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    Terror Network: A Counter Terrorism RPG

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    Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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    Terror Network:  A Counter Terrorism RPG
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    Terror Network: A Counter Terrorism RPG
    Publisher: Avalon Game Company
    by Andrew L. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 02/27/2010 11:58:02

    Terror Network is a counter terrorism RPG. This, the main rulebook, comprises of 114 pages including covers. The interior is monochrome throughout and printer friendly. There are nine chapters and one appendix. Given that one of the chapters is comprised of sample NPCs and another is a sample scenario, the game is as you will guess rules-lighter.

    It also has a separate chapter on U.S. Agencies and one on Terrorist organizations with guidance on faking up imaginary terrorist factions for the game. This guidance is useful for GMs wanting to avoid the copious research workload presenting real terrorist groups would entail. The concept of a continuum starting with peace going through protest, then terrorism and eventually warfare is mentioned but there is no discussion of the gray areas this leads to nor any advice to GMs as to mining this for more sophisticated play.

    The essential mechanism is to roll a pool of up to six d10 and hope that at least one meets or exceeds a target number. There's a handy matrix in the appendix giving the probabilities charted by target number (1-10) and number of dice, an essential tool for GMs in a rules-lighter treatment. The system is entirely skill based. Some of the skill descriptions are mysteriously similar to those of attributes yet there are no derived scores so it qualifies. As the authors warn it is a deadly game, you fall after a maximum of three successful hits. This reflects that fact that bullets really are very dangerous and adds to the dark, serious tone befitting the milieu.

    The text makes mention of many Terror Network scenarios having their success hinge on one skill roll, Robin D. Laws in both is See Page XX column and GUMSHOE system writings has argued I believe convincingly against this. Beware GMs who do make their scenarios depend entirely on one roll and enforce that, that you will have dissatisfied players.

    Terror Network is essentially a sound, if black and white and political solution free, treatment of the subject suitable for groups comprised mainly of storytellers.

    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Terror Network: A Counter Terrorism RPG
    Publisher: Avalon Game Company
    by Christopher L.
    Date Added: 02/16/2010 17:37:55

    My group and I played this game for the first time last night and had a blast. Half of the group had never role-played before and two characters were created for each player, so character creation took around an hour (however, dinner was also being eaten at that time)

    The two-pronged story for the session was that of a covert assassination mission inside of North Waziristan within Pakistan by a Delta Force team and an FBI taskforce who was / is required to take down a Somali-American terror plot in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    The game played well and the rules were easily comprehended by both novice and veteran players. The speed of play was wonderful and the rules blended into the background easily when needed.

    The D10 roll against system worked well and the skills (as opposed to attribute based score) was used to great effect. Also, the "contacts" in this game are a great concept and were used at a neat juncture last night. I believe that this game mechanic will be following me from game to game for quite some time.

    My only complaint about this product is the lack of detail about the investigative process. Since most of the game is the investigation of terror networks I felt that more space could have been devoted to detailing the process that GMs should follow. Chapter 8: Operation Dirty Water shows a broad template of what a campaign / mission could look like; however for a relatively new GM such as myself, a greater amount of clarity would have been helpful.

    Overall this game is a great product and at the listing price here it is a MUST HAVE! I would highly recommend this game to anyone interested in running any type of military/investigative/espionage role-playing game in the near future. Even if you don't use the exact rules, the background information and meticulous research is well worth the price.

    Thanks Bedrock, this one is certainly a winner for me and my group!

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
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