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Raicheck

Shadows of the Beanstalk

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Shadows of the Beanstalk

So super quick review, as I'm still digesting what I've read.    

The introduction is pretty much what you'd expect, though I did appreciate the section on what tomorrow looks like.  Gives you a good feel for themes right off the bat.

 Character creation is good though it requires the Genesys core rulebook.  There are six archetypes and ten careers. Each of the archetypes has a fun ability that separates them from the others.  The clone in particular has a pretty good special ability that is very situationally useful, but not so overpowering as to be game breaking.   Something I really liked is the why play a x section on each archetype. While there are ten careers they also have advice on creating a new career if nothing fits what you want to play.

There are some really fun and new talents.     I really like how they added some talents that allow you to add some history to your character, like World Wars Vet, which adds a skill (two to choose from) and gives you a small favor from a current or former member of a single country’s military. (chosen when you take the talent)    There are different variations of talents like WWV, but each does the same mechanically, just with the different organization. It’s a small thing, that gives your PC some depth, and a cheaper skill that you might not have had from your career. The tier 5 talents are all really good, and flavorful.  Master Plan, Ghost in the Machine, Trick of the Light, etc all have some really good effects, and are all worthy capstones in their own right. This isn’t to say the lower tier talents aren’t bad as there are fun things in every tier.

Speaking of favors, I really enjoy the favor system.  It’s a bit more elegant than obligation from Edge of the Empire, but it functions in a similar manner.   In essence it’s a mark someone has on your character that can be called in as the story needs. Conversely, your character can also gain favors, and can call them in as well.    If you ask for too many favors, you can become unreliable, and it makes it harder to get or call in favors later. There’s also a simple system for leveraging your favors for gaining smaller favors without spending your big favor, or leveraging a smaller favor for a bigger favor.

Equipment section has some really good and flavorful items as well.  It does suffer a bit from the whole corebook generic syndrome. Equipment ranges a bit from the mundane, to the exotic.  There’s even a suit of power armor in the equipment. Cybernetics and genemods are the two ways to modify your character.  Cybernetics tend to have a slightly higher payoff, but also lower your strain threshold. Genemods have fun options, but run the risk of permanently damaging your character on a failed integration roll.

Hacking, oh boy.   So the hacking rules in Genesys, are functional but sparse.   Given that this is an android sourcebook, and the setting for the “netrunner” card game, it was a given that the hacking rules would be a bit more robust.    They look fairly solid, and they seem to make sense on the surface of them. I am a little worried that like Android’s spiritual predecessors the hacking might be a bit game slowing.  I’ll know more later when we do some test runs to see how fast they go. It also has some solid advice on building net encounters.

The location section is pretty lengthy, and has some good bits in it for every district in New Angeles.   I am glad I picked up the World of Android book as it really adds some depth to the lore, though it isn’t strictly necessary, I thought it helped out.   

The last couple sections have some really solid meat and potatoes.  Most of it isn’t exciting, but very useful. Lots of NPC’s, each one kind of gives you a better sense of the setting.  Plus, having premade npc’s saves a lot of time setting up encounters. The final chapter is the game master part of the book, and has some really solid adventure building advice.  Hints on how to depict life in the, to resolving social encounters. The adventure building section reminds me a lot of the old challenge/focus/strike shorts from L5R, which is a good thing.   It lays out a primary goal, the challenges and the twist, and gives several examples. Then it talks about how to expand on those to provide a good adventure. Plus, it adds a bit about how to manage the pacing.  

Overall, It’s a good solid start, and I really hope they add some expansions to this setting later on down the road.  There’s a lot of material they had in the card game that isn’t even mentioned here, and would make for some good additions later on.     I gotta say, I am as hyped for this as I was for Edge of the Empire, so I’ll be running this sooner or later.

 

Edited by Raicheck

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One thing that kinda bothered me was that there isn't a price & rarity guideline on clones, bioroids, pets, or drones. They are the main critical commodity in the setting, so I thought you can buy them. For now I'll just use Star Wars Droid prices as guidelines, but I wish there was something official. Also, just in case I have missed it in fine text or big, if anyone find the price in the book a citation would be grateful!😀

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Note that the book also doesn't include any rules for crafting, which Tech-career characters will probably be disappointed by and will make talents like Inventor less useful unless the GM comes up with some or pulls them from Star Wars or Terrinoth

 

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1 minute ago, ghost warlock said:

Note that the book also doesn't include any rules for crafting, which Tech-career characters will probably be disappointed by and will make talents like Inventor less useful unless the GM comes up with some or pulls them from Star Wars or Terrinoth

 

Thank goodness for that. The SW creating rules are total crap. I'd rather have no rules than bad rules. 

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14 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Thank goodness for that. The SW creating rules are total crap. I'd rather have no rules than bad rules. 

Maybe we'll get some revised and polished rules citing lessons learned.  I'd buy a book dedicated to the art of crafting, be it vehicles, armor, weapons, or what have you.  Seems like a useful Genesys supplement, to be honest.  I'd love to see them all fit into the same framework. 

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8 hours ago, HelloRPG said:


One thing that kinda bothered me was that there isn't a price & rarity guideline on clones, bioroids, pets, or drones. They are the main critical commodity in the setting, so I thought you can buy them. For now I'll just use Star Wars Droid prices as guidelines, but I wish there was something official. Also, just in case I have missed it in fine text or big, if anyone find the price in the book a citation would be grateful!😀

Clones and Bioroids are archetypes so steering clear of slavery price charts doesn't surprise me. 

Drone prices/rarity p. 233

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2 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

Thank goodness for that. The SW creating rules are total crap. I'd rather have no rules than bad rules.  

1 hour ago, 2P51 said:

Attachments are toned way down also.

I do find that both rule-sets are more streamlined than their SW counterparts, although I might add some attachments from SW if it makes the session interesting.  Also they aren't really supporting customization of vehicles as of now in Genesys (although that might change), as none of the vehicles published are without hard points.

 

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It definitely has a core rule book feel to it.  Meaning there are several sections that have a bit of a generic feel to it (Equipment), and rules that are outright missing such as crafting rules.    Overall I still like it, and there's several things that wouldn't be too hard to incorporate from Edge of the Empire.   I really hope this is the first of many sourcebooks for Android.   

3 hours ago, 2P51 said:

Attachments are toned way down also.

Saw that too, I think that's something that  could be  house-ruled fairly easily. 

Edited by Raicheck

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6 hours ago, Raicheck said:

It definitely has a core rule book feel to it.  Meaning there are several sections that have a bit of a generic feel to it (Equipment), and rules that are outright missing such as crafting rules.    Overall I still like it, and there's several things that wouldn't be too hard to incorporate from Edge of the Empire.   I really hope this is the first of many sourcebooks for Android.   

Saw that too, I think that's something that  could be  house-ruled fairly easily. 

aren’t ther optional rules in the genesys core book for crafting?  Something about adding hard points for each encumbrance.

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7 hours ago, slope123 said:

aren’t ther optional rules in the genesys core book for crafting?  Something about adding hard points for each encumbrance.

Nay, they're in Realms of Terrinoth.

I get the impression FFG is going to avoid publishing the same optional rules over and over again. So for Crafting and Mounted Combat you'll need RoT, even if you're running SotB.

Edited by Cantriped

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1 minute ago, Nisshan said:

Does anyone if the book is going to available to buy as PDF or if I can only buy it as a physical copy? 

Probably they'll put a pdf, as they did it for the other books. It usually takes a week or so, as the devs seem to fix any obvious typos in the hardcopy when transferring to pdf format...also some shenanigans between FFG and Drivethru often occur, as with any inter-corporate relations. 

One thing weird is that FFG hasn't posted SotB's release in their main page yet, although they did announce the live stream. Maybe they're busy with something else?

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On 2/9/2019 at 1:38 PM, themensch said:

Maybe we'll get some revised and polished rules citing lessons learned.  I'd buy a book dedicated to the art of crafting, be it vehicles, armor, weapons, or what have you.  Seems like a useful Genesys supplement, to be honest.  I'd love to see them all fit into the same framework. 

1

The Art of Crafting, Chapter 1

Find the type of item you want to make and construct it according to the rules laid out on pages 197–201 of the CRB.

The Art of Crafting, Chapter 2

Use the crafting rule found on pages 112–114 of Realms of Terrinoth.

—–———

Of course, we currently don't have creation rules for vehicles, so that's a bummer. But I'd imagine that crafting times would be in weeks instead of days. Longer, for silhouette 5+ vehicles.

But it's a start!

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4 minutes ago, c__beck said:

Of course, we currently don't have creation rules for vehicles, so that's a bummer. But I'd imagine that crafting times would be in weeks instead of days. Longer, for silhouette 5+ vehicles.

But it's a start!

That's an estimate on vehicle crafting times that Elon Musk might have made. 

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5 hours ago, c__beck said:

Of course, we currently don't have creation rules for vehicles, so that's a bummer. 

Or any of the other equipment related to optional rules. I'd love to see official pricing metrics for vehicles, magic implements, etc...

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6 hours ago, c__beck said:

Use the crafting rule found on pages 112–114 of Realms of Terrinoth.

Looks like I'll be picking that book up after all.   Alchemy, Runes, and Heroic whatsamacallits also seem intriguing even if I've had my fill of elves and pixies. 

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13 hours ago, HelloRPG said:

One thing weird is that FFG hasn't posted SotB's release in their main page yet, although they did announce the live stream. Maybe they're busy with something else?

They didn’t announce it separately, but they did put up an ‘available now’ post on the 7th covering everything that was released that day. Maybe that’s how they intend to handle multiple release announcements now? *shrug*

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6 hours ago, Cantriped said:

Or any of the other equipment related to optional rules. I'd love to see official pricing metrics for vehicles, magic implements, etc...

While we don’t have vehicle guidelines yet, a year or so ago this was posted to Reddit for making impliments. It’s actually really good and matches everything in the CRB. I haven’t tested it against the RoT impliments yet, though.

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