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Cosmic Patrol: Core Rulebook $4.99
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Andrew R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2013 22:51:35

Looking to run an atompunk campaign using Savage Worlds rules, I picked this up on a whim, hoping to glean a few ideas for a homebrew. I'm so glad I did; the retro-future setting they've created is practically bursting at the seams with great ideas. What's more, the crisp writing -- light, pulpy, humorous but never ridiculous, with a cohesive feel, and obviously put together by people who really love sci fi from the 40's through the 60's -- makes for one of the most pleasing campaign setting reads I've ever encountered. Bubble helmets? Check. Psionically-endowed nefarious Moon Men? Check. Weird science and cool technobabble (I love "fractum embroilment field")? Check. All done with style. Like many good RPG settings, most of the ideas are stolen -- but never feel tacked on.

The setting is laid out in a series of short reports, scientific papers or histories, which jump around topic-wise. The approach was unsettling at first -- where was my giant setting map followed by detailed regional descriptions? Where were my sections on currency, everyday life, government, travel, and a planet-by-planet accounting of adventure locales? As I read on, though, the more I appreciated the way the articles encouraged me to imagine my own version of a living, breathing setting from the inside. Some folks may yearn for more of a "sourcebook" approach, but by relying on well-written "you are there" pieces over lists, I think they've sidestepped one of my common complaints about campaign settings: often, the writers are so intent on giving you details about everything that they don't leave room for your group's stories. Not so here, and it's great stuff.

In the end, I've ported about 90% of what I've read into my SW game, to the point where it really is just a Cosmic Patrol game with a ruleset of my own choosing.

I can't comment about the game system; frankly, I skipped over it for the fluff, and still feel like I got a great deal at $4.99. Other products in this line have lived up to the same high standards.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Cosmic Patrol: Core Rulebook
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