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Dark Trails RPG - Bootleg Edition $11.99
Publisher: Stiff Whiskers Press
by Lexington T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2020 12:40:40

Pretty disapponited in this after all the hype. I have to say that much of the content is outstanding, it's just that his really needs to be it's own game, not a modification of an existing rule system. If you love DCC, espeically it's "rules light" quality, then you will not be happy with this. It seems to have forgotten that "rules light" is a big part of what makes DCC what it is.

Anybody who has been gaming for very long has surely run into these system modifications that, by their nature of being a modification, make things much more awkward and difficult than if they just started from scratch and wrote a system that would work smoothly for their game. That's what happened here. I'm sure it started out as a weird west source for DCC games but has become entirely it's own creature, and sadly, it's pretty broken IMO. The classes are great, the spells and items are mostly good, but there's a few mechanics that are just unnecessary and would be dumped from my games, though I don't suspect I'll be running it. The first two that come to mind are the crazy gun deck and the alignment system. I understand the gun deck is a tool to simulate wear and tear on a gun and drive the need to clean it, but with a limited deck it's pretty easy to count cards and know if you are due for a critical hit soon. By cleaning your gun you may actually reduce your chances for a critical hit, or bring a critical fail card to the top of the deck for your very next shot. Not to mention requiring a deck of cards for each player at the table (though David will happily sell you some cards with his brand on them). And the alignment system, well, sounds interesting in theory but I can't imagine actually using it in play due to the general "fiddliness" of it. Those are just two examples of mechanics that strike me as diametircally opposed to the DCC philosophy of keeping the rules simple so play flows smoothly.

My two star rating is based upon some of the great content and artwork involved, but I just can't go higher than that when I read through and thinki "I can't imagine running this game". I'll stick with my Dark Trails Call of Cthulhu system, thank you.

I would certainly not recommend buying two levels of play for the listed price regardless of how many pages and how much content is involved. I'd hold out for the full rules and see how the reviews look. At this point, that could be a long hold out as the final package was scheduled for delivery two months ago, at which time the creator was still writing spells, at least according to one of the very few updates that actually update anything about the project. Most of the updates we get are just pushing more junk to buy - dice, dice bags, playing cards, etc. - or pushing unrelated contests and updates on the creator's personal life. What we are hearing is "I'm really busy at work, doing the best I can, but I swear it's going to be done in 2020." During the campaign there was tons of excitement and regular communication, since then it's like our money is gone and the project is dead (from our point of view) with nothing coming out except "trust me I'm doing the best I can but this is hard".

Based upon the reliability of past updates, I wouldnt count on 2020 as a solid delivery date. Again, it's been in playtesting for 5 years but yet still writing content after the original projected delivery date? David clearly bit off more than he can chew and seems to be getting bad advice about how to manage his communication with backers. He gets upset anytime anyone asks "where's my stuff?", despite us all having shelled out $80+ to back the project a year ago. But hey, at least we got pictures of his birthday party.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hey Lexington,

I have to admit that I was very saddened to read this review. I can handle the dislike of the game because it's foolish to think everyone will like what I'm doing, but the last half of your review goes into an attack of sorts on my character, and the status of the project which is totally unfair on just about every point you've make. Rather than respond to everything you've brought up I'd like to offer to chat so as to clear some things up that I think you've gotten wrong.

Please feel free to reach out to me at Darktrailsrpg@gmail.com

Thanks,

Dave
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Dark Trails RPG - Bootleg Edition
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