Mark Hunt has been churning out some incredible titles for the Gangbusters Rpg system and he's been a one man OSR when it comes to working every angle of old school gangster Prohibition era Rpg. If you've already bought a copy of Joe's Diner then you'll want to go back and grab a new updated copy right over here.
If you haven't gotten in on the action well now is the time to do so, Mark Hunt has been providing some amazing support and expansion for the Gangbusters game via his G+ plus community and his adventure titles. The man has been hitting the streets in a big way and really taking the game in some seriously interesting directions. Joe's Diner was very nice graphically and laid out very nicely before but this takes the adventure source book in a totally new class. This pdf looks like its been completely redone and the material is as good as before if not better. Joe's Diner is a Gang Buster's jump starter resource to put your PC's center stage in the comings and goings of Rock Junction. Rock Junction is Mark Hunt's own gangster era go to campaign setting. 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 Rock Junction's action. The author puts your PC's center stage for the going's on in this mini campaign book; "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. There are rumors and things the PCs may have heard about the place at the start of the campaign" The author taps into the DYI attitude of the OSR with this book by encouraging dungeon masters to make Joe's Diner and the environs of Rock Junction their own.
"The Gangbusters™ RPG is set in Lakefront City, a fictional version of
the city of Chicago, but Module GBM-1 Joe’s Diner is set in Rock Junction,
an ostensibly fictional steel town located in the Midwest. The Judge is free to set the contents of Module GBM-1 Joe’s Diner in Rock Junction or take those contents and place them in Lakefront City or whatever location suits his campaign."
According to the author, "POD will be available in March. It was expanded from 17 pages to 36!" Believe me the expansions shows, Rock Junction can be both a touch stone for PC's and a jump off point for further adventures. The place plugs right into the hard boiled pulps of the time, Rock Junction is a steel town sixty miles from the sprawling, brawling metropolis of Lakefront City located somewhere in the American Midwest..
Rock Junction serves a town the players and their characters can get to now and explore, perhaps serving as a home base for when head off to the life in the big city."
Then we get expansions on the scenarios for Gangbusters. Sure they're still fun but now these adventures get into the dark underbelly of Rock Junction. The place has the feel of the Chicago suburbs that Al Capone controlled back in the 30's. Each NPC has a motivation and story to them, the adventures plug into the underworld of Rock Junction and take full advantage of the pit of pulp core in it. The book is sprinkled throughout with lots of photos and NPC's to throw at the party and these adventures dove tail into each other with a vengeance.
It's an age of Prohibition and gangsters. A world filled with two-fisted brawls, criminal cartels, fast money, bootlegging and swanky art-deco speakeasy hopping as far as the eye can see and Joe's Diner sits smack in the middle of the action. I can totally see the way that Joe's Diner builds on the elements it lays down and then allows the DM to go in for the DYI campaign angle.
Then there's the fact that the this book has a myriad of other uses. Several of the NPC's, locations, and even the scenarios in Joe's Diner could be used to create a home base for several other old school games such as Call of Cthulhu or a Chill style campaign. Joe's Diner reminds me on some level of the David Lynch Twin Peaks television location with local weirdness laying just below the surface of the place and strange happenings going on just as the patrons of the place stop for their morning coffee. Rumors and stories of murder circulate through the local papers and more get's discussed because sometimes even the papers are a bit afraid to say everything. At Joe's Diner you might get served far more then just your morning coffee.
So do I think that Joe's Diner is worth the second download? More now then ever this is the book that your going to want to launch your new Gangbuster's campaign for 2016. The ideas here are sweet, the coffee hot, and the NPC's , the action hard boiled and the return to those thrilling days hasn't felt so good in years.