WHAT WORKS: A ton of great advice is present throughout the book. An improv happy group will have a field day with this, and there’s already a lot of great support coming from the Kickstarter stretch goals, including expansions to Ebon Eaves and a lot more Playbooks, as well as new Playsets. The system works well for horror, with its harsh and unforgiving damage systems, and the Playbooks being designed with all the PC Moves already on them makes the game much easier to pick up and go for newbies (speaking from experience here). Playset creation is similarly inspiring, using the players’ answers to help dictate the plot threads (and probably in ways they will never expect). One of the best “Player Facing” systems I’ve seen thus far.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK: Some of the terminology (Forwards, Holds, etc) can take a bit of getting used to. I always prefer a bigger monster selection. Some of the advice can be repetitive, and the organization feels like it could be cleaner.
CONCLUSION: We played one session of this with me not having a chance to fully read the book and all prep done at the game table and had a good time. My player for that solo session actively wants to play again (and he’s a hardcore Savage Worlds nut), but with more people so we can use the Trust mechanic in play. I also told him about some of the Playbooks coming to me as a Kickstarter backer and how many of them seem more his speed and he was pumped.
tremulus doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, though it does a really nice job of supporting investigative horror, providing a TON of structure to this as opposed to everyone standing around and swapping the story baton or something. It’s a pretty traditional horror/investigation RPG with some narrative quirks, and you can decide for yourself if that’s a good or bad thing. For us, it was a lot of fun…fun that we will surely revisit in the future.
For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/12/tommys-take-on-tremulus_3.html