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N.E.W. The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game
Publisher: EN Publishing
by Evan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2016 10:30:36

Where to begin. N.E.W. is not what I was expecting and I was very disapointed in the game.

In the world of RPGs, you can have what I call "life simulators" that try to mimic a world logically, in detail. The other end are the story based games where the goal is not to simulate "reality" but tell a good story with PCs becoming part of the story. Life simulators tend to be more data driven or "crunchy" while story games have little focus on the numbers and stats but on methods to move the plot into interesting areas. I favor the simulator games, BRP, MERP, Rolemaster, Runequest, these games all have great detail and logical design. N.E.W. is presented as being crunchy game, a life in the future simulator, but unfortunately it has "crunch" but not logic. Too many things in the game make it hard to "suspend disbelief" as the logic behind the design failed to work in my head. It fails to be a life simulator, and it is waaay too dice intensive to be story based.

Another issue, and this is with many SciFi games, is that they fail to predict the future. What they do instead is take the world of 2016, add spaceships, aliens and blasters and WALLAH the future. Eclipse Phase does an outstanding job of bucking this trend and that setting does a fantastic jobs of giving gamers a believable future in which to roleplay. It is not just 2016 with window dressing. N.E.W. on the other hand sadly seems to stick to the former trend. The aliens take a page from the Star Trek rule book of alien creation, just add make up and funny ears and there you have it, alien. In N.E.W. they just happen to be future orcs, dwarves, elves and Tieflings/Klingons/Nietzscheans. N.E.W. is more about the future according to Hollywood and DnD than actually giving us something different and well thought out.

Finally, and this is NOT the games fault but my own bias. I really do not like D6 systems. Sometimes I will buy a D6 source book to glenn ideas. This book failed to give me anything original or useful in the idea department - stale. The good news is that with so many cool RPGs out there, this one is at no risk of becoming a time suck in my life.

The good, it is organized, the art is okay (better than some worse than others) and if you like D6 and want something that you could play out that soft SciFi Hollywood hit, you should give this game a try.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
N.E.W. The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game
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Harp Sf
Publisher: Iron Crown Enterprises
by Evan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/20/2011 16:14:18

The Good: Harp SciFi does a great job of allowing detailed character development, cool combat system and nice set of skill sets. I like a system that is not overly complex, but does not feel too fluffy in the rules. Harp does well at balance in this reguard.

The Bad: SciFi RPGs are a tough nut to crack since there is sooo much potential variation in technology and it makes "keeping it real" difficult. This is not a hard sci fi game - which is unfortunate as the system allows for more realism in the mechanics, it would be nice if they did more to "Harden" the scifi premises of the game. Also, it would be nice to have some more on spaceship combat/design - probably a future suppliment.

The Ugly: As mentioned by others, the setting. The aliens just don't do it for me and the background sounds like it was cut and pasted from many scifi rpgs of the past.

Summary - great game mechanics, could use some more variation in characters based on future potential of humans, genetics, and artificial systems. Buy the game - sure its a good system, but throw out the awful background setting.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Harp Sf
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