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    Imago Mortis Preview $0.00
    Average Rating:3.7 / 5
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    Imago Mortis Preview
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    Imago Mortis Preview
    Publisher: GRAmel
    by Mattias G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/12/2016 23:25:17

    After a short prologue, page 10 through the final page 32 of this preview consists of a lecture held by a fictional detective introducing the PC:s as new recruits to the Paranormal world of Imago Mortis'. IMHO, this part is written in a very unfortunate style that would have benefitted from a native speaking editor. I really hope the rest of the RPG is written less awkwardly. The detective (Ghites, as per the protagonist in Marolla's novel) here comes across as some kind of insufferable blend of David Brent and Fonzie, dropping cheesy references all over the place in order to appear occult-savvy:

    "We can make a nice ghost hunting handbook, like the Junior Woodchucks", "I've been in this crap before GhostWeb", "Nice shot, Ghites, now go get your medal", "put on some nice boots with reinforced cold iron toecaps and kick them in the backside all the way back to the Valley of the Shadow of Death", "ready to play this game to the end, the terrible price of having a dull light in your eyes...", "before jumping the train to Horrorwarts", "Yippee Ki Yay!" etc (incl writing 'sickles' where 'scythes' are obviously intended). Indeed, this lecture is nothing short of unintentional parody, a barrage of empty clichées made out to sound cool, like a sales pitch from a sugar-crazed, hyped-up marketing executive on a Friday afternoon (i.e. Yeah, benchmark the sunk costs, highlight the synergies, implement the strategy and go get them, tigers!).

    Secondly, as for creative criticism, I think "Vallum" really ought to rightly have been an acronym. Just picking a latin name is something a secret society might do, but it doesn't seem like a typical Brussels way to register a new bureaucracy. My best suggestion would be to set up a "VISA Acquis Legality Liaison of Union Migrations" under the Schengen Communautaire. This "Vallum" task force would officially be called upon to investigate and deal with potential cross-border conflicts arising in the Common Travel Area, incl the coordination of any temporary National controls imposed in the wake of the current migration crisis. And, obviously, these vaguely defined border problems would unofficially refer to the Curtains between our world and the Netherworld, and the migrants in question would mainly include infiltrating "Spookies". Only you can't very well be too transparent to the public about its mandate, so... Vallum it is. Along the same line of reasoning, I believe the chosen logo (three spirals) seems rather too obscure for a proper Agency of the EU; look at Frontex (the EU outer borders' control) for instance; they use three stripes to symbolize regulatory power over foreign arrivals by air, ground and water. Paraphrasing this one and restricting paranormal access between the Schengen area and the Netherworld, Vallum might well have a stylized symbol of a broken bridge.

    Verdict: Is this modern horror RPG a game for me, and if so why/ why not? I'm going to say no. It's not that I necessarily prefer the old haunted mansions, stone altars and dusty tomes of classic horror to urban sprawls, pharmaceutical companies and online fanatics. My big peeve is that this Netherworld mythology (quite reminiscent of "Kult: Divinity Lost", I believe) more or less rules out a more culturally diverse occult background and a more complex approach to monsters. There'd really be no reason to investigate Mayan or Egyptian theology here, as Imago Mortis already pertains to know the origin of all paranormal entities (they're either dead human souls or the disciplined demons of the Legion). And without further arcane possibilities lost in the murky past and pre-indoeuropean belief systems, the paranormal horror looses some of its mysterious appeal; it becomes too explained and familiar. That's at least my impression from this preview, and so I will stick to "Chill", "Noctum", "EPOCH" and, would I want insanity to play a bigger part, either "Fear itself" or "Trail of Cthulhu".

    Question: wasn't this RPG supposed to be full colour? Apart from the front cover, this pdf is all B&W, with lots of grey background. The art is quite beautifully drawn, but it would have been interesting to appreciate it in full colour.

    [2 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    Dear Mattias, Thank you for your review. I`m sorry you didn`t like it. I will just answer two things. About editor: GRAmel`s editor is Andy Slack, native speaker. A former editor of White Dwarf magazine and one of the organisers of the early Games Day events, Andy is best known for his writing on Traveller and 2300AD, and was co-author of two GURPS Traveller supplements (GURPS Traveller Alien Races 2 and Alien Races 3) . Now, he helps edit GRAmel’s Savage Worlds and Adventurers! product lines. About color - it is set as color book, because B&W settings in PoD means a bit worse paper. Paper that on layout heavy pdf may cause problems. That`s why we use color paper to print on both color or B&W books.
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