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Longshot City
by Chuck [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2024 23:55:05

Takes me back to fond memories of V&V, where you get into the action quickly, craft a story to go with your rolls, and things resolve quickly. Except for this being based on TROIKA, it's even quicker to resolve and is even easier to GM.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Longshot City
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The Hand of God
by Bob V. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2024 04:05:16

Recently, I soloed my way through The Hand of God (68 pages). It is for Troika! The RPG (120 pages). For the solo engine, I used a yes/maybe/no oracle and The Dungeon Oracle (Bimler). I used the same six characters that went through the adventure that is in the Troika rulebook. So, this was their second adventure. The adventure started when the PCs were plucked from their dreams and placed in a high nest at the top of a mountain (kind of). The PCs went down between the pieces of wood. They did not attract the attention of THOG (they passed the sneak roll test).

Their first encounter was with Prayer Worms. The PCs killed them. The next encounter was with Iblly the Dolm. The PCs had a nice conversation with him. This was followed by a troll on a bridge. They were able to get past him with persuasion. Now they were at a spire. The PC Grunt attempted to climb the outside stairs, but he took fire bolt damage from the top of the spire. So, the PCs entered the spire from the front door one at a time. When Grunt got to the middle of the main room he triggered a magical trap. He fell through the floor down into a pool several levels lower. He tried to fight the Eel king, but he died. At this point, Grunt woke up from his sleep. He saw that his friends were still sleeping. He did not disturb them. The PCs were still on the same level of the spire when they encountered a Notule. PC Kune tried to fight it. The nasty thing attached itself to Kune’s face. Jack the PC shoved Kune a few times and then he and the Notule fell down into the pool below. The Eel King killed them too. This awakened Kune. He and Grunt talked about The Dream. The four other PCs moved on to some other rooms. They acquired dice, cards, thread, and gold leaf buttons. In another room they found a key, but it triggered another Notule attack. This time they killed it. The PCs could have continued to explore this tower, but they exited the structure.

They continued to explore and soon found a town. In this town Felicia’s silver rapier was stolen and she did not even notice. When they found a witch, they had a conversation with her. Next, they travelled to the forest. When they saw bandits up ahead setting up an ambush, they circled around to avoid them. Further into the woods, they saw traps and avoided them. The next two witches they encountered attacked the PCs. The PCs Felicia and Jack defeated them in magic duels. In a swamp they encountered The Giant Spider Ur-God. It wanted to do a trade, so they traded away a handful of gold leaf buttons for a poison antidote. After this they found a gate. The next encounter is a ship on the edge of a steep drop-off. It is occupied, but it is an adventure for another day.

Give this fun adventure a try! :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Hand of God
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Swyvers Quickstart
by Chad [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2024 12:06:25

It's crazy that Melsonian is offering this for a buck - the game is already in a playable state, and pretty well formatted, etc - they could have just as well sold a 'teaser' with discount on the final product and I would have been happy with it.

First off. this book was a blast to read, I really enjoyed the humor and rules presentation, like it is explained in character, but not too over done. Second, and this is the best bit, is all the tables! I have to be honest and say I probably wouldn't ever run this game with it's ruleset, I tend to stick to Scarlet Heroes when solo-ing or Troika/DCC/D&D 5e when playing with friends.

Before reading, I was most interested the city generation tables to play with other systems, and am definitely going to nick a lot from this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Swyvers Quickstart
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Swyvers Quickstart
by Daniel [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2024 08:49:31

Full disclosure - I am a fan of almost everything and anything Melsonia touches and they kindly sent me a free preview for hanging out in their Discord. Beyond that, I'm not affiliated with them.

Please trust me here though that, from my (almost totally unbiased) perspective, I am incredibly excited for this game - as evidenced by me buying it again here even though I already own a preview.

The setting is engaging, the magic system is brilliant, and, best of all, the book is well written - like an actual book and not just using plain "rules-manual" vocab. Several genuine laughs escaped me when reading the rules in this, and that is rare to come by with any RPG book.

So yeah, Swyvers; this is very much one to watch. My only comment is that it is a little crunchier than I'm used to, and packed FULL of tables, so maybe a boxset (or bookmarked PDF) in the future would be appreciated. That, alongside a play/combat example and comprehensive price sheets maybe. Yet saying that, I've never seen a physical copy so maybe I'll change my mind when I can thumb through it with my greasy fingiees proper-like.

But to restate; this is very much one to keep an eye on if you like grotty, gritty, games - because the Blinking Larry will CERTAINLY keep an eye on it otherwise...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Swyvers Quickstart
by Zachary [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2024 17:40:58
TL;DR It's a fun and unique setting I don't already own, and it's written with a strange uniqueness that instantly enthralled me. Can't wait to slide this one onto my shelf.

Swyvers is a game that is written like a Swyver is teaching you his trade. It will almost certainly be the game gets my players to do character voices, and it has some of the most unique mechanics I've used in a tabletop game.

The magic is interesting, mysterious and way deeper than the player thinks it is, you kind of get to reveal the layers to the magic system as time goes on, and it just kinda makes it all FEEL more mystical, unknown, and interesting.

I love that Skill checks are Roll under so the player always knows what they are aiming for, but the number of DICE you roll is determined by the GM, this is great because it lets the GM have a lot more RANGE between difficulties. Fewer increments that mean more are easier for me to parse, and the player always knows their targets. This also has a side effect of making skill checks physically feel more challenging as the higher number of dice clatters around in your hands.

It also generates a world for you! And these kinds of games are my favorite. It gives it all more of a boardgame like structure to me, and lightens the load for any "writing" I might have to do. The world is also CHARMING and the characters give it meaning. I thought it was just a little passing joke when it mentioned "The town has a real name but the players don't know it" and when you generate the smoke, you give you town a real name.

It does a very great job of building the world around the perspective of an illiterate violent criminal. Swyvers is going to be a CLASSIC I recommend to anyone who wants a game where you play as the bad guys.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Swyvers Quickstart
by Glenn [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2024 04:13:54

Very thematic system, it just oozes flavour and does a few interesting things (magic as blackjack etc). Can't wait to sink my teeth into the full release.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Swyvers Quickstart
by Hal [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2024 10:08:56

If a PDF could be a piece of art, this one would be a Victorian painting…that was stolen, of course. Full of some of the most flavorful writing I’ve ever read in an RPG and tons of tables that let players organically interact with a campaign’s criminal underworld, lending a sense of verisimilitude to any tabletop - whether using the clear and concise Swyvers ruleset or any other. Can’t wait for the full physical release.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Swyvers Quickstart
by Radosav [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2024 14:14:59

What a joyride this was. I got an email with a drawing of some pigs and of course I clicked it. The link took me to a very weird and quite inexpensive RPG. I would be somewhat suspicious, but those were pigs I clicked, so I trusted it implicitly and bought the thing without even checking the preview. And wow, this looks like tons of fun.

You know when you read stories about old London and our hero, or their weaker companion, ends up in an alleyway surrounded by disgusting ugly caricatures who should be beaten up by the hero? Here, you get to play those caricatures, ideally without getting beaten up that often.

Characters and RPG in general feel a bit like Warhammer frpg, but in a completely urban setting and you don't play anything remotely close to a hero. It also has a bit of that OSR mindset "simple rules, avoid rolling the dice". Characters have only physical stats, which is excellent for all of us smart and pretty people who can now use our amazing intelligence and charm without any dice rolls ruining that. Most of the book is tables. Tons and tons of random tables.

While I'm usually not a fan of random tables designed to make you laugh while reading through them, these actually work. Other "funny" tables are full of boring choices that are only here so it makes you laugh because you read the previous row, but don't work by themselves. But in these tables, most of the results do work without disappointing you. They could confuse you, shock you, even enrage you, but they will not disappoint you.

As I said, you play the lowlife scum obviously inspired by Warhammer's rat catchers, beggars or charcoal burners, but you don't advance to a hero that saves the world. You really don't save anyone. You steal, kill, maim and cheat to get money and go party. Partying raises your social status, but is also a set of tables that tell a story of how you got drunk as hell and ended up in trouble, which includes fines, jailtime, debts and sometimes even an affair with a noble.

Most games don't do "magic is rare and scary" right. This one does. Magic is hard to get, random, disgusting and VERY dangerous, I love it.

This is a preview version that doesn't have an intro adventure yet, but the game provides many tables to generate your own little places, jobs and situations. All in all, highly recommended if you can find a group of lowlifes depraved enough to play this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Fever Swamp
by Christopher [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2023 16:59:42

Fever Swamp has some interesting ideas, but it is reality an art project disguised as a functional game supplement. It has the appearance of a hex crawl, but closer examination reveals it's exceptionally thin on the ground. All but two or three hexes are nothing more than encounters. The few hexes that are more are either sketches waiting to be filled in by a competent GM who doesn't value his own time, or rely on zany energy to carry them, rather than sensible design.

The tables and "classes" have some originality, but I would be severely cautious about adding them as more than NPCs.

The bestiary has one or two good entries, but like the rest of the piece a lot to appear as more than it is. The creepy, evocative art is revealed to be rather empty of sensible mechanics or through-lines to bring it home.

Fever Swamp is short. I don't recommend it as more than an art book or to steal one or two elements for a better setting. Get it at 6 dollars if you must, not 16. I had read reviews and watched Youtube flip-throughs before buying, but was still surprised at the brevity other deficits. It's a book that does a lot to appear as more than it is.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fever Swamp
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Troika! The Science Fantasy RPG
by Bob V. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2023 20:59:49

Spoilers - You have been warned . . .For the past few days, I have soloed my way through the adventure that is included in Troika! Numinous Edition (120 pages, at DriveThruRPG). I used the six characters in Active Time Battle!!! (8 pages, free/pay what you want at the same place). The adventure starts at the front desk of The Blancmange & Thistle. They are told that they can have the last room that is available. It is on the eighth floor which is also the location of a big party. After the PCs pay, they are invited to that party. In the lift they try to converse with the lift attendant, but that is a one-way conversation. On the second floor, The Old Lady enters the lift. She asks lots of questions. The PCs answer her questions and get awarded with a bonbon apiece.

On the second floor, The Gas Form enters the lift. The PCs can’t breathe, so they get out on that floor. They take the stairs up (no more elevator trips for them). They find the merchant on the third floor and they sell their bonbons for coins. On the fourth floor the PCs encounter a woman and her tigers. The PCs do not bother the tigers. On the fifth floor, they notice that their group has increased to seven. He is the Mysterious Friend. Further down the hall they are attacked by Spiteful Owls. The PC mechanic has a drone which does take damage. The PCs kill three of the owls and the others fly out the broken windows. For loot, the PCs collect owl feathers. On the sixth floor stairs, they encounter puddles of Demon Seawater. Two of the PCs can’t get past the puddles and the PC Android attacks the PC named Kunai. The wounded Kunai follows the advice of his ancestral totem. This enables him to bring back the Android to his senses. Kunai makes sure everyone gets past the puddles and he drags them if he has to.

On level seven, they encounter The Slug Monarch and his Heralds. The PCs pay the toll with owl feathers. In the hallway they see two Mysterious Strangers, but the PCs do not interfere with what is going on. They climb some more stairs and do not take The Alien Maw option. Instead, they make attempts to jump from step to step to avoid falling down into the Wide Carnivorous Sky. The PC Felicia and the android fail the attempt and fall. On the top step, the rest of the PCs find a sleeping woman and their two friends who had fallen. Next to the woman is a spellbook (missing some pages). The PCs quietly take the spellbook and continue on. This puts them in The Dream World of Madame Belloza, but this is an adventure for another day.

Give this fun system and adventure a try!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Troika! The Science Fantasy RPG
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Slate & Chalcedony
by PETER O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2023 19:06:17

Another triumph from Daniel Sell! If you always thought Troika was full of glee and mirth, get your galoshes on, this one gets grotty. And not just for Troika, this would be a blast to run in almost any system I can think of.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slate & Chalcedony
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Slate & Chalcedony
by Daniel H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2023 04:28:30

Reading Daniel Sell's work always has a miraculous way of making the reader feel inspired, and Slate and Chalcedony is no exception. Andrew Walter's art is sublime too, as always and, being a Melsonia product, the setting and design aspects are on point also.

Lurid, crawling, and pleasingly impure, this adventure is a joy. I am surprised the pdf costs so little; but this only gives you less of an excuse not to buy it.

Thank you all for making this!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Troika! The Science Fantasy RPG
by Samuel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2023 04:00:59

I love the writing in the book, the eclectic artistry, the subtle colors of the pages, the system, the simplicity, the overall vibe; and for the physical copy I have, the size of the book, the textuers, the way it smells, etc. Troika! stands out to me amonst RPGs I have looked into. It is intentionally vague and does not define every skill the built-in backgrounds grant -- at every turn it tries to demonstrate its philosophy of getting out of your way.

I've run a number of Troika! sessions, and my players like the generative, imaginative space that the game tries to inhabit.

This system is easy to run, has a purpose, and accomplishes its purpose effectively. It's a work of art and it is functional.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Troika! The Science Fantasy RPG
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Fever Swamp
by Darren C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2022 17:43:01

This is a fantastic supplement that leaves plenty of room for development and is fertile ground for building things out as you like them. Gearing's humor cuts through the bog like a sharp breath of fresh air. I wrote more thoughts on this one here: https://sky-spire.bearblog.dev/review-19-fever-swamp/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fever Swamp
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Troika! The Science Fantasy RPG
by Brian E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2022 14:10:06

I ran the adventure in the book for a group a few weeks ago. None of us had played Troika! before. It was a fun very short whimsical adventure and gave a good feel for the kind of game you might run with Troika! We all had fun. If you run it you may want to think about fleshing out what happens if the players pick up some of the plot hooks at the end. I'd like to play more Troika! It's a good change of pace. I enjoy the character backgrounds. They are all evocative and let your imagination fill in the world building. It could be fun for a group to figure out more about each of the backgrounds and co-create the setting. I'd like to learn more about other peoples' homebrew Troika! games to see what they do with the system and setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Troika! The Science Fantasy RPG
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