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RDP: Technothrillers: Revised Edition $3.00
Publisher: Gun Metal Games
by alan d. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2008 21:54:15
Disclaimer: I got this product free from the publisher so that I could review it for them. This is also my first RDP product ever.

Ok, now that's out of the way on the the review.

Presentation: Beautiful cover, reminds me a lot of Rainbow Six. The PDF is fully bookmarked, which is quite helpful to move about from section to section. Editing issues: some spelling and grammatical errors.

Idea: The premise of the book is definately cool, and I think the idea was great. It just lacks a little in substance.

Content: A new role (agent) is presented. I'm not one for new classes (or roles in True20), so it was a downer for me, but may be good for others. It is balanced (math shown) from the rules in the True20 Companion, so no fear of overpowered roles should be found here. Also has rules for gambling, very similar to d20 Modern, but True20 didn't seem to have anything, so it's new all over again. Also has 'Tradecraft' which you take in place of feats for some cool spy-genre style benefits, such as the ability to conjure up satellite recon of a target area or get some military transport flights without having to go through customs. As with most products, a few new feats are presented as well.

New chase rules are also presented, but seem to be cumbersome. It requires the Narrator to know (in advance) all the intersections, possible paths to the intersections, and pre-planned obstacles if the chace just happens to hit that pre-planned area of road. It's just too much in comparison to other chase rules - but again, since True20 doesn't have anything now - it's better than nothing.

The most interesting part of the book is the "planning montage" section which is all the pre-mission stuff (scouting the target, simulating the heist, etc). While this is well thought out, the rules are very loosely designed, and in some cases don't seem to actually tell you how to use them. While it's a brilliant idea, it appears both cumbersome in practice, and poorly explained. Possibly if the explanation was better, it might not be so cumbersome, but I'm unable to piece it all together.

Writing Style: Honestly, this is the major downfall with this product. The writing is very dry and sort of scatters through ideas on the surface without actually getting into any particular subjects. There are a lot of phrases like "this is related to another part of the genre..." lines where the author jumps right into another subject without completing his original thoughts.

Overall: This product has potential, but I think it was rushed out the door. The writing isn't great, examples poorly explained. The premise has so much room to grow and make this a valuable product (which I think it could be with a serious edit). Right now, however, it's just not quite there. This could be a 4 star product with a little help, otherwise porting from other d20 based spy genre product would probably get you further.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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RDP: Technothrillers: Revised Edition
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