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Damnation Decade $14.00
Average Rating:3.9 / 5
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Damnation Decade
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Damnation Decade
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/05/2011 22:33:54
I have a love/hate relationship with the 70s. I grew up in the 70s and have good memories of them. Loved classic rock, hated disco. Loved the new age occult revival, could have cared less about some of the other stuff. I grew up then, but consider myself a child of the 80s.

Damnation Decade though is the pure raw distillation of everything 70s, good and bad, into one awesome game. It is a historical game, in the same way Ghosts of Albion is about 1839. Damnation Decade takes a wrong turn in 1974 down a dead end. The world is sort of like ours, yet also very different in some key respects. Damnation Decade is also quite possibly the one RPG product to ever tacitly or implicitly illustrate that things under President Ford could have been a lot worse that what we really got. Reading through Damnation Decade is at the same time a trip down memory lane and an exercise in identifying puns and analogues to our real world. Green Ronin: did we really need a world where folk singer Edmund Fitzgerald sings about the Wreck of the Gordon Lightfoot? But I guess you are forgiven by giving us the first RPG product to feature a real Fantasy Island.

It reminds me of another great game, Solid!, which is also about the 70's. If Solid! is Parliament, then Damnation Decade is Grand Funk Railroad. Damnation Decade though gives something that Solid lacks; memorable NPCs. Sure if you can get past that most of them are amalgams of 4 or 5 70s figures, for example Humboldt Suede is not just a bad Hugh Heffner rip-off, he is part Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione AND the Son of Satan. Though some are original enough to be useful outside the 70s atmosphere; Theramin Hunker for example could work well (maybe even better) in 21st Century games full of conspiracies.

Damnation Decade works great as a d20 game AND it has a True20 appendix that might even be better.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Damnation Decade
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/19/2007 00:00:00
I am a child of the 70s.

Born in the latter half of the coolest century, while I hung out in my cribs I got to hear all the cool music, see all the wild styles and smell all the ? interesting? err.. aromas that made the 70s what they are. I miss this decade, for what I saw of it. Apparently Green Ronin missed it too, as they have put together a very creative and groovy piece with Damnation Decade, a unique campaign world for either the d20 Modern or True 20 ruleset.

Fans of the 70s will mark out to Damnation Decade. There are a few good 70s campaign setting books running around the d20 world, and it is obvious that the writers of Damnation did not want to rehash what is already out there. Instead Damnation Decade focuses on sci-fi of the 70s, complete with far out space men and an impending apocalypse.

Though the book is initially written in d20 Modern terms, the feel and simplicity of the campaign setting lends itself more to True 20. A short Appendix includes a conversion for the system, including the conversion of the Modern?s Advanced classes into feats.

Once again, a near perfect example of prose from Green Ronin details a 70s earth that is on the brink of destruction. Taken with a bit of tongue in cheek, the book begins with a comical brochure from a bad travel agency that updates you about the continents of the world and the disasters they have endured so far this decade.

The PDF is separated into two sections in the spirit of my reviews, a player and a gamemaster section. In addition to the True 20 Appendix, there is an additional appendix that provides a list of media for adventure inspirations.

For the Player

The Players Section begins with a bit of history of the 70s, the last decade or so rewritten from a cheesy sci-fi point of view. Not too heavy, it?s a pretty fun read as you try to guess how many elements of movies like Logan Run you can identify. The Players section then moves into elements that you?d hope to find. There are two new language skills and a new skate skill, none of which were really exciting. More creativity was put into the feats and 11 new Advanced Classes, all spiritedly written and flavored.

Omega Ball, the most popular sport in damnation decade, is detailed also, and comes off very much like Lacrosse but more violent than the game played by our friends to the North. The ruleset is nice, and this can easily be modified for other settings with some slight tweaks.

The best parts of the player section are the new psychic rules and the equipment section. How can you go wrong with stats for hoopties and goblins.

For the Game Master
The Game Master section is divided into two sections. The first section is part monster, part NPC, part plot hooks. The listing of villains an adversaries for your party is impressive as each entry, all ten, contains adventure hooks, their place in the universe and goals of the villain. There?s all to pick a favorite when each one is given a strong dose of writing and attention.

The second section is a collection of tips and hints on running Damnation Decade. Though very helpful, some list previously mentioned villains which seems a bit ackward considering the placement of the hint. I?d have rather of seen them with the actual villain.

The Iron Word

Whether you?re using d20 Modern or True 20, this is a good modern sci-fi campaign setting. Whether you were born in the 70s or a snapper of the 90s, you?ll enjoy the atmosphere of the writing and the crunch that goes along with it. Gamemasters whom appreciate detail will have enough material to recreate any of your favorite 70s movies, or make new ones.



LIKED: - Good writing, the usual from Green Ronin
- Attention to detail is nice
- The pyschic powers is different and useful. You could borrow this for other settings.
- Clear and cut rules for true 20
- Unlike other multisystem books, this book has crunch for both systems
- appendix of movies for you to order on netflix

DISLIKED: - Some of the classes and feats were not interesting once stripped of their flavor
- Love the Game master section; wished the organization of it was tighter

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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