Welcome to our little Review section here on the Open Gaming Network.
We take products and review them, intending to give the reader the best chance of evaluating whether this particular release is for them.
There is, of course, a scoring system, similar to that used elsewhere, in a 5-star rating, which we have determined as follows:
1 * – Bad
2 * – Mediocre
3 * – Decent
4 * – Good
5 * – Excellent
The following review is an OPINION piece and only reflects the opinion and tastes (because ultimately, all reviews will be based in personal taste) of the reviewer.
That disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with the show!
This week we give you Races of the Outer Rim: The Ruanoch
Publisher: Total Party Kill Games
Author: Mark Hart
Cover Artist: Vincent-Michael Coviello
Page count: 13 ( 1 page cover,, 1 page credits, 9 pages of content, 2 page OGL)
Right, so let’s look at the cover first. This shows us a humanoid badger, with a cigar and goggles. Ok, I’m digging this, it feels like a mixture of Wolverine, Riddick and Rocket Raccoon. YES PLEASE! Though I am wondering what that angle thing he has on is actually for. It’s a cool image though, and I like the feel of how a badger would look like as a humanoid. (But what IS going on with his left foot? That looks painful).
Right, to the content!
The Ruanoch are strong, and hardy folk, as evidenced by their story and reflected well in their actual stats. (High HP, bonuses to strength and con), and headstrong (minus to wisdom). I’m a little surprised that they do not have any natural attack though. For a badger-like race, it seems to almost come with the territory, that they should have a nasty bite.
Their racial feats encourage the player to create chaos and mayhem, as does the special weapons that the book contains, and the “play this race if”/”other races probably” feel like they belong on this type of character as well.
The run-through of the classes is a nice little read, especially for the Ruanoch “Diplomat” – I can’t help but think of Korben Dallas from The 5th Element and the quote of “Where did he learn to negotiate?” when I read that. Nice little touch and flavor, though I don’t think that the particular comparison that I drew was the intent.
The weapons are OK, though the bug grenades are a bit weird, but I think my problem for that comes from the fact that it mentioned “Plants and Insects”, because while there is a Plant type ,there is no Insect type, just a Vermin one (if we’re talking monsters), so I’d have chosen that instead. That said, I particularly like the Hellstorm Scattergun – awesome name, and a lot of damage potential in the right circumstances), the new weapon properties are fitting as well.
Finally, we have the deities of Aru and The Maelstrom. While I feel like the “giving the gods the finger”-trope is a bit tired, the way it is presented with Aru and the Ruanoch is new and refreshing, and Maelstrom, being an “unknown force of destruction until the first time it was summoned”, works well, especially for describing how someone who lives on a violent plant like the Ruanoch do, would perceive such a deity.
And so we come to the conclusion:
This one is a bit difficult, because on the one hand there are a few very small missteps (In total, I think there were 2 words missing and the Insect/Vermin mentioned above), it is overall a really solid product and for 2.99, I’m happy with the reading I got out of it. I can certainly see myself creating a character.
So, while I’m not OVER THE MOON on this one, I’m more than happy with it. That would be enough for it to get a 4 star normally, but with the content of 9 pages for 2.99, that rounds it up to 5-stars! (As the reader might have noticed in previous reviews, I do not like having a high percentage of cover/intro/OGL to content. It has to be mostly content.
Nicely done folks, this one is a keeper. 🙂