Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: Pyramid 3-90: After the End

Today's review is the April Pyramid, which offers more support for the new After the End books.  It's good to see so much coming out for a fresh line.

"Are We Not Men?" by Jason "PK" Levine

The first article is an expansion of After the End 1's mutant powers.  There are both new abilities and some discussion of a few the that were already described in AtE1.  There are some neat abilities in here, and barring a full book of "After the End X: Power-ups" a Pyramid article is probably the best vehicle to add these.  Some of the abilities in here are a bit more "comic book rubber science" instead of "B-movie rubber science," but for my part there aren't any I wouldn't use in a game that had mutant powers in the first place.

Grade: B+.  A solid article with some neat abilities in it.

"Robots After the End" by Roger Burton West

This article is a quick rundown of how to use GURPS Reign of Steel as a setting book for After the End campaigns.  I consider Reign of Steel one of the best GURPS settings ever, so this was definitely a good article to include.  A GM has lots to consider and work on in doing conversions of the 3rd edition material, and anything helps.  My only objection is that this one could have been longer, but what's here is really good.

Grade: A-.  An excellent but short article.

"Eidetic Memory: The Mercy Dolls" by David Pulver

This article presents an After the End setting, a post-plague world which includes lots of elements of AtE goodness: mutants, radiation, robots, and a depopulated Earth.  If I was to run a post apocalyptic game I could see myself using this setting, or at the least drawing inspiration from it.  The Mercy-bots themselves are definitely an element you could lift wholesale for another setting and throw in without much difficulty.

Grade: B.  A generally interesting setting, and I'd probably use bits of it even though I'd likely create my own background.

"Warping Monsters Into Mutants" by Peter Dell'Orto

A short piece on using Dungeon Fantasy Monsters in an After the End game.  This is probably a good idea, as DF has a fairly large stable of beasties to use, though changing the magical background out is really a matter for long consideration.  My own instinct would be to use material from other post-apocalyptic RPGs first, but it's definitely easier to convert stuff over from another GURPS sub-line.

Grade: B-.  Useful notes, and there's nothing I really disagree with in it.

"Survival at the End" by Christopher R. Rice

This is an expansion or reworking of Survival, and I like the random Survival Skill Modifiers table at the beginning.  There's a lot of information for a high-detail survival approach, but personally I like the low-detail approach from After the End 2 more.  The reduced die-rolls per day in that suit me better.  Since it clashes with my own style I wouldn't use it, but I will say that doesn't make it a bad article and if you prefer a more highly detailed approach to Survival it will prove useful to you.

Grade: C.  A good article in general but not personally useful.

"Random Thought Table: The Aftermath Protocol" by Steven Marsh

A scenario which I could describe as "After the End: After Harder," it presents the threat of an almost-apocalypse the PCs might be in the right place at the right time to stop.  Or facilitate.  It's a decent outline and could be fleshed out to an interesting adventure.

Grade:  B-.  A scenario that could be thrown in to most AtE settings that involve nukes.

Final Grade: B.  A good issue, with the traditional mix of short and longer articles. There were a couple that could have been longer but I liked it overall and all the articles were thematic.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reviewing the issue. It's always helpful as an author to get reader feedback, even if it's brief.