Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tommy's Take on Blitzkrieg, Bonus Cards and Bookbinder

BLITZKRIEG LONDON

Blitzkrieg London is a new adventure for ICONS by Vigilance Press, set in their World War II setting.

It is designed for people playing Vigilance Force, The Crown Guard or (possibly) The People's Revolution but as long as your PCs are anyone opposed to the Axis powers and operating in Europe, it shouldn't be too problematic to figure it out.

The Eugenics Brigade are about to launch a desperation assault on allied leaders, who are finalizing plans for D-Day, and the PCs are in London providing extra security.

It isn't a terribly complicated adventure, but it is very well organized, and a good bit of two-fisted fun. Over the course of the attack, the heroes will have the opportunity to fight Nazis on land, sea and air, as well as intervene in a superhero misunderstanding between the Crown Guard member Swordfish and a Captain America stand-in (who acts more like the USAGent).

I applaud them for providing tips on scaling every encounter, as well as tossing in extra "mini-challenges" to spice each encounter up. The adventure is only 17 pages (taking away the cover and OGL information), but is very well organized, making it rather user friendly. Unlike the Battlescenes released recently, however, there is little use if you're not wanting to play in WWII, and you will need at least the Eugenics Brigade PDF to get the most use out of this.

Great value for the price, as always.

OSR BONUS CARDS: Fantasy Deck #1

I...could see these not going over real well.

The OSR Bonus Cards are a deck of cards designed for D&D or any retroclone, designed to be doled out to the players and allow them to gain access to small bonuses. I've seen some old school purists go so far as to say that giving players stuff like that actually means the games are no longer even RPGs at that point...that being said, I think they're kinda cool.

The cards are mapped to the standard playing card decks, with Jokers being wildcards. Clubs belong to Fighters, Diamonds to Thieves, Hearts to Clerics and Spades to Magic-Users.

Fighter benefits include an extra attack, an automatic hit or an automatic parry.

Thieves can score an auto success on a thieving skill roll, double damage on a backstab and various bonuses to thieving skill rolls.

Clerics can get an auto success on turning the undead, a free Detect Good/Evil or doubling the range and duration of a spell.

Magic Users can memorize a bonus spell, an auto success on an Intelligence check or a free Detect Magic.

They're a nice product for under $2 and not art intensive, so it won't be a strain to print them out...plus, being mapped to a standard deck of playing cards, you don't even need to print them if you don't want to. Just draw the cards and check the chart.

Great stuff from Small Niche Games once more, but I'm not a grognard.

OPERATION: BOOKBINDER

The third Battlescenes offering from Vigilance Press is a departure from the first two, featuring the PCs versus your choice between Pearl Harbor December or giant Japanese robots.


It's a straight forward set-up, with the PCs being part of an operation to lure the Japanese into a trap...and, as mentioned, you either get PCs vs Pearl Harbor December or a giant robot and soldiers in power suits.

This is probably closer to what Vigilance Press intended with the Battlescenes, as it really is just a big combat scene (on an aircraft carrier in this case), but it does suffer compared to the detail of the previous two (especially when the first one could be easily transplanted outside of World War II).

Still a cool purchase, especially for the giant robot stats and the vehicles included in the PPDF.