John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

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First Impressions of UnMet

As I noted in one of the little side notes of one of the recent journal entries on my health, I have received my copy of Unhallowed Metropolis, courtesy of Brad Elliott, *the* sales guy at Eos Press. I have started in on the reading of the book, but thought that I would share some first impressions with folks...

Oh, right? What is Unhallowed Metropolis (or UnMet as it's called in the game circles)? UnMet is the Neo-Victorian horror roleplaying game of gas mask chic. For more info about the game, see New Dark Age.net.

What can I say except... WOW!!! The book is a solid, very large hardcover, some 392 pages in length!! (that retails for $39.95 U.S.), with good cardboard stock external covers, and has very nice quality paper and lovely, evocative artwork. The book is saddle stitch bound, and a good thing, too - at the size of this book, any other kind of binding would likely have come apart. Big book! The writing on the pages is dense, but not so dense that one can't read them easily, but I did notice in some cases the text goes very close into the centre of the binding. Just in a couple of cases, and nothing really bothersome.

The front of the book has a Table of Contents page and a Photo Credit page - but there is *NO INDEX* at the back!! ::annoyed look:: This is seriously annoying in a book this size, and I have already struggled just trying to find some subjects at random in the book. I finally went to the Glossary at the back (which is pretty short, for the record) to find the definition of "Animates" and "Reanimates" as used in the game. The good news is that Brad (Elliott) informed me in e-mail that this was an oversight, and that an Index has been/will be created and be placed in the Downloads section of the website, because it will be truly useful for finding stuff in the massive tome.

I am about half way through the first chapter, "Unhallowed Ground", and am finding the reading very good. Jason Soles (mrsoles) and Nicole Vega, the authors of the book, have done a tremendous job in the writing of this material, and it definitely evokes the setting of the game. I was expecting the writing in the basic section on the setting to be...pedantic and bland, as much Victorian such stuff would be, but it isn't! Simply put, it's crisp, evocative, and the running timeline gives one such a great grasp of this world (alternate) timeline that it's a joy to read. Can't wait to get into the rules chapter and character creation!

Having glanced ahead at the chapters, I am somewhat intimidated about all the charts and tables. Normally, I would photocopy all the charts and tables and keep them handy so as to not have to keep flipping through the book, but I wouldn't want to photocopy stuff out of this book because of the size of the book and the binding. I really hope all of these charts, tables, and so forth will appear at some point in a Narrator's Screen, with a booklet including the timeline, equipment lists, weapons and their stats, and some basic other charts and tables, a Glossary, and a decent introductory adventure.

Overall, my first impression is very positive...and this is a roleplaying game that seems to evoke the (Neo-)Victorian feel very well, while making it just unique enough to appeal to a wide spectrum of both gamers and folks who enjoy reading Victoriana and stuff along alternate history lines equally.

Congrats to Brad and the folks at Eos Press, and to Jason and Nicci. Excellent job. :)
Tags: rpg
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