Flames Rising PDF Store
DriveThruComics
DriveThruFiction



Home » John Wick Presents » Reviews
 Quick Find
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Information
See our Quickstart Guide for information on how to get started.

Having Problems?
  • FAQ - our Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Device Help - assistance for viewing your purchases on a tablet device.
  • Contact us if none of these answer your questions.

Affiliate System - Click here for information about how you can get money by referring people to Flames Rising PDF Store!

Our Latest Newsletter
Product Reviews
Privacy Policy
How to Sell on Flames Rising PDF Store
Convention Support Program


RSS Feed New Product RSS Feed
Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Houses of the Blooded
by Geoffrey M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2017 10:17:41

I've resolved to make this a honest review, written within a half hour. No days of editing and rewriting. Straightforward review, from me to anyone who might want to read this. All my thoughts are out there, as flawed or as complete as they might be:

Houses of the Blooded is an underappreciated game by an underappreciated author. Having gone into work for himself, John Wick seemed to have taken the reigns off of himself with this, and he made good use of his time.

Style: Houses of the Blooded is great if you want to play a game of tragic heroes (or at the very least, if you're tired of games featuring flawless Mary Sue characters- as a GM and player alike, this has irked me sometimes in the past). Shakespeare's tragedies, Oedipus Rex, Moorecock's Elric of Melnibone... all characters upon which I had a good foundation to make and conceptualize characters. The setting itself is simple and straightfoward- the written history is simple, but the culture is very, very well detailed. Ways of speaking, the law and it's impact upon nobility (ven) and commoners (ruk) alike, what colors signify, what food and drink the ven enjoy (or abhor), the things they entertain themselves with, and of course, their views on Romance and marriage. As the book will note and make no mistake in failing to illustrate, there's fine cultural reason why "Romance" is capitalized but "marriage" is not. At a glance, these might seem like unnecessary details. You might say "I just want to play my Shakespeare game and leave it at that", but you'd be doing yourself an injustice if you turned this away solely on that basis. The details are great enough to make the ven seem real, but given simply enough to ensure one doesn't get lost within the pages, blurring the line between a well-spoken conversation on the subject and a historically documented examination of the subject.

Mechanics: Tying in to style, mechanics uphold the idea of playing a tragic hero quite well, I'd say. Anyone can get a game, roll up characters, and say "I'm going to play a sorcerer Hamlet in this campaign!", but HotB both mandates and incentivizes such things. You have six attributes (called "Virtues" in the game, as they encompass Courage, Strength, Cunning, Wisdom, Beauty and Prowess- each one being far more detailed as their name suggests), with all but one being accessible to the player characters. Aspects are included as well. For those who've ever played Fate or Spirit of the Century, you know what I'm talking about: you have points to spend, and Aspects are the means to both spend those points on dedicated advantages, or gain more points from an Aspect's disadvantages. Every Aspect has both positive and negative sides to it- every strength has some manner of weakness, every weakness having an advantage that can be contrived. The game incentivizes "tragic heroes". Your flaws and advantages feed into one another, creating a sort of feedback loop of actions that both make them powerful and give them very human elements of weakness. The ven are powerful nobles who are often haughty and arrogant, but never Mary Sues or munchkins.

I'm approaching the end of my half hour, but I think you'd be doing yourself an injustice to turn this away. I'd recommend everyone read this, if only for the advice it gives and the knowledge that can be gleaned from it. My biggest issue with HotB is that there aren't many players for it, so getting a group together may require handholding.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Houses of the Blooded
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Cards on the Table
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2017 00:44:47

I would like to think that in a given moment I can be clever enough to pull out opportunities and consequences... However, so often it seems that your in the moment dealing with risks that you weren't expecting, stumbling all the way through trying to come up with something to provide the player to make that risk interesting. To give them consequences that are more varied than the standard wound, or any sort of interesting opportunity.

And for that reason alone this product is worth every cent that it asks for in my humble opinion. Not only that, but I would have actually gladly spent more for this tool. My lack of good spending sense aside though, this products does something very excellent and succint, in that it boils consequences and opportunities into categories in order to inspire you to determine what they actually mean as you encounter the situation, leaving you with all of the pieces you need to funnel your creativity into for each scene. The benefit that comes with this approach is that it is succinct enough to give a very considerably clear concept for consequences and opportunities without feeling like there is too many fiddly options to pick from that can cause unnecessary analysis paralysis.

As I normally play online these days, most of what I use this document for is inspiration, and actually don't get a lot of use for the actual cards. That aspect aside though, they make a wonderful resource to springboard the imagination at the table, an$ to make things more dynamic, and yet keep them straightforward for play.

I normally don't write reviews for products, but the quality and value that this product provides was compelling enough for me to write this up. If you play 7th Sea and find yourself needing more options for how to formulate opportunities and risks, then this product is certainly helpul!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cards on the Table
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2017 07:37:16

As someone who adored the original 7th Sea, this feels like a return to a beloved game and a massive evolution of it. John Wick is a game designer who's made a ton of games, most of which feel like they've led to this.

Characters are swashbuckling heroes with mechanics to back that up. The nations of Theah present an interesting fictional Europe (and beyond!) with magic and myth amongst it. The setting is deep, but still ultimately about the player characters.

The previous edition had a good fictional Europe, but this version feels both more researched and more progressive, which it should be as this is a fantasy world.

The system is roll and keep (them all!) which is similar but more extreme than the original 7th Sea. Now all those lovely dice are clumped together in batches totalling 10 each. These results allow you to not only succeed at what you're doing, but select which other risks in a challenge you deal with and which don't. This level of agency of the players is sublime.

So far I've only played, but cannot wait to run this game for my group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

The Sarmatian Bestiary
by Lech G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/13/2017 04:46:31

Beautiful art, great concepts and a lot of inspirational content.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sarmatian Bestiary
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

The Flux
by Ronald B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2017 18:17:33

Originally posted here: http://ronblessing.blogspot.com/2011/12/read-thru-flux.html

Are you one of those GMs who get Shiny New Game Syndrome? Does it cause you to constantly switch games on your usually-reeling players? Have your players held an intervention to make you commit to running the same game for more than, say, 90 days?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions (I may have), then John Wick's The Flux might be just the ticket for you and your group!

The Flux is one of the many little games to be found in John Wick's Big Book of Little Games. The PDF was provided to me, gratis, by the fine folks at DriveThruRPG.

You might be playing The Flux in your current game, and you don't even know it - yet. Because The Flux happens to your character, to your group's whole party, and usually when they least expect it.

Imagine playing a sorceress in a Pathfinder game, and she's in the midst of a climactic battle. Suddenly, your GM describes a humming in your character's ears. She can't place where it comes from - it's everywhere and nowhere. Then there's a flash and BAM! She's no longer a sorceress in Golarion, but a mad scientist in Hollow Earth Expedition. Later in the Hollow Earth, she has been captured by Nazis and left without any gadgets. As the player you try to help the mad scientist recall a memory - a skill or ability - from a previous world or existence, and suddenly she makes a gesture, speaks an incantation, and throws a fireball at her captors, clearing a path for escape!

In The Flux, you can totally do that. Seriously.

So if you're running a game, say RunePunk for Savage Worlds - you love it; you really do - and you discover you can finally read Earthdawn Third Edition on your iPad (totally not your fault!), there's an easy way to transition, using The Flux and making it easy on your players: Grab your players' RunePunk characters Make new Earthdawn characters for them, based generally on their RunePunk characters One session, in a tense moment, have The Flux kick in You're now running Earthdawn Your players don't have to make new characters or come up with new personalities - you're remaking their characters in a different world. Your players don't have to know about the new world right away - your players' characters are supposed to be hazy on the new setting.

There's no need to remember the rules from the old game. To access their previous characters' abilities, the players keep their characters in a stack - newest on top, oldest on the bottom. They roll some d6s - the difficulty based on how old the previous character is - and if they succeed, they automatically succeed with the best possible outcome: Fireball? Max damage. Shooting? The target is dead, if that was the goal.

On the surface it may seem broken. You may think players will abuse the abilities. But there is a price. The world knows someone is breaking the rules, and it fights back. Every time you use an ability from a previous character, there's a chance for Whiplash, where your character may get really hurt - or worse.

The Flux is very cool. I will be trying it at some point. And to my players: trust me, there were no spoilers in this post...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Flux
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Nation: Lustain
by Mike W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2017 13:49:23

This is now officially my favorite Thean nation. The Eidhoren class is great for being a "traveling ambassador" to other nations. Short and sweet with quite a bit of info. My only (minor) complaint- NO MAP. I'd like to know the shape and size of the nation and where it is visually in relation to others. Maybe add one later or on a more complete Thean map elsewhere. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to what else you have in store.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nation: Lustain
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

7th Sea: Crescent Empire
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2017 13:21:06

What You Will Find Inside Crescent Empire

Probably the biggest expansion of 7th Sea yet in terms of fluff. Within these pages, there's summaries of the following nations:

  • Not-Turkey (a new Empress has taken the throne, dealing with courtly and harem intrigue while trying to reform the whole Empire; this region should evoke a very Game of Thrones feeling)
  • Not-Israel/Palestine (without the real world... issues, the Israelis and Palestinians are working together to shore up the Empress and recover from a magical attack that made half of their tribes disappear)
  • Not-Iran (a country tearing itself apart, where only a few of the rebels can be described as Heroes, the previous Empreror was the Shah's boyfriend, and he plots to overthrow the Empress while his people rise against him)
  • Not-Arabia (the strongest soldiers in the Empire left reeling from climate change that turned their plains into a desert, the Djinn are flocking to their lands and causing more and more trouble)
  • Not-Jerusalem (a devout city-state tied to two of the Prophets, run by an ancient order of Assassins and an immortal Guardian that is no longer so immortal; some of the Assassins are straying from their path and becoming Villains)

Each nation comes with a new unique Sorcery, stats on their most important heroes and villains, and unique Backgrounds to choose from at character creation.

New Advantages.

Summaries of the religions that came before the Vaticine Church (Not-Judaism, Not-Islam, Not-Zoroastrianism, Not-Orthodox Christianity) along with their practices and core beliefs.

New enemy types, focusing mostly on the Djinn as beings similar to (but definitely different from) the Avalonian Sidhe and the Sarmation Dievai.

New Duelist Schools.

A new type of Dueling that's essentially a form of Battle Rapping/Yo Mama fight.

Rules for running Mass Battles, of sizes ranging from one village against another, to one Empire against another, along with a level-up system for your troops if you fight multiple battles.

What You Will NOT Find

Pirate/sailing content. This book is entirely focused on courtly intrigue and setting expansion. There is nothing here if you're looking for expanded Pirate rules, new ship backgrounds, trading rules, etc. Most of the Character Backgrounds are fitting for campaigns that never go near the ocean.

Rules for running a Kingdom. You may be able to raise and fight with an army now, but there are no rules for running the Kingdom from which that army is raised.

Content regarding how the Empire and Theah's nations interact, and vice versa. The only thing set in stone is that Numa (Not-Greece from Pirate Nations) and the Crescent Empire hate each other. For a book that's 70% fluff, this is something that is sorely missed.

In Conclusion

A good book if you want to run a game that has a spiritual/political focus or that never goes near the water. You could easily run a game with just this book and the free rules available on the John Wick Presents site if those are the things you want.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea: Crescent Empire
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

7th Sea: Khitai Quickstart
by Ian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2017 12:33:32

Pretty cool storyline, and seems it would be easily adaptable to any rules system, which is what I plan to do with it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea: Khitai Quickstart
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Cut to the Chase: Dramatic Chase Sequences
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2017 22:56:05

Tom's Cut to the Chase is a fantastic resource, possible the best I've seen of the Explorer's Society supplements so far. If you're at all intersted in 7th Sea, you should definitely pick it up. Here's some of the best parts about it:

  • Momentum! One of the biggest complaints people have about 2nd Edition is that they don't know how to challenge their Players. Momentum, the use of a "Target" number of Raises that Heroes are working towards over the course of several Rounds is a great way to help mitigate some of those concerns, especially since the Actions of the Heroes can shift Momentum in their favor or against them.
  • There's TONS of examples throughout the text, helping you get a really good idea about how to use each of the pieces
  • Several references for when you're suffering from Creative Fatigue that you can throw at your Players.
  • Examples of now Skills could be used, even ones you might not expect like Perform and Empathy, during a Chase.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cut to the Chase: Dramatic Chase Sequences
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Cathay: Jewel of the East (Swashbuckling Adventures)
by Mark E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2017 09:07:32

By FAR the worst of the 7th Sea line. The power creep in Cathay makes this totally unplayable with the original game. Then theres the fact that they tried to shoehorn in all of the far east into one tiny book. My advice? Dont buy this unless its the only area your players will be.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Cathay: Jewel of the East (Swashbuckling Adventures)
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Cards on the Table
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2017 15:53:19

I was just about to build a tool like this for myself when I saw these. These cards are attractive and well laid out, and come with several excellent examples for use. Cards are color-coded for easy recognition, but the coloring isn't critical, which means you'll be fine running these off on your black-and-white printer. Use of ink and color is conservative, so you won't burn through your toner cartridge printing these.

If you're a 7th Sea GM and you're looking for a tool to help you choose Opportunities and Consequences on the fly, or just to help remind your players of the Opportunities/Consequences you've already chosen, I recommend these.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cards on the Table
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

The Castle
by Jan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2017 06:53:55

The Castle is an excellent adventure. Each stage/step is made of several steps and you can make the adventure you want: more action, less action, more horror/less horror, choose the ending you want – the tools are there, just pick and go. It’s not perfect – there are minor typos (e.g. see page XX), and there could be more consequences/opportunities for each scene and reminders about the scene overall importance: For example there is a library, which is the key location for most of the approaches. The text could remind us that, for example „if you decided that you want to lift the curse, the library offers this and that pieces of information.” But these are minor things, and an experienced GM can manage easily. It took us 5 hours to complete and I rushed the ending a bit, since the group decided to fight the Villain. Using all the scenes it can be easily stretched to probably 8 hours, and with bare bones (4 scenes shoud do it) – down to 3 or 4. As such, it is much, much better as a starting adventure than “The Caliberi Letters” for one fundamental reason: the story it tells has a beginning and an end, therefore is much more meaningful for the players than the Letters (which is really and intro to a much larger story and players don’t care about its conclusion). If you’re wondering which of the two you should get – get this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Castle
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

The Ninth Eye
by Evan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 12:10:55

I bought this primarily to see a good example of how a 7th Sea adventure is constructed, and that's what I got! The theme is not really in line with what I want for my games, but I thought it was well-written and useful for my purposes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ninth Eye
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

The Big Book of Little Games
by Kristopher R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2017 00:15:03

My only complaint is it does not include Dragon: A little game for little dragons. Yes that game was kind of incomplete and uses the same system as Cat. But I still think Dragon is the best game John Wick ever made! Putting thatt gripe aside, the Big Book of Little Games delivers. I own the Flux and while the art is different, the content is the same. The text has a cleaner look. The Pdf has no book marks you you have to scroll and can't just jump to the game you want. But All the content is crisp black and white and seems printer freindly. Also some of the games seem to be able to mix and match together. Worth the price unless you already have all these games seperately.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Big Book of Little Games
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

The Meretrices of Magdelene
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2017 21:34:20

A secret society of little guys looking out for the other little guys - that's kind of neat. It's a good concept that I wish had been expanded on more. Here are some things I'd like to see expanded on:

  • A description of what the Meretrices think of the various Nations and Secret Societies as well as possible conflicts and alliances.
  • Some fun plot hooks to draw heroes into the story outside of the earning and spending favor that can help me link the organization into my campaigns, and
  • An NPC or two that I can introduce to my Heroes so I don't need to just make something from the ground up.


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Meretrices of Magdelene
Click to show product description

Add to Flames Rising PDF Store Order

Creator Reply:
Hello! Thank you so much for the excellent feedback, I will consider an updated version!
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 246 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
Powered by DrivethruRPG