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FSpaceRPG Concise Rulebook
Publisher: FSpace Publications
by Lance M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2009 23:15:24

I'm pleased to see the continual work this publisher is putting into revising their books to eliminate errors and improve presentation. While the content remains essentially the same as it's first introduction as 4.0 they have taken the time to modernise it with some colour imagery, a colour page template and corrected some typos. A book of this size can't cover every conceivable rule or universe information, but it provides details across a range of rules and universe material. The universe material gives an overview of geo-political constrcutions of the universe, capsule description of some nations and worlds, but spends more effort on the aliens than anything else. I think this is a good approach because aliens need more details, while GMs can fill in the blanks for the human material if they don't buy any other products. The universe is built on a broader canvas than can be presented in this book, much like several other notable scifi rpgs. The rules use some relatively familiar concepts, but in a different mix. The use of a 1d100 skills engine isn't based on the normal use of them. Very large skill numbers and large modifiers exist in the game for good reasons with the d100 roll being more a level of variance at higher levels than in other systems. Takes getting used to, but works well once you understand the mechanics. The skill system does have some interesting elements for cooperative gaming, rather than typical competitive play. I can various points where the mechanics can be extended or contracted to suit your tastes, and the publisher doesn't seem to mind pointing that out, but leaving the work to the individual gamer. The combat system, while detailed could do with some extra details in places, and a slightly different layout to be clearer. Otherwise the structure of the book is relatively well organised. This game seems to be a broader canvas than can be conveyed with the constraint of the page count of this rulebook, but it looks like the publishers know this given they've called it a concise rulebook. Will there be a bigger volume? Fortunately they bundle this book with a range of the other smaller publications to fill in the gap. For a game at the beginning of detailing a large scale space opera, this is still a great start. I'd like to see a revised book, possibly larger with areas mentioned above better explained and organised, some details from their other books included and more use of colour.

[4 of 5 Stars!]