Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Mail Call Before The Nor Easter - Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg By Jason Vey & Tomothy Brannan

"We Are the Night Shift...
We alone stand against the vampires, werewolves, and Things that Go Bump in the Night.
We know the things that prowl the shadows, the monsters that feed on the innocent.
We have seen Something Weird.
We control Something Weird
We create Something Weird.
We study Something Weird.
We are the things that Weird Things fear.
We are the Weird.
We are the Night Shift, and we are all that stands between you and the end of all that you know."

With a New England Nor Easter baring down on us named Bailey going out to the mail box today was a pleasant surprise waiting for me. A box containing Elf Games Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg  By Jason Vey & Tomothy Brannan.  This is a nice box not some little flimspy envelop from the United States Post Office.  So what is 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg'? Well according to The Elf Lords' Website;"Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars is an urban fantasy roleplaying game of Chosen Ones, Witches, Survivors, and Something Weird, driven by modern sensibilities with familiar, old-school mechanics."

The long answer is a bit more complex then that, 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg' is actually a dark fantasy horror combination game build on the B/X Dungeons & Dragons mechanics with quite a bit of Vey & Brannan's own spin & design. 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg' takes the material in a very interesting direction. The book itself is a tribue to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, All Flesh Must be Eaten, Doctor Who, Witchcraft, Ghosts of Albion, and Castles & Crusades. And I can't really say that any of those games have crossed my table except Castles & Crusades

In point of fact is was Jason Vey's writing on Amazing Adventures that captured our group's attention. So after missing the kickstarter for  'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg'  it was actually my wife that told me that we'd made a terrible mistake. And its a good thing that one listens to his wife. In this case  'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg' tickles the ivories when it comes to a mid point between urban fantasy, dark fantasy, & urban horror with an The OGRES game system coating. 

The classes here are vary modifable & easily able to be customized by the players, the modifiers & game mechanics are a nod to the old school B/X systems. But there are twists & turns here with Vey & Brannan's own rpg design spins. The book as a physical object is well done, the binding solid, and it feels like a nicely made book. The book itself is printed in the U.S.A. which is a nice change up. 

The interior of the book feels like an old school book with the layout simple but easy to read.The type is solid and easy on these old eyes. The rules clearly laid out & its been many months that we've  ere looking for a replacement for White Wolf's World of Darkness & its lines.  'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg' may fill that need. 

Within  'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Rpg'  there are three settings built in & these are just fleshed out enough. The artwork is black & white a combination of Bradley McDevitt's horror art work & some of the artwork from various rpg veteran artists. 

There's an actual table of contents along with  a well thought out index to the game & you have idea how much this helps during game play folks. At the table top level this is a solid addition to the game making it much more professional. 

The beginning fiction is not as tedious as anything that White Wolf did. Nor is it unwelcome in a game such as 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars . The whole game feels a bit like an OSR hybrid from another Earth. But its here & within our possession. 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars rpg isn't a tedious game folks. 

'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars' is a game that sets out with a goal of making an occult but accessible game. Six months ago I reviewed the pay what you want 
Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Quick Start Kit by Jason Vey. That particular product kinda felt a bit flat but the main rule book feels much more like a whole game. The main 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars' rpg book works out all of the kinks whist giving a solid ground work to move from for a campaign. 

The rules are concise & easy to follow moving from PC generation strength to strength without an issue. The parts coming together to generate a very nice whole as 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars' brings itself into the players hands easily. 

'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars' takes its campaign cues from both OSR systems such as various editions of  Dungeons & Dragons, Swords & Wizardry, Castles & Crusades, B/X Essentials, and many more OSR games. But its Vey & Brannan's time on Buffy & Supernatural that seem to both inform them & take 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars'  to its next level.

'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars' is its own game & stands on its own merits, setting,& so forth. Its just OSR enough to have its toe within the pond but distinctive enough to stand on its own merits. The occult world settings work, the rules work enough, & on the whole it feels like a complete game unto itself. 

Are there any draw backs to 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars'?! Yes there's a few editing mistakes but those have been caught within the Current Errata (Updated 9/23/2020).

'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars' is a game that my players think that we've gotten our money's worth outta of. Now if we can only find the time to dodge between snow flakes to get a campaign off the ground.Want to know more about 'Veterans of the Supernatural Wars'? Visit Elf Lair Publishing Right Over Here. 

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