Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Review & Commentary on Baggage Games Shadowfall by Paul Drye For Cepheus Engine Rpg or Original Traveller rpg

 "The cultists had it all wrong. What if the stars came right and no-one even noticed? Shadowfall takes you to a 1984 where the governments of the world reached an accomodation with some of the universe's horrors and set a watch for the rest, at the cost of giving up what was once best about humanity. Freedom, pity, tolerance -- they've all been traded for security and paranoia, and the powers-that-be admire and even emulate their amoral allies. Intelligence and military ops run amuck and it is not at all a good time to stand out,"

Baggage Books is one of those outfits that recently came to our attention through being in the middle of the Cepheus Engine Rpg community. So what is Shadowfall? Its basically the meet point between Cepheus Engine & H.P. Lovecraft's mythos in a modern dark alley of club X Files. The Cthlhu mythos have not been quiet in the modern world of 2021. Instead they've been very busy putting themselves into the modern world. Your PC's are the agents, fighters, supernatural surivors trying to deal with the modern problems of the Lovecraftian races, gods, etc. on Earth. The cults of these horrors have not been idle folks. They've been on the move full force &  Shadowfall feels like a mounting war campaign setting for the  Cepheus Engine rpg. Clocking in at 92 pages there's more then enough here to kick off such a campaign. The advantage here is the added benefit of Cepheus Engine rpg extensive system background. The layout & page design is standard Cepheus Engine rpg supplemental book stuff. The font is servicable, the layout solidly done for  Shadowfall. This is both an investigative or straight to the point Lovecraftian Mythos horror campagin setting in the making. 

Shadowfall as a straight up Lovecraftian Mythos horror campagin setting is dark & brutal. The shadowy masters are there but they have their own hidden agendas. The Lovecraftian material is well done, hits the high notes, and brings home some its own feel within Shadowfall. Carrer paths are solidly done. Shadowfall could easily stand completely & utterly on its own as a Cepheus Engine rpg horror setting with its own Lovecraftian spin. 

Shadowfall has its own internal take on the mythos, its histories, the conspiracy theory like shadowy Lovecraftian alien races,cults, etc. slightly different then say the venerable Call of Cthlhu rpg.
Shadowfall is a modern game setting with some highly dangerous forces just waiting to snuff out PC's. And what's really enjoyable is that its a self contained alternative Nineteen Eighty Four campaign setting. And yes there's mention of Ronald Ragan, Margret Thatcher, all of the usual suspects. But here the Mythos looms large in the background colouring everything with its Lovecraftian taint. 
Shadowfall is a queer beast because it fills a niche within the Cepheus Engine rpg genre that being cosmic horror with its own spin the usual Lovecraftian stories, & material. That's really nicely done making Shadowfall valuable for that reason alone. Now add in the interstellar expansiveness of the Cepheus Engine rpg or original Traveller rpg. Suddenly the interstellar scene becomes very interesting indeed. 

Shadowfall in point of fact could be used with other Cepheus Engine products such as Micheal Brown's Dossier series of adventures, careers,etc. and whole new campaign vistas open up for the DM to exploit. 

Shadowfall has lots of adventure generation potential for the Cepheus Engine rpg. Paul Drye does an excllent job with his writing bring out the best in some of his adventure seeds, giving possible campaign hooks, and bring the Eighties awesomeness into focus in Shadowfall. For a fiver I think Shadowfall is a real bargain with lots of potential. 
Side note Shadowfall makes an excellent Dark Conspiracy rpg addition book as a supplement to add in the Lovecraftian mythos to the DC game universe with no problem at all. Five outta of five for a solid campaign setting book. 

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