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API Worldwide: Canada RPG Review

Posted on March 9, 2009 by Flames

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API Worldwide Canada is Third Eye Games second release, a supplement to the Apocalypse Prevention, Inc corebook. In this 82 page book (three pages of ads), the authors lay out the specifics of the Canadian branch, specific threats to its agents (both environmental and supernatural), and some of the tools and spells fitting to this setting. The book concludes with a duo of adventures for players eager to jump right into the game.

The artwork in this supplement consisted of fifteen pieces of art, two of which were maps. The art within the book ranged a bit in style; nevertheless, I found that all the pieces fit the story behind this book. Jason McLellan’s drawing of the Great Strategist, the leader of the Canadian branch, playing Chess against The Thing Under the Ice (TUTI) is probably my single favorite image in the book. I also found the cover art to be eye-catching. The bloodied Maple leaf really spoke volumes to what readers would be getting into. Sadly, I cannot credit this to anyone based on the PDF’s credits. This book follows identical themes in terms of layout. The chapter headings are again skylines turning to blood while blood splashes decorate the pages
throughout. Sidebars and fonts maintain their straightforward approach, which I continue to enjoy. Again, this approach makes for a very readable text as there isn’t anything too busy distracting the reader’s focus. Also, I love a good consistent theme in a series, which is maintained with this book.

The book’ prologue is entitled “A Man Alone.” This is a short set-up to the inherent dangers of working for the Canadian office. The three page story, steeped in details directly linked to this book, is an excellent opening piece of fiction.

Chapter One “A Look at Canada” does exactly that. Readers are given an overview (pages 8-20) of Canada–some of her festivals, cities, and states. The trend in this section is to lay out the mundane and plug in some game-related bits at the end of each description. I found myself particularly in love with the authors’ concept for the Aurora Borealis. The write-ups for the cities and countries is a little uneven. For example, sections of Montreal receive more attention than Ontario. I would have liked to see a bit more information in regards to the larger Canadian cities since not many RPGs address the country (I think the last book I read was White Wolf’s Montreal by Night).

In Chapter Two (pages 20-32), we see “Inside the Company.” This section mostly deals with the headquarters, key members of the office (including stats on three), and discussions on deadly threats. All of the races receive some treatment as well, including the new ones specific to Canada. Some, like the Burners, don’t play a tremendous role in this book, while the Taylari find a great deal to do in Canada, what with month long nights and all.

Chapter Three (Groups and Organizations) spans pages 32-42. It is here that readers are introduced to some serious threats–TUTI, Leylines.Org, and the Two Thousand Sleepers–that provide severe strain towards the office’s limited resources. All of the chief villains make for fantastic antagonists. Each is an unbelievably bad day for API, although TUTI rules the roost throughout the book. This heart-eating Cthulhuesque entity has pawns working all over the country to make sure its time is right. Of course, it’s up to individual game masters to decide what this being’s endgame is (the book offers suggestions).

Chapter Four is “The Canadian Toolbox” and runs through pages 43 to 66, making it the book’s largest chapter. As to be expected, this section deals with some rule enhancements, new implants, and new spells. At the end of this chapter, write-ups for the three races specific to Canada are also laid out. This chapter bounces around a little bit. It goes from environmental conditions to equipment to antagonists to magic and finally to races. The first time I read this chapter I thought I had gotten misplaced as the move from the stat-heavy equipment moved to the antagonists. All of these things obviously fit in this chapter, but I felt like the antagonists should have wrapped up the chapter along with the three race descriptions.

The next two chapters “Danger in the Mine” and “Splinter” are adventures that introduce several elements from the book. Of the two, I liked “Danger in the Mine” better as I thought “Splinter” should have been a bit longer so that its mysterious components could have been described more. Describing these two chapters runs the risk of spoiling possible sessions, so I’ll be brief. The first adventure deals with TUTI (among other things) and stands as a great introduction to the game, although it can also work just as well in the middle of a campaign. The second adventure allows the operatives to jetset across Canada as they search out the elusive Patchwork Man.

The final seven pages pages are a hodge-podge of things. First, is a one-page Epilogue that picks up the Prologue’s story. It serves to cement the control the Great Strategist has over the Canadian bureau and its operatives. Next, we have a field report sheet for game masters or (better yet) players to fill out after a session. This sheet is printer-friendly to the point of being Spartan; however, I love handing things out like this to players because, in settings like this, their reports can get them into just as much trouble as a handful of star-crazed cultists. The next two pages provide a well laid-out index. The final three pages are ads for the publisher’s website, a t-shirt company, and the next book in the API line.

This supplement is a great follow-up to the corebook. Its additions strengthen the line’s anchor by providing new details that, while designed with Canada in mind, can mostly be used throughout the world, especially in it colder climates. All of this leads me to give it the following scores:

Artwork: 4 out of 5 Dice
Layout: 5 out of 5 Dice
Writing: 4 out of 5 Dice
Overall: 4 out of 5 Dice

Review by Todd Cash

Flames Rising PDF Store

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