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RDP: Technothrillers: Revised Edition $3.00
Average Rating:3.2 / 5
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RDP: Technothrillers: Revised Edition
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RDP: Technothrillers: Revised Edition
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by Dean L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/17/2008 00:14:41
I’ve mulled through this book and overall I’m happy with it. I find there are a few design flaws and areas that need some work. So I guess I should jump right into. I’ll try to break this review up into cohesive sections so my rating makes sense at the end.

Lay Out: I like the lay out a lot. It reminds of the old TV shows like The A-team and Mission Impossible. The Cover is hot. I get that Tom Clancy warm feeling all over.
Concept: It works, and fits extremely well into the workings of True 20. I believe you have a lot of room to improve or add to this product.
Under the Hood: I like the most of the new content. I truly dig the new role of the agent. (not that True 20 needed a new role) It’s a nice way to address only 2 roles in a setting. True 20’s flexibility normally addresses any such issues, but it is good. I find that its well thought out and structured for balanced role play. Even though I’m not a fan of a ton classes I think this one may be used.
The unveiling of Tradecraft was pretty awesome, Spy feats without calling them feats (nice flavor). Gambling rules are always good, not that it comes up much but it can add to games mystique if you will. Chase rules were presented I wasn’t too crazy about them, I think this was over thought and to many mechanics are needed. I don’t think it lends itself to the story unfolding, its almost as if you’re going to force the group into a chase scene and hope they follow a path. What I found was the idea of the planning montage pretty cool. Get a lot done with a simple game mechanic and it also capture the flavor in the movies or TV shows , like when you see the A-team building there kick ass gear in an abandon hangar or something. Nice little perk. I will probably have to work out some of the bugs, for example perhaps I won’t have staged out and create a simple charge based on D20 role that will perhaps indicate a snag or complication.
The Sum Total: This product is very cool…not the best I’ve ever seen. I found some or the writing rather bland. The underlying story did not keep me interested. I think some of the ideas in the book were glazed over. If this was intentional to afford us with an opportunity to spread our creative wings, then kudos to you. If not then you guys should say what you mean. I think with a little more work and some passionate writing this product will be stellar. On the other side of the coin though, I’ve never been a stickler for everything to be painted out for me. I’m the paint by the numbers kind of Narrator. I like a lot of open ended-ness. I have a tendency to modify and change rules and mechanics all the time. So in sum total I give you 3 out of 5 stars. I think if you look over the product and maybe stream line some of the more cumbersome things in the rules like the chase and planning, you’d get at least another star from me.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
RDP: Technothrillers: Revised Edition
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by alan d. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2008 21:54:15
Disclaimer: I got this product free from the publisher so that I could review it for them. This is also my first RDP product ever.

Ok, now that's out of the way on the the review.

Presentation: Beautiful cover, reminds me a lot of Rainbow Six. The PDF is fully bookmarked, which is quite helpful to move about from section to section. Editing issues: some spelling and grammatical errors.

Idea: The premise of the book is definately cool, and I think the idea was great. It just lacks a little in substance.

Content: A new role (agent) is presented. I'm not one for new classes (or roles in True20), so it was a downer for me, but may be good for others. It is balanced (math shown) from the rules in the True20 Companion, so no fear of overpowered roles should be found here. Also has rules for gambling, very similar to d20 Modern, but True20 didn't seem to have anything, so it's new all over again. Also has 'Tradecraft' which you take in place of feats for some cool spy-genre style benefits, such as the ability to conjure up satellite recon of a target area or get some military transport flights without having to go through customs. As with most products, a few new feats are presented as well.

New chase rules are also presented, but seem to be cumbersome. It requires the Narrator to know (in advance) all the intersections, possible paths to the intersections, and pre-planned obstacles if the chace just happens to hit that pre-planned area of road. It's just too much in comparison to other chase rules - but again, since True20 doesn't have anything now - it's better than nothing.

The most interesting part of the book is the "planning montage" section which is all the pre-mission stuff (scouting the target, simulating the heist, etc). While this is well thought out, the rules are very loosely designed, and in some cases don't seem to actually tell you how to use them. While it's a brilliant idea, it appears both cumbersome in practice, and poorly explained. Possibly if the explanation was better, it might not be so cumbersome, but I'm unable to piece it all together.

Writing Style: Honestly, this is the major downfall with this product. The writing is very dry and sort of scatters through ideas on the surface without actually getting into any particular subjects. There are a lot of phrases like "this is related to another part of the genre..." lines where the author jumps right into another subject without completing his original thoughts.

Overall: This product has potential, but I think it was rushed out the door. The writing isn't great, examples poorly explained. The premise has so much room to grow and make this a valuable product (which I think it could be with a serious edit). Right now, however, it's just not quite there. This could be a 4 star product with a little help, otherwise porting from other d20 based spy genre product would probably get you further.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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