After publishing the post about Top 10 rpg list: Number 2 – Call of Cthulhu I realised I had forgotten the honourable mention, so rather than edit the original post I present to you a bonus post:
I had previously mentioned this game twice before, most notably in the #RPGaDAY post http://www.generaltangent.com/blog/2014/08/28/rpgaday-day-28-scariest-game-youve-played/ .
I have often regarded this as a forgotten classic of the day, what I loved was the background. This was a world teetering on the brink of collapse; ecologically ruined areas, society divided into a class structure of the have and have nots. Cities had effectively vanished and controlled by the corporations. In some ways it is a bit like Cyberpunk for the attitude but the rest of the game exudes a 1930s depression era setting. Technology has stagnated and even a simple thing like a telephone is the purview of the idle rich.
The game has gone through three editions with the first edition being the one that I purchased, a gorgeous black and white softcover book with some fantastic colour cover art. Stylistically this is where I think the game shines; if you have a world that has become black and white then using a monochrome book does set the tone. After GDW closed their doors, the game was licensed for a second edition which tidied up a lot of the information scattered in the first edition books and divided it into two players guides and two games-master guides. The Master edition of the players and GMs books were slightly longer and had extra material.
There is currently a third edition published by 3Hombres Games I have as yet to give it a good read.
The first and second editions of the game used the same system that was derived from Twilight 2000 Second edition and while clunky in places it did give you an idea of your characters background. Shortly after first edition appeared so did a GM screen with a booklet called the PC Booster kit and this gave you expanded backgrounds and migrated the game to the D20 system which was being used by Twilight 2000 v2 . The booster kit also gave more information on the social classes so you could play the ultra rich nomenklatura, the middle class Mike or the lower class prole or if you desired it the rogue android.
There were a wide range of occupations your character could take including the Cyborg Escapee, Doctor, college student, plus a bunch of military types imported from Twilight 2000.
Apart from what I mentioned above, there is a little more to the background that needs mentioning. Humanity wasn’t alone; there were alien races that were working to subjugate mankind, entities from parallel dimensions bent on global domination and dark beings from Earth’s past.
Lester Smith also had a wry sense of humour when he wrote the book, there are a few Easter eggs to look out for, including the sunglasses that are popular among monster hunters.
This section was also taken from Twilight 2000 and in the first d10 version of the game had an interesting rule for shotguns, you rolled a number of six sided dice and you got a hit for each 6 that came up.
There were a few published and they weren’t bad but a couple of misunderstandings did arise, the curse of American English I suppose 🙂
If you get the chance to pick this game up its worth a look but the system may seem very dated.