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Good Neighbors • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2021 11:02:48
Trouble with the new neighbors - a Mephisto review

Good neighbors The eponymous good neighbors of this Fate World of Adventure are fairy creatures that coexist with humans in the small town of Still Hollow. However, the town also has new neighbors, namely the Industry, a large corporate group that wants to expand its operations here. Some welcome Industry's arrival as a new source to bring life back to the town, but others – including the player characters – are critical of its appearance and oppose it.

The peculiarity in this game is that the players take on two characters each: a human and a fairy. However, these characters are not mixed. Instead, each story consists of alternating two phases in which either the human characters or the fairy creatures are played together. Even though both sides are working on the same goals, they operate independently at first. Thus, character creation also uses its unique approach, as aspects are assigned values instead of the usual skills, and even potential stunts are always tied to these aspects. The respective aspects also differ between humans and fairy creatures in the selection.

Another rules approach is the so-called reaction tree, which can be used to derive the ever-increasing counteractions of the Industry, escalating from harmless PR work to targeted assassination of player characters. For each of these possible reactions in the pyramid-like tree, game masters will find hints and starting points for linking them in the game world. Accordingly, the book also provides locations, characters, and other starting points for depicting Still Hollow. Here the book deliberately avoids a prefabricated adventure, but these starting points and the reaction tree gives the game master the perfect tools to design his individual campaign and find out whether the player characters succeed in stopping the Industry.

Good neighbors offers an exciting setting and, above all, a compelling game mechanism by playing two characters. Moreover, the simple yet elegant rules of combining aspects and game values and tying them to stunts lend themselves well to a narrative campaign. With the game material, it's easy to put together such a campaign on your own with relative ease, so Good neighbors is actually less suited as a one-shot and more inviting to involve players in a campaign. If you find the theme of fairy creatures and humans against a dangerous corporation exciting, you should definitely check out Good neighbors.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Good Neighbors • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yog-Sothoth
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2021 11:00:36
Every cloud has a silver lining? - a Mephisto review

The Rise of Yog-Sothoth

The fight against the Great Old Ones in Fate of Cthulhu goes into another round – this time, it's about Yog-Sothoth. The visible effect of this apocalypse is that a psychic gray cloud forms over the victims' heads, taking away all hope. Once again, the player characters must travel back in the timeline to fight the problem at its root...

The Rise of Yog-Sothoth directly describes itself as the “silly” scenario of the series, which already starts with the symptom of this apocalypse. It then culminates in the background with a bizarre interaction of Yog-Sothoth, the characters' time travels, and unexpected side effects. And so, the player characters are thrown into a particularly bizarre mission that plays with some time travel/parallel world tropes, making it much more chaotic than the other adventures.

The Rise of Yog-Sothoth is the most unusual scenario in the series so far, which does not take itself or its themes entirely seriously. With the suitable gaming group, this can provide a bit of a change from the other hard world-saving daily grind. Still, player that prefer their Cthulhu apocalypse served up serious and gritty rather than chaotic and pulpy are probably better off skipping this rise of a Great Old One.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yog-Sothoth
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Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yig
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2021 10:58:31
The lesser evil? - a Mephisto review

The Rise of Yig

Commonly, the snake-like Yig appears to be one of the more harmless Great Old Ones, but with The Rise of Yig, he presents himself as a new challenge for Fate of Cthulhu players. On the surface, player characters must travel back in time to stop cults, secure relics, and develop an antidote to Yig's poison – but the story offers an exciting complication that makes the mission much more “interesting.”

At first glance, the fight against Yig and the serpent folk offers players a straightforward scenario. Still, it contains a complicating aspect that challenges players to make the right decisions – and shows that the fight against Yig is also thrilling. This adventure provides further good game material for the battle against the Great Old Ones for Fate of Cthulhu players.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fate of Cthulhu Timeline • The Rise of Yig
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The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2021 10:57:17
From monster to humanity - a Mephisto review

The Firestorm Chronicle

The Firestorm Chronicle focuses on the Prometheans, those creatures from the role-playing game of the same name that were created and animated by humans like Frankenstein's monster. The first of the ten stories still revolves around creating such a being from the point of view of humans. The other stories in the anthology volume take the perspective of the Prometheans and address their central theme, the path to humanity. The Prometheans thus presented cover a broad spectrum – from the merciless cartel killer to the cautious casual laborer. However, the theme is always how these beings relate to their freedom, their origins and past, humanity, and their own quest for humanity. Thus, the inner action of the characters – their thoughts, fears, hopes – is usually more important than the outer action, which only serves as a catalyst. Therefore, The Firestorm Chronicle turns out much quieter than the other anthology volumes, but this fits the theme perfectly. Since the individual stories always elicit new aspects of the theme and are generally excitingly written, The Firestorm Chronicle is not only interesting for Promethean players, but can also definitely arouse interest playing the game.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology
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The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2021 10:55:19

# The inner secrets of the World of Darknes - a Mephisto review

The God-Machine Chronicle

In the first rule book of the Chronicles of Darkness, the so-called God-Machine was hinted at in a short story. Except for this single reference, however, this seemingly larger background of the game remained only a small fragment in the mysteries of the new World of Darkness. However, with the second edition of the Chronicles of Darkness, the God-Machine has become more central, and thus the title of the associated anthology volume.

Accordingly, the book begins with the story Voice of the Angel, which tells an origin story of the world from an entirely different point of view. The humans were the servants of another species, who, in turn, were closer to the God-Machine that created the world. Humanity eventually rebelled against their masters and destroyed them. The few remaining specimens of this ancient race who swore revenge on humankind have left their dark mark on history.

Furthermore, like Voice of the Angel, some of the other stories in this anthology originally came from sourcebooks. While some of these short stories do hint at the God-Machine theme, not all of them revolve around it. The God-Machine remains mysterious, seeming to be the machine-like inner mechanics by which the world ticks and that tolerates no deviation of its cogs. Other stories revolve around how people are confronted with the supernatural phenomena of the Chronicles of Darkness. Sometimes, a policewoman's sister stumbles into her monster-hunting activities; sometimes, a man learns the secret of a dying street; sometimes, someone fathoms the true gist of some of his uncle's scary stories.

The stories are very well-written, and what they have in common is that they eschew the major supernatural groups of the Chronicles of Darkness – vampires, werewolves, mages, etc. – for a very personal, mysterious, and sometimes somewhat bizarre horror themes. The topic of the name-giving God-Machine is touched upon and expanded slightly with a few stories. However, the topic's mysterious aura remains – and the God-Machine is neither explained nor necessarily made the central pivoting point of the canonical Chronicles of Darkness.

As for the stories, they are worth reading even without the background of the Chronicles of Darkness. Above all, they can serve well as a source of inspiration for both concrete adventures and atmosphere and themes of a game in the new World of Darkness.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology
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Weird World News • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2021 06:15:33

In Scooby-Doo's footsteps - a Mephisto review

Weird World News

The cover of Weird World News already clearly shows what the inspiration for this Fate World of Adventure was. Weird World News is set in a world where in the '60s and '70s, it became fashionable for groups of young people to chase down sightings of monsters - which usually turned out to be just people in disguise. A continuation of this tradition still exists in the form of newspapers that follow up on any story, no matter how bizarre. In this game, the player characters are members of one news crew investigating such eerie sightings. The fact that the crew consists of young people, each of whom has a role between leader, looker, etc., who travel around together with a mascot and a minibus, clearly shows that Scooby-Doo and other series inspired the roleplaying game. The game does not make any secret of this but references this template's various series and typical patterns and approaches in detail.

For character creation, the player characters are divided into several archetypes. For example, the leader is good at anything, or the looker is particularly stylish - or even the looney who is a bit odd. Instead of the usual skill set, Weird World News used only four skills. Instead of stress and consequences, this setting uses conditions to keep the game simple. Part of the rules revolves around rolling out monsters, locations, and characters and describing the typical structure of such a roleplaying episode. A ready-to-play adventure and some sample monsters round out the book.

Weird World News shows a lot of love for the genre, and those who like series like Scooby-Doo and are looking for a simple, quick roleplaying game will do well with Weird World News. However, even though the game is presented with a lot of attention to detail, it's not my cup of tea and therefore did not convince me personally - not because it's not well done, but because I've never been a fan of the series.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Weird World News • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Haunting Shadows: The Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2021 06:13:04

Haunted ghosts - a Mephisto review

Haunting shadows

Titled Haunting shadows, this anthology for the Wraith roleplaying game takes the reader into the world of the ghosts of the World of Darkness with nine short stories. The stories take up typical concepts of the roleplaying game: the social order of the wraiths, shaped by the Hierarchy, which always threatens to use new ghosts as raw materials; the confrontation of the wraiths with their shadow - that is, their dark side; the fight against specters and, of course, simply the fact that the ghosts end up in a dark parallel world after the end of their lives.

As with the other anthologies, the stories cover a wide range. For example, in one story, a duo of ghosts explores the sinister labyrinth and faces its horrors. Another one is about a group of researchers who slip into the spirit world more by accident than anything else. The next story features an investigator who is a wraith investigating the machinations of a haunted house. The stories are excitingly written and offer the unusual variation of ghost stories, written from ghosts' point of view, but here the wraiths must also face horror themselves.

Again, with Haunting shadows, you do not necessarily need to know the roleplaying game, but this certainly helps with understanding. For fans of the World of Darkness, there are also the re-encounter with a particularly unpopular ghost and links to the roleplaying game Orpheus. For Wraith players, Haunting shadows is recommended for reading.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Haunting Shadows: The Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Anthology
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Deep Dark Blue • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2021 06:08:59

Under the sea - a Mephisto review

Deep Dark Blue

The Fate World of Adventure Deep Dark Blue takes you to the depths of the oceans. While mining on land has exhausted resources, the corporations have discovered the bottom of the oceans as a new source of raw materials, so the seas are the new frontier to which humanity is advancing. In these regions, buried under several thousand meters of water, the corporations operate their mining stations, and an infrastructure has developed with underwater bases and independent submarines. The player characters are the crew of one such submarine, trying to stay afloat financially with freelance contracts.

Deep Dark Blue's character creation makes a few changes from the Fate standard. A central aspect of each character is their role, which includes various positions within the ship's crew. Other new aspects are the background story and the personal mission. In addition to the crew itself, there is the submarine to work out, and here the group must decide on a class of boat. Instead of stress, the rules for conditions are used for boats. Then, of course, there are basic rules for combat between submarines and aboard submarines.

The setting is briefly introduced with some some locations and corporations, and deep-sea threats - up to and including giant deep-sea creatures - are also presented. Finally, a sample adventure shows a typical mission where the player characters have to perform a rescue mission and take on a corporation.

Deep Dark Blue offers an interesting setting - namely the deep sea - and with the concept of free agents working for and against corporations, the game covers a popular theme. As usual, the gaming group will have to define many white spaces on the underwater map for longer campaigns, but Deep Dark Blue offers a solid basic setting that can be built upon well.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Dark Blue • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Morts • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2021 05:49:41

Zombie hunting after the apocalypse - a Mephisto review

Morts

The zombie apocalypse has happened, and humanity has lost. But humanity has also survived. Thus, although the USA no longer exists, a new nation has formed on the West Coast: Cascadia. While the cities and the interstate connecting them have been cleansed of zombies and other undead, the undead are still on the move in the wasteland. Between the cities, which are secured by high walls, and the wasteland, which is separated by another fence, there is a zone that should be relatively free of undead and is used for farming. Unfortunately, since the fence only serves to prevent the undead from accidentally coming to the cities and finding interest in them, undead stray into the zone now and then. It's up to a new professional group to put a stop to this problem. However, these zombie hunters, the Morticians or simply Morts, are not celebrated heroes, but a professional group of those with few alternatives...

The game world of Morts approaches the zombie apocalypse theme in an unusual and somewhat humorous way. Here it's not the zombie virus that has triggered the catastrophe, but somehow necromantic powers have been unleashed, so there are ghosts and necromancers in addition to zombies. In fact, the player characters do not have to be human but can also play as revenants, lichs, or ghosts. Of course, slightly different rules apply to these undead, especially when it comes to dealing with stress and damage. There are also rules for necromancy, but they are kept short and simple - and unconventional and mysterious. The book describes the structure of typical missions and how to use them for appropriate dramaturgy—the inevitable adventure rounds out the book.

Morts is well written, and the idea for the not-quite-serious background is quite fascinating. The idea of lightly serving up the zombie apocalypse (life practically resumes as normal in the cities) and making the zombie hunters a less popular job is also coherently presented. The setting, presented compactly in a few small sections, also sounds exciting. It definitely makes Morts well-suited for some short zombie hunting missions - so if you're looking for a quick casual zombie hunt with Fate, this is the place to go.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Morts • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2021 14:16:23

In space there is no one left to scream - a Mephisto review

Ghost Planets

In the 23rd century, humanity developed the technology to travel to the stars and cover interstellar distances within weeks. This gave humanity a chance to make a fresh start on distant colonies after the horror and chaos of the 22nd century and made them realize that they were not alone in the universe. In fact, humans found traces of highly advanced civilizations everywhere, but they had all already perished. In many cases, there was evidence of an Omega event, a major catastrophe that destroyed life on the planet. Much more mysterious and threatening, however, is something called a Sigma event. In many cases, the inhabitants of these civilizations seem to have simply disappeared within a very short period of time for no apparent reason. It is now up to the Xenohistory Corps to uncover the background of the Sigma event and, if necessary, prevent it from affecting humanity as well.

The Fate World of Adventure Ghost Planets offers an unusual science fiction setting. The player characters are a team of scientists who travel from planet to planet to investigate the legacies of alien civilizations - always searching for the background of the Sigma event. With faster-than-light travel available to humanity, the entire galaxy is open to the player characters. In addition to introducing the background, the rules are modified in a few places. For example, there are six basic character types that determine the approach to investigations: from analyst to empath to visionary. There are also a few minor changes in the skills, which become more differentiated in research skills. Rules for the research projects with the different methods of the character types and the rule-based handling of these research projects are also an addition.

The game world is presented compactly, as is the level of technology. The background is more detailed where necessary. For example, you will find deck plans and other information about the typical spaceship. Of course, the book is not without an adventure. Here, the player characters must investigate an ancient structure that could offer clues to the Sigma event. I liked both the setting and the gameplay approach of Ghost Planets very much. This world has an exciting background that lends itself well to having the player characters either explore alien civilizations or investigate the mystery of the Sigma event. In addition, the rules focus on the research projects is coherently implemented and offers a rules concept that can be used elsewhere.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghost Planets • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2021 14:10:21

The worderful world of mages - a Mephisto review

Fallen World

Since every system of the Chronicle of Darkness gets its own anthology, Mage - The Awakening does not go empty-handed thanks to Fallen World either. Twelve stories take the reader on a multifaceted journey through the world of mages. At one point, it's about a young magician who experiences a personal crisis and finds magical enlightenment. Then again, the focus is on the conflict between two mages who interfere with a custody dispute for their own interests.

While most stories focus more on their protagonists and less on the major organizations and powers within the game world, one story with an interesting Seers of the Throne perspective provides a very original look at one of the larger conflicts in the game world.

Not much can be said about the stories without running the risk of giving away their surprises. While the themes and presentation vary (which is what makes a good anthology, in my view), the stories have in common that they are entertainingly written and worth reading. You do not necessarily need to know the world of Mage, but it certainly helps when reading - which also means that there is no "secret knowledge" of the game world to be found here.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology
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The Ministry • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2021 14:05:23

Fighting aliens in post-war UK - a Mephisto review

The Ministry

The Fate World of Adventure The Ministry is about a familiar theme: the struggle of a secret government force against alien forces - but in new packaging. The players are the agents of the eponymous organization, the Ministry of Rocketry, which in 1950s Britain tries to neutralize the dangers posed by alien invaders secretly. In this setting, the aliens act not as conquerors attacking Earth with their flying saucers but as a background threat using their powers to infect or take over humans. Among the aliens introduced in the book, one thus also finds some variants that seem pretty familiar - be it the plant-like cocoons used to replace humans with alien duplicates or the spider-like creatures that dock onto the brains of their hosts and take over control.

The idea of the setting is to transfer the action to post-war England, which is deliberately presented as a gray and dreary background where the population is primarily concerned with their work and has little time for anything else. The backdrop with the war damage also presents a gray and bleak picture.

Rules-wise, the book presents systems for aliens taking control of hosts and expands the takeover of humans through rules for conflicts between resulting mobs. Of course, there is also an adventure here for immediate play, where the player characters get directly involved in happenings within the English royal family.

While the basic idea and setting are very exciting from my point of view, the presentation did not convince me that much. The bleak setting is only touched upon and not followed up in the adventure. The listing of the English cities, their size and their mechanistic impact for infection and mob rules are a bit too rule-heavy and schematic for me. On the other hand, the ideas for the aliens are quite exciting. Still, the adventure, in which the English royal family is immediately involved in the events in a very drastic way, does not fit well with the setting in my view either. In my view, The Ministry offers a good basic idea but does not fulfill its potential.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Ministry • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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The Constellation of Alarion & Other Stories
Publisher: Modiphius
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2021 13:57:08

Science fiction, fantasy and both - a Mephisto review

The Constellation of Alarion

The Constellation of Alarion is a short story collection by John Houlihan, known in the roleplaying scene for his publication for the roleplaying game Achtung! Cthulhu. In The Constellation of Alarion he presents ten short stories, usually set against a science fiction background and sometimes with a dash of fantasy. One story, for example, is about competition and confrontation with a robot assistant. Then a mismatched brother and sister must prepare for a gladiatorial battle in a chariot to secure supplies for their town. Sometimes it's about the consequences when lies become impossible, and sometimes about the devious machinations of a supposed war hero in a futuristic retirement home. The stories are varied, original, and well told. Especially Most Exalted from the villain's point of view has an exciting and black-humored approach. But the eponymous story, very reminiscent of classic roleplaying scenarios, in which a diverse group of characters seeks treasure in a trap-filled labyrinth, also provides excellent reading entertainment.

The Constellation of Alarion provides a diverse and entertaining collection of short stories that has to offer a good range of original ideas in the science fiction genre - and the fact that some of the stories are somewhat reminiscent of roleplaying game settings is a bonus, in my view.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Constellation of Alarion & Other Stories
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CTHULHU: Grenzland
Publisher: Pegasus Press
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/04/2021 15:00:58

Grenzlose Schrecken - eine Mephisto-Rezension

Grenzland

Dass cthulhoide Mächte oft in entlegenen Regionen wirken, ist allgemein bekannt. Entsprechend führt der gleichnamige Kampagnenband die Investigatoren ins Grenzland, in diesem Fall von der Metropole Berlin bis hin zu den entlegenen Gebieten von Ostpreußen. Die Grenzland-Kampagne beginnt mit einem sehr persönlichen Einstieg der Spielercharaktere, die entführt und Opfer medizinischer Experimente werden. Ihren Peinigern zu entkommen und sich von diesem Schrecken zu befreien, ist nur der erste Schritt, und so geht es in einer weiten Reise von Berlin über Breslau, Danzig und Königsberg bis in die ostpreußische Provinz. Auf dem Weg entwirren die Investigatoren eine Verschwörung, in die Drogenhändler, Umstürzler, Mutanten, Gangster und Mythos-Mächte verwickelt sind. Sechs Abenteuer führen Schritt für Schritt zum großen Finale, das am Ende apokalyptische Züge annimmt.

Ohne mehr über die Details der Kampagne verraten zu wollen, bietet Grenzland einen sehr umfassenden Handlungsbogen, bei dem die einzelnen Episoden an ihren jeweiligen Orten eine jeweils eigenständige Geschichte bieten, die jedoch durch die große Verschwörung im Hintergrund verbunden ist. Entsprechend gibt auch jedes Kapitel eine Übersicht darüber, welche Figuren möglichst diese Episode überleben sollten, weil sie in späteren Kapiteln noch benötigt werden. Die Abenteuer decken eine große Bandbreite ab. Zunächst beginnt es mit der Flucht, dann ermitteln die Investigatoren in der Unterwelt Breslaus und in der Gesellschaft Danzigs, um in Königsberg eines der zentralen Geheimnisse, das sie selbst betrifft, aufklären zu können. Danach geht es in die feindselige Provinz, wo die Investigatoren die Chance haben, einen großen persönlichen Erfolg zu erringen, nur um dann festzustellen, dass das buchstäblich apokalyptische Finale noch auf sie wartet. Tatsächlich könnte man die letzte Episode – wenn die Apokalypse mit ihrem extremen Hintergrund für die eigene Spielrunde zu viel ist – theoretisch sogar streichen und würde immer noch eine gelungene, in sich geschlossene Kampagne behalten.

Auch wenn Grenzland wieder mal ein Abenteuerband ist, den man mit neuen, unvorbelasteten Investigatoren spielen sollte (und bei denen nicht sicher ist, ob man sie am Ende noch weiterspielen möchte), bietet dieser Ausflug in cthuloide Welten aus meiner Sicht eine sehr gelungene Kampagne. Die sechs Abenteuer sind abwechslungsreich, stimmig aufgebaut und gut ausgearbeitet – und sie bieten zusammen einen herausfordernden Handlungsbogen. Meiner Meinung nach ist dies ein Vorteil gegenüber den typischen One-Shot-Abenteuern, denn hier bekommen Spielrunden eine komplette, knallharte Kampagne, die subtil beginnt, sich immer weiter steigert und im großen Finale endet. Aus meiner Sicht gehört damit Grenzland zu den klar empfehlenswerten Abenteuerbände der aktuellen Reihe.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CTHULHU: Grenzland
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The Crisp Line • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/15/2021 12:49:26

More or less than human? - a Mephisto review

The Crisp Line

Fate worlds usually have one or two central ideas, and in the case of The Crisp Line, this is summed up in the subtitle DNA is not our destiny. In the near future, genetic engineering and, in particular, the CRISPR/CAS gene scissors have been advanced. In this brave new world exist genetically modified persons (GMPs), which come in two varieties. On the one hand, there are the perizygotic GMPs (Perries for short), who were optimized before they were born and, while they appear like normal humans, are not only improved, but theoretically pass these improvements on to their offspring. On the other hand, those who did not get this advantage at birth can have themselves optimized afterward - with risks and side effects. Of course, this development also has social consequences, with GMPs being viewed rather critically. Nevertheless, the first genetic modification is not the last for many, even if there is a risk of ending up as a mutant monster.

Genetic enhancements come as packages named after the animals from which the traits are taken: the gorilla package makes you stronger, the axolotl package more robust. Gameplay-wise, the packages improve stats, offer stunts, and change appearance through mutations. During the game, more packages can be acquired - with the risk of becoming less and less human. So naturally, such characters are suitable as agents who complete missions in this cyberpunk setting to get money for further improvements.

As usual, the book offers an adventure in which players witness an operation against the local GMP scene. They encounter a conspiracy between politicians, organized crime bosses, and free agents.

The Crisp Line has an exciting hook that is coherently implemented rules-wise, even if the number of enhancement packs is limited. However, the book focuses on the one aspect of the game, so the broader setting can (and must) be developed by the individual group. As the adventure provides a fitiin introduction to the setting, so The Crisp Line provides a solid starting point for Fate players interested in cyberpunk settings.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Crisp Line • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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