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Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook $4.99
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook
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Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook
Publisher: Melior Via
by Andrew P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2012 16:13:18
I got this as part of a charity bundle, but I"d say that it's worth paying cover price for anyway if you're a heavy Mutants & Masterminds player.
I'm unfamiliar with the Hope Prep series; this is my first exposure to it, so I'm not sure how it integrates with the other available Hope Prep titles.
The text is a little dry in places -- it IS a high school handbook, written completely "in character" after all, but there's color commentary added by three students, who help to keep it interesting and put a human face on the document.

While, I thought the comments written in the margins are a great idea, the execution suffers. The fonts aren't the easiest to read and this isn't helped by the color selection and placement. Frequently the notes ran vertically (90 degrees from usual), which is a minor annoyance on the printed page but a major drawback when trying to read on-screen. Still, they had the forethought to place them on a different layer so you can print "unmarked" copies for your players. I think the overall presentation could be improved with wider page margins (in which to write notes) would have helped considerably, as well as different fonts. Even scanning in handwritten text would have been a better choice.

In the "Notes" section (and in the small rules section), the three students talk extensively about the cliques, and established social classes of the school, which was particularly well done. It gave me flashbacks to my own high school experience, which, while unpleasant for me, is a testament to this piece's authenticity. When I'm done writing this review I'm going to pine for hot girls that'll never give me the time of day.

As a GM, I'd've liked to have seen stat blocks for a typical (or archtypical) representative of each clique,-- but maybe those are included in some other product. They do have stats on the faculty, which is pretty nice.
As a player, I can't think of anything that's missing. It's a good world-building document.

If I could get my gaming group to be the least bit interested in Mutants & Masterminds, I would definitely investigate the other Hope Prep books.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook
Publisher: Melior Via
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/21/2012 18:48:54
The Hope Preparatory School Freshman Handbook is a lovely in-game artefact and a useful reference to the workings of the school. If playing a game in this setting, the Freshman handbook will add verisimilitude to the setting or if you need a super high school to visit, take a look.

Hope Preparatory School (HPS) Freshman Handbook is a 64-page PDF (61-pages if you remove the cover, OGL pages and ad) for the Mutants & Masterminds (3rd Edition) RPG written by John Dunn and published by Melior Via, LLC. This is part of the Melior Via’s Hope Preparatory School line.

HPS Freshman Handbook has mostly a traditional column layout and is digest size and easily readable. The text is annotated by three students which adds color commentary (in actual colored text). The art is full color but limited mostly to pictures of the teachers. It is very well book-marked and you can turn off layers (including the annotation) for easy printing.

HPS Freshman Handbook is exactly that, an in game artefact for students at the HPS school, a high school that caters to superhumans. This details the history of the school and its rules, information on academics (including class schedules and teachers -all of whom are superhumans-), sports, and extracurricular options (conspiracy club!). Overall, giving a solid view of the general workings of the school from the student side of things.

A short section on game rules talks about the appropriate power levels for students and rules for how school cliques impact on social skills. Lastly, the teachers are given short stat blocks.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hope Prep School Freshman Handbook
Publisher: Melior Via
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2011 14:10:35
The Freshman Handbook is a great product in the Hope Prep product line. Meant to follow from the Hope Prep Orientation book, this book expands what you know and provides more information.

Like the Orientation Book, this book is multi-system. I had no issue moving from the ICONS version of one to the M&M version of the other.

This book contains everything a new student will need to know about their new school. There are class schedules with information on the teachers (and their powers, listed in back). While there is a wealth of information here it's utility will vary form GM to GM. While somw may like know where the students are at any given moment of any given day, there are others that will hand wave this.

One thing I found a distraction was the multi-colored text of the two students, Maza and Kid Courage. While interesting and provided a good insight to what was "really" going on, I found the font choice and color difficult to read sometimes.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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