Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review - Interface Zero Boston

Boston: The Broken Cradle of Liberty

An Interface Zero supplement produced by GunMetal Games under license for the Savage Worlds Role-Playing Game.

Disclaimer: This is a review of the PDF version, provided for review purposes. 

First Glance: You get a full-color PDF that runs 60 pages. Artwork as always is very nice, I especially like the picture of the pizza delivery car mounting massive weaponry on it. A pizza delivery subscription...There's an idea I can get behind!

Core: This is another great supplement by GunMetal Games. If you've already read my review of San Francisco Ruins by the Bay, this review will run about the same. The book is laid out the same. It begins with a quick overview of the area. Followed by a dozen pages on areas of interest, now I'm not familiar with Boston, but these areas give me enough to work with to have a functional game in Boston. Next up is the organizations, similar to San Francisco, which makes sense, as Boston was published first, this section covers the ACF (Atlantica Combined armed forces), Atlantica Governement, Atlantica Police Force, Emperor Pharmaceuticals (A Pharma MegaCorp), Harvard University & Technical Institute (Which absorbed all the other schools in Boston...), Pinkerton Security (yup they're still around), The Scions of Liberty (a nasty bunch of anarchists), and finally, The Ship Rats (Boston's organized crime syndicate). Again, like San Fran, this book has the "Declassified" sidebar running throughout most of the book, giving 'commentary' on the fluff, by the locals, kinda like Anon+Wikileaks combined.

CRUNCH TIME! Oh this is definitely a crunchy product, the crunch is packed into the rear half of the book, but it's delicious. First is the new Hindrance: Zealot, that's a great hindrance, great for antagonistic NPCs and for characters who just can't keep their mouth SHUT! Love it an it's easily portable to other games. Several new edges are presented, I especially like the Run & Gun edge, and Off the Grid, though the Bodyguard Professional edge is well written and very useful. We finish out the character stuff with two occupations, The fisherman and pharmacy tech. Neither is a glamorous occupation, but they both have their beneficial perks. Not Bad.
     Now to the MalMart updates, my most favoritist (bad grammar intentional) part of the book!!! Armor and clothing, if you're trying to infiltrate a base, you should pick up some of the surplus uniforms, while the city is under martial law, the riot armor, helmets and shields will let you blend...or piss off those who've already been suppressed. The final bit, brings a little steam to the cyber, with victorian clothing from "What the Dickens". You can see "Mistress Lilly" from the Declassified site modelling it in the artwork...Looks a bit mixed up, Cyber/Lolita/Gothy...nice art though, the ride she's on is Wicked Sick!
GUNS!!! GUNS ARE NEXT!!! First up is the Watchdog, nice, but you're quickly distracted by the TAW2022 surplus Combat Assault packs a 5.56mm assault Rifle, 12g shotgun AND an under rifle Grenade Launcher, this thing would make Rambo throw away his M60. Finally we get satchel packs and 6-packs of Molotov Specials..
     Then it gets to the vehicle section....Plug into your 'Vicky', or VCI, Vehicle Control Rig and get ready to rumble in several armored vehicles, from the Armored Bus, and Limo to the Armored Taxi, you need armor to get around the mean streets of Boston. The VTOL capable LAV Loader is used primarily for unloading ships, but with its Terminator machine stylings, it would make a sweet ride for a team of mercs. Finally the Razorback APC...brutal and very stylized, though I'm not quite sure what the wheels are about, they look like a road crews worst nightmare. Cool picture, just a bit odd.
     Continuing on finds you looking at a flying drone, then cybernetics with the purely fashion forward N-Vogue line of nanotech additions. This is where is gets into some crazy Sci-Fi. Cybernetic eye glow, and Nanite Hair that you code with a spray paint can, as well as the N-Vogue "Mood Skin" That is some ORIGINAL ideas, and I something I could see for the rich kiddies of the future; no matter how insane it sounds.
     The section rounds out with Sage Medical Team Coverage, and you might need it if you get hooked on "Jet"...a highly potent Meth.

A Couple pages in City trappings are similar if not exactly the same as SanFran...No big deal to me if they're the same rules...because as I said in the SanFran review, it's brilliant! Next up is the Gangs of Bostons, which gives you some tools for creating the gangs of Boston. Including a handy dandy gang name generator. Pages 49-54 are an adventure to run, just add heroes...err...mercs, hmmm....characters. Plot Hooks are presented from 55-58, giving you lots of tools for running a game in Boston.

Artwork: One of the things GMG does, is make sure the artwork is top notch. And really, that's one of the reasons I love Interface Zero so much, is that artwork, it really brings the world to life, in all its scary glory.

Family Rating: PG-13. As with the rest of the setting, it's a dark future, with sex, violence, drugs, and murder. It's not for young kids.

Value: Love it, IZ is one of my favorite settings, and this product is up there. It has the same layout issues as San Fran, but the layering is spot on and it's easy to turn off the background and the sidebar layers to provide faster viewing and easy printing. At $8.99 it's a great value.

Overall Rating: Epic! Another solid offering from GunMetal Games

Available at RPGNow for $8.99