Posted on November 7, 2011 by spikexan
Available at RPGNow.com
Anthologies like The Unspeakable Oath are a mixed bag. Dragon, Dungeon, White Wolf Magazine, Eden Studios Presents, and others are testament to this. Sometimes a great collection of talent can make the uninteresting (to me) fascinating. The other is likewise true. No particular title is safe. You have to take each edition as a singular creature.
First off, I find that the included art to #20 is top notch, particularly the cover artwork by Todd Shearer. The interior illustrators offered a surprising volume of artwork to the collection. The layout ranged from the scribbled nonsense (fine for the subject matter) to smooth looking black bars. Some ads are scattered throughout the book, even put into the columns of articles. It’s a smooth fit.
There is a terrific amount of material in this installment, much of which is aimed at Delta Green (fine by me). Adam Scott Glancy’s Directive A-Cell and Bret Kramer’s “Arm” are great additions to the book. Shane Ivey’s thoughts on gunfights (violence in general) in Call of Cthulhu is an excellent and insightful read, my favorite for this edition. Although it wasn’t my “thing,” the in-depth article on Assassins in Cthulhu was wonderfully researched and developed. “Let’s Learn Aklo” by James Haughton is a mind-bending adventure involving Delta Green, time distortions, and more.
On the downside, the reviews aren’t overly helpful. I found the comments having no direct relationship with the number of phobias attributed to the review. I believe the reviews could cover more than strict CoC products. There are plenty of horror games, movies, and music that have nothing to do with the Mythos that could still inspire games based on it. I believe a wider variety of review material could make for a stronger review section.
Overall, TUO#20 is a great addition to any Cthulhu gaming library, especially one geared towards Delta Green (there is a wealth of DG material in the book . . . probably to stir up excitement for the DG releases). Fans of the classic setting won’t be disappointed either (even the DG material can be altered for a 1920’s campaign with minimal effort). There is a year’s worth of gaming material in the book for the uninspired, more for somebody who really wants to
Review by Todd Cash