" I've got a pretty good head for math, I took calculus, but this is just too much. "
Title: Jovian Chronicles by Dreampod 9
Format: Pen and paper roleplaying
Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A
The Hype: More mech for your money. Jovian chronicles boast a simple system in a huge sci-fi world. The makers of Heavy Gear and Gear Krieg bring you an all-new mech game. Travel the reaches of the galaxy, make friends and kill people, all this is a towering mech all your own.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Drama: They really did put a great deal of thought into the story of Jovian. A goodly amount of the core book is just story set up. The basic layout is this; A long time ago (in a galaxy pretty nearby), Earth sent a bunch of folks out to colonize the solar system. Then somebody tripped on the power cord and knocked out all communication with the Earth for about a generation. The colonies had to become independent and self-sufficient. Now the Earth is back and they want their galaxy. Enter the players to a solar system (as this all takes place in Sol), in turmoil and poised on the brink of all out war. Most of the planets are colonized and every planet has its own little drama and backstory. There's drama at every turn as factions vie for power and mysterious battles and events unfold. The story is really well thought out and holds the game together well. I won't even dock them points for having the French rule the largest planet in the solar system. 5 out of 5
Layout and Presentation: The artwork all has a vaguely anime quality to it. That makes it rather pleasing to the eye. The layout is fine; it progresses in a logical manner. Unfortunately, there are so many minutias in this game that it will likely take you forever to find things in the rules. There are especially a few rules that seem to be out of place. Generally though you'll have the right area, it's just sifting through the tons of information to find what you're looking for. 3.5 out of 5
Playability: Here's where we hit a major snafu. The Silhouette system is supposed to be streamlined and easy. I've never seen an easy system make grown men cry, just trying to get through character generation. The essence of the system is to roll a few d6 and take the highest single result, adding your modifiers. This system thus lends itself to low numbers, between about 4 and 8, on average. This means that the average ability score is 0, with a 4 being nigh godly. And if that sounds weird to you, it is. Suffice it to say that the math involved in character creation alone is enough to turn most people off of the game. Once you get into the game proper, the same thing happens. You end up with a lot of odd math and numbers that don't make sense right away. Especially with combat, because only about half the things your mech can do are adequately explained. Actually only about half things you can do in general are adequately explained. Suffice it to say that the system is overly complicated with more mathematics than any roleplaying game really needs. That and it's in the metric system. 2.5 out of 5.
Desired Content: They left out the "Idiots' guide to movement in space" and the part where they keep the system simple. Other than that, you've got a book filled with stuff you're probably not going to want to touch. There's plenty of story information if you want it. They're missing a goodly amount of mechs and vehicles though, with a slim smattering of robots to choose from. They have more on their website, but those don't have stats. Leaving you with the one or two starting mechs in the book. Definitely not enough. 2 out of 5
|If you're looking for a great concept to play with, then this is your place. There are a lot of great story ideas flowing from this book. Unfortunately it just comes off as unplayable. I've got a pretty good head for math, I took calculus, but this is just too much. The rules will leave you bored and wanting more and it's just not to be found here.|
The Good: Great story and setting.
The Bad: Really overly complicated rule applications.
The Overall Ugly: There are better mech games out there, but not many.
What it's Worth: A few buck at a garage sale, maybe