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The Dragon's Gate (M&M, HERO, Action!) $9.95
Publisher: Gold Rush Games
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/08/2004 00:00:00

The Dragon's Gate details the Chinatown district of San Angelo. And when they say "details" they mean details - this book is about two thirds the size of the original San Angelo, but it feels like GRG have crammed even more into it. It follows the same structure as most superhero citybooks, dividing the setting up into different fields of interest (e.g. the business scene, the martial-arts world etc) and manages to put across a very convincing picture of a living, breathing Chinatown filled with real people. It also details not one, but three different tongs, covering prominent members, criminal activities and their sphere of influence. Finally there are a half dozen heroes and villains statted out. The layout is very polished and clear, obviously designed for printing with minimal bordering in light grey tones that shouldn't do too much damage to your ink cartridge. Now on to the negatives. To start with GRG have decided to make the first page of this PDF a full page, landscape format advert for San Angelo 1.5. This is irritating, (in the same way as DVDs that autoplay trailers or adverts before the main feature) and to be honest I imagine most of us buying The Dragon's Gate are already San Angelo fans anyway, so it's kind of redundant. (I could live with this as a page at the back, but at the front it's annoying). DG is designed for Hero/Champions and has character stats for Action! System and Mutants & Masterminds. I was expecting this material to be integrated into the main text in the same way as SA1.5. But no, the Action! and M&M stats are all filed away in an appendix. Having to flick back and forth between the character description in the main text and the stats in the appendix is disconcerting - not a dealbreaker but it makes the book a little harder to use, especially on screen. Dragon's Gate does a very good job of bringing a chinatown to life. But it just doesn't feel particularly superheroic. I would have liked to have seen a lot more Chinatown based supervillains than the three presented. As it is, it would make an excellent setting for a non-powered or low-powered martial-arts or gangster based campaign, or for a cinematic game like Feng Shui or Hong Kong Action Theater. If you're running a conventional supers game set in greater San Angelo, unless you have a reason to make Chinatown a major part of your campaign then you probably don't need Dragon's Gate. If on the other hand you want a living, breathing contemporary Chinatown as the primary setting for your game, then the Dragon's Gate may well be just what you're looking for.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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The Dragon's Gate (M&M, HERO, Action!)
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