Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thoughts on Terror Network

I have wanted to write some personal musings about Terror Network since I started playing the game about six months back.

A while back I was looking for a role-playing game for my wife and brother-in-law whom have never role-played before AND for a good friend of mine who would be playing with us who has been gaming for almost a decade. Likewise, since I have never game mastered before I wanted a game that I could utilize (what I feel is) my broad knowledge about contemporary events. Lastly, and probably most importantly for the new gamers, I was looking for a game that we would all be able to pick up and understand without having to play three sessions to learn.

I went through drivethrurpg.net and rpg.net and looked for a game that had an interesting topic and streamlined gameplay. I am personally interested in hyper-realistic games that I can intertwine with real-world events. It is this guy's opinions that the today's/tomorrows headlines, the world of spies, double-agents, special forces and presidential cabinets is the way to create a compelling story / campaign / scenario. To be quite honest, the aforementioned topics can all be found in the fantasy world of Westeros of Geroge R.R. Martin and would probably make from some wonderful gaming - but I digress.

I looked for quite some time for the perfect game until I stumbled across Bedrock Games' Terror Network. The game was perfect for our group. It has a realistic setting with stories that can all too easily be taken from the headlines, it has a LETHAL combat system (or you can use their Hollywood version that is also included), the rulebook really only has about forty pages of easily understandable (and most importantly REALISTIC) rules, and lastly the game plays QUICKLY because of the rules.

The remainder of the pages in the rulebook help explain the groups and the different types of people that inhabit, well, our current world. There are suggestions and information that cover both foreign and homegrown terrorists as well as many of the different American governmental agencies. Terror Network uses the D10 as its main tool and the personalized character creation is what really sets this game apart.

My gaming group has now played six missions - three of which were tabletop battles using miniatures and three of them were pen and paper investigations in an attempt to track down a Somali terrorist cell in Minneapolis and searching for anti-ship missiles in Venezuela. In all cases the game (read the rules) held up well and at no point was there any finger pointing saying that "the rules don't say that!" Weather it was the lead investigator needing to use an unauthorized wiretap or if it was the blast radius of a fragmentation grenade the rules were there in an easy to read and comprehend manner.

I would highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to try something new or who wants to play in "a world" where essentially every possible scenario, location, and weapon can be found in the click of a finger on the internet. Hopefully this review was helpful and I hope that you give Terror Network a try. For the price, it cannot be rivaled or beat.

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