This piece of work is INSANELY good. As for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets, this is a must have for many "not only" reasons.
- Not only it is insanely well laid out, but every single paragraph is a potential source of inspiration.
- Not only you can find whatever you need with almost no effort, but you can easily discover a new perspective just by "listening" to Nogueira's voice. And this leads to...
- Not only this is well written with insane accuracy, but it is both open ended and personal. You feel like he's just talking and telling his dreams and days spent at the table to his sons. No kidding. I feel the passion I feel when I read Gygax work or the fluidity of B/X d&d.
- No only you have an insane number of USEFUL table (caps intended, since while it's easy to fill a book with tables, it is not easy to write a book using tables as an actual part of the writing), but each table contains from ten to thousands campaign ideas. I read the book three times in a row and cannot stop creating, rolling, thinkin. Thank God.
- Not only you don't feel the "weight" of a 400+ pages book, but you get the benefit of a full game system + setting + options + variants + equipments + adventure + USEFUL tables in a fluent language without a single hole (if you don't count the black holes you might dive in if you don't pay attention to the addictive nature of Nogueira's writing).
- Not only you can manage fantasy/sci fi/space opera in a single tome, but you never feel it's too much. The way the iconic concept of Galactic Overlords is put, or the way factions and places are treated, teleports you into this giant universe where your diezel punk attitude can easily co-exist with an "horror in space" series, since "sorcery" is nefarious and adversaries are lethal, even the ones you never meet.
Not only mr. Noguieira pays a passionate and intimate homage to the old school feel, but he managed to do it putting on your table a modern intensity and an easy engine with infinite depth.
Get a couple of d20s and a bunch of d6s, start experimenting together with the ultra funny mix and match of "liberal" character creation or just stick to an archetype and embark whatever adventure you wish.
Noguieira manages to re write the old school spirit and concept, learning from the past without being a heartless grognard. He is a smart guy who started with a whisper and now's screaming into the RPG ocean raising another giant wave that, I hope and feel, will get a proper rendition.
This game, along with the line of the other OS games, enter hands down the top 5 of modern systems.