The Nebuleon Revised is a unified RPG package including both a SF campaign background and a complete set of system rules based on Hinterwelt?s Iridium System. The Iridium system is skillfully built around a broad skill system covering the range of situations commonly encountered by the characters. Success is determined using a simple curved progression and a minimum of modifiers. Skills and proficiency in them are gained during the initial creation of the character and as a result of experience. The Hinterwelt portal also offers a complete character generation and storage service effectively maximizing time to play and allowing the players to focus on customizing the background and story of the character.
The introduction contains a short piece detailing the company?s design philosophy stressing a ?Character Driven? play style. ?Character Driven? play ?is a story based on and pushed forward by the interaction of characters with a Game Master?s story?. In other words, the rules take second place to the story. For a GM who thrives on creating a story and having the characters interact with it, the system is full of rich details including a large number of races available to player characters, an array of organizations and governmental styles and a wide range of archetypical character classes.
The included background features a location where the various races are intermingled and in frequent contact with each other while not yet approaching any type of true integration. Most of the driving forces within the campaign relate to racial supremacy and preeminence. Governments are organized along racial and religious lines and compete on those levels much more than more abstract mercantile or economic lines.. Humans are on the bottom rungs of the social hierarchy, yet retain the youth and vitality common to up and comers in a SF setting.
Nebuleon?s offerings for a SF ?gearhead? or rule driven Game Master are more limited. The background is designed to be customizable by the GM and even dropped if so desired. The gadgets beloved of many SF gamers are dealt with in a small chapter and have little or no background story. Ships and vehicles are merely a method of getting the characters from one scene in the story to the next. Specific situations are run according to generalized rules rather than attempting to have specific rules for each situation.
Overall Nebuleon Revised offers a great deal for the price, but may have missed the market. Hinterwelt?s other settings tend to be better for character-driven play and offer more scope for story with having to met the object oriented demands of many SFRPG players. Roma Imperious players will probably be much more content with having a spear be just a spear and a wagon just be a wagon. Many, if not most, SF gamers seem to thrive on having a huge array of ships, equipment and gear all loving detailed and explained. <br><br><b>LIKED</b>: The nice balance between depth of system and speed of play in the Iridium system. The system is broad enough to handle most any situation yet in a way to avoid bogging down in breadth and depth of detail.
<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The system and design philosophy are perhaps better suited for other settings and situations. SF gamers tend to prefer heavy extensive rules, lots of goodies and objects, and a focus on things rather than people. The production values are adequate, but perhaps not up to the standards of many current products with larger budgets and resources.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]