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RPGaDay – Day 6: Favourite RPG (you) never get to play

06/08/2014
Shatterzone Cover

Short Answer: Shatterzone, West End Games / Precis Intermedia.

Long Answer: I’ve never been very good at playing favourites. I don’t have an easy answer for this question, and this won’t be the last time this is an issue. In an effort to narrow things down I’m going to impose one criteria – I have to choose an RPG I’ve also never played. Sadly, this doesn’t make things that much easier, so I’ll just pick a game I countered once long ago, and didn’t think I’d ever see again. Shatterzone.

First released by West End Games in 1993, Shatterzone was a semi-hard science fiction space opera that is surprisingly familiar today. It disappeared in 1997 when WEG closed their doors, but has since been given a second shot at life by Precis Intermedia. I don’t remember reading the book when I first encountered it, but I know I did. My friends and I must have planned on running a game at some point because for years I had a photocopy of one of the sample character sheets – but more on that some other time.

The game is a fairly typical mix of corporations, military, aliens, and (because it’s the future) psychic powers. Nothing unique, but it does have shades of Babylon 5, Mass Effect, and a bunch of other space-based settings. Oh, and then there’s these guys: “Reavers- aggressive humanoids allied with the Armagons [evil aliens] as shock troops.” I picked up the PDF version of the three main books when they came back on sale recently. They cost about NZ$15 for a couple of hundred pages. Not a bad deal at all. I don’t think I’ll ever get around to playing the game, but you never know. I’m just happy to finally have an answer to where that darn character sheet had come from.

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