has a terrifying murder record – almost as if sinister forces are at play...

Brindlewood Bay is an unusual detective role-playing game that uses the Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) rules concepts. All characters are older, single ladies with a murderous hobby. The characters are defined by five traits, which are used in moves typical of PbtA. As an additional mechanism, rolls can be made easier or harder by rolling three dice instead of the usual two and using the two best or worst results. The moves are boiled down to the essentials: There is one move each for risky situations by day and by night, an investigation move, and the Cozy Move. The interesting concept is that hazards at night carry greater risks, while one standard move (fittingly called the Meddling Move) represents all types of investigative work. The Cozy Move is used to eliminate negative effects, conditions, in a cozy scene. Therefore, each character is also defined by her favored cozy activity. Furthermore, there are two special moves: the Gold Crown Mysteries Move generates a perfect success once per story by inventing a reference to one of Amanda Delacourt's adventures. And through the Occult Move, new supernatural moves can be developed.

In addition, each Maven is not only described by her background but chooses a unique Maven Move based on allusions to movie characters of the 80s/90s or well-known fictional detective characters. Eventually, the group has to select one of the two sets, but has a wide range of choices in both. For example, the Angus MacGyver move allows improvising something helpful with just three random items. In contrast, the Jane Marple move allows entering anywhere during the day and moving (and snooping) around undisturbed.

However, the most fascinating feature of Brindlewood Bay is the approach to the criminal cases: Each case provides a starting situation, clues and hints, and suspects – but no predetermined solution. Instead, the players must develop a solution with their evidence at the end of the case. Then a single move decides whether their solution is correct. The more evidence is collected and incorporated into the theory, the easier the move is. This approach allows the game master to improvise with the given information during the game. The reason for this mechanism is simple: this way, players can never get completely stuck because they fail to find a crucial clue or make some other mistake. And the solution to the case – whether correct or not – is the players' creative solution, which will probably often surprise the game master as well. With this approach, a case can be presented in 5-6 pages and played without much preparation.

But Brindlewood Bay has an additional twist: The fact that murder abounds in the small town is due to the activities of a cult, which the Mavens must unmask in the end. And even though its background refers to Greek mythology, there is a hint of Cthulhu drifting through Brindlewood Bay. In addition to concrete suggestions, the game master gets various ideas to shape this cult – and again, he should not prepare everything in advance but develop this central threat based on the player's interactions during the game. A mixture of Murder, She wrote and Call of Cthulhu as a role-playing game would already be an unusual idea. However, combined with the mechanism that the cases are not predefined and spiced up with many intriguing approaches that capture the genre and the flair of TV series, Brindlewood Bay is not only a surprising but, above all, extremely fascinating game. Even though the layout and illustrations are relatively simple, the role-playing game is designed with great attention to detail. The book guides the game master perfectly through rules and setting – up to a complete case series ready to start the game immediately. If the cozy-crime/cosmic-horror crossover appeals to you, Brindlewood Bay can be highly recommended as an original highlight regarding both setting and rules.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Trophy Gold
by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2022 15:50:25

A rules light, RPG system that embraces story game mechanics. This game is not designed with a simulationist bent, but instead allows the players as well as the game master to direct the fiction in new and interesting ways. On youtube you can watch many play throughs with the system if you have questions about the mechanics. i especially enjoy the random character creation system. every time i have used it the end result was a unique character with intersting combinarionsof skills and magical rituals. overall its fun, easy and has some great support, and is a great deal!



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trophy Gold
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Brindlewood Bay
by Chris K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2022 09:55:27

I love this game! I found out about it too late to support the KickStarter, but I grabbed the PDF because i clukdnt wait. Just got done running my first campaign last night and we had a blast! It can be played as a one shot but i think it lends itself to at least sloghtly longer campaigns best because in a one shot you dont get to use moves like the Cozy Move. But I will absolutely be buying the physical copies once I can, and this is a game I will keep in rotation for a long time!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Between: Season 2
by Daniel Q. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2022 17:04:29

All great additions to the Between. We just wrapped up David Morrison's the St. Petersburg Mirror. The relic mirror is now in the hands of our Mother character and Madam Sorokin is now an allied side character of immense psychic power. Theodora better watch out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between: Season 2
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The Between
by Sarah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2022 12:22:38

The Between is easily my favorite game of the last year. It’s laser-focused. It’s a game that knows intimately what it is, and delivers on its every promise: satisfying investigative play, and dark, dramatic stories about morally complex characters in Victorian London. Between the playbooks and the unscene, there is theme and atmosphere here in spades.

The Between’s emergent mystery resolution system–shared by the equally fantastic Brindlewood Bay–allows for almost endless replayability. I’ve run and played the recommended campaign starter threat, The St. James Street Ghost, a handful of times now, with radically different investigations and solutions each time. I’d gladly run and play it many times more (although with the breadth of new official content coming out for this game, alongside the thriving player-driven content community around it, I won’t have to).

The way threats are presented packs a real punch: each threat sheet provides a solid base for improvisational, collaborative play, with everything you need to adapt to whichever direction the players decide to take the investigation. The GM tools codified throughout the game’s design will actively make you a better GM. I can’t recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Between
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