" They also give you all the info you need to take, or at least make believable, the Axis side as well, which is a nice touch. "
Title: Gear Krieg the Role Playing Game by Dream Pod 9
Format: WWII Alternate History RPG
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: Billed as "Two fisted pulp roleplaying", Gear Krieg is the companion RPG to the tabletop strategy game of the same name. Set in the second "war to end all wars", Gear Krieg is an alternate history game in which giant gas powered robots fight along side Mauser wielding troops.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Drama: More about history than story, Gear Krieg actually works pretty hard to keep a fairly unbiased view of the world at war and the players involved. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is pretty darned cool. This main book covers everything from governments to major events to key figures and presents it all in a light that is designed to let you make the game you want out of it. Want to wage war as the Allied front? No problem, they've got you covered. But, and possible more ominously, they also give you all the info you need to take, or at least make believable, the Axis side as well, which is a nice touch. Adding to that "they give, you create" feel is the campaign section, which really provides no campaigns at all. Instead it's 40 pages of formula, format, and feel for your own games and suggestions on how to make your adventures as exciting and entertaining as possible. Which, in my opinion, is a hell of a lot more important than a one-time scenario. 4 out of 5
Layout and Presentation: Good and bad here, kiddies. The good, hands down, is how they present what they have. Tight indexes, one of the best table of contents ever, and a logical flow of information all make this book a joy to use. Unfortunately, it's marred by two unfortunate failings: graphics and information listings. The illustrations, done in a sketch form, are definitely sub par and add absolutely nothing to the gaming experience. And, falling prey to one of the more annoying trends in book design, vital information is often separated into two or more different areas (i.e. the weapon descriptions and the weapon statistics are not given at the same time) and thus add a considerable amount of annoying "page flipping" factor. 4 out of 5
Playability: Gear Krieg, like the vast
majority of Dream Pod's games, uses the Silhouette system-, which is a simple
high number, plus mods set up. I'm not going to talk too much about it, since
they've been using it for something like a decade, but the system is a solid
one and has developed an extremely large fan base.
What's especially nice about it here, though, is that Silhouette does transfer directly between tabletop and role-playing, so you can switch from tactical to personal gaming in a campaign in nothing flat. Unfortunately, however, this book's content in that respect is fairly limited (being more about background) and so the playability of this book alone is a bit suspect. 3.75 out of 5
Desired Content: With few exceptions, everything you need is here. From rules to background, equipment to npcs, Gear Krieg has you covered. Really, the only thing I missed is expanded information on the Gears (the giant robots) but I guess that's what the tactical game is for. 3.75 out of 5
|It's not often that a tactical game transfers this nicely into role-playing, and I certainly applaud Dream Pod for making it happen here. This is definitely a must for any Gear Krieg tactical players and is probably a good game for role players in general.|
The Good: Lots of background, good system, plenty of info.
The Bad: Book is laid out a bit funny and isn't much of a stand-alone game.
The Overall Ugly: A good offering that should be around for a good, long while.
What it's Worth: Market.