Despite the fact that many modern/future games enjoy playing up characters who use futuristic melee weapons, or special powers, guns are still at the heart of future combat. From the naked geekery of detailing the imaginary tech of future weapons to the sheer badass factor that comes with blowing someone away and assuming a pose, guns are what make future heroes (and villains). You’ll never hear someone say that there don’t need to be more types of new guns made, an axion that proves true with Applied Vector’s Future Firearms Pack One.
The first of the Future Firearms line comes as a single PDF inside a zip file less than two megabytes in size. The PDF is fourteen pages long, with the front and back covers getting a page each, a page for the credits and table of contents, and two pages for the OGL. While bookmarks aren’t really necessary in a product of this length, it would have been nice if they’d been given here.
Despite being a short product, and being primarily about new weaponry, this book set a very high bar for itself in terms of its artwork. All of the illustrations are full color CGI, and are very well done. The covers both use the same illustration of a woman aiming a huge gun in the midst of a fire. However, each of the new weapons here not only has a singular illustration of the gun itself, but also an absolutely gorgeous full-page illustration of someone wielding it. It should be obvious that I was very impressed with the artwork here. However, the plethora of lush designs means that people interested in printing this book out may be in for a bit of a hard time. While it’s easy enough to just print the specific pages for each gun, a printer-friendly version would have been a good extra feature.
The book opens by spending a page recapping the statistics for guns. Ordinarily I look down on reprinting rules, but I found it to be helpful here, and thankfully brief. After that it dives right into the four new guns it presents, ranging from PL 6 through PL 8. While each guns has a brief description, most of their write-up is about what gadgets are incorporated into their design. It’s a bit unfortunate that many of them incorporate similar gadgets, making the guns seem similar. While I can follow the logic that says that futuristic guns will all have built-in advantages over modern guns, this works against making each gun feel special – the weapons here do feel unique, but only by overcoming how several gadgets are repeated several times.
Future Firearms Pack One does a good job in presenting several new guns for your Future d20 game, but the best part of this book is the extra care that was spent on the art. The mechanics themselves are adequate, but it’s the pictorial presentation that really makes this book stand out. There’s still substance to this product, but it’s the presentation that’ll be what most likely captivates you.