Fate Worlds Volume 2 Worlds in Shadows Review

So, this is my review of the second Fate Worlds book, Worlds in Shadow.  Again it needs to be stated that I am listing them from my least to most favorite. They are all good settings and I would play any of them willingly.

Crimeworld by John Rogers
I was excited about this one, mostly due to watching all over Leverage recently. I love that show and this kind of game is one I have wanted to play for a while (I really should actually play the Leverage game). Saying that, I had a harder time getting through it than I had imagined. I think mostly because it became quite technical about the cons and such that it just did not flow as freely as I wanted it too.

Saying that, great examples on the different components of the con/heists. It really did have a cool feel of a thieving gang and it would be a lot of fun to be a part of it.

Also, love the examples at the end of the different types of cons that could be run in the game. There were quite a few of them, actually.

Court Ship by J.R. Blackwell
Maybe the most unique setting of all. Versailles in 1754. Which means you are dealing with the Court of Louis XV, but then add political intrigue, invading aliens, and a supernatural aspect and you have a lot to take in.

That by itself is a bit insane.

But it does give you a lot of directions to play. Especially depending on how long the game is going to be. You get tips on how to run a one shot, all the way up to a campaign setting. I like that as you can play a completely different type of game depending on how you go about it.

The secret aspect is another way to really increase the drama. Everyone has secrets Do you reveal your secret to someone? Are you going to try to discover other peoples? Just adds a bit more to the experience.

Camelot Trigger by Rob Wieland
King Arthur meets big stompy robots!

Rob Wieland really came up with a cool idea here. Who doesn’t know the story of King Arthur and his knights? Hell, if for no other reason than Monty Python. J

Oh and you get to fight in a huge kick ass robot!

He did a good job of giving you background on the solar system and the different factions involved in the game. With all of the different options you can have with your own mech, there is A LOT of customization available to you. Making your own Armour and having your own heraldry. It is a cool starting point to get you going in the game.

Timeworks by Mark Diaz Truman
From the get go, this was an interesting read. Mostly due to the training video/transcripts way of describing the world of time traveling mercs. I like that parts were redacted and you could not read all of it, it just did such a great job of selling how hush hush this was supposed to be.

The shadowmen also seem cool. As someone that runs the game you can just add them to amp up the drama at any time.

The idea that major changes are much harder than a small change makes sense. I mean if you are trying to stop a war or something, it SHOULD be difficult.  The Timeline stress was always something that I found to be a cool thing. There should be consequences when you fail.

This was fun to read.

The Ellis Affair by Lisa Steele
A mystery!

This is another that I was excited about, mostly due to the fact that I love a good mystery. Yes, there are robots, time travel, and other things…but using Fate mechanics in this kind of setting was something I was really excited to read.

I also like that it is detailed and each step laid out for you. There are pre-generated characters, but you can obviously make your own if need be.  But either way the story is set up in a structured way that give the person running the game a lot of options. I also like at the end how it gives you tips on how to make a good mystery.

No Exit by Shohana Kessock
My other favorite one coming out of the Kickstarter.

I love psychological horror and again, I have wanted to see how it would work in the Fate Core system. Shohana Kessock did a really good job of setting up the Complex. Each character comes into the game with their own reason for being there, and their own issues with life.

The use of the Clarity skill is cool as it allows you to see past the illusions created by the Complex. The idea of it messing with you (and everyone else there) is a cool idea and it knows which buttons to push on each person staying there. Can you escape? Do you even want too? There is so much you can play with to increase the tension.

I like that is a simple thing. You wake up one day realizing things are not right and have to get out. Simple, but very difficult to achieve.

An odd mix of settings in this book. But the one thing that the Fate Core KS did was bring about A LOT of different settings in order to give you as many different experiences as you can get.


Fate Worlds Volume One Worlds on Fire review

So, if you know anything about me, you know that I am huge lover of the Fate Core system. So, I finally got the books in the mail recently and am posting my review.

Now, there are six settings in the book and I am going to be reviewing them from my least favorite to most favorite.

Saying that, please understand something. It is impossible to love everything the same. Some of the settings are interesting, but just don’t hit my particular niche in gaming. That doesn’t mean they still aren’t really cool (or that I would not play them). I just don’t’ want people to think I did not enjoy all of them…just some more than others. J

Tower of the Serpents by Brennan Taylor
Initially one of the ones I was most excited about, since I am a huge fantasy gamer. It was simple and clean and sets up a small setting with different factions in the city. This is both what I appreciated and was the thing I liked the least about it.

I am not sure if that was intentional (although it does look that way). This is one of the settings that would be the fastest one to start immediately. So, I am torn with it, as part of wish it was more complex, and another part of me appreciates the direct approach.

White Picket Witches by Filamena Young
This is another setting that I have a hard time getting my mind around. I love the setting of Moon Island and the idea behind it. There is a lot of cool stuff that was done to make this really feel like a dramatic tv show.

Not really my niche setting wise for the most part. That is not saying anything bad about this, but it feels like it would be a show on CW. Which can be a lot of fun (as I do want to play it), but not the setting that really tugged at me. I did LOVE the “monster” npc’s they created at the back of it. There was some cool stuff, and the idea of the compel flashback was cool as well.

Fight Fire by Jason Morningstar
Wow, what a unique setting! Of all the settings that came out of the Kickstarter, this was one of the ones I was most interested to read. Mostly due to the outside of the box idea of it.

It did not fail to deliver.

Just the idea of you being part of a firefighting crew is kind of cool. You have to trust each other, but that also doesn’t mean there isn’t some drama available there as well. Also, the rules are on how fire is an active thing are very well done and interesting as hell.

Lastly, Jason did a good job of example fires and even had a nice appendix with a glossary and table to help you on your way. Cool stuff.

Burn Shift by Sarah Newton
There is a lot that makes this unique. It is a post-apocalyptic world that not only deals with mutants, survival and such. But also adds community to the game. This is a cool thing as it allows the player more options in the game. Not only can you play your character, the scope of the game is increased by having potential issues with other communities.

They give you 9 different themes, which is a nice variety for a campaign game in this world. They aren’t anything earth shattering, but they don’t have to be.

The ability to play a mutant, techie, human, and others give a lot of options for character creation. A nice bestiary is included as well.

A lot of options are available here and it looks awesome.

Wild Blue by Brian Engard
The old west+ super powers=awesome. Not sure what else you need to say.

I love the idea of the players being wardens for the Queen. Maybe it is my love of good versus evil, but it just feels right to me. Another great thing is that each power also has a cost. It is a nice balance that can create a lot of cool drama in the game at worst (best) possible time. This is a very easy and cool thing to implement.

Example. Walk on air as if it were solid, but cannot say something that is not true.

You have a kickass power, but it comes at a cost that can be a lot of fun to play with in the game. I love the idea of this and the options are limitless.

There is just enough world information to really dig into if you wish. I love campaign games and I think you could do that pretty easily with this setting. A pleasure to read.

Kriegszeppelin Valkrie by Clark Valentine
Of the twelve settings, I may be the most excited about this one. There is something about being a fighter pilot aboard a zeppelin, hunting down a cyborg bent on world domination. Yep. That is all I need. But there is some cool stuff here. Like the 12 pilots you can choose, half of them are women…and they all seem different.  The nice addition of Hemingway being on the Zeppelin is kind of cool and how fame is used to push the pilots to the limits (which also could mean betrayal, lying, etc).

All of this was very neatly laid out by Clark Valentine. I also like that it had an actual walkthrough on the plot. Yes, you can change it up however you want, but not everyone is good at that. Very easily could slip this into a spirit of the century game as well. I really want to play this one.

There was not one setting in here I would not play. I obviously like some more than others, but that is how it should be as we are all different. I am really excited to start reading the second book and I will have a review of that as well when I am done.