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Revelations in Cold Iron
Publisher: Dancing Lights Press
by Bradley N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2017 14:40:01

This system strikes me as being very similar to Designer X's Violence system; it seems more manifesto than actual game. It's a 200 page meandering diatribe that reads like a thinly veiled ANTIFA recruitment pamphlet and I have no idea how serious it is.

Is it playable? Yeah, the actual mechanics are dead simple and could probably be explained on the back of a napkin. Effectively, you bet a dice showing how much you want to succeed and then roll d20 plus any bonuses you have to the action you are undertaking. Higher than 10 on the d20 is a success and equal or lower is a failure. How "big" you can win or lose depends on the die chosen for effort. Like most "Storytelling" games it feels utterly toothless mechanically, just one level above sitting around a table and telling a story, occasionally flipping a coin to see if something works. This style of game has never been my cup of tea - I've always believed that stories in role playing should evolve organically in response to a ruleset rather than a ruleset existing for the sole purpose of occasionally resolving conflicts in a story - but even among storytelling games this ruleset is pretty uninspired. Fiasco this is not.

However, the largest point of contention I have here is the actual "Story" behind this storytelling game. Like most storytelling games the majority of the book is taken up by the author telling you the kind of story they want you to tell. They give you examples of antagonists, of the setting, of the sort of things you should be doing, the standard setups. There's a big emphasis put on the difference between objective and Subjective reality, with the core concept being that you can use "magic" to manipulate subjective reality. The spell list is a list of logical fallacies. Its a somewhat interesting idea I suppose, framing the ability of logical fallacies to manipulate the way a person sees the world as magic. It goes on to say that a cult of plutocratic politicians are using this magic to create a subjective reality of their choosing. They stop short of saying "Fake News" but I think you can get the gist.

The problem is that the game seems to have a heavy political leaning and I'm not sure how much of it is intentionally done from a semi-satirical standing and how much is honest. Its Poe's Law. Because there are mentions here and there that hint at a deeper understanding, such as the fact that the Cold Iron's attempts to restore reality to its objective form inherently involve the creation of subjective realities focused around their own pet causes. Does the author understand that both sides are prone to use of this "Dark Magik" that is logical fallacy? Is all the raving about the privileged rich, the valiant struggles of the creative, and the mind washed sheep done with a degree of self awareness or not?

If it is satire, its not very interesting satire. It has that core interesting idea but I don't feel like it does anything fun with it. You get that "Oh,I get it" moment of what they're doing and that's really it. If its really as unaware as it seems sometimes, then I feel kind of like I bought some sort of misguided manifesto masquerading as a RPG game. And I don't want to finance this guy and his eventual car bomb.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Revelations in Cold Iron
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Creator Reply:
"Does the author understand that both sides are prone to use of this \"Dark Magik\" that is logical fallacy? " Yup. "And I don't want to finance this guy and his eventual car bomb." Good call. ;)
Veins of the Earth
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Bradley N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/08/2017 21:46:29

Everything Patrick makes is amazing. He's a wordy bastard who is needlessly obtuse with some descriptions or ideas but he's also endlessly imaginative and qutie clever in his handling of the mechanics of caving and underground exploration.

Get this, get Deep carbon observatory, get maze of the blue medusa. Get it all.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Veins of the Earth
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