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Blood of the Innocent RPG Review

Posted By spikexan On December 8, 2009 @ 6:45 am In RPGs | 1 Comment


Available at RPGNow.com
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    Published by StoryWeaver
    Written by Joshua Edwards and Joseph Sweeney

    Say what you will about the Savage Worlds setting, but I find it possesses one of the more engaging mass combat systems. I’ve been guilty of not using it to its highest potential in some of my campaigns; however, that’s another story altogether. Blood of the Innocent links directly to the Tour of Darkness [2] (‘Nam setting) for Savage Worlds [3] (though only the core book is required to play this adventure).

    This deadly little jungle romp comes in two flavors, which are “War is Hell” and “Life is Good.”

    According to the authors, this adventure was created for 2007 gaming convention. I like games that come from one table to another rather than untested scripts. The authors also say that it is a vicious little adventure that will test its players. From what I know of the system and this adventure, I’d say it is a violent little bugger. Somehow supernatural horror set during the Vietnam War would be cheapened if it wasn’t.

    The game’s layout is a clean two-columned format surrounded by bullets and blood borders. Memos, maps, and photos are placed wonderfully throughout the adventure (more on the maps later). There aren’t many sidebars within the text, but the need never truly demands them. It’s a very linear plot that doesn’t permit many deviations.

    The map artwork is a huge win for this adventure, although to fully appreciate it one has to pick up the special token packet as well. If you get the adventure, you will want it though. Each map in the game is recast to perfect use in the Savage Worlds setting. No need to break out the erasable map on this. Print and laminate these maps for a quick gaming fix. Try to beat it through both of its skill level options. Try it with different groups. The interior artwork (soldiers and such) left less of an impression on me. I liked the sketched artwork found on pages 17 and 43. It’s the computer generated “photos” of the troops found throughout the book and on each character sheet that leaves me cold. I’ve yet to see this art style depict anything remotely human.

    I’m sure it works great for CSI groups needing to place a suspect though. I must say thought that the character sheets bordering choices for the wounds is excellent.

    The writing in this adventure proves direct and demented. In other words, this little game will just as easily take out the soldier’s spirits as well as their bodies. It’s this sanity risk that could make this adventure demand the Tour of Darkness rules; however, I’m confident most groups could wing it. The problem is this: the character sheets don’t have a place for sanity points even though there are places in the adventure that talks about losing sanity points. It’s enough to drive you mad.

    The storyline shows a determination to detail that I like in my games (even if some isn’t used in the actual game). A better written adventure leaves less to chance, especially when it’s been tried out with various gaming groups. One assumes this is the version of the story with a few loopholes weeded out of it.

    The story line itself feels like a Cthulhu adventure with cultists and A Thing Better Left Buried. There are other obstacles in the way, such as a group capable of fighting said cultists. The problem with these would-be allies is that their means isn’t very . . . attractive. The book does detour for groups willing to make certain sacrifices in order to overcome the enemy; however, it maintains that fighting fire with fire isn’t always the best way to go.

    All in all, this is strictly an adventure. You won’t find new Edges or Hindrances in this.

    You will find new (or is that ew) creatures to throw at players. What you get is a fifty page adventure that will throw you into the Vietnam jungle hard enough for you to check for mosquitos. My scores for Blood of the Innocent are:

    Layout: Five out of Five Dice (I’m including the maps with layout)
    Artwork: Three out of Five Dice (CGI so weighs down a book set in a period before CGI. You wouldn’t use CGI for a fantasy setting would you?)
    Writing: Four out of Five Dice (Some snags, but I’m keen to see what these folks bring out next)
    Overall: Four out of Five Dice (What’s Next?)

    Thanks to Storyweaver games for a free review copy of their products

    Review by Todd Cash

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    [1] Image: http://flamesrising.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=65753

    [2] Tour of Darkness: http://flamesrising.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=27&products_id=1514&

    [3] Savage Worlds: http://flamesrising.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=27&products_id=51078

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