Monday, 19 November 2018

The Nereid Trilogy Supplement

The Nereid Trilogy is an 84 page supplement for the WOIN N.E.W. role-playing game by EN Publishing and was written by Jacob Rodgers. It is written for intrepid adventurers of grades 5-8.
It starts with a brief outline of the various factions found in the Nereid starsector followed by detailed stats for the 23 planetary systems found within the Nereid starsector. Adventure seeds are provided for each planetary system for GM's and players who want to expand on the scenarios provided.
The Last Survivor is the first scenario in the trilogy and involves the PCs exploring a space ship, the merchant vessel S.S. Selkirk, that is on a crash course with Orchid Station, where the PCs are initially based. The ship does not respond to communications attempts. Once the PCs board the ship, they discover it has been taken over by an alien lifeform. The heroes might mistake the single alien for group of aliens. Eventually, they should learn enough to understand that the alien means no harm, but that the crew of the ship had to evacuate. Then the heroes will need to save the crew and battle a ruthless Ogryn slaver called Bauk in a dangerous asteroid field before he captures the stranded crew members.
The Harvester Moon is a direct sequel and sees the PCs tasked with discovering what Bauk's plot is for needing so many slaves. The Harvester Moon is the base of his operations, a moon with an unusual orbit that passes in and out of the Vortex, a cloud of energy that plays havoc with communications and sensor systems. The PCs could go undercover to discover the warlord's plans or sneak in stealthily. Once they've freed themselves from the Harvester Moon, the heroes need to stay alive long enough to signal the UFP or escape their captors.
The Virosa Accord is the final part of the trilogy. The heroes will be invited to be part of the UFP First Contact team to meet the Virosa aliens officially. They'll have the chance to interact with the leads of the mission, as each tries to convince the heroes to their often divergent viewpoints. There are divided factions on both sides. This is a more cerebral adventure to the ones that have preceded it.
I have mentioned the UFP in my descriptions, purely because they are the primary star-force of my own campaign. In the supplement, they are called the Union but in your setting they could be the Alliance, the Confederation, the Empire or whatever name you have for them. It would be useful but isn't strictly necessary if your party of heroes contains at least one psionicist, preferably a telepath.
I very much want to run this trilogy as part of my The Ace of Spades Campaign. In the introduction, it states, "Once you've placed the Nereid Sector into space then all we need do in order to introduce the adventures is to have the crew of a small ship be in the sector and willing to pick up odd jobs. The plots of the Nereid Trilogy assume that the characters are the sorts who will take up honest work and report more or less accurate information back to the authorities, who might assist them."
That perfectly describes Kimberley and her crew. Plus, with having the Venetian telepath, Danica, as part of their crew, that will make the scenario go a lot more smoothly in their interactions with the alien Virosa.
Amazon UK have The Nereid Trilogy on sale for £10.99 or you can download a PDF version of it from DriveThruRPG for £6.22. Clearly, I am a big fan of this scenario set but whether you think so too is a matter of personal preference. I am delighted that the WOIN games are getting so much support in terms of new supplements and scenarios.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Dark Decade: From Dust to Dawn Supplement

Welcome to the Dark Decade.
The 1980s were a dark time, with the shadow of nuclear annihilation, and the constant give and take of the Cold War, Central American Guerrilla Uprisings, corporate greed and the rise of MTV. There is, however, another danger, more evasive, but more immediate. There is a dark and supernatural subculture that lives parallel to our own, a world of vampires, ghouls, monsters, mad scientists and demons. Only the heroes—using their divinely inspired, sorcerous, or technological abilities—can keep these hidden, but deadly, forces of evil at bay. This adventure takes place in 1980s New York City, and enmeshes the players deeply into the modern horror genre as vampires and worse prey on the populace.
Includes new Dhampir and Werewolf heritages along with the Vampire Slayer, Demonologist, Exorcist, Guardian, and Sorcerer careers. 
The adventure From Dust to Dawn takes the characters from the streets of New York into a dark section of the New York Underground, a hidden corner of the world away from prying eyes, as they track down a dangerous new drug that transforms the youth of today into psychotic killers.
Requires the use of a What's OLD is NEW core rulebook.

This is the second of EN Publishing's alternative world campaign settings (the first being Xenomorphs) and this is set in the contemporary period of New York in the 1980's, so the N.O.W. rulebook will prove especially useful to run it. This setting is very similar to the ones found in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Being Human and The Vampire Diaries, where supernatural creatures like ghouls, vampires, werewolves and zombies exist but the vast majority of humanity are unaware of them. Only a small select few know the truth, and these include the player characters of this setting.
This 44 page supplement was written by Russ Morrissey, Osvaldo Oyola and Darren Pearce.  After the introduction, we get two new heritages (the Dhampir and the Werewolf), new careers (Demonologist, Exorcist, Guardian, Sorcerer and Vampire Slayer), rules on Sorcery in this setting, new items of equipment and a look at some of the key locations in New York as they were in the 1980's. This is followed by five short adventure ideas for the GM to expand upon. Next up is a bestiary of monsters and other opponents including stats for the three major villainous NPCs. Note that any one of these has the potential to be a total party killer, so if the heroes are to take them on, they should be well prepared. The chief villain, a vampire known as The Vampire Prime is rank 12d6, whereas the heroes all start at rank 5d6!
The main meat of this book is a long scenario called From Dust to Dawn, which takes the characters from the streets of New York into a dark section of the New York Underground, a hidden corner of the world away from prying eyes, as they track down a dangerous new drug that transforms the youth of the day into psychotic killers. The Dust, or Fang Powder as some of the pushers call it, is a powerful new narcotic that enhances the body, sharpens the senses, and drives the bloodlust of young people through the roof. Dust is made by killing vampires, either with direct sunlight or UV lamps. Written in three Acts, it runs to 14 pages and is an excellent adventure.
Finally, the supplement is rounded off with five pre-generated player characters for you to use if you don't want to design your own. My favourite out of these is Diana Dubois, a martial artist and nun who thinks she is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc.
Given my love of all things undead, this is a supplement I have been looking forward to getting my hands on ever since it was first announced. I would very much love to run a campaign in this setting, either with the five pre-generated characters or a team of my own. My character of Vampifan from my ATZ:FFO campaigns would fit in perfectly. So too, would Vampirella, if the party wanted some high powered help to take out The Vampire Prime. All in all, this is one of my favourite WOIN supplements. You can purchase the soft-backed book of it from Amazon UK for £8.99. See here - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Decade-Dust-Russ-Morrissey/dp/1728767326/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542017608&sr=1-4&keywords=woin+rpg

Monday, 5 November 2018

N.E.W. Universal Upgrades

This is a review of the N.E.W. Universal Upgrades supplement which gives advanced character options. This is a collection of articles taken from the EONS website, the official magazine for the WOIN role-playing systems. Here is a list of its contents -
New Upgrades for Androids Over 20 upgrade exploits for android player characters. I found this article incredibly useful when I was creating the stats for Celeste. It is one of the best articles in the book.
Solurials Plant based parasitic aliens.
Drahzik Ferocious galactic man-hunters. These are very similar to the Predator aliens.
Houseki Ponderous crystalline beings.
Pajak Greedy insectoid thieves and bandits.
Jamila Beautiful humanoids who exude strong pheromones.
Zetan Phased beings who move at incredible speeds.
Kryte Crystalline psionic barbarians.
Clones Genetically engineered humans grown in tanks.
Belters Men and women from asteroids and low gravity planets.
Jovians Sturdy, serious people from high gravity planets.
Warped Crazed psychic humans from near black holes.
New Universal Exploits Nearly 30 new exploits for all WOIN genres. Another extremely useful article. All of these new exploits appear in the N.O.W. rulebook.
Hobbies and Quirks Advanced rules for choosing and using your character hook. For me, this is by far, the most useful article in the book and is one I refer to constantly when creating new characters. This is another article that can be used with any WOIN rulebook.
Ageing with Grace Expanded rules and exploits for older characters. Once again, an article that useful for any WOIN rulebook.
Reputation, Contacts and Credit Rules to make the most out of your REP score.
What Does my Logic Score Mean? Guidelines for intelligence and languages.
I rate this supplement very highly. Some of the articles are extremely useful and indeed have been integrated into the N.E.W. and N.O.W. rulebooks. The articles for the new alien races are the ones I'll use the least although I did use the rules for the Drahzik when I created a couple of Predator characters to use in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. Clones, Belters, Jovians and Warped give you more options for creating human characters and so are very useful. The last four articles in the supplement were very well written and extremely useful. The articles on New Universal Exploits and Hobbies and Quirks made this supplement a must have buy for me. All in all, this is an excellent supplement for anyone interested in the WOIN games. Although it is  primarily written for N.E.W. gamers there are articles in here that will be useful in any other WOIN setting. You can buy this supplement form Amazon UK for £14.70. Here's a link for it - https://www.amazon.co.uk/WOIN-Universal-Upgrades-Russ-Morrissey/dp/136575281X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541325558&sr=8-1&keywords=Woin+universal+upgrades

Monday, 29 October 2018

UFP Starforce Commandos 01

I only recently bought these three beautifully sculpted 28mm scale figures from Statuesque Miniatures and they jumped to the front of my painting queue simply because I am so impressed with them. Statuesque Miniatures sell them as SM009 S.O.E. Kill Team consisting of Emilia, Poppy and Tilly. In my The Ace of Spades Campaign there is no such organisation as the S.O.E. so I have made them as members of the UFP Starforce Commandos. The Space Marine Corps is the elite assault force of the United Federation of Planets Starfleet. Every starship carries a complement of Marines for landing and boarding actions, as well as for major planetary raids and invasions. The Starforce Commandos are an elite force within the Space Marines organisation which trains for deep penetration raids and prolonged operations behind enemy lines. Commandos are also dropped onto enemy-occupied planets to assist BRINT (Bureau of Intelligence) agents to mobilise resistance groups.
At the far left is Emilia "Foxy" Foxwell, a rugged human Starforce Commando Captain who is always on the lookout for danger. She is a highly decorated combat veteran who grew up on Sol 10 (Spectre) as a navy brat before serving two tours of duty at UFP Starfleet Academy on Sol 3 (Terra), where she enrolled in Command School after completing Basic Training. She took on a two year Marine Cadet Assignment followed by two tours of duty, each lasting four years as a Space Marine. In recognition of her achievements and combat prowess she was offered a command posting with the Starforce Commandos. She is now serving her second tour of duty with them. Emilia is 35 years old and rank grade:8. As a larger than life character I applied the cinematic rules to her. She is armed with a MicroCo JO40 Stingfury Tachyon Autopistol with Advanced Scope and High Damage modifications, a Phaser Pistol and a Combat Knife. She wears Master Crafted Streamlined Combat Skin, which grants her SOAK:9 but is ineffective against piercing damage. She is one hell of a tough cookie and a superb leader. Her figure came in four parts - body, two arms and a scenic base for her to rest on.
In the centre of this trio is Tilly Tumbleworth, an athletic human Starforce Commando Corporal who is a keep fit fanatic and very energetic. She was born on the jungle planet of Regulus 6 in the Terran Star Sector where she excelled at sports in school. At the age of 15 she enrolled in the UFP Starfleet Academy on Sol 3. After completing her three year Basic Training course and a two year Marine Cadet Assignment, she saw front-line action as a Space Marine, serving two tours of duty which earned her a promotion and a bravery medal. Seven years ago, she applied for a transfer to the Starforce Commandos and was accepted as one of the crew under the command of Emilia Foxwell. She has the utmost respect for "Foxy" and will follow her anywhere. She is armed and armoured in an identical manner to "Foxy." She is 35 years old and is rank grade:7. Her figure came with separate arms.
Finally, is Poppy Compton, a deadeye human Starforce Commando Corporal who always checks where her exits are wherever she goes. She was born on Sol 3i (Luna) and like Emilia, she grew up as a navy brat. She enrolled at the UFP Starfleet Academy on Sol 3 (Terra) when she was just 13. She spent one tour of duty each at Basic Training, Marine Cadet Assignment and as a Starforce Marine. Her commanding officer recognised her talent as a marks-woman, and so she spent a five year tour of duty as a Marine Sniper. She was then offered a transfer to the Starforce Commandos, which she readily accepted. Here, she was assigned to a posting under the direct command of Emilia. She quickly bonded with "Foxy" and Tilly and the trio have worked as a team these past seven years on many a dangerous mission. Poppy has replaced her Stingfury Autopistol with a 10mm Ballistic Sniper Rifle with Advanced Scope and High Damage modifications. She is one year younger than the other two and she is rank grade:7. Her figure came in three parts - body, right arm and back wall. Note that her left arm was sculpted as part of the back wall she is leaning against.
The sculpting of these three figures is just exquisite. They are incredibly well detailed and superbly animated. Unsurprisingly, they are expensive. "Foxy" and Poppy cost £5.25 each and Tilly costs £5.00. However, you can buy all three for just £14.00, saving you £1.50, which is what I did. I have just finished creating N.E.W. character record sheets for all three of them and I could very easily set a whole campaign based around their exploits. I'm not saying I will, but I could. I can't recommend them too highly!

Monday, 22 October 2018

Daruma SLA Industries Augustus Luxury Car

Last month I posted a review of of the Daruma Romulus Stretch Limo for the SLA Industries game. I mentioned in my post that Daruma also made a smaller version of it - the Augustus Luxury Car. At the time I was uncertain if I wanted to buy the Augustus as I much preferred the Romulus. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would probably be worth getting. Wayland Games, whom I bought the Romulus from, had a couple for sale, so I placed an order for one and here it is.
Sleek, Luxurious and Aggressive is a fitting description of the Augustus Luxury Car, much favoured by successful SLA Industries operatives.
This is a resin model and it came in six parts - the body, front grille and bumper bar and four wheels.
As with the Romulus, which it closely resembles, it has a very tall body and tiny windscreen and windows. From the front it looks angry and aggressive, all the better for those wanting to intimidate other road users.
As I mentioned in my review of the Romulus, the driver relies on advanced sensor technology to drive the vehicle and doesn't really need the windscreen at all.
The Augustus can comfortably seat five - the driver and four passengers. Note that it only has two doors, not four.
The dimensions of this car are 13.5cm (5.5") long by 7cm (2.75") wide by 3.5cm (1.5") tall.I painted it in gloss black paint to match the colour scheme of the Romulus Stretch Limo.
Here are a couple of photos showing the Augustus Luxury Car and the Romulus Stretch Limo side by side, with my figure of Vampifan to give a sense of their scale. I would imagine that these vehicles are very heavily armoured but have superb handling and goodness know what modifications and/or hidden weapons.
Now that I have the Augustus, I'm pleased that I made the decision to buy it when I did. Both vehicles will definitely see use in my The Ace of Spades Campaign and in future games of Judge Dredd. Note that Wayland Games no longer have these models in stock and I'm not aware of anyone else who sells them.