Friday, 4 March 2016

Game Review - Gangbusters: Wrid Tales and Paranormal Investigations.


There will be some out there who remember the first Gangbusters game, set in the Prohibition era, with the players taking on gangs and trying to bring them down, from the small time crooks running moonshine over the borders to the organised crime of the big bosses like Capone.  I have a copy of the original, but I could never really find that many players to get into it, so when I heard that a new version was on the way, I signed up to get in on the action.

Because this was Gangbusters with a Twist…

The twist being that the new version is billed as Gangbusters: Weird Tales and Paranormal Investigations…

Organised cultists, rather than criminals…

Big Crime allying with true darkness…

The possibilities are endless…

The book arrived on Wednesday and I hadn’t really had chance to sit down and look at it with a view to seeing what was in it, and Thursday was a nine hour expo meeting, so I only really got to take a look this evening.

It’s excellent value for money, my copy came to £20 on conversion (plus postage), and for that you get:

A good strong box to hold everything in…



Multiple books, the main rules, Rock Junction city book, and the adventure of Joes Diner…



Set of dice and figures to use for strategic encounters…



Set of useful cards for NPC encounters and a box to keep them in…



Production values are good, the artwork is a little low resolution in places, but it’s all appropriate to the nature of the game and there’s a reasonable amount of it.



Rules are simple, Percentile based system with modifiers applied, all of it is well explained and easy to put together.  There’s a nice touch in character creation (recognising that on a random roll, you could get an attribute with a score of 01), that low scores have a bonus to them added in at character creation so that the person rolling the 01 will actually have a score of 26 rather than being utterly useless.

System is simple, roll under target number, apply modifiers as listed (of which there are not many), apply results, and character generation can be done (without the adding of a backstory) within minutes.

All in all, it’s a very nice starting set for the game and it’s certainly a worthy successor to the original gangbusters.

So why am I not raving about it…?

Because I already have gangbusters, and with this, I was hoping for a little more of the weird to surface, I was halfway to getting on the cloak and twin pistols of The Shadow when I opened the book, and I was a little disappointed with the lack of supernatural material in the main book itself.  I presume that this will be expanded on in later books, but I wanted enough to work with in the first offering. 

Don’t get me wrong, the Rock Junction book gives you a good basic outline of the city, and Joes Diner, while short, is an excellent introduction to the brutal nature of the world.  There are hints towards strange things going on in the area, but these aren’t expanded upon.

All in all, it’s a strong start from Mark Hunt and I’ll be interested to see where it goes next.


And as much as I want to see more of the weird stuff, leave Cthulhu out of it… 

1 comment:

  1. Sweet. i will be getting a set as son as i am able!

    ReplyDelete