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Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
by Matt [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2024 14:31:20

So there are a lot of pages but the quality of those pages is a little lacking, even in the latest update. For example, "If the Scout did not move for 2 consecutive activations, they can from view and require a skill test to locate until the next time they move or make an attack that is not suppressed or silent." That is copy/pasted from the PDF. What does this even mean? The book is riddled with typos like this. Worse, when there aren't typos, rules tend to written in an obtuse manner. It took me 15 minutes to figure out how "on fire" damage and "burn" damage interconnect...and I'm still not convinced I have it right.

Beyond that the layout of the rules is weird. There are tons of edge cases scattered everywhere.

There are some cool ideas here. Using Perks and Quirks instead of stats is great (everyone is average except in the ways they aren't) and how damage is handled is pretty cool.

But then there are the pages and pages of vehicles and equipment, all with stat lines copy and pasted from the mini game. This is where the non-Heavy Gear fan is going to bounce off and bounce off hard. These are stat lines for wargame nerds (like me) and require a whole set of weapon stat lines and a pamphlet of rules to interpret.

Overall it feels very amateurish in its presentation and rules writing, but not it's rules making. (And please I'm begging DP9, just spend a a couple days reading through the book and correcting the typos you find, it would improve this book by 80%)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
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Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
by Ryan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2024 11:23:15

The book is an absolute tome. I believe that I'll have to parse out the usable sections with bookmarks. The paper is a bit thin as well, so it totals out to be a mark against play.

It's my belief that the intended use case is either scan and print user copies to try makeing it usable or print PDF pages for handouts. I'll have to find out about the limitations (or not) to doing so. I believe its completely fine to do that for works in the U.S. if you're not distributing them. That's sort of an irksome problem to noodle into the legal aspects of using this as a playable piece of work.

For the POD version, I'm pretty happy with the quality of most things. There's some flared corners that aren't as tight as I'd like on the hardback bit. The paper is thinner than ideal. I feel I'll have to be pretty gentle with this book. That said it feels well printed, in terms of color quality.

I'll have to be a bit more prudish as I got the thing yesterday, but my flip-through is showing it looks on par with the PDF in terms of crispness. I will update the review if needed. I think that this POD version, might be used more as a bit of a relic, because of it's sort of huge page count, as well as the paper feel a little dangerously thin in a way that makes me uncomfortable. So I'm glad I went with the full color version with the PDF, as its bit of a collector piece now.

TL:DR I believe that a PDF version is required to actually utilize this work as a proper piece for gaming, which is a little sad...but not really. Its a flaw for the book to not naturally bundle with the PDF considering it bulk.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
by Ran [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2024 14:31:24

There are several glaring issues with this release.

Bad writing : This is the worst offender. The rules are all written in a very dry & rambling manner. Edge-case rules are hidden inside gigantic paragraphs, bolded sections to help parse the text are rare, bullet points are hardly anywhere to be found. You will find yourself constantly flipping back and fowards between entire chapters just to try and clarify a single rule.

Layout issues and typos abound, Mismatched artstyles from across the years, hastily cropped and resized images dot the pages of the book. If it was a one-off case, I'd give it a pass. But this is the norm rather than an exception.

Hardly any info about, well, Heavy Gears : The interesting Mecha and namesake of the Heavy Gear universe hardly get any info about them (Same for other unique tech like the NNet CPUs, Landships, etc ), unlike in the previous versions' core books. Glossing over them completely is a disservice to the universe. Even the Blitz releases have a dedicated section to them, so it's omission in a core RPG book is baffling.

All these issues lead to this product feeling Unprofessional, in one word.

It's a shame, since the core system is pretty good, (even an improvement over the classic Silhouette) and uses the tried-and-true Blitz 3.1 dice mechanics. Unfortunately, just about everything else drags it down. Considering the price of the physical volume, I'd recommend against purchasing it - It is in no way near the production values the original releases had, nor does it show the care that these titles had put in them. If deciding to purchase, stick to the PDF. As it is, the book is unusable.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Jovian Chronicles (Mekton)
by Richard [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2024 22:10:37

Nice conversion of the setting to the Melton rules.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Jovian Chronicles (Mekton)
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Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
by Jason [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2024 00:32:41

I’m not going to go too in-depth with this review, as it's my first review, but I do need to be up front with some stuff. This review is based on the PDF version, and was purchased by myself.

About me. I really dig mecha. I have since I was a kid, and still do today. So, it should come as no surprise that I like Heavy Gear (HG), as it’s arguably the best western example of the genre. Don’t get me wrong, Battletech is good too, and but HG just feels truer to its Japanese influences. (I'm not forgetting Mekton, but it's another type of beast.) I was first introduced to HG in the pages of Mecha Press #14, so I’ve been familiar with the franchise since the beginning, even if I didn’t much keep up with it after second edition came out. I’m not new to this, and come to it with affection; maybe even some bias.

Anywho, 4th edition is an ambitious, meaty game. The PDF comes in at 483 pages, including the spine (for reasons), so it’s a big, big book. If you don’t like big, big books, then HG 4e is not for you. That said, to make the obvious joke, I like big books, and I cannot lie. The layout, for the most part, is your basic two column spread with ample art, and is pretty easy to follow. The art is mostly manga-style, but there is some western comic-style art mixed with a few more realistic pieces. It doesn’t clash too much, but I prefer the more manga-looking work over the rest, it just feels more authentic to the franchise. That said, I did notice that a lot of the art is reused art from earlier editions, the Ghislain Barbe art mostly, and the new art tends to be the more western looking art.

The system itself is a d6-based dice pool system, with variable difficulties, though 5 is the default difficulty. This is augmented various ways you’d expect it to be, including an advantage/disadvantage mechanic like D&D 5e uses. While I haven’t brought it to the table, it does seem pretty easy to pick up, even for a novice player.

For character generation, it’s mostly point based and/or freeform. There are archetypes available for those who would feel more comfortable with more structure to their character creation, plus it introduces rank levels to character types that give one’s character a special ability. Not all archetypes use this, but it is handy. Skills and attributes have their own chapters after the archetypes chapter.

Combat, as per HG tradition, comes in two flavours: Blitz and narrative. Narrative is a much simpler, maybe too simple for some, theatre of the mind style choice over the tactical Blitz rules, named after, and based on, HG 4e’s sister game. Blitz is fairly complex, and it defaults to expecting you to be using minis and terrain. (It does touch on battlemats, but assumes you’re playing without one.) Personally, I’ve never been a real fan of HG combat since the beginning, as I’m not big on the tactical rules, and the narrative rules have never felt meaty enough. Mind you, this is just me, and not a failure of the rules, so I don’t count this against it.

There are chapters on equipment crafting, vehicle customization, and electronic warfare, but I won’t go into detail with them. Also, there are a few of chapters on player and GM tips, adventures, and teams that feature sundry rules that don’t really fit anywhere else. Rounding out the book is over 160+ of vehicle and critter stats which are a damned if you do/damned if you don’t inclusion. Some, like me, will like the inclusion, but others will think it’s overkill. Earlier editions featured a few Gears/Striders in the core book, with separate guides on the various nations’ vehicles, so I find that more choice in the core to be friendlier on my wallet, but your mileage may vary.

So far, I’ve been pretty positive about the book, and I do like it overall. There are, however, a handful of real problems that the book has which will polarize people.

First up, the layout of the chapters is a little wonky. It’s not too distracting, but there are some head-scratchers, like why the Vehicle & Creatures chapter isn’t directly before the vehicle and creature stats. Some don’t like that the character creation chapter is before the rules chapter, but that’s just personal preference for the most part. Sure, there will be some flipping between chapters, like between character generation and the skills or attribute chapters, but that's par for the course in rule books.

Secondly, and more importantly, the editing is very weak. I won’t count typos and such, as they’re common across the board with modern RPGs, but the actual writing is the issue. The book reads like it’s written by someone who knows what they’re talking about, but has trouble verbalizing it, and I suspect that this is because it seems that it was edited by contributors, and not by a professional editor with RPG experience. This isn’t like other games, where the publisher does an early PDF release so that the public can report typos and such before it goes to print, this is the book dearly needing another editorial pass to catch problems with the actual writing. The writing isn’t bad, per se, but there is a sloppiness to it, where it meanders before getting to the point, and it loses some clarity of what they’re trying to impart to the reader. That said, I didn’t find this to be a fatal problem, just an annoying one, but I understand where others might think differently.

Thirdly, there's the elephant in the room: the price. The PDF is very reasonable, and in line with other core rulebooks, but the POD is incredibly steep. If it were a premium print, with better paper and ink, I'd understand it, but this is just a standard quality print that's way more expensive than comparable books. I figure that Dream Pod 9 sees the PDF as the primary product, but it's really a shame they decided to price the print version out of the reach of many. Here's hoping they drop the price in the foreseeable future, as it deserves a wider audience to renew interest in the mostly forgotten franchise.

So, that’s my take on the Heavy Gear Fourth Edition Rulebook. There’s a great game in there, but it’s just missing that greatness. I’m not disappointed with it, but I am somewhat frustrated. Again, if they had that (presumably) missing editorial pass, they’d be able to shine. As it stands, there’s a decent book there, and a great one is waiting in the wings. I look forward to whatever comes next.

Cheers, folks.

(Note: This review was actually 4.5 stars rounded up to 5. I’d been flip-flopping between 4 and 4.5, but it’s been two decades since a Heavy Gear RPG has been in print, so call me nostalgic with the rating. Also, I wasn’t a backer of the Kickstarter, but, after a little research, I understand that the road to publication was somewhat bumpy due to people quitting the project, so I took that into consideration as well.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
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Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
by Benn [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2024 18:24:19

OMG!! Heavy Gear makes a huge return to the RPG scene with this new 4th edition! Not only does the new version of the Silhouette system allow for flexibility and narrative playing, it also allows a level of simulation that goes from full tactical to simple narration. I can't wait to see the future this game brings.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Heavy Gear RPG Fourth Edition Rulebook
by Josh [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2024 08:04:26

There is a good game here, I suspect. Unfortunately, it is hidden inside nearly 500 pages of text.

Organization is completely weird: character creation comes before the chapters on skills, attributes, and character archetypes (which are of questionable utility and thankfully optional). Some of the systems are too complex (damage), while others are too simple (non-Blitz combat). Skills and attributes are entirely free-form. I'm not a fan of that, but I can see the benefit for veteran players--the problem being that without novice players, there won't be any veteran players to take advantage of the more complicated rules here, of which there are many.

Pages 284-445 are all lists of vehicles and their stats. That is a full third of the book devoted to vehicle stats, which do not immediately follow the chapter on Vehicles and Creatures.

This project needed to be broken down into two, possibly three separate PDFs/books, and developed as a roleplaying game, not a 480-page roleplaying game addendum to the miniatures line. The revamped Silhouette system is interesting, and the dice pool building mechanic is fun, but between the free-form skills and attributes, the bizarre organizational choices, and the 160+ pages devoted to vehicles, I just don't see this edition of a much beloved game IP getting much table play.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Tribe 8 RPG 2nd Edition Player's Handbook
by Paul [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2023 16:10:12

Excellent addition to the line, its a shame this and the 1st edition aren't available as POD.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tribe 8 RPG 2nd Edition Player's Handbook
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Night's Edge
by Alex B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2023 15:38:32

A genuinely good book to build up on Cyberpunk's world. Much more in depth than White Wolf Magazine #36-38's articles "World of Future Darkness" which was used as a fusion of both Cyberpunk and Vampire: the Masquerade, but more focused on being it's own thing while taking inspiration from World of Darkness along with old monster flicks and stories without utilizing any the mechanics from V:tM nor any of the other WoD games. If you want to get a good gothic and supernatural twist for your loud and proud cybernetic loving punks this is the one for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night's Edge
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Heavy Gear Revitalized – Life on Terra Nova 2nd Edition
by Simon N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2023 10:32:51

This is a truly excellent product. The content is first class, with years of great play material in a living world. The remaster is absolutely brilliant, clearly a lot of effort and love went into the presentation. One thing I was very happy to see in the discussion of their 'chesspiece' system that describes NPCs' relation to the Metaplot/Storyline is that they do recognise that some GMs like me may wish to deviate from the official storyline, and that this is ok. :)

Not cheap but very well worth the price. If I could give 6 stars...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heavy Gear Revitalized – Life on Terra Nova 2nd Edition
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Heavy Gear Revitalized – United Mercantile Federation Leaguebook
by Simon N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2023 12:16:54

I'm using this book to run a war campaign set in the northern Badlands just south of Ashington. I'm finding the level of detail in this book just right to help me out, without drowning me in detail. Nice maps of every UMF city state, major NPCs, lots of local fauna, plenty of great art. Very happy with this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heavy Gear Revitalized – United Mercantile Federation Leaguebook
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Heavy Gear Revitalized – Storyline Book 2: Blood on the Wind
by Simon N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2023 12:14:39

I'm running a Heavy Gear RPG war campaign starting TN 1/1/1937, this booklet is great for

(a) a comprehensive timeline 1935-1939, covering the outbreak & default course (I don't hold with inviolate metaplots) of the Interpolar War. (b) A cast of the major NPCs (c) A bunch of news reports and secret documents to give to my players as things progress.

The digital quality is great. Very happy with this purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heavy Gear Revitalized – Storyline Book 2: Blood on the Wind
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Silhouette CORE RPG Rules Deluxe Edition
by wade g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2023 21:20:47

It's unbelievable that the cost is less than it deserves. I've saw some say the pdf is a scan. If so, the pdf must have been upgraded. It looks perfect. I've just went to thier site and bought the printed book. DP9 has four OGL compatible player handbooks but the rules can be used for any setting outside of thier settings. The rules are the best layout I've ever seen in a game set. Very, very well presented and throughout every chapter there are dozens of examples of the rules being used. The rules themselves are great and we're looking forward to making it one of the top system being used. Version 003.1 I'm a gamer, not a staff member!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silhouette CORE RPG Rules Deluxe Edition
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The Art of Heavy Gear Volume 1
by Clinton H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2023 19:47:06

The art from this book and the volumes as top rate and made my childhood love of gears/mecha bloom. Thank you very much for these books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Art of Heavy Gear Volume 1
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Heavy Gear Revitalized – Technical Manual 2nd Edition
by Brad L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2023 22:20:54

[There does appear to be an error in the remaster process: Page 50(53 in the PDF) has the images of the "Light Rifle", Medium Rifle", "Heavy Rifle", and "Medium Bazooka" and they aren't properly aligned in the frames where they're supposed to show up. They appear nearly empty, with only fragments of the weapons(like their magazines) actually making it into their frame. I do not recall the physical book having this misprint, but it's also been a decade since I've held it physically. Extremely minor issue, as this remaster is leagues above many of the old scans of the DP9 stuff.]

The real meat of this book is the 2nd Ed VCS, or Vehicle Construction System. It's what most variants of Heavy Gear Blitz used as their basis for calculating their threat values, and is the same VCS featured in DP9's "Jovian Chronicles Companion". The JC Companion also includes the instructions for creating "Offensive and Defensive System Design" and their threat value calculation, whereas this Technical Manual instead has a nearly all-inclusive list of vehicular weapons in Heavy Gear with their stats and costs premade in a listing for you to use. The only items preventing it from being all-inclusive are the other aircraft specific(like bombs) and support specific(like artillery guns, besides the listed "Light Artillery Gun") weapons featured in other manuals offered by DP9. If you're just looking for the VCS I think the JC Companion or the SILCORE 3rd Ed book are both more all encompassing for your needs, but lack the valuable Heavy Gear technical lore and fluff featured here. Note that at this time there is no true PDF remaster of the JC Companion and that DP9's early rescans are hit/miss, and also note that 3rd Edition's VCS has many changes and that the grand majority of DP9's product line post-3rd Ed completely disregards any of 3rd Ed ever happened.

If you have the old scan it probably serves your needs well enough(albeit DP9's scans can be awful), and I think this remastered PDF is too spendy for DP9 fans already familiar with the content. For a newcomer though; this is an absolute MUST!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heavy Gear Revitalized – Technical Manual 2nd Edition
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