Grab It Right Over
The Gangbuster's Rpg is the red headed machine gun wielding step child of the OSR, a Prohibition era rpg box set from another age. Cops, crooks, gats, gals, guns, and gangsters all in the middle of Lake Front city and now Mark Hunt has brought a whole line of new products for the game. Mark is both a clever guy and a good author, he's done a really nice job with his first level Gangbuster's adventure GBM-1 Joe's Diner. This is my first exposure to Mark's take on the crime ridden world of Lake Front City.Gangbusters was created by Rick Krebs and Mark Acres and broke down the door into my life in 1982. Suddenly four friends and I were thrust into the world of Al Capone, gang land style era Mob wars, political corruption, high powered attorneys, and more. Suddenly, Mark Hunt last night dragged me back into that world with a meal at Joe's Diner. Basically Joe's is a local diner with a twist or two. If your PC's start eating there,your suddenly going to be center stage for many of Lake Front City's action. The author puts you center stage for the going's on in this mini campaign; "The Diner is a beacon on the northeast corner of Canal and Pipestone Ave, this diner has managed to stick around while other businesses have come and gone.In addition to an extensive lunch and dinner menu, Joe’s diner serves up eggs practically any way you can think of 24 hours a day. The diner attracts city workers, policemen, firemen, business people, college students, politicians, the afterhours club crowd and just about anybody. The mix of people is terrific and diverse. It is an urban oasis where the weary comes to get refreshed. The place is always alive with chatter who knows what might get overheard here? Joe’s bar is down the block from The BLUEBOOK Detective Agency. Things the PCs may have heard about the place at the start of the campaign"
Joe's Diner is a seventeen page campaign that takes your PC's right into the middle of the goings on in and around the diner. You get staff, criminals, ordinary folk, cops, crooks, and more. This is all in the middle of Lake Front City's day to day goings on. I can actually see using this product for other games such as Call of Cthulhu and other pulp era style games. Because of the way Mark Hunt has put it together, it shouldn't be too hard to convert over with a bit of fifth grade math. But after reading and rereading through Joe's Diner, it clearly is going to work with Gangbuster's the best.
The author knows his stuff and the layout is clear and concise, the story and adventure paths are easy to follow and leave a number of options on the table. The use of real photos from the time period lend a certain weight and Gangster movie/ Noir feel to the book. I love the direction that Mark uses with his NPC's and everything here feels very authentic. Even though this adventure is fun, he's lent weight to adventure location, the people who populate it, and the central hub of its existence in your PC's lives.
The player handouts, photos,etc. for Joe's dinner are worth the price of admission alone. Mark Hunt knows his stuff and Joe's Diner breaths and lives, you can almost but not quite smell the food cooking from the back of the place and there's a damn near cast of characters and NPC's waiting to snare and drag your PC's into the middle of Joe's Diner's affairs . Between the graphic presentation and the NPC's this is a top flight product and I'm going start checking out and review more of Mark Hunt's product lines and titles. A good solid five out of five. Very well done and well executed product and I think well worth the two dollar price tag.