Category Archives: Reviews

Gruel Truck! Brings the Monkeyfun

Zany does not begin to describe this game

The A Town Called Malice Kickstarter campaign from the fine folks over at Monkeyfun Studios is almost at a close. It will be down to 24 hours when this post publishes. I can’t recommend enough that you go check it out for yourself and back it if you can. I’m a big fans of the games from Monkeyfun Studios, and I’d like to tell you a story about a really fun roleplaying game they make, and the time that we “broke” that game at a convention.

The game in question is Gruel Truck! Gruel Truck! has a fairly ridiculous yet wildly entertaining premise for an RPG; you and your party have grown tired of the adventuring life and decided to open a food truck. Think Jon Favreau’s Chef, but set in Middle Earth. Each player in your group picks a Placemat, which is your class for the game. You can choose from a Barbarian, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Knight, Orc, Thief, or Wizard. The Wizard is also referred to as The Most Powerful Placemat to Vanquish Your Enemies in Competitive Play. Once everyone has picked a Placemat, you pick a Truck Job. The job determines what step in the customer service process they fit into be it Driver, Counter, Fry Cook or Cleanup. Finally, you need to build your truck by rolling three six-sided dice and assigning the results as Armor, Zoom! or Space. Armor determines how much punishment your truck can take from unsatisfied customers, Zoom! matters when you’re trying to get away from those same customers, and Space determines how big your truck is (also how many dice your crew has to roll). Very important!

The mechanics for Gruel Truck! are easy to learn. The game utilizes a deck of cards and a number of six-sided dice to reconcile the gameplay of feeding hungry customers. For each customer you flip over a card. The number on the card, e.g. eight of whatever, represents the target number you need on a roll on 2d6. Hit that number and that customer’s order moves to the next step in the process. If you don’t hit the number you can roll again by taking a Fatigue or let someone else give it a try. If you collect five Fatigue you’re out for that round and someone else has to pick up your slack. It’s fast and frantic and above all else FUN!

Unless you happened upon a game of Competitive Play Gruel Truck! a few years back at Strategicon. On that fateful day, Gruel Truck! was all about winning! For one truck. MY TRUCK!! You see, when you play the Wizard Placemat in Competitive Play you gain the move Bippity-Boppity-Boom! This allows you to send a customer to another truck with a 10 or higher on a roll +Pluck. Where they explode dealing 1d6 points of damage. You need an 11 or higher to serve a face card, so the +Pluck roll seems like a no-brainer on these customers. And it was!

We “accidentally” sent so many Bippity-Boppity Booms! over to the other trucks that we eventually destroyed them all in the process. We knocked out that Gruel Truck! tournament in less than half of the scheduled time. Sure, we didn’t win by serving superior food or by having the best trained staff or by having a better business model. But, we did win. The Lord of the Onion Rings was the last truck left standing and rolled victorious to our next conquest.

Check out A Town Called Malice on Kickstarter in it’s last day, And Gruel Truck! (along with many other great games) over at the Monkeyfun Studios store or at DriveThruRPG.

Conan: ADVENTURES IN AN AGE UNDREAMED OF RPG Review

The latest RPG that our Tuesday group has been playing is Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of from Modiphius Entertainment. This sword and sorcery game utilizes the 2d20 system to transport players to  the world of Robert E. Howard’s iconic pulp hero Conan the Barbarian. We’ve been having a great time playing the game so I thought I would share my thoughts on it with all of you.

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Creature Codex From Kobold Press Review

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When Kobold Press released the great Tome of Beasts in 2016,I would have bet money that they had exhausted their collective imaginations of all new monsters. I would have lost that bet since they just released Creature Codex, the sequel to the original tome.  Creature Codex introduces almost 400 new creatures for your 5e Dungeons & Dragons game, but does this new volume live up to what we have come to expect from the creative minds at Kobold Press? Read on to find out! Continue reading Creature Codex From Kobold Press Review

Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters Review

It’s no secret that I am a fan of the Tiny Frontiers RPG. I am also a fan of anything involving Giant Robots or Kaiju. Therefore, I was excited to hear that Tiny Frontiers was getting an expansion that would include both.  I backed the Kickstarter (since apparently I back every RPG Kickstarter) and received my copy of the book back in February. I read through it right away, but haven’t shared my thoughts on the game until now.

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Tome of Beasts From Kobold Press Review

Tome of Beasts

Look, we could go on all day about using Dungeons & Dragons as a means to collaborative storytelling and how combat detracts from the “roleplaying experience.” Or, we could just admit that we play D&D so that we can murder fantastical monsters and loot their rapidly cooling bodies for treasure. Unfortunately, sometimes killing the same old giant spiders and baboons available in the Monster Manual gets a little stale. Players and DMs need a little spice in their encounters.  Sure there are plenty of clever and original homebrew monsters on the internet (including some of mine), but occasionally I want a professional company to write up the stats for several hundred monsters, print them on paper along with illustrations, bind that paper together and mail it to my home in exchange for money. That’s why I bought Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press. Continue reading Tome of Beasts From Kobold Press Review

Norse Foundry Precision Aluminum Dice Review

dice1A few weeks ago I was checking out the Norse Foundry store and saw that they were selling a set of dice CNC crafted from aircraft grade aluminum.  I love unique dice and I love things crafted from aluminum so these definitely peaked my interest. I picked up a set and wanted to share my thoughts on them. Continue reading Norse Foundry Precision Aluminum Dice Review

CritSuccess World’s Toughest Chainmail Dice Bag

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Recently I embraced my Kickstarter addiction and backed a project that was very intriguing. I am an avid collector of RPG dice and always need more bags to keep them in. When I heard about CritSuccess’ World’s Toughest Chain Mail Dice Bag I was instantly on board. The project was successfully funded on February 11th and less than two weeks later I received my backer reward: one Black Steel Dice Bag.

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Dungeon Master’s Screen Review

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I received the new Dungeon Master’s Screen last week and wanted to give my thoughts on it. Let me preface all of this by saying that owning the Dungeon Master Screen is in no way necessary to DM a game. It is more of a nice to have accessory. To me a good DM screen needs to serve three functions. First, it needs to be pleasant to look at on the players’ side since they are going to spend plenty of time staring at it. Next it needs to adequately block the players’ view of what the DM is doing behind it. Finally, the screen should include useful information on the DM’s side for quick reference.

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