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Shanghai Vampocalypse Player’s Guide (Savage Worlds) RPG Review
Posted By spikexan On October 26, 2010 @ 10:06 am In RPGs | 1 Comment
What do you give the Savage Worlds’ character who has everything? In an earlier review, I suggested Suzerain , which permits players to take their characters to the demigod level and opens up, well, all the other game books on the bookshelf at home. This is becoming quite the trend as massive gaming collections fail to the get love they deserve. Eden’s under-appreciated Odyssey Prime  tried this (with D20 and Unisystem no less). John Wick has an interesting take on it with his Flux game while Suzerain tries to work from one system (Savage Worlds) to make all the setting fit into place. The designers at Savage Mojo could have stopped with the core book, leaving readers to fend for themselves; however, they instead have created a series of settings intended for demigod powerhouses. To paraphrase the game, fighting a few vampires is good work for a hero. Fighting an army of vampires is what you get when you attain Suzerain status.
The artwork and layout of the book is impressive. Consideration was given towards a variety of themes found within this setting, such as tech, vampires, and Asian culture. Both artists deliver high-end pieces, although I find myself liking Aaron Acevedo’s work more each time I happen upon it (Tomorrowland  is a terrific starting place for this).
The writing in the Player’s Guide is a bit off for this only because it alludes to so much more that is hiding within the GM section, which was a little frustrating. Some games divide these two sections properly and I thought this game could have done it a little better. Besides that, I found the setting quite kick-ass and capturing a bit of Feng Shui’s greatness. I should mention that this game feels like a beer and pretzels survivor horror game (that isn’t a negative thing) whereas the Suzerain setting doesn’t feel that way. This may be intended. By jaunting through various realities, it only makes sense that some games would be more adrenaline-laced while others prove more cerebral.
I think this is the kind of game that would make for a memorable two or three part adventure. It has all the thrills of a good zombie slaughter game, but with vampires (which are generally a bit worse). Throw in some drunken monkey-fu and some tech that would send Shadowrunners back to their armories for back-up and you have a fantastic little setting waiting for you.
With Halloween around the corner, this could seriously meet your “how-do-I-scare-my-players-this-year” fix.
Artwork: Five out of Five Dice (great artwork and a printer friendly version for those interested)
Writing: Four out of Five Dice (cool setting)
Overall: Four out of Five Dice (so many inspirations/ so little time)
Review by Todd Cash
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URLs in this post:
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 Suzerain: http://www.flamesrising.com/savage-suzerain-review
 Odyssey Prime: http://flamesrising.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=3451
 Tomorrowland: http://comics.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=65898
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