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RDP: Alien Invasion
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/31/2006 00:00:00

RDP: Alien Invasion is a sourcebook from Reality Deviant Publications, published through RPGObjects. The zipped file is 18.67 megabytes in size, and contains two PDFs, five JPEGs, and one MP3. The PDFs are of the book itself, having both a full-color and printer-friendly version (though the full PDF has several extra pages, more on this below). The JPEG files are of maps (and a single illustration) found in the book itself. Finally, the MP3 is just over ten minutes from (what is presumably an actual session of) Ground Zero, an actual radio show.

The main file is one-hundred-thirty-eight pages long. Interestingly, the last twenty-six pages are what appear to be scans of actual documents, though the printing is oftentimes blacked-out, smudged, or otherwise hard to read. This is followed by a single page order form for, which (following in the theme from the Ground Zero radio show) is an actual website that offers documentation on the Majestic-12 and other esoteric subjects that may or may not be true. These last twenty-seven pages are not in the printer-friendly version of the book. It?s also worth noting that only the main file has bookmarks either.

The book?s artwork is very well done. The cover and all of the interior art is full-color, though the color is often muted to the point of almost seeming to be grayscale. All of the page backgrounds are a light bluish color, with subtle designs on them, which don?t distract from the actual text. Borders occupy alternating sides of the pages. Of course, the printer-friendly version removes all of this, being just black text on a white page.

The book opens with a story from Clyde Lewis, who runs the Ground Zero radio show. Following this, the book dives right in to the subject of aliens infiltrating our world, discussing the types of invasions, what role heroes can play, the history of aliens on Earth, and more.

The first half of the book largely covers fluff elements, such as crop circles, cattle mutilations, alien sightings and abductions, cults, conspiracy groups, evidence of aliens, and more. While each of these aforementioned sections largely deals with descriptive information (that is, giving the GM enough information so to know what she?s talking about), each also includes game mechanics for things such as skill checks to verify evidence, sample NPCs for various groups (including Ground Zero?s people), and more.

The second half of the book covers more crunchy information than fluff. It gives the familiar new backgrounds, feats, advanced classes (based on actual alien cults), psionic powers, and spells. It then starts to give some more innovative materials, with racial templates and alien technology, including starships. Finally, it closes out with alien races (who are also playable as characters) and anomalous aliens (which cannot be PCs).

Altogether, Alien Invasion does a very good job of presenting scenarios for an X-Files-esque campaign, where the heroes must not only ferret out the truth, but also determine what to do when they find it. The myriad options given here allow for not only the familiar paradigm of underdogs fighting against a massive conspiracy, but they can also be part of a counter-organization that has its own secrets, or they could even be the invading aliens themselves. Alien Invasion gives you these tools and more, with just enough basis in reality that not only will it spook your characters, but likely your players also. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This product outlined a number of ways to play a Modern d20 game with invading aliens, including benevolent alien races and the human cults who gain power from them to help fight otherworldly invaders. Plus, the myriad references to real organizations, such as the Aetherius Society and the Raelian Movement, lends this product an eerie edge perfectly suited for the subject matter.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some sections of the product seem to go back and forth over whether it wants to present a toolkit for aliens in your Modern d20 game, or outline a metaplot you can drop in whole-cloth. While it largely seems to favor the latter, the book never seems to be totally sure either way.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>

[4 of 5 Stars!]