- The biggest problem the book has is that it's shackled to Army of Darkness. It strains to convince you that playing the Blacksmith would really be fun. Well, the bench just isn't as deep in this setting as it is in Buffy or Angel. The true highlights are the other time periods, the archetypes (and what they mean for a potential game),
- The Mass Combat rules may not sound like much, but I have used the Savage Worlds version of them quite a bit, and adapted the Army of Darkness rules into D&D5e to good effect. The core conceit behind these rules are my favorite mass combat rules of all time, and my players actually get excited when they realize I'm wheeling them out. I actually like these rules better than the Savage Worlds version because the Savage Worlds rules have a Knowledge (Battle) prerequisite that almost none of my players ever take, while the AoD rules are based on Intelligence and Influence.
- The production values on licensed Eden Studios books were always on point, and this is no exception. Everything about the book screams Army of Darkness, from the screen caps to the layout to the quotes peppered all over it. The writing is similarly evocative. This isn't a dry rulebook, this is a book laden with pop culture references and snark. Now, you will have to decide how much or how little that bothers you. Personally, I hate rulebooks that read like textbooks.
- The nature of the setting, and the portrayal of Deadites, makes it so that adapting new monsters in is not only easy, but fitting. Demons seem to come in all shapes and sizes, especially if you take the canon of Ash vs Evil Dead into account. The various monsters in the Army of Darkness book, plus the list of monster abilities, give you a good start on creating your own.
- While the book was "one and done", it is completely compatible with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel RPGs (rules wise...a little work would be needed to reconcile the settings, but monsters, Qualities and mechanics like magic can be swiped at will), expanding your options. Taking it a step further, and Classic Unisystem games like All Flesh Must Be Eaten and Witchcraft use the same base system, just a bit more complex (more Skills, the Essence mechanic and so on).
- Army of Darkness was a movie, and pretty well wrapped up its story in 90 minutes. The GM section recommends structuring your game like a "season", which Ash vs Evil Dead does a nice job of demonstrating. In fact, it feels much more appropriate now, ten years later, than it did then. Similarly, the structure of groups filled with Heroes and Primitive Screwheads is demonstrated much better in the Ash vs Evil Dead show than it is in the Army of Darkness movie.
So if you've been watching Ash vs Evil Dead and decided to start looking for something that could emulate that style of game, you don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. Army of Darkness covers most of the ground that you would need, in a solid and unobtrusive system (Cinematic Unisystem just does not get in the way). I mean, it even has a rule for extreme gore. Even better, it's not nearly as out of print as I thought it was. Obvious labor of love from all involved, which now seems strikingly more relevant than it did when released, thanks to the Ash revival tour on Starz.
For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blo-
[5 of 5 Stars!]