Thursday, December 28, 2017

A review of Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss

Full disclosure, I received a free copy of the pdf from +Venger Satanis

Alright, here is the pitch: 

This is a grab-bag of fantasy goodies for use with O5R roleplaying games.  That means everything from Basic D&D, AD&D, all the various retro-clones, systems similar but not identical (like Crimson Dragon Slayer), and 5th edition.

Primarily, Player's Handbook like a Fucking Boss is meant for players (duh, just look at the title).  Contained within these occasionally dark, humorous, gonzo, Lovecraftian, high, and low fantasy pages are useful character suggestions, awesome bonuses, radical deeds, sneaky skills, random tables, XP sweeteners, life-lines, and get out of jail free cards that will hopefully bring balance to the force (but will most likely just spread untold chaos and evil throughout the galaxy).

If dying seems too easy (as it should be), these tools could save your miserable, gutter and dungeon strewn life!  If you love bards, get this.  If you hate bards with an unnatural purplish passion, then you really need to get this!

Here's my thoughts (pardon the swears): 

Even though this fucking book is called a "player's handbook" there are a ton of awesome resources for DM's as well!  The book is technically system neutral, although it leans towards old school games that use polyhedral dice.  As is the case with everything that Venger puts out, the layout and artwork is fucking fantastic.  I originally downloaded the printer friendly pdf and read it the other night, (which btw is a wonderful thing to add as an extra in the downloads section), but flipping thru the actual pdf, the whole thing pops!  The amazing +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) was on it!

The book is filled with tables, charts, and interesting ideas for old school  (or stripped down 5e games) for players.  For instance my players always have fucking trouble coming up with a name.  Well there's a excellent table for that! 

There is a cool table for basically what "sign" you are born under, which of course gives extras to players.  It reminded me of Oblivion (the video game) where you get little bonus's depending on the month of your birth (beats the crap out of being a Cancer anyways).  My only issue at first was "k wait there's only 8 entries for months, aren't there 12 months".  However when you look closely some of the months last longer that Earth's typical 30,31 day cycle. And why shouldn't it? I mean we are talking about fucking fantasy world's here! 

The "stranger things" table is similar to the trinkets table in 5e, however it has the wonderful fucked up Venger twist to it.  "this table is a list of items, abilities and weirdness to start your adventuring career".  This table is getting printed out and put in my DM binder next to my character backgrounds table (d100 mildly plausible backgrounds for old school characters).  

I thoroughly enjoyed the table for naming magical weapons.  This is another table that I will start using on a regular basis.  option 1, player:  "I hit it with my plus three axe", option 2:  "I unsheathe Zod Bjorn Crushing Blow"  fuck that is fantastic! 

Some of the background mechanics presented here will also be of use to me (I'm guessing as time goes on in a session).  The dishonor & infamy and "did you bring it" tables specifically.  

The book comes in at 33 pages, and there are little nuggets of things on every single page.  As a DM/Player you don't have to use every single table.  Heck you might only use one, maybe another character will use a few of the options.  The thing I like about this book, is if I was say going to run a basic old school game it adds a nice little spice to it.  However it doesn't make my old school game all new and fandangled like a 5e game.  As an example I use adv/disadvantage in my old school games, because it makes thing's fun.  I enjoy the flip flip that can occur.  I don't use it all the time however, only when situations dictate.  The same goes for some of the fun tables in this book. 

I agree with +Eric Fabiaschi  on the following point (take from Eric's review here).  

What the hell did I just read?! At thirty two pages this was way too short of a book. Venger is a solid writer & designer who needs to settle down & do more writing & designing. This is a three & a half or four star book because of the fact that I was expecting more from a book with the title Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss. This book seems to be a catch all of random tables & PC options for players with a few solid random tables and it seriously needs a lot more expansion before it hits the four or five star territory. 

This book is a solid effort, my only thought is that its not really a "players handbook" per se.  Well it is and it isn't.  If this book had a bunch of fucked up spells in it, maybe a table of "weird trainers and what they cost", proficiency's, etc (Your basic "player's handbook" that we have seen time and again).  Counter point, this is a cool fucking book that gives a player some inspiration, fuels the imagination and gets them ready to game.  That's a fucking handbook isn't it? 

As a somewhat side note, I really do like the idea of O5R.  I would be very curious to see the outcome of a book (set of rules) if someone locked Venger in a basement with the 5e SRD for a month.  His version of the game, would be super fucking cool! 

Player's handbook like a fucking boss is going to be sitting on my gaming table in the near future.  If you like weird things, random tables, excellent naming resources, interesting fucking mechanic ideas and you play elf games with fucked up dice, this book is for you! 

Get it here: 

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