All Things Horror: Origins – A quick Review

I got my hands on ATH last night and couldn’t wait to read through it.

THE GOOD:

ATH:O uses the same Chain Reaction 3 core game mechanics that we’ve come to love in ATZ:BDTZ and NUTS 2.0. It’s a solid and enjoyable game engine, and ATZ and NUTS players will be able to play immediately.

The Layout is noticeabley better than ATZ. Rules were grouped together better and easier to find.

The monster stats are printed on the same page as their reaction tables. This was very conventient while playing. Zombies, Wights, and Lesser Vampires are unique and detailed.

THE BAD:

No campaign rules. The book is broken down into 3 sections. The core rules, the monsters, and the mission. The mission section details your raid of a large cargo ship in an attempt to recover a valuable painting, while trying to figure out what happened to the team they sent in before you.

It’s a good mission. It’s very well detailed, and fun to play, but it’s not a campaign. At the end of the mission it details the mission rewards, which include Fame and Fortune points. Unfortunately there is no mention of what fame or forutune points do for you.

It’s a really detailed introductory mission, but it doesn’t give you any guidance what to do with you charecters beyond that mission. On the plus side however, the system used for determining what’s on ship can easily be adapted to exploring other large scale buildings, like say a sky scraper or abandoned factory/hospital. It’s not hard to do it for yourself, but I feel that is something that should have at least been mentioned in the core rule book.

I’m guessing campaign rules will follow in book 2

THE UGLY:

The last 20 pages of the book are printable map tiles. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were attractive, or at least looked like the interior of the ship your suppossed to be exploring, but they aren’t. The tiles are basically 1″ graph paper with greyed out sections, presumabley crates, rectangles for doors, and the occasional odd arrow. They are functional, but so is drawing the rooms on scrap paper.

*I’ve since writing the review had the chance to talked to Ed about it, and he describes them as multifunctional, since they can be used in any setting since they aren’t specific.  In any case, I’ve agreed to design some more attractive tiles, and Ed has agreed to host them on the TWH stie. I’ll of course announce this blog when they go public.

OVERALL:

It’s a good game and I’d reccomend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.

Even without campaign rules, the exporation of the ship is randomly determined and changes the experience each time you run though it.

Be sure to check back on my blog in the upcoming weeks, I’ll be working on attractive floor tiles, and paper minatures for Agents, Wights, and Lesser Vampires

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