For those of you familiar with Mr. Underkoffler?s Campaign in a Box series in Pyramid magazine, the format and style of the Turtlezilla Dossier will undoubtedly seem familiar. I consider that a Good Thing.
The first page of the .pdf is a TOC and credits. The following Page One (going by the footer) gives a brief Introduction explaining the organization and possible uses of the document plus a set of 13 haiku-inspired verses written by Underkoffler. I think my favorite is ?At the sight of kaiju/Fighting in a rubber suit,/Even the critic?s critic/Would get more popcorn.?
Pages Two and Three provide a summary of the basic features of the Turtlezilla as well as a breakdown of its sightings and appearances, along with unusual phenomena associated with its manifestations. In classic Underkoffler fashion, not all the ?experts? commenting on Turtlezilla agree on the known facts. There are tidbits sprinkled in here that could be either MacGuffins or critical clues depending on how a GM decides to use Turtlezilla. There are a couple of lists at the end of Page Three summing up the possible answers to the questions ?What is Turtlezilla?? and ?Why Does it Attack?? based on the facts presented.
The GM section begins on Page Four. It provides a brief buffet of even more events that might be red herrings or crucial plot points depending on your tastes. Then you get suggestions on how to utilize Turtlezilla in each of the three mini-settings presented at the back of the main Truth and Justice book. Of these, Second-String Supers meet Turtlezilla has the most comic-book feel to me (reminiscent of the Giffen Justice League for some reason). On the other hand, the SuperCorps option is the one I would be more inclined to run personally. It?s kind of like Mutual of Omaha?s Wild Kingdom meets a giant turtle monster. (?Jim will apply the tag to Turtlezilla now . . . oh my, Jim seems to be on fire.?) Or maybe that Life Aquatic movie with Bill Murray. In any case, it provides a level-headed rationale as to why a bunch of super-powered people would be paid to put a tracking tag on Turtlezilla. I really like the idea that you?re not trying to blow Turtlezilla up in this scenario. Because you probably can?t.
At the bottom of Page Six and running through to Page Nine you get another tasting sampler: three different writeups for Turtlezilla?s origin, motivation, and T&J stats. Turtlezilla Prime and Alien Atomic Reptile Family are both clever, while Kaiju Projection is a bit predictable. Though honestly, if it wasn?t there, you?d say, ?Boy, he missed the obvious option.?
The Dossier wraps up with a ?hits the highlights? description of Turtlezilla?s use in Underkoffler?s own T&J campaign. It sounds like an entertaining session and provides at least one more clever twist to pull on the players. Personally I find these sorts of things quite helpful as examples of the system in action, as long as the home campaign in question isn?t filled with power-mongering knuckleheads, which this one thankfully wasn?t.
As far as art goes, there?s a drawing of Turtlezilla on Page One and an ad at the end of the Dossier. But you don?t really buy Truth and Justice for the Art.
<b>LIKED</b>: The writing and ideas are well-crafted. I?m not a particular fan of kaiju, but this manages to provide functional GM advice along with a surprising number of options. Different GMs could take this and use it in very different ways. I would have no problem using it for a one-shot in a game in the Animated Style.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing other than there aren't more items like this out there.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>