Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Product Review: Monster, Monster, Vampires by Nuelow Games



Product Review
Monster, Monster, Vampires

One of the best parts about the existence of the OGL is that it has allowed for a lot of independently produced products. While a lot of these "off bran" products can be hit or miss, I have never run across an indie product that didn't give me some ideas for a new character, a new campaign, building on an old one and other useful tidbits. For this reason I have been a big supporter of small press gaming publishers. One of the best parts about deciding to do the game design thing full time is it is giving me time to do a lot of things I have always wanted to do. One of those things is doing product reviews on small press releases.


I have been a fan of Nuelow Games for a while now and purchases several of their products. Their mix of pulp comic goodness and gaming material appeals to me on several levels. Their price point is beyond fair and I have never been disappointed by one of their offerings. This meant I was super excited to be offered a chance to review their latest product Monster, Monster, Vampires.

Overview:

Monster, Monster, Vampire is about doing more with a vampire than simply making them the high level boss at the end of a dungeon. It starts out with a very well done comic titled "The Vampyre" created by Ed Fedory & Pablo Marcos that features a vampire who falls victim to a hemophiliac. I won't give away more because you really should read it. The comic alone made this product worth the price, but it gets better.

After the first comic we are treated to some interesting OGL content that goes beyond "here are some vampires go kill them.  Andrew Pavlides and Steve Miller take the vampire and change it up to give enterprising GM's five different variant vampires to throw into the mix. Without revealing to much (again you really should read the book for yourself) the five vampires included in the book can easily fit into just about any campaign. Not only are these variants different monsters, but they can work to give a campaign its own feel and theme.

After the variant vampires are some adventure seeds titled Vampire tales. The three tales presented in the book give a GM some solid material to work the new vampire variants into an existing campaign. Just after the adventure seeds there is a table for unusual vampire weaknesses and immunities which is just screaming to be used. I think my favorite was Black Anne but all three were well done and I will likely use them in a horror campaign sometime in the near future.

Finally, Monster, Monster, Vampire wraps itself up with another comic. Again I don't want to reveal to much of the story but I have always wondered about how many vampires have human "canteens" (insert maniacal laughter). Overall Monster, Monster, Vampire is a worthwhile and entertaining read.

The Good:
The Art (4 out of 5) - One of the things I like about this book and the other offerings from Nuelow Games is the art. It has an awesome old school pulp vibe to it that takes me back in time. While the art does have a pulp vibe it is still modern and well done.

The Crunchy Bits (4 out of 5) - I feel like the mechanics of the new variants are well balanced. I also think that the way the variants are presented makes creating a new and interesting vampire encounter pretty easy. After reading them once I had a good idea of what each variant did and how to use it in an encounter.

Flavor (3.5 out of 5) - I am actually breaking the flavor rating into two parts. The art I would actually give a 4 out of 5 rating to as far as flavor and mood go. It might just be me, but I dig the whole pulp style it has going on and I think it really adds a unique element to Nuelow's products. However, when it comes to the overall flavor of the book I have to give it a 3 out of 5. I don't give it this rating because of anything wrong, I do it because vampires are vampires are vampires. While I think they did an excellent job at creating interesting variants, at the end of the day we are still talking vampires and vampires are far from new or cutting edge. With that said, Nuelow did an excellent job taking this subject on from a new perspective.

Value (5 out of 5) - While there are a lot of inexpensive products out there, I think Nuelow hits the perfect balance between quality and cost. Monster, Monster, Vampire is completely affordable and you get a lot out of it for your money. If every indy company worked as hard to provide this kind of quality for this kind of price the RPG market would be better for it.

The Bad:
Depth (2 out of 5) - The only real knock I have against Monster, Monster, Vampires is that I felt it could have been a bit deeper. While I think the idea of introducing a few variants was a good one and I think the execution was very well done, I would have liked to see more. However, Nuelow is about the quick hit and leaves the GM a lot of room to make their own stuff out of the book.

Final Verdict:
Overall I am giving Monster, Monster, Vampire a 4 out of 5 rating. The artwork is well done and something I want to see more of. The crunch of the book is easy to understand and use. The flavor is interesting enough to give some inspiration. Finally, I can't say enough about the value of the book. In the end this is a product I was happy to have some time to read and is something I will definitely use in my game sometime soon.

If you want to pick up a copy of Monster, Monster, Vampire (or any of the other Nuelow Games offerings) you can check it out at: RPG Now

If you would like me to review a product feel free to let me know.





2 comments:

  1. thanks! I might have to check it out now

    ReplyDelete
  2. No problem I think that can be arranged :)

    ReplyDelete