Posted on March 2, 2005 by Flames
The Lostfinders Guide to Mire End (LGTME) is the first supplement for the a|state RPG for more info on a|state visit www.contestedground.co.uk.
The cover continues the usage of a stark white background, which stands out on the FLGS shelving. On which the picture of the back of a rough looking sort with his back covered in tattoos stands. The cover is made of (and I don’t know the technical term) Shiny thick paper or thin cardboard. (I’m sure someone will inform me).
The LGTME weighs in a 32 pages and will set you back a reasonable $10 US (or $17 here in Australia) which is not a bad price for any RPG supplement especially one that packs the information and usefulness for the setting that LGTME does.
The book starts off with a useful table of contents that covers everything in the book, this is followed by 2 pages of opening fiction which is well presented, and done in an interesting fashion (10 short tales following events from the end to the start.)
A hand drawn map of Mire End with important locations and streets marked and named follows this. It does the job and is something that can be handed to players as well without breaking atmosphere.
The first chapter is called Overview that gives strangely enough a basic overview of Mire End and a brief history on the place. This goes for three pages and manages to give a good feel for the place (Not somewhere you really want to live). A time line is also included.
The next chapter and the meat of the book is Highlighted locations. This covers 12 locations. The layout for these is quite useful as it lets you know what if any associated NPC’s, adventure nuggets and organizations are connected to the location.
Some of the places covered are the old Bleach factory are vile and toxic ruin with rumours of horrors that stalk in the shadows of crumbling walls. The Mire End Cog works a factory that keeps a small flame of hope flickering for some inhabitants of Mire End to the Decaying swampy slum that is Redberry Park. Each of these is well written and all contain enough to fire of the imagination for the a|state GM. Next up are snapshots and stats of 14 NPC’s that live in Mire End. Each of these is interesting and easily useable in any A/State game. Each NPC has a picture; all of these are done well.
Then we have some highlighted organizations some very useful adventure nuggets which give multiple options to the causes behind them finally the last page gives the stats and basic info on 15 typical Mire End NPC’s.
Overall the book manages to make good use of its limited size and pack a dense amount of information and atmosphere into each page. It manages in 32 pages and $10 what others do in 200 pages and $30.
There is the occasional editing error mainly to do with grammar or spelling (i.e. a s missed off a word) nothing major nor book wrecking.
A good and worthwhile purchased with a good price for an A/State fan and something I think with little tweaking could be useful for any dark future game. (Or for that matter dark fantasy with a little more tweaking.)
Apart from the stat for one new gun and NPC stats the book is entirely background. The only possible downside for the book is that there seems to be a lot of locations and people who are offering hope. This is perhaps just a personal take on the setting of mine.
I heartily recommend it. If the chaps at Contested Ground Studios keep up this level of good work the future of a|state unlike the setting is bright indeed.
Reviewer: Dan Jericho
Look for a|state eBooks at RPGnow.com.