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Chaos 6010 A.D. Core Rulebook $15.00 $5.95
Publisher: Arcanum Syndicate
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2011 23:06:05

I liked this product, but there were several problems with it.

Let's start off with the good. The writing made me chuckle at times (sorry, I don't get dark-setting-depressed much after SLA Industries). There was a lot of content, mostly original or at least not overused. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter help lighten the mood. There was a lot of skill and care shown in the product, and what I understood, I liked. I actually was enjoying myself while reading this, which is always a good starting point. The mechanics I was able to decipher felt good, if a little FASA-reminiscent, but being a FASA/Catalyst Game Labs fan, I'm not too ticked about that.

But, that's what I understood. There was a lot of stuff that was lost in somewhat obtuse writing and order. There was somewhat of a schizophrenic focus, with the game doing almost everything (not that it's bad, but I feel like it could have been encapsulated into a core game, then other stuff like hideouts could have been presented in a separate section). There was a dark, gritty, "woe is me" setting more on a telling than a showing basis. There's a lot of stuff, and it's decent, but it's hard to find just what you need, even with the glossaries in the back. Also, the art at times felt like it was made using a mix of low-res 3d renderings (which were actually not horrible), scanned line art, and Microsoft Paint (also not bad, since it demonstrated some skill), and in a few images multiple methods were used, resulting in parts that almost looked like censor boxes, though their shape clearly denoted a purpose in the composition. And, the most minor and pedantic gripe; it uses Comic Sans. Comic. Sans. Which, admittedly, is a bigger gripe when trying to stay focused for 300 pages, versus a 4 page "Thank you for the cookies" letter from the neighbors, but still pretty pedantic. And since I'm being pedantic, on page 3 there's text with a grayscale image behind it that is the sort of typesetting owie that makes me cringe. Still, it's good that most of my gripes are pedantic pet-peeves, rather than actual flaws, though I would like to see a version with a larger focus on clearness and some of the more advanced, less necessary bits moved out of the central rules and encapsulated in their own sections.

All-in-all, I give it a four for what's in there. To be honest, I'd probably normally give it a three, but it felt like it had the spirit and, frankly, the balls to be a great product. I'd like to see some things changed, but I love it.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Chaos 6010 A.D. Core Rulebook
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