Posted on September 15, 2004 by Flames
Written by Jared Sorensen
Memento Mori Theatriks
InSpectres is described as a “fast, simple and fun game that mixes horror and comedy” and it lives up to that description throughout the entire book. The author has blended the mystery of X-Files and the humor of Ghostbusters and Men in Black. It features an easy system to learn that doesn’t get in the way of a fun night of gaming. No one should expect InSpectres to replace more serious investigation/hunter games like Call of Cthulhu or Orpheus, because that really isn’t the point of this game. InSpectres is about fun, it is full of jokes, one-liners and offers everyone a chance to cut loose for an evening of entertainment.
Right from the start Jared Sorensen takes Inspectres down a different path than many standard RPGs. He talks about the “how” and “why” InSpectres came about. It is a refreshing look at the design process of a game and an enjoyable read. He describes what sets InSpectres apart from the “murder mystery” plot of other games.
InSpectres then offers information on the basic setting and characters of the game. Leaving lots of room for individual GM and Player interpretation, Inspectres allows for a wide variety of games and styles of play. Characters in Inspectres are “agents” of investigation firms who look into the supernatural activity of the world. Building characters is fairly easy, with personality and quirks being more important than stats or powers. Jared offers a nice pointer that loners and antagonistic characters don’t add much to a team style game.
The next chapter is about building your Franchise or “company” of InSpectres. The Franchise is easy to build and gives all the characters a “home-base” as common ground. It can also provide story hooks and client inside the game world.
Game mechanics make up the next two chapters of InSPectres. An easy system using six-sided dice and lots of imagination is explained with some great examples. Even with some of the added factors of “Stress” and “Cool” dice, the entire system of InSpectres can be learned in a few minutes. The examples of play within these two chapters are funny and worth the read.
Chapter 6: Weird Agents. Yes, you can play a non-human or otherwise out-of-the-ordinary agent in the game of InSpectres. Offering up a twist on the regular human concepts of most agents in this game, this chapter gives us the rules for vampires, ghosts and other supernatural creatures. Rules on “turning weird” are offered as well, offering up some interesting storyline potential for InSpectres games.
Following the various Weird Agents are some styles of play for InSpectres. Ways to get the game going, ways to add drama or comedy to a session and other ideas on to keep InSpectres fun and interesting to play. Notes for the GM are also included, guidelines for creating NPCs and keeping the story moving are included and mixed in with other ideas on playing the game. This information should probably have been after the playing information or at least in a sidebar. This isn’t a huge deal, however, and the information isn’t something Players are going to abuse if they happen to read it.
Final Words, Credits and more advice to the GM are offered up next in InSpectres. There is some great information here on how to not take things too seriously and that this game is fun. The Credits, thanks and inspiration combine with informatin about websites and bonus materials for further play. There is also a handy Glossary of InSpectres terminology and a quick reference list of Game Mechanics (which is something I think every game needs) in the appendix. Character Sheets and in-game props finish off InSpectres.
Overall, InSpectres is an enjoyable read and an easy game to get into. Not to be taken too seriously, InSpectres offers some fun times with friends looking for a little stress relief. Enjoy.
Reviewer: Matt M McElroy
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